Electrical; logging project

I spoke with the electrician yesterday.  He ordered a variety of parts, but the AC/DC panels won’t ship from the factory until October 8, so he won’t be able to do much work on the electrical system until then.  Another couple weeks of waiting, I guess.  But that means we can go for a sail this weekend!

I have also been spending some time researching and planning with Lee for a data logging project.  The basic idea is to use a small, very low power, always-on computer together with a microcontroller with a lot of analog-to-digital inputs (for measuring voltages) and a CAN bus (for interfacing with NMEA 2000 devices) to gather all kinds of interesting data and log it for further analysis.  One of the immediate initial ideas is to use cheap and simple Hall effect current sensors to gather current draw data for various circuits, which would be useful in understanding power consumption, tracking bilge pump status, etc.  The computer will also be able to log data from NMEA 0183/2000 devices like GPSs, tank level monitors, autopilots, anenometers, and the like.  It might later be interesting to hook up some kind of a realtime display.

Lee has been making lots of progress on the microcontroller, A/D inputs, and CAN bus.  Today I ordered some parts to get up to speed and start working on the logging functionality.  For now I went with a Beagleboard-xM SBC which looks like it should only draw 2-3W.

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