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?My invention: Best boost/CAN gauge ever on the OEM red LCD display.

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?My invention: Best boost/CAN gauge ever on the OEM red LCD display.

Old 04-14-2010, 10:45 PM
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?My invention: Best boost/CAN gauge ever on the OEM red LCD display.

UPDATE: The GOODbox is now for sale in the group buy thread


So while I wait for all my turbo parts to arrive, the one thing that has been bugging me is the fact that I need an AFR and Boost gauge, but there is just no good looking way to mount them.

So I decided the best looking solution would be for the gauges to be on the pretty red LCD right above the head unit. Of course when I called mazda & their suppliers, no one would give me the signaling spec for the display, so I had to reverse-engineer it. Using a logic analyzer I figured it all out. Here are some pics of this process:
http://i.imgur.com/YBhi8.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/hQGSm.jpg

Step 2 was to design a circuit board that could fit in a small enclosure. I decided the best place was the ashtray. I figured since the CAN bus isn't too far from there, there is nothing preventing me from querying the car's computer for sensor data as well.
Here is the final product, I am calling it the GOODbox (Gauges On the OEM Display):





When on, it overrides the data coming from the head unit and shows you live gauge data. I can even override the fonts and make custom patterns & symbols. There is also a buzzer/beeper to warn about overboost, and while I was at it I added a feature that lets you choose custom startup text instead of the stock "mazda rx-8"
It can display 2 different screens, A or B. Each screen can show either 1 or 2 gauges. This way you can quickly switch around up to4 different gauges. It has a menu system that lets you choose gauges, calibrate the boost gauge and edit the custom startup text. Since the display is 12 characters, each gauge gets 6 characters in dual mode. Sometimes that is kind of cramped, but oh well. There is probably some improvements I could make with the formatting of dual gauge mode.
The harness just connects to tap splice connectors on the LCD's cable, a 12V power source and the CAN bus which is closest just above the head unit by the Tire Pressure Sensor Module.

List of currently supported sensor data:
  • Boost pressure
  • Coolant Temp
  • Air/fuel ratio
  • Intake Air temp
  • Short term fuel trim
  • Long term fuel trim
  • Throttle position
  • Engine load (in %)
  • Speed (mph)
  • Engine RPM
I can add anything to this list that the RX8's computer supports, just have to know the right ID.
A couple of features I would like to add soon:
  • When I designed the board, I added an additional analog pad that you could solder your own custom sensor to (for example EGT), but I haven't yet added that feature in the firmware. The idea is that you would use the menu to give it a name, and set calibration multiplier, divisor and offset. So displayed value would be data*multiplier/divisor+offset.
  • Check Engine Light code reading & clearing.

Here are some videos of it in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSPWBuyuuLc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXTIb2aJJqA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA2Pt6ZCJow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfoIZJvrJ6E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DICK5M4Ovug

The display for the Mazda3 and Mazda6 is the same as the one in the RX8, so there is no reason it wouldn't work for those cars too. The MS3 definitely needs a nice boost gauge like this.

Well, what do you think? I am thinking about selling these. I would love to hear some feedback, and refine it a bit more. Soldering on all the small parts is kind of a pain, so I might have to find some kind of manufacturer to assemble the PCB for me.

Last edited by pieter3d; 07-09-2010 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Youtube embedding
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:47 PM
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YES, that is all
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:48 PM
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You, sir, are a genius.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:53 PM
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all i can say is wow! will this be something you will be able to provide and offer to us?
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:54 PM
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wow great job man!

Definitely look into selling these
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:59 PM
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awesome - just when you think all the good ideas are gone ..........
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:00 PM
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Dude, im na, any way you could have it pull afr's, intake temp, coolant temp? i'll pay for one, that **** is top notch!!
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by L337fpc View Post
Dude, im na, any way you could have it pull afr's, intake temp, coolant temp? i'll pay for one, that **** is top notch!!

It does! Read the full post or watch the vids
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gregs View Post
all i can say is wow! will this be something you will be able to provide and offer to us?
Yes that is the plan. I got to figure out how to make many of them without having to slave over a soldering iron all week, and set a price. Also got to write up an install guide and manual.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:19 AM
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that is awesome. wouldn't never thought about doing something like that.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:20 AM
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FTMFW!!!
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:24 AM
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pieter: this is an amazing project, I'm quite impressed.
just a word of advice: don't mention any prices or the mods will close the thread since you haven't applied for a Group Buy yet. As long as you don't mention a price, you're all set. (read between the lines)

either way, definitely look into selling this.
if the price is fair, I'm sure you'll see demand.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jedi54 View Post
pieter: this is an amazing project, I'm quite impressed.
just a word of advice: don't mention any prices or the mods will close the thread since you haven't applied for a Group Buy yet. As long as you don't mention a price, you're all set. (read between the lines)

either way, definitely look into selling this.
if the price is fair, I'm sure you'll see demand.
Cool, yeah I figured, hence no pricing. who do I email?
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:30 AM
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worry about the email later, get back to work on building more of these!

If you decide to sell these on here you just go through the GB application process - https://www.rx8club.com/payments.php
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:55 AM
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Simply amazing, I will pay quite a bit for this.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:06 AM
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this is really, really cool and outside the box!

is it running off the obd 2 lines? if so cat temp should be there..

wow!

beers

Last edited by swoope; 04-15-2010 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:23 AM
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This is awesoe!! I'll def look forward to this!
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:36 AM
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this is a good product to sell good luck
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:20 AM
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Manufacturing

Pieter3d - very nice work. PM me if you would like a contact at a good contract manufacturer.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:34 AM
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Other than where it is displayed, how is this different than the Scanguage?
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:38 AM
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this is amazing! Find some way to mass produce this. I been waiting for something like this forever
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:05 AM
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dang thats ridiculous man! good job
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:10 AM
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Nice idea!
If the price is right count me in!
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:29 AM
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I am so in on this--coolant temp gauge with warning buzzer etc---hell yea. Custom start up message--boogles my imagination
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by alnielsen View Post
Other than where it is displayed, how is this different than the Scanguage?
It has a boost pressure sensor on it too, and when installed is invisible, no unsightly device taped/bolted/glued to the dash.
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