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Topic-icon NEW RELEASE: Wheelchair multi-node CANbus and analog hardware and software

  • Gabriel_Isko
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1 year 4 days ago #29534261 by Gabriel_Isko
Hey, this is great! Thanks for sharing this! Just for clarification, is there a license that you are releasing this work under?

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1 year 4 days ago #29534262 by LROBBINS
This is intended to be open source and open hardware & there are no licensing conditions as far as I'm concerned. Some of the Arduino programs do carry open source verbiage for code from others that require a copy of the license information - look at the top of the files to see these. Of course, I would appreciate crediting of my work when it is used and, even more important, feedback about how it's being used and about any bugs or improvements.

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1 year 4 days ago #29534263 by LROBBINS
I'll add. The manual does have a copyright notice and I'd appreciate that it be respected, though it's almost certainly not enforceable.

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  • Gabriel_Isko
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1 year 4 days ago #29534265 by Gabriel_Isko
Thanks for the clarification!

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11 months 2 weeks ago #29534311 by LROBBINS
As noted in above, I am not set up to real-world test the analog version of the Roboteq script, and a couple people using it have now reported bugs. While I am attempting to squash them, doing this "long distance" is a frustrating task. I am also nervous about doing this because I consider the CAN implementation a much safer way to control a wheelchair, as well as having much simpler chair wiring. I don't want anyone to be hurt because of me.

The CANbus system does require a lot more electronics, including SMD soldering several circuit boards, and no one has yet said that they have tried to build one. I have therefore gotten a quote for commercial PCB assembly to see if I can encourage others to go CAN by reducing the amount of work needed.

The complete set of boards contains 4 CAN boards, 2 DC-DC converter boards that turn on when the CAN bus is live, 1 DC-DC converter board that handles ON/OFF/Sleep for the whole system (all quite small and moderate component density), and 2 different larger power distribution boards that handle Roboteq on/off, high-current relay, brakes, lights, current sensors, and two linear actuators. Even using an off-shore assembly house, PCB assembly is not inexpensive and I can not afford it unless there are others interested in covering the cost for several sets. Assembly of five sets would cost about $1,125 (U.S. dollars - $250 per set); somewhat less per set if more were ordered.

GABRIEL: If you'd like to move this thread to the new User Applications section, that does seem a good place for it.

Do realize that there would be other costs and plenty of work needed even with pre-assembled boards. But those costs and that work would be about the same as for an analog setup: joystick, contactor relay and current sensor breakout boards (optional) to mount on the power distribution boards, boxes, Arduino Nano-equivalent boards, display screen (if desired), internal wiring and connectors and so on. No long multi-conductor cables, however. If four or more people tell me that they are interested, I will go ahead and place an order and send out sets after I have wired and tested one system that I'd keep for myself.

Lastly, I have no experience laying out boards for production rather than hand assembly. If there are any volunteers, I would certainly appreciate having others look over my designs and suggest changes that might reduce cost or improve reliability or safety.

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11 months 2 weeks ago #29534335 by evromen
Wow. Thanks for sharing this information. Very helpful for learning about Roboteq!

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11 months 1 week ago #29534358 by LROBBINS
SCRIPT RELEASE 108

The Roboteq script bugs found by two testers, one with brushed and one with brushless motors, have now been thoroughly SQUASHED so a new release has been uploaded to Google Drive. Testing now looks good on three wheelchairs: CANbus and brushed motors, analog with brushed motors and analog with brushless motors.

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  • Gabriel_Isko
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11 months 1 week ago #29534359 by Gabriel_Isko
Hey Lenny, thanks again for releasing this. Have you considered releasing this project on Github ? I would be happy to contribute to it and report issues that any customers experience if it was hosted on a Git Repository.

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11 months 1 week ago - 11 months 1 week ago #29534360 by LROBBINS
I really wanted to avoid having to learn another interface, but a lot of people do like github, so I've put this in a repository at:
CANbus github repository
under a GPL-3.0 license.

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  • Gabriel_Isko
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11 months 1 week ago #29534362 by Gabriel_Isko
Thanks Lenny! This will make it much easier for me to collaborate on. Drop me a line if you ever need help supporting it and I will see what I can do.

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