Clock Opening Musings

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Clock Opening Musings

Gary Lewis
Administrator
As I've said, I'm hoping to put digital readouts in the clock openings and drive them with an Arduino.  Towards that goal I've been looking for displays to use, but realized that I don't really know what the opening sizes are.  So today I took a close look at a bezel and took a number of measurements - and discovered a few things.

First, here's a pic of the bezel.  Note that the outer edges of the left and right openings actually aren't vertical.  But, the right opening's outer edge is tilted more than the left's edge.  

Second, the openings aren't as big as they could be.  Both the outer openings could be opened up horizontally, and all three could be opened up vertically.



And, here are the dimensions:

Left:     .685" high x 2.190/2.195" wide
Center: .675" high x 2.772" wide
Right:   .685" high x 2.162/2.195" wide

As for the max sizes, all three could be opened up to 1.060" vertically by taking the opening right out to the beads.  And they could be opened up horizontally:

Left:     2.510/2.515"
Center: 2.933"
Right:   2.470/2.505"

Now I know what the sizes are that can be accommodated and I'll be looking for just the right displays.  But if any of you have suggestions please let me know.  I think my preference is to use fluorescent units to be period-correct, but a blue LED on a black background would be my second choice.

Thoughts?
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Clock Opening Musings

1986F150Six
Gary, you might contact Dakota Digital to see if they might share their source?

http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=604/category_id=437/mode=prod/prd604.htm
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Re: Clock Opening Musings

Ford F834
Administrator
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
I don’t have any knowledge or expertise to lend in this area Gary. But I am definitely interested in what you come up with. This is probably the best place we have to integrate tech into our stock interior in a subtle way. Interesting find on the hole shapes. I never noticed the irregularity. I had wanted to work in digital gauge displays there, particularly boost and pyro, but there isn’t a lot of space behind the holes, and I am not very inclined to take apart several hundred dollars worth of gauges and void the warranties just to make them fit. What all are you hoping to have displayed there?
SHORT BED 4-DOOR DIESEL: 1986 F350 4x4 SRW under construction-- 7.3 IDIT R&D 64mm intercooled turbo 150cc IP stage 1 cam main girdle 13" Southbend clutch ZF-5 + DNE2 overdrive 4.10 axle gears hydroboost brakes

STRAIGHT SIX 4X4: 1981 F150 2wd to 4x4 conversion-- 300 I6 close ratio diesel T19, hydroboost brakes, Saginaw steering
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Re: Clock Opening Musings

Gsmblue
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
A great idea, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
1985 F150 XL Explorer 5.0 EFI 4AOD 4x4 standard cab.
Daily Driver. I call her Eunice.
To do:  Rear fuel tank pump, replace door hinges, Front and rear windows need replacing, blue top steering box, front dampers, Interior panels to be painted, new carpet, seats to be recovered, some exterior paint work

1982 Bronco XLT Lariat 351 C6 4x4
Code name Esperanza, or Espy to her friends. Please see my Project page for details.
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Re: Clock Opening Musings

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Ford F834
David - I'm thinking more along the lines of something like the display below, although that one is slightly too big at 1.1" x 2.8" for the display itself.  And the circuit board is even bigger so I'll have to work through the spacing to be able to put three of them in a row.

There's also the issue of how large the characters are and if they can be read.  I just checked and it looks like the factory clock numbers are 1/4" high.  They are easily legible, so if we can get something about that high we should be good.




Jonathan - My thoughts are to have battery voltage for both batteries, oil pressure, coolant temp, and maybe compressed air PSI for the on-board air system.  But by driving the display(s) with an Arduino the sky is the limit.  As long as you can find a sender for whatever you want to measure then the Arduino can read it, convert it, and display it.  In fact, with the EEC-V system the Arduino could query the computer and display info from it, like fuel/air mix, inlet air temp, spark advance, etc.

As for the displays to use, there's the question of which ones and how many.  And, there's the question of how to tell the Arduino what to display.  I've had lots of thoughts about that and have come up with several approaches.  One approach is to have enough display area that you can put every output up all the time.  Another is to have a button or buttons to push to call up what you want to see.  And, along those lines I've thought of using a factory clock with its three buttons to call up what you want.  Perhaps re-engrave the buttons with something like V/T/P?
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Clock Opening Musings

1986F150Six
Or, have a "rolling" display? Then, perhaps a button to freeze [stop] the rolling on a parameter of special interest at the time.
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Re: Clock Opening Musings

Gary Lewis
Administrator
That's a possibility.  Another is to have a phone bluetoothed to it to change the parameters being shown.  But, that's probably not a good idea as I want it to be "for the ages" and phones and technology changes.

Another thought I've had is to have upper and/or lower limits and if any parameter goes out of limits then that parameter would be shown flashing - perhaps in a different color if the display supports it.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Clock Opening Musings

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Not feeling up to snuff today, so have taken it easy.  Spent some time measuring, surfing electronic catalogs, etc.  And, I think I've found a way to do this, although more work needs to be done.

The factory clock's faceplate is 1.563" high and 8.00" wide, and it is a tight fit into the dash, as shown below.  So, whatever displays are used need to fit in that space.  With a bit of searching I've found that a 2x12 display on the left, a 2x16 in the middle like the one above, and another 2x12 on the right gives a total length of 7.535" wide and they are 1.416" high.  In other words, that combo will fit.




Those displays have characters that are .22" high as opposed to the .25", as best I can measure, of the clock.  So I'm thinking that they'll be easily read.  Thoughts?

I'm not sure that we want all of the characters that can be packed in there.  The left would have two rows of 12 characters each, the middle two rows of 16, and the right another 2 rows of 12, for a total of 80 characters!  We wouldn't have to turn all of them on, but that combo would allow something like:

Oil Pressure    Battery Voltage    Coolant Temp
   36 PSI         12.8V & 13.4V          195F

Thoughts?


 
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI