iOS OBD Tool development

Discussion in 'General' started by Kalvin, May 21, 2016.

  1. Kalvin

    Kalvin New Member

    Hello All,

    I am new here but I have been chasing good fuel economy for a few years now. I had gotten a Scangauge-E hooked up to my 2011 Honda Civic EX AT a while back which has helped me quite a bit but has left me wanted more after a few months. Only shows two gauges at a time, DFCO was not properly detected no matter how much config/reseting.

    So I finally (and recently) started on a new project. Instead of upgrading to the Scangauge 2, adding only 2 more gauges, I developed an iOS application. I have my old iPhone 5 lying around which I have been using for my gauge. I call it Cluster as I originally intended to replace my speedometer and maybe the tach with it. I wanted to get the community's opinions on it.

    ( Mind the horrible AVG mpg, I have a 50.6 AVG record in this 2011 Civic haha...)

    So to go over some current features or notes not described by the screen shot,
    • Top bar represents RPM: turns green when in DFCO, red when over warning level (set at 2500)
    • Gear engaged (Being an automatic, this won't be accurate due to the nature of the torque converter)
    Earlier concepts had a map follow the user along with direction/orientation as well as some higher end cars have gps and map capabilities integrated to instrument clusters. Here I had a TPS bar that changed colors depending on throttle pos.


    So rather then spend $130 on another scan gauge, I have made Cluster that reads information much quicker than the scangauge on fast polling, and way more readouts. The maps and location tracking generates a good amount of heat which is why I took it out. I look to include a trip computer as well as other readouts going forward as well.

    So what are your thoughts on this? Any suggestions? Thanks advance!
    daved, xcel and BillLin like this.
  2. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Very nice effort. Your current gauge has everything I look at on the SG II plus the car's instrument cluster, and I like the format. I look at the tach and TPS more than the speedometer. Analog gauge option for the tach would be nice, but would need it to be bigger. I like the bar length with color hints in both current and original styles. I agree with your choice to leave out the map. I think the moving map makes the display too busy and less legible. Power draw and excess heat were a good call.

    Any thoughts of doing an Android version? :)

    Good work. I am impressed.
    xcel likes this.
  3. Kalvin

    Kalvin New Member

    Thank you BillLin for your response!

    I am considering an Android version but that would not begin for a while. I know that a great amount of car people prefer analog gauges but I have a grime such that putting analog gauges on a digital display just does not seem right to me. I would have to explore different designs to determine how I could make it work.
    BillLin likes this.
  4. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I understand completely regarding development on another platform and analog gauges. Your top bar is a reasonable concession. I would caution using the full width of the display depending on the display size and orientation. It can be difficult to take in the tach info at a glance if relying on the bar. A set of background reference marks may aid in quick legibility, but then it may become too much like an analog gauge. :) Maybe a flashing red LED representation next to the RPM indicator for over revving? In similar vein, a flashing, alternate color LED for a user selectable shift point could be useful.

    I had never thought of having the gear selection on the display, but in retrospect, that makes perfect sense, especially if using your app in an unfamiliar vehicle. Nice.

  5. Kalvin

    Kalvin New Member

    I was thinking of going with a tach design similar to Honda's S2000's. I did not mention but I implemented several icon warning blinkers.
    • RPM Icon blinks red if over some set constant (in my case 3000) as does the top RPM bar.
    • Engine coolant icon blinks blue under warm operating temperature (<140F) or red if higher than some constant (200F)
    • TPS icon blinks yellow if over some set constant (in my case 23)
    These constants would likely be set by perspective users.

    The only thing about showing the gear engaged is that users would have to enter in the gear ratio for their specific car. I am not sure if it would be too tedious of a task.
    daved and BillLin like this.
  6. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

  7. daved

    daved Member

    This is very cool, Kalvin... I like the whole concept, and since I have an old iPhone 4S laying around with no use it might be ideal. Two questions:
    1) Is it available in the app store, and if not how might one go about trying it?
    2) What ODB2 connecters or hardware work with it, and would you recommend?

    This summer I've inched my 2012 Accord EX-L up from a lifetime MPG of 25.1 to 26.6. With the exception of one partial-fill tank at 31.1 (didn't run the gas down enough to gain weight advantages), and one long trip (where I ran it nearly dry) at 41.1, I've been getting 35-37 MPG. I'd love to take this to the next step by filling in the information gap, with real data.

    I drive professionally, so I always have an iPhone running anyway. Scangauge is nice but uglier (if more accurate due to wires), so this might be a better way to go for me.
  8. fishnrib

    fishnrib Christian

    Can't find it in the App Store also recommend calling it Cluster something as there lots of Cluster apps.
  9. daved

    daved Member

    One thought on the map screen: I'd still like to see a display of what gear the tranny's in, esp in automatics. Some newer cars have paddle shifters, which display that built in, but older ones don't. Very useful if you're trying to get your tc locked etc (maybe a status light for lock would be cool too!).

    But yeah again: how might we get it Kalvin? Love to try it out!

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