Radar Detector Install

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edgreen
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Radar Detector Install

Post by edgreen » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:02 pm

I ran power to my radar detector over the weekend. Simple mod -- good first project.
2007 M Roadster; Escort X-50 Radar Detector with the little remote module (2 LEDs and a mute button)

This is what it looked like:

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I didn't like the black cord; I didn't like leaving the ashtray door open; and the detector gets better performance when mounted higher. I will eventually move it up under the grill, but for now I just want it mounted high and without cords. The box on the cigarette lighter plug has the same functionality as the remote module.

First step is to remove the visors:

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Take out the Phillips head screw (there's on just like it on the other side). Then the center trim pops off, with a bit of tugging:

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Remove the one plug (circled). Then pull the pillar trim pieces out and up. There are no clips (like in the door panels); the rubber gasket holds these things on. Picture of the right side with the trim removed:

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The remote module has a power and ground wire, and a phone line that connects to the detector. The phone line is a 4-conductor cable terminating in a RJ-11 modular plug (it's what hooks up telephones in the US). The power line has a 2A in-line fuse. I cut that off, since I tap power using an Add-A-Circuit gadget in the fuse box, and I put a 2A fuse in that. So, the circuit is protected, and I won't have to remove any panels to replace a fuse. The power and ground lines are too short for my configuration, so I added some hook-up wire. I used Posi-Lock connectors http://www.posi-lock.com/ the best way to hook up wires. These provide a connection as reliable as soldering, and much easier to undo. Since space wasn't a constraint, I used the slightly cheaper "posi-twist" connectors here, which operate more like wire nuts:

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I positioned the remote module in what seemed like a good location (turns out it wasn't; more on that later). I had a feeling I might want to move it around, so I left a coil of pwr/gnd wire (red circle) and phone line (blue circle), zip-tied to the cable already routed up the left pillar:

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Up the left side and around the corner:

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Across the top to the center. I ran both wires through an existing metal bracket. Here I dropped out the phone cord, and continued the power line across the top:

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Then down the right pillar:

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I removed the right vent cover -- one Phillips head screw in the upper right corner, and one in the lower left, behind the drink holder (the holes for both are circled in red). I found a nice place to tie off the ground line: a 10mm nut secures the air passage tube to a bolt that connects to the frame (blue circle). I cut off the ground wire here and crimped on a ring connector:

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Open the glove compartment; push in two tabs in the top, and the whole compartment swings down, revealing the fuse panel (unplug the glove box light). There's a passage from the fuse panel area to the area behind the right vent, so I ran the power line through there, zip-tying it out of the way of the retracted drink holder:

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I tapped power using an Add-A-Circuit fuse tap http://www.amazon.com/Littelfuse-FHA200 ... B0002BGELQ I installed it in fuse slot 6 -- a 10A, ignition-switched line that runs power to the reversing light switch. Slot 2 is actually a switched spare, but the dealer used that one when they installed heated seats. Here, I used an in-line Posi-Lock connector:

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Test functionality, and put all the panels back in place. I thought I was done, with the remote module right on top of the instrument cluster, where I can't miss an alert indication (which I thought would be important, if/when I move the detector under the hood and lose the audio):

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BAD IDEA. First, the remote module, and its wire tail (which I ran straight forward to the windshield, then in the slot between the dash and the windshield over to the left pillar) reflected in the dashboard. All the time. Worse, at night, I got two reflections (from parallax) of the green LED on the windshield right at eye level. Plus, the wire tail snaking across the dash just didn't look clean. So, pull the visors, center panel, and left pillar trim back off, and reposition the remote module to the far left:

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Perfect. Here's the whole set-up:

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With the detector right there, I don't even need the remote module (there's a mute button on the detector as well). With this particular model, though, it's the only way to remotely power the detector, without probing out the phone line to figure out which lines are power and ground.

Next project: Find a place to punch through the firewall, and move the detector up under the grill. Any ideas on that?

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WLH
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Re: Radar Detector Install

Post by WLH » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:25 pm

edgreen wrote:Next project: Find a place to punch through the firewall, and move the detector up under the grill. Any ideas on that?
Nice work... :thumbsup:
I recently installed a STi-R Plus which is a remote radar detector. Near where the steering wheel passes through the firewall there is another hole for the sound generator. This is the opening for the sound generator on a non ///M. On the ///M there is a rubber plug in the hole. This is an easy place to get a wire passed through the firewall. On the inside of the car the location will be just above the break pedal.

Putting an X50 under the grill... :o
Won't it get wet?
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edgreen
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Re: Radar Detector Install

Post by edgreen » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:59 pm

WLH wrote:This is the opening for the sound generator on a non ///M. On the ///M there is a rubber plug in the hole.
Cool, thanks. Next to an unused wiring harness already installed (a la the CD changer audio cable in the trunk), this is just what I need. I'm curious, though -- are you saying the ///M doesn't have the engine sound feedback into the cabin? Or does it just come in somewhere else?
WLH wrote: Won't it get wet?
I'll put it in a plastic container of some sort; K-band EM doesn't seem to have any trouble penetrating the windshield...

Going through the firewall on the left should work nicely. Since I left that coil of phone wire in the left pillar, I have plenty of line (and room) to put a splitter in there, clip the line and install plugs on each end, and then run another line forward under the grill. That way I can move the detector between its current spot (high, and with audio) and completely hidden, as desired. The currently apparent problem with this scheme is finding a mounting point under the hood. It looks like I have to go in from underneath to get behind the grill. Where did you mount the STi-R Plus?

Anyway, that's the next project. Right now I'm just glad to have the thing tied into the vehicle's power. :)

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WLH
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Radar Detector Install

Post by WLH » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:51 pm

No sound generator needed with the S54 engine.... :driving:

Antenna Location..
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The antenna actually preforms very well in this location and it is water proof. The speaker, CPU, display, controls and GPS antenna are all located within the car. I also run an Escort Redline mounted high center and the STiR Plus out preforms the Redline in almost all cases.
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SamUK
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Radar Detector Install

Post by SamUK » Thu May 07, 2015 10:59 am

WLH wrote:No sound generator needed with the S54 engine.... :driving:

Antenna Location..
Image
The antenna actually preforms very well in this location and it is water proof. The speaker, CPU, display, controls and GPS antenna are all located within the car. I also run an Escort Redline mounted high center and the STiR Plus out preforms the Redline in almost all cases.
What is this?

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