Vintage Turn Signal Switches vs Auto Canceling...

Discussion in 'Automotive Electronics' started by Deve, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Deve

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 28, 2015
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    I am working on a project that I think is very worthwhile concerning vintage turn signals on any vehicle from the teens to the mid 1960's. The premier turn signal switch for these old vehicles is the Truck-Lite SignalStat 900. Let's start with assuming this is the weapon of choice. It works flawlessly as is, but it has one major flaw.. no self canceling feature. I am looking to make a circuit that emulates this feature. Here is the idea..

    Example: A person flips the switch to make a right turn. Right Blinker blinks for the turn, then (even though the switch is still in the UP or right hand position) the blinker stops after the turn. To make another right turn, operator can put the switch back in neutral and then restart by flipping to right again. So Neutral is always the RESET. Now, do we use some sort of mercury switch or more modern to determine if the turn has been completed, or do we use a timer circuit?

    I already know of the momentary on switching motorcycles use but this is not desirable for vintage car owners. They already have turn signals, they just need a circuit they can use with their current switch. What are your expert thoughts on this? I am all about overcoming obvious obstacles and feel this could be something very desirable for old vintage car enthusiasts. The older guys like me REALLY like the idea because we can no longer hear the blinkers! Thanks everyone!
     
  2. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    So which is it. :rolleyes:

    Seriously, a timer would be the easiest.

    A more complex method would be to sense sideways force with an accelerometer chip and cancel the turn signal when there is no more side force, indicating the turn is complete.
    You would need some logic so that it doesn't cancel until after the turn starts after a wait at a light.
    You may also want to add a long timeout failsafe in case the sense circuit doesn't work (such as for a slow lane change).
    (Don't you hate cars traveling down the freeway with their turn signal stuck on).:eek:
    The easiest way to do the logic for all that would likely be with a microcontroller.
     
  3. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    There is the "stuck on" warning too. I think one vehicle chimes in sync with the turn when it's been on too long.

    Yep, the accelerometer sounds cool.
     
  4. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,349
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    The miserable car which I bought lately has both a lateral accelerometer and a magnetic compass. Either of those would do this job, but I have heard of an idea wherein a mechanical device cancels the turn signal by returning the lever to the, "off" position when the steering wheel is nearly completely returned to the center position. I think that's a good idea because returning the steering wheel to front and center surely indicates the turn is finished. This might be done with a mechanical gizmo in the steering column or it could be done by sensing the position of the steering wheel and using a solenoid to reset the turn lever to the off position.
     
  5. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    If you can't remember to turn your manal blinkers off yourself you probably are not aware of your surroundings well enough to be on the road general. :(

    That said most every vehicle uses a simple mechanical cam or ratcheting lever system to sense when the steering wheel is back at center and release the blinker mechanism so a simple micro switch or magnetic reed switch mounted on the steering system some place with a similar position sensing method would give you an electrical equivalent to the camshaft deactivation.

    No need to over complicate things.

    Also I didn't know you needed working blinkers let alone self canceling ones to drive in a parade? :rolleyes:
     
  6. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    Just add a 60 to 90 second timer that activates a ring/ding device, and is reset by deactivation of the signal lights. Let the the human circuit return the turn signal lever to neutral.

    Easy peasy.
     
  7. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    Actually, it's two cams (or other sensors). The turn signal is cancelled when the steering wheel is within xx degrees of straight coming from either a left or right turn. xx degrees varies per manufacturer. BMWs cancel a little farther off-straight than Volvos (experience). I think you need the sensors approach because a timed auto-cancel doesn't account for valid long signal situations like overloaded left turn lanes.

    Depending on the steering ratio of the old cars, it might be possible for the steering wheel to make a complete revolution when making a hard turn. In that case, the cancel signal might be produced while still entering the turn. Two 555's, three PICs, and an Arduino should solve it.

    ak
     
  8. Kjeldgaard

    Member

    Apr 7, 2016
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    How about to attack the problem from the acoustic side?

    Either something with a loudspeaker and some electrics (Piezo Sounders is probably too high in frequency)

    Or a "large" relay, bolted to a sufficiently large area under the dashboard and run with sufficiently short pulses when the turn light flashing.
     
  9. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    The old ones like the TS was talking about use a rubber wheel that contacts the edge of the steering wheel to cancel the signal. If the switch is mounted correctly on the steering column they work as designed. Rather than reinventing this switch he should learn how they are correctly mounted. I've owned many a car using those switches with no problems.
     
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  10. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    Just position a couple of big bright LEDs centrally on the instrument panel and activate them in parallel with the turn indicators.
     
  11. Deve

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 28, 2015
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    Thanks for all the input everyone. What I like about this forum is the ability to Think-Tank our way to a solution. I certainly do not have all the answers. My thinking is, it would be necessary to keep it simple and not add mechanical solutions into this. A simple connection to the appropriate [existing] turn signal wiring, necessary electronics maybe in a project box and done. This is because the antique car community would not want a bunch of modifications threatening their beautiful work of art.

    As I stated "Example: A person flips the switch to make a right turn. Right Blinker blinks for the turn, then (even though the switch is still in the UP or right hand position) the blinker stops after the turn. To make another right turn, operator can put the switch back in neutral and then restart by flipping to right again. So Neutral is always the RESET." Let's try and solve that. Lights and Piezo Buzzer's are a stop-gap solution that wouldn't get a lot of people excited alone, but as part of solving the actual problem would be really REALLY cool!

    What would a solution look like that is simple, easy to install without invasive rewiring or modifications to the vehicle? I am not the electronic expert some of you are so I appreciate all the help I can get!
     
  12. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Read post #9. Never seen one of these add on signal switches that didn't have the rubber wheel in the center of the "U" that goes around the steering column. And as far as " threatening their beautiful work of art", aren't they doing that by adding the turn signal lights, switch, and wiring to a car that never had them?
     
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  13. Deve

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 28, 2015
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    http://forums.devestechnet.com/foru...e/1832-tip-of-the-week-51-for-sept-18-24-2016

    I think the Gas Auto Solutions Clever system may make a great platform for this project, but it too uses momentary switches. All we need to figure out is how to do the electronics to emulate a momentary switch with a vintage turn signal switch. Or, fool the Clever into thinking its attached to momentary. Whatever lingo floats your boat. Any solution oriented ideas?
     
  14. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    There's a few things I don;t like:

    1. I think it should accept a constant turn signal on and return to off should cancel (option)
    2. No lead to cancel. e.g. momentary switch (You always have to make a turn)
    3. It buzzes when the 4-ways are on. No option to turn that off. Think funeral procession. (should be option)
    4. No mention if this should be connected to +12 always or IGN. 4-ways generally work all the time. Turn and brake don't.
    5. A delay before buzz should be an option. e.g. 3 minutes, then it buzzes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  15. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    As long as its negative earth - the Yamaha XS250/400 etc indicator has a cancel feature, on the motorcycle mentioned; an extra magnet is included in the speedometer that activates a reed relay, the indicator relay counts the pulses and shuts off after a certain distance. The handlebar switch is an either way momentary contact to activate the turn signal, if you press the button in the middle it cancels manually.

    There were probably dozens of bikes with self cancelling relays, but the XS250 family is the one I'm familiar with how it works.

    A stem mounted indicator switch probably has spring loaded ball bearings that notch into indents, it should have a centering spring, so if you disable the indent devices you should end up with an either way momentary contact switch. You can mount a manual cancel button on the dash - or not, if you can't be bothered.
     
  16. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    I remember FIXING a broken turn signal where it did not catch.

    The video for the inertia one had the sound too loud, so initially I said after some time. Thinking about it, a piezo just sounded bad or sounded like an alarm going off and not a "click". So, in that case, I'll modify my post and say the sound is obnoxious and therefore should be changed to some sort of a click.

    With the right accelerometer, you could auto cancel after a certain distance.

    Meanwhile the "click" could certainly get louder after a time-limit, but distance auto-cancel sounds good with no connection to the vehicle.
     
  17. Deve

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 28, 2015
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    I live for these conversations! But... some of us are not as adept at figuring out what the actual circuit would like to make this happen. This is why I suggested starting with a way to make a vintage switch act as a momentary. One thing at a time makes it possible for some of us. Slowly, meticulously until we have the circuit that works. I value all of your ideas.. so let's get down to specific part numbers and schematics. What would a circuit that works like we need it to look like? Some of you have the ability to reason it out in your head. Wish I was one of them.
     
  18. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    This is all well and good, making the switch momentary. But it still doesn't help when you want to signal for the next turn, because the actual switch is still engaged. Your making more out of this than is really needed. Just wire a door chime module like they used in the 80's and 90's GM cars(from the junkyard) to the turn signal flasher.

    On another note, it's kind of sneaky to use what you learn here on your blog and not give credit to the AAC members giving you the help.
     
  19. Deve

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 28, 2015
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    There is always someone. It never fails. I do not want an indicator! Not interested in half fasting it! There are too many different kinds of vintage vehicles to customize everyone's indicators and most people do not desire indicators. We just want the blinker to stop after the turn. It's called self canceling. Can we stick on point here? Indicators can be incorporated as PART of the solution after we figure out the hard part.

    If you bothered to REALLY look at my site, you would see All About Circuits and the people here mentioned in many places. The credit my friend comes AFTER the work is done. Talking so far has gotten us nowhere with no results. I simply solicited your help in thinking the process through to a CONCLUSION. If you do not know the answer, hopefully we can defer to people who DO know. Anyone? Sorry for the attitude but this is a common thing when trying to collaborate with people. Happened on the project below as well, but WE, the All About Circuits team prevailed. SO, how about let's do it again! It was mostly fun!

    http://devestechnet.com/Home/WarningSystem
     
  20. jkwilborn

    New Member

    Jan 26, 2016
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    Just a 328p, no need for 555 timers (328p has three), run it on it's internal 8 Mhz clock (I divide mine by 8 for 1 Mip). Might need a couple of power mosfets to handle the power to the lights, properly selected they can be driven right from the 328p with no other components (such as current limiting resistors.)

    Although few hobbyist programmers use them (maybe not aware?), but it also has pull up resistors (on ports configured as inputs) built in.

    You also only need to connect power and ground in one place, not both and power can be on one side with ground on the other, if applicable. It make power connections easier when many data lines go one way, power is generally close to one side or the other.

    For about 12 bucks you can add a GPS module that will tell you when you've turned whatever amount. How complex is this turn signal? Generally the 328p (or other micro controller) would handle all I've seen by itself, without a bunch of peripheral hardware. Of course you pay for that with the software development but gain flexibility.

    Sounds like the typical engineering challenge. Best of luck, let us know how it turn(s:) out. A photo would be nice.
     
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