A couple of years ago, reading posts by some of our members here on the CAC, we learned of a device called "DashLogic". It’s a little module which plugs into a C6's diagnostic link connector (DLC). When the engine is running, it displays data which comes over the DLC, such as knock retard, Oxygen Sensor output, Fuel Trim data, Oil pressure and temperature, Mass Air Flow, torque delivered, lateral acceleration, yaw rate and a host of other data on either the car’s Head-Up Display (HUD) or on the Driver Information Center (DIC) below the the gauges.
In 2015, AutoMeter Products purchased DashLogic's manufacturer, Palmer Performance Engineering, and re-branded the product as the AutoMeter "DashControl Display Controller". At the 2015 SEMA Show, after Kris Carlson, AutoMeter's Manger of Motorsports Sales and Marketing, gave us a demonstration of DashControl, we were intrigued. Recently, we acquired an AutoMeter DashControl for a C6 (PN DL1010U) and, after some testing, came away impressed.
To use it the first time, make sure the switch on the end of it is set to the “1” position. Plug it into the DLC. Start the engine and watch the HUD. After a few seconds, it will display a “splash screen” then you’ll see the default engine controls parameter identification (PID) selection for “Page One”. To page through the DashControl's eight different HUD displays, push the door lock button. But, wait–there's more. This nifty little device displays another eight pages, each with two PIDS, of data you can put on the DIC Display. There are also three different profiles selectable with a switch on the DashControl, each with eight pages on both the HUD and the DIC for a total of 48 PIDs you can look at with a single DashControl configuration.
Rather than use the default configuration, most users will reprogram the DashControl such that each page of the three profiles have the PIDs they prefer. To do that, first, download the DashControl application from the AutoMeter web site. Then, visit the Palmer Performance site to get the "DashLogic Configuration Guide" and, also, check if there is a firmware update. The reason there are two sites is that this product was devellped by Palmer Performance Engineering as "DashLogic" and then was, later, sold to AutoMeter which rebranded it "DashControl." Both have web sites each of which has some of the downloads.
To configure the DashControl, connect it to a Windows PC with the USB cable which comes with the device. Switch its selector switch to the "configure" position. Open the DashLogic application and follow the instructions to configure your Dash Control. Most PIDs available from a C6's DLC can be displayed by the HUD or DIC when the Dash Control is configured properly. There are, also, some PIDs listed by the DashLogic application for which no data is available from the vehicle, such as the commanded damping level from MagnaRide's four dampers or the voltage output from its four suspension position sensors. We could get the DashControl to display those four PIDs but the display showed zero all the time.
DashControl, also, has a "minimal in-vehicle configuration menu", but we find configuring the device with a laptop is easier.
One of our first DashControl configurations for the HUD was knock retard and throttle position on the first line and commanded cooling fan percentage and engine coolant temperature on the second line. The KR data is a "comfort zone" thing with us. We know that, on 91-oct pump gas, because GM calibrates spark tables for 93, on all but the coolest days, we going to see some KR at WOT. What we get nervous about is if we see a lot of it. At that point, we look at outside air temp and coolant temp and think about not beating on the car so hard. During our evaluation of a DashControl, we used the second pair of PIDs in evaluating cooling fan strategy of the CAC's Z06 project car and decided, on the basis of what the DashControl showed us, to recalibrate the fan strategy.
Next we programmed it to read lateral acceleration, yaw rate and steering wheel sensor data. It was interesting to go down the road and see a constant -2.5 to -2.8-deg from the steering sensor. Guess we need to center the steering.
A cool feature of the AutoMeter Dash Control is you can set "alarms" which use can display a warning on the HUD or the DIC or it can use the car's chime to alert you of an important occurrence with a PID which you set. For example, we have set an alarm to sound if oil pressure goes below 20-psi. You can use this alarm feature as a shift warning or any number of other purposes. There are eight different alarms you can set.
Yet another function of the Dash Control which many will like is that it offers the driver a wider range of control over the exhaust bypass valves of ZR-1s, Z06es and other Corvettes with dual-mode exhaust systems (RPO NPP). You control the exhaust valves by setting the sideview mirror selector switch to "left" to lock the valves open, center to have the normal automatic control and "right" to lock them closed.
The DashControl can even display data from two analog sources. An example of an analog source would be: output from a wideband oxygen sensor used for measuring wide-open-throttle air:fuel ratio. Doing that is a little more difficult in that you have to program the DashControl to convert the analog voltage signal into digital info it can display, but if you know enough about engine control computers to use a wideband to calibrate your ECM, using instructions you can download from Palmer Performance's web site, you can easily program the device to read a AFR at WOT.
The DashControl's only weakness is technical support which is average at best. More then a year after acquiring Palmer Performance, Auto Meter has yet to rebrand all versions of this product "DashControl" nor is all the software available from AutoMeter's web site. Only Palmer Performance's web site has all the DashControl software and documentation and, on that site, it's all still branded "DashLogic". To get all software, firmwar updates and documentation, users must use both web sites. Additionally, support for this product by AutoMeter is marginal. In our test, AutoMeter's "Live Chat" feature did not respond. Telephone support did not know enough about the product to answer questions about why a car with MR displays no MR data. Emailing Palmer Performance got short, seemingly hurried responses like telling us that if the vehicle does not have MagnaRide, the DashControl will not display suspension data. Well...duh! Only one problem: our test vehicle is a Z06/Z07 with MR–so why doesn't the device display data? We have yet to get an answer on that. These situations might be confusing or frustrating for users of the product. Hopefully AutoMeter will eventually get the branding, software sources and support resources straightened out.
We think the DashControl is a good choice for C6 owner's who want to know more about how their vehicle is operating than what GM provides with the Driver Information Center buttons. The DashControl's vast amount of available information, its alarms and that it gives access to the exhaust bypass valves make it a very useful device. The only issue preventing us from giving it even more love is its not-so-good support.
DashControl Display Controllers are available for 2005-up Corvettes. For more information, see either the DashControl page on the AutoMeter web site. DashControls can be purchased direct from AutoMeter or from Summit Racing Equipment.