Also, being able to integrate with Centrafuse would be a huge plus if its even possible, and so would being able to work with both windows and intel mac machines.
Hello all, iv been talking with a few of my friends over the past few weeks on putting together a program to work with these usb controlled relay boards, i myself am no programmer and my "dedicated" friends always seem to have something else they would rather work on.
Without rambling on, would anyone be on board for helping put together something like this? The goal would be to have something thats still very user customizable but has a real clean simple layout thats touch screen friendly, primarily i would want to be able to control things such as windows, interior/exterior lights, wipers, horn etc. and any other in car accessories and be able to do away with the factory switches if wanted, and if possible something that could also carry over to things like air suspension or other fancy things.
Here is an ebay link to a 16 relay board iv found, theres also a few other number configurations like 2/4/8 i believe.
Let me know if anyone would be willing to help out =), im sure we could even work out some type of compensation for the troubles if necessary.
There would be plenty of people on here willing to help with the source code, But i also think you will get a few people pointing towards the fusion brain setup on here.
Programming and testing all the code is the easy bit, If your keen todo this. I would suggest on having the whole GUI/interface drawn up and ready to shift into a language so who ever will do the back end only has to connect the dots and not worry about the design side of everything.
I have seen the fusion brain, the only reason i haven't leaned towards it as i don't fully understand how it works, and i favored the relay boards due to the fact that they would be able to handle the amperage for window motors and such with out any added hardware, but by all means im open to any suggestions and ideas that might just work better.
I do have an idea for the layout, ill do my best to dedicate tomorrow to putting it into something visual and get it posted, this is just something iv wanted to do for a while now and finally have the time and funds for the hardware so annnything that can help bring this to life please share your insight =).
I have not purchased or used the fusion brain, But at a guess would be the same as most other devices out there... Similar to what DSE(Dick Smith Electronics) sell here.
Basically its a USB device that when you connect to your computer, Has a driver installed which makes the Unit/Device accessible with either a pre-made program or a DLL for use with a programming language such as C,C++,C#, VB and so on.
In the situation of turning a device on and off with the (FB) fusion brain, you would do the following.. I may add or miss steps but this is all a educated guess.
1: Install the base driver/software for fusion brain on your computer/pc/laptop
2: Develop or run the test software for the FB device
3: Connect your circuit to the device, Example a mosfet driving your window motor
4: Read/Get or Write/Put the status of the input or output on the FB pin
So for example you can have a voltage monitor as the input on the FB to read when the windows are in operation and still be able to control your windows when no voltage is detected.
The overall thing of the fusion brain that it is a multiple input/output USB device that can be quickly installed and used across multiple systems using the same software with only the hardware to connect and setup.
I have gone the other way at times and had just a bare basic parallel port,midi,serial port for input and output control using a mosfet circuit or what ever else was needed.. This was the bare level i could do things at but allowed it to work and was no timing loss.
USB circuits are a little more fun to play with and are great once working.
Thanks for the information on that board, if you dont mind me asking what do you use the relay to control? and are you able to control it by itself, or only through the centrafuse plugin?
I would like to have a standalone application for myself, and possibly others who may not have centrafuse but would still like a real factory looking gui to control there accessories.
With most switching circuits, They simply cut or connect the flow of power. So for example a relay based one you would have the 12volt load for example the power windows motor connected to the relay, When the required operating voltage is supplied to the relay on the activate pin. This will complete the circuit and allow the power to flow into the motor while the pin on the relay is held high/active.
Once again i have not looked, But guessing fusion brain has a sdk or something if it is used in the form that it is. So as for the software, well basically you would connect/reference the FB libraries/drivers to your programming environment.... So say for example "Visual Studio Express Edition - Visual Basic" as unless its changed, is free to download.
Then basically you would either have a standalone exe /application that would be used to control the current setup you have... having a options page/menu/section to allow people to change power window 1 and 2 from pins number 1 and 2 to say 8 and 5.
Then also have a plugin made for which ever front end you want.
The thing about the Fusion Brain is that you can get it for about the same money including the relays. Yes the relays are seperate. It has 16 outputs and 13 inputs. The advantage is that the developer has already done the software, there are RR plugins, and there are skins within days of release that have skins already integrated. The developer is a member here at mp3Car, and understands the uses desired by the car pc community.
You can also buy an Accelerometer, an Infrared distance sensor, a Photosensor, and a Thermometer, all for the car pc community.
No I am in no way associated with Fusion Brain, yes I have bought a Fusion Brain, Just recently, and only paid $20 for a slightly defective unit direct from there web sight, ( yes all electronics have manufactured defect units) as opposed to the the regular $59.99.
Give it a try. Support our community here at mp3Car.
Think of it this way. Buy a unit with integrated relays, and have to build useable software from the ground up, or buy a unit with software and community support, but have to buy some relays.