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  1. #1
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    Video out from factory VES system

    The Mopar VES system is a console mounted rear display DVD system. It conists of a flip-up LCD screen and a DVD player. The system is extremely well integrated into the vehicle; the only complaint is that there is no 'video out' plug that would faciliate using the VES as a DVD player for other screens in the vehicle.

    The possibilities are endless, but by using the nav2go mod from supporting vendor Dominic at www.TVandNav2Go.com one could display DVD's on the front screen if they so wished. Caution -- the general wisdom is that displays of DVDs, TV's etc. that are visible to the driver while the car is in motion are illegal--so use this mod accordingly.

    This how-to will show how to fabricate a video-out feed from the VES. It does not deal with how to install the nav2go mod -- that has been covered elsewhere in the forum. A nod to cbutler32 (a member here but mostly on the 'other' forum) - he was a very strong advocate of this mod and his research lead me to the internal wiring harnesses that for me, were the key to getting this done.

    To do this mod, one has to be comfortable with stripping insulation off of and soldering tiny little wires. The pics are close-ups, in the real world old guys like me need double magnifying spectacles just to see these tiny conductors.

    The VES does not have to be removed from the vehicle, however doing so may help you position things to solder better.

    Depending on how comfortable you are with this stuff the mod will take a couple of hours to half a day.

    Tools and supplies needed:
    -fine phillips screwdriver
    -pencil soldering iron
    -sharp, thin blade knife
    -solder with flux core
    -butter knife (to remove trim cover)
    -needlenose pliers and/or good tweezers
    -torx driver (only needed to remove VES)
    -electrical tape
    -22ga or 24ga wire
    -female RCA jack, preferably pre-molded on a cable
    -3/32" and 3/16" heat shrink tubing
    -sample DVD; Grinner's Moddin' Art recommended

    Some other tips to help the mod go better:
    1. have a small container (say tupperware) for the screws and bits that you are going to remove. No, you will not be able to find them on the carpet easily.
    2. put a towel or some sort of cover on your seats. You will be sliding in and out a lot and kneeing on them. Might as well save you a future clean-up.
    3. I did not disconnect the battery, although it is wise to do so. I did have the key out of the ignition though, so no accessory power was on.

    So I'll start with a couple of pointers on VES removal should you want to do that.

    The VES is held in by only 4 torx screws. The front two are visible and easily seen. However the rear two require the back panel of the console to be removed. This in turn requires the console itself to be loosened or removed as the back panel is fastened by two screws on the inside at the bottom of the panel. Pics on this subject are in post #4 of this How-to.

    Ok, now to the video out wiring.

    Remove VES cover. There are 5 screws, 3 at the front and 2 on the rear top under a cover.



    The rear cover has a small slot:


    I used a butter knife to pry it up:


    Which reveals the 2 screws:


    The cover will now lift off:


    On the rear side, the cover has to be moved towards the front of the car a tiny bit (the aligning pins won't easily clear unless you do this).


    Once the cover is off, you will see the internal wiring harnesses:


    We will be dealing with 2 wires on the 10 pin harness. BTW the red/blue wires connect to the switch that turns the unit off when it is folded down -- NOTE: with this mod, when the rear screen is folded down, the screen goes off, but if the unit itself is still on, the video out feed remains active, cool huh?

    The 3 pin harness goes to the cover for the video lockout switch.


    It is advisible to pull the 3 pin connector while doing this mod to allow the cover to be set aside out of the way.

    The wires we need to tap are the ones that feed the LCD display on the VES. These 2 wires are actually in one coax conductor:


    As a bit of a sidebar, although the coax cable itself was pretty suggestive that these were the correct wires, it is always better to test first rather than blow some sensitive part. So Jaak the u-connect electronics genius lent me an oscilloscope, advised the output should be about 1 volt and that the display would be a high (but not ultra high) frequency.

    If you like to watch paint dry, here is a vid of the scope test: Thanks Jaak -- if I just went with what was suggested on other forums, I would have blown something -- always better to test first!


    Next, remove the heat shrink tubing from the coax wire. This pic shows the 'coax' nature of this cable -- the wire braid around the outside is just visible before it has its own heat shrink insulator:


    Note there are two wires. The white one is the postive wire and is the inner core of the coax, the black one is the outer sheathing of the cable and is ground. You need to remember which is which so you mate them to the video out cable you will be adding later.

    VERY CAREFULLY strip off a small section of the insulation from the black wire. Start with this one to get a feel for this delicate work. The black wire seems to have more conductors than the white wire and is more robust.


    Even MORE CAREFULLY strip a small section of the insulation from the white wire. 'Shaving' the wire is probably a better way to describe it. I suck at this stuff. Be sure to have a sharp knife with a thin blade. Think 'scalpel'. Or there are special purpose wire strippers but be sure you squeeze just enough to cut the insulation and not the strands. In this case, there was no way to cut one end and slip the insulation down the wire, so I had to try to expose one side of the wire and fold the insulation back. I could not find a great knife (the one I had was too large) so this was a bit messy and ended up breaking later -- you'll see...


    Now prepare the cable that will serve as the 'video out' jack. I snipped off part of a donor cable that had a female RCA jack already molded on:


    Then I added small 26ga leads on the unfinished end. This will make soldering the internal VES harness much easier. 26ga is pretty small and may be hard to find; 22ga would work just as well.


    Post continued below (have hit the 16 images/post limit).....
    Last edited by hemiwagn; 05-08-2006 at 11:39 PM.
    2006 Magnum SRT8 "HEMIWAGN"; Hemiwagn2: 468 Aluminum N/A, BFNY built, AJ "Hemituner" designed and tuned. 9.495 @ 143.47 MPH, 1.361 60', 3215lbs with driver, DA-325ft.
    Hemiwagn1: 6.1 N/A recordholder, [email protected] MPH, 1.481 60', 3345lbs with driver, DA+500ft
    Thanks fnkychkn thanked for this post



  2. #2
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    How to: VES video out - continued

    Heat shrink each lead -- be sure to remember which wire is to the inside conductor and which is to the outside conductor since you want to mate them up the VES correctly. I happened to use yellow for the inside wire and black for the ground wire. 3/32" (initial size) heat shrink worked nicely.


    Next I added 3/16" (initial size) heat shrink tubing over both and twisted the wires. Since the video signal is alternating current, the twist may help reduce any RF interference. (Actually I have no idea -- it just looked better and kept the wires neat.)


    Now solder the leads from the video out cable to the exposed wires on the VES. I started with the black lead. This is small, fine soldering, take your time. If you are soldering in the car, you may want to keep a damp rag handy to neutralize any errant solder bits. And be sure to handle the hot pencil soldering iron carefully -- pre-establish a place to set it down when not in use and don't wave it around the car since it will instantly melt or scorch plastic trim, headliners, seats, dash boards etc. And be sure the place you establish is not something you will back into or step on. (Don't ask.)


    Now tape up your connection. I found cutting the tape into short narrow strips helpful.


    Okay, did you notice that something changed in the pic above? Yes the white wire broke. I probably cut a few a few strands when I was stripping it and I moved it around a fair bit when I was soldering the black wire.

    So I had to strip more off each end, and solder in the yellow wire from the Video out cable. I did not take pictures of this (3 AM and a wee bit ticked at myself for letting this happen) but it is not as neat as the black wire.

    Here's a pic of the resulting tape blob--hopefully yours goes better.


    I then ran the video out lead to the drivers side of the VES and taped it down in a couple of places to keep it secure. The are no factory pre-drilled holes to route the cable to the bottom of the unit. I chose to route to the drivers side, away from the cooling fan in the VES to avoid RF interference wherever possible.


    In my case because I had the VES out of the car, I routed the video-out cable to the bottom of the VES unit and connected it to the video-in cable of the 2nd screen. As part of another project, I had pre-run a cable from the Nav2Go unit to the back of the console. Tape the two connectors together so the outside edge of the RCA plug does not contact anything and tape the edge of the VES mounting bracket as it is a bit sharp so it will not damage the video cable.

    If you have not removed the VES, the video-out cable will be hanging on the driver's side -- you can then plug it into the 2nd screen cable as needed (tape the connectors) and be sure to tape or tie-wrap the cables so they don't get caught in the crap we all put in our consoles.


    Now is the time to test. Reinstall the VES (if you removed it) and put a DVD in the VES. If everything goes right you should see something like this (I used Grinner's Moddin' Art (what else?) as my test DVD. Cool eh?


    another dual display pic:


    If everything works correctly, simply re-install the VES cover, put the tools away and enjoy!
    Last edited by hemiwagn; 05-08-2006 at 11:37 PM.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2004
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    Va Beach
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    flippin sweet


    (get it... flippin?)

    ok it's early. Looks awesome, man. Great write up, too.
    I'm still shootin, man!


  4. #4
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    Console removal - mini write up

    Quote Originally Posted by grinner
    flippin sweet

    (get it... flippin?)

    ok it's early. Looks awesome, man. Great write up, too.
    Thanks Grin! Now I can watch your cool vid even more! My wife found me in the driveway yesterday (forgot something in the car -- I was just going to be a 'minute') studying the segement on drag racing staging tips.

    Ok, in this post I'll put in a few tips on how to remove/loosen the console just in case you have to remove the VES.

    First let me explain how the VES is attached to the car:
    4 torx screws - 2 in front, easily visible, and 2 in back that are hidden behind the back panel of the console:


    A pic of the panel and how it mates to the body of the console:


    See the two round holes at the bottom? That is where there are normally 2 screws attaching the rear panel. The vertical oval slots align with mating posts on the panel. The 4 rectangular holes (2 above the A/C vent and two below it) receive clips that are mounted on the panel. They snap in and out really easily.

    Here is what the backside of the rear panel looks like. Note the clips that fit into the rectangular holes.


    The real PITA is having to remove/loosen the console to remove those lower two screws.

    It *may* be possible to simply snap the rear panel off the console at the top and deflect the panel just enough to get at the VES torx screws, but I have not tried this. Of course if one of those torx screws falls in, well you know... As I'm doing mods a lot lately, I just snap the rear panel on and don't bother with the bottom attaching screws.

    But, if you have to remove/loosen the console, the info below may be helpful.

    The console is attached in only 3 places:
    - the floor of the console storage bin (3 screws)
    - 2 screws under the rubber mat in front of the ashtray
    - 2 screws behind the ashtray/switch panel

    Before you start taking stuff apart, set the parking brake, block the wheels and put the car in neutral. This puts the shift knob in an better location to allow the console to move around. The shift interlock requires the key to remain in the ignition to do this so you may want to disconnect the negative lead of the battery to avoid the key chime. Do NOT shut the trunk or hatch if you do this, it is kind of hard to open with the power off.

    Floor of console storage bin: Remove the rubber bin mat (it is not attached, it simply sits at the bottom). There are 3 8mm bolts on the bin floor. (pic not really necessary -- sorry to disappoint)

    2 screws under rubber mat in front of ashtray:
    The rubber mat easily removes with your fingers and reveals the 2 screws you have to take out:


    2 screws behind the ashtray/switch panel:
    This panel is attached with 2 clips -- same kind of clip that holds the rear panel of the console on.

    Open the ashtray. Place your fingers on the 'roof' of the ashtray opening and pull back. It does not take a lot of force and you can't really hurt anything. This short video, while dark, may help:


    Here is one of the now accessible attaching screws:


    Once all the screws and bolts are out, the console is free to be moved around. First, pull it towards the rear of the car a bit. Look at the front sides of the console carefully. They extend under the center stack a bit. IIRC (no pic avail) there are two molded in aligning pins or tabs on the console sides that mate up with corresponding parts on the dash. They are not the strongest pieces so be mindful of these when you tip or uninstall/reinstall the console.

    Also, you cannot fully remove the console from the car because there is a power connector to the 12V plug in the console bin. I did not take pics of this part. But if you want to remove the console you have to disconnect this connector.

    Note that the shifter and shift plate are NOT mounted to the console. They stay in place when you move the console around. To remove the rear screws from the back panel it may be sufficient to simply tilt the back end of the console high enough to reach in to remove the screws. You will likely need another person to help---the console (especially with the VES in place) is heavy. Have someone hold it while you go inside it with a flashlight and a philips screwdriver to undo those screws.

    Reassembly is just the reverse. As mentioned above, I have left those 2 rear panel screws off for now as when the panel is clipped on, it seems very secure and has not been knocked off to date, even with 3 passengers in the back seat.

    Whew-- if you have 56k dialup and got this far you are to be commended. There are a LOT of pics in this how-to, but hopefully it will make it easier for the next guy.
    Last edited by hemiwagn; 05-07-2006 at 07:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Great write up! Thanks for sharing!
    1998 RoadKing Classic
    2001 Panzer Hardtail
    1969 Firebird Conv
    1995 Chevy Z71
    2005 Magnum RT
    http://www.eandjautowreckers.com

  6. #6
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    May 2005
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    AWESOME JOB!!!
    Just well done and put together!
    Thanks for doing it!

    Sincerely,
    SRT Sqd. Leader - call sign "Viper"
    car's name: "Vixen"
    Silver, Options I, II, Kicker, rear DVD
    397.38 RWHP & 400.26 RWTQ
    0-60: 4.5, 1/4: 12.7, Top Spd: 173.38mph
    Performance Options: Magnaflow 3" cat-back exhaust & high-flow "cats", GS CAI, GS TCM, Fan & Torque Mods, 180 T-Stat
    Looks: Ultimate Pedals, SRT8 mats & trunk, painted Red BREMBO'S, fatmatted, Hoen fog lights, 20% tinted windows, Nav/VES, 22elite armrest, Interior LED Bulbs, Chromed Stock SRT Rims, Kicker 10" Sub Upgrade

  7. #7
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    Holy Crap HW, how long did this take you to do with the pictures and write-up?

    Great work!!! It almost makes me want to get the VES and Nav video mod. (Uh oh, more $$$. And I thought I was going to stop at the auto headlight mod.)
    12.217 @ 117 mph on a stock motor

    My Station Wagon was faster...

  8. #8
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    Hmmm i like it!! I might have to do it sometime.
    So damn custom, I don't even need a sig!

  9. #9
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    Nice write-up! However, one question... is there no way to "unplug" the video wires from the harness and simply add the strands from the video-out plug to the ends and reinsert to the harness? That would save all the cutting, insulation removal and heat shrink steps... and possible wire damage. Just curious. Most harnesses are made so that the wires can be removed.
    Still in love with my first wife, and first car ('68 Charger)... Still have the wife!

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    and now... 2015 300C Platinum, Edelbrock SC 2007 Magnum SRT8! Member #4079.

  10. #10
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    There isn't the room on the ground side, so it would not be so easy.

    An alternate way would be to pull it apart, drill a hole in the case and mount an RCA jack directly in the case, with a coax connection soldered directly on to the PC board. But I think hemiwagn's way is the simplest for most people.

  11. #11
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    Impressive write up. Thanks for your time and effort!
    Jason D

    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
    1965 Lincoln Continental Convertible

  12. #12
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    Excuse my ignorance, but how are you connecting the new video out plug to the front screen? Do you have to have the Nav2go mod? Thanks.

    Haywood

  13. #13
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    That's exactly how it's done...

  14. #14
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    OK, Hemiwagn's definately a bad influence on me... I just finished doing this mod with the Nav2Go install. Works great...

  15. #15
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    I am wanting to add the VES to my Magnum and was wondering if anyone knows if the wiring is there in the console. From the looks of it, it should be an easy install if the wires are already run. Any help?

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