Navigating dashes in NSP

Navigating dashes in NSP


Haltech display dashes, powered by NSP (Nexus Software Programmer), offers extensive customization options for screen displays, allowing users to add, remove, and arrange multiple screen layouts with personalized colors and themes. The software also lets you intuitively set up additional features like alarms, shift lights, and data logging. This article explains how to set up these features and highlights the different settings associated with each feature.

Note: This article assumes you have a Haltech dash display that is compatible with or has been updated to use the NSP software for dash configuration. If you have a Haltech iC-7 dash display that uses the older ICC software and want to update the unit to be compatible with the NSP software, read through the steps shown in this article: How to update your Haltech iC-7 dash display to use the NSP software


Setting up screens

The Screens section in NSP allows you to customize screen displays on your Haltech display dash. Here, you can add, remove, and store up to five different types of screen display layouts in your dash, and customize colors and themes to match your preferences or the vehicle's interior. 

To add a screen, double-click on the Add Screen thumbnail and choose from a preconfigured screen layout list within the NSP software. To remove a screen, click on the screen thumbnail, then right-click on it to access the option to remove the screen. You can also click and hold on the screen thumbnails to drag them around to arrange the order of how these screens will display on your dash.

The NSP software also lets you choose which specific screen will display at startup, or if you want it to always start with the last used screen. You can also choose how to scroll through these screens, whether to cycle through the screens using one button or to navigate next and previous using two buttons. The software also allows you to assign which buttons to use, either built-in or wired-in.

Clicking on each screen in the navigation tree on the left side of the software allows you to customize the color and transparency of each component on the current screen. You are also given two sets of color schemes to define how the screen will look during the day and at night.

Selecting channels to display

Channels are the various types of information that you can choose to display on your dash. Information sent to your dash over the CAN bus, as well as data from components wired directly to the dash, can be displayed on different screen layouts that you configure. To select a channel you want to display, first click on the component (e.g., bar gauge) to show all the settings specific to the selected component. The currently selected component will have a cyan (blue-green) outline around it. Clicking on the "Select" button will show you a list of channels that the dash can display.

The "Label Text" section lets you define how you want the channel to be called on your display dash. For example, the channel for manifold pressure can be labeled as "MAP" or "Vacuum/Boost" if you prefer. You are also given a list of units related to the channel so the dash can display the numbers that you are more familiar with (e.g., 100°C vs. 212°F). You can also define the number of decimal places the gauge will display if you want the gauge to be more precise.

The Display Minimum and Maximum settings define the visual display range that you want for the component you're setting up. On a bar gauge, this would be the minimum and maximum of the entire bar gauge height. On a circular gauge, this would be the range that your gauge dials will show.

Finally, the Warning Minimum and Maximum settings allow you to define the upper and lower thresholds for when the gauge component (e.g., bar gauge) changes color to give you a visual warning about that channel. On a circular gauge, these settings define your "red line" at the end of the dial.


Day / Night mode transition

Haltech display dashes offer two sets of color schemes per screen to define how you want the screen to look during the day and at night. 

There are two ways to configure your dash display to transition between Day Mode and Night Mode:

Day/Night transition source:
  1. Park Light Input: This mode checks the wired Park Light input for changes in voltage to determine if the Park lights are on or off. The display dash changes between Day and Night mode based on the Park Light input state. The default Park Light input on the display dash is AVI9.
  2. Ambient Light Input: Haltech display dashes are fitted with at least one ambient light sensor that can be used to transition between Day and Night modes. To use this, the transition source needs to be set to "Ambient Light," and the Day Mode and Night Mode thresholds must be defined. The NSP software displays the current ambient light level so you can check the levels during the day and at night. Alternatively, you can set the dash to display the Ambient Light Level, allowing you to monitor light level changes without being connected to the software.

Screen Brightness Table

The screen brightness function on Haltech display dashes offers a lot of flexibility in how the screen brightness behaves. The function uses a brightness table that provides brightness adjustment based on the ambient light level received by the sensor. For example, if the current ambient light level is 37%, the dash display outputs 43.3% brightness. As the ambient light sensor receives more light, the dash brightness increases. When it detects less ambient light, the dash brightness decreases.

You can also make use of multiple Brightness modes by creating a 3D dash brightness table using the dash brightness level as one of the axes. The table can be set up to use up to 8 modes of brightness levels, with each mode (each row) providing a different dash brightness response depending on the ambient light level received. Additionally, you can configure how the dash cycles through these modes, either by using a built-in button or by assigning a wired-in button.

Alternatively, if you don't want the screen to continuously change brightness based on ambient light, you can set the brightness table to switch between two brightness levels depending on the ambient light received. In this example, the screen will use low brightness (20%) when the ambient light is 40% or less, and high brightness (80%) whenever the ambient light exceeds 40%.



The Odometer function is a display dash channel that records and displays the distance traveled by your vehicle. This is also useful for monitoring maintenance service intervals and tracking fuel efficiency. To enter or change the current odometer value, type the number into the NSP software and hit enter while connected to the dash; this will update the value on the dash in real time.


"Alarms" on your Haltech display dash are visual warning messages that appear at the bottom of the screen when a dash channel goes above or below a set threshold, just like the example shown below. The NSP software supports adding multiple alarm messages to your display dash, which you can customize and arrange according to priority.

Where to Find Alarms

You can start setting up alarms in NSP by going to the Navigation Tree on the left side of the software, and then navigating to Functions > Alarms.

How to Set Up Alarms

To add a new alarm, go to the main Alarms page as shown above and click on "Add New." This will add a new node in the Navigation Tree for the new alarm setup.

Click on the new alarm in the navigation tree to start setting up the alarm function. Type in the message you want to appear on your screen, then select the channel you want the alarm to be based on. Enable the needed threshold settings to define the upper and/or lower limit for when the alarm message triggers. You can also choose if you want the alarm to disable or not trigger when the engine is off (i.e., RPM < 450).

Furthermore, you can choose how the alarm message will display by defining the text and background colors, as well as setting the transparency so the alarm perfectly blends with the rest of the dash display.

If you want to change or modify an existing alarm, just click on the specific alarm node in the navigation tree that you want to change, then proceed to modify any of the alarm settings mentioned above.

Assigning LEDs to Alarms

If your Haltech display dash has a built-in LED bar, you can assign each LED to light up whenever an alarm goes off. To set this up, click on the alarm you want to configure to access the LED bar setup in the NSP software as shown below. Choose a light color for this specific alarm and individually click on each LED you want to light up with this alarm. In this example, we have chosen the two outermost LEDs to light up in red whenever the engine is over-revving. Additionally, you can choose whether these LEDs continuously flash or just turn on whenever the alarm is active.

Cancelling Alarms

Cancelling alarms can be done in two different ways, which you can set differently for each alarm function. To set this up, click on the alarm you want to configure and choose between the given alarm clear modes:
  1. Manual Mode - This mode requires the driver to press a button (either built-in or wired to the display dash) to cancel the alarm. In this mode, the alarm will continue to stay active even when the alarm threshold is no longer met until the alarm is manually cleared. Short pressing the button clears the latest alarm, while long pressing the button clears all alarms.
  2. Timer and Manual Mode - In this mode, clearing the alarm behaves the same as in manual mode. However, if left uncleared, the alarm will only stay active for a specified amount of time after the alarm threshold is no longer met.

Shift Lights

Shift lights are widely used in racing and high-performance cars to indicate the optimal time to shift gears. They function as a valuable tool for enhancing driving performance, protecting the engine, and maintaining focus and consistency during high-speed driving.

Setting up the shift light function for your Haltech dash display using the NSP software is easy and intuitive. Each LED is assigned a light color and an RPM value at which it will light up. This allows you to set up a pattern or sequence for how each LED will illuminate. In this example, the LEDs are configured to sequentially light up: starting from the two outermost LEDs at 4800 RPM and progressing to the two middle ones at 6000 RPM. 


Datalogging using your Haltech dash display works similarly to how a Haltech ECU does datalogs. There are three ways to initiate datalogging for Haltech dash displays:
  1. Always On - This mode lets the dash display start datalogging as soon as the unit is powered on.
  2. Datalog Switch Input - This mode requires you to assign a datalogging switch, which you can wire into the dash display or use a built-in button if your dash display has one. The dash starts datalogging whenever this switch is on and stops datalogging whenever the switch is off.
  3. Logging using a Channel - This mode uses internal logic to monitor a channel and switches logging on and off depending on a set channel threshold. This is especially handy if you only want the dash display to start datalogging during certain conditions, e.g., only at high RPM when the RPM is above 3000, or when the engine is at full throttle with the TPS greater than 80%. This mode can also be used simultaneously with a datalog switch for more control.

The onboard datalogging memory on Haltech dash displays is 512 MB. This memory uses loop-logging, where older logs are automatically deleted as new logs are created and saved when the memory becomes full. Additionally, the onboard logging memory can be further optimized by allocating channels into groups with different sampling rates. The idea is to group channels that move slowly as opposed to a group of channels that move faster. For example, we can have the RPM channel in a group where the dash logs a sample 50 times per second (20ms), a slower coolant temperature channel in a different group sampled 5 times per second (200ms), and a really slow channel like fuel level sampled once every second. The set of channels that you need to log will depend on the application and the purpose of getting the display dash to datalog, but you can always start logging with a recommended set of channels as shown above.

Alternatively, Haltech display dashes can also datalog using your PC's memory while connected to the NSP software. This is done by pressing the F6 key to start the log and pressing the F6 key again when it's time to stop the log. This saves the log to your PC, which virtually has limitless memory, so you don't have to worry about choosing channels to log or grouping them into different sampling rates. PC logging includes all the channels enabled in your dash display configuration, not just the channels you've chosen to include with onboard logging.

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