need a board automotive

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Hello everyone,

I'm not a regular here but it seems to be the right place to ask.

I am working on a project for a student racing team and I have to
design a control system for one of the parts. The system will have to
accept a few inputs and control several motors based on the
calculations. Sounds typical.

I want to start off with an existing board based on 8051 or 68HC11/12.
The problem was that I couldn't find any existing boards on the market
that would be designed specifically for automotive applications. Most
of the boards are either made for general purpose or simply are
evaluation kits. That will not necessarily be sufficient because I need
a board that has interlocking connectors and can withstand vibrations.

So my question basically is, does anyone know of any inexpensive
microcontroller boards that are commonly used for automotive projects
and that can be purchased from the manufacturer.

Thank you in advance.
Best regards.

- Mike


Re: need a board automotive

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If the device already existed in exactly the required form, they wouldn't
need *you*. Take what you can get and make it into what you need. Hint:
It's called engineering.


Bob


Re: need a board automotive

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I think you answered "wrong" question.
I'll concede he may have also asked a "wrong" question.

Note that he specified that this was a *student* question.
He also specified that his concern was "a board that has _interlocking
connectors_ and can _withstand vibrations_." [emphasis added]

I suspect he has seen ads which tout *development* boards suitable for
_low volume_ *PRODUCTION*

So where did he LOGICALLY go wrong?
He is obviously in "development phase".
He is obviously "low volume" user.
Does not "production" imply something suitable for shipping to a paying
customer?

I believe he should also consider temperature extremes and storage
voltages on power and I/O lines.

Since the last commercial system I dealt with was probably built before
he was born ... ;)

Mike, feel free to contact me. [email valid if heavily filtered]
May not have 'answers' but might have 'educational questions'

Re: need a board automotive

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I also think Mike could have been a little more helpful.
 
[%X]

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I recall that there are some companies out there that produce small
processor boards that are able to be bolted down onto a board that contains
the I/O portion of the project. This way, the I/O circuitry can be
designed, by the OP, to handle the automotive power supplies and transients.

The rest of the automotive environment (temperature, vibration, electrical
noise) can be managed by electronics package siting, enclosure, filtering,
and thermal management.

I wish I could remember which companies did the very small boards. Perhaps
others may know. Failing that I will have a list after I visit ESS on
Thursday.

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Re: need a board automotive
I understand that Mike needs to control several servo motors based on
the inputs from different sensors.I ideal design idea would be to
control them(multiple servos) by connecting all of them to a servo
board .Make the contoller(processor)
send composite control signals to the board through a single line.
In my opinion you should look at sites of Robot manufactures.
www.pololu.com could be useful.

Cheers
dumike wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: need a board automotive
Thanks for your replies everyone.

First of all I want to emphasize a few things that I might have not
been very clear about.
First of all, this project is for a race car, which means that we are
not intending to mass produce the board. Second, the reason why I
cannot design the board from scratch is not so much because it is a
student project but more because I am the only person working on the
embedded system part and there are significant time constraints on when
the system should be available for testing.
Thus, I was not looking to purchase something that can be mass produced
but rather a board that was almost ready to go into the car and would
need a few minor tweaks. The bulk of the work is designing the
algorythm to run the control system. There are plenty of general
purpose boards available on the market that are intended for use in
real applications and not as evaluation boards. However, I thought that
there may be companies that manufacture microcontroller boards that can
operate under heavy conditions. That turns out to not to be true so
far.

It seems that right now the best solution would be to use a general
purpose board, solder out the IO connectors and replace them as
necessary and then put it in a shockproof (and other -proof) casing. I
have seen some examples of production systems (like engine control
units that come off the market sealed in a plastic case filled
completely with epoxy so that only the outside connectors are
accessible. The heat is not an issue since the control tasks will not
be extremely complex and should not draw any excessive power.

I like the idea of servo board used to interface with the motors and as
a matter of fact I have considered such an idea (robotics sites are
definetely the best for that kind of stuff) however the exact type of
motors is still unknown and will be determined after the necessary
calculations and design are complete.

Thanks again to everyone who replied!
Best regards

- Mike


Re: need a board automotive

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As I indicated in my previous response, not as a single board. Howver, you
could gather a collection of boards and put them together in quite a robust
fashion.
 
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Many of the small processor modules are built with 0.1 inch header strips.
So long as these poke through the board they can interface with an
appropriately positioned turned-pin header soxket strip. With the small
processor modules the weight is minimal and so does not impose to much
strain on the mountings (especially when the boards are bolted down
together).
 
The motherboard that you bolt down the processor module can sport the
decent resilient connectors for connecting to the outside (hostile) world.
It is the sort of construction I would employ for prototype test of
principle systems.

I managed to find some time to browse around a little.

  You may find
       http://www.gumstix.com
       http://www.newmicros.com /
       http://www.JKmicro.com
       http://www.compsys1.com/workbench /
       http://elmicro.com/en/chips12.php

helpful sites to get you started.

If you don't find the exact interface set-up you require you can always
build your own onto pre-drilled proto-boards using the hook-up wire methods
I outlined in another thread. It can be quite robust despite not looking
that pretty.

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Re: need a board automotive
snipped-for-privacy@amleth.demon.co.uk says...
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I've done precisely that for prototypes myself

http://www.aeolusdevelopment.com/Images/keydelayproto.JPG

The above link is to a prototype using a simmstick format board.  You can
see it bolted to the carrier board at 4 places.  In this case I hard
wired the external wires.  The carrier board in turn was bolted into its
case.

Of course you still have to design the I/O carrier.

Robert

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