Dave Phipps has been building remote control systems for his 1969 Pontiac GTO for years. His masterpiece? Using a system called RedEye to remotely control the car’s ignition, radio, doors and more with an iPod Touch.
Dave is both a car guy and an electronics nerd. He’s been chasing sparks for decades and had installed a reel-to-reel sound system in his Fairlane Wagon capable of extralegal volumes back in the 70s. But his true passion is GTOs. He’s been buying, rebuilding, and customizing ’69 Goats for over 25 years, counting 14 different cars to his name. He pulled the bones of this car out of a barn in 1990 and paid all of $400 for it. While not much more than a cab and frame he set to work restoring it and building it into something he could tinker with.
There’s isn’t a single scrap of original wiring in this GTO. After he purchased the car, Phipps stripped it down to the frame and completely rewired it with a car wide network tying every device and switch to a central 110 block, much more common in structured data and control systems. With this block in place it allowed him to tie in remote control systems starting with a simple key fob. Following the key-fob he created a control system using a 2.4gHz cell phone which used the speed-dial to create timed events like putting up the top and rolling up the windows. The next upgrade was voice control, using a Bluetooth unit tied to a cell phone to create complete voice control over the car. All of that still works, but his latest — and coolest upgrade yet — uses an iPod Touch.