ElectroClassic EV
Classic Cars Reborn into the Electric Future

Getting Good Console

tablet_setup

Here is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 seven inch tablet that I picked up from Best Buy at a $20 discount. It was a backlogged holiday husband gift that I finally redeemed after 3 months. As you can see above, I am setting up the Android Torque app per the instructions on the Ewert Energy Systems website. It involves downloading a custom set of EV parameter IDs (PIDs) onto the tablet, created by Ewert specially for the Orion BMS. Each custom PID equates to one virtual gauge displayed on the tablet, e.g. Pack Voltage, Pack Current, State of Charge, and so on. A more detailed explanation can be found on the previous blogpost: Torque My Console.

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otterbox_exploded

I toyed with the idea of cutting a hole in the Porsche’s center console panel and mounting the tablet from behind, so just the screen would be visible through an upholstered bezel. Very elegant, but it would become a permanent installation, with no convenient way to remove the tablet for offline tinkering. So instead, I settled on an Otterbox Defender Series case with an outer hard rubber holster that can be mounted directly on the front of the console panel. This makes it easy to snap the tablet in place for driving, and just as easy to take it with you when you park the car. Starting on the left, the above image shows the Otterbox faceplate, hardcase, rubber boot, and finally the holster on the far right.

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console_raw_plate

The emergency disconnect plunger needed to nudge downward a smidge to accommodate the tablet, so a new custom console panel had to be fabricated from plywood. The tablet’s holster will attach via the four screw holes at the top half of the panel. The small rectangular hole allows the charging cable to pass through from the power supply inside. The larger circular hole at the bottom defines the new position of the disconnect plunger. The two holes at the top will also permanently fasten the panel to the console, in lieu of the stock spring clips.

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console_plate_upholster

Once the correct position of all the holes checked out, a swatch of surplus seat vinyl was cut, fitted and fixed to the panel with upholstery spray adhesive. Gorilla snot has nothing on this stuff. Razor cuts were made in the vinyl across the holes to allow installation of the charging cable and plunger switch body.

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console_mounted_holster

Here you can see the tablet holster attached to the center console instrument panel. The two top screws also hold the panel tightly in the console via a couple speed nuts clipped to the mounting bracket underneath. The Samsung-style connector is seen dangling loose at the bottom of the holster. It runs behind the console panel where a 2 amp cigarette lighter USB charger is located, providing power to the tablet when the ignition key is turned on.

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tablet_installed_insigniaHere is the finished product, plugged-in and displaying the home screen, which I’ve loaded with a Porsche insignia to match my key fob. The tablet becomes more dashboard-friendly using a Torque submenu called “Dash installation settings.” It wakes or sleeps the tablet based on whether it senses charger power, it toggles the tablet into airplane mode when charger power is absent, and it sets Torque to automatically restart when the tablet is rebooted. Finally seeing this virtual display migrate from my dreams to reality is incredibly satisfying. The flat panel display makes it feel like a bonafide EV.

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2 Responses to “Getting Good Console”

  1. You are an animal Mark. Love it. Could probably watch a vid while your on a long trip… my Ventura Electric Vehicle Association meets the last Monday of every month if you ever want to visit Ventura. Would be a kick. Great new console.
    jy

  2. Hey Jimmy – If you give me the address, I can do a Google Maps door-to-door and see if it’s within range.


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