ALP Hifi Keypad pinout for switches

Tb12

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Planning on adding some integrated switches to my ALP hifi, and hoping to do so without hacking up my hifi controller cable. Luckily, since it's RJ45, extensions are readily available and I can hack up one of those instead :)

Some quick poking around shows that the menu button shorts the green wire pair, and the power button shorts the brown and white-with-green-stripe wires.

From this, I'm assuming white-with-green-stripe is a ground and the other two lines use pull-up resistors. Anybody know if this is correct? If this is ground, I assume this ground is also used elsewhere on the hifi module. Is this an isolated ground or chassis ground?

The switches I want to use have a common ground nominally connected to the chassis ground, so I'd love to only have to run the two switch wires instead of tying the switch ground in as well.
 

Saussie

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I'd like to learn about this as well to stealth the controller a bit more.
 

Tb12

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I'll post up after I figure out the wiring and my setup once I get things working. I'm waiting on the proper connector for my switches from Alibaba so it'll be at least a few weeks until I have it all installed, but hope to bench test this week.
 

Saussie

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Wiring diagram would be nice. (even though it's only a couple of wires, let's get it right hey haha)
Element 14 probably have some nice quality switches to choose from too.
 

Rossm812

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There's a thread somewhere and haven't been able to find it yet. Someone opened theirs up and soldered wires directly to the button pads to use more factory buttons.
 

Dukes

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There's a thread somewhere and haven't been able to find it yet. Someone opened theirs up and soldered wires directly to the button pads to use more factory buttons.
 

Saussie

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I've not viewed that thread before. That's excellent.
Anyone replaced the control pad with their own controller wiring setup? RJ45 wired from the box to whatever anyone feels like? Such as a modded oem switch or any switch or your choice that suits, so you don't have to open the original controller and solder to it?
I've never found out where to get another controller from either if it was to crap itself?
 

Rossm812

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I've not viewed that thread before. That's excellent.
Anyone replaced the control pad with their own controller wiring setup? RJ45 wired from the box to whatever anyone feels like? Such as a modded oem switch or any switch or your choice that suits, so you don't have to open the original controller and solder to it?
I've never found out where to get another controller from either if it was to crap itself?
You'd likely have to buy another complete Hifi kit, which at $100 isn't terrible. I'm going to guess, however, and I may be wrong - but the basic control and the Hifi likely use the same board and just don't have the audio pigtail soldered to and/or audio IC isn't soldered on or something.... But it's permanently destructive to open them up.

Thanks, I couldn't find it for the life of me.

I'd almost like to find a spare hifi controller just to do this with on my benz. Maybe ALP would be wise to offer (for a premium) a module you can connect your own switches or harness into. That or a Hifi advanced that has another pigtail and harness for switches and LEDs. It would be simple for them and they could simply offer no support past that module/connection point.

In order to get a good wiring diagram you would almost have to open one up and meter from the switch itself across the circuit to the end of the wire... It may not be a straight connection to the CPU.
 

SquirrelMaster

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IIRC, Here is what the pinout on the rj45 connector is:
  1. Data
  2. Data from control set to alp
  3. GND
  4. 5v power for control set
  5. Data/signaling (not sure what this line is used for)
  6. Menu button (3v3 pull up, active low)
  7. 12v power
  8. Power button (12v pullup, active low)
 

Tb12

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I've not viewed that thread before. That's excellent.
Anyone replaced the control pad with their own controller wiring setup? RJ45 wired from the box to whatever anyone feels like? Such as a modded oem switch or any switch or your choice that suits, so you don't have to open the original controller and solder to it?
I've never found out where to get another controller from either if it was to crap itself?
That's basically my plan, but leaving the hifi unit in place. I'm using a M-F RJ45 extension and peeling off the two lines for the switches to an OEM switch unit.

I did just confirm that the common line (white with green stripe) is indeed chassis ground, which makes this a lot easier!

I'm going to see what happens wiring my custom buttons in place of the hifi buttons. If the pull-up resistor is on the control box, this will work great. If not, I'll need to wire my switches in parallel (which has the added benefit of leaving the hifi unit fully functional).
 

Rossm812

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That's basically my plan, but leaving the hifi unit in place. I'm using a M-F RJ45 extension and peeling off the two lines for the switches to an OEM switch unit.

I did just confirm that the common line (white with green stripe) is indeed chassis ground, which makes this a lot easier!

I'm going to see what happens wiring my custom buttons in place of the hifi buttons. If the pull-up resistor is on the control box, this will work great. If not, I'll need to wire my switches in parallel (which has the added benefit of leaving the hifi unit fully functional).
Sounds like maybe finally a use for one of these...

121767


You'll have to keep us posted on what you find.

This would be something I'd be interested in tinkering in just not enough time and can't afford replacing a CPU/Controller if something happens.
 

Tb12

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Sounds like maybe finally a use for one of these...

View attachment 121767

You'll have to keep us posted on what you find.

This would be something I'd be interested in tinkering in just not enough time and can't afford replacing a CPU/Controller if something happens.
Hadn't considered a splitter, that's a great idea. I'm not too concerned about frying something as long as I don't hop on any lines I shouldn't - Momentary switches are pretty simple, and given the PCB images I've seen of the hifi unit I doubt any actual processing is done on there (unless there are some hefty components hidden on the backside I haven't seen... but I doubt it). A splitter is even better because then I don't even have to introduce another chassis ground or an ugly splice! Thanks for the suggestion.
 

SquirrelMaster

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I made these breakout boards for another user on rdf. I still have 9 pcbs left so I can probably solder up a few more and send em out.
Basically they plug in between the cpu and control set and break out the two buttons on screw terminals.

IMG_20190420_154140.jpg
 

sdrawkcaB

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I made these breakout boards for another user on rdf. I still have 9 pcbs left so I can probably solder up a few more and send em out.
Basically they plug in between the cpu and control set and break out the two buttons on screw terminals.

View attachment 121768
I would love to buy one from you.
 

Saussie

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I made these breakout boards for another user on rdf. I still have 9 pcbs left so I can probably solder up a few more and send em out.
Basically they plug in between the cpu and control set and break out the two buttons on screw terminals.

View attachment 121768
So you basically add your desired switch and away you go? If so, that's easy as.
I've been thinking about this and basically thought hacking the controller was easier, rather than redesign it from scratch, but looks like you've sort of done it already, but managed to get the best of both worlds. @SquirrelMaster
Also thought this was why Bluetooth was added, as a phone makes it look stealthy, until the battery goes flat on the day you need it most and you've forgotten your car charger (Murphy's law).
How come people don't like Bluetooth? Is it the delay in transmitting the signal, opposed to instant alert by cable and quicker control? Or touchscreen hassles?
I've yet to buy the heads for my setup to be complete, but I'm still working out best way to mount the in car stuff. I'm also working on hiding the heads in an enclosure, with a switch activated actuator or something that tucks them out of sight or flips a lid over them. Recently got a second set of grill/bumper vents to cut up for this idea, so I don't have to destroy my originals, and I can take measurements, contemplate an enclosure design around them.
Mainly thought of this incase the car gets looked over in a traffic stop, or it's impounded by police for whatever reason. I wouldn't have access to the car, and they might look over it for a considerable time. Out of sight out of mind. Maybe overthinking things but if other people are going to such lengths to hide stuff, guess it's not just me and not a stupid idea.
 
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Rossm812

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How come people don't like Bluetooth?
.....

I've yet to buy the heads for my setup to be complete, but I'm still working out best way to mount the in car stuff. I'm also working on hiding the heads in an enclosure, with a switch activated actuator or something that tucks them out of sight or flips a lid over them. Recently got a second set of grill/bumper vents to cut up for this idea, so I don't have to destroy my originals, and I can take measurements, contemplate an enclosure design around them.
The problem I see is with Bluetooth it actually completely disables the HiFi controller. It flat doesn't work anymore. I find myself only using Bluetooth to change stuff or update... I don't like relying on a phone battery and having to keep it plugged in. The menu button I guess will JTK.

There is someone here that used solenoids of some kind with a couple inch throw to hide/pop out heads. No real enclosure if I recall but visibly hidden when parked. Pretty cool stuff. Before you spend too much R&D time, get heads mounted and tested to see if they'd be effective in those locations first.


I made these breakout boards for another user on rdf. I still have 9 pcbs left so I can probably solder up a few more and send em out.
Basically they plug in between the cpu and control set and break out the two buttons on screw terminals.
I second @sdrawkcaB I messaged you last night while I was still awake. If interested let me know.
 
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Saussie

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The problem I see is with Bluetooth it actually completely disables the HiFi controller. It flat doesn't work anymore. I find myself only using Bluetooth to change stuff or update... I don't like relying on a phone battery and having to keep it plugged in. The menu button I guess will JTK.

There is someone here that used solenoids of some kind with a couple inch throw to hide/pop out heads. No real enclosure if I recall but visibly hidden when parked. Pretty cool stuff. Before you spend too much R&D time, get heads mounted and tested to see if they'd be effective in those locations first.




I second @sdrawkcaB I messaged you last night while I was still awake. If interested let me know.
I agree with placement first before R&D. There's only 3-4 places on my car I can fit the heads. After that, I'll have to cut the bumper or something. From top to bottom (before the bonnet starts) the car only has about 50cm or less, or about 18inches in USA measure. Width is about 150-160cm or 60 inches Max. 2-3 heads should be solid.
If anyone can find the post about solenoids I'm keen for a look. Edit - I searched and found "Retractable heads". Looks to be the one! Many thanks. I thought an enclosure with a lid maybe better to keep things level, but I'm open to ideas. Many thanks for this tip!
 
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InsipidMonkey

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I made these breakout boards for another user on rdf. I still have 9 pcbs left so I can probably solder up a few more and send em out.
Basically they plug in between the cpu and control set and break out the two buttons on screw terminals.

View attachment 121768
Nice work! I'd be interested in one as well.

A similar one could be made to emulate a Uniden/Escort "smart cord", with +12V/GND (or 6P2C) in and a 6P4C out with screw terminals for a mute switch and alert LED.
 

Tb12

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I made these breakout boards for another user on rdf. I still have 9 pcbs left so I can probably solder up a few more and send em out.
Basically they plug in between the cpu and control set and break out the two buttons on screw terminals.

View attachment 121768
This is brilliant. Would save me a lot of splicing. Definitely interested in one (and happy to do the soldering).
 

SquirrelMaster

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Okay to those that posted here and pm'd me, I'll order the rj45 jacks I need and get them sent out. Pay for shipping and I'm happy.

I'll let you know when the jacks show up and the boards are ready to go. Soldering them up really isn't a big deal for me.
-- Double Post Merged: --
A similar one could be made to emulate a Uniden/Escort "smart cord", with +12V/GND (or 6P2C) in and a 6P4C out with screw terminals for a mute switch and alert LED.
Also what?
-- Double Post Merged: --
So you basically add your desired switch and away you go? If so, that's easy as.
I've been thinking about this and basically thought hacking the controller was easier, rather than redesign it from scratch, but looks like you've sort of done it already, but managed to get the best of both worlds. @SquirrelMaster
Also thought this was why Bluetooth was added, as a phone makes it look stealthy, until the battery goes flat on the day you need it most and you've forgotten your car charger (Murphy's law).
How come people don't like Bluetooth? Is it the delay in transmitting the signal, opposed to instant alert by cable and quicker control? Or touchscreen hassles?
I've yet to buy the heads for my setup to be complete, but I'm still working out best way to mount the in car stuff. I'm also working on hiding the heads in an enclosure, with a switch activated actuator or something that tucks them out of sight or flips a lid over them. Recently got a second set of grill/bumper vents to cut up for this idea, so I don't have to destroy my originals, and I can take measurements, contemplate an enclosure design around them.
Mainly thought of this incase the car gets looked over in a traffic stop, or it's impounded by police for whatever reason. I wouldn't have access to the car, and they might look over it for a considerable time. Out of sight out of mind. Maybe overthinking things but if other people are going to such lengths to hide stuff, guess it's not just me and not a stupid idea.
Yup two screw terminals and you can add your own buttons that work alongside the buttons on the controlset. Or use some spare buttons existing on your car that pull down to ground. Shit you can even connect one wire to your hood switch so you JTK by popping the hood.... Go crazy lol.

As for Bluetooth, personally what I don't like is having to get my phone out every time and set it up to be able to properly use the system.
The hifi works awesome and is loud enough to hear even with music up. I only really use the Bluetooth for firmware updates and reconfigs. Plus with bt you have yet another thing that can crap out. Two actually; the Bluetooth connection and the phone/app.

Problem is when the system switches between hifi and bt, it completely reboots. Murphy's law waiting to pounce lol
 
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