MS Dashboard V4

Version 4 of the MS dashboard extends the capabilities of previous versions while still being economical in space and dollars.

There are several major improvements over the previous version:

  1. an experienced electronics designer has redesigned the hardware. The microcontroller is still the MSP430, but the power supply has been improved with transient suppression and filtering, and isolation has been improved on the inputs (dashlight, buttons). This should do away with the screen resets and freezes that some users of the earlier version suffered.
  2. communications with the Megasquirt are via the CAN bus not the serial port. Plugging in a laptop no longer means unplugging the dashboard. CAN data is sent in larger chunks, which lightens the load on the Megasquirt.
  3. the supported display is available in a range of sizes from 2.2" to 3.2". The screen resolution is 320x240 pixels and it is used with 16-bit colour depth (i.e. a palette of more than 65,000 colours).
  4. user-defined graphics can be used for logos and alerts.
  5. configuration is mostly done via a website and no longer requires you to have Linux on your computer. You do need a small installer program which is available for Windows or Linux.

The move from serial to CAN and to the larger display needed nearly all the code to be rewritten. The bulk of the code carried over is for the accumulation of mean/min/max/last statistics.

The layout is still in 8 rows and 2 columns, and there is a similar selection of field types to choose from, but now with much more scope for changing the appearance. Here are some examples...

This flexibility comes at a cost of course; not in dollars, but in complexity. The aim has been to make it simple to configure a simple dashboard, but it naturally becomes more complicated when you start using the fancier features.

The documentation includes tutorials that demonstrate the plain and fancy parts, and the reference material describing all the options, but with less handholding.

Index of pages

Tutorials: Configuration Tutorial RLE Tutorial Input Tutorial

Reference: Configuration Reference Pages Global Settings Colours Display Lists Dashboard Pages Widget Classes

Utilities: Flan Utility Usage Documentation Flan Protocol Technical Description Dashboard Configuration Tool PBM to RLE Image Conversion Tool

Downloads: Flan for Windows Flan for Linux Latest Dashboard Firmware