Retro Gauge

The Retro Gauge is an alternative to traditional aftermarket gauges. When the OpenXC team looked at what hobbyists and car enthusiasts were doing with their cars, we realized that aftermarket gauges were quite popular. However, these gauges were expensive and required the installation of additional sensors, which is both time consuming and sometimes very technical. Thus, we decided to design a mechanical vehicle gauge that had the same aesthetic appeal and form factor as existing gauges so that it would fit in existing gauge mounts.

With the OpenXC Retro Gauge, you can display a variety of signals that are available to you using the OpenXC Android Library. Whether you want to display vehicle speed, engine torque, steering wheel angle, or your MPG, it is all available by changing the settings in an Android app.

Another goal of the project is to make the gauge as accessible to hobbyists as possible. For this reason, we decided to use an Arduino Mini Pro and commonly available components for the circuit board. The housing is also designed to be printed on hobbyist printers such as the Makerbot Replicator 2.

The core design of the Retro Gauge is based on open source hardware. Without it, this project could not be created in a 6 week design cycle and would not be accessible to different levels of automotive enthusiasts.

Check out the Retro Gauge project page for more details.

Design Goals

The Retro Gauge is designed from the ground up to be an open source hardware product.

  • The mechanical housing is designed with specific wall thicknesses and curves to be built on a 3D printer.
  • The PCB is designed around an Arduino, the open source electronics prototyping platform
  • The electrical components are based off open source libraries and open source hardware tutorials
  • The tools necessary to build a Retro Gauge are available to most hobbyists and can be built at any TechShop