Custom car gauge (New to arduino)


I want to build a gauge like this: Mark Depot
I am undecided what platform I should use (arduino or picaxe)
Where is the best place to start? is there a kit or something I can buy?
The link above mentions this site: http://www.wulfden.org/TheShoppe/k107/bundles.shtml
Things is i don't know much about this, those sites look confusing, and I don't know if it includes everything I need
Any other tips would be helpful? This is all new to me.

It seems I need analogue to digital board? converter?. Items recorded will be water temp and volts for a start. Then Oil temp, oil pressure other possible future ones air/fuel maybe boost.

Update: car is year 1990 and does not have obd or obd2. I am wanting a 4x20 lcd to fit what I want and leave room for he future. LCD is likely to be black on green or preferably red on black to match the rest of the interior lights.

Well, you came to the wrong forum. We don't discuss picaxe. We discuss arduino. If you want picaxe support, why don't you go to picaxe.com?

It should be just as easy to do what you want with an Arduino - but you will need to decide which system you want to use.

Arduinos include analog-to-digital conversion as standard. Look at the product pages. You can also use an Atmega328 chip on your own circuit board and program it like an Arduino Uno. But some of the Arduino boards are both small and cheap so that making your own PCB may not make sense.

...R

liudr:
Well, you came to the wrong forum. We don't discuss picaxe. We discuss arduino. If you want picaxe support, why don't you go to picaxe.com?

sorry should of added more detail to original post. Searching internet tell me picaxe is easier but apparently arduinos may be more suited as they already have analogue pins? What platform I should go with is undecided, I am unsure what one would be better what do you guys think? or is even mentioning picaxe here a big no no.

@liudr
OP was looking for some help deciding seems like replys like that may push some one away from arduino all together.

@OP
I think the arduino would be your best bet. Very easy to use and in general the support here is good. As for the project there are so many ways to tackle that you could get lost in all of the info out there. I would start on the desk before i started a project that in depth.

electrince:

liudr:
Well, you came to the wrong forum. We don't discuss picaxe. We discuss arduino. If you want picaxe support, why don't you go to picaxe.com?

sorry should of added more detail to original post. Searching internet tell me picaxe is easier but apparently arduinos may be more suited as they already have analogue pins? What platform I should go with is undecided, I am unsure what one would be better what do you guys think? or is even mentioning picaxe here a big no no.

You are welcome to google arduino car control and come back with more specific questions like you had with pixaxe. I don't think mentioning picaxe is banned but you will hear yourself like you were talking in an empty room. The picaxe experts are somewhere else.

drksam:
@liudr
OP was looking for some help deciding seems like replys like that may push some one away from arduino all together.

@OP
I think the arduino would be your best bet. Very easy to use and in general the support here is good. As for the project there are so many ways to tackle that you could get lost in all of the info out there. I would start on the desk before i started a project that in depth.

I don't know. There's plenty of vague questions asked on this forum. If the OP wants picaxe, so be it. If you think you have the expertise to help the OP somewhat with arduino AND car control, feel free to pull him/her in. I don't know enough about cars. If I were to follow your suggestion, I would say, "hey, why don't you use arduino. It can do it too, but I really don't know how, since I don't know about cars.". The warm welcome has to come out someone's mouth who knows at least a bit about cars. I'm asking the OP to google a few projects with arduino and cars. That's what I CAN do. See what YOU can do.

@liudr
Some good points. I just think every project deserves a chance.

@OP
I think you were asking pixaxe type question because he thought they applied here as well. Am I right?

Anyway I know a little about cars and the electronics in them so I will be glad to help in any way I can.

This can be done with several types of sensors working together but an idea I had while thinking about this was to just interface directly to the ODB2 port. I'm not really sure how but I know that there are USB ways to hook them to a PC an that that would be a really nice fast way of getting most of that info on a modern car. I don't know if it help you but its an idea.

An Arduino can do this with ease. Even the basic program can be converted to C++ as most of the statements are the same or similar.

I wonder how much flack I'll get over that!

steinie44:
An Arduino can do this with ease. Even the basic program can be converted to C++ as most of the statements are the same or similar.

I wonder how much flack I'll get over that!

Some picaxe code (Using BASIC?) may be portable or already ported to arduino (Using C/C++). Google that project with arduino keyword you may find something interesting too.

steinie44:
I wonder how much flack I'll get over that!

None from me. It's always nice to convert a PIC user to Arduino.

...R

@op

You asked the right question, and this is the right place to ask it if you want the answer. liudr has a point, but where else would you go to get the answer to that question?

The question: picaxe or Arduino?

The answer: Either one will do the job. This is not a particularly difficult project hardware or software wise, but you will run into issues related to interfacing with your car. No, you won't need any kind of analog to digital board--both the Arduino and the picaxe40x2 have microcontrollers with built-in ADC pins. The more important issue will probably be which one is easier to learn for your first project? If you already know BASIC or C++, that might help. Both pixace and Arduino have very active forums and lots of tutorials and documentation. It's probably harder narrowing down all the information to something you can use than finding the information in the first place. Arduino probably has a more active user space. If you can put up with (or ignore) the sometimes gruff attitude you'll get here, we can help you do this project.

The question: Is there a kit you can buy?

The answer: Well, kinda, but not exactly. There are starter experimenter kits with all sorts of different hardware, and projects that use that hardware. There are some with LCD displays, and some with temperature sensors. I didn't see any with both. If you buy an experimenter kit, you are pretty much guaranteed that you can get the hardware that comes with that kit to work. The downside is you get lots of other hardware that you won't use, and it's more expensive.

This is a pretty good first project. There are basically three things you need to learn how to interface with the Arduino. The Temp sensor, the LCD screen, and the voltage sensor.

I recommend you get the Arduino, LCD screen, and temperature sensor. Also a breadboard, connector wires, and an assortment of resistors. If you get them from Adafruit, they have excellent tutorials that can get you up and running easily. First, learn how to make the LCD screen say what you want. Then, learn how to get the temperature from the temp sensor and put it on the LCD screen. Then, learn how to figure the voltage. If you have problems, we can help.

Originally I was leaning towards picaxe due to the links in the origional post and I heard it is easier to learn from scratch. Saying that, as someone who has close to zero knowledge of this stuff currently the products link on this site is allot easier to understand than any picaxe stuff I have seen so far. I should o tailored the origional question to be more general and less picaxe related. Yes part of the question is/was opinions of what one I should use. I also figured some people here would have experience with both so would be able to compare.

Anyway, The arduino uno kit looks good? But yes I like savings and it includes allot of stuff I probably won't need/use or maybe it would help me to go through the simple projects first undecided on whether I will piece together what I need or just go with the kit.

Would the arduino uno be a good choice? I am concerned about the number of pins I need. I want to run a 4x20 lcd which google tells me requires 10 pins in 4 bit mode (i guess 4 bit will be fine) to be soldered (8 to the board and 2 to the Potentiometer which I guess I will use.

The uno would be a good choice because you shouldn't need much memary for this. Port limits are not really an issue because there are many types of port expanders out there. Also I suggest that you look at i2c display they only use 2 pins and those pins can be used for other stuff too :slight_smile:

Get a 4x20 LCD with a I2C port expander. It only takes 2 pins and +5 volts and Ground.

steinie44:
Get a 4x20 LCD with a I2C port expander. It only takes 2 pins and +5 volts and Ground.

For sure that's the only way to go 8)

So there are two options an i2c display or a normal display and i2c port expander is that correct?

Have been looking for lcd's. Are most serial as opposed to parallel , don't know how to tell the difference? This one mentions i2c:
http://www.nkcelectronics.com/20x4-Serial-LCD-Module-Amber-on-Black_p_348.html

http://www.eio.com/p-1287-orient-display-amc2004a-b-t6wtdr-4x20-character-lcd-display-module.aspx

Cheaper:
http://www.411techsystems.com/20x4-Black-HD44780-STN-LCD-with-Red-Text-LED-Backlight_p_53.html
http://www.satistronics.com/rt2041-20x4-characters-lcd-module-red-character-black-background_p2061.html

LCD has to be 20x4 and either amber or red on black.

Check this one out there may be more bout there but this one works great and is easy to use.
WWW.adafruit.com/products/772?gclid=CPqv2-jMwL8CFQwQaQodMBUAWg

has to be 20x4 and either amber or red on black.

Then just use your first option

http://www.nkcelectronics.com/20x4-Serial-LCD-Module-Amber-on-Black_p_348.html

If your project is picky about specs sometimes the price won't be as good. But yea that one will do serial i2c or spi.