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Old 01-26-2010, 04:59 PM   #21 (permalink)
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If you are looking for a simple GPS receiver that uses USB connectivity I have used this one before:

USGlobalSat 20 Channel BU-353 Waterproof SiRFIII USB GPS Receiver - RobotShop

It is small. Powered from the computer's USB port. Has a magnetic back so it can stick to the vehicle somewhere and waterproof so it doesn't stop working if it gets rained on.

It sends a text string through a virtual COM port. The string conforms to NEMA 0183 standard - if that means anything to you. It is easy enough to parse the string to determine longitude/latitude.

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Old 01-26-2010, 05:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot @bones007, right now we are going to try the Microsoft Streets and Trips GPS (because we are able to borrow it for free ). I will definitely keep this in mind in case this one doesn't work out, or if we decide to get one of our own. I haven't really started to look into the GPS spec stuff yet, I figured there was a standard, but didn't know the org/number... thanks for the heads up!
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Jack once opted to have a possibility to set the pwm switching frequency as a parameter. I still think that would be a nice addition, as it would make experimenting with different frequencies eassier as it is now with using different .hex files.

I might have missed something in Paul's thread, but do I need extra hardware to use the bootloader ? Or is it just my usb-rs232 that messes up when I want to upgrade the firmware ?

oh oh ... two subjects in one post *blush* ... (ah well, they are sort of related as I want to test at 8Khz and it won't load atm...).

and to contribute to the speed discussion, gps is a good and more reliable choice for averages.

In time I will add an extra microcontroller to add cruise control with digital speed indicators (so you can set a certain speed instead of selecting and cruising at the current one). It will be not too hard as the gearbox on my donor car already submits a digital speed signal, but to have a generic way for that might be virtually impossible, so .. go for the gps :-)

Another nice feature could be to have a column of generic plugin buttons where you can define your own functions.

And of course to be able to run it on a windows mobile platform (easier gps integration and eassier to fit in a car as well as touchscreens availability). Or shall we define a new car-automation OS standard ourselves ?

You all did a great job so far by the way. I am ever so grateful.

Ed
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
Jack once opted to have a possibility to set the pwm switching frequency as a parameter. I still think that would be a nice addition, as it would make experimenting with different frequencies eassier as it is now with using different .hex files.
This is actually a question for Fran, as it is something that would have to be added to the controllers firmware. If it is added, we will be happy to support it. I agree that it would be nice, but I don't know how easy it would be to change on the fly.

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Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
I might have missed something in Paul's thread, but do I need extra hardware to use the bootloader ? Or is it just my usb-rs232 that messes up when I want to upgrade the firmware ?
Adam will get back to you on this, as it is more his area if expertise. But, in short, the first time that you put the actual bootloader on your chip you will need a special piece of hardware that has access to the protected memory that the bootloader resides on. Once you have done that you will be able to use RTD Explorer (or the command line bootloader) to load new firmware onto your chip. From what I understand some of the chips that Paul shipped had this already done, so you may be able to skip this step. Like I said, Adam will fill you in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
and to contribute to the speed discussion, gps is a good and more reliable choice for averages.
...
but to have a generic way for that might be virtually impossible, so .. go for the gps :-)
Agreed, thanks for the input!

Quote:
Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
Another nice feature could be to have a column of generic plugin buttons where you can define your own functions.
Not sure exactly what you mean here, could you elaborate??

Quote:
Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
And of course to be able to run it on a windows mobile platform (easier gps integration and eassier to fit in a car as well as touchscreens availability). Or shall we define a new car-automation OS standard ourselves ?
The mobile O/S support is something that we might consider going forward, we would just need one with serial port access for testing. I think developing out own O/S would be a little overkill, lol. We do have some plans for a more consumer-centric electric vehicle program, details about this will come later

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Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
You all did a great job so far by the way. I am ever so grateful.
Thank you so much! It's always nice to hear that your work is appreciated
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:39 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
Jack once opted to have a possibility to set the pwm switching frequency as a parameter. I still think that would be a nice addition, as it would make experimenting with different frequencies eassier as it is now with using different .hex files.
Basically what it comes down to is less noise more heat (16kHz) or more noise less heat (8kHz). The controller was designed to operate at the least noise possible and smoothest power control, hence the 16kHz. The 8kHz version came along with to allow people (Jack to start) to build IGBT based controllers out of IGBT's that were gotten from ebay with less then optimal switching speeds. In this case, they could not handle the turn off at high frequency and created a very bad negative voltage spike on turn off...16K times per second. Why is it you want to be able to change the frequency anyways? Also, as of the last release of the firmware, v1.11b, the atmega8 micro controller on the controllers is completely full. I believe that there is only a few bytes remaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by etlaare View Post
I might have missed something in Paul's thread, but do I need extra hardware to use the bootloader ? Or is it just my usb-rs232 that messes up when I want to upgrade the firmware ?

oh oh ... two subjects in one post *blush* ... (ah well, they are sort of related as I want to test at 8Khz and it won't load atm...).
NO, all you need to boot-load new firmware onto the controller is a serial adapter or port, and RTD Explorer or command line boot-loader.

What is happening when you try to boot-load? Once I know exactly what is happening I will be able to direct you.

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Old 01-27-2010, 09:29 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobert5064 View Post
Not sure exactly what you mean here, could you elaborate??
I was reading about more and more people trying to have the RTD-Eplorer on board (Ben, Jack). I could imagine people to want to add some of their own functions there. So if You could define a plugin API and a button to start that added function people could add their own piece of code without the need to make the controller Open Source. Stupid examples, but a personal welcome message for the passengers, a stopwatch, a button to distinguish business travel from personal use... anything ...

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Originally Posted by adamj12b View Post
Why is it you want to be able to change the frequency anyways?
My controller is also IGBT based and it seemed nice to play around with a few other frequencies like 2 4 8 16K (asuming that is what by dividing the mask for the counter would be capable to add easily, I wasn't aware of the memory in use though, does the 168 has the same amount of memory ? (I had plans to add a cruise control once I have the car driving and street legal)nah I should check the specs.. nvm).

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Originally Posted by adamj12b View Post
What is happening when you try to boot-load? Once I know exactly what is happening I will be able to direct you.
I open the .hex file (I check marked crc and also selected the crc version of the 8K firmware. So far the connection seems fine with the RTD-Explorer as I can see the activity and can change parameters. When I select Load form the bootloader menu the yellow control light goes off and then nothing happens. No indication of any activity. Now I have been eeprogramming 68HC11's in the past so I know it can take a while (also with verify on) but after 10 minutes or so there's still no change as I understood that there would be a reset now at the end with the latest version. If I power down/power up the controller board the old firmware is still there (1.7).

But ... let me try this on my desktop as well as I am a little suspicious about the usb-rs232 interface that I am using (my laptop does not have a serial port anymore).

thank you for all the replies
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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oh oh,
connected it to the com1 of the desktop now, same result.

some more information: the last thing that is shown on the terminal is a rtd-period 0. When the yellow light goes off, the rtd-explorer also disconnects.
And if I want to reconnect it tells me the com port is occupied. I have to restart the pc to make the com port available again.
I tried turning FIFO buffering off although I am prety sure I have the right UART to leave it on.. If there is anything I can do more to help finding what could be going on here let me know and I will give it a try.

I was googling for other loaders I could try, but not much luck there.
Does anybody know where to find a nice and simple one ?
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:49 PM   #28 (permalink)
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What version of rtd explorer are you running? it doesn't sound like you have the latest version. it shows the version in the lower right of the screen. Latest version is 0.3.1.45. Try updating RTD explorer. If the updater doesn't work go to www.EVVette.com and download the latest version.

What version of the firmware do you currently have on the controller?

It sounds like you have an older version of the firmware that doesn't support automatic restarting. Do like you normally have been, but when it seems to hang, restart the controller. This should trigger the bootloader on start and start loading. Loading should take about 40 seconds total to be done. Data will also be flowing int he terminal window while it is loading.

Let me kno!!

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #29 (permalink)
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my RTD Explorer is up to date (0.3.1.45)
But no for the firmware, Paul sent the atemega just before Christmas and it is on 1.7

I will try with the restart of the controller, but will the rtd explorer automatically reconnect, from his disconnect action ?

If it is too much trouble don't worry, I will order the parts for the tiny programmer that Jack had posted on the controller forum and make sure to get it at the proper firmware level.

Going downstairs now to give it a shot
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:31 PM   #30 (permalink)
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oh oh. Fran found the problem in the meanwhile. It seems I got the wrong combination from Paul. I have an atmega168 with firmware 1.7. With that combination the bootloader does not work ...

I guess I'll have to make me a programmer now ...

thanks for all the efforts Adam

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