Lightweight electric vehicle controller brain - for VESC's, bike controllers, ESC's


Contributors: Sune Pedersen

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Project Description


We have been using the cheap ESP8266 wifi unit for some time for the Spines we have shipped (for the customers accepting experimental stuff).

In particularly it has been the Nodemcu 1.0 or Wemos D1 Mini, but we have run into some issues about the wifi network that we cannot seem to solve ourselves. The bugs we encounter in particularily are problems in dense wifi areas, and we have tried to resolve it by changing wifi output power and also wifi channels etc without luck so far. Maybe it will be resolved with later SDK's and Arduino updates, but for now we will try to look into other hardware as well.

We never encountered any of these problems when using the Arduino Yun. 

Requirements:

  • Programmable with Arduino
  • OTA/ Webupdates support
  • Plenty of programming available programming space
  • Fast and reliable WIFI network
  • Fast boot (thats why we dont like the Arduino Yun and Linkit Smart 7866 so much)
  • Extendable (i2c or serial communication with other microcontrollers)

 

Features we would like to implement:

  • VESC Serial Motorcontroller control
  • Teensy communication (I2C, 2x digital IO)
  • Nunchuk controller (I2C, 2x digital IO)
  • Software dead man switch (digital input)
  • Amp sensing (Analog input)
  • Servo motorcontroller control (digital output)
  • Servo brake 1 (digital output)
  • Servo brake 2 (digital output)
  • Neopixels control (digital output)
  • Neopixles front (digital output)
  • Neopixels back (digital output)
  • Hardware reset EXTERNAL (digital output)
  • Hardware reset NODEMCU
  • Controller PWM (digital input)
  • Switch 1
  • Switch 2 (USB CHARGER)

 

Check out our current ESP8266 implementation:

https://github.com/sunepedersen/faradaymotion-spine-software/tree/master/Arduino

Poject Updates


Design of Faraday Brain using 123D Circuits

Sune Pedersen
15 Jun 2016
1 year ago

So things are progressing, the brain has been defined and now is almost done with the schematic design and also started designing the PCB, check out the current state below.

 

First test PCB ordered

Sune Pedersen
13 Jul 2016
1 year ago

So finally got all the connections routed. It was really quite difficult as its the most complex pcb design I have ever made. I had to learn to use another tool in the process as 123d.circuits.com is not really up for the task. I was chosing between KiCad and DesignSpark PCB, and ended up with DesignSpark PCB as I thought it was a little easier to learn. 

The board below is using 4 layers, and I used the autorouting feature in the tool extensively, im not sure this is how the professionals are doing it, but Im rather lazy:) 

The board has a bunch of connectors for external stuff, as well as a few plug in boards such as, a NodeMCU 1.0, a Teensy 3.2, a NRF24L01 module, and an accelerometer/gyro. 

We just placed an order at https://oshpark.com and now wer are waiting to test the first PCB's to see if we made any mistakes.