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Sep 26, 2017, 12:32 PM
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Arduino GPS Speedo with Bluetooth

I managed to get an arduino reading a ublox neo-6m gps unit and have it output the speed via bluetooth. It's running a 10hz GPS rate and is accurate to under 1 mph, better than my garmin etrex.

If you're like me, you loath having to untape the hatch just to get ONE speed reading. Now I make a pass or two, bring it near the dock, then connect via my android phone. It spits out the max speed, then "archives" it when I send it any char data. I'd always forget to write it down. Now all the time spent tearing it down can be spent on strut & trim tab adjustments.

I made a 2nd version that's going to log data to an SD card - GPS data along with an Alegro 200A current sensor, a few IC temp sensors, and voltage.

Best passes so far with a Pursuit running 4S and a $23 motor:

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Sep 26, 2017, 01:38 PM
Submarines, etc.
tsenecal's Avatar
very nice... what app are you using on your phone (i assume you are looking at this data with your phone) to see the bluetooth data?
Sep 26, 2017, 03:19 PM
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I'm using BlueTerm, it's just a simple serial terminal for Android. Any app that can connect to a serial BT port will work. Serial over bluetooth works just like it's a serial cable. Range isn't fantastic thru a fiberglass hull, but 10-20ft is all I need. I get 5-10x more range in open air.
Sep 27, 2017, 04:35 PM
Registered User
Hydro, That's pretty cool, I'm not sure I need that yet but will keep it in mind. Why is it you need to know the speed, is it just because you can? Or is it a racing boat or something? Cap
Sep 28, 2017, 03:03 AM
Registered User
Well, racing hull for "bashing" at the lake. I posted here thinking it was more appropriate for Arduino-based stuff half expecting a mod to move it to the race boat section.

The take-away from this is any rc/arduino project you might have can easily do 2-way communication. There are other options (433mhz, wifi, etc) with much more range that can integrate better with arduino than the telemetry system on most controllers. Technically with a Mega you could have 54 (or more) channels, and considerably more if you daisy-chain some arduinos via I2C.
Sep 30, 2017, 07:23 AM
Registered User
No, this is the right place for it I think. When you say two way comm, do you mean one way from transmitter to boat, other way boat to phone? On my larger project, I use xbees for 2 way comm, mega and xbee on boat, laptop and xbee w/ explorer as the control panel/transmitter. I input commands and get feedback via the serial monitor, not ideal but it functions (so far), not sure about the range. Best for development, probably not great in practice. Eventually I would build a custom transmitter box and ditch the lap top. It would have sliders, knobs and meters etc instead of keyboard. The xbee comm doesn't have channels in the RC sense, it just transmitts recieves whatever it's told to.

Now that I think of it a speedometer (knotmeter) would be good. Are there other gadgets for boat speed other than gps calculated? The boat I sailed on had a weighted "propeller" on the end of a line, it was just called the "log", it spun obviously faster the faster you went and the device at the boat it was connected to converted the revs to speed and distance traveled. Probably not too viable for RC especially a racer. (The log is probably a thing of the past now with gps etc.) Cap
Oct 02, 2017, 08:14 AM
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Mike Meyer's Avatar
Another alternative for the controller is a smart phone app. Multi-touch joysticks and sliders, buttons, switches & displays are all pretty easy. I use the "App Inventor" because it both handles all the UI details and connects trivially to Bluetooth.

So far, I've only got battery telemetry, but that's another thing that it's nice to get without having to bring the thing home.
Oct 02, 2017, 12:45 PM
Submarines, etc.
tsenecal's Avatar
Originally Posted by Mike Meyer
Another alternative for the controller is a smart phone app. Multi-touch joysticks and sliders, buttons, switches & displays are all pretty easy. I use the "App Inventor" because it both handles all the UI details and connects trivially to Bluetooth.
I've tried that. built a UI for a 8" tablet, and hooked up a USB dongle that output PPM to a futaba transmitter module. one GIANT flaw. no tactile feedback. can't tell where your thumb is unless you are looking at the tablet... instead of looking at the vehicle.
Jan 10, 2018, 03:35 PM
Registered User
113's Avatar
Amazing trick!!!
Can you please give us all the info to build it like yours?

Thanks to share!!!

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