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Arduino Analog Extender Shield And Others

By |April 15th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Some more electronic stuff came today and I have done more testing. I started to put the configurations together for my network nodes, mainly the CAN bus.

I received my prototype/screw terminal shields and can now finalise the stacks of boards I am going to use for the different type of clients.

I have tested a digital extender with additional 16 digital IOs and 8 analog IOs and another extender with 28 digital IOs and 16 analog inputs.

I also have configured and tested a 27 channel PWM shield.

I now have tested all the components I need and only need a few […]

Arduino Shields

By |April 9th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Also today came two more shields for my Arduinos to try out.

The first one is a 27 channel PWM shield. This will reduce the number of Arduinos I need to drive the strip lights, since  one RGB strip will need 3 channels to drive it, unless one uses it in a single colour, which defeats the purpose.
I still am experimenting with DMX, and have not yet decided if I use the Arduinos or DMX for the RGB lights.
I have also a bunch of monochrome lights where I use these wireless RF switches with a single channel driver. I have ordered […]

CAN Bus Node

By |April 6th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Above is an image of a CAN bus node. This is an Arduino with a CAN bus shield and on top of that is a DIY shield, which connects to the OneWire bus, the relay board for the gate valve and the analogue input for the tank senders. This is what I have used for testing so far.

I have added the current sensor below and used it to determine if the gate valve is moving (current draw of the motor or running against the end when open) because the open signal comes already when the gate is open a […]

CAN Bus Gateway

By |April 4th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

This week I have been working solely on the electronics apart from a few business meetings and some work on that commercial website I am doing.


Above image shows  the gateway to the CAN bus from Ethernet.
I finished the communication from the desktop through the gateway to the CAN bus clients. I also finished implementing the first client sketch for the motorised valves. Have found motorised ball valves in cr-05 configuration meaning they have feedback signals at closed and open state, not just motor wires. I can connect 5 of such valves to one Arduino using an IO expansion shield. It is […]

Update Mar 30

By |March 30th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

No cutting today.
I have weighed most components to double check with the calculated weight in the cad model. So far all is good, my entry doors were actually 7kg lighter than assumed in the model. Windows, steps, legs, baggage doors, tanks were pretty much spot on.

Finished the program (sketch) for the Arduino to be functioning as a gateway between Ethernet and CAN bus.
Works well, have included a page on the website about that.

I also have received my current sensors for the Arduino and will connect and play with them tonight.
I will use those current sensors to monitor if actually […]

Water Quality Sensors

By |March 28th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Another couple of sensors arrived and I put the boards together to connect them to the can bus. They are sensors to measure
salinity and water quality of the output of our water processor to automatically stop or redirect the output if quality goes below a given threshold. The important bit here is where and how to mount them to get reliable readings. I will have to experiment a bit.

I have also ordered inspection lids for my water tanks since I have to open them to install my senders. They all have pre installed fixed level probes, but I don’t […]

Gate Valve Control

By |March 28th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

On the electronic front I have done a few more things.
Designed, built and tested the Arduino interface for the electric gate valves for my holding tanks using a relay board to create the reverse polarity switch for the motor wires. Works well including a reed switch telling me via a digital input that the gate is actually open.

Above image shows the gate valve with the reed switch, currently just taped to the body. Will glue it though.
below is a schematic of the wiring for the gate valve and the picture below that shows the actual relay board.





Ethernet CAN Bus Gateway

By |March 25th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

The TAS has two Ethernet/CAN bus gateways for reason of redundancy. If one fails to respond the second one is activated to take over the message relais function. The gateway simply forwards the CAN bus message sent over Ethernet to the CAN bus client and realais the response back to the sender over Ethernet. I stated at another occasion that I decided to use the CAN bus because of the number of client processors and the fact that Ethernet would require far too many switches (ports) and cables to connect each client. The CAN bus is a real bus […]

Solar Panels Arrived

I added a couple of pages to the website.
One about the 240V system and one about my first cut with a little video of the saw in action.

I have adjusted the saw perfectly square and will get a laser level tomorrow for the vertical adjustment.

The solar panels came today, so now all my components for the 240V system are here, the batteries, inverter/charger,
solar charge controller and flexible solar panels.

The cables on the solar panels are pretty long, I will have to shorten them in groups of 4 because the panels will be rather close and I don’t like the long […]

Receiving components and thoughts

Done lots of things, little stuff but lots. Today I picked up the steel for the trailing arms and the rods to make the jig for the suspension hangers. Will talk about that later .. The trailing arms are made from 65x65x5 C450 galvanised steel (Duragal Plus).
I could get away with 4mm but decided to have more safety margin, I have a 6t rated chassis after all, so the trailing arms should not be the weakest link. I push comes to shove I can fit an air over hydraulic unit instead of the electric over hydraulic unit and go […]

CAN Bus Program

By |March 22nd, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

This chapter is not really for every one. Maybe a little too technical for the average auto electrician. This is an early version of an Arduino sketch for a network node reading temperature values from digital temperature sensors ($1.80 each) and sending the data to a gateway with Ethernet port to be forwarded to the central processor for processing and display. This is not a programming lesson, but the few who might be interested to see what an Arduino sketch looks like may have something to ponder over. For an IT person this is probably peanuts, since I used […]


By |March 22nd, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

All the electric signals in the van are going to be controlled by the TAS and all sensors have to be connected also. The signals and sensors are spread all over the van and it would be rather daunting to connect them all back to the central processor. One reduces the complexity of such an installation by building a network of nodes, which are processors handling local signals and being connected with each other for communication.

I am using Ethernet for some of the connections but with a larger amount of nodes in the network Ethernet is not really the […]

Test Environment

By |March 11th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

Most of my tests have been done on the breadboard or free air connections between boards. This works with a few components on the desk but when it gets to the point that one wants to test any kind of integration between components it becomes difficult to keep an overview and more importantly making sure one does not create shorts or bad connections. I use lab power supplies, which ultimately is not a problem for shorts because the lab supplies handle that nicely by limiting the current or cutting the voltage. Nevertheless a more solid setup was needed.

I had […]

Security Cameras And Recorder

By |March 10th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Right now I am still waiting for some CAN bus shields and digital temp sensors, but they are expected soon. Yesterday my NVR arrived (Network attached Video Recorder). I did put in an old SATA drive (Will use an SSD in the production version) and the thing was working very well only after a few minutes. The IP camera is great, good image quality and very sensitive in motion detection. The recorder starts automatically with motion detection from any of the connected cameras.

Although I am very happy with the quality of the camera (both built quality and image quality) […]

Lab Testing Electronics

By |March 10th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

I was working on the electronics for the TAS (Teutanic Automation System). I have tested most individual signal types on their own and now have mounted all the different board types I am using on a perspex plate to make a bit more solid test environment. I have too many individual pieces to just make it work free air on the desk. Not that I mount all the devices I am using, far from it, but enough of each type to test all the variations of the required control functions. Since we talk automotive electrics/electronics we deal mainly with […]

HVAC Remote Control

By |February 25th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

Another step along the way of full automation has been made today. I finished the page for aircondition control with two heads, one in the kitchen/living area and one in the bedroom. The heads can be switched between the two locations and are connected to the same outdoor unit. The right most temperature scales actually control the target temperatur for each headunit by dragging the red bit to the desired temperature. This will be the same concept on the phone remote control.

Each of the headunits run to the desired temperature, if achievable, but the switch over between the two […]

Battery Monitor

By |February 25th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

A major component of the van are the battery packs. Lithium technology brought the weight down considerably and increased cycle times and higher discharge levels make the technology quite attractive. There are a few downsides though. One has to be careful with the charging regime not to overcharge and also make sure that each cell (4 in a 12V battery) has the same voltage, meaning the cells are balanced. The battery needs a BMS (Battery Management System) which monitors the cells and will disconnect a charge line or a load line in case of over charge or over discharge.

It […]

Security IP-Camera

By |February 18th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

Today my IP-Camera arrived from China via DHL. It took only 5 days from time of order. Wrapped 3 times in bubblewrap and lots of tape inside a DHL bag. Very nice product, software and documentation on CD and additional software through web download. Was easy to set up. Just change ip of one pc to the default network of the camera, login with browser and default user/password, change ip to local subnet, reboot the camera and the live stream was visible in the browser window after downloading the plugin from their website. All took less than 15 minutes. […]

GUI – Holding Tank Control

By |February 12th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

Above picture show the control page for the holding tanks. Tank level gauges display the level in each tank and threshold settings will create alarms when the level goes under or over certain values. This allows automatic clearing of the tanks with a flush cycle for the black water tank.

The activity buttons are not on the page yet. Both aggregate functions and elementary functions are available.

An elementary function is a simple command to open one valve or start the pump, however the pump start will not be executed unless one valve is open. The drain valve for example will […]

GUI – Control Application

By |February 8th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

The pictures in the previous chapter showed a first version of the graphical user interface for the control application. It pictured the light switches in the indoor section. I start with the light switches because it is the easiest part to implement from a technical point of view. The above picture is not original resolution. Original size is 1364 pixels wide, the picture above is compressed to 800 pixels wide, everything looks smaller. I decided for a 15″ screen because I wanted more items on the screen at the same time with a reasonable size and not going through […]