Dash displays

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Dash displays

Post by Taffy » Thu, 02 Apr 2009, 15:43

What has everyone got for a dash setup? I get to custom build the entire dash so can do just about anything (within ADR's) and looking ideas.

I would like to add a small touch screen display for monitoring cell voltages, motor rpm, data logging etc. But that might be V2.

So for now looking at:
Fuel gauage, Speedo, Amp meter, Voltage meter, indicators, seat belt warning, brake warning, headlight warning (low and high) and maybe a battery warning on the 12V battery if charge is low.

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Dash displays

Post by cobz1976 » Sat, 25 Apr 2009, 06:22

48 views no replies? come on people.

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Post by htial » Sat, 25 Apr 2009, 06:37

I'm nowhere near thinking about a dash display...   ...But I'd love to be able to incorporate my iPhone into the dash somehow...   ...Even make it so my car doesn't go without my iPhone hooked up...

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Post by Thalass » Sat, 25 Apr 2009, 15:09

I'm going to modify the existing analogue dash, rewiring the tacho to represent amps in/out, the fuel gauge will be battery SOC, and I don't know what to do with the others :P

I'm going to have a 7" (double-din) touchscreen display, but that will be for navigation/mp3/radio - at least until I figure out how to get battery infomation to the computer through a usb port.
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Dash displays

Post by lithbattboss » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 00:51



I'm going to have a 7" (double-din) touchscreen display, but that will be for navigation/mp3/radio - at least until I figure out how to get battery infomation to the computer through a usb port. [/QUOTE]

You can get battery data information on a PC via BMI VMS boards and a battery data converter. This is an RS-232 interface with a DB9 data connector which plugs into the VMS output/display board and there is a USB plug on the other end which plugs into your PC. The battery monitoring/diagnostics software is supplied on a CD which is downloaded to the PC that will be used for battery monitoring. All individual cell voltages are displayed in a graphical format on your PC screen. Battery parameters are logged also and you have a log of the total number of accumulated battery charge cycles, and errors are recorded for number of over charges, number of over discharges and number of over temperature occurances.
Of course this is only designed to be used with LiFePO4 batteries so is not suitable for lead acid installations.

I am using this system of battery data logging on the boat project I am currently involved in so there will be photos and detailed info in an upcoming article in ReNew magazine as well as some of the major boating magazines.

More info on the VMS is available on the BMI website at the link below-
http://lithbattoz.com.au/index.php?page ... iagnostics

....By the way I plan on attending the EV display to be put on by Energy Australia at Sydney Technolgy Park at Homebush tomorrow (26.04.09)so for anyone in Sydney who will be attending I will have my laptop and a battery with me so I would be happy to provide a working demonstration of the PC battery monitoring using the VMS.
Last edited by lithbattboss on Sat, 25 Apr 2009, 15:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Thalass » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 02:55

Oh that's great. Is this windows-only? I'm going to mutilate an eee pc 701, running LinuxICE. I would like some auxiliary info on the computer like a system schematic with voltages and currents at various points. Perhaps even a Wh/km readout or something.

I suppose once the info is in the computer, I could do whatever I wanted with it. Assuming I could learn the code-fu required to do it!
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Post by Gow864 » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 03:21

lithbattboss Why are there no prices on your web site?

Off-topic i know but...

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Post by lithbattboss » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 03:36

Yes it is windows based only at this stage.

The main function of the VMS is to automatically protect the battery from being over charged and from over discharging. There is a separate "driver module" available which plugs into the VMS DB9 port. On the module it has a terminal strip fitted with screw connections to connect wiring going to two coils to drive two contactors, relays etc. One coil connector goes to the Over High Volts (OHV) contactor/relay while the other goes to the Over Low Volts (OLV)contactor/relay.
When the battery is being charged the contactor for the OHV will disconnect the charger/power supply from the battery at the point when the battery voltage reaches just over 3.65 volts per cell. In this way you don't even require a proper battery charger since virtually any suitable power supply can be used to make what is in effect an automatic battery charger.
Likewise when the battery has been fully discharged the OLV signal activates the main motor contactor disconnecting the battery from the motor automatically thus preventing excessive over discharge and preventing battery damage.

I expect to receive the coil driver modules in about a week so I will take some pics of a dummy set up with a battery connected to a VMS and contactor so people can better understand how this works.

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Post by lithbattboss » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 04:30

Gow864 wrote: lithbattboss Why are there no prices on your web site?

Off-topic i know but...

Gow.


I don't think it is too much off topic when we are talking about having a data port fitted to the dashboard which you can plug your computer into (for battery monitoring) from the luxury of sitting in your EV with out even needing to see or touch a battery. Image

Our home page of the BMI website explains in simple terms why we don't have prices listed on our website. The simple reason is that Battery Manufacturer's International Corporation is a global "enginering/EV project solutions" company while Lifebatt Inc. (who supply many of the same items as us)and its distributors in Australia, UK etc are the retail "sales company".
We do not have fixed prices and we provide substantial discounts from our one off pricing. Therefore a customer who wanted to purchase several hundred LiFePO4 cells for an electric car or boat project would be quoted a better price than someone wanting only a dozen cells for an electric bicycle pack. We often work on larger projects where our technical expertise is called for and we generally provide this professional technical and engineering support free of charge. BMI provides quotes on a full package tailored to the customers requirements such as supply of batteries, charger, battery management system and diagnostics/monitoring software.

In the next week our website is expected be updated to include photos and information relating to our "EV fast charging services" whereby we come to the customers home, office or factory and install a fast charging single or three phase power outlet as well as supply a fast charger (if required) so the EV owner can recharge their vehicle in one hour (or less) in most cases. (We can provide charging in as little as 20 minutes in some cases so gone are the days of 6-8 hours or even overnight charging).
We will be installing a dedicated EV fast charging power outlet at the customers premises free of charge when they purchase a package deal of batteries/charger etc. from us or alternatively we will just quote on the installation for customers who have purchased batteries from other companies which are fast charge capable.
Due to the fact that it is very difficult to determine the maximum rating of the power outlet we can install in any individual house or office without first perfoming an inspection and load test of the building it makes it virtually impossible to provide firm quotes just on a website. Therefore we need to at least speak with the customer on the phone (as a minimum)and preferably come out to perform a site inspection in the first instance so we can explain and advise what we recommend to the EV owner.

We will be offering our fast charging installation service firstly on the east coast (Sydney and Brisbane) before we offer the service in other states.

Of course this service only relates to batteries which are capable of fast charging within the manufacturers specification so this eliminates lead acid battery installations.

BMI provide personalised service to our customers and therefore provide the best quote based on their specific needs rather than just providing a fixed retail price (as is the case with the majority of LiFePO4 battery companies who are primarily sales oriented only).

....Now I am really off topic (sorry) but at least I hope I answered your question Image
Last edited by lithbattboss on Sat, 25 Apr 2009, 18:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Gow864 » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 05:17

First off. It was you that spruked your site. I simply visited only to find the ONLY piece of info I wanted wasn't there. The reason I didn't find your explanation on pricing on your web site was because I left as soon as I saw there was no pricing! Image
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Post by Nutz » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 06:52

Back to displays, I tend to think the two bright digital displays that I see on many conversions are a bit too....to put it politley, obvious.
However i saw something the other day that has given me an idea. I was a white perspex box, clean and simple like an ipod, and when power was added the time blazed it's way out through the perspex C/O a bright digital display.
Has anyone else turned the key on a late model Verada, Prelude (or similar) and seen the Guages magically light up from a blakcened slumber?
Let your imagination go wild, how many displays and LEDs can you hide behind a sheet of white or smoked perspex.
Then there is the buttons and switches to conceal somehow if you really want a clean look.
Edit; You could sandwich computer cut decals between LEDs and the perspex as a masking to create labels and symbols.
Last edited by Nutz on Sat, 25 Apr 2009, 21:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Johny » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 07:51

lithbattboss - cut the unrelenting sell.

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Post by lithbattboss » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 14:44

I only answered a question which was asked of me......(and answered it as fully and completely as possible).

.....now back on topic again. I see that Metric Mind are doing some great work modifying and fitting instruments like Ah meters into dashboards. Often it is a case of modifying an instrument or other piece of equipment which was originally designed for use in industry and adapting it for an EV (variable speed drives, both AC and DC, are a good example of this).
Last edited by lithbattboss on Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 05:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Thalass » Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 15:26

Nutz: That's a good idea. There's nothing stopping you from hijacking the "check engine" light or others. I suppose the low fuel warning should at least be changed to a battery symbol. With the original battery light used as a dead cell fault light or something like that.
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Post by Powered By DC » Mon, 27 Apr 2009, 00:31

We have been using the EVision from Metric Mind in our older Rav4 Conversions. It is a great little unit but it wont really fit in towith our new conversions. We plan to use a 7" in dash touch screen computer in our 2009 Rav4 conversions. It will function as the navigation system radio etc. and tie into our BMS to display all the various parameters.
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Post by Nutz » Mon, 27 Apr 2009, 02:12

Those metric mind EVisions would do just nicely , I reackon they would shine through a thin bit of translucent perspex quite well considering the glare they put off in the photo.
Last edited by Nutz on Sun, 26 Apr 2009, 16:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by a4x4kiwi » Mon, 27 Apr 2009, 03:07

Nice unit but way beyond my $.

It would be more than 10% of my build cost.
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Post by Taffy » Mon, 27 Apr 2009, 18:39

I guess i will post what i had in mind,

Single speedo with LED's around the outside which show amps, going from green to red (when you pass ~500AMPS).
Indicators, low power warning, seat belt warning, head light (low + high) dash lights.
Maybe an analoue fuel gauge and amp meter.

Low down (cd player level) a single 8or9" screen with switches down the drivers side.
The idea being that this is a simplier system which will not need a powerful O/S that a touchscreen would.
The switches would be changeable between
1) Summary showing pack voltage, run time, peak draw.
2) Voltage of each battery (all displayed at once in some kind of order)
3) Temperatures (battery packs, motor, controller)
4) Mechanical info - Trip distance, average speed, max speed, acceleration times, G-forces etc

All this info is then logged. Not sure how i am going to do all that so might all just be vapourware.

The speedo and AmpLEDS will be going in though, design is currently in progress.

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Post by Thalass » Mon, 27 Apr 2009, 19:24

I like that LED ammeter around the speedo. Simple but obvious in its meaning.

As far as touchscreens go, it's actually fairly simple nowdays. If I recall correctly, linuxICE boots in less than a minute (I'm planning on having it suspend when the key is turned to off, so it should take only seconds), and touchscreen support is supposed to be simple to set up.

There's something to be said for hardware buttons, though. I'm considering them myself for preset functions like navigation, music, car data, things like that. With the touchscreen for controlling specifics in that program. Also a keyboard - possibly built into the sun visor.

I know for a fact that you can get a usb touchscreen kit for an eeepc 701 for about $50 australian (from dealextreme). I think the 9" eeepc kit is an extra $20 or so. And a 7" eeepc costs about the same as a car 7" touchscreen display - which is just a display!

As I said above, I intend to keep the look fairly close to stock. But with a custom built car you can do what you want! Image
Last edited by Thalass on Mon, 27 Apr 2009, 09:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Taffy » Mon, 27 Apr 2009, 21:55

eeepc in a car - done: http://eee-pc.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=60863 in russian. So i guess you can cross that off as a problem.
I really like the idea of the extra flexibility you will get from a computer over just a series of displays.

Well i guess the first problem will be getting information about your batteries/motor/controller to your computer. Any thoughts on this?
Im guessing you would need an external reciever which connects to a USB convertor to feed the data into the laptop.

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Post by EV2Go » Tue, 28 Apr 2009, 00:09

I would have liked to have a crack at writing some custom gauge program, but the cost of the software to write the program is so damn expensive.... all the good VB dial and gauge plug ins are worth a small fortune.

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Post by Squiggles » Tue, 28 Apr 2009, 00:48

Why use VB? Check out Python.

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Post by EV2Go » Wed, 29 Apr 2009, 17:13

Squiggles wrote: Why use VB? Check out Python.


Working for MS probably has a tad to do with it Image

Also I started with VB back in the 5.0 days, and since I am only a hobby programmer, I don't want to try learn a new language.

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Post by Taffy » Fri, 01 May 2009, 15:23

There is thread on just this at DIY electric car: http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/sh ... 31141.html

And here is a freeware program which can act as a front face: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/rr-skin ... -08-a.html

Looking very possible!

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Post by Thalass » Sat, 02 May 2009, 01:34

That's exactly what I want to do. That's encouraging! At least I know it'll fit inside a DIN slot (or near enough), with the display in front of it.

I think i've seen something in the linuxice website showing speed and rpm gauges on the computer. I think it's linked on the mp3car website, too. So it ought to be possible with linux.
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