Control System: The car's brain(s)

Today, we present the old control system - the control system designed by Anders Guldahl on last year's team. Anders did an excellent job, so we have decided to keep the old system, expanding it to suit this year's improvements.

The control system consists of individual modules - each module handling different functionality in the car. The system is modular, meaning we can add or remove modules as we wish. For example, If for some reason we don't want the front module in the car, we unplug it and the rest of the modules will carry on (almost) unaffected.

As a safety precaution, we wanted to have an extra copy of each module with us to Germany. If a module starts acting strange, we swap it out with a clone in a matter of seconds. Plug-n-play!

Today, the extra copies where completed after a quick visit toNOCA.The kind people at have helped us assemble the modules - a big thanks to them!

Each module actually contains two circuit boards - one Universal module, and one unique interface card. Above is the Universal module. The Universal module is the same for all the modules.

The big, flat black thing with lots of pins is the micro controller. It's basically a small computer - or the car's brain(s).

USBplug to connect the module to a computer + two connectors to connect all the modules together in series.

Connection interface between Universal module and the interface card.

Dashboard module. Handling all the buttons in the cockpit and the in-car LCD display.

Front module. Drives all the front lights. Also connected to the pedals and the horn.

Engine module. Drives the rear lights. Sends messages to the motor controller.

Fuel cell module. Monitors the fuel cell.

There is also a special telemetry module. The telemetry module allows us to monitor the car wirelessly - it even has GPS, so we know the car's exact position. We'll get back to the telemetry module and how we plan to use it in a later post.

We plan to extend the control system with some nifty features, also covered in later posts. Stay tuned!

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