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Old 19th September 2008, 12:05   #1
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Talking Planning to make my own Instrument panel for ZEN

Hello all,

I am planning a new project.

I am planning to make a customized digital instrument panel for my Zen.

The assumptions
  1. I can use the same instrument cluster & will be able to fit my PCB
    (Printed Circuit Board) & LCD in the same plastic casing (Well I will definitely need to design the fitment though).
  2. One can modify the instrument cluster. (As I can see many dup parts are available in market & even the tachos. are not company approved for particular cars which do not have inbuilt) one can make his own panel.
  3. Any standards needed to be followed?
The concept I am thinking is much simple

We have a sensor or a flexible cable running from engine or from one of the four tires (Definitely axels or the actual car part & not the rims & tyres) and can use same for knowing the revolutions a tire is making. Then depending upon the circumference of the tire can calculate the distance it traveled.

We can have multiple trip & odo meters on the LCD.

Then using similar technique we can install a engine RPM metering cable which will give engine coupling and then can note the engine RPM as well.

The fuel gauge is also an electrical system so can convert that too in digital, where as temp is again the same.

What I need to know is when we say temp from C to H what is the min & max range of it (which I will break in some scale & will be able to show, if required can show the actual temp in number also.

I also learnt that the fuel tank is not the only part which has fuel in a car, some fuel is also running in engine & fuel pipes so even if we measure some fuel in tank there is definitely some more fuel (say 100 to 200 ml) out of it.

With everything made digital we can also display the current average (FE) the car is running with (this will be calculated only at a steady state when the vehicle is at the 0 speed for more than 5 minutes to remove all movement of liquid) and then can also say how many more kilometers your car can make with current fuel & current average.

Well I am not trying any commercial aspect from this but trying to make something which will give some info in our regular cars which is available in high end ones.

I hope what I am planning is not too out of the limit.

What I know which is required for this project
  1. Microcontrollers & their programming -- which is required for all digital conversion & display
  2. Hardware design & PCB design -- Where this entire electronics can fit
  3. The electrical to digital conversion
What I want to know
  1. Some details for the assumptions I stated above
  2. What are the max & min limits of all gauges placed in instrument panel
  3. How the odo calculation is done (which tire it takes input from & what I understood for circumference & all is correct)?
Definately many other questions will come up when the discussion is taken up.

I hope moderators will allow me posting this thread being a newbie.

Mods. I have chosen the technical stuff as this project involves many technical issues and I thought it is better suit for technical stuff than modification threads.


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Last edited by Jaggu : 19th September 2008 at 12:23. Reason: Font, color tags
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Old 19th September 2008, 15:23   #2
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First of all, you are undertaking a Huge project.It will be time consuming.What controller are you planing to use? and how much knowledge do you have about the hardware design ,interfacing and embedded? cause the programing involved is pretty substantial, a lot of A/D conversions and than there is the part of display control, which will be a complete project in itself.I think that you can manage.

What you need to do is get a workshop manual or find the ratings for the sensors in your car.
The C on the temp gauge is around 24-29degC and H is 120degC[usually], so you can assume some where close to this.
For rpm you need a pickup from the ignition system or a sensor to detect rpm directly from the crank.
Fuel gauge is the same as the temperature gauge if you want to measure fuel in the tank itself, but if you want to know the exact quantity you will have to use multiple sensors like the one in the tank plus a flow sensor and a separate controller for that and than calculate the actual quantity in the tank and using this and the total odo reading you can calculate the fuel consumption.
Similarly you will need to select a speed sensor and mount it on the drive shaft and than interface that to the micro controller.
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Old 19th September 2008, 15:32   #3
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Well I have studied the detailed working of fuel gauge & temp guage.

The current fuel gauge in my car seems to be of bimetallic strip type.

Where I can use a A-D (Analog to Digital) converter to sense the change in Voltage which I am getting due to float movement. And then accordingly I will co relate the fuel in the tank. I definately need to make many trials to reach to a final conclusion or else simply buy a fuel tank which has a digital sending unit of the fuel gauge (I dont know what might be the cost for the same).

Can any body tell me where I can get a old fuel tank (ZEN) to which I can make my own fuel gauge as the resistance part is too inaccurate & at the same time need lot of conversion. I better use simple rotary switch which will give me similar counts which I need to convert from a resistance. When the float concept will still remain the same, as I am not able to figure if something else can be used.
I want old tank only because I just want to test the instrument & not to actually use the tank. With a old tank which may not be suitable for car but has a working float unit.

Can somebody guide where to get such material in mumbai?
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Old 19th September 2008, 15:48   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
First of all, you are undertaking a Huge project.It will be time consuming.What controller are you planing to use? and how much knowledge do you have about the hardware design ,interfacing and embedded? cause the programing involved is pretty substantial, a lot of A/D conversions and than there is the part of display control, which will be a complete project in itself.I think that you can manage.
Thanks for the confidence, but really I know the stuff (I guess so) I am working with controllers, sensors, spped measuring & different display systems for last 7 years & I mainly do everything right from software to hardware & PCB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
What you need to do is get a workshop manual or find the ratings for the sensors in your car.
When we say workshop manual is it the same servicing manual which is reffered in many threads here & which app costs 2.5K (Just for reference)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
The C on the temp gauge is around 24-29degC and H is 120degC[usually], so you can assume some where close to this.
Hay thats real good info, with the help of sensor type & its output knowledge from the manual I will be able to corelate these on display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
For rpm you need a pickup from the ignition system or a sensor to detect rpm directly from the crank.
Ok here is the triky part for me, I could not understand how this is done.
I am going with an assumption that when an external tacho can be mounted in a zen it must have a cable which is connected somewhere to the actual engine. I also saw some digital tachos which can be after market fitted. So the similar cable (I want to know what it is and how it is functioning from gurus here) mounted in similar place will give me RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
Fuel gauge is the same as the temperature gauge if you want to measure fuel in the tank itself, but if you want to know the exact quantity you will have to use multiple sensors like the one in the tank plus a flow sensor and a separate controller for that and than calculate the actual quantity in the tank and using this and the total odo reading you can calculate the fuel consumption.
Similarly you will need to select a speed sensor and mount it on the drive shaft and than interface that to the micro controller.
Well I have just posted for the fuel gauge study & I think instead of converting the resistor output (in terms of voltage) i better will use a rotart encoder or switch (in a very miniature scale) which will tell me the float movement in terms of counts and then can use that information.

I guess only knowing the electronics and hardware part for this project is way too less. I need to have much detailed information. And I am sure I will get it here on this forum. There are many gurus here who have given many hard years to this industry.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 13:16   #5
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Default hay not fare, no inputs at all

Hi every one,

I was expecting some inputs from this forum. Only one BHPien turns to this thread, no one else even says a word.

I started gathering information from many places. Also learnt many new things for this.

Can I get information like, if this can be done & is it valid to do so.

I want to make a new panel for my zen. Please guys throw some light here also.

If at all you think this is completely creasy and one should not attempt this then let me know that way so that I can try doing something else rather than going creasy behind this and ultimately reaching a conclusion that its better not to be done.
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Old 24th September 2008, 13:05   #6
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Default Please someone. say something

Common gurus, please help.

MODs: Is this thread in right section, where I will get the experts comments?
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Old 24th September 2008, 15:57   #7
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The fuel sensor is variable value in analog form, the controller only understands digital values, so you will need a ADC to convert this before useing it in your calculations or even if you just want to display it in digital form on the lcd.
the workshop manual is service manual, it will give you all the info you need about the various sensors on the car.
As for the tach input you can either take the pulses from the ignition coil or take input from the distributor, one revolution of the distributor is equal to one rpm of the engine. you will need a conditioning circuit here before giving it to the contrller. all the external tach now ad days are electronic and take input this way.
As for the fuel take you will get one at CST road or your local mechcanic.What your trying to do will need very high resolution switch and a lot of input port on the controller, and same number of conditioning circuit as any variation of voltage at any on the output will give wrong reading or distroy the ports. FIll the tank with known quantity of liquied and measure the output of the sensor and you will know what quantity of fuel is present in the tank, this way you will know the valum of fuel at a perticular sensor output.
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Old 24th September 2008, 17:07   #8
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hey.. Why dont you buy one such digital panel which is available and them strip it down and get more info. It is expensive but that way you get it right.. Also this is much easier with an mpfi car since most sensors are digital you just need to get matching pickups for it. Need any more info please feel free to ask.
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Old 24th September 2008, 20:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinar View Post
As for the tach input you can either take the pulses from the ignition coil or take input from the distributor, one revolution of the distributor is equal to one rpm of the engine.
Hi Dinar, sorry to nitpick, but if I'm not mistaken, distributors are driven at half the crankshaft RPM.

ModifiedSachin: Nice DIY effort, this could become a very interesting thread. As mentioned previously, the service or workshop manuals are the way to start your R&D. They will contain the location of all the sensors, their operating ranges, procedures for checking them, etc. And if you ask me, I'd say wherever possible, try to piggyback on the existing sensors - you just have to A/D them & calibrate your digital dash accordingly.

Last edited by im_srini : 24th September 2008 at 20:15.
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Old 24th September 2008, 22:18   #10
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Hey thanks im_srini for pointing that out ,man readying so many question and answering is difficult.

@Iceman91 , thats a great suggestion, but most of the instruments these days are surface mount technology, very hard to copy. And all the sensors used are analog , ECU has ADC on board to do the conversion.I know.
Digital gauges are very expansive so not used at least on mass produced cars.
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Old 25th September 2008, 10:01   #11
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Hello guys,

Thanks for your inputs, I will keep you posted with what ever small and big things I am doing.

Currently I have spoken with MSS for a Zen (Curb) service manual to know internal details. May be after reading that I can get exactly where I can use sensors or where is the provision given for mounting such switchs (sensors etc.)

BTW using a MIFI ECU may not work for me as the car I am using is old zen (Curb) and I dont think it has any degital sensor. So treacing the circuit wont help and apart from SMD (Surface Mount Devices) the newly designed boards are multi layered so tracing them is a big task.

Well my initial thoughts of modifying fuel sensor seems to be bit fluctuating as the sensor needs to be in an FPE (Flame Proof Enclosure) and getting that approval is a big head ake. I was previously working for fuel dispensers and know the process.

So currently using the same old fuel gauge with A/D.
If I drop the concept of displaying the miledge then current fuel sensor can be well used in isolation from controller with the help of window comparator to to lit up a series of LEDs to display different levels of Tank.

I have got the operating details of fuel sensor but have no idea if the temp sensor also works in the similar fasion. But may not use the temp. sensor in isolation as it has to start the radiator fan when ever the engine temp is gone above certain limit & has to cut it off when it comes down below a fixed threshold. This will definately need a control action, can be achieved by descrete circuit but a controller can also do it. Not yet finalised what exactly to do.

Currently not having time to hunt for a tank, may be after some days I will hunt for the same as after office hunting is really defficult. Only weekends are available. But will do it for sure.


Currently looking at the requirement of Inst Panel I have cornered one controller (Renisas) cheap in cost and very sturdy with lots of features.

It has lots of IOs, A/D, many timers & a good speed of operation.
One of my friend who works as an FAE (Field Application Engineer) for microchip also told me that these controllers are also used in the cars.

But nothing finalised yet, will keep you posted with updates.

I like to mention few things I need to monitor please review these and let me know If I need to monitor some more
  1. Fuel Quantity (1 Input Pin)
  2. Temperature (1 input pin & may be 1 output for fan controll)
  3. RPM (1 inout Pin)
  4. Tyre revolution (to know distance run) (1-4 input pins, plannig to use 4 sensors to know if any one has missed a pulse)
  5. LCD (8 Data and 3 control lines so total 11-12 pins)
  6. High Beam Lamp (No controller Pin dirct use as used in old panel)
  7. Battery Lamp (No controller Pin dirct use as used in old panel)
  8. Oil Lamp (No controller Pin dirct use as used in old panel)
  9. Parking Break Lamp (No controller Pin dirct use as used in old panel)
  10. Seal Belt (driver) Lamp (No controller Pin dirct use as used in old panel) Can use the new swift seat belts for this.
  11. Turn lights (No controller Pin dirct use as used in old panel)
I need to have 1+2+1+4+12 = 20 I/O Pins of controller
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Old 29th October 2015, 19:19   #12
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Default Re: Planning to make my own Instrument panel for ZEN

Did this ever happen? updates pls?
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