Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 02:14AM
IronChief, have you ever looked at the arduino board? Its made for just this sort of thing. Open source, a lot of inputs and outputs etc. I would have LOVED to have had one back when I was still modding my 1985 Radioshack computer.

SteveW
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 09:04AM
The Arduino is really more of a hobby/teaching tool. As I understand it, the way it works is it runs a small program in a loop (macroloop) looking at input registers. If it sees one when it goes by, it does whatever the program says to do. It works, but the results are slow acting. The longer the program is, the slower it is. It would be okay to control a few simple devices, but for a complex control system, it would probably not be well suited. A real control software on robust hardware is what is needed.

I've worked with Windows software with macroloops and it sure doesn't like them. Resource hogs.

-Ron
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 10:07AM
Hmm, I'll have to look into this deeper. I have a friend who is into this and this will give me a good excuse to bother him grinning smiley

Thanks!
SteveW
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 10:10AM
IronChief Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Arduino is really more of a hobby/teaching
> tool. As I understand it, the way it works is it
> runs a small program in a loop (macroloop) looking
> at input registers. If it sees one when it goes
> by, it does whatever the program says to do. It
> works, but the results are slow acting. The longer
> the program is, the slower it is. It would be okay
> to control a few simple devices, but for a complex
> control system, it would probably not be well
> suited. A real control software on robust hardware
> is what is needed.
>
> I've worked with Windows software with macroloops
> and it sure doesn't like them. Resource hogs.
>
> -Ron

What you described is a PLC from the late 80's.

That's not even close to what an arduino is. It's a powerful microcontroller you can program in C, running at 8/16/32 MHz. It's only slow if you make a slow program. I have an arduino reading a 360 counts/rev quadrature encoder to control my steam engine, and it has no problem keeping up. Remember, 3d printers are fully controlled by one arduino at the microstepping level. That's sending pulses to 4 stepper motor drivers at the same time at high speed, while also maintaining 2 PID temperature loops and communicating to a PC via usb, while ALSO translating g-code into geometric motion of the steppers, sometimes even translating from xy coordinates into polar coordinates..

The only negatives I've seen people have about arduinos are that the board has lots of components on it for most common uses. (like a 5 volt regulator, an integrated led on pin 13, leds on the transmit/receive lines, etc.) These people are the ones that will still use the atmega chip, but design and build their own board for it that only has what they need on it. Even then, unless you have special requirements like tiny board space or saving a few milliamps of power draw, you're not saving time or money. I buy arduino pro minis by the dozen for $2 a piece.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2017 10:11AM by zimirken.
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 01:57PM
I understood they run a loop which is very slow. And 8-32 MHz by todays control standards is slow. A 20 year old PC was faster than that through a parallel port.

-Ron
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 02:06PM
What do you mean by run through a loop? You can program it however you want to, and how would "running through a loop" be slow? It's just as powerful as your average car ECU. We're measuring sensors and toggling valves not folding proteins.
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 02:18PM
The code which is authored by the user is uploaded to the controller and runs over and over start to finish looking for high/low values and inputs at a set speed- a loop.
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 02:25PM
I guess you could program it that way, like a PLC. But you can program it however you want. There's nothing limiting you to any particular programming structure within the bound of C. It's just like a PIC. If you want faster response time to an input change you can always use interrupts, it has several pins that can be used as external interrupts.
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 11, 2017 03:47PM
Have any you tried out Windows CE

[www.google.com]

I have the developers set, I have the thing some where.
Re: A modern, commercial application for the steam car
September 13, 2017 05:01AM
Jeremy, I've heard of CE but that was about it.I have never had the chance to work with the arduino or other microprocessor controller platforms but I hope to be buying one in the near future and learning how to use it for various projects.
As far as building an engine to be used in the car market I have no inclination in that direction. There are plenty of uses elsewhere that don't require fighting a multi-billion dollar industry. Now a steam powered car where I'm building my own engine would be just fine.

SteveW
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