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Thread: need advice on an in car all-in-one digital display unit for gauges

  1. #1
    949
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    need advice on an in car all-in-one digital display unit for gauges

    i was looking to see if i can get some expert advice on a unit that i can use to replace my analog gauges in my car.

    i would like to get a monitor type that would have a screen and it hooked up to a hide away unit of some sort.

    the unit would be hooked up to the obd2 port and/or more sensors that that monitor all the normal and extra sensors. such as boost pressure, o2, oil temp, etc.

    so far i have found the Magden and the dash daq units to be something im interested.
    but i would like to see if there is anything else out there and what you guys would rate these unit.

    thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
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    I think a more flexible solution would be a CarPC running digital dashboard software like DashCommand or TouchScan.
    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
    Need to look up a diagnostic trouble code? Try the most up-to-date, free DTCsearch.com!

    You cannot send me a private message using this forum. Use my email instead: vitaliy[@]scantool.net.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 949 View Post
    so far i have found the Magden and the dash daq units to be something im interested.
    but i would like to see if there is anything else out there and what you guys would rate these unit.
    What interests you about these two lines and why? They are kind of different beasts. The Magden stuff is basically a car PC under a turnkey system. The DashDaq is a smaller, self contained unit.

    I don't have anything against Magden, but it seems to me that if you are going to go through the work of installing a car PC, you might want to at least consider a more open ended system.

    The DashDaq is one of the few 3rd party products that we sell (though only bundled with our non-obdii sensor products). It's easy to install and a good product, but the viewing area is a little small, and a bit hard (at least for me) to read in some lighting conditions.

    There are other offerings of both 'types', but it might help to know a bit more about what your actual needs are.

    -jjf

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    949
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfitzpat View Post
    What interests you about these two lines and why? They are kind of different beasts. The Magden stuff is basically a car PC under a turnkey system. The DashDaq is a smaller, self contained unit.

    I don't have anything against Magden, but it seems to me that if you are going to go through the work of installing a car PC, you might want to at least consider a more open ended system.

    The DashDaq is one of the few 3rd party products that we sell (though only bundled with our non-obdii sensor products). It's easy to install and a good product, but the viewing area is a little small, and a bit hard (at least for me) to read in some lighting conditions.

    There are other offerings of both 'types', but it might help to know a bit more about what your actual needs are.

    -jjf

    thanks for the reply.

    well, im looking to replace my current gauges in my car. i also want to expand the gauges without looking to busy in the dash area.
    i do like how there is the display version such as these. i only mention these because that was what i was able to find on my searches.

    would like a single monitor (seperate from my stereo, so i dont really want to combine them) that can show different information like how a normal gauge would show you. ex: boost, temp, etc. also with these systems i noticed the ability to show many or few of them at once. which i like.

    turn key systems doesnt sound too bad either.

    im open to the idea of an open ended system as you mention but i am not familiar with all the different systems available.
    i also agree with your compaint about the dash daq. the screen is too small for me. im having trouble seeing small print so i know if i load on a few + gauges or info on that little screen ill be having problems right fromt he getgo.

    again im open to see what available. i just dont think ill be doing a full car computer. i dont mind this being a dedicated monitoring system if thats even a good idea, but show me whats available and i would like to read more into any system out there you recommend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 949 View Post
    turn key systems doesnt sound too bad either.
    Well, it depends. If the system only works with specific sensors and the sensors, say, don't do what you need, it can be a problem. In other words, my point was really that if an install has all the headaches of installing a car PC and generic monitor, then it seems problematic to not have the flexibility to use different software and sensing technologies without a lot of jumping through hoops.

    But back on track, additional question 1. Is this secondary instrumenation only, or primary instrumenation as well? That is, will you scan this regularly while driving?

    I'm sure that some folks here would argue, but my feeling is that the requirements for primary instrumentation are higher than what a typical center console touch screen display provides.

    I also think that primary/secondary depends on application. A performance enthusiast might really need to monitor lambda (AFR). For someone else, it might just be impressive looking bling, which is not a bad thing, but different requirements.

    Additional question 2, is budget an important consideration? I ask this because there are some great offerings in the performance market for digitial gauge replacement, but they are generally not cheap.

    -jjf

  6. #6
    949
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    well to answer those question.

    im using it as a secondary instrumentation. i am a performance enthusiast and would like it to use the obd2 port then add some extra sensors as needed such as the afr, boost, or what ever.

    as for your second question, i do have a budget but its still kinda flexible, so with that i would like to keep it low but im not locked in to any costs right now.

    so what do you recommend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 949 View Post
    so what do you recommend?
    I'd go with a more generic Car PC and run diagnostic software on it.

    The downside over something like the Magden setup is that you have to put the pieces together.

    The upside is that, unlike the Magden, you get to put the pieces together...

    I know, it sounds like a contradiction.

    What I mean is, although choices come with the headache of figuring out what you want and choosing it, you end up with a lot more control over how it looks and fits.

    A monitor that fits nicely in your console. Software with a gauge look you like. A lot more choices about OBD-II interfaces and extra sensors.

    And, for me, the kicker is flexibility down the line. It might seem like everyone is going to show the same basic info. But that isn't true. Vehicles have lots of vendors specific info, and different software packages/hardware have unlocked different makes/models.

    You also may find that you want to run a couple of different pieces of software. Some standard gauges most the time, and something very make/model specific others.

    -jjf

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    949
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    what do you mean when you say make and model specific?
    i have a subaru sti 04. what specific items could i get?

    i also have no clue how to creat a generic system. so with out step by step instructions i would just be lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 949 View Post
    what do you mean when you say make and model specific?
    i have a subaru sti 04. what specific items could i get?

    i also have no clue how to creat a generic system. so with out step by step instructions i would just be lost.
    On your Subaru you could get things like injector pulse width and knock count, which are not generically available via OBD-II. There is a actually a very active cheap interface/ECU reflashing community for Sub's

    As far as step by step, you could work from both ends. You could try working with a laptop and an interface to read different things from your car to get a better feel for what options are available to you, while you could look at the huge body of writing/help here on installing a PC in your car.

    Good Luck,
    -jjf

  10. #10
    949
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    since im a noob, could you lead me towards the right links for what im trying to do.

    whats the price range this would normally run?

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