Building my K.I.T.T.

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2023-04-03 - Installation of the MP3 module
  • Already in 2009, I had bought an MP3 module for K.I.T.T., which could play up to 50 individual sentences of K.I.T.T. at the push of buttons. We wanted to install it in the car in 2010 and connect it to the switchpod, but it never happened, although we had even presented this function during a report at German TV channel DMAX.
  • Technical data - module 1:
    • 512 MB integrated flash-memory
    • 14 LED outputs
    • Audio via 3,5 mm output
    • USB-connection for title update
    • up to 50 single sounds by "number input" (1, 2, 1-2, ...)

  • Instead, I had a simple MP3 player in the trunk all these years, through which I played K.I.T.T.'s sentences in continuous loop at meetings and events. The playlist has a duration of more than 30 minutes and K.I.T.T. says something every 10 seconds, which always fits quite well with the fact that people look at him and he doesn't like it very much. That also worked quite well.
  • But I get a lot of questions at trips - for example, when refueling - whether the car can also talk. Then it would be too time-consuming to quickly start the MP3 player in the trunk, which is why I planned to install the MP3 module at some point, but then I never did.

  • In 2020, I bought a newer compact MP3 module, which should be able to play 10 sounds at the push of a button - and if one presses the same buttons longer, 10 other sounds or playlists can be played. Another advantage was that not every contact had to be soldered, but a ribbon cable could be plugged in. I spent several days assigning the correct connections in the vehicle and making the module ready for connection. Due to its compact size it was very fiddly and also technically the module never really worked as I imagined it, so I put the project aside again...
  • Technische Daten - Modul 2:
    • Memory via Micro-SD card
    • Audio output via 8-Ohm speaker or AF contact for headphone jack
    • Button assignment with single sounds (short press) or any playlist (long press) - this allows double assignment of the buttons

  • After a tip at the end-of-season meeting, I got a third module at the end of 2021. This time the size of 11x6,5 cm was much better to handle. For the connections there were single screw contacts, so that soldering in the vehicle was not necessary and even 20 sounds can be controlled directly by pushbutton. Alternatively, folders with several MP3s can be created on an SD card, from which a random one is then played. This offered even more possibilities and more variety.
  • Technische Daten - Modul 3:
    • Memory via Micro-SD card or USB flash drive
    • Audio output via 8-ohm speakers (headphone jack)
    • Button assignment with 20 individual sounds
    • Integrated relay to control functions (I removed it, because it clacks and is not needed)

  • On 22nd March 2023 I finally began with the installation. To cope with the already beginning cable chaos under my dashboard, I built a plate that distributes all new connections and where the buttons of the lower console meet and are supplied with 12V. In addition, I added connections and distributors to the 12 V socket of the video player, a voltage converter to 6 V for the small sacnner light on my photo board under the rear window, which can now also be controlled via the lower console... and of course the MP3 module. I mounted this panel under the dash so that all connections could be neatly routed.

  • Now I also connected more buttons from the switchpod and the center console. On the latter, all the red buttons were still available, which originally controlled my halogen scanner. Since the change to LED scanner, however, the buttons were unoccupied, so that they wer now be available for 6 different sound file retrievals (KR melody fanfare as "horn replacement", 2 single sound files, turbine noise / scanner noise or both, several music files, a folder with more than 170 sound files from the MP3 player for random single retrieval.
  • A total of 8 buttons were assigned to the switchpod: Different sound file groups (greeting, functions, complaining, sayings, goodbye, turbo boost sound, a notice about the ejector seat) and a button to cancel the respective running sound output.
  • And with this, after almost 13 years, K.I.T.T. can now finally "speak" "spontaneously" at the push of a button...

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