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Thread: Digital instrument panel

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
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    Jun 2008
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    Digital instrument panel

    I have read numerous very interesting threads about various digital instrument panel/digital dashboard/virtual instrumentation projects and have several questions on the subject.

    Let me start with describing what I want to do and a little about myself.

    I have been in the computer industry for close to 35 years and I've been building custom cars even longer (yeah, I'm an old goat with gray hair ). I've written C code since, well, since C has existed. I've written Unix (and variations like Linux) system interfaces since, yeah, since Unix came into existance (told ya I was old).

    I am building a 1934 Ford pickup street rod and would like to replace the usual array of analog gauges (speedometer, odometer, tachometer, engine temp, oil pressure, fuel level, battery voltage) with computerized representations of the gauges along with controlling heat and A/C.

    I also want the usual features in a car computer such as music, video, GPS, etc.

    It has a carbureted Chevy 350 with no OBD (I, II or otherwise) so getting input there is not an option. How does one go about getting input from the various sending units such as water temp, oil pressure and fuel level (level, not pressure) into a computer?

    I have a pulse generator for an electronic speedometer so that is one sending unit sort of out of the way.

    Has anyone out there completed such a project and, if so, would you be willing to share info on how to achieve it?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    the fusion brain has 10 analog sensor inputs. you may be able to hook your sending units up to it.

    there is an MP3car sub-forum dedicated to the fusion brain. check it out here

    good luck

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    I have read a ton of threads in the FB fourm now and it indeed looks like it will accomplish what I want to do--now to figure out exactly how to go about it.

    I have a few questions about FB and will post them in that forum.

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
    Newbie DCU1976's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    If your interested in changing from a carb to fuel injected, you could get a standalone engine management system, several comes mind but if your looking for something on the cheap I would go with Megasquirt (msefi.com) its open source, you can output all engine parameters to a dedicated display or to your in car computer. Since your a veteran to computers and mechanics I believe you will find it a breeze, the hardest part of the megasquirt(IMO) is learning how to tune the engne. let us know how it goes and good luck!

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCU1976 View Post
    If your interested in changing from a carb to fuel injected, you could get a standalone engine management system, several comes mind but if your looking for something on the cheap I would go with Megasquirt (msefi.com) its open source, you can output all engine parameters to a dedicated display or to your in car computer. Since your a veteran to computers and mechanics I believe you will find it a breeze, the hardest part of the megasquirt(IMO) is learning how to tune the engne. let us know how it goes and good luck!
    I saw the Megasquirt but I'm a carburetor guy I wouldn't mind injection as long as it is the old Hilborn style--you know, the type with the foot tall velocity stacks.

    I'm just laying the groundwork for the computer at this point and it may be a year before I get around to installing one. Right now I'm just trying to get the truck on the road. I've had it for nine years and have worked on it in spurts but the end is finally in sight.

    I'm only the third owner of the truck! The fellow I bought it from bought it from the original owner in 1967. He started rodding it, gave up and sold it to me after having it for 32 years.

    Just to get it on the road before the end of summer I will have to use the analog gauge set I bought for it about eight years ago. Then during the winter (if my enthusiasm, pocket and back hold out) I'll go about installing the HVAC and computer.

    I'll post some pics when I get it closer to actually resembling a truck.

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