i have had this idea for a while as well but have never had the resources to start a project, it would be nice to see in the future a system where you can just replace the entire gauge cluster and plug it in using the stock harness, and one that runs independantly of other systems. where it has its own processor and software for displaying the interface and interpretting the incoming signals. you could change the gauge configuration and style on a PC and then upload it with a USB drive....or just directly upload it through a carpc. then if you dont have a carpc you can still add on things like radar detecters and backup camera's, boost gauges....customize things like RPM limiter warnings and stuff like that
The trouble is every car is different from each other so you would have to make an interface converter... there simply isn't enough demand to warrant development at a profit.
You could do a fair amount of this with a front end like Street Deck or RoadRunner and an OBD-II system. The difficult part would be the dashboard system. I also think that speedometers are "legislated" in some areas (due to the mileage gauge).
I'm pretty sure some folks have done similar things with RoadRunner.
We provide OBD-II dashboard software that is designed to be easily embedded into a front end like Street Deck. Our DashCommand™ software is a touch screen friendly software application that delivers high quality dashboards on any screen size. The dashboards are fully customizable with both digital and analog gauges, and scale to fit any screen size from 320x240 to 1600x1200 and larger. It is designed to work on any desktop, laptop, or in-car computer that runs Windows. It supports any display resolution and has a completely customizable skin-able interface!
If anyone would like help designing custom dashboards, just let me know and I'd be glad to assist.
I see people are still working on this project. I haven't had any time in the past year or so to work on my project. Recently I starting putting plans together to build an electric car. I thought about turning my Trans Am into a BEV and use a couple high torque motors. Here was the original mock up of what I wanted to do for my gauges. I wanted to combine an LCD with some real analog gauges.
The problem is that I wouldn't be using OBD-x. Information is fed through a different type of protocol since sensors and readings are for a completely different type of system all together.
What are people using for the gauge graphics? I have a full setup for a drifting vehicle we are using a stand alone ecu and fuel managment with a 3 -axis accelerometer. The gauges I am using are from a software trial package and it runs about $1300.00. I am hoping to find something a little more reasonable. The only thing I have left to code are the boost controller and the shift light. I am using VB6 so any info is appricated.
Which software package are you using ?
I wrote all my own gauges using custom controls with optimised graphic handling. I found that its very hard to get decent high speed (10 per second) updates on a multi gauge screen with 1.2 Ghz VIA M11-12000. My software is having to do lots of other processing as well.
Using a decent additional graphics card would certainly help out (I'm limited to the on-board CLE-266 driver). Its one thing cranking the code on a fast PC but its a whole new ball game when it comes to the target hardware.
One thing I did early on was to display some diagnostic info eg cpu usage and time taken to paint each screen refresh in milliseconds - worth its weight in gold :).
Wouldn't using a combination of Java and Flash work better?
I'd imagine that movie programing in flash and sending variables through java would be fast and easy.
IMHO Java, Flash and Fast don't belong in the same sentence :)
DirectX or writing directly the canvas in a compiled language is far more suitable. Even managed .NET code sucks for performance in comparison - you are also more or less totally out of control on what is really happening in the depths of windows. any ".NET" code that runs quickly is probably an unmanaged binary written in C or C++.