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While Arduino boards are useful for simple robotics and control applications, as outlined on William Osman’s blog, they can also be employed for data tracking to help engineers verify and modify a race car’s suspension design.

In this case, Osman decided to use a Pro Mini, a three-axis accelerometer, and an nRF24L01 module to implement a vehicular telemetry system for under $20. A second Arduino and 2.4GHz transceiver make up the base station, which is connected to his computer via USB.

While getting the raw data is interesting, he’s able to take the project to the next level using a free software package called COSMOS from Bell Aerospace. Although not initially user-friendly, it does allow those willing to conquer its learning curve to visualize data in real-time without spending thousands on software.

Be sure to check out his blog post, Hackaday’s recent write-up, or the video below for more information on the inexpensive telemetry system!

[William Osman] set out to prove that unlike expensive commercial data logging rigs, he could get the same results for under twenty bucks. He wanted to build a wireless three-axis accelerometer for a race car project, allowing engineers to make modifications to the suspension based on the data collected.

The hardware consists of an Arduino Pro Mini connected to a three-axis accelerometer, and an nRF24L01 wireless module. Power is supplied by the race car’s 12 V, changed to 5 V by a linear regulator with the Pro Mini in turn supplying 3.3 V. The base station consists of an Arduino and another nRF24L01 module plugged into a laptop.

The telemetry system is based on COSMOS, an open-source, realtime datalogging platform put out by Bell Aerospace. COSMOS consists of fifteen separate applications depending on how you want to view and manage your telemetry. You can download [William]’s COSMOS config files and Arduino sketch on Google Docs.

We’ve published a bunch of pieces on telemetry, like this ESP8266 telemetry project, a rocket telemetry rig, and open sourcing satellite telemetry.

[Thanks, Dennis Nestor!]


Filed under: Arduino Hacks


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