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Farrar
07-26-2011, 03:12 PM
I just got my Arduino Uno in the mail today and must say it's quite impressive. For those not in the know, this is a simple I/O board for DIY electronics projects. Here's a link (https://encrypted.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Farduino.cc%2Fen%2FMain%2FArduinoB oardUno&rct=j&q=arduino%20uno&ei=RwAvTuGDCsGitgew87mjCQ&usg=AFQjCNHbQ0qPgdgA7arw12ZDtRUDk3UinA&cad=rja) to more detailed information and a datasheet from the manufacturer.

It fits in the palm of my hand. I didn't expect it to be that small, but this is my first electronics hobby "kit" (I bought it along with a small solderless breadboard and an LCD display) so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The Arduino even has a "reset" button on it!

I am thinking in the future that an Arduino or two could be the basis of a DeLorean digital dashboard. When you think of it, this would be fairly easy: all of the gauge senders are electronic. (Well, almost all of them: the speedometer/odometer is the obvious exception, but with GPS speedometer/odometers now available requiring only 6 seconds or less to find a signal, I think a GPS sensor would be an appropriate substitute.)

So what does all this mean right now? Nothing for the community, I'm afraid. I can't offer a digital dashboard for the DeLorean community, but in the process of creating one I need knowledge.

I am hoping that someone here already knows what I can expect from the various sensors/senders in our cars, e.g. a sender will send a value of 15 Ohms to 200 Ohms and the gauge reads 0 degrees to 260 degrees. I guess I could test these using my own multimeter but I am hoping someone else has already figured this out so I am not duplicating another's work.

What I REALLY need to know, though, is if there's somewhere out there where I can buy a GPS sensor to use for an Arduino-based speedometer/odometer. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Farrar

Bitsyncmaster
07-26-2011, 03:50 PM
Your thinking of one very big project. Get started with one gauge and build your project from there.

Start with the volt gauge. You can test by just connecting your one input to the cigarette lighter.

nullset
07-26-2011, 04:19 PM
sparkfun.com has some GPS modules that will happily talk to your Arduino.

Have fun!

GPS doesn't work under bridges/etc, though, so I wouldn't make a GPS speedometer be your only source.

--buddy

Bitsyncmaster
07-26-2011, 04:22 PM
sparkfun.com has some GPS modules that will happily talk to your Arduino.

Have fun!

GPS doesn't work under bridges/etc, though, so I wouldn't make a GPS speedometer be your only source.

--buddy

Some do a good job showing speed with accelerometers when the GPS signal is lost. They also update speed much faster.

dmc6960
07-26-2011, 05:10 PM
I'm already doing this....

dmc6960
07-26-2011, 05:41 PM
...started on this back in spring. Posted about it on .com, had a 4 page thread going, then we all know what happened to .com...

Summary of the project...

Complete replacement digitally controlled instrument cluster.
All gauges use stepper-motor driven needles.
Angle drive replaced with electronic pickup.
Gauge faces completely stock-looking and truly backlit with proper matching colors and full dimming.
140mph and/or 85mph and/or metric speedometer gauge face.
VFD or 7-segment LED 999,999 mile odometer and 999.9 mile trip meter.
Possible optional digital speed readout in odometer display.
Electronically controlled LAMBDA light, possible optional strobe flashing to alert of overheating.
Possible optional universal fuel gauge sender compatibility (no external logic box).

Thats the quick list. Could be more options. Along with building the electronics, this also needs to develop a completely new plastic cluster housing, new faceplates for the gauges, new backlit overlays for the gauges, and new translucent needles.

Benefits include...
ELIMINATION OF ANGLE DRIVE AND 95% OF ALL SPEEDOMETER MECHANICS.
More precisely (more accurate) controlled gauges
Overheat alerting
Elimination of rear flex board
Backlighting!
Generic fuel level senders
100,000+ mile ODO display (for those hard-core drivers out there)

I'll likely start a new thread as this progresses. Ideally I'd like to have it complete for showing at DCS next year. Probably is a longshot but we'll see. I'm not using Adruino Uno (ironically I just learned of its existence a few hours ago), I'm using PIC micro controllers.

Farrar
07-26-2011, 07:24 PM
Your thinking of one very big project. Get started with one gauge and build your project from there.

Exactly! And since I don't plan on ever selling the car, I can take as much time as I need.


sparkfun.com has some GPS modules that will happily talk to your Arduino.

Thanks!


Some do a good job showing speed with accelerometers when the GPS signal is lost. They also update speed much faster.

Excellent -- and the Arduino is accelerometer-friendly.


I'm already doing this....

Great! I'd love to get into the nitty gritty of how you're doing it and collaborate -- unless of course you're planning on selling your setup and don't want to get rid of your trade secrets, in which case I understand. Admittedly, you and I have something different in mind for the end product. I believe you are using off-the-shelf gauges -- correct? -- Whereas my goal was to have an all-digital instrument cluster with LEDs and backlit LCD displays. Your way might in fact be more feasible, but with the Arduino set to drive an LCD display with simply a little code involved, I thought it might be worth a shot.

FWIW, the Arduino is a PIC microcontroller... it just happens to be open-source and programmable via USB -- and I have Linux on a laptop, so it seemed a logical choice for me.

Just out of curiosity dmc6960, are you planning on mounting a sensor at one of your fuel injectors so that you can monitor fuel consumption?

Farrar

dmc6960
07-26-2011, 08:42 PM
My gauges will be completely custom built. There are no off-the-shelf gauges that will accurately accomplish what I want. I've already done that research. The end result is desired to look exactly like a stock cluster. Only difference would be the ODO display and being backlit at night. Imagine the HVAC decal, the version without the outlines. I hope to have the needles driven by the same stepper motors and controllers production cars come with. The stepper motors are easy to get, the driver chips are proving to be difficult.

I have no problem collaborating, I'm not a product Nazi. I'd like to be able to sell these to other people once it is completed. This would allow many more owners to enjoy the improvement. It also would recoup my costs getting decals professionally printed, the new plastic housing, circuit board, minimum part quantities, etc. I also don't think I'll be able to tackle all aspects of the code or electronics, so I may have to pay out o a developer for some of that a well.

I don't need any extra sensors on the injectors for fuel consumption. This can be calculated by the logs in Megasquirt - injector PWM, duty cycle, initial opening time, etc. With the addition of a VSS, which I'll have once the project is complete, it can also calculate realtime mileage. I haven't looked to much into this though.

Kevin
07-26-2011, 09:02 PM
Ooo I'm excited about this project, be sure to keep us updated. We've been using Arduinos around my office to automate silly things, like adjusting the blinds on the windows, and we have one that monitors the weight of the coffee pot and lets us know when it's getting low (some people just don't like to refill it). I'll second sparkfun.com, we've bought a few sensors from there to complete various tasks.

Jonathan
07-26-2011, 09:12 PM
Farrar,

Is this more or less a home DIY PLC? I played with a lot of PLC's when I was commissioning water treatment plants. We used a lot of Allen Bradley as well as GE Fanuc PLC's. Basically it gets programmed with some form of ladder logic software. Plug in all your discrete or analog inputs and outputs and then tell it what to do. If that is kind of what your product here does that is pretty sweet. Almost endless possibilities.

qwerk
07-27-2011, 11:22 PM
One of my projects on the UW-Madison Hybrid Vehicle team was to find a way to make a dashboard readout of the high voltage battery's charge and temperature. This was how it ended up at one stage, although in the end I had the Arduino generate a black and white NTSC TV signal that was displayed on the car's head unit.

Farrar
07-28-2011, 10:31 AM
Nice -- I've seen an Arduino used for a video overlay. Pretty basic, but pretty cool. Kind of amazing what you can do with a $30 board and a few other inexpensive parts. :)

Farrar

jangell
07-28-2011, 12:37 PM
Farrar,

Is this more or less a home DIY PLC? I played with a lot of PLC's when I was commissioning water treatment plants. We used a lot of Allen Bradley as well as GE Fanuc PLC's. Basically it gets programmed with some form of ladder logic software. Plug in all your discrete or analog inputs and outputs and then tell it what to do. If that is kind of what your product here does that is pretty sweet. Almost endless possibilities.

I've only played with the Arduino a little bit, but that sounds similar. It uses Processing, a C-like language, to program the hardware via a serial connection masquerading as a USB port. There are a few different models of Arduino, which vary by the amount of on-board program storage, speed, and number of digital and analog I/O pins.

I've been planning on doing a similar digital dashboard project myself for years now. I might a bit more ambitious for my UI, though; my plan is to have one or more ethernet-based Ardiunos acting as data collection devices wired into the various sensors in the car connected to a Mac mini driving a widescreen LCD in place of the existing instrument cluster. The only problem is that I never have time to work on it.

-- Joe

qwerk
07-28-2011, 02:02 PM
Kind of amazing what you can do with a $30 board and a few other inexpensive parts. :)

And a TON of soldering. Definitely regretted going with an LCD that was wired up in parallel.

What if you did something like use a small screen for each gauge or set of indicators, instead of one giant display? Might be easier to integrate into the existing instrument cluster.

Farrar
07-28-2011, 02:09 PM
What if you did something like use a small screen for each gauge or set of indicators, instead of one giant display? Might be easier to integrate into the existing instrument cluster.

That's exactly what I was planning on doing, 16x3 backlit LCDs can be had fairly cheaply and I should be able to fit enough of them into the available space.

Farrar

qwerk
07-28-2011, 07:37 PM
Oh, so you would just have words and numbers then?

I was thinking something like these, so you could have a graphical display:
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/710
http://www.adafruit.com/products/250

That second one has a serial interface, so you only need 4 or 5 pins to wire it up. An Arduino Mega should be able to control several of them simultaneously. The only thing is they seem kind of small. Idk, just throwing out ideas.

Edit: I was thinking something sort of like this, except with more screens to spread out the information to make it easier to read and not so ugly: http://ih2.redbubble.net/work.6326259.1.flat,800x800,070,f.jpg

Farrar
07-29-2011, 10:58 AM
Oh, so you would just have words and numbers then?

I was thinking something like these, so you could have a graphical display:
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/710
http://www.adafruit.com/products/250

Just for the speedo and tach.


An Arduino Mega should be able to control several of them simultaneously.

This is why I went with the Arduino. I bought an Uno just to experiment with, mostly to see how many sensors I can throw at it simultaneously and have the readouts on a single screen.

I would eventually like to see something like this:

http://img478.imageshack.us/img478/7179/img0102jr4.jpg

Again, just some ideas -- I haven't actually done anything yet, since I am busy working on my aircon at the moment, which takes top priority this time of year!

Farrar

Kevin
07-29-2011, 04:14 PM
Even better, you can interact with Arduino boards with an iPad. Imagine a touchscreen interface where you can interact with the data that's being collected about your car, plus it can be the media center for your car, and possibly always have an internet connection if you get the 3G model which opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Plus, the iPad 3G already has a GPS built-in, so you're speedo is done (with updates every second or so).

I think I'm going to work towards this route. I'm an iOS developer by day and I've been looking at mounting an iPad in the D just for music, and I've been itching to find another cool Arduino project to work on. I'll let you all know if any of this actually happens, hehe.

Farrar
08-02-2011, 07:34 PM
Temperature sensor

14F = 40 kOhm
212F = 600 Ohm

Farrar

RIUM+
08-08-2011, 10:57 PM
I've been doing something similar myself with an Arduino... I've been planning to have it adaptable to many cars. It's just planned to be a speedometer replacement though... Australia is metric and we have automated speed cameras - I didn't like my chances with the stock DeLorean's instrument cluster!

Also, if you're using a GPS for a dedicated speedometer you want to be VERY picky about which chip you use! Many cheap GPS chips update their data only once a second, quite a few update their positional data regularly but only update the speed data once a second, plus I found lots had an additional second or more of lag for the speed data... it's really disconcerting if you brake hard & only see your speedometer start to drop 2 seconds later.

Feel free to message me if you want some help, advice or code :)

robvanderveer
08-10-2011, 12:34 PM
For a seriously kick-ass display, check here: http://www.planarembedded.com/

Mind you, these are NOT cheap (to say the least, a big screen might be worth more than your DeLorean).

Farrar
08-10-2011, 03:49 PM
Rob,

My plan was to have a couple of small backlit LCD screens displaying vital information, plus a few ordinary gauges and warning lights to the side, rather than one impressive display. That does look nice, though. :)

Farrar

robvanderveer
08-10-2011, 03:57 PM
Rob,

My plan was to have a couple of small backlit LCD screens displaying vital information, plus a few ordinary gauges and warning lights to the side, rather than one impressive display. That does look nice, though. :)

Farrar
Of course I exaggerated on pricing, but I love those transparent EL displays. The problem with normal backlit LCD screens is that they have problems with readability in direct sunlight. All that is left is to actually find a proper excuse to use them.

Farrar
08-10-2011, 04:17 PM
The problem with normal backlit LCD screens is that they have problems with readability in direct sunlight.

True, but I am hoping that the shade of the binnacle will provide sufficient coverage. Of course, there will need to be much experimentation to see even if this idea will work!

Farrar