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MrDude_1

New Auto-Top solution

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Hello fellow RennTech members!

I have been lurking here for about 3 months now, and this forum has been extremely helpful. I never even have to ask a question, just do a search.

Well, I would like to give something back to the community, and I think I figured out something I can do. I’m a computer programmer that does microcontrollers as a hobby.

While I love my car, one of the things that annoy me is holding the top button down. When I first get in, I can tap the two window buttons, and they go down... why do i have to sit there and hold the top button?

So I was at work designing a simple solution to make the top behave like our power windows... a quick tap, and it auto-goes... a hold, and it stops when released.

A co worker came along and asked what I was doing. I was kind of excited about the project so I showed him. He asked me "How many are you selling?"

This just shows what a crappy business man I am. lol. It never occurred to me to sell them. I don’t even know if there is a market, but it’s simple enough to make for others.

So I thought about it... and i realised that i didnt want to go into busness. lol... but I don’t mind sharing what I made with everyone on the same forums that helped me with things on my car.

So, when I’m 100% done with mine, who would be interested in a simple plug-in auto-top? All things added up, I didn’t build it the most cost effective way, so it'll probably be about $50 shipped.

Note, I'm not selling it for a huge profit, and I’m not out to become a vendor or anything. If this steps on the boards toes in some way, just let me know and I’ll work with the board. Btw, note I'm NOT selling them yet, I just got my parts in UPS last night. I want mine bugfree before I make a few for some people...

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Count me in. Some one does make them but there absurdly expensive. I no engineer but the rest of my family are (E.E) and I know it ain't worth near what there charging. "I can't abide". Looked into doing one myself. No time, but no big trick though.

Regards, PK

BTW: In my research on the same, there's a weird feature in that top. After the light comes on and you let go of the button. the motor continues to run for a split sec to cinch it closed (or open). Also in it's circuitry, there is a stop if something obstructs it.

The people that make one are able to do it just as a replacement for the double relay.

Edited by pk2

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MrDude:

Sounds like a great idea, and it's nice of you to share. Count me in as a "possible".

The only thing that would concern me (and this may be why Porsche didn't design it this way) is what would happen to the top mechanism (or the clamshell) if the top were to malfunction. For example, if one of the inner drive cables retracts inside the sheath and is no longer driven by the transmission on one side, and the top keeps operating, the clamshell would be twisted into a pretzel before the plastic ball cups (or some much more expensive part, like the lug on the base of the main bow) exploded.

If you could design in something that would stop the top if there was some malfunction from increased resistance, that would take care of any potential problems. Note that the top, if everything is properly maintained and lubricated, can be moved with your pinky throughout its range if you unhook all of the pushrods.

Regards, Maurice.

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You will want to sign up as a sponsor if you start selling the product here. From guidelines:

No commercial posting, signatures, or profile statements (including images) are allowed. Please understand "advertisements" will be either edited or deleted, as it's neither "fair" to those who support this site - nor "us", the RennTech.org community.

· No personal soliciting of any kind for products, services, or funds.

I don't think you are breaking the rules by "testing the market." Sounds like a cheap version of my SmartTop. You might even get Loren to add it to the RennTech Amazon store.

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You will want to sign up as a sponsor if you start selling the product here. From guidelines:

No commercial posting, signatures, or profile statements (including images) are allowed. Please understand "advertisements" will be either edited or deleted, as it's neither "fair" to those who support this site - nor "us", the RennTech.org community.

· No personal soliciting of any kind for products, services, or funds.

I don't think you are breaking the rules by "testing the market." Sounds like a cheap version of my SmartTop. You might even get Loren to add it to the RennTech Amazon store.

i figured that, but i couldnt find the rules.. do you have a link to where you found that? also, who do i have to PM to talk about this kind of stuff? ive never really done it before.

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You will want to sign up as a sponsor if you start selling the product here. From guidelines:

No commercial posting, signatures, or profile statements (including images) are allowed. Please understand "advertisements" will be either edited or deleted, as it's neither "fair" to those who support this site - nor "us", the RennTech.org community.

· No personal soliciting of any kind for products, services, or funds.

I don't think you are breaking the rules by "testing the market." Sounds like a cheap version of my SmartTop. You might even get Loren to add it to the RennTech Amazon store.

i figured that, but i couldnt find the rules.. do you have a link to where you found that? also, who do i have to PM to talk about this kind of stuff? ive never really done it before.

Maybe you could send a PM to Loren.

Regards, Maurice.

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The only thing that would concern me (and this may be why Porsche didn't design it this way) is what would happen to the top mechanism (or the clamshell) if the top were to malfunction. ....

If you could design in something that would stop the top if there was some malfunction from increased resistance, that would take care of any potential problems. ....

I think They have that feature Marice, Just like the windows. If they don't, I think electric windows jus have a breaker of sorts/ To much resistance draws to ma amps and a switch is temporarily opened.

Regards, pk

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The only thing that would concern me (and this may be why Porsche didn't design it this way) is what would happen to the top mechanism (or the clamshell) if the top were to malfunction. ....

If you could design in something that would stop the top if there was some malfunction from increased resistance, that would take care of any potential problems. ....

I think They have that feature Marice, Just like the windows. If they don't, I think electric windows jus have a breaker of sorts/ To much resistance draws to ma amps and a switch is temporarily opened.

Regards, pk

Thanks for the clarification.

Regards, Maurice.

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I think They have that feature Marice, Just like the windows. If they don't, I think electric windows jus have a breaker of sorts/ To much resistance draws to ma amps and a switch is temporarily opened.

Regards, pk

Thanks for the clarification.

Regards, Maurice.

You know what, maybe the top doesn't have this feature (shouldn't doubt a convertable wizard). I'm going to bet an automatic stop isn't necessary. There's alot of torque at the transmissions because of the torquey little motor but it's largely dissipated by the time it gets to the cantilevered "cutting edge" of the top. I'm going to guess you could close the top on your jugular and the motor would just grind to a halt..maybe. Easy to test with a 2x4.

BTW: Did you ever figure out why your top wasn't stopping until you took your finger off the button?

Regards, Peter

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The window buttons definitely have something that stops the automatic roll-down/up if there's too much resistance because when my rubber is acting up and catching on the window, it will stop it halfway down.

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The Bahntech AutoTopII seems to be a good alternative solution to the expensive SmartTop solution. But even BahnTech seems a bit overpriced at $160 shipped. After all, it's really not that hard to hold your finger on the button for 12 seconds - so it doesn't appear to be worth much to most people. But it would be a nice-to-have. For me, is it worth $50? Yes. $100? Maybe. $150+? Nope.

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Seems like you could just swap a window switch into the top switch location -- but I haven't looked at the back of either switch and may be oversimplifying things.

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The window switches themselves are just momentary switches. They have nothing to do with the one-touch functionality.

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At onetime I was going to try to adapt the brain of a $40 Ebay "electric window Kit" with one touch & automatic stop and retract. It only had about a 3 foot travel though before it stopped itself regardless. It was at that point though that I knew couldn't shell out for a $300 smart top...with the same logic.

Some EE would probably tweak it for longer travel and jump it in...sell the plans?

Regards, PK

Edited by pk2

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i figured that, but i couldnt find the rules.. do you have a link to where you found that? also, who do i have to PM to talk about this kind of stuff? ive never really done it before

Guidelines/Rules are on the grey banner just under the RennTech logo.

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You know what, maybe the top doesn't have this feature (shouldn't doubt a convertable wizard). I'm going to bet an automatic stop isn't necessary. There's alot of torque at the transmissions because of the torquey little motor but it's largely dissipated by the time it gets to the cantilevered "cutting edge" of the top. I'm going to guess you could close the top on your jugular and the motor would just grind to a halt..maybe. Easy to test with a 2x4.

BTW: Did you ever figure out why your top wasn't stopping until you took your finger off the button?

Regards, Peter

Peter:

The best I could do with the old set-up (pre-2000) was to make it work correctly (i.e., shut off automatically and get the "top open" light off) when the top is completely open. The tripping of the lever on the microswitch above the clamshell was the key.

I think if you swap in a later relay, Version B transmissions with the integral B-Pillar microswitch that is relocated, and eliminate the lever/microswitch above the electric motor it would all work perfectly. I'm just waiting for a connector to replace the old style B-pillar microswitch and some nice weather. I'm going to test that set up in a couple of weeks.

Regards, Maurice.

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Peter:

The best I could do with the old set-up (pre-2000) was to make it work correctly (i.e., shut off automatically and get the "top open" light off) when the top is completely open. The tripping of the lever on the microswitch above the clamshell was the key. /quote]

God thats all I ever wanted. Have to revisit that. Last time I messed with it, the switch tested A.O.K.. I could have some one holding the button as the top came down while I pushed the lever/switch up and down.,,nothin.

My 4 year old is my spotter for when the clam shell is shut.

I think if you swap in a later relay, Version B transmissions with the integral B-Pillar microswitch that is relocated, and eliminate the lever/microswitch above the electric motor it would all work perfectly. I'm just waiting for a connector to replace the old style B-pillar microswitch and some nice weather. I'm going to test that set up in a couple of weeks.

You figure that will make a diff, I'm open, I'll wait for you DIY.

Regards, Peter

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