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Rigg'n up digital gauges.

1376 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  john6066

...So I'm leafing through the Stewart Warner catalog, looking at different gauges, whne I get the call-back from the local distributor with the cost of said gauges. I clearly cannot afford the $300 it would take for a decent spread. But, I think, I'm 6 months away from having a BS in electrical engineering. I can make a cool digital gauge no problem. With an op-amp, an AD converter, and some other sundries it really wouldn't be that much of a hassle. What I need to know, however, is what kind of resistance range a typical temprature sender has. Fuel and pressure senders, ammeters, and voltmeters aren't a big deal at all, but I can't find specs on temprature senders.

And I suppose once I got my own together, I'd be glad to assemble some for any of you guys.
I see digital gauges in JC Whitney and such going for $50. They're ripping you off. It's most likely about $15 in ICs, $5 for the digital display.


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I hear ya man! I'm an EE major and with all the stuff I've learned in my digital systems class so far this semester, I can see that it really isn't too hard to build digital gauges. I guess what I would do for the temp sender would be to get a cheap OEM one, then toss it in a pot of water on the stove and measure the resistances at different temps.

How cool would it be to have a sweep-style dash with the plastic all blacked out and then when you turn on the car, a whole bunch of LED displays shine through? That's my plan!

Ian McDermott
1970 Chevelle SS 396
Gold Member #101
E-mail: [email protected]
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ICQ UIN: 3923441
There are ohms/temp values in the GM service manual,I don't know when they started, my books are from the late 70's - early 80's.

Philip Valentine
Lakeside, AZ
Team Chevelle Member #42 GOLD
[email protected]
Hey, I've got a couple of pictures of my setup if your interested. I'm not an electrical engineer so I purchased the electronics from Dakota Digital and fabricated the bezel. It does look good (the pictures came out fuzzy, darn auto focus!)


[This message has been edited by Clark (edited 10-08-99).]
Yeah Clark! Now that's what I'm talkin about!!
Clark; A question. How does the speedometer get it's signal? Magnets on driveshaft or from original speedo gear?? Is it programmable for different tires? tom
I thought you'd like it

The speedo gets it's signal from a sending unit that gets attached to the trans speedo gear in lue of the cable. It does not matter what gear you have because it is fully programable. Press a button, drive a measured mile and press a button again, thats it. I stripped the inner cable out of the speedo cable and ran my wires through that. You cant tell that the speedo cable is not original. The system has provisions for turn signals, shift light, trip odometer, check engine light, gear shift indicator, high beem indicator, night dimming plus the standard assortment of guages. Water temp and oil press will also flash when they get outside the limits you set. Speedo is good to 300 mph, tach can max out at 6000 or 8000 rpm. Fuel guage is compatible with GM, ford and SUN sending units.

This was not an easy setup to install. Dakota does not make a panel that is designed to fit into a chevelle. I purchased a universal street rod panel and modified my dash and the panel to make it fit. I even had to modify the A/C ducts behind the dash to make room for it all. The control box sits above the glove box and the switches I need to adjust the system are in the glove box.

It worked well from the get go and still works well. I have had no problems with it and I can even read it in bright sun light.

I had a sweep speedo and like most of us I wanted guages. I decided to be a little different.

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your dash looks great, sorry i didn't recognize what year your chevelle is? i called dakota about my 69 and they said when there are more requests they'll start making them. maybe i'll give your approach a shot. john..
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