So, if you follow my blogs, you would have noticed that many years back, I installed a Head Up Display unit to project revs, shift lights, road speed onto the windscreen. This turned out to be a great mod that enable me to read where 'things' were during hard driving.
Now, I am not sure whether or not this happens to with other, more standard installations (ie shift lights right in front of you), however with time, my brain seemed to completely look through the HUD on the windscreen. This got so bad that, I now don't really notice that the display is there - and therefore completely useless to me in any condition.
So, I needed a solution.
Whist watching a F1 show, someone mentioned that most F1 cars now have a beeper system (in helmet) that allows the drivers to hear when best to shift up! Genius. This may be old news for some of you, however this was a revelation to me. So, I set off trying to make something similar of my own. Unfortunately, due to time and other family matters, I was unable to tinker enough to get a working prototype made, but during my research, I came across one company that is already doing this for Honda S2000 customers!
Modifry produce a product they call Redline Shift Beeper that seem to be answer to my prayers. So, without further delay, once was purchased...
What do you get
So, the kit is pretty comprehensive and comes with all that you will need to get the unit installed, apart from a couple of wires for the power supply.
The image below came straight from Modify's website and explains best what you get.
More details on the cost etc here
The installation on the Elise is actually pretty simple. You have 2 wires for the power supply and the third for the tachometer read.
1. Remove the column shrouding. There a number of screws here, so just work your way round.
2. Once the shroud is off, locate two bolts under the instrument binnacle holding the whole unit down. Un-do these and free up the Stack unit with its shroud. The large connector at the back simply unplugs by squeezing the blue safety clip down and pull.
3. Leverage out the trim around the light switches, exposing two screws holding the fascia in place.
4. Un-do these two screws and further two holding the top cover to the facial and remove
Note: To completely remove the light switches fascia, you will need to unplug them from behind. This is quite tight in space, but you should be able to get through to them.
5. Once completely all the wiring is completely exposed, locate the tachometer wire from the big connector removed at the back of the Stack unit. Please check with you Elise manual for the correct colouring as I have seen the colours changing from loom to loom.
6. Once located, 'tap' the tacho reader wire from the beeper system into it.
7. Locate a ground and positive feed for the power supply. For me, I chose to use power cables running to the bank switch on the dash. These are only energised on ignition.
Note: At this point, its worth connecting up the rest of the unit as per instruction manual and put it into test mode. This mode allows you to validate that you are receiving the right tacho feed and its linear as with RPM increase. The beeps will remain at a constant interval at idle and quicken as the revs increase.
8. Once happy that all is working as it should, I would spend some time tying things up including deciding where best to place the sounder and the controller.
9. Route all the wires to the appropriate locations and check lengths location etc.
10. Re-instate the instrument binnacle and the switches.
11. Attach the sounder and the controller to its final location. I used Velcro for this.
12. Set the maximum change point and the intervals between beeps.
Note: For that initial testing, I suggest that you set this at lower RPM so that you don't have to rev the nuts out of your car in checking whether or not it works. This can be raised to the final point once happy.
I set my shift point at 8,600 rpm and after a few test runs, I can honestly say I am pretty impressed. I will have to 'tune' my ear to the the sound and rythem of the beeps, however as I accelerate, I hear beep, beep, beep then change. Bloody brilliant and much better than the HUD I have.
Some people have been concerned that the sounder would not be loud enough for track activities, especially if wearing a helmet. Well, the sounder is really, really loud and can be placed anywhere. You may have to experiment with various locations before you find one that works for you.
Mine is within the foot well and at maximum RPM, with the charger screaming, I can still hear the beeps very clearly. If I wanted it to be louder, I would move it higher up to face me.
I can fully recommend this mod. Check compatibility with the company, but I can't see why it would not work with all engine variants.
I am beeptastic!
A video from their site...
Its been some months now (over a year) since I had the beeper installed and I must say they are great. Once you get used to the peep, peep, peep, change rhythm, its amazing how well it works. One of my better mods for sure.
Oh, as a side, depending on how you use your car, you will need to think about where you place the sounder. I initially had it mounted by my feet, but in the end I had to move it to the coin tray on the driver side. It maybe better still placed just behind the driver's head?