Jeep dashboard display turned into a desk clock

jeep-dash-display-clock

This display is easily recognizable by the buttons and the outline of a vehicle to the left. It’s a Vehicle Information Center (VIC) from a Jeep Grand Cherokee. [Florlayamp] discovered a row of the vehicles in a junkyard, all with the displays still intact. He grabbed one and turned the VIC into a desk clock. What would you pay for such a fine piece of used electronic hardware? How about six bucks? Yeah!

Getting it running couldn’t be simpler. It’s all set up to be programmed and run on it’s own. A bit of searching around turned up a schematic to figure out which wires are for power. It took some time to figure it out, but the thing draws about 2A so finding a worthy wall wart was a must.

Now that he was sure it would work [Florlayamp] started on the case build. It’s poplar with quarter round to frame the display. On the back you’ll find a single rocker switch.

Usually we see the opposite of this, adding displays to the dashboard instead of salvaging them.

 

Comments

  1. robtomorrow says:

    2A?? How can it possibly be drawing so much power? Isn’t it just an LED display?

    I’m no expert in car electronics, but at that rate I’d expect it to burn through the battery very fast if you let the engine off.

    • andarb says:

      Looks like a VFD, but he doesn’t say plainly on the article. I’d imagine a VFD would take more power than a LED display, but I don’t really know.

    • Tom says:

      I’m pretty sure there was a “fix-it” post on one of these displays sometime earlier in the year. If memory serves, I think it was mentioned that it is indeed a VFD. 2A still seems a bit steep, especially at 12V!

      I’ve used much larger pixel-count Noritake VFD’s, at just under 500mA @ 5V, so maybe there is something else going on under the hood of the EVIC…

    • Styx says:

      Only the IC responsible for remembering and keeping time is receiving power when the engine is turned off.
      Most likely the same type of IC used in old fashioned wrist watches, so it’s power efficient on it’s own.

      As suggested by “andarb” It’s most likely sporting a VFD display, and those aren’t exactly power efficient though

  2. bunedoggle says:

    2 Amps x 12 Volts x 0.144 $ per Kw-hr x 24 hours x 365 days = $30 per year in electricity.

    Just in case anyone else was curious.

  3. Ren says:

    Now he needs to put sensors on his house doors and wire them to the car doors on the display…

  4. trackdrew says:

    I know my Grand Cherokee would dim this display in proportion to the rest of the instrument cluster when the headlights were switched on. It looks like this condition is derived from the CCD (Chrysler Collision Detection) bus.

    Figuring out how to send a “dim the display” signal to this would likely cut power usage and make this a really great hack – (maybe hook this up to a photometer – auto dim the display at night!). Wonder if this could be done without using the original BCM?

  5. Galane says:

    Add an alarm function and have the door ajar display flash when it goes off.

  6. tiger up says:

    I was expecting a microcontroller hack here… he’s just supplying 12 volts and running it as-is. I like it !

  7. pcf11 says:

    These displays were probably the only part that still worked on that row of wrecked Jeeps. What money pits! I don’t know, maybe they’re better today. I haven’t worked in a garage for a while now. Back when I did though Jeeps had a rep for being real POS.

  8. brittany mcmahan says:

    thats my brother :)

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