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Home-built GPI, Speedo Healer, Datalogger, video-overlay...

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  • Home-built GPI, Speedo Healer, Datalogger, video-overlay...

    After going for 7th gear one too many times on the way to Wanneroo, I wondered if a Gear Position Indicator (GPI) might be useful. Not being sure that it would be $100 useful (or whatever they cost), and being somewhat technically inclined, I looked around online for inspiration and any projects where people had made their own. I found a couple, and built one based loosely on the plans for this one (although I wrote my own code for the microcontroller).

    Having a gear indicator is great, by the way. Definitely recommended.

    It was an easy project, in the scheme of things. A little too easy, because I began wondering what else it could do with the RPM/Speed signals it was already using.

    Speedo Healer
    My speedo was always a little out, and was now a significant way out after sprocket changes, so a speedo-healer was on the cards. Buy one? Naaaah. Some design changes & additions to the circuit, and we're done! Too easy?

    But what else can it do...?

    People kept asking me "how fast were you going?" when reviewing our on-track footage (not the road footage of course ) which got annoying especially when TrakDayz tape over the speedo so we just had to guess. So, a few bottles of bourbon, some chocolate biscuits, and a couple of new designs later, the little circuit is happily logging speed, rpm, and gear to a USB stick, 5 times a second.

    Video Overlay
    Not much fun looking at lists of numbers or graphs to go with the helmet-cam footage, so I put together some software that takes the logged data and generates an "overlay" for the video. An analog tachometer, the selected gear and speed are superimposed on top of the helmet-cam footage with a 50% transparency.

    And I'm pretty happy with how that's come along thus far, just quietly

    [ame=""]Demo of the setup (poor camera angle sorry)[/ame]

    Still to come
    I have two new generations of the circuit currently in different stages of development. The next one will add a 5Hz GPS to the mix, allowing me to generate a "moving-dot-on-map-of-the-track" type thing. The one after that incorporates a dataflash chip so that it can log all the time, and just download to a USB stick when I need to get the data (the current "in use" design requires a USB stick inserted to do any logging).

    Thought for the future is: lean angle.

    Some random snaps
    GPI display. Blue LEDs of course The "decimal point" blinks with every write to the USB stick (ie 5Hz). Not sure if I will keep that feature or not, it is nice to know that logging is still running because I had some issues during development where it would just stop. And the DP is not very big/obvious. The squiggly thing above the LED display is a light sensor so the display can be only as bright as it needs to be. One day I will experiment with covering the whole thing with some sort of tint/plastic to make it look a bit sexier.

    Circuit board for the next version, just etched (in my kitchen). Next step is to drill it which is a PITA Note this is version 6 - that's just for me to keep track; every major design change I give a new number. Not every one gets to the "build it" stage.

    Version 6 mostly assembled, GPS attached. Awaiting display, USB socket, and the power/signal inputs.


    So that's my increasingly inaccurately named "GPI project". I just thought there might be some of you who are interested in this sort of thing.

    I'd love to hear any comments, thoughts, suggestions, ideas for features, etc

  • #2
    Wow mate, this is exceptional stuff.
    Are you going to sell and market this, or is it more of an open source/FOSS/GPL'd project?
    (read, I want your circuit diagrams and eagle schematics.)


    • #3
      Very impressive, mate.
      As Desmo mentioned, are there any plans to look at selling a setup like this?
      And how hard is it to overlay the data on the video footage (from a fairly non-computer savvy POV)?


      • #4
        Reading that takes me back to studing microcontrollers at TAFE! What PIC are you using? Looking at the socket id take a stab at a 16F870?

        I love the way you made interface software for it too. I always ended up reading ASCII, haha!
        I love two strokes. Because they annoy the shit out of people. ^_^


        • #5
          Dude, my mind just exploded, that is some very nice work
          Originally posted by browncow
          Sometimes, I see you post, and I understand what all the individual words mean, but I have no idea what you're actually saying.


          • #6
            wow, looks great!


            • #7
              This is awesome! Great job.
              User contains traces of nuts.


              • #8
                i dont understand fuck all of wats been said... hence that is awesome.

                if that could be made fairly universal, id bet there would be a market for it. especially for racers.
                The greatest excitement comes from besting who you were yesterday.


                • #9
                  I'm unsure if you could use it as a racer due to the GPS making it a lap timer.
                  Are data loggers allowed in racing here?


                  • #10
                    meh, my rule book is out of reach, but i think some kind is allowed, altho my memory says there are restrictions
                    The greatest excitement comes from besting who you were yesterday.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stratos View Post
                      Reading that takes me back to studing microcontrollers at TAFE! What PIC are you using? Looking at the socket id take a stab at a 16F870?
                      PIC!!!!!! Bah go the AVR! Oh wait I mean. . . . . . you people are such geeks!


                      • #12
                        so awesome!
                        I want one and im sure theres a plethora of us who do too!
                        a how-to maybe?


                        • #13
                          awesome work dude....
                          i got a gear indicator kit from altronics..never built it coz it got to complex...but hey..while ya at it..can i put an order in for a infrared capture dongle that plugs into my serial or usb i can capture ir remote
                          codes and use my pc to control my home theatre..


                          • #14
                            OK my field is vehicle electronics and what you have done is impressive in its own right....

                            Don't stop now, soon i will be a customer
                            Being an Australian is not an excuse for being dumb and racist.


                            • #15
                              Thats awesome stuff.
                              Im always impressed by people who can do that sort of thing.
                              Respect is earned, not enforced.