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Archives for : Wrangler

FLIR Thermal Night Vision on Jeep Wrangler

Here is something I wanted to do for awhile on my Jeep Wrangler. It is FLIR Thermal Night Vision. Check out the video. I explain what I did to create this nifty gadget


I used a old Cadillac “Night Vision” Camera that use to come on some of there models from 01-05. It truly is a Thermal “FLIR” Camera, not so much Night Vision, but has a similar purpose. This is the same technology used on Apache Helicopters and other military vehicles to spot the enemy at night since there heat is what the camera picks up.I mounted this camera to a GoLight Moveable spot light after removing the bulb and lens. I thought the camera would be smaller than it is and I would be able to mount it inside the GoLight, but it had to be mounted to the outside the still be able to get some up and down movement. The camera video feed is wired directly into my Jeeps Stereo head unit and can display the feed whenever it is selected. The joy stick is mounted directly below the head unit and has a great range of motion (would have a lot more if mounted ontop of the jeep). I turn the camera towards the grill when not in use to protect the lens from debris. Overall I accomplished my goal to have a moveable FLIR camera on my Jeep and I am happy with the results. I will be finding a different system to move the camera to replace to GoLight so that it all fits better and looks a little cleaner.

DIY Keypad Entry for JEEP Wrangler

So I went to a river this weekend for a swim and realized that I had no way to lock my jeep up without hiding my key through my back soft window and fetching it after to unlock the Jeep, and if I can do that, so can anyone that was watching me hide my key! Then my friend showed me how his “super cool SUV” had a keypad for keyless entry. I told him that I would add that feature tomorrow, and I did, and here is how it looks!

I had some spare water tight keypads laying around from some old projects I did, So I took one, hooked it up to a microcontroller (called a arduino) along with my spare key I got when I bought the Jeep and began writing some code. Basically what the micro controller does it watch the keypad, and if the right code is typed it will push the unlock button twice on the factory key (so it unlocks all the doors, not just the driver). This will also deactivate the alarm as well. Then when your done, you can push the arrow button to lock the Jeep back up. It works great and I did not ruin my factory key. I can still unsolder the wires and use it just like from factory if I ever needed. The Key is well hidden and locked up so no one can find it and use it to drive my Jeep away. I love this and wanted to share!


Walk-around of my Jeep

Watch this video to see it all. Its just a walkthrough of all the mods I have done to my Jeep. Its a good quick overview and I try to explain as much as I can.

Running Pressurized Water on JEEP Wrangler


Well a few weeks ago I figured out that the rear stock bumper will hold water very well. At first I thought it would hold 10 gallons, but looks like it is more like 7. Still more than the AEV Bumper! Anyways, i wanted to use that water as running water to hose off my jeep and me after mudding, hose down my scuba gear after diving, washing hands, ext. So Here is how I did it!


First, you need to seal your bumper. On a stock bumper there is 4 drain holes on the bottom to seal. For now, i just plugged them with stainless bolts. 

Then you need to drill a couple holes onto the top, I put one on the drivers side to fill the tank with a cap. The other side I hid between the fender and bumper, this is the pickup line, and is great here since you can not see it at all! I use a pvc pipe since it is rigid and sealed it well.


After this, I designed my outlet for the water to come out. I am going to be putting in a air compressor in the near future, so I went ahead and designed a panel that would handle both. I used a normal hose spickett so you can have multiple hook up uses. I have some cnc equipment, so I designed a nice panel and gasket to keep a good seal. 


Now, came the part that made me a little nervous, I needed to cut into the side of my jeep to hide all of the lines, but yet make it look cool and unique. So Here is where I cut the side of my jeep. Is is nice, because there is a lot of room behind here not being used and allows you to run your hoses outside the jeep and underneith it without drilling any more holes. You can run the hose up and over and it will drop behind your fender under the jeep. see pics.


I know I know, how could I do this! But, its no different then when you need to cut your hood for a PS Hood louver! (which I am getting from UPS today!) After cutting, make sure you paint any exposed metal to reduce rust in the future! I then installed my panel with its gasket, and it came out very nice!

The pump I used is a shurflo pump used on RVs. Mine gets about 3.2 gallons per minute at 55 PSI. What is nifty about these little pumps is that they automatically turn off when the pressure reaches 45 PSI. So what that means is you don’t need an extra on/off switch for your water. Whenever you open the nozzle/spicket, the water comes out, reducing pressure slightly, the pump sees this and turns on. Then when you close it it sees the pressure build up, and turns off! cool trick! It also self primes itself and can run dry without damage (will turn it self off automatically after dry for a few) I mounted the pump underneath the jeep above and to the side of the rear diff. There was a lot of extra space up there and it wont be hit. The lines hooked up to it and ran power straight to the battery.

You will need to get different fittings ext depending on the way you set yours up, but this is a general idea and gives you the idea to go out and do it! Check out both videos, it shows it all installed and working with a hose and the other shows it all setup before it was installed!


Arduino Powered JEEP Wrangler

This has been a long process in the making. I started with this idea awhile ago and tried out different ways to program microcontrollers. I first started with one of the “NerdKits”. Now this was a good kit, but when you were done with there tutorials, there wasn’t much more to do. I then went with the Arduino and I wish I would’ve started there! It is excellent for the beginner and pro. So this is my first arduino project and my first time really programming anything except HTML. So check out the video, then read on.

Before I used an arduino to control everything, I used actually switches as you can see in this picture

But this was definitely not good enough as I wanted to add more things and its just to easy. So the challenge was to make the JEEPuter. I first started out making it on a breadboard (i dont have pics of this) But after I had the basic idea in my head with a somewhat working prototype, I started building the housing for it. I used sheet metal and plexi for the faceplate. Along with using some label paper to make the art work (if you could call it that)

I used some basic Radio Shack momentary buttons and a 20×4 LCD display. It looks really good behind the plexiglass front of the faceplate. All of the connections hook up threw molex connectors to make it easy to work on. The random cuts in the plate are to make it fit in the tuffy overhead mount easier. It doesnt looks as ugly when installed as you can see here.

I used a Arduino Uno and left the whole board in there instead of making a standalone board so I could program it easier. The arduino is outputting all of the “outs” to 3 shift registers. One register is inside of the JEEPuter box, the other two are on there own board that is installed inside the relay box. Here in this picture you can see the Arduino with a screw shield above it with 3 relays. Two control the garage door opener and RF Garage Lights. The other is actually turnign power on to the shift registers. Reason for this is when the arduino boots up, the registers all go high. This is an issue when you have a starter hooked up to them.

Then the other two registers are on this board. This board I made specifically as the control board for the relays. It has two 595 Shift Registers along with 16 LEDs. Each LED represents an output coming from the registers. THis made it easy to program without hooking up all the relays and helps to troubleshoot. This board has  a 25 pin connection on it that outputs to each and every relay.
And then I had a breakout cable go from the 25 pin output to all of the relays. I only used 20 pins, 16 outputs, 2 grounds, 2 5v+. These go to each relay on theses relay boards I purchased on ebay. I could have made my own, but this was easier and better to have printed PCB for this.

The relays were then put inside a project box from radioshack. This helped insulate them from shorting out on the jeep and kept it all in one place. I used plexi and screw terminals to make hooking up easier. This was a bit difficult to get it all to fit as you can see in these next shots.

I then installed the shift registers board inside and added a fan to keep it cool.

There are also a couple of sensors hooked up that you can see in action in the top video. There is a Light sensor, Temp sensor and a RTC. (I may add a carbon monoxide sensor). the Light sensor value is brought into the arduino and divided by 20, then that number is used to turn off and on lights depending if its dark outside. (this is also selectable per light). You can change the sensitivity in the diagnostics mode. It allows you to tell when to turn lights on and light off. This gives you a dead zone so the lights don’t flicker when you get close to dark but still light out. These numbers will be saved in the EEPROM of the arduino. The Temp sensor just outputs F and C on the display. The RTC provides the time and date and you can change if its either Daylight savings time or not in the diagnostics. This helps so you don’t have to set the clock twice a year.

I also added another arduino (standalone)  that had a keypad attached to it with a couple relays that control turning on the power to the jeep and ignition if you type the code in it. So this gives you the ability to not need a key to use your jeep, only a code.

When you type in the code, it turns the Jeep on as if you turned your key to the “On” position. This then turns on all the accessories as well. There Starting of the engine is done threw the arduino JEEPuter uptop. The original key still works perfectly fine. To turn the Jeep off, you just hit the <– button on the keypad, and it shuts down. Check out the pictures to see the arduino setup for the keypad.

Download Source Code  <—- Its not pretty, its my first!