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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum, but I've been messing around with my CBR 600 F2 project for a few months off and on now. I'm to the point where I'm building it back up the way I want it and I've gotten to the gauges.

I got it with the old gauges dissassembled and in a box and just a speedo from some other bike zip tied in place.

I was looking at the stock gauges and I like them and would like to have all the functionality of those gauges and dummy lights, but the housing is enormous, so I'd like to make a custom housing for the gauges.

Has anyone taken their stock gauges and made custom housings for them? were you able to use off the shelf parts with minor modifications?

I've got an idea that will require some machining, but I can use our machine shop after work. I'd also like to see what other options are out there and get some ideas from people who have done this before.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bump for concept drawings:



This is the sandwich idea i was thinking. I priced materials and it got expensive quick.



I was also thinking old oil filter housings would be a good shape and if done correctly, look pretty badass and still look pretty clean. Dont know about fitting the small temp gauge in one. Maybe I can take care of that with a LED bar graph
 

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13 Posts
I guess it dependons on your gauge setup. trying to figure something for my 01 zx9. Gotta have tach and speedo and my temp/time are digital. Havent taken the stock housing off but im guessing its a simple circuit board. If I can rearrange I like your sandwhich idea and I was also thinking of using the back of the head light housing. unfortunately for that I could only fit one gauge and the small screen for temp. I wonder what everyone else is doing...
 

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850 Posts
I'm going a little more retro on my current build so just chrome clocks for me. The next build i have in the pipeline will be something a little bit special though, really toying with the idea of molding them into the tank
 

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GURU
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8,827 Posts
You will run into a few issues doing this. First is sealing. Getting it weather proof. The way factory gauges typically work is they arent anything like ip67 or 68 but all the connectors and wires are sealed pretty well. The biggest thing is you dont want condensation to start forming on the inside of your gauges.

Second problem will be visibility. Especially if you plan to use a thicker lens from something that you can water jet or manually cut. The distortion and reflections may kill you.

I have made gauges in the past by gutting others and piecing back together with different internals. Its not the most elegant. What I would suggest you do is make a plate that you can drop your gauges into and fasten them from the back, then make a fiberglass back shell. You will need to fasten this somehow and then RTV it and all your wires to seal it.

I started to go the digital route but got really sidetracked with other things and havent completed it yet.

Here was one of my ideas. Stock gauge pod and the lcd tach from a jet ski.



The tach unit unfortunately didnt work. The lcd control was too messed up with how yamaha did it.

Here was my other idea.



small 8x1 lcd unit for speed and fuel. LED tach. and an arduino for the controls.



The housing design was rapid prototype dipped in acetone and painted so it was uv and water proof. Like i said i got sidetracked though.

Since you obviously have some CAD access you should consider the rapid protoype route. zoomrp, redeye and solidconcepts are a few of the companies i go through. Several of them offer very good materials. Depending on how you design it you could end up with a really cool part. Price however wont be cheap. I would guess $200 for the size you are looking at.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RP is not something I have explored but I typically go for the more classic routes of machining and fabrication.

I tend to do things on the cheap and considered using tin cups as gauge pods:


(something similar to this, being a good shape and actually stainless, not tin)
I still havent ruled it out...

It seems you have some experience with the LED bar graph setups. is the arduino the best solution? Yes its cheap for how much power and flexibility you get, but the associated components might push this a little beyond what i'm trying to spend. While I enjoy picking up new skills, I haven't ever used an arduino and the quicker the better for this project. The bike just got running and I want to add this functionality soon.

A few years back I was in a moto shop looking for something for another project and I saw a string of LEDs marketed as a tachometer. Conventional logic tells me that there should be a solution out there thats plug and play for any company to put effort into marketing a product like that (that is if my eyes or memory werent deceiving me).

As of late, I've resorted to scouring ebay looking for gauges that fit my specific criteria that I could either put on with little modification, or bust open the gauge and mount my CBR gauges inside of. I found a few that I like, but I might try to grab the whole cluster from a early 90's gsxr 750. They dont look half bad when taken out of their

I had a speedometer lying around that I've taken quite a liking to and I have no clue what its from. I'd like to get the matching tach. Any ideas what this is from?:





 

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GURU
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The arduino certainly isnt a solution for final implementation for just an led setup. You can see in the pic of components the circuit on the top right and the chip, cap and resistors on the bottom right are all thats needed for an LED tach. The chip and small components on the bottom right drive 10 leds with a voltage input from 0-1vdc. If you want to drive more than 10 it gets a little interesting. The top right circuit takes power/ground and a signal in which is in Hz from a coil. It converts that to a dc voltage which typically drives a needle on a tach. Instead i send that voltage to the second board which outputs to the LEDs.


The arduino is there for the LCD display and digital or analog inputs from a speed sensor as well as a fuel level sender. Since it was going to be there and has the room there is no reason not to use the Freq - volt converter circuit(top right) to drive the LEDs that way. The arduino is a great prototyping device. There are several cheap lcd and led tachs on the market out there and tons of websites with diagrams to build your own. There are lots of chips out there that handle most of the things associated with doing it, just picking resistors and laying out your boards.


If you decide to look at the arduino there are tons of open source projects online for things like LCD analog speedos using gps which are pretty cool. i wanted more of a custom setup, simple numerical output.




When i see that speedo it screams late 70s honda to me.

Is that an 83 gpz550 in your sig?
 

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"Detonation"
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1,034 Posts
Go digital with a F4I speedo dude, i know the F2 isnt digital but if you use a 900rr sprocket cover and speedo cable that comes off the 900 sprocket cover you can make the F2 digital :D
 

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Old, bold rider
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179 Posts
Stainless steel "poker cups" (drop into holes in a gaming table for drinks) come in two sizes: 70mm or 90mm diameter, both 60mm deep.
http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_004V001682449000P?vName=Fitness%20&%20Sports&cName=GameRoom&sName=Casino%20Gaming&sid=KDx20070926x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=004V001682449000P
The smaller ones are good for a tach and some warning lights while the larger ... the sky's the limit. They are a good quality of stainless, are very tough, and cut and TIG weld very nicely. So far I have used a dozen or so for instrument applications and they lend a finished look to any project they are part of -- and, of course, they can be powder coated or painted any color.

It's worth looking into.

Rob
 

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******* Dumbass
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5,796 Posts
Arduino makes a mini board that doesn't occupy a lot of space. Simply put, this won't be cheap. Unless you own the company and make this stuff all day, custom anything costs money. Nothing good is cheap. It's like we tell people who say the controls we design for automation cost too much and take too long to implement. Cheap, Fast, Functional. Choose any 2.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was going to go with bandit gauges, but those poker cups look awesome! I'll have to look into them more.

ShortyzKustomz, where did you get them for $4? Looking at the website shows them at around $8, which is fine, but cheaper is good too.

mikey, your definition of cheap seems to be a bit out of line with mine. I might have mentioned it earlier, but as a machine designer in the automation group of a small manufacturing company, a machine shop is at my fingertips, so the cost of custom fab is just my time (which i dont mind, this is why we are all here after all, isnt it?) and there is tons of scrap I can use. Electronic components are just something I cant make after work. Besides, the electronics are already there and the only reason I considered pursuing a bar graph tach was for the sake of flexibility of placement. When it comes down to it , I think i would prefer the traditional needles anyway

POKER CUPS, HERE I COME
 

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Token Short Guy
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321 Posts
I was going to go with bandit gauges, but those poker cups look awesome! I'll have to look into them more.

ShortyzKustomz, where did you get them for $4? Looking at the website shows them at around $8, which is fine, but cheaper is good too.


POKER CUPS, HERE I COME
I just googled it and I think it was off Amazon or some sight that listed a bunch of companies, I paid under 10 bucks shipped for 2 of them. I got them to use for cup holders in my console, And my brother used 2 of them in his arm rest...

 

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******* Dumbass
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5,796 Posts
I was going to go with bandit gauges, but those poker cups look awesome! I'll have to look into them more.

ShortyzKustomz, where did you get them for $4? Looking at the website shows them at around $8, which is fine, but cheaper is good too.

mikey, your definition of cheap seems to be a bit out of line with mine. I might have mentioned it earlier, but as a machine designer in the automation group of a small manufacturing company, a machine shop is at my fingertips, so the cost of custom fab is just my time (which i dont mind, this is why we are all here after all, isnt it?) and there is tons of scrap I can use. Electronic components are just something I cant make after work. Besides, the electronics are already there and the only reason I considered pursuing a bar graph tach was for the sake of flexibility of placement. When it comes down to it , I think i would prefer the traditional needles anyway

POKER CUPS, HERE I COME
Sorry. I was under the impression the price pf materials was the problem. Hell, having a machine shop and doing machine automation should have been a slam dunk. I used to do the same thing for an industrial cooking equipment manufacturer on the electronics side.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes that looks like another perfect solution for what I want. It seems though the more projects I want to do, the more I should start taking up fiberglassing. I consider myself a complete noob when it comes to the stuff even though I've spent weeks of my life creating molds, laying carbon fiber, setting up vacuum bags and pumps and hair dryers to help cure. It is some of the least fun I've ever had fabricating something, so thats probably why i dont feel like doing it.

That and I have no clue where to get the materials
 
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