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Old 10-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
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Arduino/Microcontroller Projects

Starting a thread to document some interfacing projects with the Arduino and similar devices to enhance the Porsche experience.

Perhaps even make the car a more awesome driving machine.

Here are some project Ideas that should spring up here soon:
(I'll edit these to include a wish list of Funtionality)

1) Super Data Logger
a) Logs GPS data such as position, speed, course, distance etc
Ref: ultimate-gps-obd-data-logger-displayer
b) Logs OBD data from the car such as RPM, Speed, Coolant temp, Oil Temp, Ignition advance, Engine Load, HP, etc
Ref: OBDuino32K
c) Logs Accelerometer readings, G-forces, turn rates, vibrations etc
d) Video feed so we can see what is going on visually at the same time.
Ref: Video: Record suspension in action
e) Monitors engine CAM Deviation via OBD data and alerts on out of spec condition (Detect IMS Issues) (Needs LCD Readout for real time Warnings and Info Messages)
f) Software Utility to integrate all the logged data for display as a KML so you can review everything that is going on along your drive in Google Map.
Ref: Stealership Joy Rides

2) One Touch top controller
- Puts top up or down with one press instead of having to hold it.
Ref: RoboTop $79 and SmartTop $299
No point in reinventing the wheel unless we can create some additional value/functionality
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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#2 already exists in many forms (i have the "roboTop"). no need to have a (essentially) computer do it. now pair that with an accelerometer and the e-brake bypass, monitor the top microswitch, add a weather shield to check the temp/rain and automatically put the top down when you pull out of your driveway and up when you put it in park, and you might be on to something...
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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Sounds very interesting.
We have a similar device, but focusing on live alerts (based on the parameters you mention), and on line live monitoring.
We use The accelerometer to log data and create driver scoring, and accident reconstruction.
If you gonna mess with OBD reading, Try and get the cam divination reading and generate alerts based on deviation from spec.
Could be ausom tool for IMS inspection and monitoring.
Can't put our engineers on it since it's way out of our scope.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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You might like to have a look at:
32-Bit Event-Driven Processors, Real-Time Multithreaded Architecture | XMOS
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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I am the current owner of the Robotop product (I bought it from Tyler Salem last year). The Robotop 2.0 will be available in a few weeks with a new feature - the one touch service position. In addition to opening or closing the top with one touch of the button, this will allow you to also put the top in the service position automatically - no more open a little, close a little, open a little, close a little to get it right.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
I am the current owner of the Robotop product (I bought it from Tyler Salem last year). The Robotop 2.0 will be available in a few weeks with a new feature - the one touch service position. In addition to opening or closing the top with one touch of the button, this will allow you to also put the top in the service position automatically - no more open a little, close a little, open a little, close a little to get it right.
That's a good idea. How does it know where to stop though?

What do you use as a controller for your Robotop unit?

Your unit is priced very well but another enthusiast and I am building a custom unit to restore function to his malfunctioning top controls, otherwise I think it would be best to just buy your Robotop unit.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:48 AM   #7
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rainproofing

How about something to roll up my cracked open windows when the frequent unpredictable showers start. Would be nice to safely leave them in vent mode here in the hot hot south, but I cant see the car (or even outdoors) from where I work. Would be glad to buy the wiper rain sensor if it had this function...
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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This combines two of my favorite things, boxsters and electronic gadgets. Subscribed!

Sam
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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How about something to roll up my cracked open windows when the frequent unpredictable showers start. Would be nice to safely leave them in vent mode here in the hot hot south, but I cant see the car (or even outdoors) from where I work. Would be glad to buy the wiper rain sensor if it had this function...
There is practically no limit to what can be programmed.
Its just a matter of using the right sensors for the job and having a good foolproof set of rules programed.

You wouldn't want your window to auto close if it started raining while your at the drive thru window and reaching out to grab your food.

Thats the reason cars don't already have all kinds of features like that....too much liability for not much profit.

However the DIY'er can do their own thing without too much to worry about.

Personally in my programming experience you always have to account for the lowest common denominator human doing the dumbest, least logical, and most idiotic unimaginable thing possible. Hence the term Idiot Proofing.

One nice thing about Arduinos and the various sensor boards is that you can make it all very modular, so you could design a bunch of sensor modules that just plug in and the programming can detect their presence and use them if present.

Also updating the firmware is also very doable so you can have an evolving, improving product.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jb92563 View Post
That's a good idea. How does it know where to stop though?

What do you use as a controller for your Robotop unit?

Your unit is priced very well but another enthusiast and I am building a custom unit to restore function to his malfunctioning top controls, otherwise I think it would be best to just buy your Robotop unit.
The Robotop uses an Atmel programmable microcontroller. Thus, we can program the top to move in any sequence or to any position desired.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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Here is a little bit of background on the Robotop:

After I bought the Robotop last summer from its founder, I spent about $7,500 to re-design the hardware and programming to improve the operation and reliability because there were a few reports of reliability issues with a couple of the original units.

I hired a top electrical designer to do that work and he has personally assembled, programmed, and electrically tested each unit. Furthermore, I have personally tested each and every unit in my own car. So we know first hand and without any doubt that every unit that we ship works before it goes out the door.

The circuit boards are manufactured by a reputable circuit board company in Orange County, CA who is experienced in medical and aerospace circuit board manufacturing. We use only verified authentic electronic components purchased through authorized component dealers – no grey market, eBay, or internet sourced components. Additionally, all of the units are assembled in Orange County, CA (not in Taiwan or China) by the design engineer to ensure the highest quality.

This approach is somewhat expensive but we wanted to ensure that the product was highly reliable and not have any in-service failures that could damage the products' reputation. Since re-launching the product, we have had two units fail out of approximately 250 that we've sold. Both failures were 2-3 months after installation in the customer's car and were replaced under warranty with no repeat failures. That is a failure rate of 0.08% which is extremely low.

We are also very flexible on the warranty - if a customer has problems or doesn't like the Robotop at any time up to a year after purchase, we'll refund your money. No questions asked. Its not worth arguing over $79. We've had zero returns in this regard.

I have taken a low key approach on purpose to allow the product to mature and allow the market for the Robotop to develop in 2012. We're working on several advertising efforts now and you should hear more about the Robotop in 2013.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:38 AM   #12
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The Robotop uses an Atmel programmable microcontroller. Thus, we can program the top to move in any sequence or to any position desired.
That's neat. The Arduino is simply a board for the Atmel 328 with convenient pin placement etc for experimenting.

To really shrink things you design your own boards with the processor on it like you did.

What do you think about the competing product thats about $299.

Does theirs have more features or are they just after a greater profit margin?
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jb92563 View Post
That's neat. The Arduino is simply a board for the Atmel 328 with convenient pin placement etc for experimenting.

To really shrink things you design your own boards with the processor on it like you did.

What do you think about the competing product thats about $299.

Does theirs have more features or are they just after a greater profit margin?
The $299 SmartTop controller is a nice design which replaces the stock top relay under the dash. It works exactly the same as the existing version Robotop.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:13 PM   #14
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My electronics ideas have now led me to building a wireless remote for the GoPro camera so I can turn video recording on/off where ever its mounted without having to mess with wires.

I can't take credit for the idea, as another guy has come up with it and graciously shared it on his web site.

Basically you get an EZ430-F2013 microprocessor development kit for $20 (To program the F2012/13) and marry the F2012($3.34) or F2013 processor with a RF luggage locator($6) which is in turn wired to a plug($4) that plugs into the GoPro bus connector.

What you end up with is a good RF wireless remote (~90' range) for under $15 if you DIY.

If anyone is interested I can fully document the DIY on this forum with pictures etc as it seems that a few of us use GoPro's.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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Have an idea for an array of sensors (capacitance perhaps) that you drive your tire on and it senses the pressure across your tires contact patch and will tell if you need more or less pressure to maximize your contact patch.

Have no idea if something like that already exists.

Of course it would interface with an Arduino to process the sensor readings and give you some sort of indication.

The good part is that you can fill the air in your tires until the real time readings are maximized.

I don't know much about tires but it seems like a logical approach to getting the inflation right.

The software could also account for tire temperature and other factors.

Seems like an interesting experiment to try out.
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Short Shifter, Touch Screen Dual Din Radio, 03 4 Bow glass Top (DD & Auto-X since May 17,2012)
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:06 PM   #16
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I am not sure if maximizing the contact area will result in an optimum tire pressue. It seems that there are many more factors that need to be considered when selecting tire pressure than just the static contact area.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:08 PM   #17
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I am not sure if maximizing the contact area will result in an optimum tire pressue. It seems that there are many more factors that need to be considered when selecting tire pressure than just the static contact area.
yes, very true and as I learn more about tuning tire presure I can take note of my tests to see what the relationships are.

I'll take notes at my Auto_X runs and see if I can figure it all out. If I can determine the factors I could program the relationships and get the program to recommend pressures for various conditions, tire compounds etc.

I was hoping that some experienced racers could help me figure it all out.
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