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      07-08-2020, 02:32 PM   #1
wifes first bimmer
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Carbon paddles w/ LEDs & Vibration; sport/eco dependent

link to video -
https://photos.app.goo.gl/UsNYCuFFGEVbANQY7

After 3 years of working on this project in my spare time, I have finally completed my first revision of fully functional paddles. It has been quite a journey and a learning experience indeed. Twice through this project, I thought I toasted something on my very expensive (to me at least) car
once, the wipers would not stop working, another time there were transmission faults both times, the issue could have been avoided by just disconnecting the battery (which I didn't out of laziness).

Tools required are a
- 3D printer, carbon fiber kit
- wires and general small terminals
- 2 arduino pro-mini or any other small AVR chip with atleast 8 GPIO pins to drive the LEDs and Vibro
- custom made paddle PCBs
- CAD software such as Freecad or solidworks

And finally, a priceless resource - one that made this project possible - https://www.newtis.info/

Nevertheless, here is the result -



I will try to add as many relevant pics as I can find, if there is any interest from members who want to make their own and improve upon the design. I am also willing to share my PCB files, CAD design files, any schematics, etc.

I absolutely love using the paddles now, I simply can't stop shifting. I glued a suede backing on the rear of the paddles, so they also feel very high end.

I also thought about adding a heater to the back, but there is simply no space anymore .
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Last edited by wifes first bimmer; 07-09-2020 at 04:52 PM.. Reason: typo, put the video link on top
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      07-08-2020, 04:38 PM   #2
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Here is a close up of the paddle.

Turned out a little hairy in the hidden places behind the spokes.

I still need to fill the holes but wanted to be sure of the position of the PCB first.

I had some help from a friend (I am sure he is on this forum, but doesn't post much). He helped with the CAD work and also the carbon fiber wrapping. The first layer of carbon looked ugly - so we kept adding layers until the carbon looked tolerable.

There are 5 layers pf carbon on one paddle and 6 on another; wrapped in various directions making the paddle ridiculously rigid; dare I say, probably unbreakable?

We also reverse engineered the paddle interface to the switch and made a "bump" higher so it pre-loads the rubber switch.

the result? ... a very crispy paddle feel, there is no slop, whatsoever!
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      07-08-2020, 08:15 PM   #3
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I appreciate the ingenuity and creativity but they are comically big. Quite the project though
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      07-08-2020, 09:01 PM   #4
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I'd love to see pics with the LEDs lit
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      07-08-2020, 10:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VipinLJ View Post
I'd love to see pics with the LEDs lit
It's in the posted video above. Looks pretty cool honestly
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      07-09-2020, 02:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqwinny View Post
It's in the posted video above. Looks pretty cool honestly
Thank you! Idk how I missed the link to the video. I kinda like it too. Except that the paddle shifter is a wee bit too big for my taste. Excellent job by the OP nonetheless.
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      07-09-2020, 10:48 AM   #7
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bigger is NOT always better

You are both absolutely correct, in that they are rather huge. I accidentally downshift with my knee occasionally and I am not a particularly big fellow.

I am making a next revision of PCB already, where the paddles are shortened.

But, another flaw, which I am sure someone will bring up, the paddle curves inward so much that it loses any leverage at the top, not so much at the bottom. The next revision, will address those 2 issues. I eyeballed some aftermarket paddles.

This time around, I am going to incorporate the ATMEGA chip in the paddle itself, not going to use an Arduino pro-mini to reduce thickness. Also the LEDs have placements on top AND bottom, so 1 paddle will serve as left AND right.

I am also pondering if I can use the vibro in the steering wheel at my shift points but I kind of like that the paddle itself vibrates.

I am also considering making the downshift paddle vibrate when I squeeze the brakes (I found brake pressure on PT-CAN1 by the way).
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MODS: Turbo Transformer boost controller, ECO-SPORT auto selector (home brew), Electronic boost gauge vent mounted, RPM based LED Carbon paddles

WISHLIST: BM3, HPFP, Turbo + IC + water ... new car eventually

Last edited by wifes first bimmer; 07-09-2020 at 11:04 AM..
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      07-09-2020, 11:38 AM   #8
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Since a user PM'd me, I think it is worth mentioning to everyone. The instruction is sent to the paddle by using an empty pin on the 6 pin connector in the steering wheel clock spring like shown in the pic.

If you take a close look at the video you will notice the car shifts into sport mode and then back into ECO ...

I did not mention that I made another device that automatically switches the car from ECO to SPORT when you floor it, and then back to ECO when you remain below 25% throttle for more than a few seconds. I will try to post another video that shows it a little better.

To be specific, this is another Arduino pro-mini (yes, I love open source) paired with a CAN Bus module, under $10 hardware. This unit also sends how many LEDs to illuminate and whether to activate the vibration motors AND also controls the driving modes on the car. It sends this information to the paddles over the wire shown in the picture. The paddle gets its power and ground source from existing wires in the steering wheel.

The Arduino by the shifter has access to lots more data. I am considering making a data-logger so I can monitor brake pressure, steering angle, rpm, throttle, etc. like this -

IDs with X look interesting but I still don't know what that stuff is

215 x
217 x
143 positive longitudinal accel on col 3 (unconfirmed)
165 (engine speed 2nd to last column) ***
2024 (column 5)
239 x
919 *** Throttle position as position 4 confirmed, check position 3 as pedal
243 *** engine speed (unconfirmed)
417 *** vehicle speed (unconfirmed) (column 4,5)
709 ***
770 *** steering angle confirmed (columns 4,5)
841 x
915 x
596 *** 4 wheel speeds pairs of data (original data format little endian) 0x7fff 0mph

Here is a sample of the data stream -

328i PT-CAN1 AT 750 APPROX RPM idle

-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 18D
1 48 A FE 7 0 7F
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 347
FF F5 20
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 2C4
E8 5E FF 64 64 64 0 F0
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 1E1
80 FC 1 FF FF FF
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 346
3B F4 21 FE
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 19A
94 FD 98 7E 0 20
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 2A6
0 F8
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 37E
FF FA 22 12 22 12
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 213
A2 18 30 FD
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 518
0 0 0 0 FE 0 0 18
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 33B
A8 7C 5C 70 20 0
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 254
FF 7F FF 7F FF 7F FF 7F
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 19A
39 F2 8F 7E 0 20
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 19F
B3 F4 5 80 0 20
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 254
FF 7F FF 7F FF 7F FF 7F
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 301
73 10 3 81 FF 7F 11
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 8F
BF 19 F5 7C 22 0 6C 10
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 2F0
74 30 FF
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 137
FD 6A
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 225
9D FB E0 E0
-----------------------------
Get data from ID: 289
59 FA E0 E0 E1 0 EC 1

I can post the whole file if there is a request but it is rather meaningless.
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MODS: Turbo Transformer boost controller, ECO-SPORT auto selector (home brew), Electronic boost gauge vent mounted, RPM based LED Carbon paddles

WISHLIST: BM3, HPFP, Turbo + IC + water ... new car eventually

Last edited by wifes first bimmer; 07-09-2020 at 11:59 AM..
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      07-09-2020, 01:35 PM   #9
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found some older pictures and videos during the design

The project actually began on my wagon which is long gone. Some images from the prototype stages along with a video -

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eEp...ew?usp=sharing

After this stage, I drove the car around for 3 or 4 months without the airbag and wires and open electronics hanging everywhere to make sure the system is reliable. LEDs were constantly burning out or coming apart because of excessive handling. At one point, a paddle started to smoke because of a cheap voltage regulator.
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      07-09-2020, 02:28 PM   #10
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Damn. BMW should offer you a job! Incredible job
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      07-09-2020, 04:41 PM   #11
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thank you

Thank you for the kind words; but I must say, no thanks ... I'm from Detroit, I've worked for a few car companies, tier 1 suppliers and even a few aftermarket companies; paid the bills, didn't complain that it sucked a$$. I'm way over that.

Now I work for a really small company (under 9 people, non-automotive) and absolutely love it - no politics, no ball licking, just honest sincere work.

My last interview at a big company was with Tesla (few years ago now). The final interview went on for 7+ hours on-site, at Palo Alto, CA. I hate to tell you that I never felt so stupid and berated in my life. Then I didn't hear back for around a month - although, their answer was pretty obvious after a few hours into that interview.

In hind sight, they did me a favor otherwise I would not be working remotely during S-I-P.
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      07-09-2020, 05:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wifes first bimmer View Post
Thank you for the kind words; but I must say, no thanks ... I'm from Detroit, I've worked for a few car companies, tier 1 suppliers and even a few aftermarket companies; paid the bills, didn't complain that it sucked a$$. I'm way over that.

Now I work for a really small company (under 9 people, non-automotive) and absolutely love it - no politics, no ball licking, just honest sincere work.

My last interview at a big company was with Tesla (few years ago now). The final interview went on for 7+ hours on-site, at Palo Alto, CA. I hate to tell you that I never felt so stupid and berated in my life. Then I didn't hear back for around a month - although, their answer was pretty obvious after a few hours into that interview.

In hind sight, they did me a favor otherwise I would not be working remotely during S-I-P.
I can imagine. It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do as long as your happy.

And Tesla’s loss is all I can say
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      07-11-2020, 02:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wifes first bimmer View Post
Thank you for the kind words; but I must say, no thanks ... I'm from Detroit, I've worked for a few car companies, tier 1 suppliers and even a few aftermarket companies; paid the bills, didn't complain that it sucked a$$. I'm way over that.

Now I work for a really small company (under 9 people, non-automotive) and absolutely love it - no politics, no ball licking, just honest sincere work.

My last interview at a big company was with Tesla (few years ago now). The final interview went on for 7+ hours on-site, at Palo Alto, CA. I hate to tell you that I never felt so stupid and berated in my life. Then I didn't hear back for around a month - although, their answer was pretty obvious after a few hours into that interview.

In hind sight, they did me a favor otherwise I would not be working remotely during S-I-P.
What a spiffy project it looks great overall. Agreed the paddles are a bit too big so version 2 being a little smaller would greatly improve the design. The RPM based LED's is really cool. Maybe make the LED's closer together and have them placed only at the top of the paddle to make a cleaner look? Maybe even a multi-colored LED strip. Not sure if you can have specific parts of it light up specific colors though (green, orange, red etc) but I'm sure you could figure it though lol. Good job.
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