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Features I would like to see in Streetdeck

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  • Features I would like to see in Streetdeck

    Features I would like to see in Streetdeck

    I have read the author’s description of Streetdeck and many threads describing it. I may have missed some features, so I apologize in advance if I am wishing for something that is already there. I would like to see some additional features incorporated into Streetdeck that I have not seen. I know many luxury vehicles today have some of these features in an overhead console, but many do not. I do not have the education, training, or knowledge to build them as I am sure there are many others like me on this forum. Since I cannot build them, I am willing to pay a reasonable amount to get them. I will start this thread in the Newbie forum. Hopefully I will not get flamed for putting it here.

    In 1980, I purchased a 1980 Ford F-150. While it was much better than pickups from the 50s, 60, and 70s, it did not have many luxury items that are in vehicles of today. It had the typical P/S, P/B, A/C, and automatic transmission and that was all. I have always been a lover of gadgets, so I found a device in the JC Whitney catalog that I purchased. For lack of a better term, I will call it a computer for the rest of my message. I know many would look down on it just because it was from Whitney, but all I have ever received from Whitney in the past was of good quality and I have been buying from them for many years. The computer was way beyond its time. I have never heard of anyone else that had one. Some of its features may have been installed in some luxury cars, but not in pickups. It cost a little over $200, which would probably be over $500 in today’s dollars. It was installed under the dash as not many in those days had the knowledge of molding anything into the dash. It had a cruise control device mounted under the hood that did the same as CC of today. It pulled the throttle cable back to speed up and released the throttle cable to slow down. It also could tell you the gas mileage for an overall trip and current mileage on the fly. For carbureted engines, it came with a measuring device that was mounted between the fuel pump and the carburetor with a small wiring harness back to the computer. For fuel-injected vehicles, the number one injector had to be spliced and back to the computer. The user had to input the number of gallons the gas tank held. Since there was no GPS in those days, it had to get distance from somewhere, so I had to drive out into the country, stop on the side of the road, reset the odometer to zero, push a button on the computer to tell it to start measuring. The further I drove, the more accurate it was. I think I remember driving it around ten miles. I had to pull off the road and push another button to tell it how far I had traveled and to stop measuring. Of course, that tied it to my speedometer, which may have been incorrect. It would have been better to measure it from a marked distance, but I did not have a highway close by with the measured stripes on the road plus there is nothing to say those strips are accurate.

    The first 4-5 times I filled up with gasoline, I had to input the number of gallons it held. The computer learned and became more accurate the more times I input the number of gallons it held at each fill up. After it had “learned”, all I had to do was to push a button that told the computer that I had filled up.

    The only problem with the computer was that it was not intuitive. Every time we wanted to see something new on the screen, we had to dig out the book for the instructions. I still have the whole device in my basement after twenty-six years. I am missing the book so it would be impossible to reinstall it or use it a third time even if it still worked. I just can’t bring myself to throw it away. The second time I installed it was on a 1980 Datsun 280Z with FI after an undercover cop that had not slept in over twenty-four hours ran into the back of the pickup. My wife and I were traveling around 40mph at the edge of town. The cop was traveling more than 70mph in an unmarked car when he hit us. Instead of hitting the brakes, my wife apparently stepped on the accelerator according to the Highway Patrol Officer. We went flying out into an empty field where we hit a huge advertising sign pole right in the middle of the grill. We had just left from a local restaurant where I had just picked up about forty biscuits, forty slices of sausages, a gallon of gravy, and a gallon of scrambled eggs to feed our people at an early morning office sales meeting. After we hit, I got out of the pickup to go and check on the unknown person who had hit us. He told me later that all he could see was gravy and eggs hanging off of me. He thought it was gore and guts he was seeing and could not imagine how I was still walking. The interior of the truck was covered with biscuits, sausages, scrambled eggs and gravy. I never lived that one down. The truck was totaled and ended up at an auction. A man later called me and said he had just bought it and wanted to know if there was anything wrong with it. He was sick after hearing what had happened to it.

    So going from memory, I had the following things that I could access from the computer.

    Current MPH
    Current GPH
    Current MPG
    Trip average MPH
    Trip average GPH
    Trip average MPG
    Number of gallons of gas used since last fill up
    Number of gallons of gas used on trip
    Number of gallons of gas still available until empty
    Current time
    Driving time since last fill up at current rate
    Driving time until gas tank empty at current rate
    Number of miles since fill up
    Number of miles until empty at current rate
    I could push a button on CC to set MPH. or
    I could also enter a preset MPH that I wanted the CC to keep

    Since most vehicles today have cruise control, I see no need in try to incorporate it into the PC, however, I believe it could be hacked so a preset MPH could be set for it to keep and to turn it off and on and to resume. There are too many different kinds of cruise controls to make it possible to cover them all.

    I have a Garmin Streetpilot III that shows my current location as all GPS devices do
    It also has a page that shows:
    Current MPH
    Average trip MPH
    High MPH since reset
    Some other things I cannot remember right now.

    Has anyone ever tried to hack and were successful with the following items?:

    Oil pressure sending unit
    Water temperature sending unit
    Gasoline sending unit

    Has anyone hacked receiving the atomic time straight from Colorado into a PC? My watch and alarm clock retrieves it every night. I see no reason why a PC could not do the same thing.

    If all the above information could be retrieved by the PC, I would like to see a screen with the following information:

    Atomic time

    With user defined US/UK measurements below:
    Using GPS:
    Current MPH/KPH
    Average trip MPH/KPH
    Average trip MPG/KPK
    Total trip time
    Total driving time - when vehicle is not moving, time is not measured
    Total trip miles/kilos
    Trip high MPH/KPH
    Trip reset

    Current oil pressure measured in US/UK with user defined upper and lower limits. If pressure goes outside those limits, some type of warning will popup with additional audio warning.

    Current water temperature measured in F/C with user defined upper limit. If temperature goes over that limit, some type of warning will popup with additional audio warning.

    Current gas level measured in gallons/liters with user defined lower limit. If gas level goes under that limit, some type of warning will popup with additional audio warning.

    Can any of the above be pulled from the On-Board Diagnostic port?

    Maybe others could add additional features they would like to see. I realize this could not come overnight, but if those that are knowledgeable enough to do just one of the above, it appears to me that someone could put it all together in a reasonable amount of time. The only hardware item(s) above those that are already being used are an oil pressure universal sending unit, a universal water temperature sending unit, and either a universal gas sending unit (if there is such a thing) or user initiated data entry of gasoline each time they fill up.

    I saw where someone had tried using a light sensor so the PC could turn the headlights on and off. I treasure the ability to do this. I purchased a device from JC Whitney made by Audiovox that did it in 1994. It stayed on that vehicle until I sold it in 2001. It saved many dead batteries as I cannot remember to manually turn them off. I bought another one in 2001 to go on my new vehicle. This time I installed a “valet” switch so the device could be turned off when someone else would be driving the vehicle after dark. The price was only around $39. I recently discovered that Audiovox had discontinued it, so I have another question about that. In my local paper every day, it has a quarter page dedicated to the weather. Also included is the time for sun up and sun down. I wonder if this information for maybe a year ahead by zip code or some other means of locale information, that it could be downloaded so that the headlights could be turned on and off by using a user defined time, i.e., turn on the lights 30 minutes before sundown and off at 30 minutes after sun up. Of course, the headlights would have to be handled manually on long east and west trips and on dark stormy days. It was just a thought as I have no idea how to obtain that information for my locale for perhaps a year in advance.

    Thanks for reading.

    Does anyone have any constructive comments?
    Sí, hablo Inglés!

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  • #2
    For fuel consumption you would need to be able to read the fuel level in the tank...although the other features that don't involve knowing how much gas you have could be doable...

    For the Miles until empty, you could have the calculation based on the previous fill up. You would have to poll the speed every few seconds, calculate the distance traveled to get total miles driven on that tank, then subtract that number from the total from the last MPG number from the previous tank.
    My old Worklog