Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Driveby" Update - Next Steps

So I'm just waiting a for a few more hardware items to add to the "Driveby" project.  Things like 12v and 5v power meters which show the voltages and amps being drawn.  Those meters will be mounted in the metal box that will surround all of the hardware related to this project.  There are some other things related to mounting this hardware in various smaller boxes in order to RF isolate each major component and reduce interference to the RTL receivers.

I suspect everything I need will be on-hand by this coming Friday.  I've already started to assemble some of the bits and pieces in the primary metal box container.  Basically everything will be mounted inside the one large box which is a rack-mountable box (just something I had available at the time)  This box is 14"x19"x10" so it's got plenty of room to isolate everything.  

There will be two 12v cigerette lighter male plugs (because my truck has two and also because this will ease the drain on each 12v main line).  One of the 12v lines will feed all of the 12v only equipment, and one of the 12v lines will feed a 10amp 5vdc converter which will power things like the Odroid XU3, and the powered usb hub and RTL dongles.  So the entire system runs on just 12vdc making it portable quite easily!  Even the 1Gbps Network Hub runs on 12vdc.

My ASUS X551M laptop which will be used to access the web server on the Nvidia Tegra TK1 even runs on 12vdc.  This was an important factor in my hardware choices as I really didn't want to run a 12vdc to 120VAC power inverter (although I suppose I could have I just didn't want to add that expense and make things more complicated).

So all that's really left at this point is finally putting all the hardware in a single box, make sure it has decent air flow for cooling, add RF ports in/out of the box, and figure out how best to RF isolate everything in the self contained box.

I already have the Mast that will mounted in the rear of my truck, the Discone antenna is already mounted on the mast.  I still need to resolve where I'll mount the GPS antenna and the digital compass (so that it's far enough away from the truck body to not be affected by the metal frame thus skewing the data related to the compass).  I'm planning to use some PVC to mount it far enough away from the body so that it's not impacted.  I just haven't built that yet, but that's probably a 30 minute job.

I expect to be able to do a REAL, LIVE test with all of this within about a week or two.  The sooner the better because I'm really interested in seeing the results of this project!


  • So next steps is just to do as I've mentioned above.  Get it all finally assembled, and ready to drive.  Then head out on the road.
  • I'll post pictures of the final assembly as soon as I get started on that...and progress through that as well as the final result prior to drive testing.
  • Then I'll post some pix of everything ready to go in my truck as well as a pre-drive-test video and walk around.
  • Then a video of the actual drive test.
  • Then a video and blogged data from a complete drive test as well as the resulting Mapped data and any highlights along the way.