Ceci N’est Pas Une Clock

[Justin] tipped us about his slick custom OBD-II gauge that could easily pass for an OEM module. He was able to use the clock area of his Subaru BRZ to display a bunch of information including the oil and coolant temperatures and the battery voltage.

The forum post linked above has a good FAQ-based explanation of what he did, but so many people have told him to shut up and take their money that he created an Instructable for it. Basically, he’s got a Sparkfun OBD-II UART board communicating with a pro Trinket. The display is an Adafruit OLED, which he found to be an ideal choice for all the various and sundry light conditions inside the average car.

[Justin] was able to reuse the (H)our and (M)inute buttons and reassigned them to (H)igh to show the peak reading and (M)ode to, well, switch between modes. The (:00) now resets the peak readings. He offers suggestions for acquiring the specific CAN codes for your car to make the data more meaningful. [Justin]’s code is safe in the many tentacles of Octocat, and you can check out his demo video below.

16 thoughts on “Ceci N’est Pas Une Clock

  1. Very nice! I’ve an ongoing project for an OBD2 monitor as well. Unfortunately, however, my car’s ECU only outputs the barest minimal of the standard PIDs. For instance, it doesn’t even output the speed.

    1. It was not intelligible for this non-Frank… B^)

      P.S. shut up and take MY money! B^)
      (actually, I’m thinking about adapting a small cheap Android tablet to do something like this for my car….)

  2. I’m the builder/author/integrator/dude/whatever you want to call me…

    I think the only legislated OB II pids are related to emissions. For instance there is normal pid for oil temperature, but on the BRZ it doesn’t work and you have to use a CAN PID and send a CAN header before you query for it. (that and the response is rather long).

  3. Anyone tried TORQUE smart phone app and an ELM327 interface? It gives you everything the engine is doing and more. It identifies fault codes and turns off the red light. All that for less than 20$.

    1. Yes, it is a great app. In fact I used it to check the work of my code. I’d plug it in and make sure the readings I got from both setups were the same.

      I especially like that you can datalog with it. I’ve use it at track and autocross events to get engine data and later used racerender to overlay it on top of video I also captured.

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