Toyota Prius Neep Kit (by Bill Powell)
Right after Coastal announced the Prius "Neep" kit (otherwise known as the "Audible Door Lock" http://www.coastaletech.com/horn.htm) I decided that I NEEDED one and called Kelley and then promptly forgot about it. The aforementioned brown package contained a few pages of nice instructions with color photographs, some red connectors in a baggie and a small module with 3 wires hanging out of it: a long Red wire, a short Black wire and a medium length Green wire - all with nicely installed, insulated "blade" connectors at their ends.
Tonight, while waiting for my dinner "date" I decided that I could install and test the kit while I was waiting for her to do whatever it is that women do before going out; I should have PLENTY of time.However, I was not near any convenient source of tools except for my faithful, trusty (trust to get cut EVERY time) Leatherman tool.
But time was not to be on my side: by the time I had all the screws out - a whole 5 minutes - and was ready to start popping plastic panels (all 2 of them) she had managed to sneak up behind me, asking "Are we still going to dinner? Do I NEED to drive?" Guess she pulled a "spare" face from the closet.
After dinner, I again dove to the task, removed the plastic panels below the steering wheel and grabbed for the white connector mentioned in the instructions - now laying somewhere in the back seat. "Black wire, Red stripe" - "Black wire, Red stripe damnit!" There AIN'T no !@#$%^ Black/Red wire in this connector!
A trip into the house followed by much grief: "Where in #%$&% is that %$&*^% Prius wiring book?"
"Oh - right at the bottom of the pile of manuals where I left it?.."
"J20 - "Black wire, Red stripe" "Yep - right there: Pin D". "Better haul the book out to the car just to be safe.."
Well - as best laid plans go - and this was no exception - no Black/Red wire in sight. I looked up the connector in the back of the manual and it looked completely different from what was actually in the car! "Damn Japs - can't get ANYTHING right!"
Well folks - Coastal DID say "the white connector" - Just that they didn't say WHICH white connector - you see, I had yanked the FIRST white connector I saw, not necessarily the white connector that has the Black/Red horn wire! But, in all fairness to me, Coastal "could" have mentioned: "The SMALL white connector DIRECTLY TO THE LEFT OF THE YELLOW AIRBAG CONNECTOR WHAT YOU SHOULD KEEP YER GREASY MITTS OFF OF"! They could have?
Well? I'll ignore that 45 minutes and charge it off to bad directions, fersure. They could have had a bigger picture with arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one? Where are those instructions anyway???
One very quick attachment of those famous Coastal red taps and it's time to put back the two dash panels.
Did I mention "Reverse Midas Touch"?
Did I mention that, every now and again I suffer from that malady? That cups of coffee have been known to levitate in my presence? That I'm on my THIRD phone at work? That ANY keyboard made by ANYONE other than IBM has a snowball's chance of surviving more than a month of my (ab)use? If not, and I'll assume not, I'll just skip all the colorful metaphors and purple haze that accompanied my very own slice of personal hell here on earth?.
One wire down, two to go?
The brown wire. When I actually got to making the attachment - after untangling the other wires and fishing the "Neep" module back up into the dash and back down again - twice - was hardly worth mentioning, so I won't.
Then there was one - the "dreaded" Green wire.
This should be a cinch since all the wires are out in the wide open: no squinting or banging my head.
Did I mention that getting old stinks? No matter which pair of glasses I'm wearing, they're NEVER the right ones? Under the dash - trying to replace screws that are only 3" from my snout - and I'm wearing my reading glasses since I truly intended to read the directions - honest! And I can't focus on a damn thing! Sigh?
Anyhow - back to the green wire. First - pull back LOTS of that black tape cause I can always tape it back up - someday. Next - find ALL the green wires. Then, drop all the green wires with stripes, leaving me with only two solid green wires: one skinny and one fat.
Now drop the skinny one and stick a red tap on the fat one and plug in the green wire from the "Neep" module and give it a try!
Click - </dev/null> ???
Click-click <more /dev/null> Wha???
Slam door - stand back - click <still /dev/null> &*^%!!! V)_(*^&&*!!! )(*^&^%!!!! ! ! ! !
Stomp back into house for multimeter / scope kit and stomp back out (It WAS where I left it)!
Unwrap meter cables and turn it on: <more /dev/null> &*^%!!! V)_(*^&&*!!! )(*^&^%!!!&*^%!!! V)_(*^&&*!!! )(*^&^%!!! &*^%!!! V)_(*^&&*!!! )(*^&^%!!!
Stomp back into house AGAIN to get batteries. (they are where SHE keeps them).
Replace 8 - Yes EIGHT double A Alkaline batteries and push the switch.
Hook up ground, take apart the "magic" tap on the BIG green wire and measure the voltage:
Click - squat???
Click - More squat!!!
Is this the RIGHT "heavy" green wire???
Go through the WHOLE wire bundle again and discover that - yep - it's the only BIG green wire.
Replace red tap on THE green wire, plug in the green wire from the "Neep" module and try again:
Click? Zilch.. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK - time to drag out the electronic WMD: The Scope!Eight (more) double A - $1.35 each alkaline batteries later:
Click - pulse!
Why is there a pulse since there should be a pulse but I'm obviously having one of those days where even basic primordial life is sneering at my agony and when I hooked it all up it didn't work so there shouldn't be any pulse cause it didn't work???
Put the red tap back on (one more time) and hook up the green wire from the "Neep" module.
Click - crap!
Is it finally time to turn to the dark side and buy a Hummer? This wouldn't DARE taunt me if I had a Hummer cause I'd rip it out, throw it to the ground and run it over and over till it was squished as flat as cellophane!
Finally, in desperation, I plug the scope into the red connector and see the pulse. It SHOULD work!
Then I looked at the connector on the green wire connected to the "Neep" module and found that it's blade (connection) was pushed ALL the way to one side: I had been plugging it into nothing!
Two seconds with the Leatherman pliers and Click - Neep!
Coastal Electronic Technologies, Inc
Audible Door Lock Kit
Outstanding - If you read them. And you should.
Ease of Installation:
Average (klutz + ) skills required.
Time to install:
30 to 45 minutes if nobody is standing over you and you use the recommended tools. Several hours otherwise.
Boo-boo covers required:
From the Kit: 0
From the Leatherman Tool: 1
Did I mention that I managed to put the red tap on the BIG green wire RIGHT where the white plastic thinggie that snaps shut to hold the wire bundle in place wants to be? Sigh?.
Behold: The Prius that goes "Neep"!