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Isuzu / Volvo Penta / VDO Tachometer Gauge - hour counter not working - fixed!


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No, I don't own a bus pirate device, I simply hooked up the Arduino and listened to the i2c signals sent to the display and reversed from there!

 

It did take me weeks to understand it though!

 

 

The Arduino code should be very portable to PIC devices (its in pure C) you just need to receive the i2c signals, and then react accordingly.

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Hi Stuart,

 

Thanks for the info, I'll take a look at the code.

 

What COG controller does this unit use?

 

Also note your dump of the PCF8582C EEPROM

... 0x05,0xF2,0x05,0xF2,...

Interesting repeat, do you know why? Did you decode any of the other addresses?

Edited by nigelmercier
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I could never find a data sheet for this exact controller - I found some similar Philips ones (can't remember the models)

 

The repeating data in EEPROM is normally to provide wear levelling of the chip so the EEPROM isn't burn't out in a single address - the data is scattered across the chip.

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Fascinating thread.

 

A couple of quick questions:-

 

1:- it looks like the Arduino Nano can be obtained with header pins pre-soldered or without. Which does this project require?

2:- what power soldering iron should be used in this project? I'd rather not fry either the OLED or the Nano if I can avoid it!

 

Thanks in advance.

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(snip)

1:- it looks like the Arduino Nano can be obtained with header pins pre-soldered or without. Which does this project require?

2:- what power soldering iron should be used in this project? I'd rather not fry either the OLED or the Nano if I can avoid it!

 

Thanks in advance.

 

1) No idea!

2) In my exerience, you're less likely to damage stuff with a sllghtly over powered soldering iron than an under powered one. My current "small stuff" iron is 30W.

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Fascinating thread.

 

A couple of quick questions:-

 

1:- it looks like the Arduino Nano can be obtained with header pins pre-soldered or without. Which does this project require?

2:- what power soldering iron should be used in this project? I'd rather not fry either the OLED or the Nano if I can avoid it!

 

Thanks in advance.

 

It doesn't really matter on either point, I use a 25W iron - as long as its not a 100W beast you will be fine.

 

It may be easier to fit the Nano into the case of the gauge without the pre-soldered pins on it - although you will have to connect a few wires instead manually (soldered on).

 

You could also try a "micro" board

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/7798864/?grossPrice=Y&cm_mmc=UK-PLA-_-google-_-PLA_UK_EN_Semiconductors-_-Semiconductor_Development_Kits&mkwid=s0NeS23kn_dc|pcrid|88057061283|pkw||pmt||prd|7798864&gclid=Cj0KEQjwiKS3BRCU-7XQ75Te3NoBEiQAA2t_xHvZuGl5NYTi6Kgx-ORmqTuc2k1uKOyK6kvhtk1evzwaAnmZ8P8HAQ

 

Although more expensive than the ebay clones.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perhaps denmike can help?

 

Sorry, I don't seem to get an email when new posts are written here, so I didn't see your question before now.

Then, again, I'm not sure what you want to know?

The i2c communication to the display follows the datasheet Stuart found. It contains a header and a number of bytes written to the memory of the LCD controller. It's not easy to guess which bit toggles which segment, but you can reverse engineer it from our code.

Fascinating thread.

 

A couple of quick questions:-

 

1:- it looks like the Arduino Nano can be obtained with header pins pre-soldered or without. Which does this project require?

2:- what power soldering iron should be used in this project? I'd rather not fry either the OLED or the Nano if I can avoid it!

 

Thanks in advance.

 

1. In my VDO unit the pins did not fit. It seems in Stuarts it does, so there seems to be many different variants. I suggest to go for one without the pins pre-soldered.

 

2. You can use any. It's not high-density soldering in any fashion.

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  • 3 months later...

I managed to fix mine by snipping 2mm off the end of the ribbon cable and plugging it in again. It lasted about 6 weeks, so I shall go for this fix. Is there any reason why I can't mount the arduino/display remotely? I would rather not try to hack the instrument about too much. Is there enough drive to power the arduino and the original display if it comes back to life or should I disconnect it. Also, can you tell me the e-mail address for the code, please. If you have a paypal account I will try to send you the price of a pint.

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Hi John, no reason the display can't be separate - although you will need to disconnect the original - the replacement Arduino emulates the display so both together will get confused.

 

The connection to the hour counter is over an i2c connection, so you do need to keep the cables as as short as possible, possibly with shielded cable as well.

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Hi, I have recently done this mod on a friends boat. The engine control panel is mounted externally on a Semi-Trad stern.

I mounted the Arduino in a cupboard behind the the panel and fitted the display in a small enclosure fitted to the side of the cupboard so it easily readable but out of the weather.

I used standard cables, the total distance from the VDO is less then half a metre.

 

Roger

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for that Stuart and Roger. I've bought the bits and connected them together, now I need to download the code. I saw one entry in the forum where somebody was asking about Arduino's with or without pins. Mine came with pins supplied but unfitted. For remote connection one could always use PCB connectors such as the Maplin types, making the connections unpluggable.

 

Cheers

 

John

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Stuart

 

I've managed to compile & upload the code (March 2015 version), but there is nothing on the display. Is this OK or have I missed something? Something has happened because the red LED on the arduino has stopped flashing. I haven't tried connecting to the VDO meter yet as I need to get that from the boat.

 

John

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John,

 

My understanding is that the Arduino reads data from a chip inside the VDO unit unit, and then displays that on a screen attached to the Arduino. If that is correct, then you will not see anything at this point.

 

Colin.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Stuart,

 

 My Volvo Penta (VDO) tacho has failed to give me engine hours for many years. I've tried the usual solutions (cleaning mylar ribbon cable, heating etc) all to no avail. Your solution looks ideal as it avoids use of the existing display - very impressive.

 

Could you please send me the source code to programme the Arduino (ATMEGA328)?

 

Thanks very much.

 

John

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  • 10 months later...

I like JohnSpicer have made managed to compile & upload the code, but there is nothing on the display. Is this OK or have I missed something? Something has happened because the red LED on the arduino has stopped flashing, Have also connected it to the VDO and still nothing happening, Can anyone help. Thank you.

Edited by Ted.R
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  • 10 months later...

Is there any way to change the hours on the chip ? i know this can  be done by simply changing the code on the Arduino and it will display less/more hours however I would like  to  change it from the VDO chip itself, anyone tried to reprogram the chip?

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44 minutes ago, sheldon said:

Is there any way to change the hours on the chip ? i know this can  be done by simply changing the code on the Arduino and it will display less/more hours however I would like  to  change it from the VDO chip itself, anyone tried to reprogram the chip?

Sorry I cannot help, but, just wondered why you would want to change the recorded hours.

It would appear that doing so would make your maintenance records 'nonsense'

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Sorry I cannot help, but, just wondered why you would want to change the recorded hours.

It would appear that doing so would make your maintenance records 'nonsense'

Not when you put new engines in and kept the same gauge ;)

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Just now, sheldon said:

Not when you put new engines in and kept the same gauge ;)

That's a pretty good reason.

When we changed an engine we just made a note in the log book "engine changed at X hours" far simpler than messing about with 'clocking' the hour meter.

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4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

That's a pretty good reason.

When we changed an engine we just made a note in the log book "engine changed at X hours" far simpler than messing about with 'clocking' the hour meter.

Yes that's the normal procedure, but if your still going to take some time dismantle the unit to put in an Arduino and OLED unit might as well  re-program the chip with the correct hours at one go.

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