Help finding Correct Hardware to run RD (Dropbear + Ultrawide screen)

Hello, first time posting and I just want to start by saying, reading through the forums so far, this seems like an awesome community full of very helpful people & active Devs, which is great to see!

I am working on an engine swapped 1993 Ford Festiva, utilizing a Speeduino Dropbear ECU.

I already got quite far designing my dash in the Windows RD app, and I’m pretty confident in my ability on the design side, but I could use some pointers for the hardware.

Being a non-OBD car with a full custom harness, I assume Serial would be my best bet for communication? I see a lot of people have had some growing pain with the Dropbear compared to older Speeduino hardware, anyone here have any good experience to share?

Most importantly, I would like some help determining what hardware would be most suited to actually running RealDash in the car.

Here is a basic image of what I’m looking at
-The Dropbear ECU
-Some Can/Serial input device to capture things like turn signals
-I have a 2400x900 Screen that I have based my dash design around

What I am missing is the device to actually run RD. I need something that can take inputs from the ECU and whatever device can translate the 12v signals to Serial, then output a 2400x900 signal over HDMI or USB-C (so not just an android tablet)

With this in mind, any pointers for a good device for less than $230?

My current thinking is:
-A Micro Win10 PC that I could keep in a sleep state for quick boots (but leaves me open to windows overhead / updates causing issues)
-An Android board like the Vim3 or something similar (my concern there is the ability to run such an ultrawide ratio - does it support that?)
-Something else entirely, like a Pi5 running a Linux build of some kind?

Sorry if these questions are very inexperienced, I just see so many possibilities with RD and I am a little lost with how the Dropbear integration is going to work (especially as I don’t have the car running yet)

Thanks all!

To my opinion, one of the easiest ways to get started is to use:

  • USB-CAN adapter which takes power from the USB port. Connect CAN H and CAN L wires to your ECU and USB to to the display computer.
  • Raspberry Pi 4/5 (or some other SBC computer) with Linux or Android.
  • Alternate for USB-CAN could be PiCAN hat for Raspi. Its handy as it accepts 12V input and also feeds power to the Raspi. That is what we use on DEATHFISH 2 passenger display.

You are right that many Android devices are a bit finicky with odd screen resolutions. Many of them just uses 1080p internally and stretch that to whatever screen you have, which looks terrible. In that sense, Windows or Linux may be a better choice for non-common screen resolutions.

Awesome, thank you very much for the quick reply! I’m sure I’ll be back soon with more questions but that gives me a great start for getting the initial hardware ordered for some testing.

I’ve seen you mention YouTube a few times in past threads about future plans, is that up and running or still in the works? I’d love to watch the progress of the “offcial” projects, would be a great learning tool.

Not really. We did some test videos, which were somewhat ok. But reality sinked in pretty quickly that editing, publishing, communications etc related to those videos would require a new employee as it takes a lot of time. We just do not have resources for that right now.