Will Arduino handle this project?

Hi, I'm new to arduino and I want to build a custom gauge cluster for a car over the next few months. It will have about 30 7-segment LED displays (30 digits), 2 bar-graphs, about 10 1-led indicators, and will read input from about 10 sensors. The LEDs, displays and bar-graphs will be controlled by few MAX7219 chips.

So my question is, will Arduino Mega be enough for it? What other alternative boards can I use for this?

As the MAX chip will be doing all the multiplexing then you should have not problems using an arduino for this.

Alright. As you see, I'm a beginner in all of this stuff. I just started to read Getting Started with Arduino book, and I was wondering if it is possible to read from say 10 sensors and output the values to different displays (each display for one sensor) using one Arduino? Because command "void loop()" scared me away, like it will be repeating one code for first sensor over and over again but what about other code for other sensors?

That’s exactly what the loop does, if there was no loop it would run through each line of code once then stop till it gets reset.

You’d be putting all of the code for all sensors and outputs in the loop, or you could break each sensor into it’s own function and call those from the loop, this would be simpler to debug.

And just some personal opinion, that would look way old school, your dash would look like KITT! why don’t you look at using a graphic LCD or 2 and maybe some RGB LED’s, you could even use a nokia clone LCD to display words like OIL if there’s low oil pressure, or even use it to blink triangle shape’s to represent the indicators…

$10 says he wants it to look like KITT!

Don't be scared of the loop - it's your friend :)

@bircoe
oh, I got it, so I don’t have to close loop after each sensor.

Answer to your opinion:

That’s a good idea too, I haven’t even got any parts, so I will change my mind many times before I get to the final design.
I just wanted to make it inexpensive, and it won’t go into a new car. My first thoughts were to make one wide color LCD to fit there and display all the cool stuff, controlled by computer, but that sounds too expensive and complicated for now.

@daveg360
Yeah, ;D
My unfinished design look like this so far.(click to enlarge)

You could drive 2 of these off a mega... and it would actually be simpler than all those 7 seg displays. http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Code/GLCDks0108

And still have plenty of pins left over as extra output's!

That picture does look pretty cool, but come on, isn't 38psi of boost abit delusional??? :) well for a street car anyway.

PS I am considering doing something similar, but also using a GPS receiver to help with performance measuring and also trip meter functions for mileage etc... one that is smart enough to reset itself when it notices a full tank, instead of the "dumb" setup in my Commodore.

It will go into turbo diesel pickup truck, so 38PSI is what stock turbo is able to push safely maximum (with wastegate blocked off)

@bircoe Using GPS is good idea too, but in certain conditions like bad weather GPS is too slow or doesn't work at all. :( so it's not that accurate.

The main speed will be derived from the car's speed sensor, plus the car has ABS so I could even get speed for each wheel from the ABS sensors... GPS + Cars Speedo + Accelerometer should give some pretty darn accurate results.