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TD42 GQ
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at ways to display and monitor temperatures on the GQ. Since it's a 1991 TD42 there's no OBD to pick up on.
When I get the W2A intercooler finished I'll want to measure the performance of that as well.

One of those Banks I-Dash things would be nice, but once the costs of sensors and interfaces are added up it becomes very expensive and cumbersome.
There's also the option of using multiple gauges, round or the rectangular Auberins style, but that gets messy as well.
I'd be nice to integrate everything into a single neat display that would fit anywhere.

Anyway... I like playing around with new tech, so I grabbed a Raspberry Pi Pico, a cheap OLED display and some temperature sensors.
Below, is the start of a 4-sensor monitor and display with settable alarm points.
Font Line Display device Electronic signage Gas


If any sensor exceeds a preset temperature, the relevant value is highlighted and an output, shown as the red LED below, is activated.
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Presently, the sensors are digital devices with very high precision but a maximum operating temperature of 150 degrees C, which would be ok for things like coolant, oil and air.
I'm not sure if 150 degrees would be enough for turbo outlet air, pre-intercooler.

I'm also surprised that something like this doesn't already exist at a reasonable price point. Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough.
 

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nissan
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My younger son sent me a pic of the Raspberry Pi Pico the other day. I forget what he’s doing with it.
I run a Raspberry Pi 3B as a bridge for some of my home security stuff. It connects non-Apple devices/sensors to Apple Homekit.

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Y2KGUII ZD Wgn
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@RickGQ I did some testing on my ZD30 a couple of years ago to get post and pre IC air temps, never got anywhere near 150c pre IC.
 

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TD42 GQ
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My younger son sent me a pic of the Raspberry Pi Pico the other day. I forget what he’s doing with it.
I run a Raspberry Pi 3B as a bridge for some of my home security stuff. It connects non-Apple devices/sensors to Apple Homekit.

View attachment 541491
The Pi Pico got my attention because of its excellent cost to performance ratio. I also wanted to learn about the Micropython scripting language.
All the bits and pieces were easy to get and cheap. I think I needed a reason to learn about these new technologies and making a system for the Patrol was just a good way to get motivated.
The sensors are TMP117 from TI. Four sensors can be placed on one 4-wire bus.
There's other sensor options available, from Maxim/Dallas 1-wire to PT100 or thermocouple interfaces.
However one of my aims is to minimize cables. I'd like to daisy chain all the engine sensors on one simple loom.

As for the Pi Pico, I had a simple display running within half an hour of the bits arriving. It's so easy, open source libraries are all over the internet.
Getting the bigger display and fonts to work was the hardest part so far.

Here's a look at the whole prototype. The Pi Pico, sensor modules and a display. The display and sensors all hang off the same 4-wire bus.
Passive circuit component Breadboard Circuit component Resistor Hardware programmer


Ultimately, a bigger display would be better. This one is 1.3", something like 2 to 2.5" would be easier to see.

A peak hold function is in the works as well.
Push a button to view the maximum temps.
Hold the button to clear the maximums and start over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@RickGQ I did some testing on my ZD30 a couple of years ago to get post and pre IC air temps, never got anywhere near 150c pre IC.
Yes, in my testing with a K-type thermocouple the post-turbo temperature got up to 116 degrees on a sustained hill climb. I took the result with a grain of salt because the TC would have lost some heat to the crossover duct casting. More recent tests with an exposed tip TC saw a faster response and peak temp stayed around 116 degrees.
So yes, the TMP117 sensors, with their 150 degree rating, should be ok, as well as being very accurate.

Another thing worth doing is pre-and-post turbo EGT. This Pi Pico setup can handle thermocouples using a little interface board.
So, EGTs with preset alarms and peak hold.
Ultimately this little display could replace all my aftermarket gauges, with great precision, and display exactly what I want to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got a 2-page setup working.
There's the "Now" page, which shows the immediate sensor readings. If there's any alert states, those would be highlighted, in addition to a buzzer and light output, as they come and go.
Font Display device Electronic signage Signage Gas


Then there's the "Maximums" page, identified by a border, which shows the peak values as well as any alerts that may have occurred. So, for example, we could do a hill climb or a beach run and check for results afterwards, without the need to monitor the display while busy driving.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looking around at displays, found this 2.4" OLED, it's much easier to read than the 1.3" OLED that I started with.
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You do realise that you’re going to have to turn this into a commercial product. Say, something that might sit nicely beside an Ecutalk :)
 

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I'm really interested in this. Are you able to put a kit together for someone to build themselves?

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You do realise that you’re going to have to turn this into a commercial product. Say, something that might sit nicely beside an Ecutalk :)
I'm really interested in this. Are you able to put a kit together for someone to build themselves?

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Still early days, concept stage.
Getting a kit or commercial product together is a big step forward from a concept on the workbench.
If I stick to Micropython and the Pi Pico, then a kit or complete hardware platform could be the way to go, with the python code available publicly. I'm using open source libraries here after all. The trick is putting them all together to make something useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
You do realise that you’re going to have to turn this into a commercial product. Say, something that might sit nicely beside an Ecutalk :)
I'd never really looked at an Ecutalk before, since my old GQ can't use one anyway.
I see now the Ecutalk uses a 4 line x 20 character display. In 1991 I made a trip computer for the Patrol that used a 4x40 display and turbine flow sensors for fuel measurement. It sat in a centre dash top console. I still have that console, and my plan was to put the quad thermo display in the console.
Now... if this quad thermo was to sit beside an Ecutalk, it should be the same height, so they match.
(Edit: The Ecutalk manual says the V2 unit is 144mm wide, 48mm high, and 26mm deep.)
It should also be in a little self contained box, so it could sit on top of the steering column. In that position, the smaller OLED display would probably be adequate.
With the big OLED, the box might be ~48mm high and 80mm wide, depending on pushbutton and connector requirements.

I went with the OLED for its high contrast and wide viewing angle, superior to a Colour TFT in those respects and necessary if the display was in the centre console. However if the display was to be placed on the steering column, as I see the Ecutalk often is, viewing angle wouldn't matter and a colour TFT could be used.
 

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I'd never really looked at an Ecutalk before, since my old GQ can't use one anyway.
I see now the Ecutalk uses a 4 line x 20 character display. In 1991 I made a trip computer for the Patrol that used a 4x40 display and turbine flow sensors for fuel measurement. It sat in a centre dash top console. I still have that console, and my plan was to put the quad thermo display in the console.
Now... if this quad thermo was to sit beside an Ecutalk, it should be the same height, so they match.
It should also be in a little self contained box, so it could sit on top of the steering column. In that position, the smaller OLED display would probably be adequate.

I went with the OLED for its high contrast and wide viewing angle, superior to a Colour TFT in those respects and necessary if the display was in the centre console. However if the display was to be placed on the steering column, as I see the Ecutalk often is, viewing angle wouldn't matter and a colour TFT could be used.
My Ecutalk sits on the steering column for best line of sight. Not always easy to read in bright sunlight.
It does my engine temps, voltage and TPS. I can also connect a laptop to scan the auto trans. I’m happy to have all that with a TD42T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My Ecutalk sits on the steering column for best line of sight. Not always easy to read in bright sunlight.
It does my engine temps, voltage and TPS. I can also connect a laptop to scan the auto trans. I’m happy to have all that with a TD42T.
The Ecutalk LCD should be good in sunlight, unless you have the optional white-on-blue display.
I expect an OLED or TFT would be hard to see in direct sunlight. I'd consider recessing such a display into a deeper housing, to provide some shadow.
 

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Y2KGUII ZD Wgn
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My Ecutalk sits on the steering column for best line of sight. Not always easy to read in bright sunlight.
It does my engine temps, voltage and TPS. I can also connect a laptop to scan the auto trans. I’m happy to have all that with a TD42T.
The Ecutalk LCD should be good in sunlight, unless you have the optional white-on-blue display.
I expect an OLED or TFT would be hard to see in direct sunlight. I'd consider recessing such a display into a deeper housing, to provide some shadow.
My ECUTalk can be a bit hard to read at times and it isn't the blue screen, I wouldn't think of moving it because it is right in my line of site through the top space in the steering wheel, apart from the fuel gauge it is the only other gauge I monitor. Often think of making a small shroud for it, but in 10 years I've never gotten around to it.
 

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My ECUTalk can be a bit hard to read at times and it isn't the blue screen, I wouldn't think of moving it because it is right in my line of site through the top space in the steering wheel, apart from the fuel gauge it is the only other gauge I monitor. Often think of making a small shroud for it, but in 10 years I've never gotten around to it.
Nor have I..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Part of my motivation for this project is to learn about micropython, sensor tech and also small graphics display tech.
In the past I've been stuck with character displays due to simplicity and cost. Cost is no longer a problem, graphics displays are cheap enough.
With character displays we're stuck with a single, usually small, font size, which can be hard to read when driving, wearing sunglasses, bumping around etc. Or, just needing reading glasses to see small text, which is an issue for me.
The graphics display lets us choose pretty much any font style and size we want.
I have the recurring thought that this little project can display 4 values, as shown so far, or one value in big text.
Really, we don't need to watch 4 (or more) values at once, we just need the machine to monitor them for us.
We can display one value in big text, say EGT or head temperature, and jump to the 4-value screen if we want to, at the press of a button.
 

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I use this on my 4.8

I monitor

oil temp
water temp
transmission temp
wide band O2
oil pressure
 

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I'm looking at this system at the moment. How do you find it?

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

I use this on my 4.8

I monitor

oil temp
water temp
transmission temp
wide band O2
oil pressure
I now remember looking at this a year or two ago and thinking it was the pick of multi gauges in terms of presentation, quality and value.
Then I became distracted by other stuff and forgot all about it!
Seems I found the same oled display as they're using, and their concept of the separated processor and display modules is really the logical way to do things. The trip computer I built in the early 1990s had a separate processor box and display.
These guys have done a great job of bringing a clean commercial product to market at a good price.
 

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I'm looking at this system at the moment. How do you find it?

Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk

Nice and reliable. It's good. Just the connections at the sensor I changed to Deutsch
 
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