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Thread: Developing an arduino shield - any interest?

  1. #1
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    Developing an arduino shield - any interest?

    I'm building a CarPC, and one core piece of the puzzle for me is an arduino that has an accelerometer, magnetometer, relay output, PWM LED output, and button input. It's also possible to take the place of a Joycon for steering wheel input.

    I wanted to see if this was something that other people may be interested in. Right now I'm developing it as a shield for the Arduino Uno SMD, and hopefully I'll get the first revision built within the next month. The board is designed to use components available from Sparkfun, so you would buy it as a kit and have to solder some bits together.

    Is this something anyone would be interested in? Are there any other features you think are essential?

    Thanks for the input!

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    CAN bus and OBD connectivity would be handy for automotive use. I don't know how elaborate you want your shield to be.
    I know that a CAN shield is already available. Maybe bake that into your own design somehow?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by costeau View Post
    CAN bus and OBD connectivity would be handy for automotive use. I don't know how elaborate you want your shield to be.
    I know that a CAN shield is already available. Maybe bake that into your own design somehow?
    Thanks for the message! I thought about this for a little while, and I don't think it would work using the Arduino Uno. I think using the Leonardo it might be possible, though. The reason is that the Uno only has a single serial interface to the computer, and CAN bus and OBD connection programs want to have that serial port dedicated to their own protocol, so mixing the OBD functionality with being able to read the accelerometer or set a relay output or something wouldn't work. The Leonardo has a direct connection, so you're not limited to a single serial port.

    Other than that - it's only about $30 to pick up a wireless Bluetooth OBD reader and Bluetooth USB adapter, and then you've got your own dedicated connection to the car. There is no way I'd be able to get my system cost anywhere near that - just the base system is like $30, and that's without the shield.

  4. #4
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    Here is an option for you if you have room on your Shield. You could build it with a socket on the board and let the user purchase this if they want ODB connectivity...

    This piece is $69 but for someone who wants to build this into their car it would be a bargain over some of the other stuff out there. The big deal here is that the cheap ODB connectors are not up to snuff for doing some types of real time data. Something like this would be. And you could easily provide support for it by putting a DIP-24 form factor socket on your board.

    Dimensions: 1.3" x 0.59"

    http://www.scantool.net/scan-tools/m...roobd-200.html

    There is a guy on the system from scantool.net that I am sure could provide more detail and potentially give you samples up front to make it work.

    Since all shields work with all aduino's you could tell people you need at a minimum whatever board to use this function. All it costs you is a socket that is a few pennies, the board real estate and a little time to design it onto the board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redheadedrod View Post
    Since all shields work with all aduino's you could tell people you need at a minimum whatever board to use this function. All it costs you is a socket that is a few pennies, the board real estate and a little time to design it onto the board.
    Unfortunately, that is not the case. The Uno, Uno R3, and Leonardo all have different shield pin-outs when it comes to certain features (namely I2C). For now I think I'm going to hold off on the OBD interface, and in the future if I decide to move up to the Leonardo (which is almost a certainty if I integrate the Joycon interface) I'll see if I can integrate it. I'm hoping that the cheap bluetooth OBD-II reader that I've got has the same functionality, in which case it just wouldn't be necessary.

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    As a quick update, I fried my Uno, replaced it with an Leonardo, and I like the Leonardo much better

    Here is the shield:

  7. #7
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    Fun project .
    Is it possible to obtain the accelerometer and the magnetometer values through the USB port my goal would be to use with RideRunner !

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    Quote Originally Posted by pierrotm777 View Post
    Fun project .
    Is it possible to obtain the accelerometer and the magnetometer values through the USB port my goal would be to use with RideRunner !
    Yes, my arduino does very little processing, it just sends the info to the PC (over USB). I have a program running on the PC that can read the accelerometer, magnetometer, set/unset the relay, change the LED state of the buttons & rotary encoder based upon iTunes (pause, play, etc). Essentially the arduino just acts as an interface to the hardware - the PC does all the logic.

    That said, I don't use RideRunner. I tried, but I didn't like it, and it doesn't support iTunes, so I just wrote my own. I don't have experience writing interface software with RideRunner, but I can't imagine it would be very difficult. The arduino communication is all serial port communication and is dead simple.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberBill View Post
    Yes, my arduino does very little processing, it just sends the info to the PC (over USB). I have a program running on the PC that can read the accelerometer, magnetometer, set/unset the relay, change the LED state of the buttons & rotary encoder based upon iTunes (pause, play, etc). Essentially the arduino just acts as an interface to the hardware - the PC does all the logic.

    That said, I don't use RideRunner. I tried, but I didn't like it, and it doesn't support iTunes, so I just wrote my own. I don't have experience writing interface software with RideRunner, but I can't imagine it would be very difficult. The arduino communication is all serial port communication and is dead simple.
    Error my friend RR support very well iTunes (by plugin) ! and it's realy easy to create a RR plugin , i do that each day actually . Another accelerometer inclinometer exist already and i have rewritten a plugin for RR in C# .
    If you have the source of your PC interface for arduino on C# or VB.NET, i can help you !

    See this thread !
    http://www.mp3car.com/software-and-s...out-there.html

  10. #10
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    I'll have to look into the iTunes RR plugin - when I last looked around I could only find one project and it was not well supported and didn't seem to work.

    My PC interface is done in C# - I've actually got two programs. One interfaces with the arduino and the other is the front end to iTunes - there is a little bit of communication between the programs, and they're both written in C#.

    I'll see what I can do about posting the source up somewhere.

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