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Most newer cars that are equipped with computer-powered consoles tell you a whole lot of information on an LCD display about your car and environment. Such nuggets of info usually include temperature (interior/exterior), compass bearing, text display of various gauges, etc. I have a somewhat older
car that doesn't have such luxuries, but it is quite ridiculous to have to buy separate accessories that you either bolt or adhere to your dashboard somewhere. Worse, each electronic device is usually ugly and comes with a clock function -- I definitely don't need more of those to set.
Someone should design a universal console that includes some of these particular features for people like me. It should be a plastic-moulded encasement (probably only three basic colours necessary: black, grey, and tan/brown) with an extended forward-curved flap at the top that can be trimmed back to conform to the contours of your roof, or made flat if necessary. This device might include some of the following features: switchable map lights for driver and passenger, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an LCD readout listing interior/exterior temperature, current compass direction, possibly a clock (though those are annoying to me if I already have a radio), and anything else that might be useful to the driver. It could also have a slot for storing things like CDs, or insurance/registration papers, glasses... whatever. Hell, we could even include a basic radar detector.
My idea would obviously require knowledge of the electrical wiring of your car as well as how to remove interior coverings to accommodate for wiring. I have no problem doing this, and I'm sure many people would appreciate it, seeing as this one would involve much less work than others like it out there connecting to the engine, like those dash-mount gauge kits you can get for GM cars. ...and it shouldn't cost more than $100.
The thing that prompted me to come up with this idea was actually just the rear-view mirror. I live in an often hot desert, and I have the kind of mirror that is glued to the windshield and falls off every six months or so, no matter which approved adhesive I use, and I'm tired of replacing/regluing them. I've seen cars that have them mounted to the roof just above the windshield, and I was thinking of something that I could put there between my current mirror and the roof to lower it 2 inches to avoid collision with the sun visors.
Thoughts? Criticism? Additional features? Never been much for seafood... I think I'm hungry for some bread! :o)
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||"Thoughts? Criticism? Additional features?"
OFF TOPIC: Not really any input to the idea, but as a fellow desert dweller and former owner of a Ford Thunderbird with chronic mirror drop, I can tell you that JB Weld does a great job of holding a mirror on the windshield. I figured I'd cross the bridge of how to remove it if/when I got there. Hammering and grinding were not out of the question. I disliked that car so much that I happily gave it away.
||"Someone should design a universal console", so why could that someone not be you?
||Connect it to OBDII for easy wiring.
||Wow, I really appreciate the quick responses! [half], thanks for the suggestion; that's quite creepy, as I actually *do* have a 1993 Ford Thunderbird, the car in question. [Zanzibar], another great idea, thanks! Wouldn't hurt to combine the two then...
||Hey, here's another idea for the HalfBakery crowd... how about actually annotating WHY something is such a bad idea that it gets fishboned three times without a mention? Geez, this page here got one of those within the first minute of being posted! I'm thankful for the positive feedback, however.