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Escort 9500ix Light Bar
Music too loud to hear your trusty detector go off? Make this!
Published by phil.harlow
10-22-2011
Escort 9500ix Light Bar

Hey Guys,

So after upgrading to my E90 335xi, I can turn the music up MUCH louder than I could in my WRX. This is awesome as I love it loud, but if my radar detector goes off while I'm blasting tunes, it often goes unnoticed. This was my $10 solution to that problem. (Already had the hardwire kit)

This writeup is lacking internal shots, and I plan on re-making this anyways, so I will fill this DIY with better pictures/instructions when I do.

Parts:
Hardwire Kit - http://www.amazon.com/Escort-79-0000.../ref=pd_cp_e_2 (This has the blue power LED. You can get red as well. I took mine out so it didn't matter)
Light Pipe - http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10695
Super bright blue LED - http://www.sparkfun.com/products/529
Headphone Cable - http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8566
Headphone Jack - http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8032
Heatshrink tubing - http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8830 (not exactly the size I used, but should work. I got mine from a local shop and it fits loosely around the light pipe)

I wish I took more pictures along the way, but these should help you enough to copy mine exactly.

Step 1. Open the Hardwire kit box.
Using a Phillips head, open up the hardwire kit box. I pulled one half away leaving the escort sticker to one half, then transferred that to a knife blade for easy installation once I'm done.

Step 2. Install Headphone jack into Hardwire kit.
I unsoldered the power LED and alert LED from the hardwire kit. (I didn't care for the bright power LED. I know it's on if I'm driving)
Then I soldered the alert LED connections directly to the headphone jack, making sure I ran the positive to the right contact to correspond to the positive side of the led at the end of the cable. Same with -.
Close up the hardwire kit.

Step 3. Build Light Pipe.
I soldered the led directly to the cable, making sure to note what contacts go to the annode, and which goes to the cathode (+/-)
I then slide heatshrink over the led, solder connections, and light pipe to seal them together. (pic 8)
Then I used some electrical tape to cap the end, then slid a small piece of heatshrink to pretty it up. (pic 9)

Step 4. Install hardwire kit.
I tapped into the cigarette lighter right at the passengers knees, and ran the cable up and around to the detector (pic 7)

Step 5. Install Light Pipe.
I used double sided foam tape, but it has since lifted. I need to do it again on a hot day so the glue grabs better.

Step 6. Enjoy.
Turn up the music without fear of missing your alerts!


Video of it in action:


Pictures:
1 - In place (Note: It needs to be stickyd in place)
2 - Illuminated in broad daylight (works best at night, but even this grabs your attention)
3 - Hardwire kit installed, with the light pipe plugged in
4 - Hardwire kit installed, with all the wires hidden.
5 - Dont use super glue!!! I was dumb and used some and it "seeps" out and fucks everything up. Use hot glue. I will in V2.
6 - Showing the path of the cable to the light pipe. (I forgot to draw the line)
7 - Shot of the dash, showing the 9500ix location.
8 - The LED/cable end of the light pipe
9 - The capped end of the light pipe
__________________
Previous 2011 E90 335xi - Ordered 7/10/11 | Finished Production 7/20/11 | Delivered 9/3/11
Current 2015 ///M3 - Ordered 4/6/14 | Finished Production 8/28/14 | Delivered 10/11/14
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  #1  
By kiwi29 on 10-23-2011, 05:11 PM
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Great idea! i might think of doing this since I blast my music too lol
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  #2  
By Peertwelve on 12-11-2011, 01:36 PM
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How did you tap into the cig lighter? Mine has two thin red wire, a fat red wire, and a thick brown. I can't get power from the thick lines and the thin reds seem to be the same
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  #3  
By ctu11y on 12-15-2011, 08:08 PM
awesome diy bro
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  #4  
By 1QuikWS6 on 12-16-2011, 01:32 AM
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Fairly innovative - I understand about not being able to hear the audible alert over the stereo, but just outta curiosity, as you're driving and looking directly out the windshield with the RD directly in your view - it's not good enough to just see the display on the RD going off?

What I would like to see is someone hook up the external speaker jack from the RD to interface with BMW sound system and cut out the stereo sound from the speakers to sound the alert thru the radio as is done with BT phone...
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  #5  
By phil.harlow on 12-20-2011, 08:34 PM
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Thank guys!

Peertwelve I did use the cigarette lighter. I'm pretty sure mine only had two wires coming into and and we just tested for polarity and tapped right in. I'm wondering if your year has something different going on. Google didn't help?

1QuikWS6 the blue display on the RD isn't enough to grab my attention. It sits just below my rear view mirror, and if the entire screen flashed, I could probably notice (not as easily as this tho) but I use the advanced display so the screen only changes a few pixels when it starts going off. You'd have to be staring at it to notice (not good while driving The main reason is when it goes off, the quicker I can react the less likely I'm going to get a ticket, so I made this as obnoxious as possible without being too annoying ha. The alert over music would be nice too, unless you were listening to a quiet audio source and had the volume cranked.. Ouch!
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  #6  
By kiwi29 on 11-19-2012, 12:02 AM
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In pic #3, how did you hide the wires leading to the controller? Can you help me out on that? I'm loving the wiring you did as well, the light bar was an extremely smart idea too!
If you could, please do a quick write up on how you did your hardwiring for the smart cord.
Thank you!
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  #7  
By phil.harlow on 11-21-2012, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi29 View Post
In pic #3, how did you hide the wires leading to the controller? Can you help me out on that? I'm loving the wiring you did as well, the light bar was an extremely smart idea too!
If you could, please do a quick write up on how you did your hardwiring for the smart cord.
Thank you!
Hey Kiwi,

In summary, I grabbed power from the cigarette lighter at the passenger's left knee, then ran it from there into the crack between the dash and center console and used double sided sticky foam tape to attach it to the underside of the dash. Then I ran the radar connector behind the glovebox and up the A pillar, then tucked it into the headliner until it reached the rear-view mirror.

Not exactly sure what you were looking for, let me know if you have any questions or need more info.

Thanks!
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  #8  
By kiwi29 on 11-21-2012, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil.harlow View Post
Hey Kiwi,

In summary, I grabbed power from the cigarette lighter at the passenger's left knee, then ran it from there into the crack between the dash and center console and used double sided sticky foam tape to attach it to the underside of the dash. Then I ran the radar connector behind the glovebox and up the A pillar, then tucked it into the headliner until it reached the rear-view mirror.

Not exactly sure what you were looking for, let me know if you have any questions or need more info.

Thanks!
Ohhhhhh! I get exactly what you mean now! Thanks for the heads up! How hard was it to wire thru the dash from the glovebox up? Is there a gap that you can slide the controller connection wire to?
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  #9  
By phil.harlow on 11-21-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi29 View Post
Ohhhhhh! I get exactly what you mean now! Thanks for the heads up! How hard was it to wire thru the dash from the glovebox up? Is there a gap that you can slide the controller connection wire to?
From what I remember, we didn't remove the glovebox and were able to tap into the cig lighter cables. Then running the radar connector up the a pillar and in the headliner is really easy, just use something thin, rigid, and non-scratchy to push the cable into the crack little by little. Took about an hour I believe.

This guy has some pics that better describe where the cable runs, except he unscrewed the covers on the a-pillar where I just squished my cable into the gap, and it turned out just as clean.
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=409010
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  #10  
By WilliamS on 11-21-2012, 03:54 PM
build me one in red, i can send you the hardwire kit.
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  #11  
By kiwi29 on 11-21-2012, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil.harlow View Post
From what I remember, we didn't remove the glovebox and were able to tap into the cig lighter cables. Then running the radar connector up the a pillar and in the headliner is really easy, just use something thin, rigid, and non-scratchy to push the cable into the crack little by little. Took about an hour I believe.

This guy has some pics that better describe where the cable runs, except he unscrewed the covers on the a-pillar where I just squished my cable into the gap, and it turned out just as clean.
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=409010
Holy crap, that was one insane write up but I completely understand now, thanks for forwarding that post onto here! And thank you for all of your help
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