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Controlling the Instrument Cluster's Display

74931 Views 470 Replies 65 Participants Last post by  Mario

A little project I'm working on. :) (Sorry for the horrid picture!)

Here's the elevator pitch: Directly control the LCD panel with a microcontroller to display custom information on the instrument cluster. The microcontroller will also read the data that would normally be going to the LCD and can choose to display that info or custom info.

Maybe you want to display OBDII parameters where the MPG is. Maybe you want to change the charge, assist, and SOC gauges to accurately reflect amps in/out, real battery SOC, etc.

I've got a few other ideas as well. Once I'm finished with this project I'll open-source everything I've learned and perhaps produce some PCBs to sell. We'll see!

I have work and other projects as well, so it may be slow going at times. But I'll try to give updates fairly regularly.
I don't think this has ever been done before. I hope you guys are excited!
If anybody is or wants to work on something similar, I'll be glad to share what I know; just ask.
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Ah, sorry, I was talking about the small joystick PCB. The main PCB (shown above) goes in the instrument cluster.

Thanks Willie, I'll see what they have.

You may be able to read the firmware back, however, I believe the memory in the microcontroller on the cluster is one-time-programmable. You can't put new firmware on it once it's been programmed. Best you could do is swap the chip from one cluster to the other - but at that point, it may be better to just swap the whole PCB or even the whole cluster. :)

It may also be possible that the firmwares are the same on all the clusters, and there is a jumper somewhere to select different configurations. I find this unlikely, though.

Not sure about the mph/kmh button - I don't have one of those clusters, so I haven't tried it! Anybody have a spare Japanese cluster they'd be willing to sell?
If you get a chance maybe you can look at a Canadian cluster? There's got to be something different going on from the US version because with the Canadian one it defaults to km/h every time the 12v battery gets unplugged.
Willing to beta test or buy!
That is amazing.

There are two unused light sockets in the cluster. One of them is next to the IMA light and the other is in the same area, but on the opposite side of the cluster. By any chance are you able to address (or control) those?

I've thought about using use one of them for to indicate lean burn and the other to indicate when cruise control is in use. Would also have to have new gauge faces made for those spots as well, but that's would be the easy part.
On Canadian Insights one of those is used for DRL, which illuminates when the daytime running lights aren't working for some reason, such as a blown fuse.

@ Mario:
The centre knockout panel has a metal clip on it.
By total coincidence, about a week ago I attempted to make the schematic for the stock trip button circuit boards and I've already ordered 10 of these. I often do trip button replacements and it's a real pain to remove the original buttons. I was going to see how they fit and then make another thread about it, but then I saw @*sean* asking about this.

If someone tells me what they want I can re-do this schematic to have an extra output or to accommodate a different button style or something and order some prototypes really cheap.


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I can't wait for this to be available!
The printed face is removable.
Took a break from coding to work on a vectorized version of the instrument cluster's display. :) This is going to be used in the eventual Pegasus user manual for showing menus, what the screens look like, etc. without having to use photos.

This is all vector art, I can change the colors of the segments to "turn them on" or off and the entire thing can be scaled as large as you want without it getting pixellated. I'll be releasing the file for this eventually.

It's done in Adobe Illustrator, pretty much all by hand. I used my photos of the display and made them as straight as I could, then used that as a guide for making all the segments and whatnot. The bar graphs were made by putting one rectangle at each end, then using Illustrator's "blend" tool plus a circular path to fill in the rest. The seven-segment digits were traced by hand with the pen tool.
It's mostly just drawing different shapes that you can add together and subtract from each other to get the thing you want.

I was thinking about making a custom startup screen, actually. :) I could do it at this point, but I'm focusing on more important stuff right now!

Hey Mario, mind if I copy this work to use some of it on LiDisplay?
Thanks Mario!
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