Uniden R1/R3 Hardwire Mute Button/Alert LED Center Console Mod

  1. ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    #1 ladysi, May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    Ok, so I originally purchased the Uniden R3 Official Hardwire (with mute button/alert led/power led) box with plans to cannibalize it for a momentary button/activity led to install into my center console.

    https://www.amazon.com/Uniden-RDA-HDWKT-Detector-Hardwire-Button/dp/B07BBVC7JQ

    So I took the time to rip it apart today:
    • Dremmel the box open.
    • Remove the mute button and the activity led.
    • Solder leads to each connection (led pos, led neg, button input, button output).
    • Heat shrink and liquid electrical tape.
    • File the case edges from the dremmel burrs, put it back together, and hot glue it.

    To my surprise, THIS DIDN'T WORK. I checked all of the connections - the board with my modifications was outputting 11.5v, but not the 12 expected by the device. I am not sure why it didn't work, maybe my soldering iron overheated one of the transistors?

    Anyways, for about 3 hours while I finished the other tasks on my car, I was worried that I had shorted my Uniden R3....a $400 mistake :(

    I got home an hour ago and quickly grabbed my lighter power cable and tested the R3, lo and behold....it still worked! So I definitely fucked up the hardwire box's board in some way. I will post the pictures of the box teardown nonetheless in case any one else wants to take a stab at converting it.....

    Pictures of failed attempt:

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    BUT, I WAS NOT SATISFIED. I decided to do some research on the pinout of the R3, looking at the pinout and few schematics for the "smart cable" (the lighter adapter cable that ships with the R3). To my surprise, the pinout and base schematic for the mute button and alert led are STUPID FUCKING SIMPLE.

    If you are interested in the details of the electronics, checkout:

    https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/74522/#post-1059916

    The schematic in question:
    6663da7375f85a7ca237bb9cd3dc987f.jpeg
    Basically, the 12v and ground are straight forward. The mute button as well - it just shorts to ground for both long (dimming option) and short (mute) presses.

    The alert LED is a tiny bit more complicated - it has a transistor circuit to invert the high and the low for the led - basically, the alert pin always has power unless there is an alert. So if you are fine with the led staying on and blinking off during an alert, then the wiring is STUPID FUCKING SIMPLE. If you only want it to flash on when there is an alert, then you need to use an NPN transistor, or build an inversion circuit.

    In my case, blinking off during an alert is enough for me. So tomorrow I will fix my hardwiring setup and connect my mute button/led.

    The button from adadfruit:

    https://www.adafruit.com/product/559

    The button led supports 3v to 6v, since the alert pin on the uniden is 3.3v, it should be fine as long as there is not too much voltage drop.

    I tested it tonight on another similar (yet smaller button), and it works just as expected. My test button:

    button pin 1: switch input connected to uniden pin 4 (S)
    button pin 2: switch output connected to uniden pin 2 (G)
    button pin 3: led pos connected to uniden pin 1 (A)
    button pin 4: led neg connected to uniden pin 2 (G)

    Video of test:



    Button Install:

    I was already pulling the center console and shifter apart for the console illumination mod today, so I figured I would wire in my button. Below are some pics of the button and harness - I think I failed to get pics of the harness actually being installed into the center console, so I may take those another time and follow up on this thread.

    Basically:
    1. Center console disassembled and the shifter panel with a button blank removed.
    2. The button blank was drilled out.was drilled out and the button was inserted
    3. Four wires were soldered to the button, heat shrunk, and liquid electrical taped (led pos=red, led neg=black, switch input=blue, switch output=green).
    4. The wires were then soldered and heat shrunk to harness (8pin video card power connector I had lying around - 4 pins for expansion!).
    5. Long wires were soldered to the other side of the harness.
    6. The car side of the harness was secured in the shifter compartment and zip tied to the "Sport" button harness.
    7. I ran the cables to the drivers side of the shifter compartment and zip tied the cable to the auto harness cable and then ran it down through the bottom of the shifter compartment into the canyon between the seat and the center console.
    The plan is to run those cables along the center console, just inside the lower part of the center console compartment until it is under the dash, then run the up under the dash towards the fuse box where my uniden hardwire cable is run currently.

    I will update this thread once I finish the wiring in the next day or two now that I know the STUPID FUCKING EASY way to do it :D

    Picture of the Process above:

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    Thanks for reading about my silly aggressive hardwire mod failure, my near miss with shorting out the uniden r3, and my redemption later this evening (including a working test).

    Cheers mates.
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    #2 ladysi, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019




    It worked. Just connect up the wires as I described above. Oh, and find a way to run the cable. I temporarily ran mine tonight.

    Now that I am nearing the end of the driver's side wiring, I can start finalizing locations and lengths, and replace quick connects with harnesses (probably from a desktop computer). I like 18g, for low power stuff you make long runs without writing about resistance/voltage drop. Also, old desktop harnesses are prevalent and basically free.

    Anyways, that is my excuse for the current mess under my dash, the next project is to clean it up.

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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    #3 ladysi, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    A few anecdotes:

    1. Yes, I know it is a mess under there. Will be cleaned up shortly. You have no idea how bad it would be if I was not making harnesses and bundling wires in tubing as things are finalized.

    2. The Uniden R3 hardwire box was never bad.....there was a short in its RJ11 cable (facepalm). I like it better this way anyways, it saves me a couple square inches of space.

    3. Yes, the cable run pics under my dash are confusing - this is best left to your individual needs. I have so much stuff under the dash that my needs and cable run route probably greatly differ from yours.
     
  4. ToastedSi

    ToastedSi Senior Member

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    Wow, great write up.
    I also have my R3 and Blackvue hardwired (i spy the power magic pro) and it's just so messy with all those wires.
    Quick question: which fuse number are you tapping?
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    Long Answer (I may or may not be stoned).....

    Ah! Another Hardwired R3 + Blackvue kit! That was what I started with before shit got crazy. Good taste :p

    The power magic pro works fine, but if it shuts off due to voltage or time, I have to rock the switch off and back on. Infinite time + 12v made it way more sane behaving.

    In my opinion the R3 and Blackvue + PMP alone hardwired can be done very very clean. A few wire wraps and and thoughtful lengths can keep that clean. Also, the bonus of a separate batt 12v line + relays with accessory input - powering switched devices was: only needing acc 1 fuse tap for everything and its current needs were very small. If I could get accessory 12v somewhere else (without altering the oem wiring nor another fuse tap), I would love to know. Unused socket somewhere would be ideal. I want to break my dependance on the fuse box, potentially make my own beyond my current 6 inline fuse box. I have never seen a car/rv/marine fuse box with inline circuits and relay plugs. I do have an older 10th gen fuse box lying around....I wonder what it looks like inside.....

    My kit is messy as shit due to ever mad scientist in me growing the vision mid plan but while also be unwilling to commit to certain locations/cable routes/etc. Once I reach a point where the drivers side is "done" (as I will have a two circuit six switch box in the passenger footwell for expansion), I will clean up the wires into harnesses, fix lengths, correct color coding, LABEL SHIT, etc. I need to rework the odb2 stuff and come up with a good way to route a thicker wire tube wrap to the upper center console for the passenger foot box power (post accessory input relay 2 (dash switch 8)), and a couple usb cables. That day is coming soon. Whoa, I rambled.

    I am tapping fuse #1 Accessory and I ran ~12ft of 8 gauge 12v from the battery and through the hood release grommet to get through the firewall. I would have run a 4g or 6g if I thought I could get through the grommet + release cable. I figure 40 amps is good enough (conservative for the length), all the switches and stuff use very minimal power, the R3/Blackvue DR900s/ktuner/carloop/pi/tablet/etc are all low amperage stuff, 10 amps would be a liberal amount. I will have 30+ amps left for the passenger footwell switchbox from that cable. If I need more I will drill and grommet a 4g proper. Whoa, rambled again.
     
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  6. ebatr24

    ebatr24 Senior Member

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    Wow nice install, makes me want to take my Escort direct wire kit apart and move my button to a better place lol. I didn't want to go too crazy so I just mounted mine below push to start button with some sticky tape. :) It's mostly out of sight and gets the job done, this looks pretty awesome though.
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    Thanks! It has been a labor of love. I would suggest thinking about hardwiring a button. Looks slick, is stealthy, and can easily be mistaken for an ejection seat or missile launch button ;)
     
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  8. ToastedSi

    ToastedSi Senior Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Your setup is a lot more inspiring than mine. The reason I asked is because when I was installing my R3 + Blackvue+PMP, I just used whatever fuse gave me power with the car shut off (very scientific, I know). With warmer temperatures ahead, I wanted to finally get my hands dirty and clean up my mess under the dash, and perhaps install some other electronic goodies (maybe some interior LED lights?) and finally work on getting my acuity shifter stuff in.
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    If you think it is inspiring, check out chaos theory :p

    I hope your dirty cleanup goes well. Where do you plan on mounting the PMP? As you can see from my above photos, I mounted mine on the driver's side kick panel just above the left footrest. Doesn't seem to get in the way (but I have smaller feet than most folk on these forums), and is easy to reach to reset the rocker switch.
     
  10. ToastedSi

    ToastedSi Senior Member

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    I just tucked it away, along with all the wires just under the dash. Maybe I'll find a place to mount it somewhere once the cleanup gets underway and I find some spare double-sided 3M tape laying around haha.
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    I got some extra 3m tape. Come to MN, buy me a stout and a scotch, and I will assist the rewire :p
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    @ToastedSi also, if your forum name implies what I think, we can smoke too :p
     
  13. ToastedSi

    ToastedSi Senior Member

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    That's quite a proposal there haha. looks like at least a 14+ hour drive as well.
    I'm off to work now (3rd shift).

    I'll keep you updated, and maybe post some of my pictures on my install when I get the chance
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    Also, I believe the escort pinout is very similar and just as STUPID FUCKING SIMPLE.
    elec156_smartcordschemnq8.gif
    So you could just bypass the smart cord and do a direct hardwire with the escort :)

    EDIT: If you do do this, make sure to fuse the 12v line... also, I would test first with a low amp 12v supply, your button, and some old phone cable.
     
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    ladysi

    ladysi Senior Member

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    Well, it would give you a reason to knock out half of the cannonball run :p

    I would love to see some pics of how you cleaned it all up in the end :)
     
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