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Thread: Beginning of an Automatic Climate Control System, all juiced up on Fusion

  1. #191
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    So it's becoming more and more appearant that most every thing that interfaces with other electronics should be buffered. I did not include enough op-amps in my original design. I'm tempted to draw up a new board, but I want to include some more stuff later, so I'd hate to re-build it twice. I'm just going to make a little board and stuff it in the box somewhere with 2 4 channel op-amps (3 for dials, and 3 for the buttons) At 4.86V locally with the meter the software is seeing as high as 5.3V (now, not only for the dial outputs, but for the switches as well).

    I also got the two new PIC's in the mail yesterday, and I'm going to install them now. I've been working some on my modernity thread. Modernity is the GUI for this project, it is going to have both the specific elements needed to drive this Nissan application, and a UI to control most HVAC systems. It will also be the first place I implement the functions and variables and graphics needed to implement Automatic mode. I hope to keep things modularized enough that different parts of this could be copied and applied elsewhere.
    I've also been working on a heated thermistor airflow sensor, it's taking a while though, and I will update with that when I have something more substantial.

    Hopefully with the buffers, voltages will be more correct, that will make the skinning easier....

  2. #192
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    I replaced the PIC in the brain that was giving me troubles. It looks like the internal DAC isn't getting hung up anymore. The other thing that I was hoping for as a result of this replacement was better accuracy. Due to the complexity involved in some of the other (Dials and switches) circuitry I've decided and had feedback to use buffering opamps to provide a 'cleaner' signal to the brain's analog inputs. But I didn't think I'd need to for some of the other more simple input channels.


    Here's an example of me thinking that I may need buffers on much less-complex circuits:



    This is just a simple photosensor circuit. Unfortunately when there is no light, the software sees the voltage as 5.49V. With 2 independant meters, at the pin at the brain and on my interface board, the actual voltage is 4.96V. I did notice that for these simple sensors I connected the ground to the rest of the grounds on the card. This was unnecessary, and I removed that connection to eliminate one possibility now the circuit above is completely isolated and I'm still having the problem. I also removed the current limiting resistor (10K) and replaced it with a jumper. No difference (although I was hopeful, and crossed my fingers tightly).

    Another simple circuit I have on the interface board is this:



    I used the Humirel HTG3515CH sensor.

    I also removed the common ground connection to the remainder of the interface board for similar reasons as above, it did not make a difference.

    Voltages are again about 0.2 - 0.3V off (at ~2.00V), which is significant after the signal processing loops have their way with it. Which for humidity is about 20% off and for temp about 10F off.

    So do I need a buffer here? Will it help? I have a bad feeling....

    I also now have a potentiometer set up replacing a sensor currently in the car. This is the intake sensor circuit that I have shown in other posts in here (controls the AC compressor clutch request, forcing it off if the evaporator freezes). The intake sensor is set up in a voltage divider (not your everyday basic version) that drives a dual comparator. Voltage at the sensor can be as high as ~8.5V during worst case (open circuit), and the circuit is sensative to additional loading, so I tapped that voltage with a 0-12V buffer (unity) opamp. The output of that opamp goes through 2 15K resistors to ground with another 0-5V buffer opamp tapping between the resistors as it's input and providing an output to the brain. I have a .1uF cap on the output, as with other analog channels. Ground is connected at the source, and the 5V opamp has its own 7805 (shared with the DACs and other components on my interface board). 12V opamp is supplied with the same 12V I am supplying to the power plug on the brains. On either brain, the software sees higher than local meter readings, by about 0.2 to 0.3V currently (which is significant for my temperature readings (~10 F).

    So even a buffer appears like it wont fix this for me...

    I'm probably going to need to redesign my interface board... But I've got to figure out what's going on first. The voltage at the input is just not what I see in the software. I've messed with a lot of things and approached it from a few different angles now, and still the problem persits.

  3. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    This is just a simple photosensor circuit. Unfortunately when there is no light, the software sees the voltage as 5.49V. With 2 independant meters, at the pin at the brain and on my interface board, the actual voltage is 4.96V. I did notice that for these simple sensors I connected the ground to the rest of the grounds on the card. This was unnecessary, and I removed that connection to eliminate one possibility now the circuit above is completely isolated and I'm still having the problem. I also removed the current limiting resistor (10K) and replaced it with a jumper. No difference (although I was hopeful, and crossed my fingers tightly).
    That is actually really helpful.

    The PIC CANNOT measure more than 5 volts. If it's reporting more, something's very wrong.

    Can you fire up the old version 2 software, enter debug mode, and take a few measurements?

  4. #194
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    I had afeeling about that (1111111111 = 5.000 or like that) Good idea about V2. I'll give that a try. Ill have to find it first, the computer I have that has it is in the shop. Ill likely have results from that early this evening.

  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenman100 View Post
    That is actually really helpful.

    The PIC CANNOT measure more than 5 volts. If it's reporting more, something's very wrong.

    Can you fire up the old version 2 software, enter debug mode, and take a few measurements?


    if it is more than 5v, and on raw voltage mode, then yes something is off in software.

    I changed it all for that new version I sent you. Version 2 and the version you can download off the site with the installer both use the same read in method which uses string manipulation.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  6. #196
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    does the virtual brain show that high too?
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  7. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post


    if it is more than 5v, and on raw voltage mode, then yes something is off in software.

    I changed it all for that new version I sent you. Version 2 and the version you can download off the site with the installer both use the same read in method which uses string manipulation.
    I did see a change with the new version you sent me to try out. I think the new version is when I started seeing voltages higher than 5V. But it may have been before. But definately, before, the dials were at 5.00V in software when they were at 4.86V by meter.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    does the virtual brain show that high too?
    Yes, on the virtual brain I've seen it as high as 5.500 (only the green bar looks like 0.5)

    More to come, I just woke up and I'm setting things up. (More testing, and pictures).

  8. #198
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    This is what the 3.1.0.205 version of MDX shows in the virual brain:



    I'm having difficulty finding the most recent V2 online. I'll keep looking, but a link would be nice if someone has that.

  9. #199
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    There's some hope on the horizon. I found an old version (V2). So I ran it on another computer (didn't want to disturb the new setup that's working so well on this computer -aside from the present problem). Here's a screenshot:



    This screen shows the brain that was on the top (left) on the previous post. Just to be sure I turned two of the buttons on (0x4,0x5) they read just the same as 0x6 when thye switches are off though though.

    I turned the dial at 0x7 down a little just to be sure. but the other two are at max just as the previous post.

    Just to clear up any confusion Input "0x4" here is = Analogue Input #05 in the previous post.

    4.86 != 4.89 but I'd probably learn to cope.

  10. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    4.86 != 4.89 but I'd probably learn to cope.
    Well, the DAC is good for .005 resolution, so then there's another .025 of error coming from somewhere... that's about what I'd expect, and about what we're seeing on our side.

    How's it do at lower voltages?

    BTW - Nick, looks like the ball's in your court!

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