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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > Homelink integration in ashtray



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      09-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
chrisE92
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Homelink integration in ashtray

Comments, questions, and criticisms are welcome!!

So here's the story...

I have the homelink rearview mirror, but I live in a gated community and the HOA likes to use remote transmitters for the gate that can't be programmed into cars. After misplacing my last transmitter, I ordered a new one, but with plans to integrate it in my car. I wanted a solution that looked clean and could hide the remote from plain view (to deal with the fear of people breaking into the car to steal a transmitter, which probably wouldn't happen in this area anyway).

After looking at some DIYs on the forum, I decided to take a stab at it myself. Previous DIYers used a tiny input button wired to the circuit board of the transmitter, then placed the button in areas like their ashtray or rain sensor. I liked the ashtray idea most, and since I had already built my own iphone dock in that area, I decided to extend this idea to integrate the gate transmitter.

Here are a few pictures of the process. Of course, for those without homelink, you can use your garage transmitter instead. Excuse the poor quality of the photos: I only had my iphone with me.


1. My ashtray with my custom iphone dock and the circuit board + battery of the gate transmitter. For more tips on how to build the iphone dock, see my posts in this thread.


2. A paper mock-up of how I wanted the final product to look like. I wanted something that covered the entire ashtray, with a button in the middle. The circuitry of the transmitter would be underneath.


3. After deciding on the perfect shape, I traced the paper mock-up onto sheet metal and cut out a plate to cover the ashtray.


4. A picture showing the metal plate, circuit board and battery of the transmitter, the original button from the transmitter with a spring glued to it, and the new round button I was planning on using. The plan was to place the original button + spring on the transmitter's input switch (the yellow square on the board), and then place the new button on top of the spring, and have that poke out of a hole in the metal plate. Essentially, I'd be making an extended button. Note the red LED.


5. This is how I positioned the circuit board inside the ashtray. I used white plastic beneath to raise it up a bit, and then white plastic on the side to keep it in the board from moving around. A bit of double-sided tape was used as well.


6. I wrapped the metal in matte black vinyl to make it look cleaner. Notice the lack of a button. The reason for this is I decided against drilling a hole into the metal. Instead, I used a different spring inside to make the entire metal plate one large "button" (credit also goes to the slight flexibility of the sheet metal). There is a satisfying "click" feel when the entire platform is pressed down, as if one is using a MacBook trackpad. I left a tiny gap around the edges of the platform to allow for movement and for the red LED to emit light. When pressed down in the dark, the platform glows red.


7. Completion! For those who are wondering, the entire process (measuring, cutting, wrapping, and playing around with the setup) took about 2-3 hours. I went through several mockups before deciding on this final product.


My new integrated transmitter works quite well, working about two car lengths from the gate.
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      09-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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nice!
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      10-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
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Very nice, I have been wondering how to do something like this with our gate also. Thanks
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      10-06-2012, 04:59 AM   #4
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Nice work!
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      10-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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I just wish I could get mine to work with my gated community. I cant get it to take the programming to save my life.
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      10-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRWS10 View Post
Very nice, I have been wondering how to do something like this with our gate also. Thanks
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Originally Posted by Spydeputy View Post
Nice work!
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Originally Posted by Goofyguy View Post
I just wish I could get mine to work with my gated community. I cant get it to take the programming to save my life.
Thanks guys! yeah, I've long been frustrated with the inability to program my gate remote transmitter. It seemed like this was the next best solution.
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      10-12-2012, 03:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofyguy View Post
I just wish I could get mine to work with my gated community. I cant get it to take the programming to save my life.
i was having the same problem, programing the homelink to work with my gate.
Try the canadian method your gate must have a rolling code.
Put your home link in program mode then push your gate remote repeat every 1 second until homelink flashes then your programed.
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