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DIY - Clown nose blinking LED
Published by msinfo_us
07-21-2006
DIY - Clown nose blinking LED

If you like me is annoyed by clown nose doing nothing but do not need/want to spend $400 on real BMW alarm than read on.

The following process is not complicated and can be done by almost anybody in a couple hours or so. You’ll need to put together a very simple electronic device. You can buy all parts from Radioshack for under $10.

Here is what you need:
TLC 555 Timer
Item: 2761718
Description: LinCMOS Timer
Quantity: 1 @ $1.69

Item: 2760159
Description: General-Purpose IC PC Board
Quantity: 1 @ $2.29

The rest of the parts I already had but if you need to buy them they are also available at www.radioshack.com.

For R1, R2 and R3 I used pot (adjustable) resistors. For C1 I end up using 1000mF capacitor.

The electrical diagram with pictures is bellow (the LED on a photo was for ease of adjustment since I had to go back and force from my car. I removed LED on board and replaced it with connections to LED in clown nose in a last step).

Next you will need to connect to the LED insight the clown nose.

There are at least two ways that I found to connect to it. First (the way I end up doing it): The LED (12V) insight the clown nose located on the rear view mirror. Mirror is attached to a black cover of rain sensor. The cover holds in place by springs which hold on to a hex bolt head permanently attached to the windshield (please see pictures and diagram bellow). To detach just twist (I did not have to apply a lot of force) the black cover with rear view mirror about 15-30 degree or so and it comes right off. The plastic cover is made of two separate inter-locking pieces. Insight you will find rain sensor plug at the bottom and LED plug were mirror is attached. I end up removing the LED plug and running two wires to LED directly thru wiring hose from light/sun-roof panel. Than I put everything back by twisting cover with mirror back in place.

Second way is to use existing LED wires which already go to the light/sun-roof panel. I think they were black and brown color but I did not want to spend time tracing them.

Last step: we'll need a 12V power that will be on when car is locked/not running and off when car is unlocked/running. Proceed to remove light/sun roof panel (you can find instructions on "how to" on this forum under DIY alarm installation). Insight you will see large white plug (1-20 connections), large black plug (1-20 connections) and a smaller black plug (1-14 connections) -- you need 1-14 connections black plug (see pictures bellow). There is a couple more smaller plugs (1-4 and less) that you don't need. On 1-14 connections black plug (wires are labeled 1-7, 8-14) the connection with number 1 behaves the way we need. It has 4.6V when car is running and after the car is turned off and locked in a minute or so the voltage changes to 12V. Interestingly enough if car is not running and you unlock it and wait about 3-5 minutes it also changes from 4.6V to 12V.
Connect positive (+) wire from the timer you built in step One to number one connection on 1-14 black plug and negative (-) wire to ground (I used bolt near motor).

Now, if you have a multimeter it helps. You can connect it in parallel to the timer and if you don’t it is not a big deal either. Adjust R3 so when there is 4.6V (car is running) the timer is off (LED is off) and when there is 12V (car is locked for more than a minute) timer is ON (LED is blinking). Adjust R1 and R2 to get desired timing/delay (how long the LED is On and Off). Note: the timer allows you to set up almost any percentage/delay you want. What I chose to do is to pull my car next to another BMW with factory alarm installed and matched the LED to that car.

Enjoy!

PS Please note there is a typo on a diagram - C1 is 100-1000uF
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  #1  
By Luongo on 07-21-2006, 05:30 PM
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  #2  
By saini023 on 07-22-2006, 03:51 PM
wow.pretty sure a lot of memeber will try this.... i spend the 400 on the alarm ...great DIY..
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  #3  
By Asiann on 07-22-2006, 04:32 PM
Wow I might have to try this if I can understand all the techincal jargon.
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  #4  
By msinfo_us on 07-22-2006, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiann
Wow I might have to try this if I can understand all the techincal jargon.
I tried to keep it simple but if you need clarification ask and I'll do my best to explain with as little jargon as possible.
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  #5  
By mds82 on 07-22-2006, 05:34 PM
very nice job... impressive and creative
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  #6  
By msinfo_us on 07-22-2006, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mds82
very nice job... impressive and creative
Thank you
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  #7  
By Jason on 07-22-2006, 05:52 PM
Excellent DIY, added to Master DIY List
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  #8  
By petesamprs on 07-23-2006, 07:21 AM
msinfo - this is awesome. do you think you can translate this, when you have time, into step-by-step instructions for a complete novice, including what exact tools to buy? Links to the tools and components on radio shack's website would be helpful too.

nice work.
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  #9  
By msinfo_us on 07-23-2006, 10:57 AM
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Here ya go:
R1 and R2
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=family
10K-Ohm Horizontal-Style Trimmer
$1.29
Model: 271-282
Catalog #: 271-282
for R3 you can try this bundle (unfortunetly they don't mention specifications of what is inluded but I am sure 20 or 30K will be part of the bundle. They are very common) http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...53&tab=summary
or use R1 10K pot in line with 10K resitor from this bundle http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
100-Piece ½-Watt Carbon-Film Resistor Assortment
$6.29
Model: 271-306
Catalog #: 271-306
Another option all together is to use regular resistors from this bundle. the only disadvantage when you have to calibrate timer you will end up replacing resistors until you get desired results insead of simply adjusting it.
C1 http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
1000µF 50V 20% Axial-Lead Electrolytic Capacitor
$2.59
Model: 272-1047
Catalog #: 272-1047
D1
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=family
$2.59
Model: 1N914/1N4148
Catalog #: 276-1620

If you don't have soldering tools you can try this one but choices are many
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=family
5-Piece Basic Soldering Set
$7.99
Model: 64-2802
Catalog #: 64-2802

You can buy decent and chip multimeter from http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...gjj.0&MID=9876
Gardner Bender
19-Range Digital Multimeter
Model GDT-190A
Price: $19.99/ea
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  #10  
By txusa03 on 07-24-2006, 07:34 AM
dude this is great that you took the time to write up and share. Unfortunately, I am a dummy when it comes to electrical (I took electrical engineering 101 and I got fried in a 101 lab when I was a freshmen-that was enought to make me change my career ).

sure beat paying $300-$400 for the alarm. Too bad, I am no where near NY.
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  #11  
By CnoteMD on 07-24-2006, 08:24 AM
Thats an amazing DIY. I seriously hope you are working as an electrical engineer. If not, you need to change your career!

I haven't looked at an electrical circuit since my college physics class. This is the type of stuff that confirmed that engineering was not for me. Considering the complexity of this modification, I almost feel like I got off easy by paying for the alarm installation.
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  #12  
By vladinecko on 07-24-2006, 08:55 AM
damn, aren't you an engineer! thanks for the write-up!
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  #13  
By thd13 on 07-24-2006, 08:58 AM
Very nice! How about a group buy for us lazy people who don't want to or can't do it on our own?
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  #14  
By txusa03 on 07-24-2006, 09:16 AM
can you publish a "Dummies for blinking e90 clown nose". I could use the book

Quote:
Originally Posted by thd13
Very nice! How about a group buy for us lazy people who don't want to or can't do it on our own?
buying the parts is not a problem for any of us, I thinking wiring together is the problem. After all, it is only $10-$15, how much more saving you need from a gb
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  #15  
By thd13 on 07-24-2006, 09:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by txusa03
can you publish a "Dummies for blinking e90 clown nose". I could use the book


buying the parts is not a problem for any of us, I thinking wiring together is the problem. After all, it is only $10-$15, how much more saving you need from a gb
Sorry, I meant group buy as in just making it for us (LOL, bad choice of words in earlier post). I meant "group buy" as in making and selling it to a group of us; not "group buy" as in selling bulk for cheaper.
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  #16  
By txusa03 on 07-24-2006, 10:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thd13
Sorry, I meant group buy as in just making it for us (LOL, bad choice of words in earlier post). I meant "group buy" as in making and selling it to a group of us; not "group buy" as in selling bulk for cheaper.
Are you close to NY? that is where he is...
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  #17  
By thd13 on 07-24-2006, 02:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by txusa03
Are you close to NY? that is where he is...
Why does it matter if I'm close to NY? I don't care if that's where he is.

I don't need him to install; I would just like for him to gather the parts and make the device.
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  #18  
By msinfo_us on 07-24-2006, 02:04 PM
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Guys. This really does not require a MS in EE. Everything is already integrated in a chip. The chip is only eight legs that you have to connect -- how difficult can that be? The chip has a sign for where the first leg is and it is four legs per site (1-4 and 5-8 on two sites). The all thing is a couple resistors and a capacitor, look at the picture. Does it look complicated? ....

PS I do have a MS in Robotic Systems but I am working as a manager for over 10 years -- if I can do it, anybody can.
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  #19  
By txusa03 on 07-24-2006, 02:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by msinfo_us
Guys. This really does not require a MS in EE. Everything is already integrated in a chip. The chip is only eight legs that you have to connect -- how difficult can that be? The chip has a sign for where the first leg is and it is four legs per site (1-4 and 5-8 on two sites). The all thing is a couple resistors and a capacitor, look at the picture. Does it look complicated? ....

PS I do have a MS in Robotic Systems but I am working as a manager for over 10 years -- if I can do it, anybody can.
I wish I could understand what you are talking about. What chip are you talking about in the pics (is it pics 1, 2, 3). I dont see any eight legged chips Not trying to make fun of you just trying to add a little humor since I totally lost on this. You have no clue but when I look at your pics, I see spaghetti
Thanks for the encouragement post...but I am not touching this with a 10feet poll.
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  #20  
By thd13 on 07-24-2006, 02:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by txusa03
I wish I could understand what you are talking about. What chip are you talking about in the pics (is it pics 1, 2, 3). I dont see any eight legged chips Not trying to make fun of you just trying to add a little humor since I totally lost on this. You have no clue but when I look at your pics, I see spaghetti
Thanks for the encouragement post...but I am not touching this with a 10feet poll.

Glad I'm not the only one. HAHA
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  #21  
By javajaws on 07-24-2006, 04:51 PM
OK, so let me get this straight...You did all this just to get your clown nose to blink when your car is locked?

So now when people ask me what that thing is for I can now tell them that its not part of an alarm system that I don't have but instead its just a blinking light that comes on when my car is locked.
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