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  #81  
Old February 26th, 2016, 09:23 AM
Azarur
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We then added two batteries. One working battery and then a backup, deep discharge, marine battery. We built a set of power connectors and main fuses under the center console, at a position where they would be accessible for maintenance, but tucked away so the kids couldn't get to them.
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  #82  
Old February 26th, 2016, 09:24 AM
Azarur
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We then installed the MasterCell. As I described before, we decided on a location under the passenger seat, with a lateral access door for easy maintenance.
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  #83  
Old February 26th, 2016, 09:28 AM
Azarur
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The second PowerCell was installed in the back wall to control brake lamps, rear wiper, working lights, rear fog lamp, rear turn signals, reverse lamps and license plate lamp. IN addition it controls the USB chargers for the back seats. You can see the location right under the subwoofer (hey! We also have a subwoofer... getting ahead of myself here!).
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  #84  
Old February 26th, 2016, 09:31 AM
Azarur
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The third powercell is mounted on the bulkhead. This one controls all the dash signals, the A/C unit and "the computer." But more about the computer later!!

BTW, I'm aware that I should have yelled "SPOILER ALERT" because now I'm showing bits of the dashboard, telling you there's a computer, and giving you a hint of the stereo system... so SPOILER ALERT!!!
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  #85  
Old February 27th, 2016, 10:33 AM
RBBailey
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Holy......
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1965 IIa SWB
1988 Saudi 110 (soon to be 300tdi)
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  #86  
Old February 27th, 2016, 10:57 AM
Azarur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBBailey View Post
Holy......
I know, right?
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  #87  
Old February 27th, 2016, 12:02 PM
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Are you happy with the Eastwood frame coating stuff? Was it OK getting the hose inside? Etc?
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1965 IIa SWB
1988 Saudi 110 (soon to be 300tdi)
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  #88  
Old March 1st, 2016, 12:26 PM
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John Lindsay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBBailey View Post
Holy......
Awesome build...
Definitely got garage envy...
The only thing I can see wrong... The steering should be on the proper side as God and Land Rover intended...
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Land Rover owners like it rough and dirty...
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  #89  
Old March 1st, 2016, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovermanuk View Post
Awesome build...
Definitely got garage envy...
The only thing I can see wrong... The steering should be on the proper side as God and Land Rover intended...
when is the last time you needed to have a sword in your right hand while you were driving?
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  #90  
Old March 1st, 2016, 05:21 PM
Azarur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovermanuk View Post
Awesome build...
Definitely got garage envy...
The only thing I can see wrong... The steering should be on the proper side as God and Land Rover intended...
I recently drove a left-hand drive minivan in the bahamas. My brain still hurts! I could not drive a RHD in the US and remain sane!!
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  #91  
Old March 1st, 2016, 11:36 PM
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First time seeing this tread... What a great read from the beginning. Enjoyed the story feel and specifics of each area and links to aftermarket products.

Cannot wait to see AC application, enterior finish out.

Wonderful work!
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  #92  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 05:26 AM
Azarur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JASEcrest View Post
First time seeing this tread... What a great read from the beginning. Enjoyed the story feel and specifics of each area and links to aftermarket products.

Cannot wait to see AC application, enterior finish out.

Wonderful work!
Thanks all for the kind words and encouragement. This project has been by far one of the most rewarding and at the same time frustrating endeavors I have ever embarked upon. This group of people is what has guided most of the big decisions.
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  #93  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 07:48 AM
Azarur
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The Computer

Very early on the route to dreaming about our defender, we (and by we I mean Alex (my 11 year-old, who at the time was 9), Antonio (13, at the time 11) and I) decided we would put a computer in the car. The reason we wanted a computer is because we could put one in. There is no real reason we need the computer at all. It serves no purpose other than education and involvement.

Now, when I say "computer," I don't mean computer in the traditional sense. It's not like we stuck a Mac iBook in the glovebox. By computer we mean a series of interconnected micro-controllers, a display, and a number of sensors and actuators. Again, the only reason to do it is that we *really* wanted to. So, you need to read this next section not asking yourself "why would anyone want this?" but rather asking "if for whatever reason I had decided to do this, then what would make the most sense?"

We started on a Sunday morning. In our town there's a radio station that plays acoustic versions of pop songs on Sunday morning. And as we had laid out all our gadgets to start on the long odyssey that designing and building our car computer, the song "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5 was playing. My beautiful - and totally not-nerdy - wife walked by and to the tune of the melody she sang: "Sunday Morning, nerds are coding..." and thus we were on a roll!!
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  #94  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 07:59 AM
Azarur
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The first order of business was to figure our the architecture of the system. What do we want it to do?
Well, obviously I don't want it having anything to do with essential systems of the vehicle. I would not trust my two pre-teens and me to design and build a robust, fault-tolerant system. But we also want it to be useful. Yes, playing music and weird noises is easy, but who cares? I also want it to be educational. We built this truck because we wanted to NOT have a car that gave us lousy gas mileage. We built this truck to help the kids understand how engines work. So, how do we bring all that into the design of the computer?

So, we started by looking at what signals we could get from the car or inexpensive, easily programmable, off-the-shelf sensors:
- Temperatures (cabin, outside, coolant, exhaust gases)
- Engine RPMs (from alternator signal)
- Speed (from Hall-sensor sender attached to speedometer cable)
- Fuel consumption (from two flowmeters attached to the delivery and return diesel lines)
- Fuel level (from fuel tank sender)
- Altitude, humidity, heading, tilt (from off-the-shelf sensors)
- Open doors (from door sensors)
- Clutch depressed
- Transmission in neutral

Then we thought of other, much more complex things we could eventually build (which would not be included in V1.0 but needed to be planned for in order to make the required electrical connections):
- Rain sensor (this is the coolest thing ever, and actually so simple to understand from a physics perspective, and so incredibly hard to execute properly!)
- GPS (loctaion, altitude, heading)
- Proximity warnings (rear, front, blindspots)
- IR analysis (fog detection and navigation)
- Etc. etc. etc.

The cool thing, is once you prepare for all the possibilities, the sky is the limit!!
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  #95  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 10:10 AM
Azarur
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Once we had a map - a blueprint if you will - then came the incredibly hard decision of what system to base our computer on. As we saw it in 2014, here were three choices:
- Raspberry Pi
- BeagleBone Black
- Arduino

At the time, folks at the forum told us we were insane: just buy an off-the-shelf garmin or some other pre-made system. We did not want that. We wanted to make our own. So. We ordered a Raspberry One, a beagle bone and an Arduino UNO.

Alex and I then spent countless hours just learning the basics of each system. After about a month, we could intelligently describe the pro's and con's of each system:

Raspberry Pi:
Pros:
- Mid-range processor
- Powerful operating system (linux)
- Friendly programming environment (Python)
- HDMI video output and sound
- Direct camera input
- Straightforward USB-based navigation (mouse, keyboard)

Cons:
- Limited sensor connectivity
- Very limited number of input/output pins/clunky configuration
- No on-board digital-analog conversion
- Difficult to program on a car environment

Beagle Bone
Pros:
- Powerful processor and operating system
- HDMI Video and Audio

Cons:
- Difficult to program
- Difficult sensor integration

Arduino
Pros:
- Very straight forward sensor integration - thousands of ready-made sensors
- Easy programming interface, C++ based, thousands of libraries available
- Straightforward to integrate and program in a vehicle
- Interrupt capabilities to measure pulses (huge deal!!)

Cons:
- No dedicated display/ Existing displays were clunky and slow
- Difficult navigation (no usb navigation; needed to decide custom navigation)
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  #96  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 10:12 AM
Azarur
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Based on this original analysis we made yet another bad decision: We decided to base our system on the Raspberry Pi and use an off-the-shelf DIN compatible touch screen:
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  #97  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 10:21 AM
Azarur
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Over the next six months, we spent countless hours working on the Raspberry system. Long story short, we failed and gave up. I think if we were to revisit now, with the availability of the Raspberry 2 and 3, maybe we could make it work, but there were just too many issues that killed it back then.
First, the startup routine. It would just take too long and be unreliable to boot the Raspberry directly into our measure/display routines.
Second, in order to mount all the sensors we wanted, we needed a GPIO board, which made integration a big pain.
Finally, and the real killer, the lack of interrupts.

What does the last one mean? Well, imagine you're taking pulses from the alternator, fuel flow meters and speedometer. Those are absolutely critical to provide the functionality we wanted. In a traditional board - one without interrupts - each pulse takes "processor time" and while the board is "counting" pulses it can't do anything else. Meaning that if two pulses happen within the measurement horizon of each other, one will be lost. When you have half a dozen pulses, each with frequencies in the 10-100 Hz, you're bound to drop a bunch. If you add the fact that you need your processor to drive the display and perform calculations, then the counting becomes hugely inaccurate. How inaccurate? Well, we were missing over 60% of the pulses. So that killed it.

So we moved into the Arduino world!!!
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  #98  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 10:40 AM
Azarur
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Our first embodiment included two Arduino Boards and one display system. We used a Mega 256 board to collect the data and interrupts (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardMega2560) and this combination Arduino UNO + LCD Display for navigation and interface (https://earthlcd.com/products/educational-maker/arlcd/).
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  #99  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 10:50 AM
Azarur
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This first iteration was pretty good. It had pretty much all the functionality we were looking for. In fact we were ready to push the "go" button. But... we got greedy. The ArLCD screen is nice and cheap, but it's not particularly bright or fast. It does not look "pro." Also, the interface between the Mega 256 and the UNO was very difficult to code. Adding a new sensor would not only require programming the sensor, but figuring out the communication between the two boards. And finally, we ran out of interrupts. The MEGA has 6, but two are used for communication with the UNO, which dropped us to 4. We really needed 13 or 14 (two for fuel flow senders, one for speed, one for tachometer, 5 for doors and 4 more for navigation (arrow left, arrow right, enter, reset) plus any extras we might need in the future). Although we could get around using interrupts for doors and navigation (and in fact did), Arduino came out with a brand new board - the Arduino DUE - with unlimited interrupts (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardDue) which just got our minds flying again!

We also found a company in Australia called 4d Systems with an AMAZING new display for Arduino: The Diablo uLCD43DT (4D Systems | uLCD-43DT-AR) which connects directly to the Arduino DUE, thus obviating the need to have two boards!!!
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  #100  
Old March 2nd, 2016, 10:53 AM
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Interruption: Goodbye Faithfull RR Sport

Right around that time we got rid of my RR Sport in anticipation for completion of the 110... As it would turn out, we got rid of it one winter too early!!! Wow. That was a nice car. When your SUV blows a Porsche 911 on straight-line acceleration, and then you get on a 2.5 L powered diesel truck, you feel the difference! I miss you old friend!!!
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