so i don't know about many of you, but i am a bit of a automotive enthusiast. i actually purchased the raspberry pi for the soul purpose of automotive integration. i have read online of a few people wanting to use them as a stereo, or using them to read vital engine data and outputting to a little LCD screen, but i want to take it a few steps further. now my knowledge of the ARM processor is quite limited, as well as my knowledge of electronics, but the purpose of this adventure was to learn! so i am now on my way to building a mini car computer (not a full blown car computer) i am hoping to gear it towards high performance and primarily turbocharged applications. so i am starting a thread here of what you can do with a raspberry pi, and your car. this is going to be a long project. i am currently enrolled in a few programming classes (level 2 of c++) but i know i have a long way to go.
Basic Electronic Boost Controller
many companies charge 300-500$ for a effective boost controller, but i believe that i can be done with something like a raspberry pi. all that these systems involve is a little screen, a pressure sensor and a solenoid to control something called the wastegate (a wastegate is what a turbocharger uses to bypass hot exhaust gasses from the turbocharger so it doesn't over spin or over pressurize your car resulting in EXTREME MECHANICAL FAILURE, for more info look here....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wastegate
) and the idea of the program is relatively simple. the boost controllers you see for 500$ range of course have tons of toys, bells and whistles like boost by gear (pressure changes according to the gear you are in), or even boost by RPM (higher rpm = lower boost)
something that the honda community and tuning has taken a step further though, is now boost by traction. where it will take in the data of all 4 wheels ABS (antilock braking system) and compute how much boost by how much faster your tires are spining by comparison to all the others. so for example, 20% traction, would automatically make the front tires spin only 20% faster than the rear, by adjusting turbocharger pressure.
with the boost controller, i now have a few circuits on the pi to sense manifold pressure, and i bought a universal solenoid from the local auto parts store, and have a basic program running to control pressure at 10PSI. it is using a exponential graph to compute duty cycle, so the solenoid will start to pulse at 5psi, and anything over 10 psi it stays wide open. i haven't had the time yet to put it in my car, but on the table it seams to be working great!
got it put on the car, having a little bit of a boost "spike" issue, but its working and my car is now running at 7-8 psi stable with i!!! so it is working! i need to fine tune my exponential graph for duty cycle though. i need to also find a better way to power the pi though, and also how to run the program automatically at start-up. and most likely a auto shutdown??
i'm now creating a BLOG to hold all of the information, specifications of the car, and all raspberry pi projects. including the code. i will post a link asap.
this will have one root blog for the car as a project, and "children" blogs for the mini projects