Question Could I power a cars instrument cluster that I found in the trash at work?

UberGPU

Commendable
Jan 29, 2017
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Hello everyone. So, quick background story, I work at a car dealership and I was doing the trash when I saw 3 instrument clusters sitting next to the recycling bins in perfect condition. I decided to take one because it is from a fairly new car, a 2015 acura MDX, plus it just looks kinda cool. I got home and thought of how cool it would be if I could somehow run power to it and make it turn on. It would be AWESOME if I could have it light up and sit on my desk, as I am both a hardcore gamer and car enthusiast. The part number is 78100-STX-A61. It has 2 connections on the back- a 12 pin connection and a 24 pin connection. I would really love if one of you guys could help me with this little mini-project. It doesnt have to actually work, I just want the thing to light up. I just really dont know what the individual connections/pins do... If you need any more information about the part or anything let me know and I will be willing to help you get as much information as you need! Thanks so much, cheers :)
 

Math Geek

Glorious
Herald
if all you want is lights to work, can you just pop it open and wire up the lights to a 12v source? at least this is what my first thought would be.

my second thought would be to get one of those 12 and 24 pin connections from a junk yard and a wiring diagram for it. then hook power to the right leads and it should function as well.

these would be my first 2 attempts anyway.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
If you work at a dealership, you can probably discover a service manual for that car.
This will lead you to the wiring schematic.
Which will lead you to identifying the power and ground pins on the cluster.

Provide power and ground, and lights!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
This being a 2015 Acura, I expect a lot of the dash blinken lights are computer controlled digital. Not sure how much discovering the 12v input will do.
Or even the xmas lights thing.
 

Math Geek

Glorious
Herald
that;s what i wondered as well. hooking up power may not be enough. some of the stuff may have been controlled by a switch elsewhere and may need to be "triggered" to come on. like for instance when headlights are turned on, this often turns on some back lighting for the instrument cluster. wiring diagram may be helpful here to identify how to trigger some or all of them. or what other things have to happen to get all the lights to come on and how that is represented to the cluster.
 

UberGPU

Commendable
Jan 29, 2017
12
0
1,510
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that;s what i wondered as well. hooking up power may not be enough. some of the stuff may have been controlled by a switch elsewhere and may need to be "triggered" to come on. like for instance when headlights are turned on, this often turns on some back lighting for the instrument cluster. wiring diagram may be helpful here to identify how to trigger some or all of them. or what other things have to happen to get all the lights to come on and how that is represented to the cluster.
This being a 2015 Acura, I expect a lot of the dash blinken lights are computer controlled digital. Not sure how much discovering the 12v input will do.
Or even the xmas lights thing.
think I could somehow power it with a computer power supply if I supply power to the right pins?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
think I could somehow power it with a computer power supply if I supply power to the right pins?
This is what you're looking at?


A computer PSU is overkill here.
All you're looking to do it turn on some light bulbs. If those actually exist in there.

It looks like this is analog gauges with actual movable needles?
 

UberGPU

Commendable
Jan 29, 2017
12
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1,510
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This is what you're looking at?


A computer PSU is overkill here.
All you're looking to do it turn on some light bulbs. If those actually exist in there.

It looks like this is analog gauges with actual movable needles?
----Here: https://www.acurapartswarehouse.com/oem/acura~meter~assy~combi~78100-stx-a61.html
is a link to the parts website with a schematic drawing of the housing and the actual gauges, and
----this: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiBm7TitqrhAhVBm-AKHdZ-A2YQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https://www.amazon.ca/Acura-Speedometer-Cluster-Meter-78100-STX-A61/dp/B071FJF6N8&psig=AOvVaw0KYOmL7NoPERC5LCTi2I0W&ust=1554054614474396
is what it looks like
 

UberGPU

Commendable
Jan 29, 2017
12
0
1,510
0
It is basically just turning on LED's, I dont even need the needles to move. I just need to know what pins to supply power to. There are other images on google images if you just google "acura part 78100-STX-A61" It shous the back where the connections are.

Sidenote- how cool would it be to have the needles somehow move in sync with a racing game such as forza horizon 4???? That would be sweet......
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Moving the needles requires varying voltage, in this case, controlled by the car computer.

Can it be done? Yes.
Does it need serious investigation? Again, yes.
Far more than just a simple 12v input.
 

Math Geek

Glorious
Herald
i'd ask the guys in the shop that work there to look up the wiring diagram for you real quick. they have access to much better stuff than i could google. would take them a minute to print the page for you and then you can power the right leads.

even hanes/chilton manuals have crappy diagrams that barely help you if you REALLY know what you're doing. but the stuff the shops subscribe to are much much better
 

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