Because Simhub makes it very easy to DIY a dashboard for sim racers, many people ask about tech support for DIY projects with VoCore screens. This tutorial will help you choose the parts.
To complete a dashboard, the easiest way is to use existing solutions. The most common one is to use Arduino to control the LEDs, with open-source code that can be found at SimHub; use VoCore as the dashboard display; and use a USB hub to connect everything together.
It seems pretty simple, but there are a few things to consider:
- USB cable. This is very important because the VoCore screen operates at a maximum USB speed of 480MHz. This high speed requires cables designed for high-speed data transfer rather than just charging, or it will not work. Additionally, when DIYers create their own PCBs, they need to carefully match the trace impedance to 90 ohms for the two USB data cables and keep them as short as possible. Failing to do so may cause the VoCore screen to work unstably, sometimes misaligning or frequently disconnecting from the PC.
- USB hub. This is another important part, and it is recommended to use MTT (Multiple Transaction Translators). This is because Arduino is a slow device that works at 12MHz, while the VoCore screen operates at 480MHz. Normally, if you only use one VoCore screen and one Arduino, STT (Single Transaction Translators) should work as well, but MTT will provide better performance.
- Power supply. The VoCore screen typically consumes around 300mA of current, while Arduino requires up to 100mA (or more if you use additional LEDs), and the USB hub uses around 50mA. Make sure your solution can provide enough power for all components. A standard USB port outputs around 500mA, which is sufficient for most uses. However, if you have more LEDs (each consuming about 20mA), the total power consumption may exceed 500mA, causing instability in the entire solution. In such situations, it’s better to use a USB 3.0 port, which can output 1000mA.
That’s all for now. If there’s anything else to consider, I will update this blog. Have fun with your DIY dash! 🙂