HiJackZX1, one thing about the videos is there is no choppiness or skipping (like the YouTube videos I just posted) on playback. That front camera can read the number plates of parked cars (almost side on) as I drive past. Its frame grabs are as good as a still camera when displayed on my 24Ē screen.
I can log MPH from OBDII in MiniCam and was doing this for a while. MiniCam also has a companion file that will overlay GPS data MPH and location but itís a crying shame that it wonít work on a 64bit system.
I can also set recording to size to 1 minute saves but I just bet that the minute you lose will be the minute you need. But I still would like to have a dedicated system like yours one day.
You're awesome, man. I'll contact you after the holidays.
Originally Posted by Mickz
My brain is melting :faint: ...
But anyway, why did you custom build most of your hardware instead of using things like the Fusion Brain or Arduino?
Hi, some of the Fusion brains used almost the same microprocessors as I do. If you think of the “fusion brain” in two parts, one is the program that runs inside the Microprocessor and the other is PC program that interfaces with the micro, then it may help to understand the world of difference between the same Microprocessor running a full standalone control application with OR without a dedicated PC interface application.
The micro program running in mine is bit-bash decoding a data stream and converting that into a higher level data packet that can be sent to the PC and other Micros. At the same time the Micro is monitoring a dozen or so control lines and controlling another set of outputs based on decisions about voltage level and various control lockouts. It’s also directing some communication between itself, the PC and other Microprocessors in the loop. It’s responding to requests for various status updates and responding to data and control requests from the PC and other Micros and these microprocessors are all running standalone and totally independent of the PC. The full answer is even more complex but you have to understand just what is involved in programming these and how you interface and handle the various data streams involved in complex multi processor inter-communication control systems.
I guess a lot of people think of a Microprocessor as a device that just allows for some fancy input and output with a bit of decision making, but that can also describe a PC. A microprocessor is capable of running a purpose built Operating system. I have some connected to a PS2 Keyboard, mouse, screen and SSD.
Like everything else it depends on how deep you want to go – or how much time you have to learn; there is basically no limit to what you can do with them.BTW- Thanks for reading my worklog and hope the hurt/melting goes away soon :lol:
Got a 5m USB-3 extension cable with inbuilt repeater, dual antenna Wireless-11n router and a High power Wireless-11n USB adaptor with internal and external Aerials for Xmas, lots of hints to Santa and left open catalogues for that to happen.Of course the Wireless units can both auto-negotiate back to 11g and 11b. The adaptor is a nice little unit from JayCar that plugs in via a USB cable, great for mounting in my main car-pc enclosure and running an external aerial if needed.
I tried the adapter on the rear shelf below the centre of the rear windscreen and plugged it into the car-pc, dropped the SW in and fired it up. SW looks nice with a good informative control panel. I have the w-router inside a zinc-aluminium shed and thatís 20 feet away. I got 100% strength and it downloaded about two months of Win7-64 updates in a few minutes so I think I may just hide the adaptor beneath the rear high mounted stop light and camouflage its removable aerial. Iíll have to try a few hot spots first and see how it goes in that position. FIY This unit is rated at 27dBm which is 500mW, standard adapters seem to run around 14 to 17dBm which is 25 to 50mW.
That USB-3 adaptor will allow me to run a USB-3 connection to the centre console and use it for transferring Hi-Def Web cam video to the backup drive. Just got to thank Santa, well not really, Santa appeared to be just too cute, too tiny and most obviously just too delightfully feminine to work that disguise so I'll thank my wife :eyebrows:
Merry Xmas and best wishes for the coming New Year to all on the forums. :)
A little off topic but, about 12 months ago and just on impulse (because of the $25 sell out price) I purchased two “EUROLAB” SPY Super long range Two Way alarm systems with remote start. Each kit has two wireless LCD display key fobs, glass mount long range aerial, adjustable shock sensor, relays, siren etc.
The Accord has an inbuilt alarm/immobiliser but I wanted something to notify me of a problem when the vehicle was out of sight. I actually wasn’t interested in the remote start part of it. Anyway, due to the availability of a DBALL Can interface and bypass module at a low price I decided to try and interface this alarm and remote-start system to the Vehicle.
The DEI Xpresskit DBALL module was pre-programmed for the Accord and for those not familiar with this device:
It interfaces an aftermarket alarm and/or remote start module to the vehicle security system via the vehicle CAN-BUS. This allows the Key-Fob Transponder to be bypassed and the Vehicle security systems to be controlled and rearmed by the two-way remote control key fobs supplied with the aftermarket module. The obvious benefit with a CAN-BUS interface is no wires to the existing door switches, trunk, engine compartment, or existing alarm system are needed. The Tach / RPM information is also supplied from the Can-Bus via the DB-ALL module for the remote start module.
The DBALL module can interface with newer alarm systems designed for the DBALL data interface via a simple “D2D” Data to Data connection OR as in my case traditional “W2W” Wire to Wire connections.
As I mounted the DBALL module on top of the remote start unit the W2W connections required are only very short. Either D2D or W2W still require that same number of connections to the vehicle Starter, IGN1, ACC, IGNII, CAN BUS and Transponder lines. In the Honda Accord all but one of these wires are in the steering column loom. The low speed single wire can bus connection is very close by. This resulted in a very neat installation with virtually no indication of any additional wiring added.
Seriously, you can’t tell that anything has been added; even a Honda service department wouldn’t pick it.
The DBALL module does not require a Key Fob transponder to be used to bypass the system (very crude and insecure). It simply requires a few installation steps to learn the bypass transponder code and from then on it supplies that code to the vehicle CPU when remote start is imitated from the key fob.
The biggest problem was figuring out the way everything works from the very limited information supplied. The DBALL module needs a GWR (ground while running) connection and the information on this is sketchy and contradictory in the returned Google search information. I also needed to invert one output and combine the trunk and engine compartment triggers from the DBALL module to the Alarm/Remote start module. I was able to invert that one signal inside the alarm module so everything remains neat.
I modified the remote start module to supply a GWR whenever it’s inbuilt IGN control relay is energized by the remote start command. The closest “apparently” correct description of GWR is that the signal is used to “enable” the DBALL module and if it’s not supplied (the GWR wire is just pulled low permanently) the DBALL module will cause the vehicle CAN-BUS system to stay powered up and therefore slowly drain the Battery.
I don’t think that is the entire storey as the DBALL responds to the Unlock/Lock and Alarm ARM/Disarm signals without this control line being low. To do that it HAS to talk to the CAN-BUS, therefore it can control the Can-Bus output without this signal AND it should be capable of running in a low power standby mode to do this.
I think the GWR line is used to tell the DBALL to send the “transponder code” to the CPU so that the CPU thinks that the IGN Key with its inbuilt Transponder has been inserted. I can’t see any other way that the DBALL would know when to send this data, and if that line is just tied low then the CAN-BUS and CPU would stay awake and slowly discharge the vehicle battery - it could also be a potential security breach.
Anyway, it all works. I now have auto locking of the doors after the vehicle has started and moving and auto unlock of the doors when the engine is turned off (a feature of the new alarm module). I have shock sensor and alarm status sent to the remote key fob along with various signals like Battery voltage, vehicle temperature, lock status, alarm entry alerts and lock reminder etc. Trunk release works and the remote start is perfect.
Here is the circuit of the installation.
After fitting the alarm/remote-start/CAN interface to the vehicle in such a neat fashion, I decided it was time to redo the wiring to the PC.
I removed the leads that had been added and joined as the install progressed and replaced them with new leads. I ran extra to allow for future expansion of sensor inputs and replaced the 4 sockets on the main interface controller with two big 18 pin heavy duty electronic plug socket combinations. One to the feDrive panel and one to the PC and vehicle interface cables. All cables were covered in heavy flex tube and loomed correctly. Two reason for all of this extra work:
1: To increase system reliability and to allow future system removal or repairs to be a simple job. And it really is now.
2: I have been spoilt again by my wife. She gave me a Black-Box recorder for my birthday.
I haven’t got it yet but it’s a rather expensive top of the range HD unit with a rear camera included. Has an LCD screen and all the GPS/shock sensor/mapping/recording bells and whistles. The unit has an internial battery and automatic parking monitor mode, so I incorporated the permanent +12v supply to the Black-Box to be switched off when IGN is off and the PC is not in STR mode (+5v Standby is off). This means it cannot run the main battery flat and it is automatically powered down when the vehicle is in the garage (PC in hibernate or shutdown and IGN off), but can record everything when parked (IGN off and PC in STR) , although that raises a few issues with smash and grab break-in.
Anyway, here is an updated layout of the main car-pc case with.
Getting close to the finish line now, did a few more trips recently and it’s just perfect. Two second resume from sleep all day long without a single glitch. I really can’t believe that I got every piece of hardware and software to run as reliably as an OEM head unit. You would just never know it’s a Win7 PC driving everything.
Aux battery charging and switching is perfect, even with infrequent driving and lots of on time playing around with the PC.
Just following on from my previous post with re-cabling and neatening of the installation. I added a 5m USB-3 extension cable from the PC to the storage bin under the centre arm rest in the front of the vehicle. This is a cable from Jaycar, it’s thick, heavy and appears to be a high quality component. This is also an active extension cable that incorporates a data repeater in the socket. It has no trouble powering and running my USB-3 HDD backup/transfer drive over its 5m length, whereas some generic extension cables only 1m long won’t run the drive.
I also use a Jaycar 4 port hub with a 5m cable that has a data repeater built into the hub. This hub in located at the front of the vehicle and is the main USB distribution point.
It was while upgrading a Targus 4 port hub that had been running off the Jaycar 4 port hub that I found an interesting problem. I replaced this Targus 4 port with a new 10 port hub (also from Jaycar) and wired the system up – everything worked 100%.
When I bought the Car-PC into the test-bench and used the old Targus HUB to connect a few devices up for a test, I suddenly found the FE taking a long time to load, and if it loaded ok then the FE would grind to a halt when the Climate control micro was accessed.
Turns out that the Climate control USB interface does not like this hub, and Windows will initially find the USB device (Climate USB) and then suddenly loose it or incorrectly identify it. Some devices operate ok, but one or two others don’t like it. Luckily I had only plugged in the devices that worked with it in the vehicle. Just so important to get HUB and USB lead quality right and test every possible combination of device – I’m sure that silly problem would have bitten me one day when a new USB device was plugged in. - Note: FIY the Targus is powered so it's not a voltage problem.
A couple of quick videos of the Black Box recorder.
This video is as smooth as silk on the PC Ė Screen capture caused this jerk action and loss of definition during conversion for upload.
NOTE: The black object on right of screen is the old camera mounting block before removal.
Here is on at night:
Iím keeping the Web Cameras though, although this Black Box records at 1280 x 720 @ 30fps it cannot match the quality of the two Web Cameras running at that same resolution.
Iíll use the Web-Cams for recording towns we drive through or interesting country side videos. What I love about the Black-Box at night is GPS location tracking.
To follow on from the previous post here is the Night file Exported from VisionDrive Analyser .
And the Day file exported from Visiondrive Analyser software and re-compressed. Once again the video is a lot sharper and smoother on direct program playback.