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Old 09-25-2007, 11:28 PM   #1
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Scangauge or car computer

I am trying to decide if I want to spring for a scangauge 2, or get myself a little 7" lcd screen and buy a 60 dollar obd2 adapter for a computer. I have a computer I could put in and I think I have a couple places I could fit it in my car (under the seat actually looks big enough amazingly).

Looks like the screen, adapter, and inverter would set me back just over 300 dollars. With a little more investment I could get a GPS receiver and have a nice navigation system and play MP3's straight from the hard drive down the road.

Negatives of a computer are:

Slow boot up time (I am told most people doing this use a form of standby to speed things up)
Potential for more problems down the road
Drain battery if EOC'ing?
Target for thieves?
Time put in initially to get up and running

Positive of computer solution:
Much more expandability
More intense data logging possible
Coolness factor

I want to just go for a scangauge, but feel that I will regret it later . Then again maybe I won't miss all the work I didn't put into a stupid computer inside of a car.

If you all haven't noticed I am up at 2:30AM ranting about nothing, feel free to read this and move on to the next hopefully more intelligent thread.

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Old 09-25-2007, 11:41 PM   #2
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Fourthbean -

It's only 12:35 AM here and I am still at work.

The other risk for the PC is the hard disk. I think that no matter how tough a hard disk is, in a harsh environment, the disk will be at risk. If the PC is cheap and the hard disk is backed up, it can be replaced. If the OS and application is small enough, they could run off of a flash disk.

If I were starting from square one with what I know today, I would go for this gizmo that Red told me about :

Another OBDII tool


Old School SW2 EPA ... New School Civic EPA :

What's your EPA MPG?
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:46 PM   #3
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FYI, here is diy mpg gauge that uses a computer with a sound card (laptop/tablet) and minimal circutry (couple diodes):

I'm planning on using it with a ramline 510 ($130 touchscreen tablet) that I picked up eventually.
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:17 AM   #4
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cfg83, that thread is what made me remember I could do this all with a computer. I need to get some more information on what the Scangauge monitors and what the computer would be able to. Maybe that would help me decided if it was a big enough deal.

Skewbe, I was watching your thread as I was very intrigued. It just looks so daunting to me at the moment. I am sure I could get it figured out, especially with you and the others there to help me, but I may want to opt for the obd2 port and get all the other information besides MPG data straight from the car itself..
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:53 PM   #5
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I may spring for the computer direction. I was doing measurements and I think I can fit a 7" lcd inside my dash where my radio and a small slot below it are currently. Shouldn't require too much cutting either.

I have a few old hard drives that I can install with foam (without causing overheating) to avoid vibration and see how long they last. Also have a laptop drive I could switch over to if necessary as they are more durable for rough situations from what I have heard.

Hmmm, an inverter will set me back 30-40 dollars. I should be able to run a laptop directly off of the car power. I could probably find a headless (broken lcd) laptop for about the same price. It would be a bit slower but have much less load on my battery (I imagine a full system would pull 100 watts after being inverted compared to 10-20 with a laptop).
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