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Discussion in 'Vendors' started by craftycoder, Sep 19, 2012.
Sign me up!
Very excited about this project. Any new updates?
Indeed. The 8 channel PCBs are in route from China for initial testing. The single channel version is on my bench as I type. I finished the firmware for it this weekend. I have a iteration of it being manufactured right now for final testing before we invest in the expensive heavy copper PCBs for the production version.
The single channel will be just for controlling lights I think. The 8 channel will be able to handle resistive, capacitive, and inductive loads.
Sweet, can't wait to place a pre-order. :)
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Great to hear! Can't wait to see more details about the 8 channel along with the additional sensors and programming options. I have quite a few farkles on my Daytona 675 and there is not much space on there, so your solution really sounds ideal.
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8 Channel PCBs arrived yesterday from China. Parts are behind schedule so I am in a holding pattern. A few days I suspect. I've written the Bluetooth firmware though, so that part is tight. I will be doing prototyping this weekend I suspect and should have an idea how close I got on the first go around.
The photos below show both boards separate and stacked. The board on the right uses very heavy copper and I will likely double it again after thorough testing.
Hey guys. Things are looking very good for this device. I've done my version one testing and am moving on with version 2 now. The two boards in the video stack and form a 2.75"x2"x1" box which will be covered in epoxy so its completely water tight and near bullet proof. I'd like to get your input on features to include in the firmware and software.
Features on my list now:
delayed turn on (turn on circuit so many seconds after ignition is turned on)
delayed turn off (turn off circuit so many seconds after ignition is turned off)
live current consumption by channel and overall
user set over current shut off (AKA software circuit breaker)
system voltage measurement
adjustable PWM dimming on all 8 channels
high side switching
4 input signal wires that can be used to trigger changes to circuit condition (on,off,dim level, etc)
all features programmable via smartphone with bluetooth
100A max current
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Is this for manual override in case cell phone is not present or carps out?
How about multiple address ability in case you want to stack another board?
Allowing me to control the PWM dimming while the bike is off (and a preset on my smart phone) would be cool.
When I get home at night, I'd like the LED driving lights to stay on for an extra 60 seconds, so I can see when I unlock the garage door.
Let's say I'm camping, and need light. I'd like to run the LEDs at 15% to set up my tent, without running the bike.
The signal inputs are for external switches to control things while riding or for posi-tapping to some other signal source like your high beam or horn in order to turn on some other circuit. I am planning to use it to connect my indicator lights to a LED laden jacket so that my arms blink when I turn on the indicators (for city commuting only of course).
All those use cases are already in the plan. I was planning to keep the BT radio on standby for 24-48 hours before shutting it off and losing the capability to communicate with the system without restarting the bike. The BT radio I selected is "Low Energy" so its very kind of the battery, micro amps. You will have a manual override on all the circuits and you will be able to setup the phone software to identify circuits that can dim and those that cannot (so you do not get a dimmer slider for circuits that would break with less than 100% duty cycle)
LEDs on the arms of your jacket!
You big nerd!
Good idea though.
I'mma nerd, you're a nerd.
This box is gonna be cool as hell.
Seems like you've thought of just about everything. Best of luck; I sincerely hope this is a huge success for you.
Can the user change the PWM frequency?
How will wiring be connected? Terminal strip on side? Phoenix connectors? or ???
Just got a new bike after a careless cager took out my old one, so I am going to be doing lots of re-wiring for HID's, new heated gear, etc... I would definitely be in the market for buying a prototype and giving feedback...
This device only allows a single PWM frequency to be used per device. While I could allow you to change it, that seems like a pretty "expert" setting. My plan was to force it to around 60 Hz which is fine for LEDs and bulbs and resistive loads. The PWM generator I am using has a range of 40 Hz to 1000 Hz. I like 60 Hz as it doesn't have any visible flicker and nor does it have an audible hum or whine.
Can you offer any reasons why I should offer this expert setting? Allowing people to do stuff that is likely to reduce their happiness with a product is generally a bad idea I think. Not to mention that each new feature turns into new support calls. I am open to being convinced to add it but I don't see why I would want to (unless you could set it for each channel which you cannot).
There will be a wiring harness with connectors. A 4-6 AWG wire that connects to the positive terminal on the battery will be on it's own along with a 14-16 AWG ground wire (which is only for the electronics). The 8 power outputs will be on one connector and the signal inputs on another I think. There is also an LED indicator which we have not discussed but is part of the product. It will run from the unit, which is completely enclosed (and has no serviceable parts), to your bars and give you some indications of stuff (like circuit overload or duty cycle). It's an RGB LED so it can show any color and we will let you color code your circuits so the feedback will mean something to you.
Working support myself, I can understand your resistance to enabling features that will just confuse some end-users. But also you just never know what might come up. I know of one rider that does see visible flicker at a 60hz pulse. Not all LED's and drivers are created the same, and there is still potential for 60hz hum on audio electronics.
If folks are using this mostly for heated gear control, they could drop the frequency down if they hear hum, likewise if they see flicker they could raise the frequency, but at the potential for hum and whine.
Not putting in an adjustable means that somewhere someone will need/want to adjust it and they are SOL, or calling cause they have issues that could be solved by changing. Putting in the adjustment means that you could have more support calls.
I myself will be using this mostly for heated stuff. My LED drivers already have adjustable current control, but the mosfet's (assuming you are using) are generating less heat with less switching.
But just my thoughts.. I hate to not include an adjustable part only to find out later I need it.
Maybe somehow hide it under an "Expert" menu?
You would not use PWM for audio electronics obviously and I have not seen any coupling of the PWM frequency on circuits running at 100% duty cycle. More switching does mean more heat on the FETs because the gate spends more time out of saturation on the way up and down, but if you watch the video, you'd see that I am using FETs that warm up just a few degrees at 15A (<1 degree in the 3A range) which is the max current per circuit.
Also, because the PWM generator only outputs a single frequency if you turn it up on one circuit they turn up on all. This is likely to confuse some who do not understand the difference between "duty cycle" percent of time the circuit is on, vs "frequency" which is the speed at which it turns on and off. There is also the issue that the gate resistors on the FETs ought to be tuned to the frequency so that there is no ringing but the spend as much time as possible in saturation. A resistor that is good for 60Hz will be way too big for 60,000Hz.
I am not opposed to allowing a few settings that should work for most users (40,80,120,160) perhaps. I don't think anyone is going to see 160Hz.
Sounds like a good option.