The AEM Electronics CD-5 Digital Dash Display is more than just a pretty digital dash for a race car. At MotoIQ we have been using one for all sorts of tasks beyond just serving as a digital race dash. We’ve been using a CD-5LG, which has built in data logging and GPS antenna systems. With the addition of AEM’s OBD2 harness and 12V power adapter we have a powerful data acquisition tool that can moved around to different cars quickly and with zero need to do any wiring. After simply plugging in a few connectors we can collect and log tons of valuable data on almost any vehicle. So we’re going to take you through the parts that make up our portable data logging set-up while also going over some very useful options AEM Electronics provides.
The CD-5 sits in a lightweight, tough thermoplastic, water-resistant, carbon fiber reinforced case with a large 5″ full-color screen with 800×480 resolution. A major thing is that the screen is bright enough to be easily readable in full sunlight with an anti-glare filter to keep the display sharp. The CD-5 has 7 LED’s on the front face that can be programmed for RPM, shift light and warnings – even the brightness is programmable. Two large easy to press, even with gloves on, buttons are used to scroll through display pages and resetting the memory. The display itself is quite flexible with many different pre-programmed display options, but you have the ability to customize the display as well by using AEM’s free Dash Design software. Alarms and warnings can be set on any and all monitored channels for safety.
We use the CD-5LG P/N 30-5603 which is the CD-5 with data logging and internal GPS. The rear of the CD-5 display enclosure has the input and output plugs for the system. You can see the 4 studs that are used if you want to permanently mount the CD-5 in a dash. To make this easier, AEM also has universal flush mount panels that have the right cutouts in them so all you have to do is cut the outside shape to mount your CD-5 anywhere.
The round black plug is for the USB Comms port and the gold connector is for the GPS antenna. The comm port is used to connect the CD-5 to a laptop in order to upload your own custom dash layout or to download the stored data. Plugging in with your laptop is totally easy as you would expect.
When installing the CD-5 permanently into a vehicle the USB can communicate with your laptop. A lot of people leave the USB jumper plugged to the dash full time so the plug can be kept in a handy easily accessible place.
The CD-5 can receive data from two independent CANBUS inputs and it does not need special modules to read any AEMnet device or other 3rd party devices. AEM has validated over 250 other devices including stand-alone ECU’s so far as well as 2008 and up OEM ECU’s through the OBDII port. The CD-5 can monitor and log up to 40 channels from the cars ECU holding up to 200MB of data. Through the CANBUS the CD-5 can keep track of up to 800 channels and sample at a rate as high as 1000hz!
The CD-5 can be added to any vehicle CANBUS equipped or not with the addition of AEM’s 22 channel CAN sensor module PN 30-2212 which can convert analog frequency and digital channels to CANBUS signals which the CD-5 can receive. The module can also serve as a CAN expansion module to add additional data channels, 4×0-5 volt, fuel level, six digital inputs, and a tach/pulse rpm input
Perhaps the most useful AEM accessory for our portable CD-5 unit has been the Ram Mounts Mounting System. The Ram Mount can attach to a suction cup or a roll cage/bar which gives you tremendous flexibility in securely mounting the CD-5 temporarily. Since we use our CD-5 and move it from car to car all the time, this comes in very handy.