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Discussion Starter #43
With my semester nearing its end, I hope to pick this project back up soon. Im outlining my current plan and any comment or suggestions are welcome.

Touch Screen Interface
Fan Speed - off,1,2,3,4
Temperature - (possibility of adding a thermostat to allow automatic control of cabin temperature)
Upper, lower, defrost, upper and lower, lower and defrost settings

Additional features
Clock
Screen Brightness Integration with the stock dimmer
Cougar Start up image

Hardware interface
-Originally I was going to design a board with a digital potentiometer for the temperature control, a series of mosfets to control the blower speed and the ac/max ac toggle, and electro pneumatic valves to control the actuators. This would have exponentially increased cost, been more work, and added unnecessary complication to the project. Fortunately after my computer crashed, I was forced to start over and was able to reevaluate my original design.

My new idea is economical and safer in that it is non invasive with the car's electrical system.

Materials:
Orignal stock hvac controls
3 servos
plexiglass frame to mount hardware
sensors for servo homing
control board

My new plan is to use the original hvac dials and attached servos where the dials would originally go.
upon startup, the control board will home the dials to a predefined position. The control board will then receive data for the board that controls the lcd screen and set the dials accordingly. This, of course, would all be housed in a box mounted somewhere under the dash.

My next challenge is to find or make some type of bezel that will mount the screen flush with the dash.

I will post updates as they come.
 

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If you're putting in servos to operate the HVAC dials why not just use those servos to directly actuate the HVAC doors in place of vacuum pots?
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I thought about that, but i ran into some problems.

The first was sourcing servos with enough torque to open and hold the doors. As i remember, There are 3 actuators under the dash, so i would still have to buy 3 servos.
The second is that this method would be invasive. If i ever wanted to switch back to the original controls, it would be more difficult then simply unplugging a harness.
My third issue is with the temperature potentiometer. When i tested it, it was an obscure value and i was unable to find a chip that matched. If i wanted to continue with my original plan, I would have to, in theory, build my own. This would take space and increase cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Thats possible. Most of the processors ive been studying have CAN support. I havent had the chance to learn anything about it or how the OBDII protocol works, but if i could fit that in, it would open up a world of possibilities. I always thought it would be cool to have a database of all the CEL codes built and it would tell you whats up the moment the light comes on... Im trying not to get too excited, its a lot of work.
 

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If you can figure out the OBDII interfacing I'd definitely be interested.
 

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I did that to my nav unit lol
interfaced it with the obdII to display dtcs???


I'm curious, with all of this work going into this, and also the ability to tie into obdII, would it be possible to tune around the signal the pcm uses to determine EPA-MPG stats for those of us with larger injectors?

also, are you planning to polish the UI any further?
 

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Discussion Starter #51
well the raspberry pi has a usb interface built in, so it would seem as simple using a usb to ObdII interface cable and finding a driver for the linux build. I just wish i had the time to work on this project.
 

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I'm looking at starting a project similar to this but for the lighting I've done, no idea where to start, but maybe i could try and tackle bits and pieces as i go?
 

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gonna necromance this, what's goin on with this?

had an idea while reading it too, how hard would it be to use a pi to drive two small full color LED displays in place of the oem trip computer and clock to add modern DIC functionality to the dash cluster?
 
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Discussion Starter #54
Glad you asked. I ironically had the same idea after I lost all my code from this original project.

I found these displays I2C 1.5"OLED Display Serial 128x64 Module,SSD1309,White on Black which are the same size as the two lcds in the gauge cluster. I was trying to reverse engineer the protocol but failed. I don't have the proper equipment to do that effectively and i couldn't find any information on the driving chip inside the cluster.
Reading your post last week, i had a break through idea that refueled my interest in the project. If i layer the displays and then use a relay to break the ground of the original lcds, I could essentially switch between the two displays. In theory, I could fill the oled panel as a back light for the original displays. Thoughts?

Heres some pictures of my prototype I built over the summer.

IMAG0908.jpg IMAG0782.jpg IMAG0844.jpg IMAG092.jpg IMAG0850.jpg

From the one picture, you can see the oled display behind the lcd i took from a spare cluster and removed the backing off of.
 

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think this would be great... to be honest, I had put my project on the back-burner, as I could not get a custom Kernal built on my Pi for the life of me... if we can get this OLED screen panel up and going, I would be willing to do anything I can to help out with it. I feel like bringing the cougar up into the "new age" would be nice. let me know if you have anything that I could look at!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I can set up a github if you're interested in collaborating. I can handle the hardware side of things. The most intensive part will be writing the firmware and creating a nice user interface, which i could definitely use help on. Are you strong in C/C++?
 

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strong... maybe not so much, but I have the resources to learn more, as well as some friends/professors that would probably be willing to help out with this if I need it, just let me know where I need to start, and ill see what I can do.
 

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also, if you have a chance to let me know what you purchased for screens/interfacing, stuff like that, I could possibly replicate the build here on my end to help with any programming that ill have to do
 

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If you're still interested in adding automatic climate control, I'd recommend using the interior temperature sensor from the 2012+ Focus, it should fit in the mount on the 99-00 dash, and it's probably a lot easier to find than the euro part.

On blend door controls, why not use vacuum solenoids to actuate the stock mechanism. I'm not exactly sure how it all works as I've never had it off, from what I recall there's a lot of hoses...
 
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