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Old 03-17-2008, 10:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
LostCause's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: California
Posts: 504

Thunderbird - '96 Ford Thunderbird
90 day: 27.75 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I'm with Trebuchet, because of my experience with this stuff ( = nil).

The thing that appeals to me about the Arduino is that it's ready to go, and I understand the programming process - plug it into a PC serial port and install the code.

I wouldn't know where to begin if I also had to select components & make the platform.

How is an atmega or other IC programmed?
It seems that the arduino uses an atmega168 microcontroller w/ a bootloader, so it is programmed directly via serial/usb. I think other IC's (PIC, BASIC Stamp, etc.) require a board to interface with a computer via serial. Really old stuff (EPROM) requires data to be erased by UV and then loaded. Thank goodness it's not 1984...

Since I also have no experience I won't advocate the tough path anymore. It just seemed like the logical path if the experience can be found in this board. Essentially, the end product would be MegaSquirt-esque: purchase components, solder, download code, install, done...

If the arduino path is taken, another option is the freeduino: completely open source + USB. ~$24

Info for getting an LCD up and running. Apparently, to have buttons, input pins available, and run an LCD it needs to operate in 4-bit mode. Here's what I've found so far.

LCD interface in 8-bit
LCD interface in 4-bit
Source of LCD's (w/ or w/o backlighting) ~$15-20

This is kind of dumb, but what about an "analog" fuel economy gauge?

- LostCause

Last edited by LostCause; 03-17-2008 at 10:59 PM..
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