Tag Archives: Radio

Body Repair

Although the body on the CitiCar has many cracks, it’s in excellent condition compared to its siblings. The ABS Plastic is susceptible to daily and seasonal temperature changes. The vibration of the car on the road and poor suspension makes it easier for the cracks to get out of control.

PlastiFix Kit and Super Prep

One of CiticarTom’s videos goes over repairing large cracks on the body of his CitiCar. He used PlastiFix and Super Prep. I was able to find the products and start my repairs.

I located just over 20 cracks. It took about an hour to go over the various cracks. I was finding even more as I went along.

It was a pretty sloppy job. Some cracks are difficult to apply the PlastiFix. Vertical cracks that are tapered up towards me are nearly impossible to fix inside the passenger door. I found that sometimes it was easier to smudge the plastic into the cracks with the gloves I was wearing.

Close-up of large crack in CitiCar door filled in with PlastiFix before sanding

I need to go back and fill a few more cracks that were found after cleaning up. I’ll also need to sand and cleanup the cracks that I fixed up today.

Repairing cracks in CitiCar ABS Plastic Body

Taco Day

Today was National Taco day. Teddy and I headed over to Riverton Commons and picked up a few crunchy tacos. Teddy hung out by the charging station while sharing a few tacos.

Teddy waits patiently for me to start charging the CitiCar
Wild flowers growing at the end of a road

We also had a walk around Rockland Park and Crooked Run Plaza. Teddy stopped by to check out some of the wild flowers.

It feels like every day is getting a little bit more chillier than the last. I took a look at my backyard garden to see what was left.

Marigolds blooming in my garden

The Marigold bush is blooming all over. I’ve planted over 200 seeds, and only one was able to survive to product flowers. I didn’t realize they were such late bloomers. I’ve got a few ideas for what I’ll do next year.

In Other News

Battery Monitor

My first order on AliExpress was for an AiLi Voltage/Current meter with a 350A shunt. I had ordered it over two months ago, and it has yet to leave Hangzhou, China. When I contacted the seller two weeks ago, they claimed that it had already been delivered.

I sent all of the shipping logs that I had as evidence for my refund request, including the screenshot the seller sent me – as it verified that the shipping company sent the package back to them. My order was refunded within a day.

I found the same product on Amazon for $10 more and it’s arriving tomorrow. It may be a 28% markup, but there is a guarantee that it is arriving.

AliExpress Opinion

Things are fairly cheap on AliExpress compared to Amazon. The main differences are time to ship, trust that you get what you think you paid for, and language barriers. You are often inundated with coupons, but they are for specific stores. Searching for a product may end up showing fifty different listings, pictures, and prices for the same product across different stores. It feels like an online flea market.

Radio Antenna

I noticed that the end of the antenna that slides into a radio had broken off and is just bare wire. I’m curious how to came off. I’ve been taking too long to move along on various projects.


Two aught

I reached out for help regarding battery cables with other d-car owners and enthusiasts. Along with the advice that I got, one of the locals that I met in the CitiCars maiden voyage was willing to help out with supplies and tools leftover from his EV conversion project. Teddy and I hopped into our little car and zipped downtown to the town square.

We met up and with more understanding of the parts of an EV, I was able to have a more knowledgeable conversation this time and had a lot of questions to ask regarding his setup. learning a bit more about how the guy upgraded his pickup truck. I paid more attention to his setup and had my eye on his use of project boxes to keep things segregated, organized and protected. He had quite a bit of advice when I asked about wiring harnesses and thoughts regarding a themed car that could be easily reverted without damaging the body. His thoughts were to look into Plasti Dip and a brand for “Painless wiring” for quality cables/connections where cables are labeled and easy to install.

He had a large box of thick battery cables and two bags of battery lugs. The box was heavier than I had thought and caught me off guard for a moment. Along with the box of cables, I was able to borrow some wire cutters and a gigantic crimping tool. I opened the CitiCars back window and we stuck everything in with plenty of room to spare. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab the wire cutters…

Teddy grows some wings

Teddy and I enjoyed the park and took a stroll down main street. We went through Inklings, posed in front of a mural, and grabbed some ice cream from C & C Frozen Treats. Teddy had some mango while I ordered a quart of brownie ice cream.

Teddy, Lewie, and The Chez CitiCar

By time we left, it looked like a bunch of antique cars were arriving into the town square for a little car show. I had to bail before the rain came. I didn’t make it home in time, and the rain was coming down pretty hard. I kept the wiper on the lowest setting and didn’t run into any problems blowing a fuse this time.

Running 120 volt AC via J1772

The replacement Level 1 & 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) arrived today. I verified that it was operational and setup the CitiCar to charge it’s batteries through a J1772 port. I don’t know if the folks at Sebring-Vanguard had ever imagined such a thing, but I am now able to recharge the car at a public charger. Here is the setup in order from the wall to my cars batteries in my little experiment:

  • 120 volt (5-15) outlet in wall
  • Level 1 & 2 EVSE (5-15 & 6-20)
  • EV Charger Power Converter (from J1772 to 120v & 240v)
  • Power strip
  • Five 12 volt battery chargers
  • Four deep cycle batteries for the motor and one small accessory battery
Displaying how I’m charging lead acid batteries with power supplied via J1772

I was loosing a tenth of an amp with the EVSE and power converter. To add more fun to the experiment, I decided to let the car charge to full capacity through the J1772 setup and see how much the total energy is affected.

Cable Inventory

Battery cables

Later in the night I started going through the battery cables I received to get an idea of what I had. The cables can be called either 00, double zero, 2/0 and pronounced as “two aught”.

I started taking inventory, measuring inches from the center hole of each lug.

Cables with flat lugs at each end

Some cables also had a 90 degree lug at one end, but the shorter ones didn’t have a lug at all on the opposite end.

Missing LugTwo Lugs
Cables where one end has a 90 degree lug

Two long cables were included that were 13 feet, eight inches, and another at fourteen feet, 11 inches. The longer cable didn’t have a lug on one of the ends.

There are quite a few good cables that I can use. The longer cables alone may be enough on their own. Many of the smaller pieces can be used for jumps between switches, fuses, controllers, and such.

Battery cable connected to two Chevy Volt battery modules

I found that I could barely use the 10¾” cable to connect two Chevy Volt battery modules next to each other. I have four cables that are 13¾, and four more at 14¼ that I could use with more slack between the batteries. It’s preferable to have a shorter length to reduce voltage drops. Although with the length of this circuit, the drop would already be fairly minimal.

Corroded lug
Wire brushed lug

I spent some time cleaning up one of the most corrosive lugs. I first tried to do it by hand with a wire brush with some progress. I then grabbed my angle grinder with a wire brush attachment and cleaned it up fast. I was finding that I was chasing some of the corrosion down under the heat shrink around the lug.

Things are coming along great. I have many cables that I can clean up and use once the motor arrives. I have the supplies necessary to make my own custom length of cables as well.

Tiny Radio

One of my tiny car radio modules came in the mail today. I actually ordered three different kinds because it was difficult to judge how big they were. This three dollar radio was originally just for a side project to stick on a repurposed 8-track tape. The idea was to give my 8-Track radio some modern features to play music from a blue tooth device as well as micro SD cards.

Bluetooth MP3/WMA decoder USB/Micro SD/Aux FM radio module

I was originally set on installing an 8-Track radio and an Android media entertainment center for navigation in the CitiCar. I’m having a difficult time determining where I should put them. I don’t have much space available on the dashboard to mount things, or the support to mount anything with some weight. I’m considering using one of the little radio modules instead.

I was able to wire the little radio up to work with both five and 12 volts, as advertised. The radio works, Bluetooth hooked up without a problem, and I was able to get MP3 files playing from a micro SD card. One thing of note is that I definitely need an amp. The little radio can put out a signal, but any speaker I try is so low, it is difficult to hear. The voltage supplied to the radio does not make a difference.

Town Square1,138.03.9
RatekWh9.85¢0.46 mph
Total2.21 kWh22.4¢17:00
Per Mile283 Wh2.9¢02:10

Volkswagen Antenna

Base of Volkswagen Beetle/Van antenna

After discussing the trouble I ran into with a few other CitiCar/Comuta-Car owners, they provided a few solutions. Once installed, one of the owners had a vertical antenna that could be configured to stand at an angle. Another owner pointed me to an antenna he used for his own CitiCar. The product was a replica for a classic Volkswagen Beetle “Bug” / Bus.

The base of these antennas sits flush against the body and mounts using two screws. My guess, is that other than the roof, the beetle and van appear to lack a flat horizontal surface to mount a standard antenna. The beetle had theirs mounted vertically behind the drivers front fender. The bus had it mounted vertically on the its hood. The side mounted antennas had the benefit of being fairly secure due to the use of two bolts to mount them.

Aluminum plate to support CitiCar antenna

The aluminum plate had two separate holes in it. A larger one under the dimple, and a smaller one that went unused – or so I thought. I took the base of the Volkswagen antenna and stuck its screws against the plates holes. At this point, I was certain that Sebring-Vanguard had designed this car specifically for this style of antenna.

CitiCar antenna on passenger side

I marked the spot and drilled a smaller hole. I was a bit concerned about how the antenna seemed to overlap the passenger window along the edge. I did my best to align it, but the “impervious” aluminum limits your options.

Lock Washer

The antenna came with two screws and two washers. I was unfamiliar with one of the washers, which I believe is a lock washer or an overlap washer. Due to how thick the plastic and aluminum plate are, I wasn’t able to get the washer on. I was barely able to get the nut onto the threading.

Nuts on threads for antenna
Antenna wire screwed into bolt

I was setting in odd positions with my back against the edge of CitiCar, looking strait up inside at the plate. With a pair of vice grips, I was slowly continuing to tighten the nut. I was trying to see if the threads on the end of the antenna wire would catch onto the bolt if I could tighten the nut down far enough. After quite some time, I was able to tighten the nut down and catch onto the threads.

My job was done. I have an antenna installed onto the car. Extending the antenna fully allows it to go above the roof. I’ll have to get an antenna ball topper to add some character – not that it needs any more than it already has…

Volkswagen Beetle/Van antenna installed on Sebring-Vanguard 1976 SV-48 CitiCar


This evening has been full of research. I was looking at how to get different devices to communicate together with an Arduino or two monitoring temperature, voltage, speed, and so on. I then started looking to see if Arduino could somehow emulate a cars OBD2 drive so I could pretend I had a modern car that reported on what was going on under the hood

One thing led to another and it was a pretty nice eureka moment coming to the understanding of what CAN Bus and OBD2 (OBDII) actually were – and that I could just use CAN itself to communicate to each Arduino device on its network, and expose that on the standard adapter that everyone plugs into.

Set into car

Android head unit radio

I recall seeing things in the head unit regarding CAN bus. I started looking into how to resolve the “Set into car” button where it would tell me “No original vehicle setting function”. I went into Factory Settings and then looked at the first item – protocol settings. From within, I saw the title of the app was actually “CAN set”. I was onto something!

Quite a few of the brands were unfamiliar. Raise, Hiworld, BNR, XBS, XINPU, Daojun, Oudi, Ruishengwei, HCY, Hechi, Ansheng, Bagu, Luzheng, Anyuan, NFCK, LH, CML … okay, all brands were unfamiliar. I’m assuming some of these are the Pronunciations of Chinese words. Perhaps Oudi is actually Audi, or maybe these are different protocols that sit on top of CAN bus.

I started poking around and saw “Raise” had an entry for “Electric car”. I selected that and went with the only option JRYG-M2 which had a can ID of 1034001.

I was able to go back to the car settings and click “Set into car”. Sure enough, it went ahead and showed me a new screen for an electric car.

I had quite a few icons that led me to see temperatures, voltages, torque, current, etc. It was all blank – but it was something. It was waiting for communications to be sent over the CAN bus.

CAN bus RAISE Electric car JRYG-M2 car settings


Rudimentary steering wheel controls on breadboard

Now we are at the last part – where are the wires to hook up the CAN bus? I think this is where the steering wheel controls for KEY1 and KEY2 come into play. I think without CAN, these two wires are treated the same, simply for generic SWC with a 0-5k resistance to ground. I suspect that KEY 1 and KEY 2 are CAN High and CAN Low wires.


I’m under the impression that I just need to look at the OBD2 format of a few setting sand test sending it over the CAN bus to verify it the device starts picking it up. Once that part is done – actually acquiring the data is a fairly heavy task as well.

Playing with CAN is another project on its own. I think eventually I’ll look into playing with CAN modules later. I’ve seen quite a few gadgets to hook up Arduino’s over the network using an TJA1050 CAN controller interface chip. One model I’ve seen is LDTR-WG0210, compatible with the ISO 11989 standard.


I just received a reply from the seller with a manual for A2222 Android Products Operation Manual: Android Interface Instruction. It’s much better than what came with the device. I’ve worked out quite a bit of it on my own already, but it’s nice to see a confirmation that I went in the right direction. This is what they say about features related to canbus:

Support steering wheel control (don’t support cars need a canbus)

They also replied directly this is a universal double din car stereo, and that if my car needs a canbus, it will not support the steering wheel control.

I think I’m out of luck. I was hoping I could choose to either have those two KEY wires for either SWC or CAN bus – like you could only choose between the two, but used SWC by default until the canbus settings were setup. It would have made more sense of why the same resistance on both of the KEY wires couldn’t be mapped to two separate steering wheel controls.

I could go ahead and try to experiment later with canbus just to make sure, but by that time, I may just go with another radio that does support it.

5pcs CAN Bus Module Transceiver TJA1050 Controller Schnittstelle Board for Arduino
MCP2515 CAN Bus Module TJA1050 receiver SPI For 51 arduino Diy Kit MCU ARM controller
MAX6675 Module + K Type Thermocouple Thermocouple Sensor Temperature Degrees Module for arduino
1PCS NEW SN65HVD230 CAN Board Network Transceiver Evaluation Development Module
DS18B20 Temperature Sensor Module Kit Waterproof 100CM Digital Sensor Cable Stainless Steel Probe Terminal Adapter For Arduino
Super Mini ELM327 Bluetooth Interface V2.1 OBD2 II Auto Diagnostic Tool ELM 327 Work ON Android Torque/PC
Products seen (not purchased) during research

Antenna Installation

Collapsed Antenna

I am hungry for some tunes. I was considering where I should place the antenna for the radio on the CitiCar. I’ve looked over quite a few videos and images. There are a few main places that the radio antenna is often placed:

  • Standing vertical next to passenger right headlight
  • Standing vertical next to passenger lower right window
  • Standing 45 degrees along passenger window
  • Standing vertical next to drivers left headlight (rare)

I liked the quirkiness of the placement next to the passenger headlight. I had a few concerns about how well a tall classic antenna would be supported against a plastic body and ran it past a few CitiCar and Comuta-Car owners.

A dimple

It seemed there was a variety of antenna placements among us C-Car owners. One of the owners mentioned that the body should have a dimple for where the antenna should be installed. Curious, I took a closer inspection and there it was – a dimple. Hardly noticeable unless you look for it.

Antenna support plate

It seemed like a weak spot compared to how ridged the plastic would be around the headlight. Intrigued, I went ahead and took a look at the underside of the body. Much to my satisfaction, I found that the manufacturer installed an aluminum plate specifically for this reason. It had a hole punched out, and I could faintly see the underside of the dimple in the center. The drivers side of the frame did not have a plate.

Drilling Cycolac

I started to get to work making a hole. This is old plastic. To prevent cracking, or tearing up the plastic, I started off with a small drill bit, and worked my way up in size.

Base of antenna

Finally, the hole was large enough for the threads to poke through. This is where I started to run into problems.

I purchased a classic car radio antenna. It seemed to support going up to a 45 degree angle. I was having a tough time getting it to go through far enough to start getting the nut onto the top. I removed the rubber grommet, but I shill had trouble. I flipped the metal supports upside down to help pull the threads higher.

Removing the guide

I found that I wasn’t able to set the antenna up to a full 45 degree angle because there was some plastic at the last part acting as a guide. It took awhile, but I was able to nibble away most of the excess plastic. I was able to get much closer to threading the nut onto the shaft.

Bending nubs

I was in a quandary. I decided it was time to take a bit more drastic measures. I picked up a set of vice grips and started bending the nubs on the top of the antennas base. It may not be much – but it’s something.

Something… but it just wasn’t enough.

I took a breather and considered my next stop. Rather than using an antenna that is fixed vertically on a 45 degree base, I started looking for antennas that could be adjusted at any angle. I found one online and put in a new order.

The hole…

For now, there is the hole.

Looking at me.




One of the C-Car owners recommended a side mount antenna he had used from a Volkswagen Beetle. An order has been placed for one of those antennas as well.

Mating Plugs

Old plugs fit together

The remote control cable for a Kodak carousel projector arrived for the CitiCar today. I was able to confirm through others that the 5-Pin male plug would fit into my radios 5 pin female plug. Sure enough, I mated the two together and they had no problems.

Pins on a Kodak slide projector cable plug

The projector uses this plug with a remote control to control forward, reverse, and focus. The wires in the slide projector plug are only 22 AWG (0.65mm thick). This is because the projector used more voltage on some pins with less need for amps. I was questioning myself if the wires could handle the power that the radio needed to draw though them.

Testing continuity with a voltage meter

I pulled out my voltage meter and switched it over to measure continuity. I listened for a beep as I held one of the test leads on a wire, and tapped each pin on the plug.

The plug is fairly new and looks a bit modern. Each pin on the molded plug is numbered clearly. In addition, there is a little nub at the top to help keep track of what direction you are holding the plug in. This made it quite easy to map each color to a pin number. As for the car radio, I had previously used a red paint marker to mark the pin for power.

Pin Color
Map wires to each pin

The next step was to plug it in and start identifying how the various colors were used in the radio. I quickly found out that the red and black wires mapped to the same colors on the radio for power and ground.

The female plug on the radio

The radio only has four wires leading into its plug. The center pin is not connected to anything.

The speaker wires were a bit tricky to figure out. One of them wasn’t working at all. I tried swapping the speakers with each other to determine if the speaker was still working, or perhaps I didn’t have a good connection.

Car Speaker

It turned out that instead of a bad speaker, or failing to wire it up properly, the radio itself wasn’t sending a signal. Using the radios balance knob, I was able to determine that the radio wasn’t sending anything over the green wire to the right speaker. The grey wire was for the left speaker.

ProjectorRemote ColorPinRadio ColorFunction
ReverseWhite3GreyLeft Speaker Positive
Rack solenoidBrown4GreenRight Speaker Positive
Map wires from the remote control wire to how the radio uses them

I traced the green wire inside of the radio, which turned into a thin orange wire that went to a circuit board. From here I ran along the trace until I came to a electrolytic capacitor. I’ve often heard tales where others have had to replace capacitors to get things to work. I decided it was time to stop.

RCA adapter with screw terminals.

The next time I focus on the radio, I’ll screw the left speaker into two separate RCA screw terminal adapters. This will let me wire it up to the CitiCars left and right speaker from the same channel for a mono sound. I’ll also replace the wires on the projector plug with something thicker. It feels like a potential fire hazard.


WGCD 20 PCS Phono RCA Male Plug to AV Screw Terminal Plug Connector Audio Video Adapter
Remote Control Cable 5 Pin Male (Round/Kodak) Cutoff 5 Wires 22 Gauge 12 ft
INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter
8-TRACK AM Vintage car audio RADIO original

8-Track Radio Tapes

A carrying case for 8 track tapes arrived in the mail today. I picked it up because it had a nice look to it, would carry a small set of 8-Track tapes perfectly. It also came with an 8-Track head cleaning cartridge and a few tapes – perfect for testing. For just under $20, it was a steal. I still can’t get over how nice the case looks.

Lot of 8 Track Tapes Vintage Cartridges Various Artists With Nice Case

The pulley tries to move the 8-track tape forward

I found one of the tapes by the musical artist, Engelbert Humperdinck. I chuckled as his name reminded me of Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride. I hooked up the 8-track AM/FM car radio to the power supply and speaker. The tape slid in, a bit hesitant.

It was horrible. Sound would fade in and out as the radio tried to move the tape. I turned the belt inside-out and it was able to play the music much better.

Program 2

It was hard to make out what was being sung. It could have been the speaker with the poor audio distortions. I was having fun switching between all four programs. I would watch the solenoid retract while the head moved between tracks. I noticed my power supply would jump from a quarter amp up to two amps to hold the solenoid in place.

Broken 8-Track Tape

When the tape reached the end, the radio got stuck trying to switch the track. It would no longer play tapes. I wasn’t too happy. After a bit, I noticed the tape itself had broken at the metal tab. My guess is that after breaking, the metal tab bent out and kept contact with a switch, thus keeping the solenoid energized. Popping in another tape revealed a fully operational car stereo.

I may need to learn how to repair 8-Track tapes.

A few 8-Track cassettes arrived in the mail, providing me with an opportunity to test the car radios 8-Track feature. This little radio is going into my 1976 1/2 CitiCar. The manufacturer and dealer didn’t install a radio.

8 Track Car Stereo

My car radio has arrived! My CitiCar does not have a radio. It was an option listed that people could pay extra for. Growing up, we had a large stereo in the dining room that could play 8-Track tapes and records. My dad also installed an 8-Track into his Gremlin. I figured I could go for a bit of nostalgia and hook one up to my car.

I started looking at a few websites and found a listing:

8-TRACK AM Vintage car audio RADIO original

BrandKatone Corporation
Manufacturer Part NumberCSI-22
8-TRACK AM Vintage car audio RADIO original. Item is used and has not been tested for functionality. Please see photos for details and item condition. Please feel free to contact me with questions. Thanks for looking.

There were a few photos that showed the controls, input plugs, and that it generally had some wear. I figured I could give it a shot. I went ahead and put in an order, and also put in an order for a car antenna as well. Although the car radio was advertised with AM, it could also play FM stereo.

Katone Corporation 8-Track CSI-22
Car audio plug

Since I have sort of a miniature electronics workshop, I decided to wire it up to my bench power supply and try it out. It’s got a bit of an odd plug on the end of it. I started doing a bit of research, and found something similar called a 5 pin din plug connector. I couldn’t find an exact match on the pattern though.

I posted a photo to an electronics group, and I got the following responses when I asked what kind of DIN connector it was:

  • Kodak slide projector
  • M12 5 pin
  • Not a DIN specs connector
  • Commodore 64

Commodore 64 uses an 8 pin video socket, so that wouldn’t work out. The M12 5 pin has a cross-hair pattern, and wouldn’t fit. Someone recognized it was an old car audio connector and described what the pins were for. He had both a Kodak extension cable and the original plugs and took a photo of the two mating perfectly.

I found a listing for Remote Control Cable 5 Pin Male (Round/Kodak) Cutoff 5 Wires 22 Gauge 12 ft.for $5.99. These cables are used to control forward, reverse, and focus of Kodak and compatible projectors. So, I now have a Kodak slide projector cable on order for my car… yea.

AM/FM 8-Track Car Radio
Frequency Selection

On with the show. I started playing around with 12 volts. I quickly got it up and running. First, the box has a label that stating the covering was ground. Alligator clip to the frame… check. I found where the red wire was coming into the radio and tapped on it with the 12 volt positive. A light came on. Progress!

Car radio antenna

I grabbed my car antenna and plugged it into the antenna socket. I then stuck a few wires into the end of the radio plug and connected them to a speaker with alligator clips. I started up my little experiment again. First a buzzing sound. I started fiddling with some knobs and started to pick up an AM radio station talking about the president and his wife. Bingo! I’ve got me a working radio.

Unfortunately I don’t have any 8-Tracks to test the main feature of the little radio. The drive belt looks fine. I’ll have to wait a few days.

I grew up listening to records and 8-Tracks. Since the CitiCar was made in the 70’s and didn’t have a radio installed, I figured it was about time I learn about the adventures that my dad experienced hooking up a car radio in his Gremlin.