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 mbed.org 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.
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.
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