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Display OBD data w/ external sensor data?

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  • Display OBD data w/ external sensor data?

    It would be very helpful for me to be able to combine my car's OBD data (water temp, boost, etc.) with data that my car's OBD does not provide, like oil temp and pressure, egt, etc. This would allow me to ditch a bunch of aftermarket VDO gauges that I'm sick of looking at. Is there any way to do this currently with a car PC? I'm envisioning just sampling the VDO sensors, which I think something like FusionBrain can do. But I'm not sure if there's a way to do that in combination w/ OBD data and display everything together on one screen. (Logging and alerts would also be nice) Unfortunately, the OBD data is not very helpful or informative on its own

    Is there ANY way currently to supplement OBD data w/ external sensor data? I'd be willing to use different sensor hardware if necessary.

    TIA! I've been trying to figure this out myself, but I'm getting lost in the weeds. Haven't really found a commercial product that will do this either, at least not to an in-dash screen. It's odd, since this seems like something a lot of people might want/need to do.

  • #2
    There is a way to do this. In fact, I'm working on a project right now to do something similar. Depending on your car, of course.

    In my Subaru, I've got a carputer. Until recently, I used Cobb's Accessport to monitor OBD. This weekend I got an AEM wideband o2 gauge. Just today I got the aem feeding data to the carputer (in hyperterminal), and the OBD feeding to Cobb's Streettuner software.

    In theory Cobb's software should be able to integrate the wideband data as well as the obd 2 data. Although I haven't gotten that far yet. I was sitting down to research that when I saw your post.

    That sounds like what you're talking about, right?
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    • #3
      What I ultimately found is that it looks like I could solve my problem by using a chain of PLX sensors connected into the carputer with USB, and feed that data into DashCommand for a digital guage display. That would solve the problem and the PLX system seemed to be pretty modular if I wanted to add other data in the future. I'm not certain, but I think that setup should work. There are drawbacks for performance use (no peak/warn, and I think logging is only in a proprietary format unless you buy another expensive Palmer app that will export to CSV).

      By coincidence, I have a Subaru and an AP as well. I haven't used street tuner at all, but it sounds like an interesting alternative, and would probably be more useful for datalogging. Does it support the AEM out of the box, or would you have to build/program an interface? Does the AEM support additional sensors? Is the ST app support limited to aftermarket widebands?
      Last edited by Gr0nk; 05-18-2011, 05:04 PM.


      • #4
        There are drawbacks for performance use (no peak/warn)
        DashCommand does allow you to create/modify the digital dashboards to add PLX sensor data, redlines, anything you'd like. If you'd like someone to help you with that make a request on! (Or ask me, I'd probably help you out too.)

        Unless I'm misunderstanding and you meant something else by that..

        I think logging is only in a proprietary format unless you buy another expensive Palmer app that will export to CSV
        DashCommand will only save log files in our proprietary .lgf format, but you can export to .csv using the free version of ScanXL, it is not another purchase.

        Here is a video of someone using external sensors for a dashboard display:

        The dashboard in the background is done with DashCommand using a custom dashboard, along with some Zeitronix sensors (similar to the PLX sensors).
        Last edited by WestonAtPPE; 05-19-2011, 12:36 PM.


        • #5
          Weston, thanks for jumping in and correcting me. I'm sorry if I was mistaken on the data display and logging issues. It's very nice to know I could export data logs to CSV w/o additional expense.

          As far as the peak/warn comment, what I was looking to do is (for peak) display the highest observed value in the session for each parameter along with the live data, either by (usually) a second smaller numeric display within the live gauge, or for "analogue" displays, by having a second needle displayed that would remain pointing at the peak value. For warn, I meant a warning function that could flash an onscreen warning or preferably an audible alert once a parameter falls outside an acceptable range. Peak/warn functions are important if you're trying to monitor data in a performance environment where keeping the engine within an acceptable range is important, but you can't watch the gauges all the time. (Doubly true when the gauges are in an LCD mounted low in the center console rather than in the dash cluster or up by the windshield)

          Can DashCommand do either of those things?
          Last edited by Gr0nk; 05-19-2011, 03:26 PM.