Category Archives: Modifications

USB Charger Install

These days everyone has a device that is charged using a USB port. Sometimes those devices run low on power before the day is through. I thought any passenger who rides in my car would appreciate being able to plug their devices in and charge them. Yes, I could use a charger the plugs into the 12 volt power outlet, but my car only has one in the front, which is not ideal for any passengers in the back seat.
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RFID/NFC with Engine Start Button

A lot of people have been telling me that I should add RFID to my engine start button project. That’s exactly what I did. I’m using an Arduino Nano connected to a  RC522 RFID reader/writer. When the Nano recognizes a scanned RFID tag, it sends a code via serial to the ATMega328 that controls the ignition/accessories/starter motor.  When the ATMega328 receives the code, it enables the engine start functionality. If no RFID tag is scanned or if an incorrect tag is scanned,  pressing the engine start button will not start the engine.

MVI_1672-001
My first test of this setup.

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How to Install a Start Button

Here’s the best low-cost way to put a fully functional engine start button in your car! Absolutely no key needed to start your car! Just press the button and go!

You may have seen others put engine start buttons in their cars, but they still had to use a key! It’s like, “really, guys? You’re adding a step to starting your car“! You definitely don’t want to be like those idiots. You, you’re much smarter than those hook-it-straight-to-the-starter guys. You know there’s gotta be a better way… and there is!
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Make a 5V Power Supply For Arduino From a Car USB Charger

This is what I did to power the Arduino which I used in my engine start button project. It’s a simple and cheap way to power an Arduino in a car. This will requires some basic soldering skills.

Step 1

But a simple USB charger – the kind that plugs into your car’s power outlet. They usually cost ~$2-5(USD). You can probably find them at most convenience stores, or maybe a box store of your choice.

USB car charger
USB car charger – As you can see, the output of this USB charger is rated DC 5 volts and 1 ampere.

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Start Button Install Progress (part 1)

The first place that I was going to install the button was in the larger hole cover that covers the hole in the dash where accessory switches go, but were not used. However, I found a better location while solving the steering lock issue.  The key cylinder also operates the steering lock, but if I’m not going to use the key to start the car, the steering lock just inconveniences me. I had to remove it.

CRX key cylinder removed
CRX key cylinder removed

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