The six switches that control the various lighting features on our 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean model are located inside the car on the center console. While these switches are OK, they are not the easiest thing to get to as you have to open a door and reach inside to use them. In addition, these switches can fail, short out, and generally are not the best quality solution for repetitive use.
Over the past few months, there has been a lot of online chatter about a new product that Model Modz was working on to help us builders out with this concern. That chatter has now become reality with the release of The Wireless 1 to 6 Switch Mod and I knew I just had to have it! I hope this article can help other builders with their own installations.
The Wireless 1 to 6 Switch Mod includes:
- Custom Wireless Controller Board
- 7-pin Switch Ribbon Cable
- Power Extension Cable
- Remote Transmitter w/ Keyring
- Hook-and-Loop Mounting Pads
NOTE: When I installed The Wireless 1 to 6 Switch Mod, I had only completed up through Issue 74 of the build and still had the original main Circuit Board in the car. However, I did have The Power Mod installed already which is required for this mod to function correctly. If you are farther along on your model, you may have to remove parts to access the components and areas required to complete this installation.
First off, take a look at the main Board and identify all of the jumper connections. I have described all of them in the image below. Take special note of the positive (+) and negative (-) orientation of all four jumpers; the positive pins of each jumper are all towards the top of the Board.
If you are a builder who has modified their center console switch box to include the red/green jewel lights behind the TFC barrel switch (near the big red RESET button), you will see that you can connect your lights to the GRN (green) OUT and RED OUT jumpers with this mod. I am still using the stock switch box on my center console, but the option is there now for those who have:
There is also a wiring diagram I want to share here that may help along the way:
Connect one end of the 7-pin Switch Ribbon Cable to the white socket on the Board. Make sure this plug is fully seated:
Connect the female end of the Power Extension Cable to the 5VDC IN jumper (J1) on the Board, ensuring the polarity is correct:
On the bottom of the Board are two pads of pre-installed ‘loop’ material. We will use the supplied ‘hook’ pads to mount the Board to the car:
You can either stick the ‘hook’ pads to the mounting location first and then attach the Board to them… or, attach the pads to the Board now and stick the whole thing in place at the same time. I chose the later option and applied the ‘hook’ pads to the Board now.
The adhesive on these pads is quite sticky so be careful what it touches while you are handling the Board assembly:
At this point, you will need to retrieve your DeLorean and gain access to the spaces behind the rear bulkhead. Connect the male end of the mod’s Power Extension Cable to a spare power connector from The Power Mod.
I still had an unused power connector, so this step was quite simple. However, if you are already using all of your power connectors, you can remove one of them from whatever you are powering and connect that to the 5VDC IN jumper (J1) on this Board, then connect your existing mod to the 5VDC OUT jumper (J2) and they will both get power. This 5VDC OUT jumper is a pass-through power source:
Remove the existing 7-pin switch plug from the stock Circuit Board (the big flat one marked with ‘F’ and ‘R’):
I tucked my plug down in the space behind the Circuit Board. This plug and wiring will no longer be used:
Connect the free end of the 7-pin Switch Ribbon Cable to the now empty Circuit Board socket as shown. Make sure this connection is solid:
Mount the new Board to the bulkhead behind the driver’s seat. This may take a little patience, but it will fit in there with room to spare:
With that, The Wireless 1 to 6 Switch Mod installation is complete! I took this time to clean up the wiring a bit, tucking it under the rear shelf:
The Wireless 1 to 6 Switch Mod was actually a lot easier to install than I thought it would be and it works perfectly! I simply replaced the original switch plug for a new one and then powered and mounted the new controller Board. Now, my entire car is controlled by this wireless remote and I no longer need to open the doors to access the original switches:
The numbered buttons on the wireless controller match the original numbered switch functions and toggle the appropriate lights on and off perfectly. The ALL ON and ALL OFF buttons are very handy and do exactly what you expect, turning the entire car on or off at once. The Board even has a ‘sleep’ feature built-in that will go into a low power mode to conserve power when not in use. For those with center console switch boxes with the working red/green LEDs, the red one will stay lit when the car is ‘off’.
The range on the remote is estimated to be about 250 yards, but I can’t imagine anyone will need to use it from that far. There is a CR2032 button battery in the remote that is easily replaced when it runs low. The mod only includes one remote, but you can order additional remotes from Model Modz if needed (up to 50 per Board).
I never thought much about a mod like this, but when I started hearing about its possible release it made more and more sense. Overall, I think it is a great addition to the DeLorean build! It will especially be handy for those builders who are storing their car in a clear display case and do not want to have to get inside it to turn the lighting on/off. Thanks to Model Modz for their continued support of our little partwork community, keep up the great work!