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Old 04-06-2014, 08:01 AM   #1
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The all-new Comfort Top :)

I think this thread deserves a little background history... Ever since I decided to buy my boxster of a BMW z4, I've had a small amount jealousy towards the automatic convertible tops in the BMW. of course, after a week with the boxster, that was the only thing I was jealous of. Butttt still... I went out looking for any solutions to this problem. I found that pelican parts sold a smart-top module that brought one-touch operation, but it was wildly more than I wanted to spend ($380 + shipping). I came across robo-top, which I really liked, but the modification to the relay module to make it work without the handbrake or speed limit, made me afraid that I (or a passenger) might operate it at high speeds.

Recently, I've been waiting for my clear engine covers and mounting hardware to be manufactured and had some time to revisit the topic. I figured, I might as well take a shot at making my own one-touch top relay. After a lot of reverse engineering and simulation time, I have finally finished! the modded relay module now has the following abilities:

One touch open/close
Manual open/close
Automatic service mode from opened or closed position
no handbrake operation (without bent pin)
open/close top from 0-20mph (one touch operation)
Calibrate-able open/close times (more accurate service mode position)
Plug-&-play (no wiring needed)


I have to admit, driving through the city and being able to just press the open or close button is sooo nice... and judging by the number of head turns, it's apparently pretty cool too lol.
Here's a quick little video of some of the features. I hope you guys like it and sorry about the weird video resolution

Basic Functionality

Speed Test

Instruction Manual

The other day I was at the local Porsche dismantler and saw an ad about a PCA sponsored porsche swap meet on June 1st, I though it would be cool to make a couple of these and some engine covers to have a little stand and either sell them or trade them for other cool porsche parts. I've already mode four and ordered four more relays to retrofit this week. Of course, all of you here are welcome to the "comfort-top" relay as well

.... Now I just need to make an automatic latch for the top lol.
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Last edited by Shehadehd; 07-16-2014 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
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Saw this in a different thread... and it sounds awesome. What is your price for the relay?

btw, that clear engine cover looks great as well.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:05 AM   #3
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HAAAAA this is so cool!!!!!!

"Open and close unlatched top by turning the key in the door "

Top quality mate
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #4
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If my top would not be "manual" (I also get a few looks!) I would certainly grab one of those relay.

My top broke twice and I simply gave up getting it fixed. Actually I might want to fix it myself this summer and get a relay from you. Let's see
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:21 AM   #5
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The all-new Comfort Top :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy.Boxster View Post
Saw this in a different thread... and it sounds awesome. What is your price for the relay?



btw, that clear engine cover looks great as well.

I moved it out of the guide topic to here since it wasn't really a DIY

The price breakdown for forum members is $225 for the unit and $175 if you send your original relay back.
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Last edited by Shehadehd; 06-10-2014 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nine8Six View Post
HAAAAA this is so cool!!!!!!



"Open and close unlatched top by turning the key in the door "



Top quality mate

Haha. Thanks. I'm not sure how much everyone would like that option. Whenever I go for a quick coffee run I normally park with the top down and windows up so being able to have the top up, even if it's not latched is still a plus for me. The purpose is mainly to stop debris and bugs from getting in... and of course, it'll make it a little less appealing for lazy thieves to try and grab something.

How can you have such a good looking car and let your top stay broken?
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:34 AM   #7
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Is that all it takes to complete that mod, removing your old relay and plugging the new one in?

I can't tell you how many times I'd like to put the top down at a stop light but worry that the light might turn green before the operation is complete.
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Last edited by Dave S.; 04-06-2014 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave S. View Post
Is that all it takes to complete that mod, removing your old relay and plugging the new one in?



I can't tell you how many times I'd like to put the top down at a stop light but worry that the light might turn green before the operation is complete.

Yeah, just the swap.

What prompted me to make this was being in stop-and-go traffic on the highway, opening the top, and then having to drive like a 100 meters with the top half open until the next time we stopped. Definitely ruined that cool factor moment lol.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:51 AM   #9
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Does it do the Boxster chop?
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:08 PM   #10
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Lets see.... $380 vs. $150 with the core return. Even for me this is an easy one. PM sent!
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:30 PM   #11
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Cool invention!

If you choose to use that video I'd suggest refilming it in landscape format, portrait is horrible to watch...I turned it off after 5 seconds.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:37 PM   #12
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Hahaha. It was that bad? I'll be filming another one with someone else holding the camera anyways
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:01 PM   #13
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Neat! The door feature sounds very cool.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave S. View Post
I can't tell you how many times I'd like to put the top down at a stop light but worry that the light might turn green before the operation is complete.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck W. View Post
Lets see.... $380 vs. $150 with the core return. Even for me this is an easy one. PM sent!
Yep, same here. Very nice work Shehadehd! The ingenuity and creativity of this forum consistently amazes me
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:40 PM   #15
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That's very awesome man! great work.

Put me on the list of buyers!

I've been thinking about hacking my relay, but this is a much better solution.

cheers mate!
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:16 PM   #16
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This is timely. I was just about to post my arduino based top opener in the DIY section. It's maybe $30-$35 in parts and I've had mine in use since last March without any issues what so ever. It plugs in between the top switch, plus I ran the power to a switched +12 so it has no draw while the car is off.

It behaves the same as the power windows in that a quick push makes it fully open or close, a long press opens/closes it for the length of the press, and any length press while auto-opening/closing will cancel the auto-open/close.

It does use the bent pin, and I left the one-click parking break safety.

There are already two auto-open options available for $100-$200. I think a free open source option is the next iteration needed.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:45 AM   #17
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Great work. Rather than key in door to operate could you get the same function by holding the remote button like the auto windows feature?
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edc View Post
Great work. Rather than key in door to operate could you get the same function by holding the remote button like the auto windows feature?

Wait, you can control the windows via the key???
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by edc View Post
Great work. Rather than key in door to operate could you get the same function by holding the remote button like the auto windows feature?
Help me out here. The windows auto operate with the remote? How does that work? I've been searching that exact feature.


To Shehadehd,
PM sent. Where in the bay area are you. Maybe we can meet up.

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:29 AM   #20
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Wait, you can control the windows via the key???
Now I'm confused. You said "and my favorite...... Open and close unlatched top by turning the key in the door (in tandem with rolling up and down the windows) "

In order to implement this feature you must obviously know that you can control the windows via the key, right? Am I missing something or are you just funning around?

Further to that, would this unit be available without this feature? I sometimes use the key to raise or lower the windows, but I don't necessarily want the top operating at the same time.
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