[concept] Using ethernet for car/camper black-box

In the near future I am hoping to buy a truck to convert it into an off-road camper.

Along with it I would like to build a black-box for this vehicle; since the truck I have my eyes on is rather old, it has no electronics on board to speak of (so no OBD etc).

I was thinking about having various sensors, such as GPS, orientation (IMU), and more.
I would like to log this data so that I can both use it live (on a dashboard) but also later for analytics (no particular reason, just for fun).

I was thinking of setting up a raspberry pi with a database (maybe a headless CMS), to gather and manage the information.

For communications I was thinking about using an ethernet network (fast ethernet / 100Mbit/s); this way I could use the information in-route on a (diy) dashboard in the cabin, but also access the information on a laptop from the "living quarters" in the back. The main reason for choosing an ethernet network is that it would easily allow me to connect an additional cable when I am home and off-load the database contents to a secondary database server in my home.

I was wondering about the feasibility about this since most Arduino's don't come with an ethernet port... This could be solved with WiFi, but cables are more secure and reliable in my experience. Also power consumption would be a consideration.

I would like to hear if anyone has any experience with this, or has any better ideas. Any feedback and ideas are welcome!

tl;dr: Is ethernet a good option for an old car's diy black-box system and sensors, or are other network technologies better?

Just run a mapping app such as oziexplorer on your laptop. You can scan paper maps or use commercial maps.

Have you considered a used laptop or something similar, it probably will cost less and be ready to go. There are reasons why the auto manufacturers do not use ethernet. Cost and reliability are two of them.

As your comms back bone consider CanBus system, it is designed for the automotive environment.
That way you can hang Arduino and Rasp-Pi controllers off of it.

Can you please tell us your electronics, programming, arduino, hardware experience

Thanks.. Tom.. :slight_smile:

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