chaza218
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Solar car - A possibility

Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:44 pm

I am looking in using this product as an Engine management system, communication( for support car ) and also as a general car monitor to asses driver driving style etc. Would this possible?

I have no programming exp but have time to learn!

Chaza218

Shpaget
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:41 am

Re: Solar car - A possibility

Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:09 am

You're building a solar car?

Could you post some specs? I'm really interested.

As for your question, why not? If it's in a support car, there are no restrictions, but how do you plan to transfer the data from the solar car to the support car?

chaza218
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Solar car - A possibility

Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:19 pm

er yeh , no specs atm cos we are in design phase atm, but will tell soon

also we were planing on using the pi actually on the solar car, as we will be looking to race it in Australia

i have no idea what kind of wireless connection to use. Ad-hoc wi-fi may not be strong enough and has high power requirements, bluetooth is too short a range ( i think  about 100m needed) and radio cant handle data ( i believe)

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Jim Manley
Posts: 1600
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:41 pm
Location: SillyCon Valley, California, and Powell, Wyoming, USA, plus The Universe
Contact: Website

Re: Solar car - A possibility

Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:39 pm

The world record for WiFi is about 200 miles between mountaintops using large (10 meter) highly-directional antennas.  You can get wireless USB dongles that come with directional antennas that will easily get you well over a mile in unobstructed range, probably much more.  The antennas' beamwidth is about 60 ~ 90 degrees, so, they don't have to stay aligned precisely to maintain contact – as long as they're roughly facing each other along their line-of-sight, they'll work.

There are also modems designed to be used over UHF/VHF radio links, too, and the easiest way to interface them to the R-Pi would be via a USB port or, if the modems only have a serial interface, a USB/serial adapter can be used.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

chaza218
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Solar car - A possibility

Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:42 pm

this is across the outback in aus, so line of sight may not be issue, but weight and power requirements are a big consideration, as we only have solar power. Also should it be easy enough to code a program to manage as i said in the post?

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Jim Manley
Posts: 1600
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:41 pm
Location: SillyCon Valley, California, and Powell, Wyoming, USA, plus The Universe
Contact: Website

Re: Solar car - A possibility

Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:56 pm

The USB WiFi dongles weigh less than the R-Pi and, if the commercial directional antennas weigh too much, Google "Pringles can WiFi antenna" and you'll see very lightweight home-made directional antennas.  WiFi only radiates 100 mW, so, the input power is probably around 200 mW, roughly the same as the R-Pi with nothing else connected.  You'll be losing a lot more than that just in high-current wiring between the car's motors and solar panels (and batteries?), not to mention rolling friction, wind resistance, etc.

BTW, have you looked to see what previous contestants have used for communications in those races?  They've been going on since 1987, as I understand it.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

chaza218
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Solar car - A possibility

Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:59 pm

we are currently looking at previous designs, but some of it is quite hush-hush

would a wi-fi dongle be reliable/good enough to carry constant car data and any comunication ( ie a simple walkie talkie type system)

Hardware is not my main concern at the moment, as that can be arranged closer to the time, my main concern is the coding for an EMS programme etc as i will have to learn to code

chaza218

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