Monday, November 24, 2014

New Toys

Picked up a couple of new "toys" for the Chinook:

The first is a rear view camera that 
boasts a 130° viewing angle, a Sharp CCD High Definition lens and 9 infra-red night vision lights which enable you to see in total darkness. 

The second is a really cool piece of OBD II compliant technology that can display more than seventy individual gauges, sound alarms, read trouble codes, and help improve fuel efficiency by 
continually displaying real-time MPG, thereby helping you adjust driving habits for maximum savings.  


  1. The camera is on my list, and although I have a Scangauge II that I really like... well, yours looks even cooler :D I would hate to run without such a gauge anymore, now that I have had one for a couple of years.

    Would you mind mentioning the brand/models of your items? I'd like to look them up. (And source if you were happy with the vendors.)

    A fellow Chinooker

    1. Oops, never mind! I see you did have that information there - I missed it because my browser doesn't load flash things unless I click on them (they are often ads) and I thought the one in your post was an ad (but it was the Ultra Gauge video).

    2. One note, just in case you are interested. I think the Ultra Gauge looks very nice, aesthetically, compared to the Scan Gauge, and being able to see more than four things at a time would be a plus. Also, I have an issue where to me, when the Scangauge is dimmed, it appears to flicker (apparently only certain people can "see" this); so I leave it on "bright" all the time, but would prefer to be able to dim it at night. So Ultra Gauge might be nice for that (I presume it would dim better).

      However, in the back of my mind I was pretty sure I had dismissed "other gauges" for some good reason before buying the functional but admittedly slightly crude looking Scangauge II. I just now went and re-read and "remembered" why I wanted the Scangauge II. And that is that my top priority was being able to read transmission fluid temperature (TFT). Scangauge II does do TFT. Ultra Gauge does not.

      The reason for this, as I understand it, is that "most" of these gauges just read the standard OBD II codes, and TFT is not one of those. Scangauge have come up with some custom codes (they call them X-Gauge) so that you can read additional things (such as TFT). These are free and just require a five minute one-time entry of a few numbers. I really like being able to watch my TFT.

      Now, slight caveat, I see that Ultra Gauge has an experimental new model (MX 1.3), that they say if you are an advanced user, work with support, etc. you might be able to have it read TFT. But they make it sound a bit "try at your own risk at this point and don't say we didn't warn you if it doesn't work." OTOH, they say they will pre-program it for you, and our Ford TFT is supposedly on the list. I would guess if one orders that that it should be more "guaranteed" to work, but at this point I don't know for sure.

      So for now I'm going to stick with Scangauge II (more money for other goodies :D), but if/when Ultra Gauge has a "normal user" gauge that reads TFT, I will definitely consider replacing the Scangauge II, for the better aesthetics, more display spaces, and (presumably) better dimming display. I would guess this would be coming soon.

    3. Thanks for the questions and comments.

      The camera system is this one:

      The gauge is this one:

      I originally planned on getting a ScanGauge II, but figured for less than half the price the UltraGauge would do the job, and FWIW it has a prettier display. It'll be interesting to see how the UG holds up under real world conditions. There is an interesting comparison of the two at