Vehicle Control Unit
The X_VCU, or Vehicle Control Unit, could be called Universal Control Unit, as it has a wide variety of inputs and outputs, making it ideal for almost any control, measurement, or data acquisition task.
Our control circuits have been successfully used in numerous prototype systems (car, ship, motorcycle, demonstration test bench, industrial equipment). In most cases, some software and/or hardware modifications had to be made to perfectly meet the requirements of the particular system. We have developed the current version of the electronics using our many years of experience. The state-of-the-art ARM microcontrollers have high computing capacity, so we recommend these electronics for systems where software and hardware reliability and efficiency are paramount.
With 5 separate analog input channels, various sensors (thermometer, pressure gauge, luminance sensor, proximity switch, rotation sensor, throttle and brake lever, current sensor etc.) can be connected to the device, and the measured values can be processed and recorded to the built-in memory.
The CAN bus is a common communication protocol in both the automotive industry and control systems. With the built-in CAN bus, the X_VCU can connect to most vehicle on-board systems, motor controllers, inverters, battery chargers, displays, or any other CAN device. Thanks to its 2 completely independent CAN bus channels, the X_VCU can even function as a gateway between two separate subsystems, such as the tractive system and charging system in electric vehicles.
We developed a CAN-Bootloader for our devices which makes it possible to reprogram the devices via the system communication bus without disassembling any part of the system. That greatly accelerates the development of prototypes and the possible subsequent software updates of the finished systems.
Thinking of simpler components not equipped with a CAN bus, the X_VCU has 2 analog output channels that can be used to control analog input devices, like simpler motor controllers and battery chargers. Analog outputs are also useful when converting a vehicle to electric, which can replace the signals from the vehicle's factory sensors, such as the fuel level indicator.
Thanks to the built-in WiFi unit, the X_VCU can easily be complemented with a mobile application to monitor system status (such as battery charge, engine speed, sensor values, status and error messages), or even connect to the Internet to upload measurement data or to receive commands from a remote device. With WiFi connection, you can easily download measurement data and other files from the internal memory. These solutions make prototype development and additional data collection tasks quicker and convenient.
The optional GPS unit allows the device to retrieve the position and speed of itself as well as the exact time, which is a great addition for analysing the recorded data and system states.
X_VCU hardware package includes:
- Printed circuit board with IP67 enclosure
- Mating connectors (IP67), 2 pieces, with contacts
The X_VCU software package includes:
- Preset software environment with FreeRTOS
- CAN-Bootloader for convenient software update
- The following additional software components are optionally available
- SD card driver
- WiFi module driver
- GPS module driver