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Old 05-08-2013, 03:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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On-the-Go Slope Measurement

Was thinking today if there was a way to measure the slope of the road while driving, so you would know how much uphill and how much downhill you are driving at any given time. It would be nice to know in general, but could also help with FE measurements.

Maybe a gyro and measure the change/movement?

Any ideas?

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Old 05-08-2013, 04:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The Android app Torque can, as long as your phone/tablet has a gyroscope. Plus it can measure 3 axis acceleration and body sway.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The instrument your looking for is called an inclinometer, you can get them in either digital or analog format, you see them in some 4x4s
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys!

I'll look into that inclinometer, see what I can find.

Does the Galaxy S3 have a gyroscope?
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes the S3 does, you should be able to find an app for it

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Old 05-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The problem with inclinometers is they are affected by curves and movement.

You know, what happens when you drive through mountains.

The most reliable slope gauge I have is actually my scan gauge. The instant MPG reading will tell you if you're going up or down hill or flat. When it's reading 15 MPG I'm going up a 7 percent grade. When mine hit's 60 mpg, I can shift into neutral and coast. Anything steeper (more INSTANT MPG) than that going down hill and I will gain speed.

These speeds are only true at 60 mph, give or take.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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To be able to measure ECU sensor data, you'll need some sort of OBD2 adapter, Bluetooth are the most convenient but USB to OBD2 adapters will work if your phone is USB OTG capable. Otherwise, you'll only be able to read the phone's onboard sensor data, like GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, etc...

Also, a gyroscope will be more accurate than the fluid filled inclometers in respects to false readings. And it wouldn't be hard for an app to differentiate between acceleration/deceleration body tilt and incline by using accelerometer data. I.e. braking would produce a different accelerometer reading than going down hill, yet both would cause the body to tilt forward.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by brucey View Post
The problem with inclinometers is they are affected by curves and movement.

You know, what happens when you drive through mountains.

The most reliable slope gauge I have is actually my scan gauge. The instant MPG reading will tell you if you're going up or down hill or flat. When it's reading 15 MPG I'm going up a 7 percent grade. When mine hit's 60 mpg, I can shift into neutral and coast. Anything steeper (more INSTANT MPG) than that going down hill and I will gain speed.

These speeds are only true at 60 mph, give or take.
Yeah, mis-reads from curves and movement around mountains and hills won't work around here in the Bay Area... just a mountain or two around here!

Actually, watching my MPG go up and down on my UG, while on cruise control is what gave me this idea, because the MPG change will tell me of a slope up or down, but not how much. I just wanted something a little more accurate.

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Originally Posted by Sean.Heihn View Post
To be able to measure ECU sensor data, you'll need some sort of OBD2 adapter, Bluetooth are the most convenient but USB to OBD2 adapters will work if your phone is USB OTG capable. Otherwise, you'll only be able to read the phone's onboard sensor data, like GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, etc...

Also, a gyroscope will be more accurate than the fluid filled inclometers in respects to false readings. And it wouldn't be hard for an app to differentiate between acceleration/deceleration body tilt and incline by using accelerometer data. I.e. braking would produce a different accelerometer reading than going down hill, yet both would cause the body to tilt forward.
So now the question is does the S3 have OTG? Also, having a UG already, I don't know how I can get Torque or similar to work, unless I get a splitter cable, but then I am eating up an awful lot of bandwith.

So a gyroscope will indeed work then? How would I go about setting it up? How do I know if my car has an accelerometer? Do I need that with a gyroscope or would that be a separate system?

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No interest in an Arduino and 3-axis accelerometer based measuring device? Maybe with VSS input to strip out longitudinal acceleration.

I think it should be called the Gduino.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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So now the question is does the S3 have OTG? Also, having a UG already, I don't know how I can get Torque or similar to work, unless I get a splitter cable, but then I am eating up an awful lot of bandwith.

So a gyroscope will indeed work then? How would I go about setting it up? How do I know if my car has an accelerometer? Do I need that with a gyroscope or would that be a separate system?

Thanks!
With a OBD2 to Bluetooth adapter, you don't need an USB OTG capable device. And generally if your phone has a gyroscope, it'll have an accelerometer, too. For just reading gyro/accelerometer data off your phone, you don't need an OBD2 adapter, that's only if you want to use your phone as a 'scan gauge', so to speak, with Torque.

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