Maker Paul Slocum engineered a custom Raspberry Pi-powered OBD2 monitor that displays information about his 97 Honda’s engine via Bluetooth dongle.
By Brittany Vincent
When it comes to older cars, it can be difficult to keep track of specific stats. If you don’t have a Tesla with an advanced touch screen or even a newer car with a modern display, it’s easy to feel in the dark about what’s going on with your engine. That’s where Raspberry Pi comes in.
Tom’s Hardware spotted Paul Slocum’s intriguing fix for car owners needing a monitor to display engine information using a Raspberry Pi as a base. His personal unit was designed to fit his ’97 Honda, down to the car’s aesthetic. The monitor automatically connects with the car via Bluetooth dongle and shares information when the engine starts up.
“I wanted a small, customizable OBD2 monitor that automatically turns on and off with the car,and I couldn’t find quite what I wanted among existing apps and products,” Slocum wrote. The OBD2, as he explains, is a computer port in most modern cars that allows for real-time analyze of car engine data.
Written and compiled with C++, the project, which uses a run-of-the-mill Raspberry Pi, also utilizes SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) for graphics as well as a touch interface. Slocum added a 3.5-inch Waveshare IPS GPIO screen to bring it all together.
Though Slocum notes that the software “needs a little more work,” he’s planning on releasing it as open source with a customizable layout, fonts, graphics, and other data for different cars. It doesn’t need to be customized further as it will automatically connect to any Bluetooth OBD dongle.
For those interested in learning more about how the project came together, Slocum outlined the process in a lengthy Reddit post. You can also follow the creator on GitHub for future updates.