Cheap and Easy Headlight Reminder

Discussion in ''How To' & 'Handy Hints'' started by MattB, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    It hasn't happened yet, but Murphy's law says it will one day; I'll forget to turn off my headlights. I often find myself driving in the morning when it's dark, and getting out of the car when its light, so my lights aren't the first thing I necessarily think of.

    So to make sure that I never end up with a flat battery from leaving my lights on, I hooked up a simple headlight reminder buzzer to sound when the headlights are on and my door is open.

    There are kits you can buy from places like JayCar that essentially do the same thing, but they cost more (one at JayCar was $25), are much more complicated, take longer to make and install and require you to be able to solder circuit-work (something which not everyone can do). The JayCar kit also needed to be hooked up to your lights, doors, ignition, power and earth.

    All my solution requires is a cheap piezo buzzer like [this], which you can get from any electronics store, and some wire or alligator clips.

    Firstly I traced the parker light power wire back from the headlights to the fusebox. On my '76 it was the second post on the first fuse as shown below. I then connected this to the positive side of my buzzer. Next I hooked up an alligator clip to the doorswitch and then connected this to the negative side of the buzzer. The result: when the parker lights are on and the door opens the buzzer sounds. When the lights are off nothing happens.

    Here are the pics:

    The fusebox:
    The photo's not the best but the camera was running out of battery and I couldn't get a good angle.
    [​IMG]

    The buzzer:
    [​IMG]

    And the doorswitch:
    [​IMG]

    There are advantages to the kit I looked at though. It only went off when the ignition was off and then the door was opened with the lights on. The buzzer timed out after 10 seconds. And It could be hooked up directly to the ignition so that as soon as the ignition was off and the headlights on the buzzer sounded. None of these really appealed to me too much, and with how much simpler my solution was I'm happy with the trade off.

    It's been working great for a couple of days. All I have to do now to replace the alligator clips and solder it all in, but that's just to tidy it all up and make it less likely to accidentally earth and start buzzing for no reason. You could just wrap the exposed metal with electrical tape and keep the alligator clips if you wanted. And if you run the wires up under the dash you can't even notice it.

    Anyways, I just thought I'd show anyone who was interested. I hope it stops at least one person getting a flat battery :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  2. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,326
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Mate that is so awesome. Well done.

    VOTE 1 STICKY!
     
  3. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks Dingo :) I forgot to upload in my last post what the buzzer sounds like. I recorded this on my phone, but you get the idea. It's annoying as hell but I guess that's good in this case :p I had to upload it in a zip as mp3s aren't allowed as attachments.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,326
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    I reckon the funniest thing is that once you go through the process of installing it, you'd be so in-tune with the whole idea that lights might be left on, you'd be less likely to actually make the mistake if you know what I mean.

    But still, for when you DO forget, or when your friend who drives a fancy car (like from the 90s or something) with this option from the factory borrows it, it's a cracking idea.

    I'm gonna give it an unreserved..

    DINGO SEZ PHAT

    rating. That is quite an endorsement, I assure you.
     
  5. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Lol yeah, that's exactly right. I found I've been leaving the lights on on purpose just so I can hear it :p Once the novelty wears off at least then the buzzer will still be there.
    I'll be sure to tell everyone I show it to about your endorsement :p
     
  6. Van Housing

    Van Housing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,414
    Location:
    Williamstown Vic
    Great idea Matt! :) Thanks for posting that - we'll be doing the same with our kombis... cheap but effective!

    [​IMG]

    (and yes I am a serial battery-flattener, especially on foggy mornings...)
     
  7. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,326
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    I strongly advise you do that. Otherwise people might not really understand just how phat your invention is. :cool:
     
  8. davidp.

    davidp. Member

    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    newcastle
    Damn..brilliant....having already left the lights on a few times, I'm going to hook one up A.S.A.P.
    Thanks,
    David
     
  9. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,326
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Okay... Idea...

    Thinking about the time when you might want to have the door open and leave the lights on, why not put a wee switch in the circuit, meaning you can turn the contraption off (of course you'd have to remember to flip the switch for everyday usage.

    Ya dig?
     
  10. Van Housing

    Van Housing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,414
    Location:
    Williamstown Vic
    A switch would be easy to add in... it could be neatly added into the dash, or just below.

    but then there'd be the likelihood I'd forget to turn it back on... :eek: :D
     
  11. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Yeah I thought about that too, but knowing my luck I would forget to flick the switch back after using it.I was just going to make it so that I could disconnect it easily from the fusebox if I had to have the door open with the lights on. I don't see myself often having to though :p At least that way, as its a little more work to get it to stop making noise, I'm less likely to forget to hook it back up.

    Still, if you did want to put a switch in it would be a piece of cake. It could be added anywhere between the fusebox and the earthing switch on the door.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  12. greenbay

    greenbay New Member

    Messages:
    2,460
    Location:
    newcastle
    I don't need to concern myself with forgetting to turn my lights off...i have an earth problem somewhere and once i turn the ignition off Tick Tock keeps running until i turn the lights off:cry:
    Jay
     
  13. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Don't be silly, that's a selling point! :p

    Ah well, at least you'll never forget your lights.
     
  14. StevieVW

    StevieVW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,465
    Location:
    Somerset, Tasmania
    I put one of these in my bug about two years ago. best thing ever except when you get out with the lights on with the car running. I've been thinking about running it through a 12v relay with a set of normally closed contacts that open when the ignition is on so it doesn't beep when I get out with the lights on with the car running...

    Stevie
     
  15. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I thought about a similar setup, something that could monitor the ignition, but I very rarely find myself opening the door with the ignition and lights on, and it's a lot more work than a simple buzzer and some wires :p If it ends up annoying me I might have a look into it though. If you do hook up a relay I'd love to hear how you do it :)
     
  16. ttmck

    ttmck Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,783
    Location:
    Hallett Cove STH AUS
    sticky done !! i urge every one to think about this great post good to see your thinking about every one else and not keeping such ideas close to your chest. well done again matt
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  17. Van Housing

    Van Housing Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,414
    Location:
    Williamstown Vic
    Woohoo Matt! Well deserved! :)

    [​IMG]
     
  18. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Cool, I got a sticky :D I just thought I'd share something I found useful.

    I'd love to hear from anyone that's hooked this up to their Kombi, just to make sure it isn't just me it works for :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  19. davidp.

    davidp. Member

    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    newcastle
    Hi Matt,
    Congrats on the sticky.
    Hooked mine up yesterday as per your instructions. Only tricky part was finding the appropriate connector to put the alligator clip on. Mine ('75 bay) was on the same one as yours. Works like a charm. Whole job took maybe...30 min.
    Thank you.
    Cheers,
    David
    :)
    P.S. Forgot : My door switch had two connector lugs...when I connected it to one of them, it sounded with door shut..on other one only with door open.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  20. GypsyWannabe

    GypsyWannabe Active Member

    Messages:
    3,059
    Location:
    Quakers Hill, Sydney
    Hmmm... I had a tap on the shoulder at the soccer grand finals this morning.. "Do you own that kombi?", the guy asked. "She's not for sale", I said. "No. You left your lights on", he said. :eek:

    I might have to have a go at this too!

    Baz
     

Share This Page