2 days prior to the start date of the Hackalong, I looked around my room, noticed the motorcycle instrument cluster (dashboard) - that came off of my dad's old Yamaha XJ900S Diversion - and dreamt up a physical streamer dashboard.
The very first statistic I thought up to display couldn't have been any other than the good ole: Kappa's Measured per Hour (km/h). ;) After that I started entertaining thoughts of other possible statistics to track.
What it does
In its current state: it flashes the notification and back-light LEDs on and off, as well as fling around the tachometer and fuel gauge dials. Unfortunately, for me, the project scope was a little too broad and the hours too long to complete the project (and there's still quite a lot of work to be done).
In its completed state: it would notify the streamer of incoming raids, hosts, subs, follows and the likes. All in a physical dashboard.
How I built it
I disassembled the instrument cluster and built it back up piece by piece. Starting with replacing 12V light bulbs with LEDs (salvaged from a chain of 'LED light bulbs'), and reworking the wiring on the back. Soldering the ground wires together and capping it off with a female jumper wire header. Soldering all positive wires to their respective female headers. Hooking up the LEDs to a microcontroller and performing various tests to see if the LEDs were working properly.
Challenges I ran into
- The instrument cluster is originally powered by a 12V battery, which I couldn't simulate with the tools/resources that I had available (read: I didn't have a proper power supply + voltage regulator).
- The microcontroller had cold solder joints, which had me checking the LEDs and the wiring for 1.5 to 2 hours. I also thought the configuration of the microcontroller was off, because of it. Eventually I re-soldered the pins.
- Not having used AVR in forever; I was very rusty and things took longer than expected.
- Soldering isn't my best practised skill, so it quickly added time to the clock. :)
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
- The wiring works, and is fairly clean (imo).
- 'Hacking' the tachometer. I cut some traces on a PCB and reused the leads that were soldered on, essentially bypassing one of the original circuits (that I didn't understand or could find documentation about).
What I learned
- Touched up on my AVR/ATmega328p programming knowledge.
- I've learned how a motorcycle instrument cluster works internally, for the most part.
- It's important to have proper tools (I ended up hacking together power supply probes, which kept falling apart, because I don't have a fancy PSU).
- I want to learn more about electronics!
What's next for Streamer Rev-Board
- Fine-tuning the tachometer and fuel gauge dials (which respectively means, using a 12V PSU and 5V regulator, and PWM to properly adjust the dial).
- Interfacing with the ESP8266 for the data.
- Using a motor to manipulate the (mechanical) speedometer/odometer.
- Writing the logic to actually drive the streamer dashboard.
- More to come!
I hope this makes sense, as I've nearly fallen asleep while typing this. Great Hackalong/Hackathon, I thoroughly enjoyed it! :)