Here we go then …. the plastic inlay carrier was treated to a real good bash around and the display popped into place. Looks nice with the inlay on top, but believe me, there’s plenty to do underneath to make the mount safe for thrashing around on a motorbike!
The good and the bad so far ….. the good – fits (ish) and should be straight forward to finish off, it’s as good as the original in bright light and looks kind of nice as in black as opposed to grey when it’s turned off. The bad … we’ll the eagle eyes among you may have noticed that the plastic pegs for the ‘Mode’ and ‘Set’ buttons are missing. The display is just that bit to long for everything to stay. So I’ve decided to not only move them, but replace them with a 5-way switch that will allow better interaction with the new screen. The old buttons will stay simply to look retro!
Burning a couple of hours each morning before work has proved beneficial in the end. The 4D display now has working fuel and engine temperature digits and graphics, plus the ‘clock’ is now actually attached to a real-time clock and showing the correct time. The board also runs a ‘self test’ on startup so that the pie slices cycle up/down along with a nifty ‘Aprilia’ splash screen. The lugs have been removed and an inlay panel is sacrificing itself to the Dremel tool …. all in the name of prototyping!
More years ago that I care to remember, fellow Caponord owner (Beasthonda) and I discussed the idea of replacing the dashboard LCD panel with an LCD screen that could be made to display just about anything we wanted. At the time, we looked at 4D Systems and made a few notes on feasibility, but in the end the idea fizzled out – primarily because at that time the panels were expensive!
Well here we are, a toe-dip into 2020 and the idea has been resurrected. This in part is due to the panels being better and cheaper now as well as the Arduino boards being much more powerful and faster than the old generation. So as I write, winging it’s way from Australia is an SK-ULCD-35D-AR kit …. basically a 3.5″ non-touch sensitive screen with all the cables and bits to program and connect it to an Arduino device.
The idea is to emulate the existing panel layout for day-to-day riding. However the device will have alternative screens available. The first will be the real-time display of sensor data from the ECU, the second will be a detailed trip computer, displaying continually updated fuel consumption and fuel tank range among other things. The next will display GPS position using a fusion of on-board GPS and Bluetooth mobile link for map downloads.
The display turned up a few days ago. Early the next morning, while the world shivered outside, I managed to program it with a couple of basic screens and power it up for the first time. The displays need to be scaled to fit the aperture in the dash overlay, but other than that it’s pretty much ready to hook up to some data. Role on the weekend!
Let me start by saying they were cheap and I was curious ….. They were cheap for a reason though. They were most definitely NOT the magnesium cam covers in the EBay advert photographs! Oh well, they were physically fine, just scratched and one had a little surface corrosion under the paint.
So I had a brainwave, take these and the spare pair of Caponord cam covers to be powder coated. Use them as test pieces before letting someone loose on more important bits of the Capo. A lovely idea in principle, but around here powder coaters are thin on the ground, so Google was my best friend for a few minutes. Initially I looked at the ones with websites and they were either too industrial or too far away. Then I looked at one about 20 minutes from where I work. No website, but good reviews from other social media and some examples of his work – so I made contact.
And here is the outcome of that meeting …. One of four cam covers in ‘Anodic Bronze’, with a one week turnaround for £60 inclusive. I’m happy with that. I think it’s fair to say that Sam is a man of few words, who’s happy squirrelled away in a modern workshop out in the sticks, doing what he enjoys. Communications were excellent and he did a great job in the time frame quoted, at a reasonable price. Next then a Caponord oil tank, passenger footpeg hangers and some crash-bars and various brackets – In RAL9011 Graphite Black.
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