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outside air temperature gauge/thermometer

Old 02-16-2011, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Default outside air temperature gauge/thermometer

I have a 2000 Mazda MPV. I want to install an outside air temperature gauge. I want:
1. To see it at all times when driving, even at night
2. No cheapo velcro junk that you have to push a button to see the numbers
3. Hook it to a 12 V source
4. Bright red digital/LED.
5. Not spend a fortune on OEM or get one of those expensive rear view mirrors with the compass.
Since the cal is 11 years old, I have to confidence to be creative in mods.
Here is my plan. For power I will get a bus fuse and use my cig lighter. In other words, take the cig lighter fuse out, put it on a fuse wire, plug it back in. Of course the battery will be disconnected. I will splice it to the temp guage and run the sensor somewhere outside. I searched the internet and found only three acceptable ones. One from Teltek, Cyberdyne and Sure electronics. The Teltek is the best, but also most expensive (98$ with shipping).. I will use this for my newer vehicle, as It has a lifetime warranty and I want to keep both for 15 years or more. The Cyberdyne is 85 with shipping if you have to purchase the sensor separately, so that is the combines price. Quality may be an issue as Cyberdyne gauges have had weak reviews, and last but not least.. the Sure electronics version. The Sure one is only 12$ with shipping from Ebay. It is straight from Hong Kong. It takes a month or more to get it. I guess the use a canoe or dolphins to ship it Anyway I will use the Sure one because a guy on the Honda forum had luck with it and if it fails, it is not a big loss. The customer support via e-mail is also very responsive and friendly. They speak English. My only issue with it, besides the fact is is made in China is the outside sensor is about a third the length it should be, so finding a place to put it outside will be a challenge, as you can't just put three together, affects accuracy. Maybe drill a hole and put it under the wind shield? The best place is in front, but no joy with a 3' sensor. Please let me know your thoughts.
Please no sarcasm, like "just stick your hand outside" or why do you need that?. I live in New England and need to know when it is about to get icy, thats why. Also, I am not interested in the cheap Pep Boys, auto zone, Bell, Wayfinder, Velcro, suction cup options. None of them work for me because you either have to push a botton to see them a night or they are not that accurate..been there done that. My plan is mount it in the empty bin left over from the after market stereo. (the OEM was huge and only lasted 5 years). Use the cig lighter fuse, and drill or find a hole to run the sensor under the windshield wipers or something. If anybody has done something similar, let me know and post pics, as I will do the same. BTW, the MPV is running great, just the rattly sliding doors and weak handles that snap like pencils and junk OEM 6 CD player drive me nuts..but for an 11 year old minivan, with not mechanical issues, I can't complain.
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