App note: Inductive switching for dual 24 and 36 V High-side switch families (XS4200 and XSD200)

Another app note from NXP describing the behavior of the SMARTMOS Dual 24 – 36 V high-side switch devices, at switch OFF when driving inductive loads. Link here (PDF) These intelligent high-side switches are designed to be used in 24 V systems such as trucks and busses (XS4200). They can be used in industrial (XSD200) […]

App note: Repetitive short-circuit performances of the MC12XS6 IC’s family

App note from NXP about the short-citcuit protection strategies of their MC12XS6 centralized automotive lighting drivers family IC. Link here (PDF) The MC12XS6 devices include up to five self-protected high-side switches, with its extended protection and diagnostics, to detect bulb outage and short-circuit fault conditions. Additionally, this device incorporates a pulse width modulation control module, […]

App note: Comparison of LED circuits

Another application note from OSRAM on different LED circuit design failure mode. Link here (PDF) In recent years, Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have become a viable alternative to conventional light sources. The overriding advantages long life, high efficiency, small size and short reaction time have lead to the displacement, in ever increasing numbers, of incandescent […]

App note: Active filtering in automotive audio applications

App note from Texas Instruments on isolating DC and high frequency noise in audio using their automotive op amps. Link here (PDF) Phone calls, emergency alerts, and music are just a few of the reasons that a high quality audio system is vital in automotive infotainment and clusters. Operational amplifiers (op amps) are one of […]

App note: LED diagnosis in automotive applications

App note from OSRAM about different approaches on LED string diagnostic in automotive. Link here (PDF) One requirement especially in automotive applications is the diagnosis of failures in functions and systems. Therefore light functions realized with LEDs like break light, daytime running light, low and high beam may require a diagnostics function. This application note […]

App note: RT2875 3A automotive buck converter

An application note from Richtek on buck converter used in automotive application. Link here (PDF) Automotive environment can be quite harsh and designing electronics that need to work reliable in this environment takes special care, and often requires automotive qualified parts. When designing voltage regulators that need to step down an intermediate voltage from the […]

App note: High-frequency automotive power supplies

Switching power supply used in automotive electronics app note from Maxim Integrated. Link here (PDF) The combination of high switching frequency and high-voltage capability is difficult to achieve in IC design. You can, however, design an automotive power supply that operates with high frequency if you protect it from temporary high-voltage conditions. High-frequency operation is […]

App note: Automotive circuit protection using Littelfuse automotive TVS diodes

An interesting app note from Littelfuse about automotive circuit protection but also discusses about where transients came from in an automotive setup. Link here (PDF) The designers of automotive electronics face many technical challenges during the system design process, including designing methods of protection against a variety of electrical hazards. The three major sources of […]

Ford Traffic Tamer App challenge

Ford is currently sponsoring the Traffic Tamer App Challenge aimed at solving the issue of traffic congestion in the city of London. Part of this challenge encourages developers to use OpenXC in their solution to address the problem. Submissions are open until January 15th, 2014. The use of Ford’s OpenXC platform is encouraged, but not […]

Ford Mustang haptic feedback shift knob using OpenXC

The Haptic Feedback Shift Knob is a replacement for a manual transmission shift knob that adds haptic and visual feedback to help drivers shift appropriately. An Android application monitors the vehicle’s speed, RPM and accelerator pedal position. Based on this information, the application calculates and then indicates to the driver when he or she should […]

R-Pi based Volvo S80 replacement nav system

Reinis has been working on this Raspberry Pi based project for some time. It’s about replacing stock navigation system for Volvo S80 (which does not, and will not have maps for my home country). It had a nice motorized display and buttons on steering wheel for control. I really did want everything to be as […]

Ford’s OpenXC vehicle data bus interface project

At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Ford announced their OpenXC project, a combination of open source hardware and software that lets you extend your vehicle with custom applications and pluggable modules. It uses standard, well-known tools to open up data from the vehicle to developers. The OpenXC team explains, “OpenXC is an API to […]

Freediag open source vehicle diagnostic suite

Ever wonder what’s happening on your vehicle’s data bus? Here’s an open source software tool suite which hopes to open this data to your Linux box. “Freediag is a suite of vehicle diagnostic protocols and an OBD II (mostly) compliant scanning tool, currently for Linux platforms. Multiple graphical user interfaces for the scan tool are […]

Car Kracker hacks auto ISO 9141 data bus

Nicholas McClanahan over at GadgetGangster has written an article about their new project known as Car Kracker. It’s an automobile data bus interface based on the Parallax Propeller which interfaces with the data bus connector on select BWM, Mini and Land Rover models. It allows you to access, add and upgrade features such as add […]

DIY Arduino 6-channel temperature monitor

Johnathan Hottell wanted a way to monitor and display the temperature readings at various points around the engine on his LB7 Duramax diesel truck. He developed this project for a six channel temperature monitor employing a bank of thermistors to monitor various engine locations. They are read each second by the Arduino’s analog pins, with […]

DIY iPhone remote automotive ignition

Will O’Brien developed this project allowing him to remotely start his car via an SMS sent to a jailbroken iPhone. The additional hardware involved is an Arduino, iPhone breakout board such as the PodBreakout Mini, 4x 10k resistors, 1x TIP120 and a 5 volt switching supply cell charger. All the details, including source code and […]

Ford and Bug Labs develop open-source R&D platform

According to Ford Motor Company’s press release, they are partnering with Bug Labs * Ford and Bug Labs, an open-source hardware and software provider, announce a joint development project to research, develop and distribute open-source developer tools to advance in-car connectivity innovation. * Known as “OpenXC,” the research platform is based on Bug Labs’ open-source […]

Introduction to the Controller Area Network (CAN)

A controller area network (CAN) is ideally suited to the many high-level industrial protocols embracing CAN and ISO-11898:1993 as their physical layer. Its cost, performance, and upgradeability provide for tremendous flexibility in system design. This application report presents an introduction to the CAN fundamentals, operating principles, and the implementation of a basic CAN bus with […]

CAN sniffing for steering wheel button presses

Newer protocols are always fun to explore, such as the automotive CAN bus. Here’s a project by wire2wire which sniffs the CAN signals from steering wheel controls and converts them to a serial output. The main components are a PIC16F876, MCP2515 and MCP2551. The code and all docs are available in a zip file. Current […]