Anything like these gauges around?
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This is a discussion on Anything like these gauges around? within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; This is only a modified image borrowed from jehcpa's post "Tired of that little Lameco turbo gauge you can't read? ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Crisalys's Avatar
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    Anything like these gauges around?

    This is only a modified image borrowed from jehcpa's post "Tired of that little Lameco turbo gauge you can't read?.

    I was wondering if there was anything like this out in the market...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mod.jpg  

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  3. #2
    Registered User Crisalys's Avatar
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    (see image in previous post)

    I'm looking for LEDs at the edge of the bezel that light up in simulation of the "needle" that points to the gauge markings, as well as LED readout of actual numbers (I forgot to put the numbers on the center pod gauges, but you get the idea).

    What can I say? I grew up watching Knight Rider as a kid. (although Jackie Chan's US movie debut in Cannonball Run shows a Subaru with digital readouts too- anyone remember that?)

    Cris

  4. #3
    Registered User EvilCerealBoX's Avatar
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    thats gonna be expensive

  5. #4
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    I do believe that Mercedes has something around those lines in their upper class models.
    Check out www.wrxyz.com it's another great site.

  6. #5
    Registered User Th3Franz's Avatar
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    We had a 1990 Buick Regal way back when and that had a digital speedometer.
    - F r a n z
    Bucky with teh lime powah!

  7. #6
    Registered User Crisalys's Avatar
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    I remember seeing tach and speedo gauges like the ones I "created" in the picture above, but that was something like 10 years ago in the J.C. Whitney catalog. Doing a search at that website for "digital gauges" came up with one manufacturer- Cyberdyne Instruments. Searching google.com came up with a bunch of sites that sell their gauges, but no manufacturer web site.

    Most of the sites including the J.C. Whitney site) use a stock photo of an oil pressure gauge, which is only a red numerical readout. Only JEG'S High Performance had an image of a tachometer face, but it was hand made- not a photo

    Anyone know of Cyberdyne Instruments and their product line?

    (the image below is from the JEG'S website)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cyberdyne.jpg  

  8. #7
    Registered User qoncept's Avatar
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    You could get most all of the things you want gauges for via the ODB-II port. Can you program? It wouldn't be too hard, and lots of libraries already exist. Or you could get Deltadash.

    I had actually considered a 7" lcd instead of buying gauges, but it seems like more research than I was willing to do. I'm not much interested in doing programming in my free time now that I've got to do it all day at work -- especially when a product that'll do it (deltadash) already exists (and for more money than I'm willing to pay at the moment).

    Originally, since I'd been messing with making a center gauge pod, I thought about putting an LCD in there facing directly up so it'd create a HUD on the windshield, but ended up deciding one in the stereo double din would be better. I figured you could probably fit a VIA epia motherboard behind it and in addition to gauges, you'd have datalogging, and an mp3 and movie player if you wanted to throw a hard drive and/or cdrom in. The biggest problems would be 1) heat and 2) dealing with proper startup and shutdown of the pc.

    Anyway, I'm babbling again.. peace.

  9. #8
    Registered User Crisalys's Avatar
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    NONO... PLEASE BABBLE!

    Seriously, I enjoy building computers in my spare time, and the idea of actually setting one up to replace or supplement the dash display intrigues me.

    Startup/shutdown shouldn't be a problem- all motherboards utilize 12-volt power... One just needs to do is reduce the amperage. (I'm oversimplifying here, as motherboards also require a 5-volt power supply, as well as line noise isolators- ever try listening to AM radio with the heater going?). The computer could either start up with the car, or better yet, a relay switch could be designed so the car WOULDN'T start until the user/driver logged in- a key switch to start the computer, and a login/password to start the car- talk about security....

    You got my creative juices flowing-- a fanless micro ITX design could fit behind or in the glove box... the one described in the link is 170mm x 170mm... that's a little under 6.75 inches square. The system would utilize a laptop hard drive.

    I even see being able to use a cellular modem (the type used by laptops that use the PC-Card interface) to provide instant yahoo/mapquest maps. Input could be provided by either a wireless keyboard/mouse or a touchscreen device.

    Pioneer makes a slot-load DVD-ROM drive which would make backing up the hard drive and installing programs easy (as well as playing DVDs, but let's not be watching "2 Fast 2 Furious" while out driving around town, okay?). Multiple USB ports provide a perfect means of copying MP3s to the hard drive from one of those solid state USB Flash Drives

    Okay.... now, where did I put that book, "Programming in C++ for Gimps and Dreamers"? (I can do the hardware for the computer, but I can't program worth a crap).

    You said you do programming- which do you think would be better- Linux for stability, or Windows for the plethora of software that already exists?
    Last edited by Crisalys; 03-03-2004 at 09:44 AM.

  10. #9
    Registered User Crisalys's Avatar
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    Just thought of something else.... if heat were a problem, a reversible fan that would duct air TO the outside in the summer (cuz I'd definitely want the AC on), and pull air FROM the outside in the winter.

    Cris

  11. #10
    Registered User qoncept's Avatar
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    If for nothing else, I'd use linux because you can configure it to boot and shut down a whole lot faster. And you're right -- you could add on anything you want to make it more fun (GPS card, wireless lan so you can pull up somewhere near the house and download new music..).

    That said, I've never done any programming in linux or used linux enough to know my way around. But a program in java would be portable so I could run it in Windows or Linux anyway. Back when mp3s were new there were a few people trying to put computers in their cars, and (what was it, 8 years ago?) at the time it wasn't very impressive. The heat inside the double din would be a big burden (especially here in Alabama) and the shock (especially with aftermarket springs/shocks) would be rough on a hard drive.

    My biggest issue, as a programmer, wouldn't be making the gauges or making them customizable, but learning the I/O of the odb-ii port. Food for thought..

  12. #11
    Registered User qoncept's Avatar
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    www.scantool.net -- it's open source so it could be made a lot cooler.

  13. #12
    Registered User Crisalys's Avatar
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    Originally posted by qoncept
    The heat inside the double din would be a big burden...
    Then we don't put in the double din...Heck, something as small as that micro ITX board could fit in the lining of the roof.

    I know of a P4 2.6 computer that has just ONE fan, and is in an over-heated apartment (80F+) all year round (bad circulation)- a slower mobile processor (like a Mobile Athlon 1600+ or Centrino chip) or a Transmeta or VIA C3 processor would be enough to run the basic functions without going hog wild on processor speed- it's not like were talking about trying to play Unreal Tournament 2003 while on I-95 doing 70+ mph...

    Originally posted by qoncept
    ...the shock (especially with aftermarket springs/shocks) would be rough on a hard drive.
    I agree that g-shocks could be an issue, but expensive shockproof laptops do exist, as this caption under a photo of someone drenching a laptop with a garden hose points out at the link above...

    “Ruggedized” computers — at around $6,000 a pop — are encased in high-grade magnesium and are designed to function while exposed to heavy dust, gas or moisture. Itronix’s GoBook MAX continues to function even after being dropped more than 50 times from three feet.

    I'll tell ya, if I had enough cash onhand to experiment and make mistakes, I'd do it.

    On the other hand, I am currently just short of being able to rub two dimes together... by about 20 cents.

    Cris

  14. #13
    Registered User qoncept's Avatar
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    All said, it could be done for not a whole lot more than a decent gauge setup.

    Stock center gauge (for re-mounting a SINGLE din stereo) $70
    7" LCD - I believe computergeeks.com had one for under $100
    mini-atx motherboard (you want movies? > 1ghz, otherwise the 500mhz one is fine) $80
    Then, depending on what you want gauges for, you'll need senders, and an ODB-II cable runs about $20.
    And a powersource will probably cost about $50.
    Then figure another $50 for miscellaneous things, like input devices, cables and such.

    Not bad, considerring I spent $300 for my VDO setup. Play it right and we can make a few bucks selling these in packages. But I don't quite have the entreprenurial spirit for that -- I'll just help people out. I've just got too much going on and too many other things I'd like to spend my money on to do this right now. Now, if someone were to donate parts, I might change my mind.

  15. #14
    Registered User Th3Franz's Avatar
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    Hm, I love this geek stuff. I got a Syntax CPU/Mobo combo for $5 after rebate. It's 1.2 GHz and supports DDR memory, so I just have to figure out how I want to power it and what screen to use. I have to do more reading on mp3car.com . . .
    - F r a n z
    Bucky with teh lime powah!

  16. #15
    Registered User qoncept's Avatar
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    My interest is getting stirred again..
    A few of the things I know we could pull from the ODB-II port:

    Intake temp
    Boost
    RPM/speed/throttle position (for datalogging)
    Timing advance
    Engine temp (coolant)
    AF ratio (but narrow band)

    The good news is you really wouldn't have to put much money in to equipment until you actually did the setup -- just plug it in to a laptop and the software could be developed and tested on it. My mom's got an old pentium 150 laptop she could send me which should be sufficient for something like this. We'll see how the new job I'm starting next week goes and maybe I'll get interested again.

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