Golf IV Brake Pedal Switch

I have a -06 Golf IV Variant and in one day it lit some warning lights to my instrument cluster.


EPC and Engine warning light lit and cruise control not working. Naturally I fired Google up and found that broken brake pedal switch can cause all of those problems. Running Ross Tech’s VCDS’s Measuring Values for cruise control confirmed the case. As one may know, cruise control needs to know when brake pedal is pressed that you don’t fight the engine. In the link provided is info how to check (with appropriate cable and downloaded VCDS-software) if the brake pedal switch is faulty or not. When I checked mine, it turned out that one of the two switches inside that brake pedal switch did not work. So I went to a local dealer and bought a new one for 20€. After fitting that in place I cleared all the DTC’s with VCDS and measured values again. All passed!

Some pictures of the process.

Here is the old one in position.


To remove it, it has to be twisted counter clockwise a bit.


Then it can be removed.


Empty space.


In hands.





A new one.




VCDS: No braking.


Braking. When braking, last two digits in Bin Bits-section must be 1, as they are now.


Happy driving!


I made a little cutters for cutting in half all kind of tablets. These are made of 3mm stainless steel sheet. Design is quite rough but I like them that way. They are meant to be in everyday use, so scratches are inevitable.

This is where I started, a sheet of metal and a freehand drawing.


I welded two plates together with mig.


The drilling has started. I was going to make this with freehand.


After some cutting.




Things are getting in shape.


After that I milled slots to avoid misalignment. I milled only 1mm deep and bent the rest of halves. Since fitting halves to the milling machine was a bit difficult, I had to use a file also.


Here we are getting some rough shape.


I cut the blades to correct length and sharpened the other blade. From a drawing you can tell that I forgot to make that little curve that keep spring in position. But no worries, I got it in the other route.


Since then I changed to a softer spring, made some guardian rails for it and put a new bolt for keeping halves together.

And polished them too.



And that’s it!




A New Toy

I have got my hands on a new toy. A dividing head.


But it lacks a tool for tightening objects in to the chuck. So we need to make one.

I took a 22mm diameter shaft and measured that square hole has a 10mm side. So I need to take 6mm off from each four side of  the shaft. Chuck has a wheel of 36 teeth and one can lock those teeth in position, one at the time. A quick calculation gives that when the first side is milled down 6mm, 18th teeth must be locked in and then milling can continue. After that 9th teeth locked and milled. And the last 18th teeth and milled. (Of course this can be done by 9 teeth at a time.)

Her we are in the middle of the process.


When all sides was milled, I bored a 13mm hole to the shaft. At first I used a center drill bit and a lubricant and then I gradually moved from 6mm to the big one.


All I have to do is to cut those 22mm and 13mm shafts in convenient length and make some adjustments that 13mm shaft don’t slide through the hole in 22mm shaft. And of course to do some grinding. Shafts are just some ordinary steel (st52 or something like that) so I am not expecting them to last too long, but time will tell that. On the other hand, I don’t believe that this dividing head (and its new tool) is going to get too much attention in its current location. Conveniently other chucks around the shop uses a different size of a square tool.


Here is the Machine behind all of this..


And no, I don’t own it, I just can borrow it and facilities around it.

Remember to use at least safety goggles (and Colin’s safety tie ;) ) when using metal working machines!



Arduino, LCD and DS1820

As I mentioned in previous post, I might use those DS1820-sensors. And I did. Platform is the same, but enhanced by one little but mighty sensor. (Actually that sensor can be seen in previous post also.) Those little things are packed full of technology. They look like an ordinary transistor but that fools you a lot. They measure temperature quite a wide range (–55°C to +125°C) and convert analog readings to digital in no time. Multiple sensor can work in the same line because every one of them have it’s own unique serial number. They have also some other tricks in their sleeve, your favorite search engine will tell to you a lot about them.

When measured temperature is already converted to digital values, it is easy to get those values to Arduino, for example. Code is in Git. Code is released under gnu gpl 3 and is patched together from others contribution with a little bit of my own code.

This apparatus measure temperature values and shows them in Celsius degrees in LCD. Video below.


Arduino, LCD, Rotary Encoder and Ikea USB-LED

Update 21.5.2014: Here is the source code:

Yes, Arduino, a piece of electronics that divides people. Some of us like it and some of us hate it. I like it.
Some time ago I bought 2 Arduinos at once and started to play with them. At first my goal was connect an Arduino to LCD and display some data on it. Then I realized that I have a rotary encoder and it would be fun to use that component as well. I digged code snippets from internet and found many ways to connect a rotary encoder to Arduino. Some of them used external capasitors for debouncing and I did not like that. Then I found Ben Buxton’s home page and used part of his code to make things click.

I also had some DS1820 temperature probes lying around and I decided to connect also them to Arduino. Maybe later more about that topic.

I found a simple aluminum enclosure. I modified it a bit for my components to fit in and started coding. As I am not a real coder, I simply searched code from the internet and modified it to suit for my applications.

This code does following:

When powered on string on LCD is displayed “LED dimming test”. After that display goes blank. When one rotates encoder LCD shows either string “Minimum value reached!” or up going numbers. Simultaneously with up going numbers the USB LED from Ikea starts to shine. The more the numbers grow the more LED shine, until it reaches the max value. When that happens LCD says “Maximum value reached!” User can decrease or increase the level of the numbers and brightness simple rotating encoder. Numbers change 5 unit per one encoder click, min is of course 0, max is 255.


Here are some pics and video.





Changing Head Gasket for 2001 Clio

After I changed the cabin heater radiator to my ’01 Clio it was obvious that it was not enough. Overpressure in the cooling system was still a problem.  After driving, even if the car was not started in 12 hours, there was still so much pressure in the coolant system that if one opened it, a loud psssshhhh was heard. Next thing to do was to change a head gasket. Here are some pics of the process.

This was the starting point.

And some progress.


Cleaning cylinder head with sandpaper.


Engine bay, top of the cylinders cleaned.


Old gasket was a bit worn..


Closer look.




Fitting a new one..


Tightening order.


After this point I kind of forgot to take pics.  But repairing succeeded and there was no more overpressure problems.

Sail on!

Toy Repair

I received a caterpillar toy for a repairing.

The metal slots holding up the front shaft keep getting stuck with the shaft’s cranking mechanism, and obviously stopped rotation. The other slot is clearly visible in this picture(red arrow), and also is the way I finally got it right. (Those short white plastic tubes.) At first I tried to make a sheet metal support inside of the metal support frame, but there was no room for that, shaft’s corners came in the way.


Here are the tubes, marked with red arrows. Plastic tubes don’t let the shaft move too much sideways and that way cranking mechanism can’t get in touch with the slots. It is not perfect, it still get stuck sometimes, but it is a way much better than before. I saw the owner’s test-drive and it went okay.


Wooden wheels came off by just pulling hard enough and that way I could just slide in the tubes.

I found those plastic tubes from my part collection of a torn apart devices. Oh, and I had to use a file on the corners of the shaft to make things smoother.

Black bar’s other end is connected to caterpillar’s rear end.  The cranking mechanism makes the toy move like a real caterpillar. It is a quite clever invention, but execution is poor, tolerances are too big.

Toy was made by a good quality company, which make me kinda sad, they used to make good toys in the old days.. But on the other hand, one have to remember, this is the only one example of company’s many many products and maybe this was made on Monday.. ;)

Sail on!