Introducing Carduino BatMon – the arduino for your car

I recently purchased a car black box camera that records HD video and audio as you drive  along with a built-in GPS and accelerometer.  This model also has a parking mode that stays active while your car is parked.  Any motion in front of the car or vibrations trigger the event to be recorded.  Because I live on a narrow street it is only a matter of time till someone comes along and takes off my side mirror and this camera is meant to catch the incident on video.

Unfortuantely, a camera that is active while parked can drain the car’s battery leaving you stranded.  I wanted a device that would continiously monitor the car’s battery and shut off the camera if the voltage dropped too low.  I bought this product from the local electronics shop and installed it.  Three days later my car wouldn’t start. Back to the drawing board.

Introducing Carduino BatMon – the arduino for your car.

Kevin, Anool and I have been working on a little Arduino compatible board that can monitor two voltages (through a precision resister voltage divider) and shut off a solid state relay if the voltage falls below a selectable value. There’s also an optional display board (shown here displaying the supply voltage). If you don’t want to use the display, the row of pins is a handy breakout of many of the unused Arduino pins.

+ Switch a 12V 1A load (larger loads may be switched with a larger external relay)
+ Arduino compatible
+ Power supply compatible with a noisy car electrical environment (8 to 15V)
+ Dual inputs for an always on battery voltage and an ignition switched voltage
+ Ability for the user to easily switch between various low voltage cuttoff points
+ Optional real time battery voltage display
+ Optional timer mode (Switch off load after XX hours)

Drop by the forum for more information of this project as it evolves.

Custom faceplate C3 glam shot

Here’s a quick pic of my custom faceplate Clock3.  My clock has a custom black faceplate with a row of ‘dots’ across the second to last row on the bottom.  Each dot represents 15 seconds and move one dot from left to right in groups of four dots, or one minute.  When the dots reach the right side of the clock five minutes is up and the words change.