Mr Chops NE51 Rider (RIP mobile data plans)

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#81
The manual does have a lot of information and the wiring diagrams seem to be fairly comprehensive but all I've managed to work out today is that I do have power from the headunit to the aerial amp, so still unsure why FM reception is rubbish at times.

Mine with a Super Woofer in the back isn't pictured in the manual, it's like the Bose wiring in that it has a sub amp but this makes me wary of following the Bose diagram.

Even if I find which audio connections from the 'Image Distributor' I need to connect into the Pumpkin I doubt it has enough inputs (unless I use AUX IN and move the Cyclone into the back seat area). Wire colours would be a great addition.

Just confuses the heck out of me.
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Staff member
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#82
Yes, I think the diagrams are for the s2 nav/tv setup. mine has the sub too which I'm hoping is just fed audio from headunit direct with remote trigger for its internal amp.
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#83
A new battery.

A couple of times recently when I've come to start the bus for the morning commute to work it's not turned over as fast before bursting into life, so it's been on my mind to source a new battery.

I guess I didn't realise how close to death's door it was. We pulled in for a McDonald's last night and sat in the bus with the music on for about half an hour. When I turned the key it turned over part way and then all there was was clicking. I left it 5 or 10 minutes and tried it again thinking it may have revived enough to start. Nope, just the same.

The only feasible option was to contact the AA. I've been a member for several years but never had to use them so this would be a new experience.

I downloaded the app on my phone and reported the breakdown as due to a flat battery. Someone would be with me in 30-40 minutes. 20 minutes later I got an update that it could be up to 60 minutes. Thankfully he arrived in around 40 minutes.

After boosting and testing the battery, the alternator and confirming the battery was bad I was back at home.

First job today was to get a new battery, so off to the forum for the info. This thread turned out to be perfect, I'd even been there before: http://forum.elgrandoc.uk/index.php?threads/battery-alternatives.2870/

So as the 334 sounded like the ideal battery I needed to find one. I remembered that EOC members get a 25% discount so I tried that but found they have a web offer of 30% off so I used that. Come to think of it their web team never did reply to my email.

Here's the old battery..




With the old one out I can see there's some corrosion of the battery tray, which I'll sort out when the weather improves.



Here's the new and old batteries to show how much bigger the new one is. It's 300mm long but the same width and height.



I decided to cut the tray down and reuse it, along with the plastic surround thing.

To make it a bit easier to get in I moved the PAS reservoir and the engine cover out of the way. So here it is installed which took about 30 minutes.



Oh, and on inspection it turns out that the old battery might only need some distilled water as it's below the low level.

 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#84
Hudly - a new vehicle heads-up display

Sometime last year I was approached by the creator of Hudly in the States to see if I'd be interested in a partnership with them. In return for using my Android app in promotional material and helping give it more exposure my users could get money off a Hudly unit as well as get a kickback myself. As it's a technology I'm very keen on, and I think a number of my users would be too, I went ahead.

Back then it was just a Kickstarter project, starting off well but soon losing puff and failing to get over the line. It was born again on Indiegogo and units started shipping around Christmas. I backed it at 'Early Bird Special' level and I was happy to receive mine earlier this week. Not so happy about the import duty payable however.

So what is Hudly? Well it's basically a projector and a 'combiner', or glass screen. It can display vehicle information from the OBDII port or it can mirror a phone or I guess tablet so any app can be displayed. Here's the box as well as the unit.





And here's my app being used on the packaging :)



When I opened the box I could see that the projector had been moving around in the box. Fortunately it looked ok, with just the bottom cover having been knocked off.





Anyway, this post is aimed at fitting the unit and not about promoting it. Unfortunately the fitting didn't really go as well as I expected, in fact I can't get the unit to work in the Elgrand.

As other people also suspected it doesn't seem to work with the JOBD port. It does power up but I cannot connect a phone to it.



I'm not entirely sure if this is because it's not an OBDII port or something else but I want to try it in the Juke and see if it works.

I tried a known-good MHL adaptor as well as the one that came with it but no joy. The phone charges using my adaptor but not the supplied one (so that would be no good anyway).

 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#85
I tried it in the Juke today and as expected it boots when the engine is started and displays the data from the ECU. Although I can't get the phone to connect over MHL the unit works fine.

It just can't communicate with the Elgrand's protocol. It gets power but doesn't get the turn on/off signals or any data. Even if I can connect my other phone (need a miracast dongle) ok I still don't have auto turn on/off so that's a bit of a deal breaker. I could put it in the Juke if the Mrs doesn't object, and I can be arsed...what with all the cables it has (the projector itself has two).
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#86
My knob's been in a rather unpleasant state since I took delivery of it back in May and I've been wanting to do something about it for ages now.

It's been in, I presume, almost daily use for the last fourteen years so it's bound to be showing signs of wear. What can you expect after years of rough handling, what with wedding rings chafing against it and the thrusting back and forth action when in use? Even so, I'm always conscious of my knob when I have someone new in the front, I often find myself trying to see if they are looking across at it perhaps in disgust. I'd keep my hand on it so they couldn't see the grubby, worn exterior.

It's a shame it's in such bad condition because actually it's very comfortable to handle. It's nice and firm with no give and it fits in my hand really nicely. It doesn't get too hot in the sun, nor does it get freezing cold in the winter. A perfect knob actually. But, it just looks a bit shit.

So after seeing @freshandminty had bought an 8-ball shift knob I decided it was now time to change my knob too.

Funnily enough, I used to have a yellow spot (number 1) in my Mini back in the 80's. A mate 'happened across it' and gave it to me. I'm sure the pub it came from has long since been knocked down to build houses. I drilled a suitable hole in it and because I didn't have a tap and die set I wrapped electrical tape around the gearstick threads and screwed the ball on tight. I can still picture using it on the long Mini gearstick.

I was all set to relive my youth by getting another yellow spot and did some searching on that popular auction site. There were quite a few available, but what thread dimensions did I need? Most were for VWs, and Elgrands have a different thread size. Turns out I needed M10 x 1.25.

While searching I saw several other 'pool balls' but my heart was set on the yellow spot...that was until I saw a Pokéball. About the same size as a pool ball (give or take 2mm) and comes with three different mounting thread options by way of additional threaded inserts, including the one I needed.

Dilemma! Do I go down the route of reliving my youth (that long gone Java green Mini 850 has many fond memories attached to it), or should I go with a Japanese theme perfectly suiting a JDM vehicle?

Well the Pokéball won in the end, including a vote from my wife. It was more expensive than the pool balls at about £21.

So here it is. I love my new knob.



The old one needed a firm grasp and a real hard twist anticlockwise to break it free, then it just unscrewed. I screwed in the appropriate insert firmly after applying Loctite. When screwing it onto the shaft the circle sat at about the 9 o'clock position. I needed to add some sort of spacer to the top of the shaft so it needed about a quarter turn less to bottom out. I tried a few things, like cardboard, wood and washers until I found a small nut in my old RC spares box that was perfect. It bottomed out at about 4 o'clock and needed a little force to turn it to face rearward. I removed it, applied Loctite and spun it on again. Job done!
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#88
Today, after just a couple of weeks, my new Pivot cruise-control/throttle controller arrived. Packaging was sufficient with a couple of layers of bubble wrap around the three boxes. Everything arrived unscathed. Before it could be delivered I had to cough up £49 in customs fees. The unit cost £164 including shipping from Japan.



Inside were the following:


The main unit


Brake harness (4-pin)


Throttle harness

Here’s the unit:



I decided that although I wouldn’t have everything I needed to complete the install I might as well make a start. I’d only have a couple of hours daylight at the most, and I still hadn’t worked out where the speed signal wire can be found.

First I connected the brake harness, which is easy enough (if somewhat awkward) – unplug the existing connector and plug the harness in between the two plugs. The harness only provides a fly-lead for each of the four wires, one of which powers the unit and the other signals that the brake is pressed. I connected the separate earth wire.

I needed to find the constant 12v and the switched 12v in the brake harness. Constant was white and the only other wire with 0v but then had a voltage when the pedal was pressed was the yellow wire, but the voltage was only 0.33v. I’ve seen a similar install on another website where the blue wire is the switched one I need. More investigation is required.


Brake harness connected

After that I connected the throttle harness, making sure to first remove the orange waterproof gasket from inside the plug. I fitted a tie-wrap to secure the two plugs together as instructed but realised later that unless I completed the install I’d have to remove the harness as several wires don’t connect up. I started it up to see a 4WD error, the check engine light, and no throttle control!


Throttle harness connected

I decided to mount the unit where it could be easily seen, but wasn’t too obvious, and was in easy reach. I figured I can reach it easily when resting my wrist on my shift knob when in D.

A piece of double-sided tape secures it to the bottom of the screen bezel:


The unit mounted in plain view

That’s as far as I’ve got so far. Left to do then:

  • find the speed signal wire and solder the orange wire to it
  • connect the red wire to the constant 12v in the brake harness
  • connect the grey wire to the switched wire in the brake harness
  • Install the throttle harness (again)
  • fix the control unit to the footwell behind the kick-panel
  • plug the connectors into the control unit
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#90
Where was I? Oh yes, the speed signal wire, or more specifically where the heck is it?!
Well it turns out it was right next to me all along, but it was mostly hidden by black electrical tape.
It was right underneath the fuse box to the right of the steering column, just underneath the OBD connector. You can see the four bolts that hold the petrol flap and bonnet release catches. The wire is connected to the brown four-pin plug:


The brown connector that has the speed signal wire

When viewed from the rear the speed signal wire is third from the left, the blue one with a black trace.


Blue/black wire, third from left.

I cut the black sleeve back so I could tap into the wire and solder on the orange wire that connects to the Pivot's control box.


Insulation stripped back ready for soldering



With the orange wire soldered on, I then wrapped it securely with black electrical tape and fastened the connector back where it was before.

So on to the throttle harness. Dead easy to fit after yesterday's dry run. Thinking about it I'm not sure I secured the connectors with a tie wrap so I need to go in again and do that. I don't want that coming undone!

Next I decided that as i had all of the wiring in roughly the right place I'd get the control box mounted. This box is probably about 70mm x 50mm x 15mm and fits in just nicely behind the driver's kick panel, which is ideal as most of the wiring is in this area and the long lead from the Pivot display unit easily reaches from the centre screen. It's fixed in place with the supplied double-sided tape.


Control box

The last part of installation was to connect the white plugs to the control unit and connect the red and grey wires to the brake harness. This is where the fun began.

In part one I mention that, correctly, the white wire is constant 12v. However, I was wrong about the yellow wire being the one I needed for the switched brake signal, except at that point I didn't know that so I put everything back together and went through the setup routine.

So setup is pretty easy, taking you through configuring the unit so that it knows the throttle voltage at 0% and 100% pedal travel. Once that's done you need to set the speed pulse setting. For the Elgrand this needs to be set to 2.

Then it was test drive time. The instructions say to be travelling at 35-40 KM/H and press the SET button, at which point cruise control will kick in and the current speed will be held. Except for me it didn't, instead it showed the error '-b-'. This means that the grey wire to the brake harness isn't correct. Hmmm.

So back round the block to home, lower dash panel, fusebox cover and kick panel removed. This time I connected the grey wire to the blue wire as in the other thread I'd seen. Another test drive...and still getting '-b-' when activating cruise. Sigh.

Repeat the above steps but connecting the grey wire to the black wire. Ok, for some reason I'd discounted the black wire (I perhaps assumed it was an earth as Nissan like to use black for earth) and by now somewhat pissed at having to remove the dash again I got the multi-meter out and checked the black wire for 12v when pressing the brake pedal. Bingo! 12v as required. Dash back together.

In summary then: white = constant 12v, black = switched 12v (On my 2003 E51 Rider at least).



And now for another test drive. I got up to the recommended speed and pressed SET...and I had cruise control! Woohoo!

The cruise control works really well, staying within 1mph on fairly flat roads. You can feel it modulating the throttle to some degree but it's nice and smooth overall. I've yet to see how it handles hills.



During my short test drive I also put it into one for the seven Sport modes, SP3, and it felt completely different to the Elgrand's built in Power mode. So much sharper. I didn't play with the five Eco modes so I'll leave that for another time.

So far (after about 10 miles) I'm really impressed with the system. It's well built with all of the plastics feeling of a high quality and it comes with everything you need to install it, even down to an LED on a wire to test for 12v if you don't have a meter. The cruise works extremely well, as does Sport mode, and you can even set the rate of change when returning to the set cruise speed (set higher for small cars, lower for big cars). it also looks very stylish and unobtrusive in my opinion.

I'm looking forward now to a good drive with it tomorrow to see how the rest of it works.

If you need the instructions in English, or you're just curious to see how the unit works, then here they are (PDF, 443KB).
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#92
Great write up @MrChops - thank you.
Hopefully someone will find it useful. It took me ages to track down the speed pulse wire so if it saves someone some time then cool.

In the few days I've been using the Pivot I've found it to be perfect. The controls are very intuitive. I'm also glad I mounted it where I did as it's in exactly the right place when in Drive. I can rest my wrist on the shifter and the buttons fall at my fingertips.

After an initial run in Sport3 mode I've only been using Eco2 to see how it affects my driving, and if it will make me drive more economically. So far it has, obviously at the expense of throttle response. It's quite sluggish compared to normal and needs more pedal to get off the line but I've got used to it and don't need to race off the line anyway. A trip at the weekend of about 82 miles averaged 8.9km/l at a steady 65mph.

Cruise worked well on the trip although maybe it's the sensitivity setting but it doesn't take much of a hill for the speed to start running away with it. I'm wondering if this might be because its in Eco mode. Hmmm, I'll try it in Normal or a Sport mode and see if the engine braking is stronger. That would make it perfect.

After just a few days I'm loving this thing and it looks pretty cool too.
 

neilloop

Well-Known Member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#93
Hi @MrChops. Read your write up. You have similar factory set up to me.
Few of questions please.
What did you do with your subwoofer. Mine is in a similar state. did you replace it or use cubby hole.
I noticed you have a Cyclone 4. Ive just got one. Did you put an sd card in that? Is it wired into the HU. Did you need that if you have a Pumpkin HU?!
Have you got a pic of the front set up please as I think Cyclone is in the front tray which is a great idea!
Finally..how is the Alpha 3. Would you still recommend.
Many Thanks
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#94
Hi @MrChops. Read your write up. You have similar factory set up to me.
Few of questions please.
What did you do with your subwoofer. Mine is in a similar state. did you replace it or use cubby hole.
I noticed you have a Cyclone 4. Ive just got one. Did you put an sd card in that? Is it wired into the HU. Did you need that if you have a Pumpkin HU?!
Have you got a pic of the front set up please as I think Cyclone is in the front tray which is a great idea!
Finally..how is the Alpha 3. Would you still recommend.
Many Thanks
I bought a pair of new suspension foam rings for the sub, carefully removed all the old foam and glue from the cone and chassis and glued it on. I remember making sure the Pumpkin supplied power to the sub amp but tbh don't know if it makes any difference to the sound.

I do have an SD card in the cyclone but all it has on it is one video I used to test it (weekend by Michael Gray to be precise).
It's wired into the Pumpkin's AV in. It works pretty well on both the screens and the pumpkin. I did try to use the Pumpkin app to mirror my Android phone but never really liked the way it worked. Just a faff. I'll get a photo if there's not a suitable one in the thread. I cut a hole in the back of the cubby for all the cables to the pumpkin, including the USB/iPod connectors. Close the drawer and you'd never know.

I love the Pivot! I drive round in Eco mode most of the time though seeing what Mpg I can get (but let's not go there). Cruise is great, when I get some clear road. Very easy to use, it would be perfect with steering wheel controls but that's not an option. Switch to sport mode and it's dead nippy, but not so good for me in standing traffic - I've nearly gone into the car in front when dabbing the throttle in sport mode!

If you want to re-foam your sub I can send you my spare foam. Don't need it, moving house so need the space lol. PM me your address if interested.
 

neilloop

Well-Known Member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#95
Thanks for the offer @MrChops. Think Im going to use the sub cubby hole for a leisure battery. Sound is fine from other speakers.
Time to save up for a pivot 3!

Dont suppose you might be able to help with this one..
I have installed the sumvision. Just plug and play through the 12v power and phono inputs in the back. Got lines across the screen when its switched to VTR and I use the sumvivon. Output is set to ntsc.
 
Last edited:

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#96
My first thought was ntsc but you've already set that. Do you have a different output from the head unit, like DVD, and is that the same?