Fuel Gauge Fixed - It's Now Linear - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Fuel Gauge Fixed - It's Now Linear

I never liked that fact that the fuel gauge was so non-linear. To my way of thinking, a measuring device should be reasonably accurate. So, I decided to see if I could make it better.

Considerations:
1. My tank (2011 DL650A) holds a little over 5 1/2 gallons.
2. There are five solid bars on the fuel gauge.
3. Each bar should represent one gallon. As each successive gallon is used, the associated bar turns off.
4. After the fifth gallon is used the bottom bar is no longer solid, but starts flashing indicating reserve.

I decided the project would best be done with a micro-controller. I designed a circuit built around the PIC16F688 and wrote a program to operate it. Essentially, the micro-controller reads the resistance from the sending unit and determines which bars on the gauge to turn on/off.

The micro-controller has the ability to be reprogrammed while it is still installed in the circuit. That enables me to modify the program as necessary and reprogram the micro-controller while it is still on the bike. This was very convenient during development.

Installation:
Completely plug & play. The fuel tank connector is unplugged and the circuit board is plugged into the two connectors.

Results:
The modification works very well, given the constraints of the tank sender. These are twofold. First, the sending unit doesn't start moving until a little over one gallon is used. Secondly, the sender stops moving before the fifth gallon is completely used. This causes the first bar to stay on longer and the last bar to start flashing sooner that I would have liked. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable. Even given those two minor issues, the project was an overwhelming success.

Ron :mrgreen:
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post #2 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 01:33 PM
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OK, so are you selling these?

'07 WEE-HAAAA! Blue, loaded & sweet

I'll know where I'm supposed to be when I get there.

Last edited by kick; 10-31-2011 at 01:36 PM.
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post #3 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kick View Post
OK, so are you selling these or what?
I too would be interested... if they could be nicely packaged and reliable (meaning... long sevice life)

2015 DL650AL5 in Blue
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post #4 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 01:45 PM
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Did you get a PCB made or did you just use a perf board? Either way you should open source it! This would be an awesome project to make myself.

I know basic building of micro controllers but not enough to do something like what you did with developing it.

2009 DL650 Silver
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post #5 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 01:58 PM
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Garage
corrected fuel gauge

I'm up for buying one if it is plug and go.
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post #6 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 03:43 PM
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Me, me, me! I'd like one of those.
I don't need it (use the trip meter), but I would like it.

1985 Honda CB450SC (AUG04 - SEP09)
2004 Honda CN250 Helix (NOV09 - )
2006 Suzuki DL650 (MAR07 - APR15)
2014 BMW R1200GSW (APR14 - )
Lordsmoke, still refusing to obey the voices!
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post #7 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSmoke View Post
I don't need it (use the trip meter), but I would like it.
Yeah, but some tanks take me 300 miles and some tanks take me half of that. :headband:

I'd buy a plug and play kit.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

This message and images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. http://creativecommons.org
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post #8 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcgee View Post
Yeah, but some tanks take me 300 miles and some tanks take me half of that. :headband:

I'd buy a plug and play kit.
Yeah, I guess I do use the gauge - 250 miles or when something starts flashing, whichever comes first. Never even close to 300. So, even more reason to want a gauge corrector.

1985 Honda CB450SC (AUG04 - SEP09)
2004 Honda CN250 Helix (NOV09 - )
2006 Suzuki DL650 (MAR07 - APR15)
2014 BMW R1200GSW (APR14 - )
Lordsmoke, still refusing to obey the voices!
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post #9 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riddler View Post
Did you get a PCB made or did you just use a perf board? Either way you should open source it! This would be an awesome project to make myself.

I know basic building of micro controllers but not enough to do something like what you did with developing it.
For these kinds of things I hand draw the circuits on the copper clad boards then etch them. I wasn't trying to conserve a lot of space on this board and it came out to be about 2 1/2" x 4". A "real" printed circuit board would probably be about half that size.

Ron
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post #10 of 58 Old 10-31-2011, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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For those that asked about selling...

The unit is plug and play. My (prototype) circuit board is sealed in heat shrink and cable tied to the relays in the cavity behind the tank. The tank connector is disconnected from the main harness connector and the two cables from the circuit board plug in to each of those connectors.

For production purposes, my concern would be about repeatability between tank sending units. If they differ much then accuracies would vary and plug and play would go out the window. Each board would have to be programmed specifically for each bike in that case. But, who knows. The senders may all be consistent. If so, then production could be feasible.

Ron
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