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Thread: Interest Check: GPS Tracker Hardware

  1. #61
    Constant Bitrate BrianMay's Avatar
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    so...when will some samples see daylight? anytime soon?
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  2. #62
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    Any news yet? I want one of these things!

  3. #63
    Low Bitrate Rowan's Avatar
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    Hi Guys, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you all, we had two slightly major problems with the first boards. Firstly they used too much power. The PSU section wasted to much in the conversion, in that it used a switch mode regulator for 5v (this part is ok) but then linear reg's from 5v to 3.3 (the main supply rail), which is only 66% efficient and then another linear reg from 3.3v down to 1.8v (CPU core rail), which is only 54% efficient. This lead to the board drawing around 80-120mA in idle, and up to 180-220mA when communicating. At roughly 100mA idle this was just too much for a parasitic load on a car battery..

    Secondly the GPS part of the Sierra Wireless cards we wanted to use never worked, and even our suppliers couldn't get it working..

    To fix these problems, we've designed a new board. It has it's own on-board GPS, with LNA and Active Antenna inputs (3.3v antenna, SMA connector). The new GPS has 10Hz updates! It also features a 3-output fixed frequency high effiencency regulator, no more linear reg's! The whole PSU section is Switch-Mode. We've also changed the CPU to use an Atmel AT91SAM9G20, which uses less power than the SAM9260 but is double the speed at 400MHz. The board is also smaller measuring only 60mm wide by 100mm tall.

    Due to recommendations from the people who've brought the current board, this new design no longer has any digital inputs or outputs, or analog in's. It still measure's the incoming power voltage however. To compensate it now has 4 x USB 2.0 ports. The reason for this, is that we had many customers wanting all different types of IO layouts, mostly people wanting a high number of relay outputs, or faster inputs, frequency counters, 4-20mA analog in's with higher resolution and so forth. So the idea now is that we have a couple of different IO boards which plug into ours via USB to provide the IO. I'm hoping to also get boards like the Fusion Brain and Phidget boards working with it, as well as USB/RS232 ODBC devices. We've got some cool idea's for USB IO boards, including boards with accelerometers or gyro's (could assist the GPS with dead reckoning), multiple relay outputs, frequency counters, 1-wire, HID readers, additional USB, RS232 or RS485 and so on.

    It still has on board ethernet for pass-through to 3G WAN usage using any type of PCI Express Mini WWAN card (or possibly USB WWAN devices), 1Gb solid state storage, 64Mb SDRAM, and hopefully much lower power usage!

    I'll try keep this thread a bit more updated, sorry for all the delays!
    Holden VY Calais 5.7lt LS1 V8

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    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

  4. #64
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    Heya Rowan,
    Please check your PM
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  5. #65
    Constant Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    multiple relay outputs, frequency counters, 1-wire, HID readers, additional USB, RS232 or RS485 and so on.
    How about LIN-bus? LIN-bus and CAN was deseigned for automotive use unlike e.g. RS485 that's more common for industrial use.

  6. #66
    Low Bitrate Rowan's Avatar
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    Hi Blues, I had a look at LIN-bus, it could be done with a small RS232/USB -> LIN bus board if there was enough demand. The reason I mentioned RS485 is because a lot of the original boards went to places that were on solar that had weather stations that needed to be monitored remotely, and some of them connected via RS485
    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

  7. #67
    Low Bitrate Rowan's Avatar
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    Prototypes

    Our initial prototypes of the above mentioned device have arrived and we have been busy testing them. We only got a couple as the cost for prototyping and assembling devices with BGA components and 6-layer boads isn't cheap :\

    Will be getting prototype IO boards shortly to go with it.

    Check out some pics and info:
    http://www.iclogix.com.au/index.php/...-lc3-prototype
    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

  8. #68
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    Start selling them dammit!

  9. #69
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    Looking very good there, Rowan - very professional!

    Jeesh, can hardly wait for these to be available

    Let's hope the testing goes well, and that we can get our grubby little paws on these soon - my UTE is calling for one.
    F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

    Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)

  10. #70
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    Heya Rowan,
    Any update on this product

    Looking forward to some feedback....
    F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

    Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)

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