Going Digital: Upgrading A Boat’s Analog Gauge

The odds are that many of you do not own a boat that you get to tinker around with. [Mavromatic] recently acquired one that had — much to his consternation — analog gauges. So in order to get his ship ship-shape, he built himself a custom digital gauge to monitor his vessel’s data.

Restricted to the two-inch hole in his boat’s helm, trawling the web for displays turned up a 1.38-inch LCD display from 4D Systems. Given the confined space, a Teensy 3.2 proved to be trim enough to fit inside the confined space alongside a custom circuit board — the latter of which includes some backup circuits if [mavromatic] ever wanted to revert to an analog gauge.

Two days of acclimatization to the display’s IDE and he had enough code to produce a functional display right when the parts arrived.

The screen is housed in a blank gauge that required careful breaking into, and — in a stroke of genius — the chrome rim proved to be fortuitous capacitance sensor that swaps between the various information screens at a tap of the bezel.

[mavromatic] had originally wanted to install a fish-finder and chartplotter that could also display the engine data he wanted, but that proved to be complicated to the point of a fruitless hassle. Naturally, his maker proclivities made designing a custom gauge to display what he wanted from the vessel’s NEMA 2000 grid the more inspiring project.

Do you too share that love for sailing forbidden seas but can’t drop the dough on a new boat? You can start by building a personal watercraft — sometimes for naught but a pittance.

Filed under: transportation hacks http://ift.tt/2w2f2ur http://ift.tt/2aM8QhC


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