GPS Car Computer

GPS Car Computer
GPS Car Computer
Set Button
Pressing this will switch to an option screen
associated with the currently displayed
screen. Using the Up/Down buttons you
can change the value of the option.
Pressing Set again will save the option and
return to the original display screen.
External Antenna Connector
(On the back panel)
USB 2.0 Interface
For navigation software
on a laptop or loading
new firmware.
Up Button
Will switch to the
previous display.
When setting an option
th is will increase the
valu e.
Light Detector
For day/night control
Power and Signals
Down Button
Connector for power
and external signals.
Will switch to the next
When setting an option
th is will decrease the
valu e.
Graphic LCD
120 x 32 pixels.
Automatic Scan
Low Signal
Simultaneously pressing both the Up and Down buttons will
set auto scan. In the auto scan mode the unit will step to
the next screen every 3 seconds. Pressing either Up or
Down will terminate this mode.
In a low signal situation or when first turned on the GPS Car
Computer will display a message and a count of the number
of satellites found at that time. Pressing the Set button will
show the Current Signal Levels screen described on the
next page.
The data displayed can be configured as described below.
Show/Hide Display Screens
Holding down the Up button while applying power will enter
a special mode to configure what screens will be displayed
or hidden. Repeatedly pressing Set will select:
Full Reset
Pressing the Down button for a couple of seconds while
applying power will reset the GPS module and all
configurable parameters to the factory/design defaults.
Show (ie, the screen will always be displayed).
Automatic Brightness Control
Hidden when Auto Scan is operating, otherwise shown.
Hidden Always. This is useful if, for example, the Fuel
Economy Meter is not being used – it can then be
hidden to reduce the visual clutter.
The brightness of the LCD backlight can be configured
separately for day and night. Control of day/night can be
from the vehicle headlights or from a light dependent
Press Up or Down to move to the next screen to be
configured. Remove power to exit this mode.
USB 2.0 Interface
The GPS Car Computer creates a virtual serial port over
USB and you can use this to connect to your laptop to show
the GPS output, plot your location on moving maps and
other functions using free and paid software.
You must load the Silicon Chip Serial Device Driver on to
your PC.
Firmware Updates
By holding down the Set button when plugging into a USB
port the device will accept firmware updates delivered via
USB (ie, programming hardware is not required).
When switching from day and night the brightness is slowly
changed over a minute to avoid distracting the driver.
Power and Signal Connector
Pin 3 is ground
Pin 4 is +12V power input
Pin 5 is the fuel injector input. Connect to the negative wire
of a fuel injector (this is pulled to ground when the injector
solenoid is activated).
Pin 1 is vehicle driving lights input. It will control the
day/night brightness of the backlight. This input is
optional and is disabled if a light dependent resistor is
Pins 2 and 6 are spare input/output lines for future
enhancement. In this version they are left unconnected.
Usage Sheet
Digital Clock
Shows the current time in 12 hour (AM/PM) format. The seconds are shown in the bottom
right. The time is derived from the GPS signal and is accurate to within 100mS (ie, any
error is undetectable to a human observer).
Pressing the Set button will allow adjustment of the time in steps of half an hour (ie, this
sets the time zone – the exact time is always derived from the GPS satellites).
Digital Speedometer with Over Speed Alarm
The digital speedometer will display your speed up to 250Kmh. The current setting of the
over speed alarm is shown in the bottom right. An audible alarm (two beeps) will sound
when this speed is exceeded and the speedo display will switch to reverse video. Built in
hysteresis prevents it from continuously beeping if you stay near this speed.
The Set button will change the threshold or completely turn it off when set to zero.
Fuel Economy Meter
The length of the black bar indicates the level of fuel consumption per kilometre travelled
(equivalent to litres per 100 Km). The longer the bar the higher the fuel consumption so
you would normally adjust your driving to keep the bar as short as possible.
The graph is not calibrated but the sensitivity (ie, full scale) can be adjusted by pressing
the Set button. This allows you to adjust it to suit different vehicles.
Distance and Time to a Destination
This display will count down the distance and time to a destination. The time is based on
your average speed over the last ten minutes, so if you get onto a slow road the time to
your destination will increase accordingly. This display is reasonably accurate; the error is
about one kilometre in 100.
Press the Set button to setup the initial distance to the destination.
Heading, Compass and Altitude
The number on the left is the current heading (direction of the vehicle) in degrees. The
needle can show either the heading or point to the north – this is configured by pressing
the Set button. The numeric reading will always show the heading.
Your current altitude in metres is shown on the right of the screen.
Latitude and Longitude
Your current latitude and longitude. This is shown as degrees, minutes and fraction of a
minute and updates continuously as you drive.
This is accurate to within a few metres depending on the number of satellites that can be
found in the sky. This information (and much more) can be sent to your laptop via USB for
use by navigation and mapping software.
Current Signal Levels
Shows how many satellites should be in the sky and the number that is currently being
used by the GPS module. The bar graph shows the signal level of every satellite that can
be detected. The module will not use a satellite if its signal level is below a threshold.
By pressing the Set button you can adjust the backlight brightness for day and night
conditions. Day/Night is determined by a light sensor or your car’s headlights.
All data is updated once a second.
The Up and Down buttons will switch between screens.
The currently showing screen and all settings are saved in non volatile memory and recalled on power up.
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