[DML] DPNW Digital Door Lock Module
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[DML] DPNW Digital Door Lock Module



just wanted to report on my findings about, and experience with DPNW's
Digital Door Lock Module

short story: to say the least, a very thorough upgrade to the 30-year
old technology door lock module that our cars were plagued with from
the beginning, as well as a good "next generation" upgrade with added
features to the Zilla door lock module design of some years ago (which
is presently not available)

the Original Delorean Motor Company's fix of adding the circuit
breaker "helped" reduce the amount of people that found themselves
locked in their car, and the various upgrades posted over the years on
the DML (darlington transistors / resistors, relays, diodes) are a
vast improvement over the original design by reducing standby power
consumption and increasing reliability, but still leave a lot to be
desired

a lot of door solenoids have needlessly been cooked (destroyed), and a
lot of people have had a negative D experience because of the door
lock module's weaknesses - I actually got my first car at a reduced
price when the guy riding along for insurance purposes during my test
drive got frantic when he got locked in when the door lock module
jammed the solenoids till the circuit breaker opened up :-)


long story: Toby's new door lock controller module is
microprocessor-based, monitors the status of each door's bell-crank
switch separately (which at first glance sounds impossible given that
they are wired in parallel), sequences the door solenoids one at a
time (which gives them a lot more kick by reducing electrical load and
makes it possible to analyze each bell-crank switch separately), has a
timed output pulse with retry on error reducing solenoid overheating,
status/diagnostics LEDS, and universal lock/unlock connections for use
with literally any remote control system

installation was totally plug and play except for mounting - just
unplugged the old module (the main connector and the lead going to the
circuit breaker) and connected the new one - as there are no mounting
ears like the original, I used a piece of adhesive velcro to secure it
to the car's mounting plate (note to Toby: including a 3" piece of
adhesive velcro in the kit would be nice)

I have tried it on a car with "perfect" locks, as well as one that has
"issues"

the car with "issues" immediately worked better, probably because of
sequencing the solenoids - what is really cool is that the status LEDS
provided clues as to what the underlying issues were: misadjustment of
the bell-crank switch on one door, and need for lubrication on the
other - a lot of time can be spent chasing door lock problem
interaction from one door to the other

the design is directly compatible with the original door lock
solenoids, as well as Toby's door lock actuators (no longer a need for
the extra external relays and associated installation hassle)

I have one set of the door lock actuators, and yes, they are an
improvement over the original solenoids (more force, and lighter
weight), but Toby may have hurt the sales of his actuators by making
the original solenoids work so much better!

I also went through the typical locking errors like trying to lock
(via inside and outside door locks as well as remote) with right,
left, and both doors open (which is also a way to simulate some
bell-crank switch problems) - the Door Lock Module correctly reported
which door was causing the problem, then unlocked the doors to make
sure they were in proper status after the locking sequence failure was
detected (this eliminates the one door locked / other door unlocked,
and partially engaged lock situations that can occur)

in addition to the "missing" velcro, I have only one other "complaint"
(LOL): the Door Lock Module instructions did not tell me the LED error
code indication for having the black wire (ground pin) accidentally
pushed out of the car's connector - I inadvertently did this, and it
made the Door Lock Module act very strange, which really should be
expected (it kept trying to lock the drivers door about 15 times until
it timed out with both RED LEDS blinking) - the good news is no damage
to the Module or to the door solenoids!  well, OK, can't really expect
the instructions to cover all the possible installation errors....

anyway, although the Door Lock Module is a somewhat pricey item, it
should go a long way to reducing one of the main headaches of DeLorean
ownership

and I'm sure that there was a rather significant NRE expense in
designing and testing this device - like a lot of the good upgrades
that the various vendors have come up with, they have to sell a bunch
of them to break even - not a huge market potential like MP-3 players,
etc. to spread design cost over

so, I've just placed an order for a second Digital Door Lock Module
with DPNW - being an electrical and computer engineer, I'm just
jealous that I did not design it...

Cliff





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