Arduino For car monitoring

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Shark93, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Shark93

    Shark93 Member

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    Hi guys, Recently I have being wanting to add a personal touch to my car and seeing a thread like this got me motivated. Its a Hilux and I thought it would be cool if I could use an Arduino for some monitoring. I was thinking of monitoring:

    ---Diesel - http://www.milonetech.com/uploads/eTape_Data_Sheet_6573P-12_091009.pdf

    --- Battery voltage

    --- Engine bay temp

    --- Outside temp

    --- Radiator temp ( if possible)

    Are the above possible ?

    A few other things I would like todo is put my work light on a timer so I can set it for say 5 minutes, Enough time to jump in my swag.

    Im pretty inexperienced with electronics but im willing to give it a go anyway.

    here is what im thinking

    http://www.australianrobotics.com.au/?q=arduinoUno

    or

    http://www.australianrobotics.com.au/?q=arduinoUnoSmd

    ^ not sure of the difference

    and

    http://www.australianrobotics.com.au/?q=node/230

    as a screen, seemed simple.

    Any recommendations and ideas would be fantastic.

    Tom
     
  2. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    For such simple display you would not have to go to the expense of an Arduino you only need some vero board, an atmega48 (28 pin chip) lcd display, regulator for the +5volt and nice box to put it in. For the software Bascom AVR would quickly have you working and with its built in clock function you could also have a digital clock as well. Note the free version of Bascom would be more than enough. I estamate cost at $45-60. For radiator temp you should already have a probe in the system which you should be able to use to give it to you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  3. NanoDuke

    NanoDuke Member

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    Since you're inexperienced with electronics, I'm also assuming you've never really touched a soldering iron?

    Maybe a pre-configured kit from JayCar might be a better option for you.

    The LCD arduino shield you linked to requires you to do your own soldering, and then do all the programming yourself.

    Have a look at these kits for ideas (which still require your own soldering)
    http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KA1683&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347
    http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KA1778&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347
    http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KC5195&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347
    http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KC5392&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347
    http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KC5424&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347
    http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KC5424&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347
    http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KC5485&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347


    The last two I linked to inparticular cover multiple options (voltage and oxygen mixtures, for example).

    The last one has a nice LCD module, and machined case.



    In regards to your question about the different Arduinos, the second one features an SMD chip that cannot be removed. TBH I don't know why you'd pay extra for the SMD version?
     
  4. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    Honestly, the Arduino would be the better way to go. Trying to diagnose why the chip wont program on the breadboard you soldered up would probably stop any newbie in their tracks and just give up, or if you get past that, why the LCD is only showing a line of black bars. The small added expense of the Arduino along with the completly integrated IDE and libraries with more tutorials for people who have never done this sort of thing before.
     
  5. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    Bascom has the libraries with examples, now to the cost the Arduino would cost 3 times as much, I can get for $16 a 2 x 16 character backlit display with characters 3 times the size of the display shown (actually have 12) A unit similar to what he wants is something that I am heading towards just need to select the right hall effect IC to measure battery current. But we do need to know what skills he has eg trade?
     
  6. bojo

    bojo Member

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    You also fail to mention if he just buys AVRs he's going to have to buy a programmer to.

    FYI the arduino is great if your just starting out with this and are a bit nooby. Arduino is a dev platform not a microcontroller, so it's perfect for a first encouter and once of kind of project.

    Once you've finished it all you can then think about doing what paulvk said and attempting to port it/ build it.

    UnoSMD replaces the larger chip in that socket with the a smaller SMD version. Not knowing too much about the smd version of that specific chip, i would say they are exactly the same. (as far as your concerned they will be, get the cheapest ).

    Two things to be careful with that LCD shield. The first is that it comes in a kit, so you have to solder it yourself (shouldn't be too hard, but not sure of your experience). The other thing is that it appears to be a "top only" shield, you can't stack things on top of it. So you'd probably need another shield ("prototype" or so) to put your plugs etc on.

    Oh i'd throw the idea that a SDCard shield would be good too :p. As an extra feature of your little project you could make it log all this stuff to an SD card.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Shark93

    Shark93 Member

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    Thanks guys,

    NanoDuke: thanks for spending all that time researching those products.

    Im sorry I left a few details out, I have used a soldering iron before and that has included working on a PBC (very basic one), was about 3 years ago. I also have some knowledge of how some circuit components work.

    I think Im still leaning on the Arduino, to me it seems simple ish, Im just trying to figure out how ill plug in the sensors and gt power to it.

    Bojo - Are you saying that if I use that sheild I wont be able to get to any of the other analog ports to plug in more sensors ?

    Sorry if I sound confusing, Ill get this hang of it eventually :)

    so for example, a temp sensor http://www.jaycar.com.au/productResults.asp?keywords=ZL3336&keyform=KEYWORD&SUBMIT.x=0&SUBMIT.y=0

    what would be evolved to hook that up to an Arduino

    Tom
     
  8. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    No you only need some resistors.

    I fail to see how the Arduino is simpler than 6 wires and power to an LCD a 3 terminal regulator some capacitors and resistors. The Arduino requires "C" programing skills which to most people is like learning Latin, basic was meant for beginers and a compiler like Bascom makes many complex tasks a single command plus programs the chips as well.
     
  9. NanoDuke

    NanoDuke Member

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    You'd just run wires from the sensor (I don't know where you'd put it :confused:) to the analog input on the arduino. *Do the JayCar kits come with their own temp sensors, or do you tap into the car's own measurements?*

    Here's a quick tutorial on how to do just that
    http://www.danielandrade.net/2008/07/05/temperature-sensor-arduino/

    I haven't look on your original site, but LittleBirdElectronics sell Arduino kits and individual sensors
    e.g.
    http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/temperature-sensor-lm335a for a temperature sensor :thumbup:

    I also suggest you download Earthshine Design's ARduino Starter Kit Manual
    http://www.earthshineelectronics.com/files/ASKManualRev4.pdf

    It goes through many tutorials which you can easily adapt yourself.



    *EDIT* Here's an Instrucable on Arduino + temp sensor + LCD screen with code
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Based-Temperature-Monitor/
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  10. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    For temp sensor the MCP9700 is only 55cents from element14 easy to use much like the lm335 just made to work directly to a micro also goes 125°C.
     
  11. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    If your PC has a parallel port, the last 3 of mine haven't had one at all, you're lucky to get a real serial port out of any PC these days too. USB is far easier and more compatible and all that is built into the Arduino dev boards
    Because he would have to wire up the complete circuit up himself, as opposed to solder some components into a pcb and plug one board into another and then just attach a USB cable. It's 30 minutes and guaranteed to be working v's all afternoon with it being very likely to not work first go (been there, done that, not fun)
    C isn't hard, copy someone else's code and start modifying it to fit what you want and you can grasp it pretty quick. It is also much more suited to microcontrollers where you have a much lower level control of the actual instructions that get executed in the cpu. Basic is going to lead you up a dead end with no room to expand onto more complicated things.
     
  12. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    So, you're talking about a cost which is more than what an Arduino costs?
     
  13. OP
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    Shark93

    Shark93 Member

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    Hey guys thanks for the help so far, Both ways that have being discussed seem good, but In saying that i have decided to take the Arduino road for a few reasons,

    1) More online help

    2) Can expand into more complex things


    Im drawing up some basic sketches of what I would like to make, Once finished ill try load them up here.

    I have to find a spot in my car to mount the screen. and the best place will be away from the Arduino most likely (ill hide it in the dash somewhere) Is there a limit to how far my screen can be away from it?

    Im guessing I wont be able to use the LCD shield now becase it wont be able to mount on top of it ?

    Thanks for the help.

    NanoDuke: Im not going to go with the Jay-car kits, Just using there parts, Speaking of that,
    Thank-you too paulvk The sensors are like $2 cheaper. Magic. am i sacrificing quality for the lower price of the thermo sensors

    Tom
     
  14. aXis

    aXis Member

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    You can get arduino compatible clone kits down to $20 - $30, and all you need to do is attach a header to an LCD. Cost is hardly the issue. In addition, the saving in time, investigation and programming effort is enormous. I found the programming syntax quite straight forward too - it's really just glue logic around prebuilt libraries.

    For temperature sensors I've become quite fond of DS18B20 one-wire temperature sensors. You can talk to several on a single digital bus, they are very accurate, and require very few parts to integrate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  15. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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  16. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    The sensor is able to go to 125C where the lm335 only goes to 100C it gets hotter than that in the engine bay. But the minimum order from element14 is $10 but they deliver free to your door so getting some of the components from them resistors, a case to put the LCD in (look at their up to 80% off specials I have obtained some nice cases for less than Jaycar sell similar but far less quality ones some already had cut outs for LCDs infact I have obtained some real bargins with some stuff 1/10 of the price from anywhere else.)

    One of the reasons I am building my unit from parts is that it is much smaller in size and will sit on my dash.

    The comment about the limits with Basic (Bascom AVR) I think are wrong, full web servers have been built with it with full SQL data base on flash card I think that is fairly complex.

    Also another line of devices to look at are ACS756 if you go to element14 and search on ACS a number will come up these are hall effect current sensors that can measure charge going in and out of the battery or current from the alternator they are like the temprature devices but measure current I will be using 2.

    I am using the Displaytech 162F LCD from www.soanarplus.com a larger display than the commonly used one ($15.95 +delivery +gst) I wanted something a bit easyer to see, funny how many of the prices are so much cheaper than jaycar even though soanar and jaycar are part of the same group even part numbers are the same.

    There is a lot of usefull information, help and examples circuits ect for the AVRs at the Bascom web site and forum even if you use the Arduino
    www.mcselec.com

    I will be getting my circuit diagram drawn of the next week or so for it so I will put up a link to it this will show how the sensors are connected.


    You may want to use the Arduino Nano its very small. www.littlebirdelectronics.com is a good place to look.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  17. OP
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    Shark93

    Shark93 Member

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    Thanks paulvk.
    It would be good if you could link up your circuit diagram, Would help me a lot.

    So what sensors are you going to hook up?

    Ahhhhh, Im having no fun trying to figure out where to mount it all. I would be good to have the screen and a nice position so i could just have it in the corner of me eye so to speak. Was thinking on top of the dash but getting all the wires to it would be the problem:(

    Ill keep working on it,

    Thanks
     
  18. OP
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    Shark93

    Shark93 Member

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    Thanks also to aXis and Goth, good info there

    :)
     
  19. OP
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    Shark93

    Shark93 Member

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  20. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    Have not been able to draw the cct yet, I may get some time tonight.
     

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