Re: [DMCForum] DeLorean Video Dashboard
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Re: [DMCForum] DeLorean Video Dashboard



Sounds like reconfigurable instrumentation for automobiles.  It?s a very
tried idea actually, the economics have never quite came down to the
value-added benefits of such technology.

Here's a good short paper on the subject (not the definitive, but easy read);
http://www.wat.edu.pl/review/optor/10(1)75.pdf

GM's worked on this since the late 80's.  Here's one bit from them.
http://www.americancarfans.com/news.cfm/newsid/2050411.004/page/3/lang/eng/cadillac/1.html

A couple companies making efforts in this field.
http://www.magnetimarelli.com/business/onboard.htm
http://www.siemensvdo.com/press/releases/interior/2002/SV_200211_002_e.htm


I made a prototype similar to this a few years back. It used a couple PDA
320x160 displays driven by TI's (then new) MSP430 16bit microcontroller
designed for such use.  You could drag the widgets around the instrument
panel and create new widgets on your PC and then download them into the
cluster.  I submitted a patent disclosure for it, but it has been covered
many times over already.

The real difficulty with this project is to get the economic aspects of
the design correct and to give it as large as a market as possible (i.e.
it should work with all autos and functionality beyond traditional
instrumentation (gps, communications, etc.).

The big thing is getting the information to the cluster, and fast enough
that it will seem to be rendered in real time.  OBDII is a big help here,
its your one stop shop for such info.

OBDII is a blessing and a curse here, as ISO9140 (used on euro's and
Chrysler) is easy  that they use the ISO9141 which is basically very slow
serial.  You can use photo isolators to directly connect your
~5volt computer (microcontroller, DSP, Laptop, any TTL circuit) into the
network and using the well document protocol (5baud signal bit followed by
16bit commands @ 1200baud with 32bit response bits) get your info.
However with ford and GM you have to deal with J1850 PWM (pulse width
modulation) and VPM (Variable pulse modulation) which are far more
involved.


Any I'm ranting. It is a interesting project especially for learning about
designing and programming embedded system-based products, would be a great
systems engineering project.  I think there is value to such an
reconfigurable instrument cluster, but likely not enough value to justify
the costs to a startup developer.

> 1. Monitor washout in sunlight. What type of displays is being used?
> Most displays are virtually impossible to see outdoors. Even in the
> cockpit of a car, this could be an issue.
Good Point, this is why automotive engineers almost exclusively use Vacuum
Florescent Displays VFD or more recently OLEDs / high lumen EL, you'll
rarely see a 'traditional' chemical display..


-Nate
11501

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> Ryan,
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> We have tried the screens in the car.  Fortunately, the dashboard
> gauges are shaded by the binnacle and can be seen in sun light.
>
> The speed update and tach update are almost instantaneous.  Other less
> real time issues, like gear selection are fed to two other PLCs and are
> serially communicated to the main PLC and are then displayed.
>
> The twin monitors are they only choice available at this time.  No body
> makes a wide TFT screen that we have been able to find.  The one in
> BMWs would cost over $1000.
> We need to flat black the edges so that it looks like one unit.
>
> Bob
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