Saturday, 17 December 2011

Car blog

Thought I'd share another blog with you.
This blog is by a friend on car a forum that I'm a member of, he only recently started his blog but following his mods and work he's done to his car over the years this should be an interesting blog.

Ash and his A3 8P.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Shark Fin Aerial

With the main part of my aerial gone I start looking at other alternatives and one of them was trying to find a OEM looking Shark fin aerial.
I found a Polo Shark fin one on ebay at a good price. It was worth a go for the price, couple of days later the aerial turned up and I set about fitting it.

The only issue was the plug on the aerial end. Its the same as the one coming from the stereo.
I simple cut the ends off and wired them together. Sorted. As for radio quality, its ok. I don't listen to the radio and not really bothered by the quality but I pick up all the national and local stations.

Pop the cap off and Remove the nut

Top from the car. Bottom From the aerial. Cut ends off and rejoin.

The Finished aerial

Much better.

Rear Blind Part 3

Rear Blind Part 1 and Part 2

Not much happening in here recently and I'm sorry. I've not done much cause I've trying to sort all the Christmas stuff out before its to late but now that is done I can get back to doing things to the car.

Fist thing I've done is finally finish off my rear blind.

I bought a Omega rear blind relay, Audi A4 B6 rear blind switch.
Did a quick test wire up to make sure I got the cables correct and that all components would work together.
Quick video of the test.

Happy with that I set about wiring the blind in.
Since I don't have a rear wiper I used the live feed for that motor and ran a single switch cable to the front. 
That was easy, no issues but I do have a small issue with my choice of switch.
It sticks out to much and is at the wrong angle. 
Here is some images that would explain it better.
As you can see its a slightly different.

A little bit different.
Its not to bad but its enough for me to not like it. I'm on the look for another switch, possibly a A6 (C5) or I might just use the FUNK switch you can get. With this one in and working I'm in not massive rush and I can take my time over it and get the right switch. 

What matters is the fact that's it in and working. I need to drop the car off to a mate and get the tail gate re-trimmed.

Here is a video of it from the drivers seat.

I Hope you enjoyed this little project.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Bluetooth Keyboard

I recently rebuilt an old laptop as a media system for the front room.
Installed Ubuntu, connected to the network, connected to TV, copied over all the music, movies and TV series.

I original used my phone to control the laptop cause I never liked the idea cables all over the front room, so I went looking around Amazon for a reasonable priced wireless keyboard with touch pad for the mouse.

After a little bit of searching I came across of this Bluetooth Wireless Rii Mini PC keyboard. Just what I was looking for and with an added bonus that the keys light up.

Connected it to the laptop with the supplied blue tooth dongle and it works a treat.
Not much to say, it works like a keyboard and mouse.

Its a blue tooth keyboard, my Touchpad has blue tooth, I wonder if it will work. I tested it and it does.
Sorted. If I ever need to type a long email or word document on my Touchpad I can use my bluetooth keyboard or any bluetooth keyboard.

So, if you want a mini bluetooth keyboard with mouse, I recommend the above.
If you own a touchpad and want a keyboard but not sure if any bluetooth keyboard will fit, well it does. Now you know.

I'm off to finish off fitting heated seat pads to my seats.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Porject List.

With so many ideas, projects and wants floating around I thought it be a good idea to get them all written down in place for me to keep track of them and to show you all what I got planned for my car.

Projects In Progress:=-
Electric Rear Blind. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Front Heated Seats.
Alloy Wheels. The Bags

Completed Projects:=-
Facelift Dash
Engine Covers
Facelift Lights
Rear Electric Windows
Cruise Control
LED 3rd Brake Light
LED conversion for interior lights

Rear Heated Seats
Electric Rear Load Cover
Double Din

I'll update this with links and project changes when it happens.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Audi Wheel Bags

I got a second set of alloys coming and after a solution to store them. Thought I'd give Audi a ring.
Bit of a chat, a payment and a couple of days later a set of wheel bags turned up.

A Bag For Bags.

A Carry Handle With Picture To Tell You Which Wheel Goes where.
A Pocket For Wheel Bolts.
Clips and Velcro.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Android On TouchPad Update

Bit of a update from the Android On HP TouchPad post I did two days ago.

I've got back to WebOS.

I really like Android but its still a bit buggy and seems to be lacking the options that I'm use to from Android.
I think most of the issues or bits I don't like about this is down to the fact its built on android v2.3 (Gingerbread) not V3 (Honeycomb) or V4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), some of my most used apps tend to crash or not fit on this size of scree and I'm missing my widgets as well.
Some of theses faults/issues/complaints could be down to version, its a Alpha release or that its all been cut about to fit/work on the touchpad.

It will get better in time and I think it will be amazing when/if they use Ice Cream Sandwich but for now I'm going to stick with WebOS. I really like WebOS and wish and hope HP keeps it going in some way.
It works well and does a lot of things really nicely. It seems a lot smoother than android and I love the swiping on it.

Time will tell but I'll be keeping an eye on it and see what happens in the future with WebOS and Android.

There is also talk of windows 8 on the touchpad. That's one OS I won't be trying out.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Android On HP TouchPad

One of lads in work popped in and said he installed the Cyanogenmod 7 on to his HP TouchPad.
After having a bit of play I decided to install it on to my TouchPad.

Bit unnerving at first but it was really simple to do and with in 30mins it was sorted.
This is the link I used, followed the instructions and worked fine.
CyanogenMod Alpha 2 for HP TouchPad

Here is a couple of images I took during the procress.

So far so good with this mod. I've installed the apps I would use the most and the wifi is stable enough. I will give it most of a test when I get home and report back if there is any issues but so far so good. 

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Project Blind, Part 2

Bit of a update on the Blind project. Part 1 here

In short, its in. fitted and working. well, its working if you connect a 12v battery to the blind.
I've not wired it in yet. Need to sort out the controls for it so it wont keep wanting to up or down.

In part 1 it stuck away from the glass to far and caused issues with the blind movement and the sheer amount of it stuck out. Today I took my dremel to the boot lid inner skin and cut some holes to help bring the blind closer to the glass.

Not looking the best but they will be cleaned up and some protection put on.
Same as above.
It's a lot better than before. You can just make out the bracket.
Because the boot lid is curved, It is close to impossible for my to get the blind flush with the boot lid. This distance works out good for me.

I used the orignal brackets from the blind to, modified them a little bit to help bolt it to my boot. I bolted one bracket to the rear wiper mounts, another bracket went from the blind motor to boot skin and bolted that down. With just theses two brackets it angled correctly and very solid. Even with me shaking it and trying to move it, it goes no where.

I cut about a 20mm triangle off each corner on the top of the blind to help it fit in to the window trims bette, is also stops the pointed edges marking the boot trim. It now fits even better with that small amount removed.

Then came the trickier part. Fitting the boot trim around the blind and giving it enough room to move up.
I'm giving it to professional to do. A friend knows this guy who does all their trims for his work.
Cheating I know but Its something I know I can't do.
I'll give him a ring on monday and see what he says. 
I did do a bit of a bodge on the trim to make it look better than it all being exposed. 

I removed the top of the boot trim and just used the base.
Thats it for now. Next on the list is to run the cables to the front of the car, get a switch and some how work out how to stop the blind when it hits the top or bottom.
Here is a link to a post about fitting a rear blind in a B6.AudiWorld Tech Articles.
I'm thinking of ordering that button but not 100% sure on the wiring yet.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

HP Touchpad

Just some ramblings about my experience with the HP TouchPad.

I bought my TouchPad in the fire sale along with many other people.
At first I really wanted the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1 after having play with one. Thought it was amazing, the size, the quality, the weight and I'm a massive fan of Android  (not Fan Boy level).

I looked in to the TouchPad when I first heard about it and was impressed with the spec and looks but the lack of Android  was off putting. I've had an Android  based phone since the Hero was released, every phone after that has been Android  and my life in one way or another is on Android/Google.
I say my life and it is in a way but my life carries’ on without my phone. When my HTC Desire HD broke I sent it away to HTC, 2 months later, several phone calls, emails and nothing happen. I made a Facebook group and they started to take me a bit more seriously (Link to group).
I'm digressing, I should be talking about the TouchPad not my issues with HTC.

Ok, back to the TouchPad.
I was happy with the spec (Spec) but I was unsure on this WebOS that was running on it. I've never seen it, used it and have no idea about it. But at the time I was willing to spend £400+ on a Samsung, then the TouchPad’s price was reduced to about £100 I thought brilliant, Ii’ll give that ago and  I got £300 left over from my budget that I can spend that on my car. That was the idea but it went on the misses Peugeot 206 GTI to fix the rear axle.

Before I carry on with this, I don't want this to be some typical review. There’s allot of them on the net. This is just going to be my ramblings about it and I do tend to ramble on and go off on a tangent about random things. I am sorry about that but I just type what I think.

Ok back to the TouchPad again.

Out of the box and first impressions are good. Its sleek, nice to hold and a massive finger print magnet. OMG, if you get OCD over finger prints on screens or any surfaces get a case or them special gloves (Touchscreen-compatible gloves). I spent the first couple of minutes contently cleaning it then I got annoyed and shoved it in a case and forgot about the finger prints. About the same time as me getting the TouchPad the company mobile phones was change/upgraded to Palm Pre 2.
One item the TouchPad should have come with the backing. The Palm Pre backing is a soft rubbery sort of material that does not show up finger prints as much. Where the TouchPad’s piano black finger magnet surface is nice looking but holding it and covering it in finger prints is a bit of a pain.
The other thing they should have copied from the Palm Pre is the middle button. On the Palm Pre it’s a soft touch (is that the name) button which you can swipe over and or press. It’s more than just a button. The TouchPad’s button looks like the same but it’s not. It’s just a home button with a light in it that does not feel very well made. Bit poor I think.

There is not much else I can moan about with the body of the TouchPad, apart from the obvious lack of expandable media and USB input but saying that, there is a blog/post (I'll dig it out and add the link here) saying the Micro USB on the TouchPad can be used to plug in external HDD and such but there is a lack of power, so you will need to power it yourself.

The software side of WebOS is a bit different. The lack of options is a big negative for me. Used to Android where you change almost anything but on this you lack even the basic of options.
Even things like Copy and Paste menu is lacking. It’s when an app is loading but once it’s loaded its missing. The long press to bring up the copy and paste menu is pain, it does not all ways come up when you want it to.
The lack of arrows its really annoying  when you're trying to edit text. It be ok if our fingers was the size of pencils sharpened down to a fin point but they are not. I WANT ARROWS!!
Ok arrows are my main annoyance with the OS, Oh and the web browser.
It loads about 85% and then sits there and then pop, it’s all loaded.
It’s also slow to load pages as you scroll. It’s like the page is loaded but not willing to display it until you're on that section of the page.
I really like the swiping to close, remove and delete items.
The lack of network browsing is really annoying, I like copying films, series, files over the network to my phone, laptop and I’d like to do it with the TouchPad but I can't cause the stupid thing wont browse. Ok I could do it via FTP apps but that’s not really an answer when everything else can do it like windows/Android .

Some of the bits it does I really like and it does them well but its lacking some of the basic features that Android , Windows CE/7 and apple has and its annoying.
Hopefully it will still be updated and improved on cause I really like.
With cyanogenmod for the TouchPad at Alpha release and other Devs making Android  for the TouchPad, There might not be any need for WebOS.
Time will tell on this one. I will keep using it cause it does what I want to do well….Apart from surfing the internet which it really frustrating at times.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. :)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Project Blind. Part 1

I got a habit of having multiple projects/ideas going at the same time or have nothing happening at all.
I really need to learn to start one project, complete it and then move on the next one but that's just not me. Mainly cause 1 project gets put on hold while waiting for parts, the weather, money or expert help, so I move on to another one to keep me entertained.

This project is no different. I started cluster swap project  about a week go and its now on hold. Mainly cause I'm waiting for a VAG commander cable so I can program the immobilizer in the new cluster to my current keys. Once that turns up I can finish it off.

Now I started this project. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish this one but I hope I can.
I might need to enlist the help of expert to re-trim my boot lid cause I can't do plastic work or carpet but that will be later. I need to get the blind mounted and working first, then I can make it look pretty.
I'll update this as and when I can but the only thing I got to put at the moment is the video of the blind.
Bought a spare boot trim last week for this and did a slight test fit of the blind in the trim and it just about fits. bit tight but it should be ok. Just need to make sure I can bolt it to the boot lid at the correct angle.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

HP touchpad webOS update 3.0.477

A little bit different from my normal car related posts but its a gadget and I like it.

About a month ago I bought a HP Touchpad in the fire sale and been playing about with it and I love it. I was reading Ari Jaaksi's Blog and he posted up about a webOS update.
I turned my hotspot on on my Android phone, connected my tablet and there it was. A shiny new 53meg update. Currently downloading it. I'll report back when I've had time to play with it.

If you are after a tablet and can't or don't want to spend £400+ on a Motorola, Samsung or a iPad. I'd recommend a HP touchpad.

HP Touchpad 16GB Black
HP Touchpad 32GB Black
HP Touchpad 64GB Black

Monday, 17 October 2011

Move head when pulling towards it

Looking back over old photobucket pictures, I found the below image.
I was reamoveing the gear stick from my BMW 325 to fit a quick shifter.
When removing the stick you have to pull it upwards with great amount of force.
I did this but did not move my head to one side, the stick slammed in to my eye.

So when pull stuff out or off or any thing towards you, make sure your head/face is out of the way.

Folding Electric Windows

Found a random post on ASN and thought it looked good.
Bit of Ebay hunting and talking to Audi, the parts was ordered.

1 folding mirror realy, 1 electric window switch, 2 mirrors and couple lengths of cable.
Bolted it all together, wire it up and you're left with this.

Audi B5 Heater Fan

With the car approaching 14 years of age some things are starting to ware out.
The fan brushes is on of them. The fan sometimes start, stops or just running slow. If the fan does stop working, its worth checking the brushes.

Its easy to access but bit of a pain to remove and not to bad to replace the brushes if you're ok with a soldering, all though it can be a bit dirty.
I bought the new brushes from Ebay.

Remove the glove box, unbolt some metal work from under the air bag, unplug the fan motor, twist the housing and pull with a bit of wiggle and it will come free.

Dash removed.

Metal bits removed from bottom of airbag to help gain access to ran motor.

Fan removed.

One fan unit.

Old brushes removed.

Old Vs New

New brushes fitted. Refit and enjoy your motor working again

Friday, 14 October 2011

Facelift Clocks in Pre-Facelift B5

This is something I've thought about for long time but never had the opportunity to put it in to motion.
After a chat to some lads on the forum, 1 of them had a set of old butchered 98 clocks and someone else had a set of facelift clocks with some dead pixels in the dis.
I meet up with the lads at a recent car show, got home and started stripping and hacking the 98 clocks.

One Set of Pre-facelift clocks
Remove front cover
Remove back cover. I want the Green, Blue and the remains of the red plug.
Remove clock faces.
Remove the white pits from the clocks.
Start cutting.
That's one plug off.
Two plugs off.
That's the three plugs I want.
Trim them down, tidy up and remove any bits on the back.
Remains of Pre-facelift clocks and Facelift plugs.
Solder the facelift plugs on to the back of the pre-facelift plugs.
One converter loom made.
Plug in and test.
I need to get the immobilizer code.
I'm able to wire the doors up.

It works, nothing went pop. Which I'm happy about.
I need to code theses clocks to the car and my key to the clocks, reset the miles to mine and in theory it should all work. I can't test the speedo or revs cause I can't start the car. Hopefully I'll have a copy of Vagtacho or VAG commander soon to get the coding under way.
I also ordered a oil sensor to wire up and I think that's it.

Quick Video.


I've received a oil level sensor this morning.
Going to attempt wiring it to the clocks this week. This should hopefully remove the oil sensor error from the clocks. Should get a VAG Commander cable this week to sort out the immob coding issues.
By next weekend, Hopefully, the car should be running and drivable with the new clocks in.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

My Car Is My Bed

I got invited to my mates wedding some months back.
He was having the evening do at his wife's family's field and we are able camp in the field as well.
Wanting to do something different and not fanny around with a tent, I decided to sleep in the car.
It was a good idea, it worked as well. me and the misses slept in the car with the seats down.
We got up the next day, moved in to the front seats and drove away. Happy days.
I also slept in the back of the car at a recent car meet. I might be doing this more offten.

The bed area.
The joys of being 6 foot 3" and the car not being that big. Still a good night sleep.

LED Brake light

The 3rd brake light on the Avant B5s is made up of tiny little bulbs and I hate them.
They would blow or lose connection and you'd end up with gaps and it looks awfull.
I bought a new unit, stripped it down, fitted some 5mm 12v red LEDs and Pre-Wired LED resister for bulb warning failers.
Put it all together and I got a working LED 3rd brake light with no chance of any missing bit.

Strip the unit and solder LEDs to each strip. Making sure the + & - is the right way.