Just be careful if this is going to be used on public roads....in the U.S. that can be illegal.
I have been toying with the idea of putting a carputer in my 1992 Dodge D250 truck. I have lots of space in the dash area. I am wanting to completely remove the analog gauges and put a 7 or 8 " screen where the speedo is right now. I want to competely replace that with a lcd gauge cluster powered by a mac mini. My question is how do I get compatible inputs from the analog sending units. Is there a universal sending unit converter, or how do I handle this?
i believe that you would need a fusion brain(or similar) to get the signal into the computer, and dash command software(not sure if either work with mac though).
the problem that all of the digital gauge idea threads run into is that you will really need to setup a dedicated computer specifically for the gauges, and will also need system redundancy-- at least 2 power supplies, maybe even 2 computers.
most of the threads move from replacing the factory gauges to adding a screen near them to get more information. it doesn't matter if you want to run linux, mac, or pc, i have not heard of any computer os that didn't have some sort of problem(s) after tons of shutdowns and startups. the general consensus is that while home built computers are a great novelty item in a car, they are simply not reliable enough to trust as the main way you know what the car is doing.
search around the forums for digital gauges, or similar terms-- there should be at least a couple threads on the matter.
sorry, just re-read all of that-- and it comes off very negative-- i don't mean to shoot you out of the sky, i am just trying to make sure you realise the full consequences of using a computer based system to monitor most vehicle functions.
Novelty? a carputer correctly build and configured is as reliable as the factory gauges, I mean factory gauges where built by human as well.
What do you guys think?
"Most of the users you'll see in this site are still learning specially me"
i imagine then that it would be at the cops discretion(like most violations like that)-- so be nice when he pulls you over
Back to the original Q's: I have read that pre '96 vehicles are OBDI, am I going to have to create my own interface cable? My dodge is a diesel so it does not have very many gauges or sensors. It only has ABS, Water in Fuel, and has an electrically driven speedo, temp gauge, fuel gauge, and volt meter. Each of the gauges is interfaced with a ribbon cable. I am thinking that I can go to the mfr and get the pinouts and create somekind of interface Am I way off the mark?
if you are only interested in replacing only the gauges that are on the factory panel, and will not be adding any, than it should be as 'simple'(loosely speaking-- it is definitly not easy) as connecting the correct wire to a computer input device-- and then programming the computer to tell it what to do when it gets a signal(or varied signal) on that wire.
though, if you want to add gauges, then you will probably need to add the appropiate sensors.
and i hear ya on distractions, that is sometimes why it is at the cops discression (i imagine that they could also give a ticket for being distracted while driving for yelling at the kids in the back seat)--though i don't agree with the blinders comment-- then you won't be able to see idiots darting out from side streets, or the pretty ladies!
from what i understand, the law for the video screens was put in place because a video screen is at least, if not worse than texting-- it just draws your attention with flashing pictures, and is the reason all aftermarket dvd/nav units have that annoying warning on them. the hot chick, conversation with the passenger, or kids in the back seat are all distracting, but are only usually temporary compared to a video (moving image on a screen) playing in front of the driver.
just note: i am kind of playing devils advocate here--i have disabled the parking brake feature on my personal dvd hu i dont support the laws, i only learn them to find a way around them...