After about four years of being on the backburner and a solid eight months of development, revlimiter NC Gauges finally exist!!!!!!
You guys have no idea how long I’ve dreamed of writing that.
Well… you do. I just told how long they were in the works for…
I literally had to buy a car to make these gauges. I also currently own NINE NC clusters. The NC gauges are so different than NA or NB that a lot of R&D work was required. Including buying a whole car.
Not that The Stormtooper isn’t a fun car or anything. But I never planned to start a project that would require THIS.
Over the past months of ownership, I’ve worked steadily on NC gauges in between keeping other orders filled. I believe Stormy had six different sets of Warbirds installed in the cluster before I finally got things as close to perfect as possible.
Above is one of the first ones, made with old Gen2.5 materials. It was just to verify the overall cut shape and scale. The white-grey warning icons were… not optimal.
Allow me to vent for a minute.
The lighting in the NC cluster is super super dim. It’s insane. I’m not sure exactly why or even HOW Mazda decided to go to market with cluster lighting this dim. It’s about half the brightness of the stock NA cluster. And that one has dim incandescent bulbs. The NC has LEDs – like a dozen of them.
The warning lights are also incredibly dim. The ones in the NA and NB can easily light up an icon in the daytime. The NC ones kinda… don’t. The standard warning light formula for my NB gauges didn’t work at all for the NC. You could only see the warning icons at night or on a very cloudy day.
Such horrible lighting. Ugh.
Finally, I was able to get the warning lights at a good level. You can now see them in the daytime even with bright light shining straight onto the gauges. My Gen3 materials and printing process allow for very fine control of ink translucency, and I’m really happy about that. These gauges wouldn’t exist otherwise.
It only took me about a month to get the gauge layout and laser cut paths correct. That was easy. The thing that took the remaining seven months was those stupid warning lights.
But it was worth it!
The NC gauge cluster is also very limiting. The numerous warning lights and presence of the automatic transmission light guts in the housing means there’s almost no possibility for different designs.
Or rather, it’s very *challenging* to design around.
The NA and NB are completely open and relatively evenly lit. Anything that fits in that gauge circle will be visible in day and night, light up, and look good. The NC? Nope.
No space for logos.
No space for extra RPM at the end of the tach scale or extra speed on the speedometer.
No space for an extended redline.
Not much space for things like the words “RPM x 1000”.
And no ability to even change the lighting color.
But I was able to work around it and translate some of my designs into NC spec.
I mentioned the nine (9) NC clusters I currently own. There’s just… jillions of permutations of gauge for that car. Three generations of cluster (NC1, NC2, NC3), each with two transmission options (auto/stick), and four or five speed scales (150mph, 180 km/h, 240 km/h, etc) mean a lot of different designs to make and clusters to need on hand. I still need more. I only have the US MPH clusters designed at this time.
Complaining aside, I’ve been enjoying the challenge of re-imagining some of my old NA/NB gauge designs and seeing what they’d look like in the NC cluster. Some, like the Sunstorm, come across with almost no problems. Others, like the JNC, require a week of effort.
I’ve got five designs in NC format right now. That’s what I’m opening the NC section with. It’s not a ton, but five is a good starting place.
It feels so satisfying to be able to offer these gauges and get this post up. Seriously. Worth all of the effort.
Sorry for the delay, NC folks. I hope it was worth the wait. And I hope this post does a small part in explaining why it took me years to finally make gauges for your cars.
Hit the store and let the flood of NC orders commence!