May 8th, 2021—
Many modern automobile manufacturers have switched from traditional analog gauges to digital LCD screens. These let the driver configure their dashboard to suit their needs. When driving on the highway, they might want to see a map and a speedometer. When on the track, they can switch that to a tachometer, g-force meter, and shift light. To modernize his NA Miata, Jroobi used two Arduino Due boards to create an LCD dashboard.
The first Mazda MX-5 (the Miata for Americans), referred to as the “NA” by enthusiasts, went into production way back in 1989, which was decades before LCD gauge clusters became common. Jroobi has spent years modifying his NA Miata and one of those modifications was a Raspberry Pi in place of the stereo that lets him control and monitor the car. His newest modification is even more impressive, because it gives him a customizable touchscreen LCD right behind the steering wheel.
Jroobi has been working on this dashboard upgrade for years, but it was on the backburner for 18 months due to problems caused by a bad power supply. But he has now reached the point where it seems to be working very well. A pair of Arduino Dues control the touchscreen, which fills the two large gauges. The two smaller gauges, for fuel level and oil temperature, remain analog. The LCD gauges can display all kinds of information and are customizable. Jroobi can, for example, adjust the soft redline shown on the tachometer. There are far too many features for us to cover here, so check out Jroobi’s video to get all the details.