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Arduino Controlled Electrics


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#1 samg2007

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 05:12 PM

Hey internets,

 

This is something i've been messing around with for a while, and I thought I'd share it.

 

I decided to build an arduino based control box to act as my mini's "brain". I want it to control all the lights and potentially the heater.

 

So far, I have a box that will be connected to my steering column, which houses the arduino. Then a larger fuse/relay box where the switching happens.

 

The arduino talks to the relay box over I2C.

 

Pressing the headlight button once gives side lights, press again for main lights and once more to turn them off.

 

One button turns the rear fog light on, another button for the front fogs and one for the hazards.

 

I found some lovely billet aluminium switches in china and am intending to use them to switch things.

 

I am going to use the standard indicator stalks for left and right.

 

I have it set so if you press the hazard button with the system powered down, a standard flasher unit takes over to avoid any issues with the MOT.

 

It'd be great to hear your thoughts.


Edited by samg2007, 07 January 2016 - 05:17 PM.


#2 adam_93rio

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 05:27 PM

It's quite impressive. However I fail to see why you need loads of extra stuff to do the same thing it did before

#3 samg2007

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:50 PM

Thanks mate. Just means I can use one button to do multiple things.

 

I'm also going to put a couple of thermistors in various bits of the engine / cooling system and display the values on the screen.



#4 Phil-R

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:42 PM

Nice project! A few things that would be really cool...

Intermittent wipers: down once to turn on, down once more to turn off.

Windscreen washer jets: when pressed, gives a minimum squirt of 2 seconds and actuates the wipers for a few seconds.

Heater motor controlled by PWM if you can fit a suitable MOSFET in there. Have several preset speeds.

Temperature control using a heater solenoid valve controlled by low frequency PWM (about 0.2Hz). I've never liked the standard mini heater control as it's always fully on or off.

Interior lights that fade a short while after closing the door or if the ignition turns on. Again, this would need to be done with PWMing a MOSFET if you want the fade effect. Mosfets should be able switch most of the other loads too, so could compact the box and keep your outputs versatile.

The list goes on! Can you tell I've already thought about this - trouble is I spend too much time thinking about things and no time doing them; I have a drawer full of Arduinos and think of 10 new projects for every one I finish!

So much of the Minis electrics could be brought up to date.

Edited by Phil-R, 07 January 2016 - 09:49 PM.


#5 samg2007

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 10:05 PM

Loving the ideas mate! I'm a little restricted in that I'm using an i2c expansion chip, that only allows for digital input / output, but I'm sure I could figure out a way around that.

I'll let you know how I get on.

#6 Phil-R

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 10:35 PM

Good stuff. Kind of jeoulous of what you've already done... Keep us updated :)

#7 Mini Manannán

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 02:46 AM



Interior lights that fade a short while after closing the door or if the ignition turns on. Again, this would need to be done with PWMing a MOSFET if you want the fade effect. Mosfets should be able switch most of the other loads too, so could compact the box and keep your outputs versatile.
 

 

That's the one I really want for my daily.  I just have no idea about this programming malarkey!



#8 pusb

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 08:44 PM

I like the idea of getting 1 computer to control everything. It might not provide any end use benefits, but its nice to see people trying to do something different and use their imagination.

 

Someone on here was trying to make a solenoid to control the choke I remember. Never did get to see the finished work, but I think that would be a cool thing to have.



#9 lawrence

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 12:00 AM

I also like the idea of the mini having a computer :) I myself got the arduino uno project kit this Christmas and have made some of the more simple prototypes.

My plan was for it to do the lighting eventually and engine cooling fan control. I wanted to have three fans, one reliant on ambient outside temperature so it's not on in the winter, the other incase she overheats in summer in traffic and lastly the in car heater as a last resort :)

So far I have updated my mini to more modern times with auto lights, auto fans etc but they all require individual modules and relays so I wanted to use arduino just to tidy everything up and make it much more compact

Essentially it's not really needed as you can do everything with 12v wiring and fancy relays but it's a bit of fun hence why I'm playing with it!

Little tip for people who want interior lights that gently fade you can get simple timered relays with capacitors which will do that job fine :)

Keep it up
Lawrence

#10 Ethel

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 02:04 AM

one way to do intermittent is to hold the stalk back to set the delay interval; you can you a short flick to cancel intermittent as you'd have no other reason to flick it.

 

Remember rear fogs nee a tell tale and should only be selectable if the headlights are also on.

 

Other ideas - heated rear screen timer, interior/headlight light delayed off, hacking the fuel sender resistance into a look up table and drive the gauge with pwm from it to make it more accurate & linear. Also, checkout MPGuino online

 

Lots of Fords have a neat heater solenoid valve, with built in bypass, may not be that much more reliable than the Min valve though.



#11 Phil-R

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 03:25 PM

The ford heater valve was the one I was thinking of too. I only know about it because I had to fix one, although I'd imagine Ford have had long enough to make a good reliable one now, so I'd still choose it.

I like the idea for the fuel sender look up table - that's a really good idea. There's also potential to build in a visual or audible warning when you get really low.

Would love to replace the standard dashboard lights with neopixels for no other reason than to tweak the colour and brightness. But they could also be programmed to draw more attention to other warnings - low oil pressute, low fuel, rev limit, high beam.

I know a lot of this may not be possible with your current hardware, but I am impressed by what you've built already. Most of my projects just get breadboarded and I call it done!

#12 Mini Manannán

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 02:52 PM

neopixels


Curse you Phil, another two hours of my life gone!

#13 samg2007

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 09:59 AM

Thanks guys, loving all the ideas and support.

 

I've fitted another level of relays so now I have 16, not sure if it should be one per light, or one per circuit. But I'll do some tests.

 

 

I found some swanky looking aluminium buttons with LED backlights, like the savage ones only about £4 inc shipping each. So i'm testing them.

 

Attached File  0.jpg   27.26K   29 downloads



#14 lawrence

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 08:00 PM

I'm looking forward to your next update bud :)
Where did you get the swish switches from? I've been keeping an eye out for some like the savage ones but being a tightwad £25 for a switch is a con. You haven't got a link?

Lawrence

#15 samg2007

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 03:44 PM

Let there be light!

 

Attached File  IMG_20160216_154018.jpg   40.01K   32 downloads

 

Need to purchase a new soldering iron, as mine died. But i've wired the buttons up and giving them a test.

 

I'm currently waiting for some circuit boards to be manufactured rather than using my perf board ones.

Getting there.

 

I had the switches made by a company in China. They only supply to companies as far as I can tell, so had to register a ltd company! Happy to do a bulk order if anyone is interested in them?






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