So, a recent Mighty Car Mods video made me aware that these vent gauges exist:
Unfortunately, the company that makes them doesn’t make them for my car - A Mitsubishi ASX. Having access to a laser cutter, cardboard, and inkscape, I decided to make my own. Version 1.0 (this one) is a simple voltmeter (which my car does not have as standard) - version 2.0 will be slightly more interesting - I’m planning on using an OLED or LCD touchscreen, combined with an OBDII > arduino adapter, so I can pull interesting values out of the ECU.
First, I removed the vent from the car, and took it to pieces:
Then, I made a mockup in cardboard:
I then scanned the cardboard shape and used it as the basis of a vector image:
A few different iterations on the laser to get final dimensions right:
And we’re ready to cut with a hole to mount a gauge. I used a 8-30v round gauge from Altronics, mostly because it was a) on my way to the space and b) in stock. I also laser cut a couple of spacers to get the required space behind the plate, as it would have interfered with the vent mechanism.
Finally, I pulled some wiring down to the existing ignition and ground source, located in the fusebox. I’m using Narva add-a-circuit blade type adapters for this.
All in all, a very simple mod, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I have a fair amount of load on the electrical system of the car (1000W sound system, GPS tracker, dashcam, chromecast…) so I wanted to keep an eye on the wellbeing of the charging system and battery.