270: Saturday 22nd March 2014

Today I set about getting the battery monitoring system working. I had taken the boards to work with me and my friend Ray reworked them and loaded the latest software on the boards and the display. There were some termination resistors missing and some extra connectors required to link the serial cable. We had some idea that one end had the serial connections reversed so then a simple pair of connectors that we could used banana plugs to swap them gave me a working display.
Once I have this working properly then the motor controller programmer unit and the multi-meter will go. Eventually the radio and this display will be replaced by a 2 DIN Android unit. It is really difficult to get a good photo, but in reality very easy to view.
This photo shows what is on the display a bit clearer. The second bar on this display is the only one actually connected at the moment as I ran out of wire. I shall get a roll of small core speaker wire with red and black paired wires for the connections. That way I can make sure I get the positive and negative wires right. I tested all the inputs and found only 7 of the ten working. I shall go through this with Ray as he had to make a patch board and some links were removed, but I don't have the circuit diagrams for the patch board. The next job is then to calibrate the inputs so they read consistently. The red dots are from open connections so the voltage is almost random. This is a design problem that needs to be solved so the inputs are tied high or low so they don't float when not in use. I also think the numbers are wrong and should be 8, 12, 16v, but I can't remember as it has been a long time in the making and forgot. I also want to rework the graphics to make the lines a bit wider on the display and set up some different modes for focusing on one battery. Once the measurements are coming in freely and accurately then the software can be improved to better show any problem batteries. As the display has its own processor there is a lot of power to display things in some intelligent ways. Also this is a touch screen, so I can build some interesting functions onto it. Just need to spend the time.

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