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Discussion Starter #1
Quick summary - Engineer a fuel gauge segment to go out at an even 4 gallons to make fuel consumption estimation easier.

Here is the problem - When I am on a long trip (like to ALASKA!) sometimes I go fast (interstate 75-80 mph) and sometimes not so much (side roads - 60-65 mph). The different in consumption can be significant (38 mpg vs 55 mpg).

I try to minimize my gas stops by extending my range IF I know there is a good chance I can get gas soon. After 63 fillups in 29 days I learned that when the first little icon starts blinking I have 1.2 gallons remaining. But in Alaska that might not be enough. But I can't estimate my distance to go until that segment starts blinking. And then it isn't easy to know what my rate has been.

So how about engineering the fourth (I think) bar to go off at 4 gallons used. In my 2005 Vstrom that would give me 1.8 gal remaining (out of 5.8). But on ANY bike you will know your total gallons, so if we knew a segment was engineered to go off at a round number like 4 gallons that makes it really easy to estimate your average consumption for the tank.

In other words, if you have gone 216 miles and you know you have been burning 54 mpg and if you have 1.8 gal left you should be able to go about 100 miles if you had to (assuming your riding conditions remain constant). Perfect!

With just a little effort on the part of the engineers at the factory they could adjust the capacitive sensor (or whatever) to go out at a meaningful level, instead of just whenever. This would be a small but very important improvement for riders out in the real world.
 

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Is the USA the only country left in the world still using gallons (and not full size ones at that)?

Wait. I just checked. There are a few of you still left but not many.

The rest of the world might prefer it at a certain no. of litres.

I note the last bar flickers when the fuel gets to 4.5 litres (1 Imperial Gallon).

Worldwide usage of gallons

As of 2005 the US liquid gallon continued to be used as a unit of measure for fuel in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and the United States.[2]

The imperial gallon is used colloquially (and in advertising) in Canada, and used in the United Kingdom for fuel economy figures (i.e. miles per gallon)—elsewhere in Europe, the effective fuel consumption is advertised in litres per 100 km. The Imperial gallon also continues to be used as a unit of measure for fuel[2] in Antigua and Barbuda,[5] Belize,[6][7] Burma (Myanmar),[8][9][10] Cayman Islands, Grenada,[11][12] Guyana and Sierra Leone. The United Arab Emirates switched from imperial gallons to litres on 1 January 2010.
 

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You sure take every opportunity to complain about the US units of measure being used by those of us that live here in the US. Are ya trying for a metric unit of measure only rule?
 

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You're right, and they wouldn't even have to mess with the sensor. All that's required is to program the ecm to turn the fuel gauge bars off at the resistances for each gallon used.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When all of those countries COMBINED add up to a fraction of what the US uses it might be feasible to consider changing the system of measurement in the US.



Put another way - US drivers DRIVE a lot more than everyone else in the world. It's a big country!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You're right, and they wouldn't even have to mess with the sensor. All that's required is to program the ecm to turn the fuel gauge bars off at the resistances for each gallon used.
And if the calculations are done in the ecm there could be a programmable switch (certain button combination?) to change from gallons to liters.

In other words, it is even easier than I thought. Rather than engineer the fuel pickup just do the conversion digitally and make everyone happy. PLUS they could do it for each gallon/liter used! I really like that!
 

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a solution?

use ONE of your two tripmeters for monitoring rough fuel usage and range, as it were

jury rig the resistance going to the fuel gage (or whatever interface feeds it) to create an expanded resolution (low-end) of fuel remaining on the digital display (U will lose the high end sensing range)

not sure if it can be done, and ain't gonna try it 'cause I don't need it
 

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It's interesting that this topic has come up. I've been fooling around with this lately.

Since my tank holds a tad over 5.5 gallons and there are 5 solid bars on the display, it seemed to my simple brain that each bar should represent one gallon. When the fifth gallon is used, the bottom bar should flash indicating reserve (a little over 1/2 gallon in my case).

I made a gas gauge gizmo that does just that. It's a micro-controller driven circuit that accomplishes the deed. It plugs in between the tank and harness connector.

I've had the prototype on the bike for several weeks now. I am in the process of fine tuning the inputs from the sender. That's done by just reprogramming the micro-controller with new values. I can do that with the circuit board either on or off the bike.

Ron :mrgreen:
 

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And if the calculations are done in the ecm there could be a programmable switch (certain button combination?) to change from gallons to liters.

In other words, it is even easier than I thought. Rather than engineer the fuel pickup just do the conversion digitally and make everyone happy. PLUS they could do it for each gallon/liter used! I really like that!
After stating what I did, I'm unable to determine from the schematic if the fuel indicator is getting its signal from the ECM, or straight from the sender/sensor. Hmmm.

Anyone know the answer?
 

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When all of those countries COMBINED add up to a fraction of what the US uses it might be feasible to consider changing the system of measurement in the US.

Put another way - US drivers DRIVE a lot more than everyone else in the world. It's a big country!
It's not the usage that should determine it nor should distance travelled.

BTW, Australia is nearly as big as the contiguous states of the USA.
 

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You sure take every opportunity to complain about the US units of measure being used by those of us that live here in the US. Are ya trying for a metric unit of measure only rule?
I don't actually. I do try to point out this is an international forum and many of us use measures different to those used in the USA so don't be narrow in your thinking.

The US did have a metric board and had passed the Metric Conversion Act in the Seventies-Eighties - but it all died. The US is one very few countries still using non-metric measures. Wikipedia indicates there only three countries left in world still doing so. The Canadians and British are confused.

If you look around the USA, you'll find metric measures everywhere. We went metric gradually over the period 1970-1988. Most people wouldn't even consider Imperial (conventional) units these days. One exception seems to be that most of us still use PSI and not kPa for tyre pressures (Europe seems to use Bar). Hee, service stations air gauges indicate PSI and kPA only. I grew up with and did my trade with Imperial and wouldn't consider going back to it. Metric is so much easier.

You'd be surprised how quickly one goes to thinking in only metric measures.
 

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I don't actually. I do try to point out this is an international forum and many of us use measures different to those used in the USA so don't be narrow in your thinking.
I am not being narrow in my thinking. I am thinking in the units of measure that work for me. If I am reading in the Aussie part of the forum and I see the units of measure they are discussing are metric and I want to know more I do the math. I sure don't point out to them that the majority of the contributing posters on this board are US citizens (which may or may not be true but I am sure you get the point) therefore it is rude of them to use their units of measure. I do the math and I am on my way.
 

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I am not being narrow in my thinking. I am thinking in the units of measure that work for me. If I am reading in the Aussie part of the forum and I see the units of measure they are discussing are metric and I want to know more I do the math.
Ahh, but this thread (and others to which I've added metric figures) are not necessarily US-specific areas of the forum.

We could discuss this over a beer in Spokane in two weeks time. :yesnod:
 

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Ahh, but this thread (and others to which I've added metric figures) are not necessarily US-specific areas of the forum.

We could discuss this over a beer in Spokane in two weeks time. :yesnod:
Sweet.....that would be great fun. I will even buy I love to host fellow troopers.:thumbup: If you would like I will even pm you my contact information. I am out of town until midday Saturday the 9th but would love to meet you.
 

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Sweet.....that would be great fun. I will even buy I love to host fellow troopers.:thumbup: If you would like I will even pm you my contact information. I am out of town until midday Saturday the 9th but would love to meet you.

Excellent. Will PM info.
 

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Since the bike knows the distance travelled and the amount of fuel used and the amount of fuel remaining, it's just a matter of programming to readout average fuel consumption and calculated range remaining. All the rider would need to do is push a button when the tank was filled up. I have a "computer" in my car that does exactly that.
 

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The fly in the ointment is that the bike doesn't really know with any accuracy how much fuel has been used or is left. That information comes from the fuel tank sender - and therein lies the problem. The sender provides only a rough approximation of available fuel, and it does that in a very non-linear fashion.

Ron :mrgreen:
 
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