Hardware Projects

A small sample of some previous hardware projects.

Equestrian electronic timing system

Electronic timing system

This system is used for timing at endurance horse riding events. A PIC18F87J60 Ethernet-enabled microcontroller communicates via a Wi-Fi access point to scan the times that riders pass through with a UHF RFID reader. A thermal printer is used to give riders a written record of their progress and statistics such as average speed for the leg and overall ride.

Infrared sensor aircraft NDVI crop measurement

Aircraft NDVI crop measurement

This infrared sensor is mounted to a fixed wing aircraft to perform NDVI crop health monitoring. An embedded Linux computer combines samples from a 20-bit ΔΣ ADC with GPS data and transfers it back automatically to a server via the 4G mobile network. From there the data is used to create thematic maps of crop health for several Tasmanian farms. Another variant may be tractor mounted.

2.4GHz Transceiver for fifth-wheel position detection

Truck fifth-wheel safety monitor

This system comprises a 2.4 GHz transceiver pair to detect when the fifth-wheel on a truck hasn't been latched properly prior to departure. An accelerometer is used to measure the latching angle and it communicates with an existing in-cabin AVL system to give a warnining when the vehicle starts to move without being latched correctly.

GPS kit providing NMEA output over RS-232

GPS Kit with RS-232 output

This was a simple kit that featured in Silicon Chip magazine to provide RS-232 NMEA output from a GPS module at a time when GPS was less ubiquitous. It featured on the front cover and proved popular with electronics enthuiasts with several hundred kits being sold and it being the basis for several follow-up projects.