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

  1. #81
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    The FB software will not control any other devices and expecially not through a db9 serial port. Also you would need to take care of the 9pin serial and 25pin parallel startup randomness because there is no standard or protection on those ports during bootup, they can be any state, and switch between any state any time if you want to connect it directly to either of the ports.
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  2. #82
    drk
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    The FB software will not control any other devices and expecially not through a db9 serial port. Also you would need to take care of the 9pin serial and 25pin parallel startup randomness because there is no standard or protection on those ports during bootup, they can be any state, and switch between any state any time if you want to connect it directly to either of the ports.
    There would be no way to have it call an outside function? Oh well, I could just use a simple DPDT relay controlled through the FB then.

    EDIT: Oh and the relay itself was designed to be controlled through a serial port, it stores it's previous settings for on/off and defaults on-board.
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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post

    Maybe even use a relay (or 2 actually) like this....
    http://www.controlanything.com/Merch...AT_RELAY4_DPDT

    Controlled directly through a serial port. Set it to default to manual control, and have the FB software interact with the relay through the serial port, switching it to automatic control when the system is ready.
    wtf? that's like $90 for 4 relays

    the next revision of our firmware will have the ability to load last saved state for outputs if that's what you're concerned about

  4. #84
    Variable Bitrate P3D4T0R's Avatar
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  5. #85
    Maximum Bitrate CarComp's Avatar
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    Here is the trick. Go pick up a cubloc or cutouch (if you like screens) from comfiletech.com and use it to control your analog stuff (blowers / switches). Cublocs cost anywhere from 34 bucks for the simple CB220 module which will do what you need ...

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    All the way to the cuwin thing which could probably end up being an entire carpc. Also all cubloc communicate on rs232 as an option so you can use it to talk to your PC. A simple VB program can translate from the rs232 to fusion via windows message (postmessage / sendmessage) api or even a simple hook can intercept anything in windows. I've given this a lot of thought, but since my controls are all vacuum controlled, its not an option.



    BTW, don't get me for spam on comfiletech, its just that HOW CAN YOU NOT buy a PLC with BASIC language programming and built in rs232 for 30 bucks? I'm surprised that everyone doesn't have 2.
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  6. #86
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    they're pretty cool, but I don't see the advantage over the Fusion Brain.

    The end user will have to write firmware, use a serial port (legacy) and cannot drive relays directly (must use transistor)

  7. #87
    FLAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarComp View Post
    Here is the trick. Go pick up a cubloc or cutouch (if you like screens) from comfiletech.com and use it to control your analog stuff (blowers / switches). Cublocs cost anywhere from 34 bucks for the simple CB220 module which will do what you need ...

    All the way to the cuwin thing which could probably end up being an entire carpc. Also all cubloc communicate on rs232 as an option so you can use it to talk to your PC. A simple VB program can translate from the rs232 to fusion via windows message (postmessage / sendmessage) api or even a simple hook can intercept anything in windows. I've given this a lot of thought, but since my controls are all vacuum controlled, its not an option.



    BTW, don't get me for spam on comfiletech, its just that HOW CAN YOU NOT buy a PLC with BASIC language programming and built in rs232 for 30 bucks? I'm surprised that everyone doesn't have 2.
    That's a very interesting find. I'll have to look more into it. When I first sarted looking into carPC's (about 10 years ago - the first time, but this part was about 2 years ago), I was looking for something like a PLC, I was looking at the smaller 12V powered AB units and I think omron had a small one. They were a bit more expensive and much more difficult to interface. This definately wasn't around then. hmmmm, I like ladder logic for this, as some of it is sequential, and it surely can think without the PC interface. It's even modbus, just like the stuff I work with. Neat.

    That being said, I think the brain has the potential to contend in that arena. I will address some of it in my next reply to an earlier post (drk). But the future is looking like it will have some memory to play with; and with the I2C bus, analog and servo out... So many things will be possible. So the plan is to have the brain perform some HVAC things on it's own, when not commanded by the PC. But that's a little further out.

    Also, your vacuum actuators are NOT a problem for automatic computer interfaced control. just read through the beginning part of this thread for more on that.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Awww but that takes all the fun out of watching the dials spin magically on their own while it's working automatically
    Wow, this one is heavy... Let me get comfortable:


    As I understand from reading your posts, we have a similar view on adding functionality without cheapening the experience. Initially I was going to fully replace the head with a touchscreen skin page, it is only the fact that the way that the mode servos recieve their commands through more complex messages that got me back into using the control head at all. But now I like it, using the stock controls as inputs to the brain solves one issue, that is having to always navigate to a new page to control AC. Really the only times I want those dials swinging around is when I make changes via the touchscreen in the car, when the car automatically starts based on somthing like a low battery voltage and the need to charge, when the PC is on and temps get too hot wither in the car or in the PC or both; there I plan to have the computer assume control in automatic, thus turning the dials to the corresponding position. The other time is when I connect via remote and do it myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    How will you deal with the time in between starting the car and the PC being fully loaded? Seems to me like there'd be an issue with the dials being on "Auto" when you have no OEM auto-AC capabilities. Would you have to wait for the PC to be fully loaded for the AC to come on if the dial was left on "Auto"? That might lead to the same issues as having just the FB control you AC: having to wait until the PC is fully loaded to have your AC work. Now you could adjust the system manually until the PC is loaded, then turn it to "Auto" and let the PC take over, but that almost defeats the point IMO.
    I like the idea, because I'm sure the OEM HVAC dials weren't designed to be twisting and turning all the time with an automatic system controlling them, but if it costs me start-up functionality, I doubt I'd implement it.
    There are some very specific things that modern automatic HVAC systems do during start-up; like keeping cold air off the feet and keeping the fan speed down until the coolant temp comes up (both of these when it is cold outside). So I am very aware of this gap in time, and do not like it. This and having the ability to control the HVAC without the PC are the 2 biggest reasons why I have been lobbying to have the ability for the brain to do things on it's own. I like the PLC mentioned above, but for a car we are already coming so far in terms of having a complete, user friendly, universal package. I plan to implement it with the brain. So I hope that in the version(s) to come, I will be able to flash a bit of code to the brain to handle the necessary functions involved with this like:
    if in auto, control via the most recent constants used when fully operational via PC (some of the algs may get moved to the brain at that point in development, or copied there, where they would sit idle unless needed by this special circumstance).
    If in other than auto, allow full control via front panel controls.


    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    I guess there could be a few ways around it. One that immediately comes to mind is that when the PC is shutting down, the FB automatically turns the MOPs from the "Auto" position to whatever dial position is the equivalent of it's current settings (blower speed, door position, vent settings). That way, at least you'd have some AC while the PC is booting, and it would be somewhat effective. Then, when the PC is loaded, it would automatically turn the dials to "Auto" and take over.
    I like that, and if my plan for independant brain function don't work out, perhaps that will be what I do there.



    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Also, when the dial is turned to "Auto", how will you control the blower/temp/vents? Since your system is set up such that you want to control your AC through MOPs mounted to the original control head rather than using direct connections to the individual components, how would you implement the "Auto" position so that all the knobs didn't turn when the settings were changed. The motor will have to move to change the setting, in turn moving the dial.
    Very good question, and one I've been working on. Here's what I came up with so far: The circuit connection between the PCB (control head) and the dial may only be allowed when the brain senses that the dial is not in auto and the current command from the brain does not match it's current sensed position (i.e. someone manually turned it). Otherwise, the control head will get the signal at the same point on the PCB from an analog out from the brain. More relays, diodes, etc. Once I get it worked it out I'll have a circuit and some of the logic available, but at this time I still think I can simplify it a bunch. I also have to address how the logic will interpret the different input signal it will generate for itself as it passes from one position to another on the dial's way to it's final, desired position.

    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    I guess you could maybe do like I mentioned above, and have 2 control heads. Use the new one with the "Auto" position as the one that is physically seen (and usually set to "Auto", letting the FB do it's thing). You wouldn't even need a motorized potentiometer, just a simple dial potentiometer hooked to a FB analog input, tracking the dial position. When the dial is on "Auto", the potentiometers on the visible dials aren't used for anything except to check if the setting is still "Auto". Then the PC can control the MOPs on the original, hidden control head to change the settings continuously without turning the visible dials.

    ]Now, when the dial is not on "Auto" on the visible controls, you could have the AC software be a pass-through, with the MOPs on the hidden board copying the position of the dials on the visible board. Once again, we run into the problem of having to wait for the computer to boot, even if you want to take manual control. Maybe you could rig up an independent relay that would switch control from the hidden board to the visible board whenever the setting is off the "Auto" position? I don't quite know how you could do that, but there's got to be cut-off relays out there, that have a certain required min/max voltage value before they switch. Then you could connect the potentiometer on the visible dials to the relay, and have it completely switch a series of relays from the MOP-operated board to the manual board whenever the manual board isn't set to "Auto", giving you a hardware solution in case your PC dies on you.
    Similar theory as I have above, sort of, just another implementation. I do want to keep the mechanical turning pots and contacts to a minimum. It seems a little archaic to me, and maybe a little less reliable (moving parts).



    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Wow, this is pretty complicated stuff.....
    My personal solution will probably just be to have MOPs mounted to the original board, mounted in the center console, turning whenever the system changes settings automatically. It's simple, and I like simple whenever possible

    EDIT: I really pray my new truck will have AC controls that are just simple variable resistors. That way, I can do what you are planning, and buy the "Auto" AC head to fully replace the regular one. Then I can just add regular pots to the control head. When the FB detects the voltage relating to the "Auto" position, it will power on DPDT relays that disconnects the control head from the components, and switches to the analog outs of the FB to control the system. If the PC is dead or off, the relays will be unpowered, leaving the system to be manually controlled without any interaction from the PC.
    Looking at those dials in the picture you posted (they have center pushbuttons), I'm pretty confident you will have a very similar platform to deal with. If your servos don't take complex serial commands like mine, you will have more options. I know that I haven't worked on any GM vehicles that work that way. But I don't have much experience with Hummer.

  9. #89
    drk
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenman100 View Post
    wtf? that's like $90 for 4 relays

    the next revision of our firmware will have the ability to load last saved state for outputs if that's what you're concerned about
    Now you've got me imagining all kinds of awesome scenarios, like having the PC check the weather forecasts for the next 24 hours as it's shutting down, change the settings to anticipate what the weather will be (storing them as the saved state on the FB), and then those settings will automatically be loaded when the car is started (either manually or remotely). Things like automatically turning to high heat, defrost vents, and max blower speed if it will be below 32 degrees in the next 24 hours

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    Looking at those dials in the picture you posted, with the buttons in the middle (they have center pushbuttons), I'm pretty confident you will have a very similar platform to deal with. If your servos don't take complex serial commands like mine, you will have more options. I know that I haven't worked on any GM vehicles that work that way. But I don't have much experience with Hummer.
    Well, after some digging around online, I found this shot of the 2008 Silverado LT.



    I also found a few other shots (unfortunately unpostable, they were embedded flash slideshows)

    Looks like the GM controls are the fairly close to the Hummer controls (not surprising considering GM owns Hummer IIRC). Based off your experience, what will my best approach be to making this setup work? Hopefully, I'm reading your post correctly, and the GM systems you've worked with use simple variable resistors and servo controls, both of which I will soon be able to fully control using the new functionality in the Fusion Brain?

    If so, that'd be great! Then I'd implement the relay method, linked to digital outputs on the FB with saved settings of "On", so that whenever the FB is powered, the A/C is under FB control, and if the PC isn't powered on, the A/C reverts to manual control.
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  10. #90
    FLAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Looks like the GM controls are the fairly close to the Hummer controls (not surprising considering GM owns Hummer IIRC). Based off your experience, what will my best approach be to making this setup work? Hopefully, I'm reading your post correctly, and the GM systems you've worked with use simple variable resistors and servo controls, both of which I will soon be able to fully control using the new functionality in the Fusion Brain?
    well, for the most part gm has used vacuum actuators for all of the "mode" doors, which in automatic hvac systems use solenoid valves to control. but there are some that use servo acutators, some have position feedback. Position feeback in the temperature control door makes it possible to drive that door without analog input. those servos have onboard drivers that react to 3 voltage levels. 0V close, 2.5V hold, 5V open. Those are common. up through 2005. I haven't worked with many and don't have access to data for vehicles that are more recent, at this time. This technology is evolving though, as fuel emissions and our increasing need to be comfortable creatures come in to play. Airbox design specifications (among a few other things) will be more demanding. That evolution comes with change, so I really can't say. But this stuff doesn't change overnight. I would be interested to know what's used in that vehicle too, but my guess, either the type of servos I mentioned, or vacuum. The fan speed though, I'll be is a 4 position switch, used with a tapped resistor. Easy to do with the brain and a few relays (a little harder to do if you want brain + OEM controls). Heater blend door actuator is most likely a servo, and looking at those controls my best guess is something like the pot feedback one I mentioned earlier.

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