A newbie with a new idea

Hi all

I a completely new to the world of Arduinos and have no idea where to begin, initially I would like to see if this is feasible.

I would like to create a device to replace all the warning lights and switch actuators on my diesel bike:

Picture of what I would like to replace:

I would like the device to have an lcd screen that displays 2 different fuel tank contents, shows the status of various sensors (most of them are on/off states), so could display icons for these. Additionally if it could display voltage and various sensors (like amperage or things) that would great as well.

Do you guys/girls think this is doable?

Hi,
Theoretical it is doable :slight_smile: ... technically i didn't see that some one do it before. Arduino MEGA 128/256 with 3.2" LCD will do a job, however you will need to create some other electronic circuits to get input from your sensors, and create case which will guard Arduino and LCD from vibration.

Regards,
Dubravko

And the flux capacitor goes where ?

The wonderful thing about lights and dials is that you do not consciously need to “read” them. In properly designed instrument panels, dial pointers are arranged to all point in the same general direction when things are “normal”. Then, if something untoward occurs, the needle that moves becomes readily apparent. Similarly for lights. If you arrange for all lights to be off in normal circumstances, it is obvious when one comes on. By this means the brain focusses on what is really essential - keeping your eyes on the road.

When you “digitise” analogue instruments your brain needs to do a little more than necessary and there is increased risk for not only the rider but also anyone else in the vicinity.

However, given good use of colours, I’m sure someone wil come up with a design that is both legible and suitable for immediate alerting without having to be read ever “second” or so.

Hi, This is basically doable… it’s much like what the guys with 4 wheels are doing… Google about car instruments…

If you can build the kind of stuff shown in the photo, you definitely can learn to use this new kind of tools and capabilities!

Some good Arduino Learning material on http://arduinoinfo.info

Arduino Power section there would be good for you also, I think.

Maybe think about what functions you can ADD to the existing gauges etc… One main thing is being able to log data and later download it to graph, etc… Maybe put up info here/somewhere about all the sensors and actuators you have now?

Did you know there is an actual patent for something called similar to a Flux Capacitor?
Poll time:
Who thought they exist and we use them all the time for our Arduino projects?

Well yeah, where else would you store 1.21 gigawatts of electricity?

I'm normally a big fan of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but then clicked on your picture. XD

Hey, at least it appears that you have functioning sending units in your fuel tanks.

I'm more curious about the bike. What is it? How did you convert it to diesel?

sbright33:
Did you know there is an actual patent for something called similar to a Flux Capacitor?

This is what comes of removing the "working model" requirement for patent applications... :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Oh right, on topic... Hmm, with an Arduino you could not only create an instrument panel, but it might be possible to setup some profiles for automatic switching between fuel types based on the tank levels.

Jimmy60:
I'm normally a big fan of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but then clicked on your picture. XD

Hey, at least it appears that you have functioning sending units in your fuel tanks.

I'm more curious about the bike. What is it? How did you convert it to diesel?

IT was a honda superdream 250, but it currently has a 400 cc diesel generator engine, that does around 100 mile per gallon, but the engine is still being run in!

more info on the build process and specs on the site www.fotifixes.com

Sorry for the late replies! I didnt realise the post has so many responses.

The am would be to use something like this lcd:

http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/LCD-Blue-I2C

What would be good, is if I could, have the display showing Fuel tank levels on the left hand side, with 3 or 4 buttons to change the tanks, and to silence an alarm possible. For those important alerts (oil pressure, oil level) I would have an actuated buzzer for 2-3 seconds for each alert.

So essentialy I would need.

2 analogue inputs for the fuel gauges
1 analogue input for the EGT gauge
1 analogue input for cylinder heat temp gauge
3 digital inputs for the oil pressure/ oil level and water in fuel lights
1 digital output the buzzer

and then I would have to figure out how to interface it with the screen and the coding aspects etc, does that sound feasible on something like this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Arduino-UNO-R3-Latest-version-sense-and-control-the-physical-world-/280945478759?pt=UK_Computing_Other_Computing_Networking&hash=item4169a7cc67#ht_868wt_1397

It seems quite a daunting first project :stuck_out_tongue:

I would also probably go with a lcd sheild like this one for daylight visibility and cost savings:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SainSmart-IIC-I2C-TWI-Serial-2004-20x4-LCD-Module-Shield-FOR-Arduino-UNO-MEGA-R3-/271014110026?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item3f19b3234a#ht_5329wt_1163

ACtually, im thinking this would probably be a better starting point, as If I am clever with the way the screen displays data, I wont need 4 lines (ie, selected tank gauge showing, rather than both gauges at once etc)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SainSmart-Mega2560-1602-LCD-Keypad-Shield-Kit-4-Arduino-ATMEL-ATMEGA8U2-AVR-UK-/280929984159?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item4168bb5e9f#ht_5244wt_1166

Jackrae wrote

The wonderful thing about lights and dials is that you do not consciously need to “read” them.

Absolutely. You can glance at an entire wall of “oldfashioned” meters and tell at a glance if there is a problem. With digital displays you have to look at the numbers and figure out what they mean. It is the same with watches are you analogue or a digital person?

It is the same with watches are you analogue or a digital person?

Both. Analogue hands for the time, with a digital display for other info. I much prefer analogue speedometers in cars, over digital.

My bike has a digital speedo. I like it fine.

Thanks for the link to the "project".

Hi Alexander, Great project! Can you tell us more about where the small diesel came from??

About displays and buttons...

A problem with this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SainSmart-Mega2560-1602-LCD-Keypad-Shield-Kit-4-Arduino-ATMEL-ATMEGA8U2-AVR-UK-/280929984159?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item4168bb5e9f#ht_5352wt_1150
is that it takes up MANY pins to operate.

How about the suggested: http://goo.gl/kec8S with some colorful buttons like these:
http://goo.gl/dyXP5
or these (Uses only 1 pin): http://goo.gl/X9kHD

Another suggestion: Make cabling easier by using this Arduino clone with built-in cable connectors: http://goo.gl/JyLky
See cabling ideas on http://arduinoinfo.info here: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/Cables

Let us know how you are making out...

DISCLAIMER: Mentioned stuff from my own shop...

Many thanks for the input!

Indeed, the diesel is from a 5kw Generator originally (well I bought it from a generator supplies shop, but its used in generators and water pumps).

Thanks for the suggestions, but I need somewhere that ships to the UK :frowning: The first LCD link doesnt work either,

How many pins am I left with with the first one do you know?

Jimmy60:
My bike has a digital speedo. I like it fine.

Thanks for the link to the “project”.

Why The "?

alexanderfitu:

Jimmy60:
My bike has a digital speedo. I like it fine.

Thanks for the link to the "project".

Why The "?

Dramatic effect. Did you like it? :grin:

Very good, I had shivers and everything :stuck_out_tongue: