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PostPosted: January 26, 2017, 5:10 pm 
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You guys know my skillset is mechanical, not electrical, and certainly not electronic, but I've been thinking.

My son (aka The Boy) is a computer science student at Clemson. He's the computer geek in the family. FOr the past couple of years he's played around with and built a few cool projects using Raspberry Pi and Arduino controllers.

I take an interest in The Boy's activities and look for ways where my interest and his can overlap. Soooo more thinking, a little online investigating and an idea pops into my head.

Why not build an inexpensive but reliable data logger from a Pi device?
Add a GPS breakout board.
https://www.adafruit.com/products/2324

Add an accelerometer breakout board
https://www.adafruit.com/products/2809

and maybe even a small (or larger) display. A larger display would require additional programming to give me a tach and EGT bars.
https://www.adafruit.com/products/2616

The real value in this would be the CSV data file that I can drop into Race Render with my GoPro or Track Addict cell phone video. Synch the files up and get to review my runs. I can see where I could be on or off the throttle more. Where I could push harder before I reach the lateral limit of my tires, etc.

I think the parts are less than $150
programming would rely HEAVILY on The Boy and Pi forums.

Most importantly it gives me a chance to ASK my Son for help in something far beyond my ability.


What say you all, good idea in theory, or just goofy?

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OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: January 26, 2017, 6:21 pm 
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Sounds like a great father/son project. MIght even become a marketable device. Things like that do happen. Ask Bill Gates.

Good luck with it!

Cheers

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PostPosted: January 26, 2017, 7:45 pm 
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What takes a fair amount of effort isn't so much getting the off-the-shelf board, or even the sw (probably someone's already got something close; it's protecting the board from the real world. That is, whatever ADCs or logic inputs your board has, you have to protect each of them against static, overvoltage events, and possibly add noise filtering as well. It's all doable but unless you can buy an analog+digital board with conditioning, someone in the family needs to put on their EE hat to whip up a protection circuit.

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PostPosted: January 26, 2017, 8:16 pm 
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KB58 wrote:
What takes a fair amount of effort isn't so much getting the off-the-shelf board, or even the sw (probably someone's already got something close; it's protecting the board from the real world. That is, whatever ADCs or logic inputs your board has, you have to protect each of them against static, overvoltage events, and possibly add noise filtering as well. It's all doable but unless you can buy an analog+digital board with conditioning, someone in the family needs to put on their EE hat to whip up a protection circuit.


That's what I like about the breakout boards from adafruit. Overvoltage protection already built in. On board voltage regulators, and pretty robust engineering. I could power the Pi and both breakout boards from a single small Lithium Ion battery and recharge the battery via the on board USB port.
The only signal conditioning I'd have to deal with is being sure the 10 volt square wave pulse from the MSD box wouldn't overload the analog input on the Pi.

I'm SURE that I'm oversimplifying this, but I've seen some really cool, really simple projects built with these little boards. One researcher on the forum needed several hundred inexpensive 4 channel data loggers. He managed to build a logger powered by a button cell that would last for months and only cost $10 per unit from just 3 components.

I'm a little geeked out about the idea.

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OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: January 26, 2017, 9:16 pm 
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Generally, I would encourage you, but my reasons are a little selfish. Two of the things we don't have here on Locost.USA are testing and development forums. When my build is on the road, I plan to spend a year or two educating myself about, and simultaneously doing, chassis and suspension development on it. I would be willing (at that time) to take some responsibility for contributing to, and managing, those sub-forums.

I have a suspension S/W package that with a little upgrade to the top-tier version, can handle data logging information. What I don't have is some inexpensive (that is, affordable by someone not in the 1%) data gathering instrumentation to install on my Locost.

So, I say, "Hell yeah, go for it!" Your son might also look into getting credit for his work with you by finding a faculty member interested in automotive stuff and then doing the CS-related development stuff as an independent study course. In my day, you could work with your department and your faculty advisor to get from 1-4 units of credit depending on the goals and difficulty of your project(s).

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: January 26, 2017, 9:26 pm 
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I think it is a great idea and a fun project with your son. However if you want to take the easy route. You should get SoloStorm https://www.petreldata.com/product/solo ... 8d115eb4b3 It only works with android (if you don't have an android phone you can get a $200 tablet and mount it in the car). You also "need" an external 10Ghz GPS receiver, it will work off your phone GPS but it's not as good.
Let me know if you want more info on it as this is THE software for autocross data logging.

They allow external inputs so you could use the arduino board to create suspension, steering or any other other inputs you desire.

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Scrap Metal Build Log viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14558


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PostPosted: January 27, 2017, 10:13 am 
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Paul I've looked at Solo Storm. I think it's a nice product, especially if you're driving something with an OBD-II port.

I guess what I envision would ultimately be more beneficial to the guys running stripped down wiring harnesses, Karts, and racing snowmobiles who don't feel like dropping $600 entry point for a DAQ box.

End of last season I started running Track Addict on my Android tablet and dumping files into Race Render. Track Addict is another product that works great with OBD-II. It doesn't work well at all with external sensors, but Race Render can synch with CSV files which is what got me to thinking about a simple data collection sensor array going to a Pi box.

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: January 27, 2017, 12:19 pm 
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Sounds good I'll be keeping my eye on your project. I did a little work with Arduino at my old job. Once you get started you get the feeling you can take over the world with cool gadgets. You also choke when you see companies charging $$$$ for something you can make for $$.

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PostPosted: January 27, 2017, 1:40 pm 
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I think it's a great idea and one you should pursue.

I have done the Arduino datalogger with accelerometer and external GPS. I have used Harry's Laptimer with Iphone and Droid. Currently, I have a Race Capture unit.

The Arduino is more about the project than the results from my experience. It's less expensive, but more time consuming and more about learning. If you're goal is to spend time with your son and learn what can be done, this is the type of route to take.

Harry's was a great app, until he updated it. Many of the people I know using it became very frustrated. When it did work, it was inexpensive and as easy as pushing a button. One downside is that it requires a lot of add on pieces to get data outside of laptimes and basic accelerometer data.

The Race Capture is the best of both worlds for me. It's a commercially produced unit so it doesn't have the reliability issues I suffered with the Arduino. However, the software side is open source so it is constantly expanding. They now offer a product to control a GoPro so it'a already synced with the data.


Ken


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PostPosted: January 27, 2017, 2:11 pm 
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I talked with The Boy about the project and here's his take.
Pi + GPS + accelerometer = piece of cake. He said he could probably have it built and ready for trial runs in about a day. A weekend at the most. Still, not going to happen until this semester is over. He's up to his eyeballs in class assignments and working as a tutor.
He's making A's and B's and earning some spending money, so I'm cool with that.

Adding data input from the tach is a little more complicated. We'd both need to do some research, but he's pretty sure the Pi would take it as is and is sure it would if we put the pulse through a voltage limiter / stabilizer circuit. $5. Programming is a few lines of code to covert frequency to rpm and dump data into an array.

Adding 3 EGT probes using K type thermocouples- Easy peasy. Similar to above

Adding a real time display - Now we're getting into a lot more programming work. He's done some already in school and already has a few gauge maps built, still a good bit of work.

We agreed that I'd take the next couple of months to research and learn. During that time we'd agree on the project scope and I'd have everything here when he comes home in May.

I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS!!!!!
I get to spend some time building bridges with my Son. He doesn't realize it, but I'm getting a chance to recognize him as an adult, do something worthwhile, and give him affirmation. That's a lot of reward for a $150 investment.

:cheers:

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: February 21, 2017, 8:15 pm 
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I think some entries are missing from this topic.

Regards

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: February 22, 2017, 10:50 am 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
I think some entries are missing from this topic.

Regards


yeah it looks like about a month has gone missing. Not much happened during that month, but there were a couple of decisions made.
1. Arduino 101 instead of Pi
2. Add GPS capable of 10Hz, but haven't decided on the chip and antenna
3. integrate pulses from hall effect sensors to generate tach and speed signals.

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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