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New here, trying to find support for my vehicle idea


Guest cdude20
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Sorry in advance. I'm long winded. Being a mechanic and IT security, the details matter. Please bear with me  :)
If I'm in the wrong place for support for this idea, please let me know.

Hey y'all. I hope I have finally found a good community to help support my ideas. I'm really into electronics development. I already have a little time under my belt with an arduino mega development board. The problem is the idea I have is pretty big, and I don't know enough about electronics development yet to put it into action. That, and I just don't think the arduino mega is enough for what I want to do. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If any of y'all have seen the fancy new cars, more specifically the new fully loaded dodge rams or ford mytouch vehicles, you will know what I'm talking about. I want to completely integrate a touchscreen display into my truck, or any vehicle for that matter with a little tweaking. Now the truck I have is old and not tech advanced at all. Its a 1989 Ford F350 IDI diesel. For those of you that don't know what that is, it requires only one 12v wire to run the engine, and basically everything is analog or manual levers and such. But everything on the intrument cluster is failing or has failed, and most of the old wiring is falling apart, causing nightmares for me for lighting, the power windows and locks, the important gauges, and trailer towing. The rest of the truck is mint. The engine has been rebuilt and and I just finished the last paint job on the body and the seat reupholstery a few weeks ago. So it's not worth it to junk such a reliable custom truck.

But anyway, onto the idea itself.
I want to make everything electronic, seeing as I have to rewire the whole truck anyway. I want to convert the HVAC to electronic with some servos. And the crappy aftermarket radio and blown speakers need to get replaced with something nicer, I was thinking something with nav (possibly android?) and Sirius XM. Plus all the lighting and windows and doors will get a new control system of some sort, because the switches for lights keep melting anyway and the door locks work when they want to. So I'm talking some pretty big amps draw there. I would estimate about 40 for all the lights. I'm not sure if I want to integrate that on the touchscreen or not. But the biggest thing, is I want to go to an all digital gauge cluster. And I don't mean 7 segment displays, I mean a high definition customizable display like the new cars and trucks.  Something like this: http://www.caranddriver.com/photos-13q1/496621/2014-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt-instrument-cluster-photo-496656
I would really like to put remote start and keyless entry on it too, whether through an aftermarket system or design my own. Most of the aftermarket systems don't support diesel engines, much less one with special starting requirements and extended cranking time like my old IDI.

So there is my idea. I don't think my little arduino mega can handle it, but I may be wrong. I was looking at other boards to base this off of too, like the beaglebone black or something. I don't know. There are so many out there I don't have a clue which one would be best. There are so many different types of inputs and outputs for this one project. I can take some time to make a little list of what they would be if you want. But I figure if Ford and Dodge can do this, I should be able to as well. It would cost me near 3000 bucks to do all this with aftermarket stuff, and it wouldnt even all be integrated in one big package or be customizable to what I want. Not to mention a wiring nightmare! But I know about analog and digital and have a good start on how to get all this stuff to work, I just have no clue what a good board and system to run would be for everything I want to do.

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