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Thread: Standard set of CarPC sensors

  1. #11
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    You know a lot of this is already covered with: Fusion Brain, Qube, Phidgets etc.

    Fusion Brain has a 3 axis accelerometer, and an ambient light sensor, as well as temp sensors. I am sure the Qube has similar, and I have briefly looked at the Phidgets website, and has most of these covered as well.
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  2. #12
    Moderator - CarPC News Penzance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewbp View Post
    You know a lot of this is already covered with: Fusion Brain, Qube, Phidgets etc.
    If I need a new PC I can go buy all the parts and put them together as well - or I can buy a prebuilt system from Dell or HP.

    I'm trying to define the specs for that prebuilt system.

  3. #13
    Moderator - CarPC News Penzance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSpark View Post
    A voltmeter.

    If you have onboard intelligence (meaning uPC, PICAXE etc), they should have analog inputs.

    Analog inputs can be added to PCs if their soundcards (inputs) are unsuitable (ie, if they have capacitive coupling that blocks DC).

    Again, thanks for the info. I'll add it to the specs.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penzance View Post
    Car electrical system current sensor
    Look up hall-effect current sensors. This may be what you're looking for.

  5. #15
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    That's what I was linking too.

    But I think I have educated yet another that current sensing is useless for determining system health.

    I intend getting some of those sensors - but that is for test cases & experimentation - nothing to do with system health which is shown with a voltmeter. (In simple terms, if your voltmeter dips (below 14.4V pt 13.8V etc) you are NOT charging or supplying fully.)

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSpark View Post
    That's what I was linking too.

    But I think I have educated yet another that current sensing is useless for determining system health.

    I intend getting some of those sensors - but that is for test cases & experimentation - nothing to do with system health which is shown with a voltmeter. (In simple terms, if your voltmeter dips (below 14.4V pt 13.8V etc) you are NOT charging or supplying fully.)
    Current sensing is good to know for testing purposes, as well as for optimizing power usage. I agree in the end product its not useful... but we aren't working with end products in this hobby
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  7. #17
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    It sounded as if it were for "general" vehicle monitoring as opposed to testing and design.

    Despite my YEARS in "power" streams, this is the first time I have decided to get a few current monitors - but that is only 'cos I want to confirm what others claim wrt to batteries - it has little use for other "currents" (ie, starters & PCs can be sample tested with shunts and multimeters). (BTW - that "decision" was a year or 3 ago...)


    For system state or battery reserve, it is still VOLTAGE first. Then current may assist for predictions.
    [ My last similar case was estimating range after an alternator failure. I merely guesstimated 100W engine use and 150W lighting (15A or whatever) and hence figured a 2 hour reserve on my 38AH battery - enough for the 1-hour to get home. My voltmeter kept me informed of the discharge rate & reserve. Next morning the terminal voltage confirmed I had used ~50% capacity (not bad for a 10 year old battery - though it is a 10-year AGM that was scrapped after 5 years of UPS service). ]


    These days power usage is usually optimised with higher supply voltages (ie, 13.8-14.4V) since most loads are constant power. (Which also makes current readings more complex...)

  8. #18
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    There is no such thing as too much data in a prototype system, and let's face it... that's what we do here. It is quite easy to have too llittle data. Between charge time, battery capacity testing, and system power draw, I think that current sensors are a good thing to have. I don't understand why you are all anti current sensors? Its a cheap sensor, and has enough uses (at least one is enough for that price) to be justified in the kind of systems that we set up here.

    A sensor pack is going to have to be modular anyway, so keep it as an option.
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  9. #19
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    I don't understand why you don't understand that I am saying that for testing etc current sensors are okay.
    But in most cases people think that they give a indication of (electrical/charging) system HEALTH. They don't.
    They are generally only useful at prototyping stage. For "health", voltage and temp sensors are far more useful.

    Since the OP related to a bundle for general sensing for carputers (not prototyping and testing), I felt it pertinent to point out that ammeters are virtually useless for vehicle diagnostics. They are also relatively expensive.

    If the OP is after testing stuff, then I suggest a DMM's ammeter - else shunt or Hall Sensor for heavier currents.

    If there any particular system that requires ongoing current monitoring, then state it.

  10. #20
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    Carputers are prototyping/testing for most people, which is why I think it should be included.
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