A DIY 12 volt battery monitor - Page 4 - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #31 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:16 AM
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Wouldn't this board will give you a low level output, basically just a bunch of 1 and 0? You will have to write all protocol stack from scratch, figuring out the sync, error corrections, encoding, etc...

Maybe something like this will work better? https://copperhilltech.com/lin-bus-breakout-board/

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post #32 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, you would think so. You are quite right in that it is really a dumb device. But there are a very nice pair of open source software packages called SigRok and PulseView that will accept the data from that little USB logical analyzer and decode it for you. The CAN and LIN protocols are both supported: https://sigrok.org/wiki/Protocol_decoders. It is just the thing for exploring a LIN bus that is using an unknown command set.

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post #33 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:10 PM
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I imagined that the AZBean's monitor would be a passive device on the LIN bus. Seems safer and easier to program.
That works too.. likely better doing it passively.

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post #34 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 10:21 PM
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Any updates on the data collected @AZBean ?

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post #35 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Any updates on the data collected @AZBean ?
I spent some time reorganizing the software on the data collector to make it more flexible and less like a one-off prototype. I can now configure things like the reporting interval and the network name and password using a configuration file on the SD card instead of having that stuff hard coded in the program.

I can now say with good confidence that the average discharge when the van is sitting idle is 23 milliamps. This figure was obtained by averaging the readings over a full 24 hour period when the van was not used at all and no doors were opened. The actual reported discharge varies between 17 milliamps and 34 milliamps due to the step effect of the INA226 chip which reads the shunt voltage at increments of 2.5 microvolts, but by averaging all of the readings at 15 second intervals over 24 hours I came up with the 23 milliamp figure.

I did notice one unusual spike of a 46 amp discharge right after the completion of a short trip. This lasted for less than 15 seconds. I am not sure what was going on. I guess what I need to do now is to start keeping a diary of what I was doing, what doors I opened and stuff like that so that I can correlate the battery readings with my actions. Are there any particular events that you would like to see a record of?
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post #36 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 10:27 PM
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Are there any particular events that you would like to see a record of?
Not really.

So whats the end goal for this tool? are you hoping to identify trends or just data log whats going on?

Also, Any plans to share the software eventually with a hardware list so others can install the same? If so will you collect all the data?


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post #37 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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So whats the end goal for this tool? are you hoping to identify trends or just data log whats going on?

Also, Any plans to share the software eventually with a hardware list so others can install the same? If so will you collect all the data?
The is basically a hobby project that let me learn a bit more about electronics and make use of my programming skills which are getting further and further behind the times. At the same time it will let me keep an eye on my 12v battery so that with any luck I can see that its health is declining before it leaves me stranded somewhere. I will probably get around to publishing the software and a bill of materials. I definitely do not want to collect other people's data!
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post #38 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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This week we went on a camping trip. For three days the van sat at the camp site without being driven, but the lift gate and sliding doors were opened and closed frequently as we needed to store our food inside the van to keep it away from critters. Each time a door is opened the van woke up and drew a current of 15 amps or more which then tapered down to a fraction of an amp as the van went back to sleep. As you might imagine, doing this repeatedly over a long period of time gradually draws down the 12 volt battery. By the time we were ready to leave this morning the voltage was down to 12.0 volts when the van was idle and 11.7 volts when it was awake. When we were finally ready to leave and turned on the van the 12 volt battery started charging at the rate of 86 amps! This seems like a very high charging current to me, but maybe somebody else has better knowledge about how much charging current these batteries can withstand. We made two stops during the trip home, which you can see in the chart as dips in the voltage and current. When we got home and after the van got unloaded and went back to sleep the idle voltage was back up to 12.86 volts.

I think the lesson to be learned from this is that if you go camping and need to open and close doors frequently, then once every day or two you should turn on the van for 15 minutes or more to replenish the 12 volt battery. If we had continued several more days without turning on the van I think we might have needed to jump start it.
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