Arduino Board for a wireless controller

Hi

I am in a final year of University and have to complete a final year project. I have decided that rather than doing a generic project that i have no interest in i am giong to make something that i am interest in and can use in the future (if it works) rather than collecting dust on a shelf.

My project is making a Wireless controller that will operate a winch on an offroad vehicle and insure that there is always winch rope on the drum by using two sensors on the that count the rotations of the winch drum. I am also hoping to be able to display the battery voltage on the control handset to that the operator knows if they are putting too much strain on the vehicle batteries. My long term plan with this project is to make the controller work with multiple winches on the vehicle.

I have been reccomended to use an Arduino board by my lecture but when he said it i assumed that there was only one type of board available. Would i be right in saying that the Uno board would suit my needs and what is the advantages of this over the other boards that are on offer.

Thanks in advance for you help

Tris Cocks

I have decided that rather than doing a generic project that i have no interest in i am giong to make something that i am interest in

Smart decision.

My project is making a Wireless controller that will operate a winch on an offroad vehicle and insure that there is always winch rope on the drum by using two sensors on the that count the rotations of the winch drum.

Two sensors on what? Why do you need to sensors to count the rotations of the drum? One would be sufficient.

Would i be right in saying that the Uno board would suit my needs

Yes. You may need two, though - one on the vehicle with the winches and batteries and one on the remote device to deal with the LCD.

what is the advantages of this over the other boards that are on offer.

The UNO has advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include the fact that shields fit and the sockets allow easy connection points for wires to/from sensors or breadboard and the USB connection for programming/connection to a PC.

Disadvantage? Mostly size. Other boards are smaller, for easier containment in handheld devices.

Two sensors on what? Why do you need to sensors to count the rotations of the drum? One would be sufficient.

As the winch rope uses a crimp to attach to the drum it needs about 5 wraps around the drum to gain the necessary friction to stop the rope coming loose and breaking away from the winch. A 30m length of winch rope takes 65 turns to go from fully out to fully in, therefore i can only go to the maximum of 60 turns before i reach 5 turns. As the the winch will rotate in both direction it needs to be able to count the amount of turns left on the drum so i need to sense both the direction of the winch and the number of turns.

Yes. You may need two, though - one on the vehicle with the winches and batteries and one on the remote device to deal with the LCD.

I have been looking into the diffent Arduino boards available and have found a bluetooth version - http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardBluetooth, am i correct in saying that if i had two of these boards i could pair them together and send and recieve data between the two?

Thanks for the reply so far, its been a great help!

Tris

As the the winch will rotate in both direction it needs to be able to count the amount of turns left on the drum so i need to sense both the direction of the winch and the number of turns.

A single rotary encoder will do that.

I have been looking into the diffent Arduino boards available and have found a bluetooth version - http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardBluetooth, am i correct in saying that if i had two of these boards i could pair them together and send and recieve data between the two?

You might spend some time reading the forum, looking for success stories with bluetooth. Hope you have a while...

Google bluetooth and read the spec sheets. Range is generally 10 meters or less. Often a lot less. If that range is sufficient, you might be one of the lucky ones that gets two Arduinos with BT to talk to each other.

As the the winch will rotate in both direction it needs to be able to count the amount of turns left on the drum so i need to sense both the direction of the winch and the number of turns. A single rotary encoder will do that.

I shall have a look into rotary encoders and see whether i can find one suitable for my needs.

Google bluetooth and read the spec sheets. Range is generally 10 meters or less. Often a lot less. If that range is sufficient, you might be one of the lucky ones that gets two Arduinos with BT to talk to each other.

My range needs to be around about 50m so but the sounds of it i should give the Bluetooth board a miss, I have however found these RF links http://www.rfsolutions.co.uk/acatalog/Alpha_TRX_Modules.html with a range of 300m and they are reasonably priced, any reason why these modules wouldnt work with the Arduino Uno board?

Cheers

Tris