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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I put this is the the audio and electronics thread instead of the performance because I see it as an addon that doesn't necessarily add performance.
Anyways, Im my never ending quest of finding new things for the pfc I came across a company that has created a digital dash for the Apexi PFC... amongst other ecu's. It originally started as a dash for the pfc and has since grown into a dash that can communicate with just about any ecu on the market. It's called Powertune and is a company based out of Australia. I've been talking to the owner for a few days now about their product and am planning on trying it out.
It technically uses a Raspberry pi3 and the 7" touch screen and is running an embedded linux distro with their software on it. I'm still a bit confused about their software and how it all works at the moment as the owner states there are proprietary components of it, yet it's "fully available" on github. I'm in the process of compiling the software and am building out an embedded linux image at the same time for testing hopefully tomorrow..
The owner of the company and product is telling me there is a required license for the software and that what is on the github is not "full" but based on what i'm seeing, what i've read and the code i've gone through, I am not entirely believing it? I also was able to run a compiled version, albiet there were some errors (related to a different version of software and running on windows and not rpi), so I'm hopeful. What he told me is that there are "Daemons", of which talk to the ecu's, that are proprietary(I have looked at them and they are compiled C and no source code available), but I still have many questions and want answers. Anyways, I'd say give the company a look. The owner is a pretty cool guy and has exercised my discussions openly and has been upfront and honest.

www.instagram.com/powertune_digital
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I come with thoughts. After about a week and a half I have now been able to install Raspian on my Raspberry Pi 3B, install all dependencies, compile QT5 and compile the source code for Powertune and have done initial testing with my PFC. I've also been in regular discussions with the developer of the product.

My initial thoughts about this product were that of many others; "Why spend so much for a raspberry pi and a screen when the hardware only costs about $100 in total." I understand now that i've had a chance to play with it all.

First and foremost, I will include the Repo and modified scripts I created for installing QT5 on the raspberry Pi. This will require A LOT of additional work and trial and error to get working, and I will not provide such as I don't have the time and/or energy.. but if you have the abilities and know-how, I say go for it. After you have QT5 compiled and installed, getting Powertune running is pretty quick and easy.
For the hardware I've used: Raspberry Pi 3B
7" Touch Screen Case(not the screen, just case/houlder)
Official Raspberry Pi 7" Screen
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Usage: The usage itself is pretty straight forward. Swipeing from side to side moves you from each dashboard and the setup/config menu. Each dashboard is fully customizable. The settings are easy to navigate. When power is applied, it just turns on, etc.

To start the unit up, it's as simple as providing it with power. It's a Raspberry Pi, so it uses a 5V USB power source, although I am planning on using a 12V to 5V conversion and a power hat to remove the USB power from the equation. I'll tap right into the cigarette lighter for switched power. Connecting to this is simple enough as well, just plug your FC-Hako or DataLogit into the USB port(I haven't tested with the WITE), swipe to the options menu, select Apexi PFC from the "ECU Selection" and then select the Serial interface from the dropdown. At this point, it's technically configured and will start communication with the PFC.

Dashboard customizations:You can customize each dashboard(up to 6) with whatever, and how ever many gauges you want. double click the screen and a menu comes up. at the top of the menu, select the parameter you want to display and then select the gauge type. Similar to this, you can import pre-made dashboards. The import process requires two steps for a fully functional dashboard; First the background image, followed by the custom dashboard elements which would be gauges, backgrounds, colors, text, images, etc. The customization of the dashboards is feature rich to a fault. What I mean by this is that it's got so many options that at times it may be unnecessary and/or overly complex. I personally welcome this as the options and potential are endless, and once you have it configured, you pretty much don't need to do anything further.

Justification for cost: This was originally my point of contention in this product. I purchased my RPi3b a few years ago for around $50 and then purchased the screen and case for another $100ish, so where is the other $300-400 going when the product itself is offered as opensource on Github. The simple answer is licenses. From my testing and understanding after having a delightful conversation with the developer is that the only license that's offered for free is that of the Apexi PFC(Lucky for us). This is because the original code that was used in the early stages of this was for the apexi pfc and was opensource on its own; meaning, the PFC had to stay opensource(and free) unless they rewrote that communication/connection from scratch.
This "Digital Dash", while was originally designed for the Apexi PFC has now grown to support almost every device on the market ranging from standard OBDII to CanBus to linkECU, Haltec, Megasquirt, and so much more. When you purchase the devices, you're buying the licenses to use it with all of those products, as well as the warranty in case the device breaks/dies, and regular updates.
 
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