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Thread: Is Fusion Brain Right for Me?

  1. #1
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    Is Fusion Brain Right for Me?

    This may get long winded so I'm going to have a short version and a long version for everybody. If you want to read the long version please read the short version as well as it gives some good info before I get long winded.


    Short Version:
    So basically this program has to read a bunch of inputs that would vary in resistance or voltage, then take those initial readings look as some form of a translation table to give a useable value, which would then in turn displays a value/moves a gauge needle. That sounds simple to me in theroy, and probably is easy to write for veteran programmers, but I would love some guidance on how to tackle this project.

    Long Version:
    Thinking about putting a car-puter in a Nissan 300zx TT, it is OBD I so I canít use some of the OBD II reader software that is Plug and Play. There is a fellow 300zx community member that is writing an app currently for ipod/ipad(that he will eventually port to android) that will take an Arduino Microcontroller read a bunch of sensors before they get to the ecu then create a digital dash board with gauges and bars. He has it set up right now where the Ardunio unit is wireless so he doesnít have to actually plug something to the ipod/ipad and he can navigate through all the gauges and even controller some relays to roll windows and unlock doors from the ipod/ipad. I would like to Write/Find a program that will accept various inputs from various sensors that can be translated into gauges with that ability to create my own gauge style and layout. I originally thought of wanting to go the route he did and create my own app to do the same thing but I thought, with my limited knowledge, that it would be easier to write something for a car-puter, and then if in the future I ever wanted to i could convert it to an app. I have taken a few basic C++ and I use VBA to write macros a lot at work, so I have a basic understanding of coding.

    Is fusion brain too overpowered for what im wanting to do? Any help would be very nice.

  2. #2
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    To each his own... I was doing similar stuff and chose Arduino because of A) Documentation and worldwide community support B) Cost C) programming interface

    At the time I was researching, the fusion brain was too much a black hole on documentation. It may be better now but I haven't looked into it in a while so somebody else can chime in on that one. The programming interface seemed too limited. I'm sure you can do tons of stuff but it was like learning a weird GUI language likened to HTML page builders back in the day. If you don't know C or VB, get a fusion brain, if you know how to program in a professional language, I would get an Arduino or Phidget.

    EDIT: This is just my opinion Don't want to step on any toes.

  3. #3
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    I see.. With that being the case it sounds like I should go with Fusion Brain since I am know where close to being able to proficiently program with C or VB to the point of writing everything from the ground up without massive guidance and help.

    Another question I have is, from what I understand the Fusion Control Center or MDX is out of date and old and doesnt directly work with FB v6. So is there anyway that you can you use the configurator to write the code then important in a way to work with FB v6 just so I would have a starting place? One last question(for now), is there anyway you can create a configuration without have the Fusion Brain because it seems like with v6 you have to have the fusion brain connected for it to be tested or for it to work. As always any help or guidence is very much appreciated!

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    To answer your questions: Yes the FB will do what you want. It is not necessarily overpowered, but it can do much more than you want. Better to have leftover power then need to replace hardware later.

    The graphical programming was made to accommodate those that don't know how to code. Sounds like it is a good fit for you. For those that do know how to code, there are plugin APIs and DLLs that allow you to do whatever you want using your own code in C# or VB.NET. There is a wrapper for VB6 and C++ as well. There were never any programming limitations. The GUI has existed and was configurable without coding knowledge. Then there was a more "advanced" code area where you could just type away and make stuff happen. Also there are RoadRunner/RideRunner and Centrafuse plugins thanks to Sonic. As well as some VB examples and third party apps.

    The black hole of documentation is still somewhat true. There are very little official "datasheet" type documents. However, all the basic information you really need is easily found on this website and via google. I also answer emails frequently and usually the answer is already on these forums, just harder to find and I have no problem pointing you to the solution.

    MDX is out of date in that it is not supported anymore. FuseGL is the the newer version essentially. There is configuration built in, just press F10. However, the graphical configuration section is still a work in progress. You can do some things but it only scratches the surface. It is very difficult to configure something simply that can do pretty much anything. What is there should be easy enough to understand though, and of course email or a forum post makes answering questions easy and fast. MDX and FuseGL share nothing, so no the configuration from MDX will not work in FuseGL.
    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

  5. #5
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    Thanks a bunch for all the info!! After reading a lot of information last night about Arduino and Fusion Brain I did come to the conclusion that Fusion Brain was what I wanted!! You still have some in stock right I would like to order one!

    With some of the reading I did last night and today i did come to the conclusion that I really want to go the route of using Ride Runner RRFusion Plugin just because for me it seems easier to be able to create skins which in turn can have things displayed how I want them to be.

    Also one very important question is how many times per a second would sensors be sampled? The reason being, for things like RPM, Boost Pressure, and Wideband O2 Sensors need very high sample rates to be accurate, is this something that can be changed via code or is there a set frequency?

    Thanks again for the information and I will be sure to not use anything from or look into the MDX software so I don’t confuse myself lol Also once I hear that you have some in stock I will send money your way!!

  6. #6
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    Also one thing I wanted to add but could not since right now my posts have to be given the ok by a mod is this: what is the acceptable range of input voltage that anyone of the FB analogous sensors can take? I ask because I have a few gauges that will output a range of 0v to 5v and didnt know if this would be straight up plug and code.

  7. #7
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    v3/v4 are 0-5V (low availability)
    V6 is 0-3.3V
    You can use a resistor divider to scale the 0-5V for the v6 inputs. It's not hard, it's just not intuitive the first time you do it (google voltage divider, good explanations)

    I don't know the sample rate, but I doubt you'll need a higher sample rate for your sensors (you can set it, but I don't know the max). automotive sensors have a lot of jitter inherently (especially RPM) & need some smoothing/averaging so that they don't bounce around so much as to be unreadable. If you want it to, it can update the reading faster than your eye/brain can read it - making the info useless.
    Seeing a boost gauge/tach jump quickly/bounce around might look cool, but it's useless for actually telling you anything about what is going on. OEM tachs have a lot of smoothing them....

  8. #8
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    Ok thats what I was thinking I was having to do, as in the resistor divider. I do know that lots of OEM gauges have a large amount of smoothing/dampening and I have already some ideas on how to combat a very bouncy gauge problem, so I think I should be fine there. As for refresh rate I would love for it to be around 60hz. Thanks again for the help and suggestions very much appreciated!!

  9. #9
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdhsbaseball View Post
    Ok thats what I was thinking I was having to do, as in the resistor divider. I do know that lots of OEM gauges have a large amount of smoothing/dampening and I have already some ideas on how to combat a very bouncy gauge problem, so I think I should be fine there. As for refresh rate I would love for it to be around 60hz. Thanks again for the help and suggestions very much appreciated!!
    Well a capacitor is usually the easiest for smoothing. Or you can read all the bouncy data and average in software.

    As for refresh rate, anything more than 30Hz is wasted on the human vision. A 30Hz sensor being displayed will be so crazy jumpy that it will be useless and you won't be able to read it without a strobe light. The sensors are read at about 230Hz on an average PC. I would recommend a moving average on that data then display that average.
    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

  10. #10
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    The running average was what I was thinking of doing originality. Also you have them in stock correct?

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