An Embedded Automotive Monitoring Device
Active In SP
Joined: Sep 2010
04-01-2011, 12:18 PM
Donal O' Connor
All modern vehicles today include an Engine Control Unit (ECU). This unit is responsible for the co-ordination of all sub systems of the vehicle such as the anti locking breaking system (ABS) and the fuel ignition system. The ECU reads sensor values from various parts of the engine and depending on these values it performs the appropriate actions. For example, if the air intake is low, the fuel input is increased to compensate. If errors occur in the engine management system, such as a miss-fire in the engine, the ECU must log this error and if serious enough, illuminate the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) on the dashboard to notify the driver. All this information is made available to scan tools and fault code readers using the Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) protocol.
The purpose of this project and implimentation, Automon, is to make this information freely available to drivers or mechanics in an embedded touch screen device. This can give the driver more insight into what is occurring in their car in real time. Engine tuners often monitor sensors during a tuning session to see what affects the changes have. Generally they would connect a laptop to a scan tool to monitor such data. Often, they may take the car out for a spin around a track. Having a laptop in this environment can be difficult.
Automon solves these problems by providing many useful functions such as real time display of sensor data, diagnostic trouble code (DTC) reading and much more. These features will be listed further on in this document. The project and implimentation contains three main components: (1) The touch screen computer, (2) The ELM327 OBD interface chip and (3) the actual Automon software that will work with these devices.