DashFest JJ's life and project dumping grounds…



50" Farmtown, BITCHES!!



The Thrift Store 50 Inch Plasma

So I was at the DI last weekend.  I stumbled apon this:

A Panasonic TH-50PHW3U   50" 720p Plasma, for $100.  Original MSRP $9670 in 2003!

At this price, it obviously didnt work.  It turned on for about 4 seconds, then shut off with the power LED flashing red.  On the chassis a repair estimate/bill was attached.  It had a couple of part numbers listed, and scribbled on was the note "Panel est. declined".  Cost of repair, $978.84.  The entire time "bad capacitors!" is running through my head.  I lug it home, and immediately open it up. 


Holy shit this thing is complicated, check out the screwdriver in the corner for scale.

First thing I hunted for were bad/swolen/leaking caps.  Didnt find any, which was a let down.  That night, I do a LOT of research, trying to dig up the service manual for it.  I never did find the correct one, but did find one for a similar panel.  There are some troubleshooting guides specifically for the LED code it was flashing.  I soon came to the conclusion while unhooking the 2 parts listed on the repair estimate that those parts are fine.  The estimate was bogus.


Further testing, swapping, and measuring determines that the either the Power board (P1) or Scan Converter board (SC) is the culprit.  I measured a voltage called "Vbk".  This line supplies 195v to the Scan Converter board.  When powered on, I measured this @ zeroV!  However as soon as the unit is powered off, it jumps to normal voltage temporarily.  Also when this cable is disconnected from the SC board, and is measured off P1, it is normal voltage.  Bingo, the SC board must be drawing too much current, and shutting down that output!  There are also diagnostic LED's on several boards internally.  All light up bright, except the SC board.  It lights, but is quite dim.  Im pretty confident at this point the SC board is the problem.



Jumped on ebay, $116 and a few days later:




Jackpot!  The next day I bought a cheap universal remote, and played PS2 on it for about 4 hours straight.  Still works great!


The $7 Yaris Cruise Control

So after a trip to yellowstone, I re-discovered that driving my wifes 08 Yaris long distance is a pain in the ass..  literally, and legs.  SoI did some digging around on the intertubes.

Found out that the 09 Yaris is INCREDIBLY easy to add cruise control.  Just plug in a stalk into the steering column, and your done!  The 08's don't have the wiring already in place, as cruise control was not offered as an option that year.  But the ECM programming is there!

After some further research on the yarisworld forums, I found that pin 40 of the A21 connector on the ECM is the key.  This pin when directly grounded, switches the cruise control on/off.  When grounded with a ~630 ohm resistor "Sets" the speed.  There are 2 other resistance values that accellerates, and decellerates by 1mph increments, but I decided to not use these.

Ran to radioshack, bought a couple of resistors, and 2 pushbutton switches.  The hardest part of this entire thing was figuring out how to get a single wire through the firewall into the dash from the engine compartment (ECM is located there).  Finally got the wire through the main harness grommet using a long piece of coat hanger wire.  I decided to give it a test run before drilling holes in the dash.

I first pulled connector A21 from the ECM, and inserted a wire into the unused pin 40 hole.  Care was taken to not short to other pins, and to still get a solid contact.   Once clamped back down, it held solid.  I then quickly twisted a 630 ohm resistor to the other end in, and handed it and a ground wire to my wife in the driver seat.  I then remembered there are 2 pins in the fuse/relay box that need to be jumpered temporarily to replace the clutch safety switch that doesn't exist.

We took it down the street, first touching the ground wire directly to the "hot" from the ECU to turn on the cruise.  Then got to about 40mph and tapped the ground to the resistor to "set" the speed.  SUCCESS!!  The car cruises along at its set speed like it should!

Now all that needed was cleaning up the wiring, and installing some push button switches.

Here is the result:


Still needed to be completed is a real clutch safety switch instead of a jumper, and some sort of indicator light to tell you the cruise is on.