so after not being very happy with the drawbacks of a windows based mtc system (expensive, poor visibility in sunlight, EXPENSIVE, unstable, etc...) I decided to teach myself how to code micro a n00b friendly microcontroller; the arduino. There are a lot of advantages of this system over the pc based system:
price: the win7 tablet, i/o, wifi hub, usb hub cost 1k+
battery life: the tablet i had was great on battery life. but even in optimal conditions it would last ~7-8 hours. This would require me to be very conscious about the usage and would require me to make sure i had a full charge before each outing and to remember to charge it each night on long weekend trips
self explanatory. not a huge issue but annoying
the old system needed wifi connectivity, usb hub connection, front end program and the win7 os to all be stable. this wasn't always the case. and the last thing i want to do is troubleshoot on a morning when the lake is glassy.
price: so far i'm less then $200 in on this. I am trying to integrate an android control for my music/media which will raise the cost if you dont own one already. but they can be purchased for < $100.
battery life: this is all wired so no issues with battery life.
boot time: seconds
stability: it's a simple program. the code is tiny and purpose built.
my new motto for this build is to be inspired by apple. to make things quick, smart and easy to interact with. with that in mind i have the following functions implemented:
Power Wedge controller. to make the system as user friendly and ergonimic as possible. i decided to include a knob for manual adjustments of the wedge. There is also a menu screen that has 4 presets as well as a 'retract' button. Each preset can be set by the user if they hold down the corresponding button when the wedge is at the position you want. Right now i have just a numeric reading of the angel of the wedge. but when i get into the design phase of the UI, it'll be a visual circular bar graph to tell you where the wedge is.
i also plan on putting the wedge 'w' in the center
Ballast Control. for the most part we fill or empty all of our ballast. so i have my main ballast screen that will either fill or empty all the ballasts (based on time limits) with a simple 'flick' of the screen. 'up' will fill all ballasts. 'down' will empty all ballasts. If there was interest or I got into wakesurfing. I could split up the screen into two. one side would set the ballast for boarding, the other half would set it for surfing
edit: after thinking about it over night. i think i'm going to nix the swipe control and have the 2x2 button structure like in the other menus. on the right side will be wakeboarding fill all. on the right will be wake surfing preset. I also think i may incorporate the wedge angle into those quick selects
If you want to fine tune your wake. a 'long press' of the ballast screen will take you to individual pump control.
Power Control: the last screen i've worked on is the power center. Since my goal is to eliminate the need for a cd player, i have an button that will turn on or off the amps. in addition this menu will control the various lights of the boat. I'm still undecided but I'm considering having the center button open a 'keypad' to enter in a code that will lock/unlock the pushbutton starter button.
things that i'm still working on, or plan to implement:
Andriod integration: music/media player as well as using the voice recognition app for voice control over all of the functions (i.e. music, wedge preset, fill ballast all through voice command)
if anyone here knows how to write android apps, i could use some help with this.
anyways.... here is the work in progress:
Edited by scott_fx, January 02, 2012 - 12:27 PM.