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Thread: *NEW* USB Input/Output Board -- Fusion Brain

  1. #421
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Also, I see absolutely NO point in having this device powered on once the PC has been shut down, since when closing the application it clears all DO's anyway and is a "dumb" device. What possible reasons would people have for otherwise?
    The device has individual timers for each output. Once the PC is off, you can keep some on for x amount of time before they shut off. Could be used for almost anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris31 View Post
    Not sure if you meant attaching a cheap USB BT dongle on the PIC. You certainly cant do that, the PIC doesnt support to act as USB host. Even if you are able to do that, then you may have problems with writing the serial profiles on the PIC firmware anyway. Like whats been said, you are better off using an RS232<>BT module and connect that to the RX/TX pins of the PIC. Of course the firmware need changing so all the communications are redirected to these pins.
    No not at all. Plug a cheap bluetooth into the PC, and use girder or something to send button presses to out program. No direct interface to the PIC. That is what the $400 to $500 thing that was mentioned on the first few pages does. Ours is priced a tad bit less than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris31 View Post
    The 4550 is a powerful beast, you may need to write some of the codes in ASM if you are having problems with speeds.
    Meh. It is fast enough. We are polling more times a second than USB can handle at the moment, so we dont need any optimization yet. Right now it is written in C. ASM is evil!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris31 View Post
    I was surprised you guys are using RS232 emulations. Are you using the handshake lines? or have created one?
    no we arent. Not at all. The default USB drivers work just like every other USB device. The dll supplied by Microchip works it magic inside and sends it over USB regularly. The PIC then decodes it through its C program. No RS232 emulation anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris31 View Post
    And the other things, if you gonna start selling these then you may consider applying for the USB VID/PID otherwise you *may* get into trouble for using non registered or copied IDs. Im assuming you guys are using the microchips USB IDs for now?
    Yup we thought about it, and we are using the default vid/pid. I asked on the Microchip forums and nobody said anybody would care... It is definately something to look at more closely, but those are expensive!

    And we could give the PIC's for free with purchase of the board, so we wouldnt be selling the chips.
    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

  2. #422
    Low Bitrate Rowan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    The device has individual timers for each output. Once the PC is off, you can keep some on for x amount of time before they shut off. Could be used for almost anything.
    OHH, righto! Then there is a reason :P Someone said before that upon shutting down the software all DO's are reset to 0.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    no we arent. Not at all. The default USB drivers work just like every other USB device. The dll supplied by Microchip works it magic inside and sends it over USB regularly. The PIC then decodes it through its C program. No RS232 emulation anywhere.
    The PIC's firmware is based upon Microchip's Communication Device Class (CDC) firmware:
    The Communication Device Class firmware is the most direct way or migrating a serial port (legacy) application to USB. In fact this firmware provides direct emulation of a serial port on PC running Windows 2K and Windows XP. As the PIC18F4550 is attached to the PC, a virtual COMx port is created. All PC software using a COM1-4 port will work without modifications with the virtual COM port if only at a much higher speed (approx 1Mbit/s)

    PROS: free, simple to use, easy migration from serial port applications

    CONS: data transfer speed limited to about 1Mbit/s, no hardware handshake emulation (not necessary)

    Memory requirements: about 4K bytes

    Windows drivers: no driver required (Windows 2K/XP), xxx.inf file must be supplied
    http://www.microchip.com/stellent/id...param=en022625

    rs232 emulation, or not?
    Holden VY Calais 5.7lt LS1 V8

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  3. #423
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    OHH, righto! Then there is a reason :P Someone said before that upon shutting down the software all DO's are reset to 0.


    The PIC's firmware is based upon Microchip's Communication Device Class (CDC) firmware:

    http://www.microchip.com/stellent/id...param=en022625

    rs232 emulation, or not?
    Well I meant not like Mitch's Sirius Board. Then you have to install FTDI serial emulation drivers, and the sirius drivers. It creates a visible virtual COM port permanently type thing.

    This is 1 driver that does it all. The actual inside workings wont matter for the majority of the users, or at least I dont think the end user cares too terribly much.

    And before the timer firmware was implemented, the program did just shut everything off on close. It is still in the program now, but will be taken out once the new firmware is sent out to everyone. The current released firmware doesnt have the timers yet.
    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

  4. #424
    Low Bitrate Rowan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Well I meant not like Mitch's Sirius Board. Then you have to install FTDI serial emulation drivers, and the sirius drivers. It creates a visible virtual COM port permanently type thing.

    This is 1 driver that does it all. The actual inside workings wont matter for the majority of the users, or at least I dont think the end user cares too terribly much.
    Oh, you're right 100%, it doesn't matter - if I was making it i'd use the same thing - the only reason it came up was because, if you want to add bluetooth later via the "BlueSMiRF" or similar, it would be easy to do since your commands go through a COM port anyways. Bluetooth opens a COM port on your PC, in your software you'd just have to change which COM port to write the commands to (ie the USB CDC created one, or the Bluetooth created one). The PIC's firmware would just have to know which to listen on..
    Holden VY Calais 5.7lt LS1 V8

    Computer:
    MB896 Pentium M Mini-ITX Motherboard, Intel Pentium M 750 1.86 GHz, 1Gb DDR2 Ram, 250GiB SATA, Xenarc 800TSV 8" VGA Monitor with touchscreen, GPS/Cellular/PCS/WiFi antenna, Bluetooth GPS, etc ,etc

  5. #425
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Ok, there will not be any updates to the software for the next... a while.

    Changing the buttons and everything to be dynamically created, with multiple pages, and support for multiple boards, will require basically a complete rewrite of the majority of the software. So dont expect anything soon... Just giving you guys a heads up.

    -- Nick
    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. #426
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Also to go with that, you can create all the graphics and what you hope it to look like, but dont start coding the FusionForm.skin file yet, because well, it is going to be completely different.

    From where I see it now, I will be getting rid of the UserConfig.atom files and relying solely on the skin files. Since everything is going to be dynamically created, it is kind of useless to have a static settings file where that particular output may be moved around or taken out or anything, so all that info will be in the skin file.
    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. #427
    Constant Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    The device has individual timers for each output. Once the PC is off, you can keep some on for x amount of time before they shut off. Could be used for almost anything.
    If the board is only on after shutdown for 'x' amount of time then what is the point of bluetooth? Obviously you won't leave it on indefinatley as you will have no battery when you return to your car. So far the only reson i've heard for bluetooth is to do things from your car when your not near it, such as remote start and remote windows etc. So if your not going to always leave the device on then what is the benefit? what can you do? Am i missing something?

  8. #428
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmoL View Post
    If the board is only on after shutdown for 'x' amount of time then what is the point of bluetooth? Obviously you won't leave it on indefinatley as you will have no battery when you return to your car. So far the only reson i've heard for bluetooth is to do things from your car when your not near it, such as remote start and remote windows etc. So if your not going to always leave the device on then what is the benefit? what can you do? Am i missing something?
    The board itself is on as long as it has power. So the majority of people will wire it to a switched +12v source whether it be the unregulated car +12v switched line or the PSU's regulated +12v via the yellow wire on the molex.

    As it stands now, there is no use for bluetooth while the device is off. The argument above I believe was to get the board to interface directly with a bluetooth device and trigger its outputs based off of the bluetooth data. This could be useful and since the PIC draws very negligable power (less than what your car alarm or the circuit in stock radios keeping time draw) you could start your car via bluetooth and start the PC via it as well.

    While this feature would be "nifty" the work to get it functioning, the added cost of the components, time to code it in, and bluetooth liscenses, far outweigh the benefits in my eyes right now.

    There is a unit that is available for $400 to $500 and is mentioned somewhere in this thread that can interface directly with bluetooth and has a couple outputs. Only 1 analogue input, and no digital inputs. So if you really really really want bluetooth control independant of the PC, then go that route.

    Now, if you have a bluetooth phone, and wanted to use it as a remote for your car so to speak, you can use a cheapo USB bluetooth dongle, pair your phone on the computer, and use a program such as Girder, or maybe I will make one later if the interest is there for one, that will directly interface with my software for the PIC, and you can control the outputs that way.

    So to sum up...

    Bluetooth control avec the Fusion Brain:
    Bluetooth Device --> USB Dongle --> PC --> Girder/Custom App --> Fusion Control Centre --> USB cable --> Fusion Brain --> Relays

    I think this would be uber cool. Especially if you had a touchscreen smart phone. You could use it to control all aspects of your car as you can use a PSP to control your PS3!!! It would be the added geek factor that so many of use strive for.
    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

  9. #429
    Fusion Brain Creator
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    You can pre-order now. Expected ship date is May 31st.

  10. #430
    Variable Bitrate P3D4T0R's Avatar
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    I got my new chip today... It dosnt work. Yes I installed it correctly and the computer dosnt even see it. When it is connected it and gave it power 6 of the DO came on, if that helps at all. After that I reinstalled the other chip and still the computer dose not see it.
    "Mess with the best, die like the rest."
    Work Log --> Old Car (Totaled)
    Work Log v2 --> New Car (Totaled)
    Work Log v3 --> GMC Suburban K2500 (Engine died)
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