All posts by Alloy

I have various hobbies, including automotive, electronics, and computer related things. Sometimes I write about these things here.

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.

Continue reading Make a 5V Power Supply For Arduino From a Car USB Charger

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

Continue reading Start Button Install Progress (part 1)

Start Button Update 1

I wrote a program for the Arduino, and put together a test circuit to see if it would work. I used LEDs to show the functions.  I wrote 6 different versions of the code until I finally came up with one that worked exactly how I wanted. I’m not a programmer, so this code is rather sloppy, and I’m sure there’s a much better way to do this, but, hey, it works.

Test circuit
Test circuit

I’ll post the code later, after I make the final version.

New Idea: Engine Start Button

I recently test drove a ’14 Honda Civic, and I really liked some of the new features that Honda has added to their vehicles. The start button intrigued me.  It used to be that the S2000 was the only vehicle that Honda decided to have an engine start button on, but now it seems that has spread to their other vehicle lineups.

I wanted to put that same start button functionality on my ’91 Honda CRX. I’ve seen other people install S2000 start buttons in their Civics, but all the button did was activate the starter motor. It didn’t control the ignition or accessories. They still had to use the key for that. What’s the point of installing the button, then? It just adds an extra step to starting the vehicle!

Now, I know that you can by complete start button kits that add all the proper functionality, but they usually cost upward of $200(USD).  I had the idea to make my own setup for much less, and I could use any button I like! At the heart of this project is the Arduino. The Arduino contains a Atmel AtMega328 micro controller that I will program to operate the vehicle’s accessories, ignition, and starter.

Arduino Uno
Arduino Uno

Stay tuned for updates as the project progresses.

1988-1991 Honda CRX Trouble Codes

Is your check engine light(CEL) on? Getting the trouble codes from the Engine Control Unit(ECU) might make it easier to fix the problem. Here is how to get the trouble codes.

The ECU is located at the front of the passenger foot-well, under the carpet. There is a single flashing LED(Light Emitting Diode) at the center of the ECU. The LED flashes the trouble codes. Count the flashes in each sequence to determine the code.

Code 0 - Faulty ECU
Code 1 - Exhaust oxygen content(O2 sensor)
Code 2 - --
Code 3 - Manifold Absolute Pressure(MAP) sensor
Code 4 - Crank angle sensor
Code 5 - MAP sensor
Code 6 - Coolant temperature
Code 7 - Throttle angle(Throttle Position Sensor)
Code 8 - Top dead center(TDC) sensor
Code 9 - No. 1 cylinder position(1.6 liter only)
Code 10 - Intake air temperature
Code 11 - --
Code 12 - Exhaust gas re-circulation(EGR) system
Code 13 - Atmospheric Pressure
Code 14 - Electronic air control(EACV)
Code 15 - Ignition output signal
Code 16 - Fuel injector
Code 17 - Vehicle speed sensor
Code 18 - --
Code 19 - Lock up control solenoid(auto trans.)
Code 20 - Electric load

Petition to Bring the 2015 Civic Type R VTEC Turbo to North America

Honda Civic Type R Concept
Honda Civic Type R Concept

If you aren’t too busy at the moment, you should head over to this page and sign the petition to bring the 2015 Civic Type R Turbo to North America. The Civic Type R seems to always avoid North America.

The 2015 Honda Civic Type R Turbo is rumored to have a 2.0L turbocharged engine with 280+ HP. It’s styling is way different than anything I’ve seen before. It’s very agressive. I find it quite refreshing. If this Type R comes to North America, I’m definitely going to buy one.