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Old 10-19-2013, 05:30 AM   #1
Chevysdominate
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DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

I just finished the last of the programming I can do without it being installed. So I figured it was a good time to let people in on my project.

I'm a software engineer by trade, but I'm a mechanical engineer at heart. I've been thinking about making my own ride height display for about 3 years now. After installing air bags with manual valves with air pressure gauges I quickly realized how useless pressure gauges are. I wanted ride height sensors. So I pieced together a setup that i thought would work. The only problem was the right height sensors where prohibitively expensive. The big boys of the ride height controller business wanted $500+ for the sensors. This made the whole setup way to expensive considering it would require a few hundred more to finish. Not a whole bunch less then the professional systems. Hall effect rotary sensors(ride height sensors) have become much more common place on modern autos and I realized I could source GM sensors off junk yard vehicles or just buy replacement delphi units. I recently found a set for a really good price and couldn't pass on the opportunity to make my own ride height display.

It's a prototype at the moment and I'll call it Alpha v0.1 I'm not going to get into the details yet. But anyone with a sharp eye can decipher the major components of the system.

Note this is ONLY a ride height display right now. It can not operate valves yet. Its setup to be able to control air valves in the future. I have DLOE65 manual valves and love them. I'll have true ride height on all four corners and tank pressure. This will be a great upgrade to my pressure gauges. I'll be adding 4 extra pressure sensors later for separate bag pressures. I planning on getting this installed on my 65 sometime this weekend if i can find the time.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:37 PM   #2
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Following along. I'm bagging my 65 soon and would love an alternative to the big guys
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

very clever using a car stereo amp for your housing. I like.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Wow! you beat me to it!

I see you are using an Arduino as the brains of your project. I was going to use the Netduino as a brain. I may change over to an Arduino/Raspberry Pi setup... figured if I was going to go thru the trouble of an air management system, I'd might as well set up a few more goodies such as remote access (open doors/windows) and maybe some engine performance data. I also found that adding some sort of GPS with cellular signal would be very cheap giving the ability to track the vehicle in the event of a theft.

really excited to see what you come up with!!!
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Well, the weekend came and went with no time to install the system. I'll make another attempt to install it later this week.

Quote:
Wow! you beat me to it!

I see you are using an Arduino as the brains of your project. I was going to use the Netduino as a brain. I may change over to an Arduino/Raspberry Pi setup... figured if I was going to go thru the trouble of an air management system, I'd might as well set up a few more goodies such as remote access (open doors/windows) and maybe some engine performance data. I also found that adding some sort of GPS with cellular signal would be very cheap giving the ability to track the vehicle in the event of a theft.

really excited to see what you come up with!!!
The arduino is the only way to go when it comes to a raw sensor input device. It's the best gpio micro computer available. It has the widest range of usable features of them all (yoyo, beagleboard, ras pi, etc). The raspberry pi in the photo was only there to prop up the lcd display at the time. I had the pi out for some large touch screen integration into the system. If the arduino is lacking in an area it would be the fact that it doesn't have the processing power to drive fancy displays. I might combine the pi with the arduino in the future. I all ready have my android phone connecting and communicating with the arduino anyhow so ill probably just use a smartphone or tablet if i want a larger/touch display. I happen to like simpler interiors in older vehicles so a large lcd probably wont go in my 65 anytime soon.

I have a gps breakout board waiting to be integrated into the system once I get the ride height stuff all solid. But the possibilities are endless with this system.

A few people have asked what it would cost to build a setup like this. A rough parts bill would come out to $220-$350. You can get the sensors for under $150 for the set new. That's the bulk of the cost. I had all the necessary stuff laying around, so the cost to me was much less. I'll probably do full diy write up in the near future with a complete list of items used.

Updates will come asap.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Do I hear a hint of "I might have some "FOR SALE"one of these days or nothing at all. Like you said that would be a great addition to alot of peoples trucks!! I love it !!@nd best thing about it we wouldn't be paying 1 of the BIG Shots !!!!LOL
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Ingenuity at its finest. Can't wait to see this come together.
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:38 AM   #8
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Well, I sure didn't think it would take me this long to get it installed. Something came up and I had to put the install on the back burner for a while.

I got it installed last weekend and Ive been fixing and modifying the software side of things. I'm quite pleased with the results. It all works real well and is very accurate. The hardest part of the whole project was getting the sensors installed correctly. It took a lot of modifications to the mount and arm to get it all working.

I'll get some pictures of the install up this weekend.

Quote:
Do I hear a hint of "I might have some "FOR SALE"one of these days or nothing at all. Like you said that would be a great addition to alot of peoples trucks!! I love it !!@nd best thing about it we wouldn't be paying 1 of the BIG Shots !!!!LOL
I have no plans to make versions to sell to anyone at the moment. There are to many really good and cheap versions out on the market for me to make any money on it. I will do a write up with part numbers and the such so that people can build there own if they want to. Its quite technical though, but I'll make the software executable available and give any help I can to people that might want to give it a shot.

Stay tuned there's more to come.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

i like diy projects
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:57 AM   #10
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Any updates on this? Cool project!. I built a megasquirt ems for my last project car, not going to do that with the c10 but I feel the need to geek out a little bit with something like this
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:39 PM   #11
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

This is awesome! I might have to steal your idea!!
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #12
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

No need to steal anything. I was always going to giving the design away anyhow I've planned on getting a writeup for this, but I've just been to busy. I promise I'll set aside some time in the near future to get it done and posted. If you start it before then hit me up and I can help you out.

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This is awesome! I might have to steal your idea!!
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:20 PM   #13
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Ok sweet deal!! Thanks!!
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Old 11-25-2014, 04:20 AM   #14
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Its been a long time since I've updated this project. Its been working great for over a year now with no real issues. A good number of people have asked if ill release the source code. The answer is yes. Although I haven't done a proper write up for a build I will be releasing the source code and a few notes about the project. This should be enough information to get anyone serious about building one going. I'm more then willing and able to help anyone that wants to try to build one. If you have any questions ask in this thread so as to help anyone else that's in the same position. Sorry i haven't done a detailed write up, but things have been busy at work and with my truck. Hope this helps.

Source Code:

This contains the source for the air ride display and the needed libraries to build.

License GNU GPL
https://drive.google.com/folderview?...3c&usp=sharing


Arduino: Micro controller

I used a special android compatable arduino mega (ADK)for my build, but a standard arduino mega will work. You could use an arduino uno too, but its limited in the number of analog pins it has.

Ride height sensor: DFP-ER10031

You may have to do significant modification to the sensor and its mount to get it to work properly. Any of the over the counter ride height sensors from any of popular kits will most likely work as well.

LCD - SainSmart LCD module 20x4

Standard 20 x 4 HD44780 controller i2c lcd display
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B22UR0/ref=cm... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B22UR0/ref=cm...
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:07 AM   #15
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

I have no idea where to start, but learning how to build this may be my winter indoor project. Good job getting it done and checking back on the thread.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:45 AM   #16
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

WOW this is great! Thanks for the update, parts and source code!

One of the things I've been meaning to add is leveling. I've thought about purchasing a leveler but they are too damn expensive... that is money that could be put towards other parts.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:49 AM   #17
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

...on a silly note: i figured you might appreciate this joke
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:45 PM   #18
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Subscribed! I bought an Arduino starter kit for my 11yo son for xmas. We've completed all the projects in the kit and started combining circuits/code. We're both hooked. Naturally I've been dreaming about all the automotive possibilities. Searched Arduino here and look what I find... Looking forward to the full write up!
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:12 PM   #19
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

nice.
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:09 PM   #20
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

I'm very impressed and I want to congratulate you of your hard work with this gauge!!

I want to ask, If the Arduino Mega ADK board, and LCD with its board, and sensors (pressure and height) are the only stuff I need to do similar stuff?

In first photo I can see some more parts, for example something looking like a relay etc. On your photo I selected parts I don't know what they are, please help me and tell what it is and what I really need to make my own digital pressure gauge (I have pressure senders 0-150psi):

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K...-58-52_604.jpg

Regards, moryc7
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:26 AM   #21
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

I just found this thread digging through the suspension forums. This is great information. I am curious about what all is in your "amp" case though. I am really curious about the relay and the stuff above that. Not quite sure what I am looking at there.

James
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:16 AM   #22
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

@TypeSL2 - The answer I got from the author is that the stuff in amp case isn't absolutely necessary depending on the environment it'll be in. It is a voltage regulator - it keeps the automotive power supply clean and off loads some of the heat from the arduino, a relay to switch power on from a key source and a terminal block to make it easier to hookup the sensors.

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Old 07-02-2015, 08:46 AM   #23
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Awesome. Thanks man. I am hoping me and the wife will be able to tackle this project later on down the road. It gets old trying to guess whether or not the ride height is level going off of pressures alone.

James
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:55 AM   #24
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Has anyone done this or expanded on it? I'm planning to do something like this with auto-leveling and I'm looking for a good base to start with.
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Old 05-09-2017, 12:06 PM   #25
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Re: DIY Air Ride Display finished(alpha)

Hello,
thanks for the Libary, big heart from germany,
can you tell me what you other equitment is?
Do you have upgrade you System,
can I send you money for a beer with paypal?
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