Examining the fan speed and temperature adjustment knobs from a Honda Accord HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) control board taught me the existence of rotary encoders that could convey a position from a set of positions within a range of rotation. This was an alternative to potentiometers I had not been aware of, a lesson on top of everything else I learned playing with this module. But all this exploration also meant handling the assembly a lot, eventually breaking something.
This board attached to the main control board via a flexible cable that could only flex so many times before it broke from fatigue. Fortunately, these buttons and lights were associated with HVAC controls, and I hadn’t planned to go figure out that half of the board anyway. And even if these buttons were associated with the CD player, I had no luck so far reading button presses either. Either way, no big loss, and I dropped it in my pile of electronic circuit boards.
When I did so, a shape in the pile caught my eye. A week ago, it was just another electrical connector on a unmarked circuit board I forgot details about. But I now recognize it as the edge connector matching one on the CD/HVAC control board I’ve been exploring. Which meant this circuit board used to be the CD player mainboard that sat behind the dashboard.
Almost as valuable as the connector itself are silkscreened information on the circuit board, labeling the pins. I had puzzled out a preliminary subset just from poking around with a multimeter, but now I have the answer key. I was happy to find confirmation for my guesses and filling in unknowns. Earlier I was puzzled by the hint that multiple pins might be ground, and now I can see there are indeed three pins (7, 8, and 9) all connected to ground. I had traced out a dedicated pin for the power button (24), but I had missed the adjacent one was for eject (23). Things along those lines.
I hadn’t put any effort into figuring out the illumination pins, because I didn’t want to risk making a mistake that would send +14.4V into the wrong place and burning things up. But now that I see lamp pins clearly labeled, I want to light them up.