Chapter 40 - The Digital Dashboard
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I don’t think any electric car “needs” a custom digital dash.
But, since this Corvette dash was designed to be digital, I think it would be cool to maintain the look of the original dashboard. (This will not be cheap or easy.)
The Link 10 keeps track of pack voltage, amps, amp hours, and state-of-charge. But it can not show all the data at the same time.
I phone a company that does custom-made dashboards. They can’t give me any hard numbers, but tell me that for a Corvette, the cost would probably be north of $1000. I tell them I’m working on an electric C4 Vette. They tell me to get lost! I go crying to Lee Hart. Unbeknownst to me, he had done some design work on a digital dash back in 2006.
Lee agrees to help by developing and drawing up schematics for some new digital displays, and for a translator board that will take the Link 10 data and make it readable by the new displays.
Lee doesn’t have the time to build everything, but he does order the printed circuit boards we will use. (I know I know. It’s an expensive way to go when you are doing just one car. But it means less hand wiring.)
He also built one display with interchangeable numeral blocks.
The blocks light up in green, yellow, red, or super red. Each color is represented on the test board. I may use one color for all temperature readings, another color for voltage, and still another for amps.
Each number block is driven by an IC (integrated circuit) module that is mounted on the back of the circuit board.
With all the tiny parts I will have to deal with, a lighted magnifying glass is a must.
Help from a good electrical engineer is also a must.
But first, and more importantly, I need to finish making a more reliable DC-DC converter.