Hello there, Gilian here again. In the previous blog, I was busy working on the ECU. Right now, I’m working on the Dashboard. At the moment, this mainly consists of designing the schematics in Altium. The dashboard is the interface between the driver and the car; besides showing the driver how fast he is going, it is also desirable to show lap times, how the current lap compares to the previous one and so on.
The dashboard is not merely a passive output device, but provides the link to tweak variables and to select options in a menu using buttons and knobs. When the schematics are finished, I’ll route the PCB and send it to one of our sponsors to get it checked. Meanwhile, we have to think about the placement of the dashboard. Various trade-offs have to be made here, since people from all the various departments are influenced by the dashboard; the driver wants the dashboard in a comfortable place, the chassis department puts constraints on where it can actually be placed and the engineers doing the wiring want to wire the dashboard as neatly as possible without putting too much stress on the connections. Hopefully, we will come to an optimal solution!
During the competitions, the car will be exposed to various tough environmental conditions. One measure that is taken here is that we will design a casing to keep out fluids. When the PCBs are ready to test, I’ll have to figure out if all desired functionalities are working as expected. A second version will then be made. After that, the dashboard is ready to be integrated into the car.