CarButtons

Interfaces car's "media control buttons"  (usually on steering wheel) to PC using USB.
It is also compatible with many other resistive input devices, even home-made buttons.




  What CarButtons does:

- It connects resistive "steering wheel media buttons" to your carputer/PC/laptop.
- It can interface many after-market multi-button-controllers for gear-shifter, steering wheel, (like Sony RM-X4S), plus many more...
- With Carbuttons , your computer can detect and respond to:
    ...when battery is below a minimum, or starts to charge
    ...when the engine is stopped, and started, so the computer can act on these events.
    ...detect reverse-light, and switch to an USB cam.
    ...interface radar/laser warning, and maybe act by pause music and play a warning signal.
- You can simply interface a *lot* of your own buttons, using only 2 wires, each button needs only one resistor to make it "unique".
- or/and you can use Girder (www.promixis.com) to make this device do "anything" - you can control menus, media and much more.

I am currently accepting orders for this device, orders are usually shipped next business day.
You can order it by sending me (andre.kjellstrup (t)  gmail.com) US$ 110 (shippingt included !),  just click the link below (PayPal Icon) to purchase.

Buy fully assembled and tested CarButtons here: 

It is also possible to purchase the preprogrammed microcontroller, so you can build the device yourself. 
The schematics you will need are here:  carbuttons-componentside.png  ,  carbuttons-schematic.png   ,  carbuttons-solderside.png

You can order the PIC by sending me (andre.kjellstrup (t) gmail.com) US$30 (shipping  included!),  just click the link below (PayPal Icon) to purchase.

..buy preprogrammed microcontroller only:  

 
CarButtons size=54mm x42mm.

Carbuttons


New version, same size, with USB connector instead of cable.
It uses the same pin-configuration as previous design.
Cable is not included, you probably have such cable around, it's a standard USB A-B cable. (like USB printers use)

Carbuttons v1.5 PCB

How it works:

This device emulates a standard USB HID* keyboard.
*(this means it does not need any driver because the OS (windows/Linux/osx/windowsmobile) already have it, so there are no driver problems)

No soldering needed, just push the wires onto the sharp, gold plated pins.

 
Steering wheel media buttons, usually uses 2 wires. When you press a button, you really connect an resistor between two wires, different resistor-values means different buttons, but there is no standard, most such devices also shorts the two wires with one of the buttons.
 
CarButtons detects the resistance between "GND" and "Analog1"  (or Analog2) input lines, de-bounces it, and sends it as an keyboard character +AltGR (or Ctrl+Alt), this way, the "key press" can be freely mapped to other functions in winamp, or media portal, Centrafuse, and many other applications.

There are also 4 other inputs that accepts 10-15volts :   Ignition, "battery low"  , and two "custom",   Carbuttons sends an unique "key press" when it detects a change to "On" and "Off"  on these inputs, so your software can see difference between "on" and "off" on each input. 
 
How to hook it up to steering wheel media buttons:
1.- locate the wires, (usually behind the car-stereo).
2.- measure it, when pressing buttons, you should get a resistance, with no buttons depressed, it will be "open circuit"
3.- check if one of the two or three wires are connected to ground, if  one is, be sure to connect that wire to a  ground-pin on CarButtons's PCB.  Otherwise, just connect any of then to GND and the other to Analog1
Done.
If  your input device have three outputs you can connect their common lead to GND, and the two other to "Analog1" and "Analog2".

Tuning:
If  more than one button returns the same key:
Determine which input the buttons use, if two buttons on Analog1 cause a certain keypress, then turn the trimpot "trim.Analog1" in a direction, until you get at least two different keypresses.
(remember that the variable resistors, (trimpot.Analog 1 and 2) are multi-turn, they allow a  precise adjustment, over several turns )

 

12 Volt sensing:
If you like, you can detect when +12volt appears, or  disappears from the four input pins.  All you need to do is to connect a wire to Battery/Ignition/Custom1/Custom2 .

Configuration:

There are two jumpers:
"Config":  If this jumper removed, then no Ctrl-Alt is sent, and  incoming  characters can be seen in notepad, or any other text-editor. 
"Option":  This changes the way data from the A/D is calculated, if jumper is installed, it's easier to adjust it for up to 15 buttons per channel. When jumper is removed, the whole range is used for up  31 different buttons, and the adjustment range is shifted, and more sensitive to minor differences. 



FAQ:

Q: What if I wish to control applications that cannot use keyboard shortcuts, or cannot change preset keyboard shortcuts ? A: Girder or Automate are two of many programs that can help you by "translating" keypresses into any other actions.
   
Manufacturer Model
From date To Date
Alfa Romeo 147 .2001 06.2005
Alfa Romeo 156 .2001 06.2005
Alfa Romeo GT .2001 06.2005
Audi A4 .2000 11.2004
Audi A6 .1998 08.2004
BMW 3 Series (E36/E46) .1995 11.2004
BMW 5 Series (E39) .1995 10.2002
BMW 5 Series (E39) 10.2002 11.2004
BMW mini .2002 07.2004
BMW mini .2002 07.2004
Chrysler Cherokee 05.2001 12.2004
Chrysler Grand Cherokee .1999 05.2001
Chrysler Grand Cherokee 10.2001 .
Chrysler Voyager 05.2001 .
Citroen C2 .2001 .
Citroen C3 .2001 .
Citroen C5 .2001 09.2005
Citroen C8 .2001 .
Citroen Evasion/Synergie I .1996 .1999
Citroen Evasion/Synergie II .1998 .2000
Citroen Evasion/synergie III .2000 .2003
Citroen Xantia I .1993 .1998
Citroen Xantia II .1998 .1999
Citroen Xantia III .1999 .2000
Citroen Xsara I .1996 .1999
Citroen Xsara II .1999 .2000
Citroen Xsara III .2000 .2001
Citroen Xsara IV .2001 .
Citroen Xsara Picasso .2000 11.2002
Citroen Xsara Picasso II 11.2002 .
Fiat Punto .1995 .1999
Fiat Ulysse I .1995 .1996
Fiat Ulysse II .1996 .1999
Fiat Ulysse III .1999 .2003
Ford Focus 09.2004 .
Ford Focus (not C-Max) .1999 09.2004
Ford Galaxy .1995 12.2000
Ford Mondeo .1996 .2001
Ford Mondeo .2001 09.2004
Ford Mondeo 09.2004 .
Ford Scorpio .1996 .1999
Honda Odyssey .2005 .
Honda S2000 .1999 .
Lancia Zeta II .1996 .1999
Lancia Zeta III .1999 .2003
Landrover Discovery II .1999 .2001
Landrover Discovery III .2001 .2002
Landrover Freelander .2003 10.2004
Landrover Freelander 03.2001 .2003
Landrover Freelander 10.2004 .
Lanica Zeta I .1995 .1996
Mercedes C-Class/C-Sportcoupe .2000 09.2002
Mercedes C-Class/C-Sportcoupe 03.2004 .
Mercedes C-Class/C-Sportcoupe 09.2002 03.2004
Mercedes CLK .1999 09.2002
Mercedes CLK 09.2002 .
  Only for (W209)model!!!Approx:09-2002. Will not work on earlier (W208) model.
Mercedes E-Class .1999 09.2002
Nissan Micra .2003 .
Nissan Primastar .2000 .2003
Nissan Primastar .2003 .
Opel Agila .2000 .2004
Opel Astra .1994 03.2004
Opel Astra (not Astra H) .1999 06.2004
Opel Corsa .2000 08.2004
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Meriva .2003 .2005
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Omega .1999 .2002
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Omega .1994 .1999
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Omega .1999 .2002
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above. WITHOUT DISPLAY OUT PUT!!!
Opel Vectra .1995 .1998
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Vectra .1998 .2002
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Vectra .1999 06.2005
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above. WITHOUT DISPLAY OUT PUT!!! All Opel models after 06-2004 please check to see which connector is present behind radio, Opel are changing to a 40 way connector.
Opel Vivaro .2003 .2005
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Vivaro .2000 06.2005
  Will work with KCE-840B-R4 and above. WITHOUT DISPLAY OUT PUT!!! All Opel models after 06-2004 please check to see which connector is present behind radio, Opel are changing to a 40 way connector.
Opel Zafira .1999 .2005
  If Can-Bus cables (2 cables twisted together) are present in the radio connector, this will not work.
Opel Zafira .1999 .2004
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above. WITHOUT DISPLAY OUT PUT!!! All Opel models after 06-2004 please check to see which connector is present behind radio, Opel are changing to a 40 way connector.
Peugeot 206 (4 Function SWRC) 08.1999 05.2001
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above. Only for 4 function SWRC after 08-1999.
Peugeot 206 (4 Function SWRC) 10.1998 08.1999
  Only for the 4 Function SWRC before Approx:08-1999.
Peugeot 206 (6 Function SWRC) 08.1999 12.2001
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above. Only for 6 Function SWRC.
Peugeot 206 (rollercontrol) 06.2001 06.2005
  Peugeot have changed software from Approx:06-2005, feed back please.
Peugeot 306 I .1993 .1999
  Will work with KCE-840B-R4 and above. Only for the early 306, please check model, changed late 1999.
Peugeot 306 II .1999 06.2001
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above. If mini-ISO is not present behind radio please see other entry for Peugeot 306 II.
Peugeot 306 II 08.1999 12.2001
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above. If Mini ISO is present behind radio, please see other 306 II entry.
Peugeot 307 12.2001 06.2005
Peugeot 406 .2001 .2004
  Start date is from the new shape 406 Approx 10-2001, see picture.
Peugeot 406 (D8 model) .1996 .1999
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above. Only for D8 model, please check model!
Peugeot 406 (D9 model with display) .1999 .2002
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above. Only for the D9 model which has a seperate display.
Peugeot 806 I .1995 .1996
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above. 806 changed to a Mini ISO connector in Approx:07-1996, if Mini Iso is present behind radio see entry 806 II. Please check model!
Peugeot 806 II 07.1996 12.1999
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above. Only for 806 II, changed end of 1999 beginning 2000, please check model!
Peugeot 806 III 12.1999 .2001
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above. Only for 806 III, changed in second half of 2001. Please check model!
Peugeot 806 IV .2001 .2002
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above. Only for the for 806 IV, changed in second half of 2001. Please check model!
Peugeot 807 .2002 .
  May have changed from 06-2005, feed back please.
Peugeot Partner 12.2003 .
  May have changed from 06-2005, feed back please.
Renault 19 . .1996
Renault 21 . .1994
Renault 25 . .1992
Renault Clio .2000 12.2004
Renault Clio I .1990 .1998
Renault Clio II (With Display) .1998 .2000
Renault Clio II (With Display) .1999 12.2004
Renault Clio II (without Display) .1998 .2000
  When Mini ISO is present behind radio, see entry Clio II without Display 2003.
Renault Clio II (without Display) . .2003
Renault Espace I . .1993
Renault Espace II .1993 .1999
Renault Espace III .1999 .2002
  Only for models with the radio tuner fitted in glovebox!!
Renault Kangoo .2000 12.2004
  Renault has made changes with different models from 12-2004, please check.
Renault Laguna (with Carminat System) .1996 12.2004
  Will work with KCE-840B-R4 and above, Carminat system means with factory fitted navigation, the control unit for the navi is normally found behind the radio, on this control unit you will find the 15 pin Molex connection point.
Renault Laguna (With Display) .1999 12.2004
Renault Laguna (without Display) .1996 .2000
Renault Laguna II 09.2000 12.2004
Renault Laguna II (with Display) .1996 .2000
Renault Megane .1996 .2000
Renault Megane .1999 08.2002
Renault Megane II 08.2002 12.2004
Renault Safrane .1993 .2000
Renault Safrane (with Display) .1993 .1999
Renault Safrane (with Display) .1999 12.2004
Renault Safrane (without Display) .1993 .2000
Renault Scenic (with Display) .1997 .1999
Renault Scenic (with Display) .1999 .2000
Renault Scenic (without Display) .1996 .2000
Renault Traffic .2003 .
  Renault have made changes to different models from 12-2004, we have not heard of a change with this vehicle. Feed back please.
Renault Traffic .1999 12.2004
Renault Twingo (model 2000) .2000 .
Rover 200 Series .1997 .1999
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above.
Rover 25 .1999 05.2001
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above.
Rover 400 Series .1997 .1999
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above.
Rover 45 .1999 05.2001
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above.
Rover 600 Series .1997 .1999
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above.
Rover 75 .2000 .2003
  Will work with KCE-870B-R8 and above.
Rover 800 Series .1997 .1999
  Will work with KCE-870B-R3 and above.
Saab 9.3 and 9.5 .1999 06.2002
Saab 9.3 and 9.5 06.2002 .
Seat Alhambra . .2000
Seat Alhambra .2000 .
Skoda Superb 02.2003 .
VW Bora .2001 10.2003
  This may also work on later Bora, model change was not until 07-2005, Feed back please:
VW Golf IV .2001 10.2003
VW Sharan . .2000

Examples:

-You can just make your own buttons, and make then connect different resistors between Gnd and Analog1 and/or Analog2, this means you can connect up to 31 buttons somewhere, and connect them all with only 2 wires using one input...



-Devices like Sony RM-X4S (below) can be connected.











(connect Wheel1 to Analog1, Wheel2 to Analog2, GND to GND)