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Thread: Need some help in which hardware to buy

  1. #1
    Newbie Lucifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Question Need some help in which hardware to buy

    Been away for a couple of year and finally back at planning to make a digital gauge cluster (whether this is a good idea or not, i will leave that in the middle, my mind is set, i need this :-).
    The dash cluster is going to be replace by a screen mimicking the original cluster and have the ability to display a directions map (maybe also some MP3 media playback but that's not primary).

    I need to be able to control at least the following (outputs):
    - city lights
    - park lights
    - high beams
    - front fog lights
    - left indicators (front/back)
    - right indicators (front/back)
    - tail lights
    - brake lights
    - rear fog
    - reverse lights

    - interiour lights
    - trunk lights
    - engine bay lights

    - door locks (central locking)
    - trunk release

    - rear window heating
    - windshield heating

    - driverside door window (up/down)
    - passengerside door window (up/down)

    - horn

    I also need to sense stuff (input):
    - RPM
    - Speed
    - battery voltage
    - oil pressure
    - oil temp
    - water temp
    - turbo boost
    - fuel pressure
    - fuel level
    - tire pressure
    - light bulb status (20 bulbs)
    - clutch sensor
    - light (day/night)
    - rain

    The screen I will be using is a Sharp 12.3 inch lcd panel (LQ123K1LG03 1280*480 LCD SCREEN PANEL).
    I also have a Via Epia M10000 in a morex case gathering dust but don't know if this would be usefull.
    I have a carnetix power supply, a GPS antenna and 7" lcd tft monitor laying arround.
    The car is old (1977) and none ODB so I need to read everything directly from either OEM or add-on sensors and will be controlling everything through the OEM knobs, switches.
    I have very basic knowledge of circuit design.
    I am a software/web developer but no electric circuit engineer (basic electric knowledge, I can read a diagram, but don't ask me to calculate a capacitor value needed).

    I need some help/answers on this:
    - What vga controller board can i hookup to the Sharp panel? I need 1280x480 resolution (I have that 7" screen laying arround, maybe use the one from that?).
    - Should I use the Via Epia M10000 or should i buy a Raspberry PI (it's not that expensive and runs fanless)?
    - I was thinking to get a Arduino Mega 2560 (54 digital i/o and 16 analog inputs)
    - If I buy the Pi, I could hook up the arduino using the embedded PI bridge extension board right?
    - Can I use one of these 16 channel 12v relay boards ( ?
    - Or if not using such a relay board, how do I hook up these relays to the Arduino? (example circuit of one relay including protection components ?)
    - How do I hook up those sensors and switches so they don't fry up the Arduino.
    - How do I power the Arduino (it's rated at 7-12 volts, but car voltages can run high, can I use my carnetix power supply for this?)
    - It would be cool if i could use highcharts.js for the gauges. For this I need a webserver running that can communicate with the arduino. Anyone experience with a webbased frontend to the arduino (lag, update frequency limitations)? (check out this fiat cluster example:

    I might be way off in my thinking here, so if you have suggestions knowing the requirements and facts, any help/input would be great.
    Morex 3688 (Via MII10000 - 512Mb - 2,5HD 30Gb DVD+RW)
    CarTFT Motorized 7" In-dash Touchscreen
    CNX 1260
    Current Status: Skinning !

  2. #2
    Raw Wave SNOtwistR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Keswick,On Canada
    Hey welcome back! many have tried what your wanting to do, not sure how many succeeded completeing the task though. I think the biggest problem is finding the right sensors to get the data you require. Relays can do all your lights and switches.I think a pc would be easier to get up and running. I think I would use something like Phidgets for your sensors and controller, they have good support and functioning sensors with many api's to get the job done. I would bump up the PC power from that epia m10000, thats kinda dated and slow compared to the new low powered i-series processors. Good luck SNO

  3. #3
    Newbie Lucifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Thanx SNO.

    Meanwhile i have ordered the VGA controller (ALR-1400)
    The Sharp screen is on the boat as we speak
    I'll check out that Phidgets stuff, thanks for the tip.

    So you think a RPi would not be usefull (i was thinking of buying one because it's dirt cheap :-) ?
    Morex 3688 (Via MII10000 - 512Mb - 2,5HD 30Gb DVD+RW)
    CarTFT Motorized 7" In-dash Touchscreen
    CNX 1260
    Current Status: Skinning !

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