Pardon the wording of this. It’s intended for a broader, less technical audience than Tindie sellers. I had initially considered selling this board on Tindie but self-reflection has revealed that my lack of both electronic and retail experience would lead to a smoking failure. Therefore, I’m running this up the flagpole in hopes that someone else might be interested in selling the board in their Tindie store. I feel this product fills a void in the market and would be a lot of fun to build and use.
I’m exploring an idea I had for providing isolated 5v for electronics projects in automotive applications. It could be used to power any 5v single board computer (Pi, Odroid, Beagle, etc), your own custom circuits, or make the ultimate cell phone charger. It could be used to make an amazing automotive security system.
I envision a PCB with a DC/DC converter and a microcontroller to monitor the vehicle’s battery and accessory line. The board would have connectors for 12v, ACC, 5v, GND, and a few of the microcontroller’s GPIO available to communicate vehicle status to the end user’s project.
Let’s say, for example, you wanted to use an SBC in your vehicle. This board would provide nice, clean, and isolated 5v but it would also monitor if the vehicle was turned on or not. If the vehicle was turned off, it would put the SBC into sleep or hibernate mode. When the vehicle was turned back on, it would wake the SBC thereby avoiding long boot times. The board would also monitor the vehicle’s battery and if it fell below a certain threshold, it would power down the SBC safely so as not to cause damage to the battery or SBC.
I have selected many of the likely components and am now looking for someone with PCB design experience for a couple of things. First, I need someone to perform a reality check on what I’ve done so far. Secondly, I need someone to design a hobbyist friendly thru-hole PCB for others to build and enjoy. I am not looking to make any money from this. All code and designs will be released under some open license.
There are lots of ways to power your automotive projects but what this does that I’ve seen only one other board do (see below) is monitor the vehicle’s main battery. Many, if not all, SBC still draw power when turned off. This board would completely cut the cord saving your vehicle’s expensive battery from damage. Once the vehicle’s battery goes above a set level and the ACC is on, it allows the SBC to boot as normal.
A Kickstarter campaign from 2018 did more things and still hasn’t delivered.
Here are some similar boards:
Should I post more ideas along with selected components, flow diagram, and schematics taken from other open source projects someplace for discussion?