RaceGauge sprang from an idea between friends driving from Chicago to Iowa in January 1999. The car we were riding in, a 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity 4-door V6, was highly modified by its owner. It featured aftermarket springs, shocks, brakes, muffler, steering wheel, and racing bucket seats; custom spoiler, sunroof, paint job, and cold-air intake; an Eclipse graphic display CD player, three JL 10" woofers, a CB radio, a police scanner, and a NOS nitrous system. It was fast, and it looked very unique and cool. It was observed, however, that the factory stock dash display did not look cool. So the discussion turned to the possibility of fabricating and installing a computer-controlled graphical display unit. Less than five months later, the unit was installed and working. The entire plastic dash face of the Celebrity was removed, and a local car body shop purchased and cut a piece of stainless steel to replace the plastic. Holes were cut for the steering wheel, stereo, heating controls and vents. Multi-colored high-brightness LEDs were installed in the dash face, along with the two 240x128 flourescent backlit graphic LCD displays.

Update: Charles crashed the car about 5 or 6 months after we got the RaceGauge installed. Aside from a few minor annoyances which I solved several months after installation, the system performed well throughout its lifetime.

Specifications and Documentation
Click the links below to view technical information about the RaceGauge:

Development Pictures
These pictures show the electronics involved in the RaceGauge at various stages of development.
RaceGauge This shows the HC11 MPU board and its interfaces. RaceGauge Here's a close-up of the two LCD displays
RaceGauge This shows the initial test setup with the LCDs and a test interface board. RaceGauge Here is the power-cycling test board, the test signal board, and the main power supply.
RaceGauge The final test setup, including the LCD displays, is shown in full operation. RaceGauge The final test setup is shown here.
RaceGauge MPU Box #1 - enclosure and mounting of all components. RaceGauge MPU Box #2
RaceGauge MPU Box #3 RaceGauge RaceGauge compressed display bitmap

Installation Pictures
(Updated 2/14/03)
RaceGauge Driver's side of the Celebrity. RaceGauge The front of the Celebrity, sporting the big 'Celebrity SS' sticker.
RaceGauge Passenger's side of the Celebrity. RaceGauge The back of the Celebrity.
RaceGauge This is the RaceGauge hardware right before we installed it. RaceGauge Post-installation, as seen through the driver's window.
RaceGauge The finished product seen from the passenger seat.    

Source Code
(Updated 2/14/03)

The source code to the RaceGauge project is in 68HC11 Assembly Language format, and is distributed under the GNU General Public License Version 2. A copy of the GPL is included in this ZIP file along with the source and object code. You can view the source code in HTML format here.


Feel free to send questions and comments about the RaceGauge to Fascination Software.

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