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View Full Version : Digital Voltmeter Bling (pt. 2)


nakman
06-13-2009, 11:52 PM
So I'm at Cruise Moab, in the bathroom. I run into our friend Andy Pollock, who introduces me to his friend Tom. (this is actually quite normal behavior, mind you) anyway so Tom has heard that I can make custom dashboard bezels, and he says he's got a cool project for me. Great, tell you what I'll be here tomorrow for vendor night we'll talk more then.. ok sounds good. Well they ended up leaving the next day, so we never hooked up.... :( oh well, I'm sure if it's important he'll find a way to track me down, I figure...



About a week after CM I get a PM on mud from TrickyT. Hey I recognize that handle from Corbet's "stuck in Moab" thread is my first thought, then I realize it's actually Tom. I tell ya this world keeps getting smaller. So he goes on to explain how he's got an idea for a real time voltage meter, and needs a custom bezel that will hold the display. The display is larger than a standard switch cut-out, so a modification to my cupholder replacement bezel seems ideal. Hey cool idea I say, and in a week or so Tom had himself a new bezel, that actually worked quite well. 80 regulars will recall his Digital Voltmeter Bling (http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/287090-digital-voltmeter-bling.html) thread :D.

nakman
06-13-2009, 11:57 PM
This idea is just awesome, in my opinion. And if you read Tom's thread, you'll see that there's a model of meter that he didn't get, that's completely self-contained, so the separate board & what not that he had to rig up really isn't necessary. The only thing I didn't like is how he used an entire switch blank for his toggle switch- I'm pretty addicted to having the Ham mic on the right side, so I set out to design a bezel that put the meter to the left, and also had a switch crammed in there as well, leaving the entire right side for a switch or mic holder. I'm kind of impressed with myself that I managed to get it all to fit, here's what I came up with:

nakman
06-14-2009, 12:01 AM
Wiring it up was actually very straight forward. I purposely designed the "center off" three-way toggle switch to be sideways, because I wanted it to be intuitive that when I flip it towards the left, I'd measure the left battery, and when I flipped it right I'd measure the right battery (middle is off). Then there's a ground from the display, so three wires to run in from the engine to the cupholder area. I also used in-line fuses at the battery connections, with some 20amp fuses, just to feel safe (not pictured).

nakman
06-14-2009, 12:05 AM
And the best part is it looks and works great. My micholder is still just where I want it, I moved the hazard switch back over to the far left of that row, and had to remove the micholder I was using the least... so I'm down to just 5 micholders now but it's all in the name of progress :p:.

My main battery is measuring about 12.17-12.18, which is fair since I have had the door open for a couple hours, plus that's usually what it reads when I turn the ham radio on without the key in. the second battery is reading a nice 12.93, which tells me it's good to go should the first one fail. Just what I wanted to see...

nakman
06-14-2009, 12:12 AM
Dude that rocks :thumb: :D

Do you offer trades ins of the old version for the bling VOM style? :hill: - Not that I even have dual batteries yet but when I do, I'd like to have the bling :)

Hey quit posting in the middle of my tech thread! :D :lmao:

But thanks, Jeff, and you bet I'm sure we can work something out... ;)



I can't wait to see how they both read when driving around, messing with the isolator/combiner, turning on the fridge, etc. I'm sure there are a lot of eyerolls in my future from the :Princess:. I'll bring the 80 to the Ham radio geekfest (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=10102) in 2 weeks, come up and camp and check it out.

corsair23
06-14-2009, 12:14 AM
Hey quit posting in the middle of my tech thread! :D :lmao:


What you talking about Willis? :confused: :D

But you read my mind on what I was going to say/ask :hill:


Dude that rocks :thumb: :D

Do you offer trades ins of the old version for the bling VOM style? :hill: - Not that I even have dual batteries yet but when I do, I'd like to have the bling :)

rock_wagon
06-14-2009, 02:13 AM
Way cool! How soon will we be able to buy this bezel?:cool:

60wag
06-14-2009, 07:57 AM
Very cool but 20A fuses are a bit high. It should be fine with 0.5A fuses.

nakman
06-14-2009, 08:29 AM
Very cool but 20A fuses are a bit high. It should be fine with 0.5A fuses.

That's true but I already had the 20's.. which now double as spares for the other stuff in my fuse blocks. Easy to switch to smaller ones though, I just wanted to do something..

Will, would you want just the bezel? or the whole package? I was thinking of piecing together the entire package, which is the bezel, the meter, switch, some wire terminals, 2 inline fuse holders, a mess of wire, some shrink tubing... then a mic holder for the open slot. It wouldn't be cheap though, but likely still less than if you pieced all that together individually. Probably around $100 for the whole shebang, I need to add it all up first to know for sure. or yes I can do just the bezel for $25.

If there's a lot of interest I will see if I can negotiate a package deal on the meters, then pass on whatever that savings is.

Groucho
06-14-2009, 02:47 PM
:shameless plug hijack on:

...and don't forget to get yerselves some cool ARB bling in the form of the Zipperhead lenses (http://gamiviti.com/html/products_lenses.html). Then you can monitor how much current draw is when you have 'em set up as parking instead of turn...

:shameless plug hijack off:

rock_wagon
06-14-2009, 06:55 PM
Will, would you want just the bezel? or the whole package?

If there's a lot of interest I will see if I can negotiate a package deal on the meters, then pass on whatever that savings is.

I am definitely interested in the bezel, I really like piecing together wires and switches so I would do that on my own.

On another note, I was reading in the mud post that someone mentioned how cool it would be to have temperature guage next to the Voltage gauge. I don't think this is too far fetched, I noticed on the volt meter web site they also make a a scaleable 4-20ma display similar to the size of the volt meter, this could easily be combined with a temperature transmitter. There are several Temp trans available that operate 10-30vdc and output 4-20ma in the $120 range. To me that is a little expensive for temperature reading but it is certainly possible.

Let us know when the bezel is available!

nakman
06-14-2009, 09:40 PM
...and don't forget to get yerselves some cool ARB bling in the form of the Zipperhead lenses (http://gamiviti.com/html/products_lenses.html). Then you can monitor how much current draw is when you have 'em set up as parking instead of turn...



And for that matter you'll enjoy your voltmeter a whole lot better when you can rest your drink in a very simple yet effective cup holder (http://www.gamiviti.com/html/products_racks_cupholders.html). :D

nakman
06-14-2009, 09:44 PM
I am definitely interested in the bezel, I really like piecing together wires and switches so I would do that on my own.

On another note, I was reading in the mud post that someone mentioned how cool it would be to have temperature guage next to the Voltage gauge. I don't think this is too far fetched, I noticed on the volt meter web site they also make a a scaleable 4-20ma display similar to the size of the volt meter, this could easily be combined with a temperature transmitter. There are several Temp trans available that operate 10-30vdc and output 4-20ma in the $120 range. To me that is a little expensive for temperature reading but it is certainly possible.

Let us know when the bezel is available!

I agree, that would be a sweet mod to have the transmission temp up there as well. In fact if this thing could be come a display for a number of things, and the switched turned into a knob, well that would bring it to a whole new level. If you can piece all that together let me know what you come up with!

Until then, we'll have to settle for just the batteries being monitored in real time, to two decimal places. And I've got one here for you, give me a minute and I'll have a link up.

edit: here you go link (http://www.gamiviti.com/html/products_micholders.html#anchor_bezel)

Hulk
06-14-2009, 11:20 PM
This is some really cool stuff!

nakman
06-15-2009, 12:46 PM
Ok if you want in on these, here's the group buy info on the voltage meters: http://forum.ih8mud.com/merchandise-storefront/289216-group-buy-datel-digital-voltage-meters-your-digital-voltmeter-bling.html

And Corbet, see Nathaniel for your missing cup holder solution... ;)

subzali
06-15-2009, 03:34 PM
That's look like a way cool idea but I'm just not sure how to make it fit into the environment of an FJ40...

It's just too....bling.

I'll have to look at the Tundra and see if there's any switch blanks available for this kind of thing...:D

nakman
06-15-2009, 03:47 PM
That's look like a way cool idea but I'm just not sure how to make it fit into the environment of an FJ40...

It's just too....bling.

I'll have to look at the Tundra and see if there's any switch blanks available for this kind of thing...:D

It's not all about the 40 man, think of the old man! Father's day is coming up too... :D

Rzeppa
06-16-2009, 11:05 PM
Way hijack but adding to Jeff Zettl's reply about the VOM, I have a Simpson 260 I don't use much any more. I bet it would go great....nah, nevermind