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Old 03-16-2023, 01:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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MPG Display - analog

In a recent IEEE Spectrum magazine article about using Arduino for tracking fuel economy, the author is using an analog guage located in his centre console.
I've often wondered about using an analog guage rather than a digital display.

On my 2012 Matrix all the guages are analog and it seems to me that maybe there's a reason for that - dunno.

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Old 03-16-2023, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My version of MPGuino supports analog output of either fuel remaining or fuel consumed, via a PWM signal.
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Old 03-16-2023, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miro View Post
In a recent IEEE Spectrum magazine article about using Arduino for tracking fuel economy, the author is using an analog guage located in his centre console.
I've often wondered about using an analog guage rather than a digital display.

On my 2012 Matrix all the guages are analog and it seems to me that maybe there's a reason for that - dunno.

miro
Define "analog".

If it's a 2012, the gauges are digitally driven even if they have physical needles. The only difference is that the digital output is used to drive a stepper motor or something similar to move that physical needle instead of just outputting to a LCD. So yes, the same could be applied to any digital gauge, including from an Arduino or other similar device.

Take the digital signal, process that to see how much a stepper motor with a needle attached should turn, or you could output a PWM signal push that through a coil in an ammeter to move the gauge. An Arduino should have everything you need to do that on it already.

The only reason for having "analog" gauges in a modern car is for the look. Everything is processed digitally, and the digital output has to be converted into the mechanical movement of the needles.

Back in the old days gauges were analog because there weren't any digital signals to go off of. Speedometers had a spinning magnent that pulled on a metal disc hooked up to a spring. The faster the magnent would spin, the more it would pull on the disc that was next to it. Nearly all other gauges would move due to how much current was passing through them. They were essencially all ammeters. A fuel level sending unit was nothing more than a poteniometer that sent an analog voltage signal to the gauge. The voltage had to pass through a resistor, and since current equals voltage divided by the resistance, you'd get a specific current passing through the gauge for specific voltage that was being sent to it. Temp gauges worked by using a thermister, a resistor that changed resistance due to changes in heat.

But fastforward to today and everything is digital. The fuel level, engine temp, etc is converted into ones and zeros, aka "a digital signal." That is fed into the ECU for all it's digital needs and for sending to any dash gauges, whether they are LCD or mechanical.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The only reason for having "analog" gauges in a modern car is for the look. Everything is processed digitally, and the digital output has to be converted into the mechanical movement of the needles.
Analog guages are more perceptible.
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Old 03-16-2023, 03:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Analog guages are more perceptible.
Maybe. I have both a digital and "analog" speedometer in the Avalon, but I prefer to go by the digital readout. I think the problem with modern day analog speedometers is they want to put some ludicrous maximum speed on them, like 160mph or more, that I'd never do. So they have to cancel out a lot of smaller numbers, now jumping by 20's (0 l | l 20 l | l 40 l | l 60 l | l 80 l | l 100 l | l 120 l | l 140 l | l 160). It makes it hard for me to see what speed I'm actually going, so I use the digital display instead.

The only downside is that when I downshift the LCD changes from whatever I have set there (such as the digital speedometer) to a tachometer, which makes me have to look over at the analog speedometer and try to figure out what speed I'm going at.

If they'd just set the maximum speed on the speedometer at the maximum legal speed limit (85mph in the USA) then it would be easier to see and understand what speed I'm going.
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Old 03-16-2023, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The unrealized advantage of digital is the heads-up display.

No reason why they couldn't provide driving glasses with a Bluetooth connection and Augmented Reality.

Not just the read-outs, make the whole roof of the car invisible with an 'omnidirectional rear-view mirror'.
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Old 03-16-2023, 06:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
If they'd just set the maximum speed on the speedometer at the maximum legal speed limit (85mph in the USA) then it would be easier to see and understand what speed I'm going.
They did that for a short time in the 80s on imported motorcycles. I find this incredibly annoying. I agree with the point, just not the proposed number. I only find it annoying because I am speeding, but not knowing how fast I am going isn't that great either.
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Old 03-16-2023, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_a_t_t View Post
They did that for a short time in the 80s on imported motorcycles. I find this incredibly annoying. I agree with the point, just not the proposed number. I only find it annoying because I am speeding, but not knowing how fast I am going isn't that great either.
90 or 95?

When the entire town has a 25mph speed limit, the car is automatic so full acceleration is always at the tip of the foot (maybe it's time to install a block behind the accelerator) but the speedometer barely moves when I go 25mph or under, that is irritating.

One thing that I'd like to see on modern cars with their fancy smancy LCD (or OLED, NanoLED, etc.) displays would be customizable gauges. Just let us adjust them how we see fit. I never hit anything over 65mph, so let me set max to 65mph if I want. With the way technology is today it should be possible. But no! We can't have people customizing their cars these days now can we!

It used to be possible to customize your gauges without making it look like a frankenstein hack job.



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Old 03-16-2023, 07:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 03-16-2023, 08:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
That looks like almost exactly how I had my '72 Super Beetle dash configured, with AFR gauge and all.

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