Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Driveby" system nearly completed

Today I completed final assembly of the "Driveby" system I've been working on for about a month and half except for carrying handles added to the 10"x19"x15" rack mount box it's housed in and final placement of the internal GPS and external Digital Compass.  I'm sure I'll have that completed tomorrow.

This is the first time I've been able to test accurate voltage and amperage use of the system at idle and while using 5 RTL SDR dongles simultaneously.  I'll post those numbers tomorrow after everything is completed and I've run some tests on the system.

I can tell at idle with both the TK1 and the Odriod XU3 shutdown 12vdc running fans and two usb hubs is at 1.46amps.  5vdc running almost nothing is at .20 amps.

My phone is dead so I can't take any photo's until later but it looks really simple and nice just like I'd hoped it would.  There are two rf ports one is for the 8 internal RTL's and one is for the internal GPS.  1 Network cable that connects my laptop GUI to the TK1's web-app.  There are two power meters on the face of the box as well.  On the rear of the box is a single 120vac cord/plug.  When mobile this will be plugged into a 13.8vdc to 120vac Inverter.  This is why I added the power meters, so that I could confirm that the voltages were stable on both 12vdc and 5vdc simultaneously.

I'm still waiting for the Inverter to arrive next week I assume.  Once that arrives I'll be ready to road test the entire system.  I expect to be on the road with this next week Jan 12th thru the 18th sometime.  I hope to make several runs in various conditions.  The weathers been crazy enough lately that shouldn't be a problem LOL.

You can see some of the final assembly pix here HERE.  And I'll post the actual final external views of it tomorrow I expect.

UPDATE Jan 11th, 2015:

I added the GPS this morning.  Ran some tests and all seems fine.  Here is a video of the initial test running 5 RTL SDR Dongles and the GPS.  All that's left now is to mount the USB Digital Compass and the carrying handles on the Rack mountable Box.

I had been using a USB Hub in order to connect both the Yocto-3D digital compass and the L10 GPS at the same time.  I forgot about that while building this out.  So I need to resolve being able to connect two devices on the single USB3.0 connector of the TK1.  :(  Honestly the compass is just a neat add-on and isn't really required for this system.  So I can still do test runs while driving next week even without the Yocto-3D.  I may just try to use a USB3.0 splitter "Y" cable if I can get one here soon enough.  I really don't want to add another USB Hub in this if I don't have to.  I DO have some options available on site now, but I don't have a Y-Cable.  I've never used one and not really sure how it would effect these two devices.  But I think I will try it.

UPDATE Jan 12th, 2015:

This morning I added another 4 port usb hub to support the GPS and the Yocto-3D digital compass.  Since they connect to the TK1 and it only has a single USB port I had to add a hub :( (I'm liking the TK1 less and less, at this point it's saving grace is the native Sata onboard for the SSD drive).

I've tested the addition usb hub with the GPS and Compass this morning and all seems fine.  I had to butcher the usb cable that feeds the hub down to a length of about 1.5 feet (it was just way to long and sloppy otherwise).

All that remains now is to split the compass PCB sensor and remotely mount that away from any metal objects.  Then wire the 4-wire connection back to it's base which will be mounted in the large box with everything else.  This item isn't a required item for drive testing, it's just a nice to have.

Also just now, the PV375 Inverter has arrived via US Post.  I've connected that to a 13.8Vdc supply I have, and plugged the Driveby Systems 120vac plug into the PV375, and all seems to run perfectly fine.  This means the tiny Inverter will be able to power the Driveby Systems perfectly fine.  YAY!  Finally getting there!


The performance of the Odroid XU3 has been so good that I may buy a second one and replace the Nvidia TK1 with it.  Since I'm not really making use of the Cuda chip which is the 'big deal' with the TK1.  If I did that however I'd have to use a USB <> SATA converter to mount the SSD Storage shared for NFS and add NFS server to the XU3's Ubuntu Kernel I suppose.