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 Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod

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81X11

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PostSubject: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:43 pm

Big thanks to my friend Jay Beausolɘil here. Added a auto-dimming electronic-compass mirror with LED reading lights to the Roadmaster wagon.

As received. These are hard to find without the Temp (don't need it, have Temp readout on climate control in the Roadmaster) but WITH the auto-dimming and reading lights. This came from an Oldsmobile Intrigue.


Backside. Can see the light sensor.


LED reading lights, and these also act as dome lights when you open the door on the Roadmasters.


Installed


The LED reading lights are WEIRD! When you look at them in the daytime, they are orange and blue LEDs, but the light they produce is WHITE! Wild!





I JUST put this in.  I'm still not done. Compass is showing C for Calibrate. I changed the zone from 8 to 6 for Texas, and held both light buttons to put it in Calibrate mode, then drove slowly in circles. Still showing C. I'm sure it will come back to life shortly.


Toys!

- Texas Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:12 pm

Mike,how brite are those reading lights,I have the old style compass mirror with the reading lights just like the original mirror and they are very weak at best?
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:14 pm

Flasheroo wrote:
Mike,how brite are those reading lights,I have the old style compass mirror with the reading lights just like the original mirror and they are very weak at best?

They're about the same as the ones I took out of my Roady. I had the auto-dimming with lights, just no compass. They do LOOK a little different.

I like the new blue compass a lot better than the back digital-watch looking one my '92 OCC had.

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:17 pm

Your OCC has the exact same black readout as mine!What took so long with your reply! lol!
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:01 pm

Plug and play?
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:10 am

As long as your existing mirror has the 7-pin flat plug, then Yessir!

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:25 am

SO after spending 20-mins driving in circles Wednesday evening TRYING to get the compass to calibrate, I reached out to my friend Jay that I got the mirror from, and drove over to his house last night.

He took the mirror apart, it just un-snaps, the trim around the glass itself comes off. Found the issue right away. Helps if the compass module is plugged in to the main circuit board! Plugged it in and I drove back to Dell, and in three-circles in the parking lot, the compass LIVES! Thanks Jay!

Before calibrating the compass, drive the vehicle to a area that is magnetically clean (free of large metallic objects).

1. Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF.
2. Simultaneously depress and hold both map lamp buttons. A number will come up first, this is your region (Texas is 6), the compass will default to the factory setting of 8. Use the right and left map lamp buttons to change the region number to your region (found mine on Google)
3. Release both buttons, then press again. Hold until the region number comes up again, and then it will go out and a "C" is displayed (in approximately 10 seconds).
4. Drive the vehicle in circles at a speed of less than 5 MPH (8 km/h) until the "C" is replaced by a proper vehicle heading. If three circles to the right does not re-set it, three to the left will. The calibration procedure is now complete.


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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:51 am

I dont know about that mirror,Mike...It seems to have a floating black rectangle obstructing part of the view. Looks kinda dangerous. scratch
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:25 pm

Andebe wrote:
I dont know about that mirror,Mike...It seems to have a floating black rectangle obstructing part of the view. Looks kinda dangerous. scratch

lol!
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brokecello
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:38 pm

That is pretty slick!  I found one from a '99 Intrigue....adding it to the mod list Smile  

  Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:13 pm

Andebe wrote:
I dont know about that mirror,Mike...It seems to have a floating black rectangle obstructing part of the view. Looks kinda dangerous. scratch
Nevermind the floating black rectangle,what about your GIANT loose screw?
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:29 am

Flasheroo wrote:
Andebe wrote:
I dont know about that mirror,Mike...It seems to have a floating black rectangle obstructing part of the view. Looks kinda dangerous. scratch
Nevermind the floating black rectangle,what about your GIANT loose screw?

There is no repair known for that issue..... Wink
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Dutch Pete

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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:07 pm

Cool, nice mod
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:53 am

Texas Mike - is this a GNTX-221 mirror? I pulled one of those out of a Lincoln after seeing this post, and it works great except the dome light feature works in reverse! I'm going to have to mod the mirror to get around it. I'm wondering if your mirror is a different model or if there's some sub-model difference between the two. The Ford variant expects +12V when the door is open, the Buick completes the circuit via ground when the door's open, which explains why the lights work backwards.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:34 am

lamune wrote:
Texas Mike - is this a GNTX-221 mirror? I pulled one of those out of a Lincoln after seeing this post, and it works great except the dome light feature works in reverse! I'm going to have to mod the mirror to get around it. I'm wondering if your mirror is a different model or if there's some sub-model difference between the two. The Ford variant expects +12V when the door is open, the Buick completes the circuit via ground when the door's open, which explains why the lights work backwards.

I didn't notice the model number one it, but it came from an Olds Intrigue. Being GM it must be set up the same as the Buick, since it was a "plug-n-play" mod in my car.

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:20 am

If you happen to look at the back, the model number is molded in the plastic. I'm guessing it's a GNTX 221 but I'm not sure, obviously.

I threw a CMOS inverter into the Ford mirror and now it works as expected. And since we live in the future and have real white LEDs, I figured while I had it apart I'd replace them too. Why not?





I think the real white LEDs look a lot better at least. One other note- the wire cover doesn't fit exactly as it does with the stock mirror. Could be another Ford-specific thing, but it's close enough to work.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:58 am

Its hard to believe it takes all that stuff in there to run a "mirror."
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:00 pm

Yeah, no kidding- there's a lot of stuff in there!

The hardest part of the swap is getting the old mirror off. Smile

The FSM says to lever it off the mount using one hand as a pivot point between one end of the mirror and windshield and to pull it off with your other hand at the other end. I tried this and I wasn't comfortable with the amount of force it was taking- the old mirror started to come apart.

I used a plastic chunk as a block and a small rubber mallet to tap the base upward and pop it off the mount. That seemed to be less likely to cause damage.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:46 am

Yep I HATE the snap-on mirrors!! Thankfully the Olds mirror has a torx screw!
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:43 pm

Ok folks, a follow-up here on my Compass-Mirror. I let the Roadmaster sit for a week, and found a nearly-dead battery when I went to pull it out last weekend. Turns out the LED Intrigue mirror is the issue.

Found this info Online:

On the Olds Intrigue GLS, the car’s BCM controls the mirror power. The Intrigue BCM applies power to the hot wire of the mirror as soon as the door is opened and will cut power after 10-minutes if the ignition is off, so that allows the domelights and map lights to appear to function normally. You can't sit in a non-running car with the map lights on for longer than 10-minutes because they'll shut off.

The mirror, and mentioned, has LED map/dome lights that are electronically controlled. Instead of hard switches for the map lights that lock in an on/off position, the map light switches are rubber soft-touch switches, same as the autodim on/off. This seems pretty cool at first, but that also means the electronics in the mirror stays powered up with the hot feed so that the map lights can work.

Worse, for some odd reason I can't figure out, the VFD filament is hard-wired to the hot wire as well. This means the hot/standby circuit in this mirror uses 200mA at all times (checked with my multimeter). That much load will drain a good battery in just a week or two. I had opened my mirror and wired in a tiny relay to kill the filament when the ignition is off which worked fine, but the electronics in the mirror (microcontroller) for the domelights and such still uses 80mA which will drain a battery in 2-3 weeks.

Interestingly, also as noted, the mirrors predate low cost white LEDs, so they have a bunch of amber and blue LEDs whose light blends together to simulate yellowish incandescent light. It's actually pretty cool.


For now I went to Harbor Freight and bought a $10 plug-in battery maintainer, the same ones I use on my boat and motorcycles. I left it plugged in all this week, and the car fired right up this morning. I feel a little silly plugging my wagon in…but since it’s really only used for weekend fun/cruise-ins and such, it’s not really an issue to sit in the garage all week plugged in. I’m told for daily-driver use, as little as the mirror pulls, it’s fine, but for those that park your car for days or weeks, this is something to consider before trying this mod.

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:36 pm

Mike - as a habit I leave my car plugged into a battery tender at all times, so I haven't seen this issue. But- I will do some tests sometime this weekend and see if I can validate this behavior.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:19 am

I drove the Roadmaster a bunch this weekend. No issues. And it's becoming a habit now to plug it in when it goes into the garage, so it's fine for now. That said, I don't like having any draw on the battery, so may look for a "fix" or another mirror, even though I really think the LED's are cool.

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:29 pm

well, thnx for the good tip
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:57 pm

I can confirm the same behavior. With the mirror plugged in, idle current from the battery is 202mA. With the mirror unplugged, 20mA.

I've got the car on the battery tender, but I will at some point try and figure out why this happens.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:24 pm

Well...I installed mine today. (getting a new windshield Fri because...well...let's say the old mirror was really attached to the windshield and they didn't want to separate)  

I missed this new addition (battery draw).  Let me know what you guys figure out.  I keep mine on a tender anyhow (same reason Mike does)  so I'm not worried.   I do like this mirror a lot though!!

 

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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:02 am

Looks great Chris, and yes I agree it's a big improvement over the stock mirror!

-Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:09 pm

I like it. Going to get one for my C10 as it does not have a dome light.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:54 pm

Well guess it's my lucky day. Walked into the junkyards and first car I come across is a 98 Intrigue GLS. Can you believe it? Grabbed that mirror up. Really didn't want a compass, wanted outside temp. Interesting thing, the display has the charactors to display temp.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:07 pm

MalibuSSwagon wrote:
Well guess it's my lucky day. Walked into the junkyards and first car I come across is a 98 Intrigue GLS. Can you believe it? Grabbed that mirror up. Really didn't want a compass, wanted outside temp. Interesting thing, the display has the charactors to display temp.

Yes the Temp is in the face but not the electronics, unless the car has the standard climate control and not the digital climate control. Much like the Roadmasters, the Intrigues with the digital climate control have the ext temp readout on the control head.

If you don't need the reading lights on your Malibu, just get a mirror out of a 96-2002 full-size GM SUV. Those have both the compass and temp, but no reading lights. You will need to get the temp sensor from behind the grill too, and run wiring to it in your car, but it's not a big deal!

I recently put one of these in my father-in-law's '02 Silverado LS pickup that never has the electronic mirror. Got it from a '01 Tahoe. Easy and GREAT mod!





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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:29 pm

I was looking for a mirror with map lights since it's going into my C10 that does not have a dome light. The compass/temp readout would just be a bonus.

The mirror I got is a GNTX-208, according to internet sources is very rare as it was only available in the 98 Intrigue GLS. Has the LED map lights and all. Mine is a snap on however, no torx screw.
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:05 pm

I have the mirror on the bench for testing, but I haven't gotten around to figuring out yet what the source of the excessive current draw is. I'll get around to it sooner or later. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Roadmaster Wagon Compass Mirror Mod   Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:53 am

Ok, I guess I'll call this "later" rather than "sooner", but I finally got around to re-visiting this mod. Mainly because it started giving me trouble.

So to recap, there are two issues when retrofitting one of these GNTX-221's. The first issue is that the interior light input is backwards- it wants +12v when the lights are on, but our cars connect the circuit to ground when the lights are on. The second issue is that the thing draws about 200mA when the car is off, which doesn't sound like much but can certainly kill a battery if left sitting for weeks.

So to re-address issue #1: My CMOS IC died for some reason, but reviewing the way the circuit works it just uses a relay to connect ground to the interior lights, so there's no reason why you can't use a little relay to invert the interior light signal. The coil is connected across +12V constant power and the switched interior light input. I had already severed the connection on the board from the light input pin, so the relay's contacts are connected to the circuit input and +12V constant power, giving the mirror the input it wants with a nice simple mod.





Issue #1 solved, hopefully permanently this time.

The second issue is a little more complex. However with some circuit tracing I was able to find that the heater for the VFD is on all the time. I broke the trace that feeds the heater and the idle current dropped from 200mA down to 50mA. Still a lot in my opinion, but quite a bit less. I tried a few things to see if I could drop that idle current further, but nothing really seemed to help much. Even killing the +5V power to the microcontroller didn't change idle current much. It did, however, make the lights behave weird because it looks like the microcontroller has to boot before the lights work.

So in any event, all we need is something to turn the heater on and off with ignition switched power. I used an IRF510 MOSFET to do this. I bent the leads around and stuffed it behind the compass board, and with a couple of resistors and a feed from the switched power lead we have idle current dropped to a fifth of what it was before.







Incidentally, with the lights on, the compass running and mirror darkened the whole mirror draws about 350-400mA.

Hope this helps. I have a second mirror I can retrofit, and do a better job on now that the hacked up prototype seems to work. The second time around, I'll see if I can kill all power to the mirror after a time delay and leave it off until the door is opened or ignition is switched on, like how the Intrigue or Lincoln behave. I can hopefully reduce standby power to microamps.
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