Let's try to build a DIY, easy to make Auto Fold Mirror module.

jkaluski

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I'm annoyed at the price that companies charge for $3.38 of components. Didn't say they weren't allowed, it just bugs me. I like to make my own stuff. I can't find any plans online, I was hoping that someone here could send high quality photos of both sides of the board, and the wiring harnesses that make up the Auto Fold Mirror modules they've purchased.

I'm going to try to build my own that I would then post plans for. I have a 3d printer and decent soldering skills, some programming knowledge and a bunch of components to play with.

Any other makers out there willing to help?

EDIT: I don't want the photos to copy the design, nor to 'steal' any IP, it's to cut down on the time spent following the wiring harness leads on the wiring diagram available to all. Also, I've used different words in my post below for those that are worried about theft.





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Big Blue

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They charge what they charge to cover cost of engineering, fabrication and marketing. Physical components are a miniscule part of the cost. Also the majority of people don't have the knowledge or skill. Good luck getting someone to tear their sealed up tested module apart the send you pictures so you can reverse engineer someone else's design. I personally feel what they charge is a fair price for the features they are providing.
 

Shadowdraxx

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I’m not sure how you can reverse engineer the micro controller without having a programmer and one to hand. Which would mean buying one?
 
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jkaluski

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@Big Blue I get that, the issue is that if the Chinese and Taiwanese suppliers would sell a case to me, they'd come in around $12.75/piece. I haven't found a retailer online who sells for under $60. As for reverse engineering the part that should be, and is, concealed from me would be the firmware/software on the chip. The "reverse engineering" (quotes b/c it's not really what the goal is) I'm looking for, of the leads, is just speeding up the process of studying the Ranger's wiring diagram.
 
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jkaluski

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@Shadowdraxx I can do the microcontroller part, I'm looking to speed up the wiring and wiring harness part of the endeavour.
 

Big Blue

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@Big Blue I get that, the issue is that if the Chinese and Taiwanese suppliers would sell a case to me, they'd come in around $12.75/piece. I haven't found a retailer online who sells for under $60. As for reverse engineering the part that should be, and is, concealed from me would be the firmware/software on the chip. The "reverse engineering" (quotes b/c it's not really what the goal is) I'm looking for, of the leads, is just speeding up the process of studying the Ranger's wiring diagram.
Again physical parts are the least of the cost especially in quantity. The main cost of any thing is the intellectual property behind it. Which is what you are looking to "Steal" by what you are wanting to reverse engineer. As someone who has worked as a designer intellectual property is the most valuable thing a company has and is protected like gold.
 
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jkaluski

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OK, fair enough, I'll update my wording.

I want to start a club to design an open source mirror auto fold module. It will publish the work for free, along with whatever files will be needed to build one of your own. All files will be published, free to use, free to modify, and free to make money from. It'd be cool if you mentioned this club if you did, but not necessary.

If anyone can help draw the appropriate wiring diagram, it'd be much appreciated, and your name will be added to the list of thanks. You can draw informative, creative, and artistic inspiration from the published Ford Ranger wiring diagram, or any other factual data from any source, just don't copy the exact expression. But feel free to convey factual information from any data source in your own way.

I will attempt to create the software needed to operate the unit, and will gladly accept suggestions on how to go about doing that, along with which chips should be used.

Hopefully the parts will come in super cheap, the work will be easy, a community can be built to help each other when we're stuck or have questions, and we can stop paying the 400-1000% markup to retailers.
 

Ace Holliday

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I'm annoyed at the price that companies charge for $3.38 of components. Didn't say they weren't allowed, it just bugs me. I like to make my own stuff. I can't find any plans online, I was hoping that someone here could send high quality photos of both sides of the board, and the wiring harnesses that make up the Auto Fold Mirror modules they've purchased.

I'm going to try to build my own that I would then post plans for. I have a 3d printer and decent soldering skills, some programming knowledge and a bunch of components to play with.

Any other makers out there willing to help?
Design your own, sure, no problem. Copying someone else's is not legal or ethical. It's stealing. To save $60 bucks? Sheesh.
 

AverageWhiteGuy

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Design your own, sure, no problem. Copying someone else's is not legal or ethical. It's stealing. To save $60 bucks? Sheesh.
To be fair, those mods your buying from china are 110% copied. And I'm not entirely sure how you could patent a aftermarket auto folding mirror algorithm.. There is very low engineering costs, and even lower marketing, its a niche market. The same goes for one touch mirror down/up.

Alot of these features should have been added for a few bucks straight from the factory... literally the only things I miss from my Hyundai was one touch open/close windows on all windows. I think the "hard" part is decoding the canbus, assuming that's how they tell when to open and close the mirrors.
 

Kataphrakt

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Features like auto-fold, and one-touch windows in the NA market are often only installed if the vehicle has a door module to control these functions. Usually the vehicle would use LIN (a communication method between the main computer and other modules) to command the door module, and the door module would handle things locally while reporting statuses to the main computer. We've been seeing door modules become more common in the NA market because they'll handle all sorts of functions like auto-fold, one-touch windows, door locks as well as current limiting for all these features. These features are all possible without said door module, but in those cases they end up being handled by the main computer, or by the mirror/window motor/lock actuators which is fairly expensive. Generally, things go much more smoothly and reliably if the ECU talks to a door module and the door module only puts out power to each feature rather than the ECU talking to many parts from various manufacturers.

Most manufacturers in NA are going for auto-fold by route of the door module. EU it has not caught on as much yet (Ranger is modified from the EU design). Ford has previously tried applying auto-fold on their level without talking with the mirror suppliers, the result was "rough".
 

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