Automotive Project for controlling dampeners

Hey guys,

So i've been obsessed with arduino for the last month. the project that I am working on is adding GT350 Magnaride to my non Magnaride mustang.

I just want to make sure that the hardware im using can support this.

the Inputs that are required.

  • 4 Pots Analog input (Ride height sensors for calculating wheel rate speed using a delta calculation at about 1 Kz)

  • 3 Can bus inputs Steering wheel angle, brake force (PSI) and accel.

  • 1 MPU6050 Accelerometer (not using angle just the g-force on the X and Y)

  • 4 outputs through Mosfets

  • datalogging all inputs and outputs- the hardware I have and whats on order.

  • Arduino Nano, Uno and Mega 2560 (Due on order)

  • MPU6050 breakout board

  • Micro SD card datalogger breakout board

  • Can Bus MCP2515 breakout board

  • OEM Ford ride height sensors- Now this is what it needs to do (I have the code for this kinda figured out)

  1. read g force and apply voltage to appropriate shocks
  2. Canbus signals will modify 1.
  3. Wheel travel sensors will modify 1.
  4. Datalog all of the above.

So I suppose my question is can an Arduino Due do all this at 1khz?

Should I have separate arduinos processing their own data and spitting it out to a dedicated arduino controlling the shocks?

Should I move to a Teensy 4.0?

I'd like to see 1khz but would settle for 500hz sampling and writing to each shock.

Is it legal, in Your country, to manipulate the dampers? In Europe, I can't believe it would be allowed unless the vehicle only moves on racetracks and similiar places.

I’d assume it is since these are OEM parts coming from a higher trim model of the same car.

No demands for using approaved control devices? Approaved parts used in an "uncontrolled" way can't be okey as I see it. Some police forces cut down on just anything….

"I'd like to see 1khz but would settle for 500hz sampling and writing to each shock."

So which of the various parts have you tested individually so far? Usually best to start testing early before spending $$$ on hardware.

I don’t envy the amount of trial and error your going to have to do, nor the amount of mapping values.

Say the driver was taking a turn at speed and for whatever reason the system powered down, the driver would be used to strong, flat, tight turning and then suddenly the car will act as if it’s on a pogo stick right?

I've setup an Arduino with 4 pots to simulate the 4 OEM sensors running 4 15watt 12v lights.

To be quite honest I'm not entirely sure what htz i want to run this setup at I do not want a perceptible lag in the shock Stiffening from inputs.

I know there will be a ton of mapping values.

I'm going to start with datalogging the suspension sensors driving the same lights and datalogging what the delay looks like from the sensor to the reaction on the light in the actual car.

Once I figure out if the arduino reacts quickly enough to the suspension changes I'll put the actual shocks in the car and start with supplying them with a base 700ma and inputs from the shocks.

then start adding in other signals.

it'll be a long road but the shocks are already on their way lol

Couple of points ..

  1. The dampers are relatively low resistance ( 3ohms?) and are driven by current not voltage - so you need current drivers to operate the dampers.
    I did actually try this for a race car, but to vary ( and measure) current using a pwm output is not trivial, especially as dampers are very inductive , so the pwm waveform gets very distorted . You can’t just use voltage as the resistance to each corner may be different as might battery voltage . The valve in the dampers has some hysteresis too , which doesn’t help ( although pwm drive here helps).

It is not a trivial project !

The damper stiffness verses current is not linear either and depends on the shaping of the valve body. A lot of dampers are only intended for 2 or 3 settings and the valve shaping is set. so a slight variation in current has little effect around those 3 positions.

If this is for a road car , you need to think about fail safety and you might find the car hard to insure.


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