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Thread: Photocell to control daymode

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Photocell to control daymode

    I posted a couple threads back, mentioning the possibility for using a photcell to trigger the day/night mode for a frontend interface. I thought that it would be a pretty simple hookup, but I just might be wrong.

    For those interested in what it takes, allow me post up:

    Connecting a Photocell to a PC

    I'm not discouraged yet. This looks like something that could be used for a couple few purposes. I'm thinking about auto-switching running and headlights for vehicles that didn't come with them originally, as well as, of course, a method of changing a frontend's day/night mode automatically.
    The ALEXIS Project
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadweasel
    I posted a couple threads back, mentioning the possibility for using a photcell to trigger the day/night mode for a frontend interface. I thought that it would be a pretty simple hookup, but I just might be wrong.

    For those interested in what it takes, allow me post up:

    Connecting a Photocell to a PC

    I'm not discouraged yet. This looks like something that could be used for a couple few purposes. I'm thinking about auto-switching running and headlights for vehicles that didn't come with them originally, as well as, of course, a method of changing a frontend's day/night mode automatically.

    that is a rather sophisticated solution
    its a good project- u learn about embedded processors etc

    how many discrete light levels do you need?
    i'm thinking a cds cell , couple of resistors and a transistor triggers say a game port button?
    which your software can then read...

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    How about using the time of day to control the day/night auto dimming?

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    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjad
    How about using the time of day to control the day/night auto dimming?
    You know, I had thought about that, but the thought of dealing with daylight savings is bugging me. It's not an issue of time so much as it is daylight. I'm sure I could write in some dirty little routine that adjusts the toggle time by a minute or two everday, but WHY? Why, when this method just screams "geek" so loudly that I can't resist its siren call?!

    Davesaudio2, what is this cds cell of which you speak (sorta)? Sounds a little simpler, and likely to cost less!
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjad
    How about using the time of day to control the day/night auto dimming?
    would work but a photocell would be MUCH better

    wouldnt have to worry about it changing modes when not necessary or not changing modes when it is necessary

    photocell would also allow the mode to turn on when in dark structures like garages, parking structures, tunnels, etc

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    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aoLhaTer
    would work but a photocell would be MUCH better

    wouldnt have to worry about it changing modes when not necessary or not changing modes when it is necessary

    photocell would also allow the mode to turn on when in dark structures like garages, parking structures, tunnels, etc

    Oops. Almost forgot about the parking garage aspect. Here in Detroit, it's ALL about the parking garages, and come time for other people to get out of work, I will have PLENTY of time to play with the screen while waiting for the soccer mom in front of me to turn off her squealing alarm on her minivan, get in, search for her keys (again), fumble with the makeup, etc.
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

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    a photocell set will not work that well. yeah in theory its great. it gets dark and screen dims. morning comes and screen returns to full brightness. BUT, depending where you mount it, the car behind you at night got his headlight on you most of the time. So the screen will flicker as the headlight move in and out of your rear view. Same if you mount it in the front.
    I got a rearview mirror with auto dim and even on a cloudy day the mirror dims.

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    FLAC aoLhaTer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alphared
    a photocell set will not work that well. yeah in theory its great. it gets dark and screen dims. morning comes and screen returns to full brightness. BUT, depending where you mount it, the car behind you at night got his headlight on you most of the time. So the screen will flicker as the headlight move in and out of your rear view. Same if you mount it in the front.
    I got a rearview mirror with auto dim and even on a cloudy day the mirror dims.
    how do car manufacturers do it then
    all of the newest cars have auto dimming and auto headlights

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alphared
    a photocell set will not work that well. yeah in theory its great. it gets dark and screen dims. morning comes and screen returns to full brightness. BUT, depending where you mount it, the car behind you at night got his headlight on you most of the time. So the screen will flicker as the headlight move in and out of your rear view. Same if you mount it in the front.
    I got a rearview mirror with auto dim and even on a cloudy day the mirror dims.
    Well what if the sensor were mounted where only ambient light were to strike it, directly. Say, forward of the windshield in the cowl. That way only direct sunlight would trigger it to brighten. Darker conditions, which according to the designs on that site I linked to, can be determined by me, would trigger a dimmer screen. The trick appears to be a little more than just "dark and light". Rather an issue of "how dark" and "how bright". Since it's all based on levels of resistance, the best thing to do, IMO, would be to mount the sensor in its intended location, with an ohmeter attached in the car, and observe the measurements produced over a period of time, preferably over a wide range of conditions (IE cloudy, direct night, street lights, direct sunlight etc).
    In this way, I could retrieve the values that I would need to determine specifically which resistance levels would be appropriate to trigger the daymode switch. Maybe with the screen already mounted, showing a mockup of one of the application menus, I could easily determine when it should change. I'm driving, it's cloudy out, I notice that it's not all that bright outside (getting late), and that the screen is beginning to distract me. At that point, I check the ohmmeter, note the reading. That is the value I will use to set daymode to "night". Same applies to the opposite. When I find myself straining to see the screen, it is now a distraction in its own right. Check the reading, there is my value for daymode "day".

    After that, it's a simple matter to permanently wire the sensor to trigger the toggle signal along the serial port at (or very close to) the levels I need it to trigger. I would imagine, of course, that an override option should be available within the program, so that if needed, it can simply ignore the serial input and remain in the daymode set by the user. I think this would be useful for a passenger using the screen (with it turned toward them of course).

    What do y'all think? Plausible? Yea? Nay? Hey, give me my beer back you grubby filching little bastard?

    Oops. Ignore the last. I need sleep.
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Altimat's Avatar
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    This will make you think. If you already have auto headlights just wire into them.
    Fabricator

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