Installing a Aux In and Garage Door Opener Into Dash

Whoa! Long title. Ok… Where to begin. Everyone has done this, at least those who are fortunate to own a MINI. Two immediate mods one attempts is the Euro Parcel Shelf, and installing an Aux In. The Euro Shelf sits below the steering wheel, and replaces the knee bolster. It adds a tiny bit of […]

Whoa! Long title.

Ok… Where to begin. Everyone has done this, at least those who are fortunate to own a MINI. Two immediate mods one attempts is the Euro Parcel Shelf, and installing an Aux In. The Euro Shelf sits below the steering wheel, and replaces the knee bolster. It adds a tiny bit of room to hold small items. Perfect for a CD, garage door opener, or any other such item that is small in height. The Aux Input provides a mini stereo jack (1/8″) input for an iPod or any audio device with a headphone port (or line out).

Many people install the aux input in the shelf – this is a simple as:

Drilling three 2mm pilot holes

Drilling a 10mm hole in the middle

Mounting the plate with the two screws provided, and then attaching the aux input to the plate – NOT to the plastic. The input was designed to fit on the metal plate provided, not plastic – a 10mm hole is larger than the Aux Input input end. Therefore, the Aux Input should pass completely through the plastic if the plate is off.

However, I decided to step it up one level further, as some people have ventured, and installed my garage door opener into the shelf. Why? Coolness factor. Plus I was not about to spend $200.00 for something I could put together in an hour.

To install the garage door opener, I needed parts:

Misc stranded wire (22 AWG)
Automotive fully insulated quick disconnects
Garage door opener
SPST NO Momentary Pushbutton switch
Orange LED
Misc heat shrink tubing
Zip ties galore, and those sticky mounting plates

I purchased the switch at the local electronics store, Purchase Radio. I doubt they do mail order, and I’m sure it’s not worth the time trying to order a switch from them. You could always call and ask.

Switch specs:

Made by NTE

SPST
Momentary, Normally Open
Part number: 54-385

Data Sheet (for some reason, the switch is grey, but the description says red, probably placed a grayscale image in the PDF):

http://www.nteinc.com/switches/pdf/pg18.pdf

The pushbutton required a .72″ diameter hole! Very close to the edges of the blanking plate. I was tempted to use a vandal proof switch, but they cost around 15.00 a switch! And didn’t come in red.

Why an Orange LED? The MINI has Orange/Amber interior lighting, and an orange LED matches it perfectly. I used a 3mm ORANGE LED, but could have used a 5mm LED. I stuck with the smaller size of the original door opener. I purchased the LED from:

LSDiodes Optoelectronics

who are not terribly expensive when you consider Radio Shack and Digikey per LED pricing plus tax. Shipping was fast and professional. The only regret I have is not sanding the LED so it was diffused. If I have to take the blanking plate out in the near future, I will sand the LED. I may even upgrade to a 5mm.

Red Pushbutton
Canon 20D. The switch looks like a miniature version of an arcade game button. Pretty cool. I haven’t made a decal/sticker yet to say something like “Tacks” or “Oil Slick” but will…
Ahh, electronics
Canon 20D

If I were to redo it, I’d put the LED at top (I may just flip the panel next time I’m doing some work inside the MINI) so I could see it when I press the button! It looks cool at night, and amazingly works very very well.

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