You have found the ORIGINAL auto-up-windows MINI circuit
August 2009 – now availabile from FES AUTO
I am no longer able to invest the time needed to sell auto-up windows to the MINI community, but I’m happy to say that FES AUTO is enthusiastically supporting the circuit – see this announcement on NorthAmericanMotoring.com (and now they offer garage opener versions too).
May 2007 – ALL NEW VERSION
The “V6″ MINI circuit is now available, featuring re-designed electronics which incorporates auto-up, track-mode-DSC and AFF in one low-priced design, compatible with all 2001-2006 hardtop MINIs, and 2005-2008 convertibles:
March 2008 – ’07 and later hardtop MINIs (“R56″, “R55″)
The ’07 MINI is completely redesigned and is not compatible with the current MINI circuit. However, I’m told that auto-up is now a standard feature (at least, on Robs Clubman!)
November 2005 – ’06 MINI compatibility!
My “MINI circuit” solves the annoyance of having to hold the window toggle switch up to close windows in a MINI – especially troublesome with a manual transmission when pulling away from a toll booth in wet weather!
(click the picture to link to lots of pictures of the MINI circuit)
The MINI circuit works fine in ’02-’06 MINIs, and also works in the Convertible (but only affects the “front” windows.)
Note that the MINI circuit is only functional when the car ignition is on, so remember to auto-up the windows, open the garage door, etc before you turn the engine off!
The circuit is reasonably easy to install below / behind the toggle switch panel – by removing the trim piece below the toggle switch panel, and optionally by removing the down tubes and toggle switch panel to ease access to the connector. Full installation details can be found on this web page.
Features of the MINI circuit are described below:
To protect from litigation mania, the MINI circuit is supplied with the auto-up window feature de-activated. A specific sequence of action is required by the installer/owner to enable auto-up on the driver and/or passenger side window.
Please DO NOT enable auto-up windows in a MINI which carries children, pets, adults who put arms out of the window while it closes, big plants or anything that might be damaged.
The existing circuitry in the MINI senses window closure by detecting a current peak in the motor – this will also occur eventually if an object is trapped in the window, but the window will first try very hard to close – it also will not drop down again to release any applied pressure! Presumably this is why factory enabled auto-up windows are not available in USA.
You can learn how to enable the auto-up feature in the Installation details. Once the auto-up feature is enabled for either window, it remains active unless specifically disabled.
Once the auto-up feature has been enabled, it can be activated by a quick double click up of the appropriate window toggle switch. When this is done, the circuit will maintain the signal to the MINIs electronics for a further six seconds, long enough for the window to close from a fully down position. Note that since the circuit has no direct feedback of window position, motor current, etc, it will maintain the up signal for the same time even if the window is already nearly shut – the circuit is intended for use to close a window from fully open, after paying a toll.
If you click the toggle switch down while the auto-up is active, the circuit will immediately cancel its signal and window movement will stop; a second click down will be needed to open the window again.
Track mode DSC
Now standard in the V6 MINI circuit, this feature was “invented” by Paul & Kev – when the MINI is first turned on, the circuit sends a pulse to mimic clicking the DSC toggle switch, which has the effect of turning off DSC (and turning on the yellow warning triangle). It was explained to me that during track driving it is preferred that DSC is off, but the frequent stops/starts give a chance for the driver to forget to hit the DSC toggle switch and suddenly discover that DSC is preventing maximum track performance.
To protect from litigation mania, the MINI circuit is supplied with “track mode DSC” inactive. Please DO NOT enable “track mode DSC” except when using the MINI in a safe environment where the protection provided by DSC for driver error is un-necessary!
So, the circuit has a “track mode DSC” feature which can be easily enabled on demand by the driver for a track day; for normal road use the feature can be quickly disabled again. You can learn how to enable/disable the track mode DSC feature in the Installation details.
NOTE: This feature will work as expected to disable ASC+T on cars equipped with that instead of DSC.
Auto Front Fogs
Now standard in the V6 MINI circuit (no longer a “piggyback add-on“), this feature can automatically turn on your front fog lights each time you turn on the cars lights. We can debate the legality of such a feature, but the MINIs front fog lights are very well positioned and minimally dazzling to oncoming traffic – and some people believe that more front lighting is safer.
NOTE: Allan, who recently installed the “AFF” and sent feedback commented too bad cops occasionally pull people over for the fogs on (me once 10 years ago for daytime/ evening use– just a warning)
UPDATE: Thanks Mark: Correct – You can’t turn on front fogs with DRLs. Light switch is in off position when in DRL. No dash lights. Can’t turn fogs on manually, or automatically if I read you right. You can override DRLs by pulling up hand brake one notch – it turns them off. DRLs are activated as one of the computer options upon delivery. Once activated, DRLs are on anytime the car is on, the lights are off, and the parking brake is off.
Of course, if you turn your lights on with the steering switch, the front fogs and “AFF” function work fine!
UPDATE: I do not recommend the “AFF” circuit with “auto-on headlights” (available on MINIs built from January ’05); if the headlights come on (perhaps in a tunnel), the “AFF” will turn on the front fogs too – but now when daylight returns the headlights will remain on, because they are programmed in the MINI to stay on if the front fogs are on. So “auto-on headlights” become “once-on headlights”, staying on till the car is switched off!
Garage door opener control
IMPORTANT: The MINI circuit does not include a garage door opener – but it can connect to one that you already own, and integrate control into your existing toggle switches!
ALSO IMPORTANT: An update from “DanStoren” suggests that installing a garage door opener down behind the toggle switch panel might not give good results
SEE ALSO: There is a product called Flash2Pass which provides a garage door opener controlled by the high beam headlights. You can read about it here (disclaimer: I have no experience with it!)
The MINI circuit can provide “switch contacts” via two wires, which can be soldered onto the correct points in your garage door opener so that when the circuit closes the contacts, the garage door opener is activated. Installation requires sufficient skill to open the garage door opener, locate the appropriate circuit points, and solder the wires from the MINI circuit.
WARNING: If you have insufficient skill you may destroy your garage door opener!
The garage door opener output of the MINI circuit is activated by holding the door lock toggle switch up (unlock) or down (lock) for more than half a second. The output remains active while the toggle switch is held. Simple!
A special version of the MINI circuit can be provided with a built-in 9V supply and a 9V battery connector to simplify connection to your 9V battery powered garage door opener (this version of the circuit simplifies installation for those unable to handle soldering – you just need to modify the garage door opener so that its “on” switch is always active – cardboard and duct tape might work!) …
(yes I know it isn’t a garage door opener, but it gives you the idea!)
Where did they all go?
I recently created a US map showing the ZIP code where (nearly) every MINI circuit has been shipped, as well as the locations of MINI dealerships (read here for how I did it)
I built an initial three prototypes (described on the history page), then a first batch of more than 25 circuits which have been shipped to:
Robyn, Joe, Gabe, Rob, Kirk, Kevin, Eric, Dixon, David, K.C., Paul, Brad, John, Vinaya, David, Dirk, Dave, Ned, David, “Aruna”, Matt, Paul, Scott, Jenni, Rob, Mike, Val, Lisa, Kevins friend Mike, Lee and Steven.
July 1, 2009: 1780 MINI circuits shipped
I no longer plan to build circuits, but check with FES-AUTO.