FBR2012 Dashboard

The dashboard for the FBR12, Full Blue Racing's latest Formula Student car, is powered by an mbed LPC1768.

About Full Blue Racing

Full Blue Racing is the University of Cambridge's Formula Student team, based at the Department of Engineering. We design, build, and race a petrol-powered, single-seat race car built according to the Formula Student class rules. We compete annually at the UK and Germany competitions against a raft of other national and international teams.

About the FBR12

The FBR12 is our latest car, powered by a 600cc Yamaha Motorcycle engine. The ECU is a MegaSquirt II. Data logging and control is performed by a National Instruments compactRIO. The chassis, bodywork, and suspension were all manufactured either by students or with the help of the Engineering Department workshops.

The Dashboard

Why mbed?

mbed provides us with a solid platform for development. It supports the peripherals we need (I/O, CAN bus) and the online IDE and mbed interface chip make programming easy without purchasing a compiler or setting up a complex development environment.

The System

The dashboard is designed to do three things

  • provide feedback to the driver about currently selected gear and revs
  • allow the team to monitor the car without connecting a laptop directly to the ECU
  • pass control messages to the compactRIO to perform electronic gearshifting

To accomplish these tasks, a LCD display and an array of LEDs are used. There are several buttons on the steering wheel that control gears and the menu on the dashboard LCD for crew use. The mbed libraries made interfacing to these easy, and the community environment meant we had an enhanced version of the LCD library ready-made by another user that performed better with our LCD screen.

The fact that the LPC1768 mbed includes CAN bus is used to great effect to extract the data for display from the ECU and the compactRIO. Designed for automotive use, CAN bus is robust and was already implemented on the ECU. The priority system allows the ECU, compactRIO and Dashboard to happily coexist, and all data available to one is available to the other. Using CAN, rather than serial, for logging data from the ECU means we still have the serial port available to connect to a PC for tuning.

The Code

The code used on the dashboard is available.

Import programFBRDash

Dashboard firmware for FBR2012

1 comment on FBR2012 Dashboard:

17 Oct 2012

Good to see a FS team making use of the mbed. I pushed the Cardiff team (my old team) to use one to create a dash linked via CAN to their MoTeC.

FYI I'm one of the scrutineers at the event.

Please log in to post comments.