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Thread: Feeler: Open Source OBC Firmware

  1. #1851
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    304
    My Cars
    1998 328is, 2006 330ci ZHP

    Survey Results

    It's been almost two weeks since I posted the survey and the submissions appear to have trickled to a stop so I figured I'd report the results.

    15 people submitted the survey. A majority of those surveyed want the bare logic board option. Based on the feature priority it's also pretty clear that the S54 transplant and HPDE guys are probably driving most of the demand, and that demand is focused around supporting CAN bus and other OBD features, and control or access to various external devices (fans, pumps, or even flex fuel sensors). About two thirds of those surveyed want stuff like GPS and about half want the accelerometer, presumably for data logging on the street and the track.

    The average maximum price people were willing to pay for the bare logic board option was $230. That is within the realm of reason to cover basic hardware costs and the adaptation of the OpenOBC firmware, though I think $250 + shipping is likely to be the final price in quantities less than 100.

    Some people were willing to pay as high as $700 for the touchscreen product and with full software development costs that would not be out of the realm of reason but unfortunately the average was only $400 which is probably enough to cover only basic hardware costs and some preliminary software development. I am still a proponent of this product but the demand for it at present is low. I'm sure I could turn a few heads with what I have envisioned for this version of the product and that would increase demand substantially, but right now, without any prototype to wow people, there is little demand for the LCD version.

    Based on these results I can justify further investigation into a new version of the bare logic board in the form of a design audit. I will not, however, commit to anything more than that at this time. If there is anything specific that you would like to see in the new design that was not mentioned on the survey, now is the time to propose it.
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  2. #1852
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    15,416
    My Cars
    German E36 328i & M3 cab
    Thankfully, full touch display, just doesn’t suit the E36 interior.

    Most important would be able to display all types of Bus data m/i/p and RxD/TxD data.

    ps I missed out on the servey.
    Last edited by MParallel; 10-27-2018 at 03:33 PM.
    '98 BMW M3 3.2 SMG Cabrio • Alpinweiß III auf Schwarz • Deutschland-ausführung
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  3. #1853
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    1,128
    My Cars
    2002 530I 1999 M3
    Sounds good, I'd buy it...
    2002 530IS 5 speed, Sapphire Black/Sand, M-Tech sport package, premium package, ESS Twin Screw supercharger, Southbend high performance clutch, Performance Gearing 3.15 LSD.....1999 M3 Cosmos Black/Black, Active Autowerks intercooled supercharger, H&R suspension and a bunch of other stuff....

  4. #1854
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    304
    My Cars
    1998 328is, 2006 330ci ZHP
    Well guys, the good news is I have decided to proceed with construction of a prototype of a product to replace the OpenOBC. The overall design concept and project strategy have been developed, the schematics are almost complete and I've thrown together a preliminary mechanical design (see attached).

    I've introduced many changes out of necessity, economics, good engineering practices, and of course, convenience and personal preferences. The most obvious change as you can see is the move to a modular architecture consisting of a baseboard identical in size to the OpenOBC board coupled with mezzanine modules that are a kind of hybrid between two standards -- the physical form factor is based loosely on the MiniPCIe standard, mostly to leverage the plentiful supply of inexpensive card edge connectors, and the electrical interface is loosely based on the MikroBus standard.

    Three of the mezzanine slots are intended to have nearly identical electrical interfaces, consistent with the available MCU peripherals. One of the slots will be unique and serve as an extension of the baseboard. I intend to put the Kbus and possibly the CANBus transceivers on this module for a couple reasons:


    1. They are the most likely component to be damaged (as a few have discovered with the OpenOBC) and so placing them on a module will make it easier to replace them without any soldering.
    2. I'm not convinced that the existing parts are the best parts for the job, thus I'd like the option of replacing them as I gain some personal experience with the Kbus. We appear to be lucky in that the transceiver used on the OpenOBC is still available as a RoHS part (the non-RoHS parts were discontinued) but I'm not sure they will be available forever, and by keeping them on the module we'll be able to replace them without re-spinning the baseboard.


    I've made other changes including a new MCU based on the STM32 platform (another ARM part), a redesigned power section, and a dual port USB transceiver that will serve as both a JTAG/SWD programming interface as well as the console for the part. This last feature will eliminate the need to buy a separate programmer and associated adapter cables as required for development and updates -- saving approximately $50.

    As the design is not yet cast in stone, if you have any questions or feedback I'd like to hear it.
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