Volvo C30 custom gauge and CAN bus reverse engineering

Since cars are basically CAN buses on wheels, it is not surprising that these buses have a lot of succulent information about car status zip. The key question is how to access this information in general in both the relevant CAN bus wiring and the used (proprietary) protocol decoding. Fortunately [Alex]The decoding of the Volvo VIDA protocol used with its Volvo C30 was relatively simple, enabling the creation of a custom gauge that displayed information such as boost pressure and coolant temperature.

Physical interfacing is accomplished through the vehicle’s OBD port, which provides convenient access to the vehicle’s two (high-speed and low-speed) CAN buses. The hardware of choice is an M2 UTH (Under the Hood) board with a SAM3X Cortex-M3-based MCU, designed for permanent automated installation. On [Alex]Its GitHub project page explains how the protocol works and what bytes to look for when copying a project.

Rounding off the project is a round LCD display of 4D system that rotates through the status update screen. As a bonus, the dashboard’s illumination level is also read in real-time, so the brightness of the display is adjusted to match this level. An integrated project all together with attractive possibilities for more sustainable integration of gauges right into the dashboard.

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