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      02-03-2009, 11:17 AM   #1
coolingmist
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my new project: Virtual gauges in the NAV screen

I started on the software last night. What you are seeing the picture is a close up of the layout that I came up with and an overlay onto a photo of my nav screen. With my software I have the ability to change the look, style of every single element in the gauges. This includes the type of gauge, the size, the colors, the type of pointer, range, redline, etc. If I can dream it up it can be setup in the software. I wanted something that was simple and would compliment the BMW interior. When the software is completed I will have different tabs that will give choices of gauge types as well as the ability to customize each one.

I chose the following for this setup:

RPM, Speed, MAF, Air temp, water temp, Boost

Later on I may do EGT, flow rate from meth injection or more. But for now you get the idea. I will likely have the air temp on a 2 way switch so I can see before and after the Intercooler.

Its likely to change dramatically by the time I am finished but here is my concept.


Screen Print of the software:




Digital overlay on my NAV:


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      02-03-2009, 11:20 AM   #2
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Wow this is amazing.
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      02-03-2009, 11:28 AM   #3
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Will your software eventually work for the older I-Drive?
Conceptually it sounds great, keep us updated!
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      02-03-2009, 11:41 AM   #4
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very nice.. keep us posted with updates... and is this something you will be selling or just for your use only ha
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      02-03-2009, 02:17 PM   #5
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Will your software eventually work for the older I-Drive?
Conceptually it sounds great, keep us updated!
+1
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      02-03-2009, 03:20 PM   #6
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This is alot to read but it will make everything very clear.

When I went out looking for a new car it was because I got tiresome driving my Elise every day. Fun car, but terrible to drive every day. The Navigation was not even something I was looking for. I test drove a car that had the Nav in it that I could not resist.

The 1 series is everything I want in a car. I absolutely love this vehicle. Having said that anything that I design for this vehicle is going to look OEM. I think people would love the idea of having all of the gauges together including a boost gauge..hell even an EGT gauge and other temp gauges.

I dont have everything completely worked out yet but I will For those of you that are interested there will be some things to understand. I am doing this first and formost because I want to do it for myself. If the community likes what my company has done and there is a demand I would be glad to make it for the 135I. Those of you that are budget restricted will need to move on to something else. This is not going to be a simple piece of software you install and does all these cool trickes. There are hardware interface(s) that you need.

For starters you will need a carputer or laptop. Personally I have an acer aspire laptop. It weighs a pound or less. It costs under $300 and has 120 gig h/d. It can fit in the glove box of the car. You will need either a small laptop or a carputer. I will later get a carputer. All of the hardware interfaces I plan to install in the trunk next to the battery. Nice and clean.

After you get your windows based PC (carputer or laptop) you will need a smart controller to get the signals to the computer.

This is the smart controller below. It has 4 0 to 5 volts inputs, 2 frequency inputs, 1 mv input, 1 programmable 0-5V output and 5 on/off outputs.

with this controller you have the ability to read things such as RPM, Maf, tps, egt, map or anything that has a signal that the smart controller can read. You can go into user defined mode to set up any custom sensor. This device as 5 on/off outputs that are programmable. So you can set any of these outputs to turn on/off based on any of the inputs. For example, you can make any of the outputs turn on based on RPM, etc. Customers use it to turn on nitrous, water injection or to turn on a shift light, water fan, ic sprayer or more than 1 device at a time. Its potential is limitless.






Now that you got the carputer/laptop and that you have the smart controller you will now need to get the computer signal to your NAV. I am researching this right now. As of today this one looks good:

http://www.navvideo.com/downloads/Install_NV_BMW356.pdf

It takes your computer monitor signal and converts the RGB for the NAV to use. Its completely plug and play with no wire cutting. When you press the MENU key on the Idrive you can switch to the gauge system.

Lastly you will need our software. The software would come with the smart controller. The software I am developing now will be specific to the 135/335 vehicles.

If your still reading this and I have not lost you good.....It will work with any Idrive, you would just need to get the navconverter for the year BMW you have. Our software will be universal. I may have to make change for the screen resolution, but that would be fairly quick.

I would be open to manufacturing my own PC to NAV converter if there was alot of interest, it would get the cost of the product down however my upfront costs would be tremendous so there would have to be strong demand. Otherwise, for those that dont have budget constraints you will have a very capable system that will do far more than just display your gauges (warning system, failsafe, optional water/meth, etc).

To summarize:

You wire your sensors to the inputs on the smart controller
connect the smart controller to your carputer/laptop
your laptop/carputer is connected to the RGB/nav converter
our software is installed on your laptop.

Thats about it. Technology to do this is here today and I know of atleast one BMW that will have it shortly


EDIT: I forgot to mention it datalogs as well. You can save to file, etc.
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      02-03-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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cool - keep us up to date!
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      02-03-2009, 04:28 PM   #8
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What is the estimated cost total, $600-700?
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      02-03-2009, 04:40 PM   #9
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At this time the only part we supply is the controller and the software (and optional meth kit of course). our controller retails for 1/3rd that price you quote. The laptop/carputer and RGB converter we dont manufacture or carry. If you were getting this as a meth kit with all the pump and more it would obviously be more. You need a carputer or laptop as I mentioned mine was $300. lastly you need an RGB converter to interface your nav screen as a monitor. The one in my link in my post was $300.

The nice thing, is that these are very functional products you will use the computer for many things, our controller for many things and it will all be integrated such as OEM.

Obviously I dont have this exact product to offer today so I can directly discuss pricing, but if we were to offer this today as a complete package it would run more than what you listed. I can see it costing from 800-1200 depending on what options you want what you buy. If you buy a $300 mini laptop vs a $700 carputer that will make a difference.

I am developing this because I like cool innovative products. I will update this thread as well. Whether my company offers this as a product will definately be heavily influenced by this thread. Any input is appreciated and will be considered.
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      02-03-2009, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolingmist View Post
At this time the only part we supply is the controller and the software. our controller retails for 1/3rd that price you quote. If you were getting this as a meth kit with all the pump and more it would obviously be more. You need a carputer or laptop as I mentioned mine was $300. lastly you need an RGB converter to interface your nav screen as a monitor. The one in my link in my post was $300.

The nice thing, is that these are very functional products you will use the computer for many things, our controller for many things and it will all be integrated such as OEM.

Obviously I dont have this exact product to offer today so I can directly discuss pricing, but if we were to offer this today as a complete package it would run more than what you listed. I can see it costing from 800-1200 depending on what options you want what you buy. If you buy a $300 mini laptop vs a $700 carputer that will make a difference.

I am developing this because I like cool innovative products. I will update this thread as well. Whether my company offers this as a product will definately be heavily influenced by this thread. Any input is appreciated and will be considered.
Do you think you might provide a C-API so that your software could be used as a platform? If so, I could see lots of widget contributions coming in by other SW guru's that would be based off of your system.

Good for you and good for the community.
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      02-03-2009, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Do you think you might provide a C-API so that your software could be used as a platform? If so, I could see lots of widget contributions coming in by other SW guru's that would be based off of your system.

Good for you and good for the community.

Actually we have a C API for our smart controller. Infact the application that you see is done using the API.

You can read the values from any of the inputs, read the state of the outputs (On/off - 1/0), get the 0-5V output dutycycle, etc.

You could build your own application with it. The API does not include the gauge software. It simply is a read API interface to the smart controller. The application that you see is done using VB.NET and the C-API. I read the info from the inputs/outputs from the smart controller in real time (after you set the read rate, etc) and populate them, grab the data for datalog purpose.

I have never provided the API to the public but could be interested.

David
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      02-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #12
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I'm definitely interest buying your software, as well as the hardware if you decide to sell it as well. awesome project
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      02-03-2009, 05:43 PM   #13
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The software will come free with the system. If there is enough interest I would be glad to offer it as a product. Hopefully as this thread progresses we will have alot of updates and new details to share

I do need a little help for anyone that wants to contribute. I need to know the following:

1) does our ecu have an RPM signal or do I need to use a TACH adapter?
2) Our MAP sensor, what does 5 volts represent interms of PSI?

any links to ecu pinouts our service manuals that list voltages, specs will help alot. I will find all of this info, but to get it now will make my progress much better.

Thanks!
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      02-03-2009, 06:36 PM   #14
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I had an obd 2 reader, and it read rpm's through that port correctly...Hope this helps

Boost will not be read correctly with a chip in though, so it might need an external boost sensor...
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      02-03-2009, 07:02 PM   #15
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We actually read the sensors directly. OBD is nice but slow. Our controller will read within a couple ms vs can bus which probably updates 2 or 3 times a second. We get the rpm signal either at the ECU or with a tach adapter at the coil pack. with boost the stock map sensor will be accurate, if not we have a transducer option.

Thanks
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      02-04-2009, 03:16 PM   #16
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This is good stuff.

Can this work on the R35GTR's MFD? Like add themes and stuff?
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      02-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
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This is good stuff.

Can this work on the R35GTR's MFD? Like add themes and stuff?
what is R35GTR's MFD?

I am a New - B.

David
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      02-04-2009, 05:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
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what is R35GTR's MFD?

I am a New - B.

David
The 2009 Nissan GT-R's (R35) multifunction display.
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      02-04-2009, 06:29 PM   #19
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The 2009 Nissan GT-R's (R35) multifunction display.
good question. I cant test it right now because my GTR is behind the Lamborghini and ferarri.

Ok, just kidding. The system is compatible with any windows operating system. In otherwords you need a carputer or laptop. To get it to show up on your screen you have to get some sort of converter to convert your VGA to RGB or what ever your MFD uses.

when im done I will have the coolest display.
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      02-04-2009, 08:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsherri View Post
The 2009 Nissan GT-R's (R35) multifunction display.


Quote:
Originally Posted by coolingmist View Post
good question. I cant test it right now because my GTR is behind the Lamborghini and ferarri.

Ok, just kidding. The system is compatible with any windows operating system. In otherwords you need a carputer or laptop. To get it to show up on your screen you have to get some sort of converter to convert your VGA to RGB or what ever your MFD uses.

when im done I will have the coolest display.
Nice. I recommend visiting Nagtroc, get more info on the MFD. They'll love you there

Good luck with your project.
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      02-04-2009, 09:52 PM   #21
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Sounds like you might be working with terry...

http://www.n54tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2897
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      02-04-2009, 09:56 PM   #22
coolingmist
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Im glad you guys like it so far.

I need to find a good vga to rgb converter that will work with our nav system. I found 1 that I am considering. I will keep searching. Once the software is ready if I dont have anything better I will order that one. Once that part is solved, this will be really cool.
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