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Touch Screen Climate Control

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by za10aj12, Nov 5, 2015.

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  1. za10aj12


    Nov 5, 2015
    Hi, I have a 2005 Ford Mustang GT Premium. I have been extremely envious of the newer mustang interior technology (and all newer cars in general), so much that I have continuously upgraded mine. I have had the idea of removing the knobs and buttons controlling the climate control and replacing it with a touch screen to operate it. I plan on using a Raspberry Pi for the computing and an accompanying display for it. I have 2 bumps in the road; I want to shift the frame holding the radio up to accompany a larger screen (which I will be relying on specific Mustang forums for that), and a 26 pin connector is a slight mystery. The coding itself will not be a too big problem; beginning the spring semester here, my old computer science teacher will be using her AP Computer Science 2 class, roughly 20 extremely intelligent high school students, herself (a computer scientist obviously), and my Physics Calculus teacher will be assisting with this part. The most help I could utilize is what exactly each pin in the 26 pin connector could be. There is also a large 4 pin connector roughly aligned with the fan speed knob, so I assume those are related as there are 4 fan speeds. Thanks in advance.
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    I think it's interesting you are going to a Mustang specific forum to help with the physical dash modifications, but not the wiring details ;)
    We can most certainly help with the electronics side, but without a detailed service manual for the Mustang, I'd be guessing at what those wires do. Colors don't mean a whole lot either, as the colors can change between similar models or years xD Cars are always fun that way.

    You can look the the piece removed from the dash which will give you a good idea.
    This might be a tricky project for you though depending on your electronics experience. The RaspberryPi does not actually have a huge number of I/O pins. 26 Digital IOs out of 40 available pins on the header. I believe you loose some of those depending on the LCD screen you decide to use... but I honestly can't recall properly.

    You will find that you will need to emulate a couple functions from the control panel. Again... if we get a detailed page or link to a page showing the wiring diagram of the dash, this will make everyone's job so much easier.
  3. za10aj12


    Nov 5, 2015
    Lol well you see, I've searched high and low throughout the internet for a hint, but no help. Of course, I've also asked of the mustang forums to assist in the wiring, but this is a huge project that seems to have never been done before (unless you look at Teslas and luxury super cars). I just looked in the manual just for a clue and no luck... Okay as I has typing this a gave a good look at the IIHS manual climate control wiring diagram and I thought it was 1 page and just never scrolled down. It appears on page 3 that that might be what I'm looking for. Climate Control System.pdf

    Also I can upload pictures of all of the wires that are part of this modification today.
  4. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Thanks for that :)
    It helps, and confirms a couple fears I had about the project.
    It looks as though the climate control panel directly interfaces with some heavy loads... In addition to the Raspi Programming, you will need to build a number of circuits and use some creative thinking to mimic what the panel did.
    For example: The Front blower motor is a rather heavy load which has a 4-speed control on it.
    -High (Ground the wire from the blower)
    Then the remaining Med-High, Med-Low, and Low speeds are attained by using the dial on the control panel to select a resistor.
    You can mimic this with resistors and relays, or experiment and use a power transistor and PWM (Pulse width modulation)

    It does not look like you are able to directly connect the pi to an of those controls without begging for it to get cooked xD

    So. We have a good start... now the questions are:
    -How comfortable are you experimenting.
    -How experienced are you with electronics?
    -What kind of completion time are you looking for?
    (This would most likely need to be progresively built working on each control or each type of control at a time)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
    davenn likes this.
  5. za10aj12


    Nov 5, 2015
    1) I am fine with experimenting; however, I have no room for costly errors as the car itself is very aesthetic and not exactly a test car. But I am confident enough to do most anything.
    2) I am in no way a master, but I have been involved in electronics for quite a few years being a filthy millennial lol. I can learn anything quite easily and have maybe 8/10 electrical knowledge.
    3) There isn't exactly any deadline; the computer science class would begin working on it at the beginning of spring semester (January), and the weather here in Texas is currently beginning to be bearable without A/C for a bit.

    I do not have hands-on experience with any code/computers besides Java and standard PCs but I am certainly willing to learn quick, and will soon be learning on the Rspi

    Edit: also, another link to some important stuff that I haven't had a chance to look at Control System.pdf
  6. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Good find on the documentation.
    The troubleshooting article will give you pretty much all the details you will need in order to build an electronic system to mimic your control panel.
    As far as experimentation is concerned, it would be nothing major.
    You'd essentially be sitting down and identifying which pin on the connector does what. You would then classify the pins so you know what you are dealing with.
    Things like:
    -Analogue input
    -Analogue output
    -Digital input
    -Digital output.

    Please note that when I say 'digital', I mean that the pin will have a known state. Ground, Power, or Open. Analogue would be the wire that goes to the front blower motor... the output to the motor varies.

    Why don't you give mapping the connectors a try first by making a numbered list of what each pin is.
    Pin1. Ground
    Pin2. To blower (Output)
    Pin3. From light dimmer (Input)
    (These pins are made-up, but you get the idea)

    I'll give it a read and compare to the PDF resources you brought over, and make corrections if needed.
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