Monthly Archives: October 2014

Digital Dashboard & Data Logger

For awhile I’ve thought that it’d be cool to make my own digital dash and data logger for my track cars. You can certainly buy these, but they aren’t cheap. I think i can build one for way less, learn a thing or two, and have fun doing it.

So far i have a breadboarded prototype up and running. It’s based on the EA LPC4088 on the platform. I’m using a mini dev board for break out and a standard breadboard to host my peripherals.



For now I’m using a basic 20×4 LCD for display. This processor can power a TFT so eventually i may move to that. When in use, i plan to focus more on the shift lights (shown on the right of the breadboard) and warning lights for real time feedback.

Basic Block Diagram

Basic Block Diagram

As of now it has:

  • LPC4088 quickstart board with EA Basic Dev Board
  • LCD with i2c backpack
  • Shiftlight strips (from adafruit) on i2c backpack
  • AD7490 ADC on SPI bus
  • AEM pressure and temp sensors feeding into ADC
  • SD memory card reader on Dev Board

It’s currently capable of receiving sensor inputs via 5V ADC and pulse train (engine and vehicle speed). It crunches the sensor data and displays it on screen. The shift light also functions appropriates and flashes red when max RPM is exceeded. It samples and also writes the data out to the SD memory card at 10hz.

The next step really is to solidify the hardware. I’m working on a schematic that I’ll layout and make into a PCB. It’s mostly done, but i’m hung up on how i want to divide up the components. Should I have a brain in the glove box and a remote display? Should the shift light be separate from the display? etc.  I also have an accelerometer that I need to integrate. Eventually I’ll also want GPS so I should probably make provisions for that before I get too far along. Then again, these things tend to actually develop when you move on what you have now and iterate later. Holding for future updates leads to nothing getting done.

Click on the “Digital Dashboard” category to the right for all the latest posts.

M3 Updates

I’m doing a lousy job of keeping this updated, but here’s an update on the M3.

So far I’ve done:

  • Installed Cobra Suzuka racing seats for head room and control
    • VAC Motorsport adapters, mounts, and hardware
  • Removed headliner and sunroof, installed fiberglass delete panel for headroom and future rollbar height
  • Replaced the H&R Race springs with Sport, better ride height and geometry
  • Front wheel bearings
  • Front control arms and Bimmerworld TrackCAB delrin bushings
  • Bimmerworld Group N rep motor mounts
  • Rogue Engineering transmission mounts
  • Secondary Air Pump delete

Right now the car is solid and I’m just having fun driving it. So far I’ve done four track days and two autocrosses with it and its been a blast. I have the last track day at NHMS coming up this weekend.

The next item on the list is to install a 4pt roll bar and get the harnesses I have sitting on a shelf installed. I hope to document this project a little more thoroughly!