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Thread: Making a F1 type remote steering wheel.

  1. #1

    Making a F1 type remote steering wheel.

    Pondering the challenge using of a F1 style steering wheel and looking at the price of custom and ready built items and the limitations of using the four wires on an airbag/horn ’squib’ or ‘clock spring’ from a modern car, I though I would look into the Radio Control wheel thing.

    The basic function is to transmit from an independent wheel with buttons on, to the functions it has to control on the car by radio.

    So I applied the same inexpensive parts I used for the remote doors and LED lights on the SS to the problem.

    There are various units available from 1 channel to 8 channels and in three modes and two frequencies with multiple codes that are owner settable, as well as latching, switching and momentary and all can be used to operate external heavier relays and via diodes multiple combinations from the same button such as on mine I have button ‘A’ opening the drivers door only but button ‘C’ opens both doors via a diode to button ‘A’s external relay from button ‘C’s output, (buttons ‘B’ and ‘D’ close the corresponding door/doors). Latching will only close one of the relays in a set and automatically open all the others.

    Switching or ‘toggle’ mode will open and close each relay independently every time one presses the button for that channel, simple on/off function as I have for my display LEDs. (Skirt and nose, engine, cabin and KITT scanning strip, (I know, I know).

    This could be used for lights, wipers, etc the same as an ordinary toggle or rocker switch. One could even build in self cancelling for indicators by having a micro switch connected to the PCB tripped by a pin on the column.

    Momentary will close any of the relays as long as a button on the remote is pressed and open upon releasing the button, such as horn, washers or flashing headlights.

    As to mounting the units; it is a case of building the type of enclosure you would want, either a full blown F1 type with grips at the sides or a ‘pod’ you could fit behind your normal wheel as with the after market units on sale for $400. (And I’m talking $40 to $150 plus enclosure to make one)

    Inside the “wheel” would be the remote control PCBs for the relays less their cases, batteries and buttons, each button pad has on the PCB a negative and a function contact, so only one common wire is needed along with the four command wires, these can be connected to momentary buttons or latching buttons depending on function and relay use. The two 12v battery terminals can be removed and a black and a red wire soldered to the PCB for connecting to the common 12v source in the wheel. Once soldering was done I covered the whole PCB with hot glue. I retained the steel antenna as mine lays in the bottom of the centre console but a flexible wire the same length as the EXTENDED antenna will do instead.

    Several remote transmitters can be installed inside a wheel and connected to the common 12v battery, either the same one that came with the remotes or a larger capacity battery pack and with of any type and combination of transmitter as long as you remember to code each one the same as the receiver on the relay PCB unit
    The relay PCB units can be mounted anywhere within the car and connect directly or via heavier relays to the function required.

    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

  2. #2
    Senior Member MicksRedNova's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Winscombe, North Somerset, England
    I realise you're doing this as an academic exercise but would question the use of (interference prone) radio remotes. Using four wires you could multiplex signals for switching functions without the use of radio which should be more reliable and less error prone in a 'noisy' environment.

    Club Nova Member (F-036)

    MicksRedNova2 may take as long as the original!!

  3. #3
    IF one was into expensive multiplexing hardware and had the skills to use it.

    I looked up 4 wire input multiplex units and 136 pounds seems average and then there is a PSU, external relays to change from low level output to high level and of course bang goes the QD option, there is also the complexity of the various types of function which would have to be addressed channel by channel regards toggle, latch or momentary. F1 cars use radio for a number of things, telemetry, comms, as well as the steering wheels without problems.
    Starting with a 4 quid logic chip and a breadboard is fine if you have a C & G in electronics but for Joe Blogs, nope, The 4 channel units are about 4 quid a pop so not expensive and even with external relays and buttons it would be under 15 quid per four channels, plus the wheel of course.

    But as you say, it was only an exercise.
    Last edited by Peter; 13-04-2015 at 06:41 AM.

    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

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