Vehicle information display hacks

We’ve had a few folks send us info about their vehicle display hacks after seeing [Will O'Brien's] motorcycle computer a few days ago.

On the left we have a display for an electric vehicle. [S1axter] is using a 4.3″ TFT screen to display charge information for each battery cell in the car. An ATmega88 collects the data and sends it to a breakout board with an LCD controller on it.

To the right is a display from a Formula Student project. a Matrix Orbital GLK19264-7T-1U LCD display provides a lot of real estate for displaying data. Right now [Alan] is still in the early prototyping stages, but the video after the break demonstrates the RPM readout using a function generator. It’s not shown in the video, but he tells us that he’s since tried it out with the engine and has a PIC 16f877 reading temperate data from the electronic control transmission sensors in addition to the RPM data.

Correction: Thanks to [j] for correcting our mistake. This is a Formula Student car.

Comments

  1. Michael V says:

    Great stuff, especially as follow up to the post the other day about the motorcycle hack. The first one seems rather sophisticated, the second one seems extremely useful. PS: FP.

  2. j says:

    formula student, not formula 1

  3. potech says:

    this is very cool

  4. PhilKll says:

    Megasquirt doesn’t have this built in, you need a laptop or some other means to graphically display the data.

  5. Dan says:

    Where would you start sniffing the data bus on a gm car? I’d love to try this on my car.

  6. PhilKll says:

    You got an lcd screen with yours? That wasn’t an option with mine.

  7. Andrew says:

    Re. sniffing data on GM car – recent cars have OBD or CANBUS ports; there’s lots of OBD readers out there.

  8. tz says:
  9. Abbott says:

    Actually, why not re-invent the wheel? What do you really learn about what you’re working on if you didn’t make it yourself?

  10. xorpunk says:

    I’d like to see ECM and BCM firmware hacks public.

  11. Nemo says:

    @Abbott-I think you’ve got the right idea.

  12. fartface says:

    Problem with most of these is the LCD used is low grade consumer. a car LCD needs to be a wide temperature rance LCD to stay alive and be useable in the -2degF to 110degF world that is in the dashboard of the car.

    Also direct sunlight destroys visibility of these if the display is not a transreflective.

  13. fartface says:

    Oh I forgot. Stop the half arsed hacks that are nothing but a youtube video. If they dont have details on their site, YOU DONT SHOWCASE THE POSERS VIDEO.

    Come on. but if you don’t put up details, you are faking it or taking credit for someone else’s work.

  14. thasti says:

    thumbs up for 1p heat sink! well done, even if still in beta, hoping to see a website about it!

  15. walt says:

    cool, but what’s up with hot gluing wires to the breadboard?

  16. phildurham says:

    as far as mounting goes, i’d like to see a display (one of these projects, entire instrument panel, or even just a gps) embedded in the top of the dash at the front, so that it shines/reflects off of the bottom of the windshield glass like some old arcade cabinets. it would be like a HUD for driving.

  17. Drew says:

    The problem with mounting an LCD under the windshield and projecting a HUD is modern windshield glass is two tempered panes with a plastic sheet between them. The problem with projecting on this is that you get two images from the two panes and it causes “ghosting”

  18. blue carbuncle says:

    A car that can play Solitaire finally :)

  19. Alan says:

    @Abbott has exactly the right idea.

    @fartface relax, that’s on its way, there’ll be more videos, photos, a full write up, full design and source code on my blog when We’ve got it working. The competition (July) takes precedence though, I do have other things to build on the car.

    @phildurham that was actually one of the mounting options we considered, using a small perspex screen. But this time we’re just mounting it in the dash behind the wheel.

  20. Urza9814 says:

    The biggest problem with a HUD using normal auto glass isn’t really ghosting, it’s that it wouldn’t be visible in bright light. Around ’98 Pontiac made some Bonnevilles with a HUD. My mom had one, and I’d driven it heavily both before and after the windshield got broken and was replaced with standard auto glass. There wasn’t really a ghosting problem, though it was only displaying the speed in large digits – perhaps finer details would cause problems. But the biggest problem with the regular glass was that, in summer in bright sunlight, you wouldn’t be able to read the display.

    On the bright side, it should be possible to get more HUD-friendly glass installed in your car if you’re planning to experiment with such a system. IIRC, it’s not _too_ much more expensive than a standard windshield replacement.

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