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My ValetShield

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by SteveW25561, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    #1 SteveW25561, Sep 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    While we wait and hope for a valet function (currently, Sept 2014), I decided to take at least one point of failure out of the equation. I know many will say avoid valets, let's be realistic: the Tesla demographic is more likely to go to high end places, or there may be functions where you really can't avoid them. This weekend, I was going to a wedding and I knew a valet would be involved.

    Valets will always press a keyfob to unlock a car. It helps them find one in the lot, and it's the usual mode of operation. It's far too easy for them to accidentally pop the frunk, then say "oops" and close it like any other hood. Bam: you have the frunk crease. You might not see it since it's more likely night when you get your car, and it's hard to prove fault.

    As predicted, at the wedding this weekend, I had to grab something from my car, and the valet held the fob and tried to press it. I had my ValetShield on, and he was foiled!

    Here's the idea: make a form-fitting plastic shield that prevents the buttons from being pressed, yet allows the radio signal through to proximity unlock. Put the shield on top of the keyfob and slip it into a fobpocket. I like learning new skills, so I went for it before the wedding this weekend.

    I've never vacuum formed anything, but the idea sounded fun to make, and I wanted a project anyhow. I made a quick and dirty vacuum former, grabbed some styrene I had around, then made my ValetShield. I decided to go all in and painted it with some metallic blue paint I had (from building an R2D2!), and then clearcoated it. Yes, I spent waaaay too much time on this, but it was fun and something new to me. Maybe I'll find a use for my vacuum former for other stuff.

    It slips tightly into the Tesla fob holder as well as Pete's neoprene Fobpocket (pictured). It was tight (in fact the Tesla pocket left an imprint in the still-soft clearcoat that I'll buff out tomorrow), and it doesn't fit in the leather fobpocket. I'm sure it won't fit into the form-fitting silicone pockets either.

    BTW, I passed this idea onto Pete of fobpocket fame a few weeks ago and encouraged him to make these commercially. At that time, it was just an idea, and now this is the proof of concept. I release it to the public domain and invite anyone to make these, and market them commercially at will (especially Pete, who might even think of a better idea). I wouldn't mind getting a sample unit any makers want to say thanks for the idea, but I relinquish any copyrights to this idea/implementation.

    This was a first-and only run at this, and I think it turned out well. Even better, it foiled the valet this weekend! If Tesla actually makes a valet function and disables the frunk release, then this will just be a footnote, but it was fun to make anyhow.


    Vacuum former parts: didn't end up using the draft seal since the area was quite small. Drilled a bunch of extra holes in the grid to increase vacuum. 12x12" wood canvas from Michaels ($28 - 40%, I think) plus pegboard (huge 4x6 sheet for $6 at Home depot). Used the shopvac I had at home.

    Vacuum%20machine%20parts.jpg

    My own version of "Body in White":

    1st%20casting%20compare.jpg

    Cut%20it%20out.jpg
    Body%20in%20white.jpg

    ValetShield on!

    Body%20in%20white%202.JPG

    Now, just wasting time. Painted metallic blue (fitting since the styrene sheet was from leftover parts from my R2D2 build, so the paint is the R2D2 paint!). Yes, I am a supreme geek.

    2014-09-08%2020.00.06.jpg
    2014-09-08%2019.57.43.jpg

    P9080017.JPG

    Fitting into the Tesla fob holder and Pete's neoprene FobPocket:

    2014-09-08%2020.23.03.jpg
    2014-09-08%2020.24.42.jpg

    And, in case you want to waste a bit of time, here's an older video of my R2D2 when it was about 90% finished.
     
  2. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    I'd buy one for sure!! Come on Abstract Ocean!!! Great idea and follow through.
     
  3. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    I'm just amazed at the creativity on this forum. Great job.
     
  4. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Amazing!!! Still never valeted my car (besides Tesla service)
     
  5. Gabzqc

    Gabzqc Member

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    +1 for the tutorial with pictures! love this!
     
  6. Neech

    Neech Member

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    This is a great idea. I never thought about the valet pushing the wrong buttons since I rarely need to take the fob out of my purse. I have a small crease in my frunk lid and wondered how it got there. Valet!
     
  7. flybob08

    flybob08 Member

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    This is a great idea - Have never played with vacuum forming before. Thanks for the tutorial.
     
  8. invisik

    invisik Member

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    Cool idea. (and R2D2!)

    I naturally didn't read all the text at first, just scrolled to the first picture... I thought for a second you were going to mount that pegboard looking piece over the touchscreen! I suppose that's one way to have Valet Mode.

    -m
     
  9. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    Great idea, thanks for sharing the details :smile:
     
  10. ken830

    ken830 Model S (Res#P12,447)

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    We need more details on your vacuum forming! I guess at this small size, it's not too complex, but I've been wanting to vacuum form my own R/C bodies for quite some time, and have considered a few DIY solutions I've read about online.
     
  11. Idbvideo

    Idbvideo Member

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    How about 3D printing a valet shield? All it takes is for someone to create the initial model, upload it to somewhere like thingiverse, this can be downloaded and printed on personal 3d printers or sent to a 3d printing house for the 3d challenged people. I would happily design one but hey I only have a Ford Mondeo :) I just need a lottery win heheh
     

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