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Old 03-22-2011, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Release Two Workspace (/Fork name TBD)

(Edit: All-ears for a name for this "fork" project, preferably something easy to say )

Let's build some momentum in this. Hardware has changed, the project has changed, the code has changed, absolutely everything about the project has changed. I know I'm not the... you know... the guy to take any credit for the project, but I think I can really, really help here. I've been limited in MPGuino's design, trying to keep it within the parameters of the original, so I can document it and allow others to copy the same things I've added. But the more I use my MPGuino, the more I wish I could just gut it and rebuild it with a new UI, and perhaps most of all, a new structure that allows for that new UI. Basically, gutting it and creating "Release Two".

So here's my contribution... I've got my Arduino all wired up and ready to take on the task. I want to help create Release Two, hopping right over the shy v1.0... maybe we could call the current code (v0.86) "v1.0". Or maybe this is a "fork"... I dunno. Really, I've never formally contributed to any open-source project before, so feel free to reach up to my high horse and kick my arse off

Here's the plan... keep this post updated with the latest release info, and the next post reserved for anything "else" that may come up (just good practice in my experience). Keep the wiki updated with the forum info (as everyone goes to the wiki first), and we work here on anything related to this subject. As for development, we take the core of MPGuino V1, which works very very well already, and adapt a new framework to hold and run it. A new runtime loop, integrating as many parts of the official Arduino IDE as would help the project (and keeping "custom" the ones that don't) - after all, we have 32KB of Flash to work with on all modern Arduino-based systems (and prebuilt MPGuino devices) using the '328 chip.

I've always been a fan of playing Arduino with Arduino, so in the spirit of open-accessibility, I want to stop breaking Arduino rules (20MHz, alternate IDEs, etc) and stick to things the community can contribute to. Make the code easily switchable between 20MHz (MPGuino board) and 16MHz (everyone else), as it is in my test version. Reel the code base back in from the compatible-but-confusing "cpp" extension and make it accessible as an Arduino project, as it properly still is today. Keep the Wiki up-to-date and remove outdated and broken references. Get the word out, and make it easier to get the word out about the project - after all, who doesn't want this thing sitting on their dash?

So without further adieu... let us begin the daunting task of polishing MPGuino.

(BTW, on a personal level, yeah, I'm pretty easy to un-inspire. If you want to kill the project, fine, just lay out a blanket statement of how this whole idea is stupid, or just sit there looking at the "reply" button without pushing it. I really want to help push this project along but there's no point if it's not helping anyone... of course this will only apply 'til (if?) we reach the second page I'm sure )


Last edited by FalconFour; 03-23-2011 at 12:39 AM..
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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OK, so here are the notes I've scratched out so far... I was originally planning on doing some doodling with this, but as I scratched on, I realized I'd have to generate some 16x2 LCD mockups on the PC to do it properly, so I just kept on scribbling notes. Now I have to retype them.

MPGuino Rebuild
MPGuino Does Well...
  • VERY accurate - freaky accurate
  • Flexible [via] parameters
  • Lots of information
  • Hackable
  • Pretty easy to install

MPGuino does not do well
  • Screen switching delay
  • Unintuitive controls
  • Config is frustrating
  • Lots of "aargh!!" moments
  • Wasted screen space with 0's
  • Confusing indicators
  • Lack of save/restore
  • Hard to say "MPGuino"!!

Ways to improve MPGuino
  • Drop the excess "0"'s on the display - blank space is more easy on the eyes than excess 0's
  • Implement instant screen changes with cursor-based selections - < and > change immediately
  • Menu-based configuration selections with categories and "cancel". Integrate with existing screens so (car) updates aren't missed or hung.
  • Integrate new "improved large font" characters
  • "Timeout" mode screen saver - Duck! (Or) clock?
  • Save tank stats [to EEPROM] on timeout, restore on boot
  • GPH / M/S^2 calculation to extract acceleration from MPH
  • Full/better value labeling on screen (using space gained from non-0-padded values)
  • Decide on better name/nickname - (like using) "OpenGauge"?

Attached: scribbled notes of the same thing I wrote above :P
Attached Files
File Type: zip 03221101.zip (57.0 KB, 50 views)
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dude, I like the idea. If I could code, I'd try and help. So I'll just try and encourage.

If I could make a few suggestions though..

A built in tach (code it like the speedo, run a 5th wire?)
US/Metric cominations (for those of us that find Liters per 100km confusing, maybe just a code option (easily switchable))
And a (what is now) Current MPG Histograph. I saw somebody that modded theirs to do it, and it looked niiice.

The stock screen works, and there really isn't an easy way to get them hooked up on every-single car, so there's no getting around that.

I hope you're able to help push the mpguino onwards. It's a great idea, and a great concept, but I feel that there are still some bugs that need to be sqished with it, and they should try and use the 328 or maybe even the 1026 or 2056 for even moar upgradeablility.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtkid2002 View Post
Dude, I like the idea. If I could code, I'd try and help. So I'll just try and encourage.

If I could make a few suggestions though..

A built in tach (code it like the speedo, run a 5th wire?)
US/Metric cominations (for those of us that find Liters per 100km confusing, maybe just a code option (easily switchable))
And a (what is now) Current MPG Histograph. I saw somebody that modded theirs to do it, and it looked niiice.

The stock screen works, and there really isn't an easy way to get them hooked up on every-single car, so there's no getting around that.

I hope you're able to help push the mpguino onwards. It's a great idea, and a great concept, but I feel that there are still some bugs that need to be sqished with it, and they should try and use the 328 or maybe even the 1026 or 2056 for even moar upgradeablility.
Thanks!

To address those questions...
1) Tach and other features: well, that'll have to wait until this "v2" is actually written and stabilized... I plan on making the code more "flexible" than it is now, so these can more easily be added in the future. A tach, for example - heck, anything involving the phrase "maybe one more wire" - involves a huge change of structure and everything, so if it's do-able it'd optimally be done in software. We really don't want to have to tweak or "outdate" the hundreds (?) of prebuilt MPGuinos already out there
2) US/Metric: Definitely planning on doing that too. A lot of the current v1 functions are "double written", for both Metric and US measurements, but I highly doubt anyone thinks "gee, I feel like watching it in liters today". I think something can be done to make that more modular, like offering two "versions" of MPGuino if it comes to that, or waste a little unused Flash space on doubling-up the functions to cut down on execution and memory time. Or just add a "conversion" function. Something can be done there, for sure.
3) MPG histograph: ooh, that does sound shiny, I saw that too. Definitely something to look into implementing.
4) "the stock screen works" - Not sure what you mean here...? I'm referring to the user-interface of v1 being so terrible I had to tape a "display reference sheet" to my dash for the first few weeks of owning MPGuino... once I learned to hack it, I promptly re-arranged the screens in order of their application (instant, current, tank; big MPG, big MPH; EOC/Idle; CPU) just to make sense of it
5) 328/1026/2056: Well, whatever the current Arduino Uno (reference) platform is, that's what I plan on sticking with. I'm not even using barely half the capabilities of the 328 as it is, even with a realtime clock and "duck" screensaver animation, and a bunch of other gratuitous memory-wasters on my current v0.86 mod. I think we could very easily pull this off with current 328 hardware in the prebuilt MPGuino units. 168 users would have to upgrade, but they already knew that the moment Arduino Duemilanove (that is, "2009" - come on!) came out, but it's only a, what, $10 chip anyway? Hell, I'd offer those chips pre-flashed for anyone that wants 'em
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's the current literal MPGuino Release Two Workspace

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Old 03-22-2011, 11:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't really mean anything by the whole screen thing in that it doesn't really need to be upgraded. The standard one its been using works just fince, no point in going to a graphical 128x64 LCD or anything. My plan back when I had a car that was even OBD (newest car I own is an '80, haha), was to use a Seeeduino Mega, the 128x64, and rig it up to be a Speedo, then a gas guage. Engine died and I scrapped the car, and it turns out you can't use Mpguino code on a Seeeduino mega. Won't work without tons of editing. I think I got two buttons to work, and that was it. No inputs or anything. But since it uses about half the space of a 328, I guess there's no need to overkill by THAT much, yet...

Edit:
Woo! I have one of those workstation thingies too! Just instead of a screen there's a transformer, haha. Glad to know I'm not the only one with one. I still have to find the second workbook though..
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Haha... yeah, I don't plan on making any hardware changes at all unless dcb blesses the project with any official hardware changes All completely the same hardware as it's being produced today. As for the board... WOW! Very cool. Yeah, if you look closely you can see where I hacked up my board and installed the 16x2 LCD in place of the transformer... I dropped the transformer under the board and dremeled-out the area for the LCD, and soldered its pins to the A through N rows of the last column of pins of the breadboard Very, very easy to wire up that way, no more dicking around with putting the LCD in a convenient place paired with the breadboard. Quite the fun little hack.

Ahh, enough talk, I'd better go get those 16x2 LCD mock-ups off the printer and get crankin' on some UI
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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can you gimmie a name to distinguish this branch a little better than mpguino 2 please, i.e. uhh... falconuino? I dunno.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Absolutely, it's only my intention to contribute and make better, not to take over Just thought since MPGuino has essentially been considered "mature" since v0.86, might be time for a good ol' new version, but if you want to hold on to v1 as MPGuino and fork, I'm all for that too - any way that works for you. (I'll rename the topic accordingly if I can)

Just concerned with the prebuilt MPGuino's though... perhaps the device itself is the "OpenGauge" name? That seems like a sensible boundary for MPGuino/OpenGauge... in that case I can use a different name for this "fork" which would still be used with the "OpenGauge" hardware...

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