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Making Customized Dashboards

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  • Hi BalooDK,
    Your dashboard is dream. Shame for Garmin that they do not employe people like you. Wold you, please, be so kind and email me dash file.
    Thanks in advance!

    vjeko57@hotmail.com
  • Thank you for your kind words ;)
    There is a link for downloads in this post
    Hope they work for you
  • I am an old biker with Zumo 350 (480x272 dashboard) and my old eyes simply can't read small characters while I am riding. I would love to download a file with larger fonts. The default dashboard with 4 data fields is what I use now. The little text labels saying speed, direction, etc could simply be deleted to make room for larger font.

    Anybody ??

    If I have to hack an existing dashboard file - is there an easy way to just specify a Larger Font ?? and leave everything else the same ??

  • Boyd said:

    I finally figured out how to use different fonts in the data fields. This layout has more room for the data and also provides 10 more pixels of map in landscape mode and 20 more pixels in portrait. :)

    ? How ?
    Looks like you made Data Field Fonts smaller - I want mine BIGGER.
    How did you change Font size ?

  • Boyd 1953 Points
    edited November 2014
    Fonts are covered in part 2 of the tutorial. But since this is a "hack", you can't simply go in and change a font without making other adjustments, so you would have to understand the concepts in the whole tutorial. I only looked at 800x480 dashboards, no idea how the fonts might differ on the 480x272 models.

    I'm not sure whether you can accomplish what you want though. My impression was that the stock fonts are already pretty big. Sorry, but my dashboard hacking days are over…. maybe someone else can help?

    http://www.gpsreview.net/creating-custom-dashboards-for-your-nuvi-page-2/
    ________________________

    fonts are part of the Nuvi firmware and therefore somewhat of a mystery. By examining the stock dashboards, I have found the following options. If you look at the names of these fonts, you might be able to make some educated guesses about other options.

    FONT_SIZE_C2
    FONT_SIZE_D
    FONT_SIZE_F2
    FONT_SIZE_DATA_TITLE
    FONT_SIZE_MAP_DATA_ATTRIBUTE
    FONT_SIZE_MAP_LIMIT_TEXT

    You can try substituting some of these other names into the DashboardStyle code and observe what happens. I’ve used FONT_SIZE_DATA_TITLE for the titles in all of my dashboards because it appears to be the smallest. And I have used FONT_SIZE_C2 for all the data because it’s small enough to work with my 7 field dashboard.

    ________________________
  • I am wondering around inside Dashboard files with NotePad++.
    I see where the FONT_SIZE goes.
    But I can not find the Filler section to adjust file size (to keep PNG aligned with header)

    Also, where is designation to make something transparent ?
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    edited November 2014
    You must create the filler yourself. This is explained in the image on the right side of part one of the tutorial near the bottom of the page ("Using XML Comments as Filler"). That's the hack that I came up with since we cannot create our own dashboards from scratch. Garmin obviously has special tools to create dashboards that we don't have access to. When I said "you'll see a section of filler in each dashboard file" I was refering to the example dashboards I created for the article, not the stock Garmin dashboards. You can download the examples from the link in the tutoral.

    Not sure what you mean about transparency. I used transparent images in my dashboards. These were created in Photoshop using standard graphics techniques.
  • If for example, I remove the whole TitleDisplay section for a customized component, my file size will drop a lot - so I will have to ADD a bunch of filler ? somehow.

    Instead, can I just NO OP the section (or each line), then I will have to DELETE only enough filler for whatever is NO OP code in XML ??
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    Sorry DrAlloway. I wrote the tutorial and tried to make it as thorough as possible so that others could take it from where I left off. I've moved on to other things now and am not interested in revisiting it. Hopefully someone else will come along to help…. :)
  • Hello Everyone!
    For some time after I bought my 2590 I kept asking Garmin for customizable dashboards and nothing came of it so I gave up. I just now ran a search out of interest and find all of this work; amazing! I can't believe that Garmin's answer was to finally publish that cartoon garbage...

    This is an awful lot to try to take in all at once now. Cathing up isn't easy, but I am grateful. For a quick start, is there a repository anywhere that I can download some dashboards for the 2595? I want to have as much information as possible and had great hopes for the famous Boyd 7 field, then I kind of crashed when I read it was not for the 2595. I hate to admit my ignorance, but even if there is a place I can obtain files, I need a little help as to "then what"... how to get them onto my 2595.

    Running in circles right now, Christmas and I have 4 teenage daughters. To make it just the more special, my employer decided to fire me as I was about to be a whistle blower but the person I chose to got to was one of the people, unknown to me, who was part of the problem, so as y'all can imagine, I have my hands full...

    Thank-you very much, and am overjoyed as to now real soon I am going to read the tutorial!!!
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    Welcome to the forum from "Famous Boyd?" LOL :))

    For starters, you should work download the examples and work through the tutorial. I spent a lot of time explaing and illustrating the process, so if you work through the tutorial you'll know everything I do.

    I believe the 2595 has a low resolution screen (480x272) but I only had access to a high res Nuvi (800x480). The principles will all be the same however, you need to start with an existing file and modify it for your needs. I mentioned some of the things that you would need to change in the tutorial.

    Look a couple pages back in this thread, @twingo69 created a nice 480x272 dashboard and offered to share it.
  • Jim1348 10 Points
    SergZak said:

    I have the newer 3597, and while I'm loving it as an upgrade to my old 750, I'd like to see how I can customize it like you are doing with your model. Would these themes let me do that?
    Map themes are supported on the 3597, however dashboards are NOT.

    Dashboards modify what info is displayed on the map screen such as speed, elevation, etc and how the info is displayed (circular speedometers & dashboard-type elements, etc) and where it's displayed on the screen.

    Map Themes affect how the map itself is displayed (roadway colors, on-ramp/off-ramp colors, land colors, water colors, etc). I have a few map theme comparison screen shots (nuvi 3490) here:
    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/25501/x/p1/#187225

    They both involve direct editing of the map theme (in xml) or dashboard files. I'm familiar with the map theme file structure and have modified quite a few map themes making them much clearer with more contrast which of course make things much more visible.

    Dashboards OTOH are (from what I've heard) trickier to modify.

    From what I know, there are no easy "editors" for either map themes nor dashboard files.
    SergZak said:

    I have the newer 3597, and while I'm loving it as an upgrade to my old 750, I'd like to see how I can customize it like you are doing with your model. Would these themes let me do that?
    Map themes are supported on the 3597, however dashboards are NOT.

    Dashboards modify what info is displayed on the map screen such as speed, elevation, etc and how the info is displayed (circular speedometers & dashboard-type elements, etc) and where it's displayed on the screen.

    Map Themes affect how the map itself is displayed (roadway colors, on-ramp/off-ramp colors, land colors, water colors, etc). I have a few map theme comparison screen shots (nuvi 3490) here:
    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/25501/x/p1/#187225

    They both involve direct editing of the map theme (in xml) or dashboard files. I'm familiar with the map theme file structure and have modified quite a few map themes making them much clearer with more contrast which of course make things much more visible.

    Dashboards OTOH are (from what I've heard) trickier to modify.

    From what I know, there are no easy "editors" for either map themes nor dashboard files.
    I just got a Garmin Nuvi 3597 recently and I have been doing some tweaking. I did a Google search for Custom Dashboards for Garmin Nuvi 3597 and it brought me to this thread. I was pretty interested until I got to this post where I found out that the Garmin Nuvi 3597 can NOT use Custom Dashboards, so I read no further. Anyway, I am glad it works for some other models!
  • Is there a tutorial for customizing the dashboard for the Nuvi 2557LMT, I noticed customizing of other models, but no mention of the 2557LMT.

    Thank You.
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    edited January 2015
    I think the 2557 is a 2013 model. Only 2012 models can use dashboards. To confirm, connect your 2557 to your computer. Does it contain a Dashboards folder? The Dashboards folder should have several files inside with the extension .dshb. If none of this is shown on your Nuvi, it is not compatible with custom dashboards. :(
  • something is not quite right, connected the 2557 to the computer, but it does not shows a connection being done, in other words there is no communication between the computer and the 2557, it does not even appears in the computer device list.

    The 1390T have no problem in making a connection and communicating with the computer.
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    Newer models are treated as MTP devices by default instead of disks, although I think you should still be able to access it regardless. But see this post for more info:

    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/comment/165763/#Comment_165763

    While you're at it, you might want to do a backup of the Nuvi as described in that thread.
  • Boyd said:

    Landscape view is almost done. I gave the fields a Garmin Green Gradient. :) Putting the fields on the left obscures some of the split screen map, but not too bad....

    image

    Hi Boyd, just wanted to say thanks for all your work. I just downloaded your seven field dashboard and I really like it! :) I was just wondering though did you ever upload the 5 field vertical dashboard above to download? It looks really cool and I'd like to give it a try. :D

    Also I was wondering is it possible to modify that dashboard to have the same 5 fields to the left of the screen, but maybe have two extra fields at the bottom, like one field next to the menu button and one next to the back button for a total of seven? I really like the seven fields you made, but because of the smaller size of the fields its sometimes hard to see for my older eyes. :(

    The 5 vertical fields in the photo seems like its the same size as default which looks like its much easier to see, so was just wonder if its possible to add two extra fields to the bottom? If not, could you please upload the above dashboard so I can give it a try? Again thanks for all your work! :) I just wish Garmin would make more dashboards or at least make it easy for people to make custom ones so that people could have the info displayed the way they like it. Seems like a no brainer thing to do. :|
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    edited September 2015
    Hi John,

    No I will not offer any of my "weird" dashboards for download, sorry. They cover up important elements of the user interface and I'm afraid they would confuse people. Some of them even cover up the dashboard selection buttons in the menu making it tricky to disable them, LOL.

    As I've stated above, I tried to make the tutorial as thorough as possible. It provides all the info you need to make dashboards of any kind. The rest is up to you.

    I wish Garmin would offer this kind of flexibility in their newer devices. I will not buy another Nuvi unless it lets me configure the map screen the way I like. Have gotten very fond of my 7" Dezl 760 and have even considered picking up a factory refurb as a backup for the day when it inevitably dies. ;)
  • Boyd said:

    Hi John,

    No I will not offer any of my "weird" dashboards for download, sorry. They cover up important elements of the user interface and I'm afraid they would confuse people. Some of them even cover up the dashboard selection buttons in the menu making it tricky to disable them, LOL.

    As I've stated above, I tried to make the tutorial as thorough as possible. It provides all the info you need to make dashboards of any kind. The rest is up to you.

    I wish Garmin would offer this kind of flexibility in their newer devices. I will not buy another Nuvi unless it lets me configure the map screen the way I like. Have gotten very fond of my 7" Dezl 760 and have even considered picking up a factory refurb as a backup for the day when it inevitably dies. ;)

    Aww crap I'm sad now. I really wish you would reconsider and release some more custom dashboards as I'm very bad at even basic programming. I tried to follow your tutorial but it made my head spin. :(

    Seriously why not release a few and let people give them a try? Its easy to install one and then if it isn't working properly or people don't like it they can always switch it to something else. :)
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    I can understand that John, but those strange dashboards were just experiments I did long ago. They could potentially cause a problem on your Nuvi and I just don't want to get into that. The fact that you don't understand programming is exactly why you shouldn't mess with this kind of hack. ;)

    Sorry. Maybe you can find a friend to help? All the information you need really is in the tutorial.
  • Boyd said:

    I can understand that John, but those strange dashboards were just experiments I did long ago. They could potentially cause a problem on your Nuvi and I just don't want to get into that. The fact that you don't understand programming is exactly why you shouldn't mess with this kind of hack. ;)

    Sorry. Maybe you can find a friend to help? All the information you need really is in the tutorial.

    Ok I understand. :( I still really wish you would consider releasing a couple of more dashboards because the ones I tried in your tutorial work fine. I trust your work and wouldn't blame you even if it did somehow mess up my GPS however unlikely. :p

    Guess I'll stick to your seven field dashboard then. Works great and its by far the best dashboard I've used so far on my Garmin, just wish I knew it existed a long time ago. But as I said, only thing I wish for was it were a little large to make it abit easier to see. :)
  • edgesharp 0 Points
    edited March 14
    Found this forum today. Fantastic. So much information - learned a lot.

    Installed Dashboard-7 onto Garmin 3490. Brilliant. Best dashboard - not those silly Micky Mouse dashboards from Garmin. Thanks for the great work Boyd - and all the effort you put into the dashboard tutorial. Perhaps one day I'll make/modify my own, but for the moment, I am benefitting from your hard work :)

    The forum design is also nice and clean. Did you design it yourself using Vanilla?

    PS. I just earned a badge for resurrecting on old thread. hahaha :P
  • Boyd 1953 Points
    Welcome to the site, glad you like the dashboards. :) I use my phone primarily these days, but have been testing a map I'm making using my Nuvi 3550 and Dezl 760 with a custom dashboard. So I was just thinking that it's a shame nobody has any interest in modding GPS devices anymore. I wonder if there are any hacks that work with the new "Drive" models?

    @Tim is the site administrator and he is resposible for the site design (which uses the Vanilla forum software).

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