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Thread: Is there any inclinometer sw out there?

  1. #11
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    Yup.... there are TONS of apps for smartphones and tablets. If it can be done with a smartphone.... someone has probably made an app for it. They DO have the advantage of having the accelerometer and gyro built in and their output easily accessible. I've been reverse engineering a couple of little apps written for windows using java, vb, python or c+ that use basic accelerometer data to display an artificial horizon or attitude indicator for remote use with an rc aircraft. I've used them all but I'm not that proficient in any of them. The board I am using for prototyping is based on the MPU-6050 which is available on ebay for under $10. I have also been tinkering with a WII nunchuck and motion plus adapter. When I am done, I hope to have a small board that simply needs level mounting and a usb connection to the car pc, and of course an app to read and display the output. From there.... maybe an enhanced version with a magnetometer compass and atmospheric pressure sensor to offer compass heading and altitude as well.

    The only thing I have really found pre-made so far is the Innovate RAD-1 Rollover Avoidance Device Inclinometer.
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  2. #12
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    Sweet, well done so far! As long as it works in Windows and can use a picture of my truck, I'm definitely one to support your project! Well level mounting shouldn't be necessary if you have a centering feature that will use it's existing position as center. Getting a perfectly level mounting in a vehicle can be almost impossible. Awesome if you'd get atmospheric pressure too! I don't need a compass since my truck has one, but I would still use that feature, and I'm sure others would however. Since you'd be the first, there could be a market for such software+device.

    I've seen the Rad-1 many years ago, but it's big and ugly for what it does. I want to use the CarPC since it's already there, and not have another piece of something mounted in the truck; keep it clean and simple, the less **** the better.

  3. #13
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    As far as "level mounting" goes..... maybe I should just say relatively level. Of course there will be a calibration routine that will define what is inherently level. The main unit should be smaller than a pack of cigarettes and would really only require proper front to rear orientation and be relatively stable. Velcro, adhesive pad or wire ties will probably suffice. The only needed connection will be USB for both power and data. With both a gyro and accelerometer being used, I could also implement other data sets such as acceleration, braking and lateral g forces as well as roll stability in turns. That would make it marketable to sports car enthusiasts as well as those trekking off road. I was rather shocked to see that no one had put something together for a car pc when there are so many apps that do something similar for tablets and smart phones. Maybe something like this could justify a grant or other assistance. My prototype will be done with an image of my own vehicle, a 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Sport of course but to further customize it for other vehicles, all I would need would be a decent rear and passenger side photograph of any vehicle. I have a diploma in graphic design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh so photo manipulation is not an issue for me. I am still shocked that nothing like this is available for a car pc. I would be very curious as to what potential demand might be. Maybe I will post a couple of mock up screens to gauge a response.

  4. #14
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    cool thread

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSiveJeff
    My prototype will be done with an image of my own vehicle, a 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Sport of course but to further customize it for other vehicles, all I would need would be a decent rear and passenger side photograph of any vehicle. I have a diploma in graphic design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh so photo manipulation is not an issue for me..
    I've done mine in Computer Engineering, but I've got some really good graphics experience doing stuff on the side. Wondering if it could be "skinable", where the user can edit a template for their own vehicle, or could even have a basic avaition style one for one where people don't want a pic of a vehicle at all.

    I'm curious and anxious to see what you've come up with.

  6. #16
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    Here is a small sampling of what I am working on. It is just a windows executable that is currently just mouse driven. The image is currently hard coded but all that will change as soon as I get the hardware interface done. What I have done already might actually be usable with an air mouse as a sensor. I don't have one so I'm not sure how it would work. I have several hardware interface ideas that I am going to test out. So far this is only a basic proof of concept. Embedding, configuration and skinning will all come later once I am sure it works.

    Unzip files and run Inclinometer file. The lib and source files directories need to extracted to the same directory as the executable. It opens full screen. Just hit ESC to close it. Currently the buttons are not functional.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #17
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    Wow. Besides for wanting to use my own truck/pic, I love it, it's very, very well done!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nd4SpdSe View Post
    Wow. Besides for wanting to use my own truck/pic, I love it, it's very, very well done!
    Well.... I can understand that one. It doesn't even use a picture of MY OWN truck yet. LOL Right now I am playing with the accelerometer in a Wii Nunchuck for angle measurement. I have x and y data available over usb/virtual serial using an arduino but I need to add code to the inclinometer to read and use that data instead of the mouse x and y that it is currently using. If it works well, this could be an ideal basic solution since nunchucks are cheap and readily available. I had been trying to use an MPU-6050 module but it is a bit overkill. I have a couple MMA7361 boards coming on a slow boat from China that are basic analog voltage output that would be even cheaper and easier to adapt since they don't use I2C for communication. They just vary the voltage output based on orientation. I would just need to read the 2 voltages and map the voltage range to an angle range. I figure the cost of making a stand alone usb output sensor board that the program can read would run between $10- $20 cost wise. Anyone with experience using an arduino could easily make one for under $30 in parts including the arduino board. They will arrive in about a week..... so then I can decide on which way will be the most effective all things considered.

    Thanks for the compliment. Now back to tossing around some more code to see if I can make the whole plan come together. LOL

  9. #19
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    IT'S ALIVE!

    I have successfully mated my new inclinometer software to a Wii Nunchuck through an Arduino. It works quite well but has a tiny bit of jitter. Then again, that could just be my hands. LOL Hopefully, I can shoot some video this weekend to document this milestone. It took me a while to write the code to run on the Arduino to output the data over serial/usb. I think that I gave myself a headache trying to work out a good algorithm for converting the nunchuck output into a usable range and into degrees of rotation. Next comes transferring the apparatus into the vehicle for a little real world testing. Wish me luck!

    Not bad for my first program written using Processing. Anybody here pretty good with the Arduino and Processing? I might need a little help developing a filter for the data output if the jitter isn't just my shaking hands.

  10. #20
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    Wow, after all these years of nothing, you're moving quick! Always like to see updates!

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