After my extensive search in what screen to use and where to position it, I ended up buying an ADU5 from Ecu Master and installing it on top of the dashboard.
So I designed a mount.
And had it lasercut by 24/7 Tailorsteel.
Doing a test fit on the dash.
Showing it at home, my wife said: “That high on the dash?! You don’t want that do you?” And she is right, I did spend so much energy to try to position it next to the speedo or under the trim for a reason. However this was mainly with a mockup of the 7″ ADU and in the end bought the 5″.
So once more I explored whether I cannot fit it in the dashboard while keeping the chrome trim.
Should be possible….
So again I took my scrap dashboard and indeed looked promising.
I made a prototype with the screen centered and the heater controls a little to the right.
Does indeed fit, but when aligning the screen with the dash, the lower part of the display housing does stick out quite a lot.
I do not like that so it needs to be recessed a bit.
Should be possible too. A little more challenging with the 7 leds and in particular the light sensor for auto-brightness. So using the scrap dashboard I made another prototype.
Works out OK. I quickly installed it in the car to double check.
The trim is not horizontal and of course it needs to be centered, but it should work out so I started making a new front panel.
Drilling perfectly round and aligned holes turned out not to be easy.
It turned out that there was an error in my drawing I was using as a template.
Luckily I had not decided to use it to have a panel lastercut. I found out the content on the screen can be rotated. The top is a little smaller so I flipped it to reduce the required reccessment.
With the updated drawing I did one more attempt to manually make a front panel (before having it lasercut).
Worked out OK this time.
Aligned was OK, so it was time to cut the dash.
A small test fit in the car.
Stitch welded it, welded and test fitted again.
Installed the dash in the car and powered up the screen for the first time!
Great viewing angle and it does exactly fit. I also reinstalled the heater controls.
To be able to squeeze the screen in I had to remove a small corner from the connector and still is was pressed against the wiper motor. I really did not like that so I decided to rotate the screen back. The connector isn’t centered. So I welded the holes for the led and opened up the lower side.
By welding the strip for the AC underdash unit onto the dashboard I could create some more room and I managed to fit the screen again. This time I only drilled the holes for the light sensor and connection status led.
It turned out I even could create some more space at the bottom which allowed for a small bezel on top. So I welded the holes once more and lowered the screen. Added the flat strip on top and drilled the holes again.
Now I’m happy with the end result.
Information for the driver
Another advantage of lowering the dash is that the driver is less distracted. However the parameters you need for driving the care are no longer easily visible. The EV econometer and state of charge indicator based on an old tank meter I developed earlier isn’t really accurate enough..
So I explored the possibility of installing a small screen in the original speedometer.
I found a 2.3″ OLED screen that should fit and installed it. Exactly fits indeed!
I will add another one where the temp meter originally is. Haven’t decided in detail yet, but on these small screens I intend showing:
- Remaining battery capacity in %
- Driving economy in Wh/km
- Estimated remaining range in km
- Actual power used in kW
The rest of the information will be on the lager screen, so for example:
- Motor, controller and battery temperatures
- Visualisations of energy usage
- Battery module voltages and individual cell voltages
The Volvo C30 electric provides some inspiration. However I will work on this later, probably even after the inspection. Once the hardware is in place, I can design the screens later.