Sunday, 3 June 2018

Central locking PoC

In one of my mad scientist moments I have rigged up a test board for the central locking set-up I want to install in Fender. Specifically I wanted to keep standard Land Rover style (c.1998) key fobs but add central door locking.

This is the proof of concept (PoC) that I can configure a Discovery 1 Lucas 10AS immobiliser to work a third party set of door solenoids that I can fit in to our Defender. Land Rover models between 1995 and 1998, and a few years either side, used the Lucas 10AS immobiliser but with varying features enabled. The Discovery variants included central locking.

Among other things, as part of the PoC, I needed to be able to set-up a remote control key fob (blip) with the Nanocom. I've bought the add-on licence that allows me to have some of the Defender systems on my, otherwise, Discovery 2 (TD5) licensed Nanocom diagnostic tool.

The outcome is that everything I wanted to test, worked.

I now know which wires to connect and which way round to connect them.


Configuring a 10AS with a Nanocom

The 10AS is on the Defender TD5 menu.
Before you start, always save the existing settings to an SD-Card.
You can open them to get back to, what is hopefully, a working state.

Key fob (plip) learning
This is on the Utilities menu
Plip Learn
While the dialogue is on the screen press the plip buttons until the hazards flash or, if like me you are working on the bench, you hear the relay trip.
All plips that you want to work have to be done at the same time because you cannot control which of the 4 plip stores will be used so you may or may not overwrite the existing plips.
Just do one plip after the other.
When all are done, press the OK button on the Nanocom.
The plips will work immediately however I prefer to test with the Nanocom disconnected, just to be sure it has completed correctly.

Passive Immobilise
This caused me a lot of grief. There is a gotcha with this setting. If you enable this when disconnected from the car, the plips will no longer work!
It too me hours to find this out. I reverted all the settings and they worked, so I eventually set them one at a time until I found the one that caused it to stop working!
I assume this is a security feature. I would guess that if the passive immobiliser coil is remove the 10AS goes in to immobilise mode and stays there.
When I get it in the car I'll be able to test this theory.

The Passive Immobiliser requires the correct type of plip
I believe it is the Freelander versions that do not have the parts included on the circuit for use with the passive immobiliser coil.
You can't tell from the outside of the key fob.
If you have the unsupported type you could disable the passive immobiliser in the 10AS until you get the right internals for the plip.

This is taken from a forum post:
"Not all 17TN keyfobs are the same.
YWX101220 which is the correct part number for a defender has a built in immobilser chip as well as the radio transmitter.
YWX101200 is a freelander 2001 on keyfob which hasn't got the immobiliser chip. "

Defender and Discovery 10AS
I was unable to change the setting for the name of the vehicle. I was testing with a 10AS from a Discovery 1 and although the Nanocom would allow me to make the change to show Defender, when the settings were written to the 10AS, the vehicle setting reverted to Discovery 1.

Alarm Coding Data
When you go to write the settings you get a second dialogue that asks if you want to save the Alarm Coding Data and warns that this is for the advanced. I now press 'No' on that screen, so only the normal settings are changed and not the advanced data.
I am using educated guesses, so I do not quality as 'advanced'. 'Dangerous amateur' would be a better description. I have tinkered with the alarm coding data but with unsatisfactory results.
I decided, as it was working, I would leave well alone, even though the entries looked odd.


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Greenhouse staging

I looked round to buy staging for the newly erected greenhouse but I wasn't completely satisfied that anything was better than I could make for the money.

I've used Dexion style galvanised angles to construct the frame and softwood slats for the surfaces.

There's a reasonable amount of work to cut the bits to length and tidy up the ends of the metalwork.

I made it a bit too close to the size of the greenhouse so I had to temporarily remove some glass panes to get it inside.

This is the first of two benches that will go in this greenhouse.


On the following day, I finished the other bit of staging.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Greenhouse escape cat flap

All of our outbuilding have ways to let cats out so they cannot get accidentally shut inside.

The greenhouse is no exception.

I could have added an off the shelf  cat flap but they tend to be chunky and I thought they would look out of place on a delicate greenhouse.

I used a 4mm polycarbonate sheet as the base with a grey acrylic surround.

The double thickness was mainly to give it strength where the bolts pass through. I deliberately used a contrasting colour so that the cats would be able to easily identify the place they can get through the otherwise clear panels.

The acrylic is glued to the polycarbonate with cynoacrylate (CA, Superglue).

I used a disposable brush to spread it thinly then sandwiched the sheets between layers of MDF clamped together. I only intended to leave it 10 minutes but I ended up going out so it got several hours to set. The joint is solid.

I used M6 bolts with large penny washers to spread the load to hold a large door hinge in place. The hinge only swings outwards. The idea is that it only lets the cats out not in, so they cannot get trapped.

I'm pleased with the result. It looks how I intended.

The polycarbonate flap is not quite heavy enough to always close so I might add a weight if it becomes a nuisance.



if, as we did, you want to have the cat flap somewhere else, it's easy to move the pane.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

Fix greenhouse sliding door

The design of aluminium greenhouses is very efficient. Someone has thought cleverly about how to hold the glass in and be able to assemble and disassemble quickly. However, the door on most of those that I have come across feels like an afterthought. The doors rarely slide well.

We reused a greenhouse from a friend and the door barely ran at all. I managed to sort that out. It's not perfect but as long as it is moved from the middle it slides open and closed easily.

The main problem, as I see it, was the runner at the bottom. On our's the door hung too low and the bottom rail of the door dragged in the runner. The trouble is there was insufficient height adjustment for the door.

Most people, myself included, don't find out that the door sticks until after having assembled the greenhouse. The most obvious thought was to slacken off some of the bolts and attempt to raise the height a fraction. This would require a lot of the glass to be removed for a minimal chance of success.

My solution was to file the holes, in the bottom rail of the door, in to slots.

There is no obvious way to easily remove the door. The two bolts holding the top runner to the door frame can easily be undone but that does not release it enough to remove the door! I found that if I slackened off two screws on the top rail, the runner for the door can be released and slid in-front of the door. This allows the two to be removed separately. Reassembly was the reverse.

I'm not sure if they were necessary but I fitted new rollers which came in the kit of door repair parts along with the lower plastic guides. It was the two guides I mainly needed from the kit as both of those were broken on my door.

There is a tiny bit of adjustment at the top of the door but that also needs some clearance or it sticks under the top runner. My modified screw slots in the bottom rail was what enabled me to get a good, perhaps 2mm, gap between the guide runner under the door and the lower rail. Luckily the glass still fitted in the now smaller aperture.

That fixed it.

Charging connector

Due to the short hops between jobs, that Shelley does in her Defender, it risks flattening the battery.

I thought about adding a bigger battery or dual batteries but all that does is delay the problem. The simplest solution is to monitor the battery and charge up before it becomes a problem.

I have ordered a dash mounted battery voltage monitor but that has not arrived yet. The job this weekend was to fit a charging socket to avoid having to take the passenger seat out to get to the battery each time it needs a charge.

This one is specific to the Ctek brand of battery chargers but as I like their chargers that is not a problem. It comes with a three colour indicator for a quick, peace of mind, check.

It was fairly easy to cut a hole in the battery box through to the passenger foot well, file the aluminium to size and push in the connector housing.

With a bit of bending the two eyelets fit the bolts on the battery terminals.

Now an overnight top up is as simple as plug in the charger.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

The greenhouse

Over a year ago we helped take down a friend's greenhouse and decided we would put it up in our garden. At long last I've got round to putting it up.

A few bits of the glass are broken or missing and the door is a bit stiff but they will be sorted as soon as the replacements and spare parts turn up.