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Replace Gauge Cluster with LCD Screen?

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  • Replace Gauge Cluster with LCD Screen?

    Hey all! Has anyone ever thought about using the OBDII port and using a second LCD screen to replace the gauge cluster?

    I could easily write the program to interface with it and draw the dash gauges on-screen. But it's just another program that has to run on the CarPC, which means waiting for startup. Which isn't something good, since the gauge cluster is pretty necessary to drive.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    I have been wondering the same thing. I need a lot of information and have never been a fan of the twenty different gauge interior. The Lexus LFA and Ford Fusion digital gauges start up with no boot time at all but i have no idea how they do it. That to me would be the perfect system. Bump for OP.

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    • #3
      I've actually been fooling around with different sleep modes and start times. When my carPC is in sleep, so the system is preserved in RAM (S3, I think), it'll start up in about 10 seconds. And that's with only 2GB of RAM and a regular hard drive. With 4 GB of RAM (when it gets mailed in) and a solid state, that time could be cut in half.

      So, it's definitely possible to replace the cluster with a screen. Some other possible issues: Will removing the factory gauges get rid of other important car functions? Where is the mileage stored, and is it accessible through OBDII? With the computer starting cold, not in sleep but a full start-up, how long would it take for both screens to engage and the gauges to appear on-screen?

      I'll do some playing around and check everything out. I'm starting my CarPC install soon. Still waiting for parts.

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      • #4
        I also would like to do this. I even bought a set of sun-visor monitors Eonon L0313 which at the time said the resolution was 1024 x 640. And the display diagonally was 12.2 in or 9 in across. At the time I bought them they were about 150 shipped. For my CarPC setup, I'm using an I3 3.2ghz processor with 8 megs ddr3 ram, a 64gig mini pcie ssd drive as boot up device and also a AData 120gig SSD for storage. MB is a zotac z68-itx wifi supreme, the only prob with this MB is it doesn't have VGA, which my touch screen is. Will have to build an adapter or use the HP 2000TX screen that I have, once I find the pin out. Win 7 as op system but have been fooling around with Win 8 as well. There is a company http://www.actronics.eu/en that actually make dashes for certain cars. http://www.jamiemartindesign.co.uk/ this guy actually did some designs that I liked for this company. Have a look.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kelldog44 View Post
          I have been wondering the same thing. I need a lot of information and have never been a fan of the twenty different gauge interior. The Lexus LFA and Ford Fusion digital gauges start up with no boot time at all but i have no idea how they do it. That to me would be the perfect system. Bump for OP.
          They do that by using a microcontroller rather than a full on x86 computer. Check out http://www.reachtech.com/ . Use that, + a microcontroller == instant on gauges.

          But to be honest, I wouldn't use the OBD2 port, unless you have a newer vehicle with CAN which can get 50-60 pids per second. My car for instance, does 3-4 pids per second, which would make for highly jumpy gauges, and in generally a cheap look.
          "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
          RevFE
          My Shop

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          • #6
            You make a good point. I suppose I'll have to see how fast my car will update the computer through the OBDII port. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it gets the same refresh rate as your car. We'll have to see.

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            • #7
              i have a 2003 Avalanche and the dash in that vehicle uses the ODBII bus to display its dash. I am actually considering mounting screens on the top of this and leaving the Odometer in place. I would tie into the ODBII bus going to the Cluster and remove all of the gauge motors. A local shop is using the i.mx53 quick start board from freescale.com to design their gauges with before bringing them to market so I KNOW this thing is powerful enough to do it and it will support two screens. I could also leave the speedo in place and all the alarm lights and just take out the tach and all of the smaller gauges too.. Probably won't do this project but would be cool to do and relatively easy.

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              • #8
                It is clear that LCD Screen or display has advantages like it doesn’t emit light directly and it offers safer disposal as compared to CRT screen.

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                • #9
                  I'd agree with that as well.

                  redheadedrod, could you post any pics of that dash?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lukeescude View Post
                    I'd agree with that as well.

                    redheadedrod, could you post any pics of that dash?
                    My dash doesn't have them.. Just considering it at this point...

                    Friend of mine works at a well known shop that makes gauges for RV's, Replacement sets for Harley Davidson bikes, Boats, Humvee and others.. They currently use something else but are moving to this and similar products for all of their future gauge projects. I can't really give pictures or tell the company name at this time because they are still in development but I saw the displays and wow...

                    Biggest issue is the boot up time but if you get the We7 source code you can chop out the extra stuff and it boots up almost instantly. They use Silverlight to build the gauges on the screen. You could use Ubuntu or Android with this but the boot up time is longer than you would want. If you get the stock We7 it also boots slow but the guy I was talking to was trying to trim the OS as much as possible to make the bootup very quick. The Android and Ubuntu source is free but the source for the We7 was too expensive for most hobbyists to want to get it to trim it down. ($500)

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                    • #11
                      I would also be interested in setting up an LCD gauge cluster in my chevelle. I'd like to research doing it using the standard gauge inputs and also via OBDII (if I decide to go with an LS engine/electronics setup). I'm not as concerned with boot time at this point as that's something that can be looked at down the road. Now I'm more interested in what kind of LCD is available in semi standard gauge panel shapes and what components are necessary to integrate the gauge signals. After an hour skiming these forums, I haven't found much of help.

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                      • #12
                        Welcome to the forum!

                        That's another thought I had, instead of going through OBDII (which in my car, is quite slow, about 8 PIDs per second), interpret the factory gauge signals. That would provide live data feed instead of pulsed through OBDII. The thing is, that's way out of my league of knowledge. I'm a software developer, not a hardware guru. If I find anything, I'll let you know.

                        Check out http://www.dakotadigital.com they have sort of what I'm looking to do, but I want actual LCD screens instead of those LCD boards they use.

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