Interfacing Arduino with rFactor

So, I’ve been fiddling around with an Arduino board for the last week or two. It’s a small microcontroller board that you can dump your own code onto and it’ll run it stand-alone as long as it has a 5V power source. It has about 20 digital and analog input/output pins, so the possibilities of what it can do are pretty much endless with the aid of various small electronic components – read temp sensors and control your central heating, be a complete weather station that transmits its data over the internet, control a robot using accelerometers and wireless comms, etc.

Driving an LCD display is dead easy, so I’d like to build a little onboard computer for the MX5 to display some convenience type data such as outside temp, mpg, speed, distance etc. Logging things like accelerometer readings to an SD card is also reasonably straightforward (and about 100x cheaper than a track day data logger).

I’ve also been playing with the rFactor API and written some code into a plugin to output RPM via the PC’s serial port. I’ve also popped a bit of code on the Arduino that receives this data and illuminates LEDs accordingly.

It might not seem terribly exciting, but it’s a proof of concept in terms of getting data out of rFactor and into the Arduino. Next phase is to build a small electronic dash display, so I can get rid of all the on screen info from my monitor for a more authentic sim experience.