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Old     (dave23)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-02-2012, 10:57 AM Reply   
This past semester I took an Arduino programming class. Towards the end of the semester I began thinking of ways that I could learn more about this technology. After watching an episode of West Coast Customs where they built a custom car for Microsoft that used a tablet for the gauge cluster. I decided that building/upgrading the dash in our 2001 would be a cool project. Also the speedometers for our boat are constantly getting clogged so we can never get accurate speed readings. Below is a picture of the Microsoft project.

I'm debating starting with a whole dash replacement that would incorporate a tablet or starting small. If I chose to start small I would modify a current speedometer so that it could house a small LCD touchscreen that would display a speedometer. I could add on fuel reading and air and water temperature. My plan is to use a GPS sensor to calculate speed.

I'll keep this thread up to date with my project status (parts, link to code, etc) throughout the summer.
Old     (sippi)      Join Date: Dec 2007       05-02-2012, 12:22 PM Reply   
I've seen that in a "friend of a friends" car, i think it was some sort of acura he did for a show. but it had a tablet for the gauge, all i can tell you is make sure it looks right. his looked to small for it, i told him he should have done two side by side, put a couple of a gauges on one and a few on the other. but i guess if you were going to customize your dash like that it'd probably come out looking like the new nautiques or something anyway which could be cool, but personally i like to fill the whole area. interested to see what you come up with though. if you are going to do that you might as well do kind of what malibu did with their switches and put digital switches too. but that could be taking it too far i don't know haha.
Old     (mechmaster)      Join Date: May 2006       05-02-2012, 12:46 PM Reply   
Have a look here:

This guy is doing something similar on a '98 VLX.
Old     (neildorin)      Join Date: May 2012       05-02-2012, 3:11 PM Reply   
The biggest issues you're going to run into is that the reason all of the newer boats have gone to a digital dash is because of C-BUS. The same as in cars, all the electronics communicate over a standardized protocol transport that you can tap into to display information on a screen.

In any older boat, especially a Nautique 2001, that's going to be all analog and cable driven, you're not going to have a nice digital bus to tap into. While it's possible to use an Arduino I/O to measure a tach and speed sensor, it's going to be a real challenge. That being said, you should be able to pull off at least the tach and other guages. GPS is a good idea for speed, unless you're running on a river or anything with current....

I'm not trying to discourage you in any way from trying this, but I program commercial control systems for a living and I know what you're in for. Google I/O and Arduino have opened up some interesting possibilities and this would be a pretty cool open source application.
Old     (dave23)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-02-2012, 3:12 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by mechmaster View Post
Have a look here:

This guy is doing something similar on a '98 VLX.

That's basically what I want to do for my initial version. But have some screens that would allow you to save/select a riders favorite speed (no Perfect Pass here), show a speed and display the other things I listed. Thanks for the link to the project!

Neil, I realize most of that is going to be a problem with this being a older boat. I'm going to stay away from the tablet idea for now. Our RPM gauge works perfectly fine so I'm not going to interface with that. We rarely run on a river or anything with current. If we do the river is barely moving, so I don't think that should be a major issue. Hopefully something like the fueled gauge is easy to tap into and figure out what the readings are. Again, I'm mainly doing this so I can learn more about the technology. Thanks for the tips.

Last edited by dave23; 05-02-2012 at 3:20 PM.


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