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PowerFC extension lead


JimX
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I've seen a few people discuss this in the past but couldn't find any specific threads on it. I decided to try it myself the other day and it works!

Basically what you need is a IBM PS/2 (as opposed to Sony) keyboard or mouse extension cable. Generally speaking the shorter the better to save space. They generally cost under $10 from most computer parts shops or Jaycar. I got the shortest one I could find, which was 1.8m.

You have to modify the cable though to get it to fit. Here are the steps outlined briefly for anyone wanting to do this themselves.

1. Cut one of the pins off. I can't remember which one it is off the top of my head but you are best off confirming it via your Commander rather than relying on my info anyway. Use a pair of fine nosed pliers and bend the pin back and forth until it snaps off at the base. Be very careful not to bend the adjacent pins, but when I did it I found it pretty easy to avoid bending the others.

2. This step is much trickier and is more of a hack job than the first step. You have to shave down the plastic post in the middle so it will fit in the PowerFC socket. I tried a variety of methods and I seemed to need a combination of everything to get it just right. First I used a pair of wire cutters to snip off a bit of the top and bottom, but I couldn't get it all the way to the base and it left some plastic dags on the post. I then used a modelling knife and a pair of small scissors to shave off the dags as best I could. This still left it wider at the base than at the top, but it was narrow enough to fit into the socket.

3. Plug the cable into the PowerFC, and the Commander into the cable. Turn the key to "on" and the Commander should light up as normal. If it works, then put everything back together and coil up the excess cable between the ECU and the guard. That's my recommendation only, you can run it wherever you like. Once it's there, the tip of the cable can be poked up under the panel above the kick panel and to the left of the glovebox and it's not visible at all. You can then reach up and pull the cable out whenever needed.

If anyone's still wondering what the point of this is, it's to make the Commander much easier to remove from the car when needed. Like when you're dropping off your car to a mechanic or auto electrician for repairs/maintenance and you don't want it stolen, just unplug it from the more easily accessible cable and take it with you.

Also you can stop the apprentices from taking your car for a hoon. When you get to the workshop, change your redline to 3500rpm or so which will leave the car drivable for road tests, then unplug the Commander and take it with you. Of course it's not foolproof (ie, if they have their own Commander), but it does greatly increase your chances of your car not being wrtten off by teenage test pilots.

Of course you can do both of the above things anyway, but it's much more difficult reaching up to the top of the PowerFC directly. The extra cable makes it much easier.

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Good work Jim.

I have done this myself and actually have rigged up a PS2 socket in a din plate next to some gauges for easy/neat plugging and unplugging of the FC Commander. 2 x 50mm guages and a FC commander port in a DIN.

To build it i found a mini DIN/PS2 connector scavenged out of an old PC case and wired up a harness to a PS2 extention cable I hacked.

Now im looking to get some small Apexi decal made to surround the port and finish the job. Ill take some photos when its finished and in the car.

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Jim and sewid,,,,You guy's are legends. I was going to buy the real extension lead, but this sounds like more fun. I just love a bit of DIY.

Thanks Boy's

Neil.

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