Wow, Fantastic Work so far!!! I really hope that roll cage never has to be used!
If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.
2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
Thanks for the comments.
Quick update, Just spent the last few hours rebuilding the main microcontroller board. I had it up and running on a smaller piece of stripboard when i last posted, but it didnt make the most of the space that I had to play with inside the enclosure. So cut a new piece of stripboard and used a program called LochMaster to design the layout first to get everything as efficient as possible, here's what it looked like on the PC:
No prizes for guessing which chip is the PIC, lol. You can also see three RS-232 interface chips on there. One is used by the PIC and the other two will be used by the GSM and GPS modules. The serial inputs and outputs on the PIC, GPS and GSM are all 5V TTL level which is not direcly compatible with the voltages used on a standard PC's serial port unless you use an RS-232 to TTL interface like those shown.
Strictly speaking I could have just used one of these interfaces to enable communications with the PC and everything else could have stuck with its native TTL levels. But these MAX3223 chips have the benefit of enable and disable inputs (actually called force on and force off). I'll be using these inputs to enable and disable comms with each module (GSM, GPS & CarPC) as and when I need to as mentionned in my last post.
The PIC there is very simple to wire as you can see it has a 5V DC power supply (blue and white wires) a reset button (green and white) and two decoupling capacitors (shown either side of the PIC in the middle). A PIC also needs a clock source, usually a crystal or resonator, but thankfully this PIC has a built in oscillator that runs at 8MHz and can be internally multiplied up to 32MHz, might not sound very fast compared to a PC, lol, but is more than enough for this application.
Ive also wired in a few LED's there on the left had side purely to act as indicators. Obviously with a system like this there's no screen so its good to have a few status lights to let you know what's going on.
The only other thing shown on there is a 6 core cable top middle, that plugs into my ICD2:
The ICD plugs into my PIC on one side and a PC USB port on the other side and lets you transfer code to and from the PIC from the PC. It also lets you run the code on the PIC whilst watching exactly whats going on inside the PIC from the PC screen, debugging. This is essential when you're running extensive code like this as the chances of writing all the code and having it work first time are almost none and when something goes wrong, you need a way of finding out the problem and the ICD helps with that.
I've got a simple program on there now just flashing the 3 indicator LED's, didnt take much debugging to get that one working though, lol.
Well being that it's new years eve tomorrow i probably wont get much more done, or the day after for that matter, lol. But i'll keep it updated.
WOW! You sir are a man after my own heart! You are doing things that I've always wanted to do! The integration is phenomenal. I have to ask though, have you given any thought to installing/creating some sort of security system that is just as advanced as everything else? I've been planning my future project for a while (ok, still planning) and one thing i realized is that I am going to have to have a major security system installed because if something were to happen... well i just wouldn't like that. I'm talking Tony Stark type stuff! lol. I LOVE the pda integration as well! I have to ask, what on earth do you do for a living? You must be some sort of electrical engineer or something. Love what you've done. SPACE
Really nice install, this is by far the most interesting install to read, I am a software developer and I am planning to make my own frontend aswell... I really like all the technical bits in your posts... So I am really looking forward to seeing what you plan/do next.
Respect dude, so of the features you have made I had planned to do aswell, but your much more of an hardware guy than I am, therefore I'm probably gonna be using Phidgets instead of all the hw building. Again wow and respect.