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Old 26-10-10, 14:31   #1
EvilPet
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VL Concept Car - Updating to 2010 Technology

Although I've started different threads on various relating to this, this will be the main update page.

PROJECT BRIEF: How would the VL be designed by Holden and HDT if 2010 technology was available back in the early 80s when the VL was being designed?

FIRST AND FOREMOST: The car is STILL a family car with special vehicle devices added on. Devices should look like they "belong" there.

The devices must not detract from the overall design of the cabin. I've been consulting with people I know in Holden and seek advice from time to time from ex-HDT employees.

Parts to be incorporated:

1. SATNAV - being adapted for Australia thanks to my contacts at TomTom.

http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/products...FU0_4wodXHF82Q

This will be fitted into the dash pad with probably a motor to bring it up. Still in design stage. Again, must not detract from the dash design.



2. Boost Gauge on the A-Pillar (available back then and considered but abandoned due to costs)








3. Car Computer - still being debated as there is limited room to incorporating one.



4. HDT Shift light / gear change indicator (in-progress)





5. Digital Speedometer (in-design stage)





6. Kickass soundsystem by HDT (similar to the Eurovox option available back then) - Settled on a Combo Kenwood/ Dynaudio/Eclipse system.



7. ipod dock (already completed and installed)




Minor other updates being done to the dash lighting (more brighter)
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Old 28-10-10, 16:47   #2
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I think I've found the technology I need to retro-fit the Digital Speedometer. Trying to get clarification on what can be done.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/076039.html

I found the mob that originally supplied the dash decals for the VL and someone I know in Perth can replicate the clear plastic dash cover without the H and M rod holes.
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Old 28-10-10, 19:13   #3
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i think you should remodel an entirely different centre console, move the cig lighter down there and get a vs style digital air con set up mounted down there..

then maybe fill that gap with a 10inch screen..

just throwing some ideas around..

i love what your doing and have always loved your car.
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Old 28-10-10, 20:43   #4
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i think you should remodel an entirely different centre console, move the cig lighter down there and get a vs style digital air con set up mounted down there..

then maybe fill that gap with a 10inch screen..

just throwing some ideas around..

i love what your doing and have always loved your car.

I thought about that sort of update and discussed it with a few contacts from Holden but it completely detracts from the original VL design. I want people to look into the cabin and wonder whether the bit added really was an option or be done tastefully enough to not detract from the design (eg. ipod, boost gauge and SatNav).

For example, the Digital speedometer design looks like it could have been an option. BTW: Once I get the digital unit and templates produced I'll probably make about 30 or so sets and sell them.

I've gotten hold of a switch maker whose switches look circa VL / VN (illuminated). Updating any features to beyond those models again will completely detract from the look I want which is retro-factory.

BTW: I already have a screen for video etc via the Kenwood deck. Wait until you see the final door design. We're currently using a VL wrecking to test things.

Keep the ideas coming though.
.

Last edited by EvilPet; 28-10-10 at 20:48.
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Old 28-10-10, 21:01   #5
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saving my spot to keep in with your progress. Keep up the good work
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Old 30-10-10, 14:17   #6
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Ok. I've spent a better part of this week researching online and talking to people about that digital speedometer.

So I'm going to have a stab at building one using a PIC microcontroller.

I looked at frequency counter chips, figuring I could use BCD decoder and a trio of 7 segment driver chips to display everything, but they were outdated and the amount of external timing circuitry I’d need was a bit ridiculous. But bingo! found this which should do just fine:



http://www.lc-led.com/View/itemNumber/233

I won't connect power to the dots so it will just be the numbers on display.

I spoke to a buddy of mine at Holden as I wondered whether Holden would have used something similar OR just have completely customised the chip so that it does 3 numerals and a "static" km/h in smaller lettering right after it.

ie. 000 or 000 km/h

We settled on the existing availability of the chip and what I'll do is stencil km/h in small letters under the display window (similar to the analogue speedo and tacho on either side)

I looked around on the net, and stumbled across some cheap programmable microchips. At first I thought it would be overkill, but considering a simple microcontroller is only $2 or $3 and reduces the number of parts significantly, it actually turns out to be the best option. Plus, you can add extra features like in-software calibration, 1/4 mile “drag strip” times, storing top speed, display in kph or mph, and whatever else you can think of.

This gives me plenty of options on functionality.

I'm NOT a computer programmer and at this time a mate has the source code for the speedo only and I'll have to tempt him with biscuits or something to write more. At this point I don't even know how I will get his source code onto the microchip. I'm doing this one step at a time.

Here's the one he made.



This is all really new to me and I guess I'm going to prototype it as I go along.

I put an order tonight for a "breadboard" and all the bits I need so I can play around with it without soldering. But again, being a novice at this stuff, I'll be learning as I go along. I might call upon some assistance here if anyone is electronically minded.

A benefit once I eventually (fingers crossed) get it all working is that I'll put together a kit and sell them online with full instructions for other VL owners to convert to a digital dash circa 80s look.

As for the clock, if someone has a spare one that I can pull apart, I want to relocate the rods to the left of the steering column between the small plastic plate which I've converted to a shift light / gear indicator. I envisage "cutting" off the bottom bit of the clock then soldering some connecting wires to the part. But that's what I reckon. We'll soon see when I pull it apart.

The rods will probably be cut so they protrude a couple of mm from the dash face and I'll get some white lettering stencilled on below them for "hours" and "mins". I'm assuming I will be able to use the existing clock. Knowing my luck I'll run into issues.

Last edited by EvilPet; 30-10-10 at 14:36.
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Old 30-10-10, 22:33   #7
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very interesting concept mate. not sure about the A pillar pod holder, do u have a pic of it on?

kudos to u for the idea of this
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Old 30-10-10, 23:38   #8
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very interesting concept mate. not sure about the A pillar pod holder, do u have a pic of it on?

kudos to u for the idea of this
No - forgot to get that pic before we pulled it off then decided to upholster the pod.
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Old 31-10-10, 09:03   #9
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This VL is deffinitely gonna be a car that people will get ideas off for future modifications. It looks like your doing everything to a real high standard, it's looking great
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Old 31-10-10, 09:35   #10
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Definatly something differant man, keep the pics coming
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Old 31-10-10, 20:47   #11
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idk just to me it looks like the holder would be sticking out too much for comfort, each to their own. Will be following this very closely
PICS PICS PICS lol
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Old 01-11-10, 07:25   #12
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Originally Posted by EvilPet View Post
Ok. I've spent a better part of this week researching online and talking to people about that digital speedometer.

So I'm going to have a stab at building one using a PIC microcontroller.

I looked at frequency counter chips, figuring I could use BCD decoder and a trio of 7 segment driver chips to display everything, but they were outdated and the amount of external timing circuitry I’d need was a bit ridiculous. But bingo! found this which should do just fine:



http://www.lc-led.com/View/itemNumber/233

I won't connect power to the dots so it will just be the numbers on display.

I spoke to a buddy of mine at Holden as I wondered whether Holden would have used something similar OR just have completely customised the chip so that it does 3 numerals and a "static" km/h in smaller lettering right after it.

ie. 000 or 000 km/h

We settled on the existing availability of the chip and what I'll do is stencil km/h in small letters under the display window (similar to the analogue speedo and tacho on either side)

I looked around on the net, and stumbled across some cheap programmable microchips. At first I thought it would be overkill, but considering a simple microcontroller is only $2 or $3 and reduces the number of parts significantly, it actually turns out to be the best option. Plus, you can add extra features like in-software calibration, 1/4 mile “drag strip” times, storing top speed, display in kph or mph, and whatever else you can think of.

This gives me plenty of options on functionality.

I'm NOT a computer programmer and at this time a mate has the source code for the speedo only and I'll have to tempt him with biscuits or something to write more. At this point I don't even know how I will get his source code onto the microchip. I'm doing this one step at a time.

Here's the one he made.



This is all really new to me and I guess I'm going to prototype it as I go along.

I put an order tonight for a "breadboard" and all the bits I need so I can play around with it without soldering. But again, being a novice at this stuff, I'll be learning as I go along. I might call upon some assistance here if anyone is electronically minded.

A benefit once I eventually (fingers crossed) get it all working is that I'll put together a kit and sell them online with full instructions for other VL owners to convert to a digital dash circa 80s look.

As for the clock, if someone has a spare one that I can pull apart, I want to relocate the rods to the left of the steering column between the small plastic plate which I've converted to a shift light / gear indicator. I envisage "cutting" off the bottom bit of the clock then soldering some connecting wires to the part. But that's what I reckon. We'll soon see when I pull it apart.

The rods will probably be cut so they protrude a couple of mm from the dash face and I'll get some white lettering stencilled on below them for "hours" and "mins". I'm assuming I will be able to use the existing clock. Knowing my luck I'll run into issues.
You need a microcontroller flasher, and the appropriate software.

Have you considered a Teensy? http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/
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Old 01-11-10, 09:13   #13
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You need a microcontroller flasher, and the appropriate software.

Have you considered a Teensy? http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/
I got one of these to program the PIC16F648 A I/P 20 Mhz Micro controller.



I hope it's a case of "drag and drop" the sourcecode onto the microcontroller but I don't think it will be.

I have all the components for the breadboard except the button (for software control) and the 100k resistor (button pullup) as I cannot find where to purchase them. Ideas?
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Old 01-11-10, 13:53   #14
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fantastic ideas and fitment
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Old 01-11-10, 15:26   #15
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I've bought a Teensy for an entirely seperate project, but my understanding is once you get the hang of microcontrollers they're very handy. That looks like a pretty good flasher you've got there, suitable for a few different types of MC. Breadboard is handy when no one is going to see it (they can be very ugly) and you've got plenty of space. The biggest challenge, as you've mentioned, is the coding. it liteally is drag and drop, but you'e gotta have the right code to start with.

This might also be of interest to you: http://www.arduino.cc/ Plenty of projects on the web that might point you in the right direction.

What are using to create you speedo signal? Skyline electronic speedo sender maybe?
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Old 01-11-10, 15:34   #16
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awesome concept keep up the good work
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Old 01-11-10, 15:37   #17
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Love what your doing with the vl, did you get my pm?
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Old 01-11-10, 16:14   #18
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I've bought a Teensy for an entirely seperate project, but my understanding is once you get the hang of microcontrollers they're very handy. That looks like a pretty good flasher you've got there, suitable for a few different types of MC. Breadboard is handy when no one is going to see it (they can be very ugly) and you've got plenty of space. The biggest challenge, as you've mentioned, is the coding. it liteally is drag and drop, but you'e gotta have the right code to start with.

This might also be of interest to you: http://www.arduino.cc/ Plenty of projects on the web that might point you in the right direction.

What are using to create you speedo signal? Skyline electronic speedo sender maybe?
My thinking is to get it all working on a breadboard by Christmas / early January. i'm back in the UK for a few weeks and trying to orchestrate the injection moulding of the clear fascia WITHOUT the 2 clock H and M holes (trying places in both WA and UK). BUT first I'd like to pull the clock unit apart and see whether those bits can be relocated. I'm sure it can. As for injection, I may have to get 10-20 made up because they don't like doing one offs. Which means that I will definitely be making kits up for sale once I get this all working with instructions as to how to make the required modifications.

I have the schematic and am still debating what I should use to receive the pulses. trawling through Fiero websites to get some ideas. You think the Skyline one will do the trick?

The source code for Kms per hour I already have. Proven to work.

Once working on breadboard, I'll get it all soldered up on a proper board - then make more.

But one step at a time I guess. I'm bloody determined to make this work.

---------- Post added 01-11-10 at 17:15 ----------

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Love what your doing with the vl, did you get my pm?
Yup - responding now.[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added 02-11-10 at 16:16 ----------

Looking now for a speed alert program to add onto the PIC microprocessor. Started talking to various car forums if anyone knows how to program this.

If any one remembers the VN's came out with these as a "safety option".

If anyone has a picture of this I would appreciate a picture as I believe it involves adding a couple of buttons.

I'm starting to get all the bits in now so hopefully might get the prototype working for Christmas.

Last edited by EvilPet; 02-11-10 at 15:19.
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Old 03-11-10, 00:00   #19
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im liking this man, but regarding the dash, have you taken into consideration you might be going quicker than 200kmh?
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Old 03-11-10, 00:17   #20
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top stuff dude
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Old 03-11-10, 01:15   #21
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What are using to create you speedo signal? Skyline electronic speedo sender maybe?
could somehow get it from the cruise control unit maybe?
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Old 03-11-10, 01:15   #22
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im liking this man, but regarding the dash, have you taken into consideration you might be going quicker than 200kmh?

Yes - Digital speed is valid up to 255km/h

If you remember that issue of wheels, they recorded 247km/h (off the clock and speedo needle up against the trip meter rod.
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Old 03-11-10, 06:59   #23
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Is the speed indicator thing your talking about the one you set at a speed and when you hit that speed a little red light comes on and makes a noise? Like in the VS Commodores and that?
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Old 03-11-10, 10:48   #24
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could somehow get it from the cruise control unit maybe?
The analogue speedo does convert it into an electronic signal for the CC ECU, but it only communicates via one wire. So it's measure is based upon voltage being supplied (ie: higher voltage = higher speedo reading, etc). You'd need to record what is going through it at varying speeds and go from there.
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Old 03-11-10, 12:02   #25
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Is the speed indicator thing your talking about the one you set at a speed and when you hit that speed a little red light comes on and makes a noise? Like in the VS Commodores and that?
Yup - exactly. Do you have a picture of one? First I ever saw one was in a VN. Still asking around forums for anyone to write the program for this.

---------- Post added 03-11-10 at 13:26 ----------

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The analogue speedo does convert it into an electronic signal for the CC ECU, but it only communicates via one wire. So it's measure is based upon voltage being supplied (ie: higher voltage = higher speedo reading, etc). You'd need to record what is going through it at varying speeds and go from there.
Here's a basic schematic;



---------- Post added 03-11-10 at 14:13 ----------

The schematic is just for a digital speedometer.

I'm going to make things a bit harder and see whether it can be achieved.

I figure I'll need 3 buttons;

1 - Mode
2 - Speed set Up
3 - Speed set down

The first switch / button selects between three display modes: (1) the alarm speed value to be set; (2) the actual vehicle speed (ie, the unit functions as a digital speedometer and you see the speed in real time); and (3) the alarm off mode. Each press of the switch cycles the unit to the next operating mode. I'm pretty sure this is how it functions on the device from VN onwards.

Now to talk to more people regarding the software / progamming of the unit.

Last edited by EvilPet; 03-11-10 at 12:28.
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