FatigueM8 Friday – start ups and downs

To kick off this week’s edition we start with a nice time series set of images captured from one of our units based in Canberra. On Thursday morning Canberra awoke to a thunderstorm and in this set of images (which span 7 minutes) you can see the rain falling and then freezing on the bonnet of the truck.

This week saw the commissioning of a new FatigueM8 unit, into one of Multiquip’s Kenworth T408 SAR’s, which is setup pulling a B-Double between Marulan and several locations in Sydney.

Multiquip Kenworth 408 SAR, with FatigueM8 installed.

It’s the first installation into a T408, which is an older model Kenworth (circa 2009/10), fortunately we’d been working with steering wheel in our lab which was the same model as is installed in the T408.

The installation was straight forward and with the steering wheel cover installed powered it up for testing. We observed the ECG monitor “cycling” through the start up sequence over and over again. When measured the electrical current coming through the steering column we noticed some variance in the electrical current. The voltage appears to be bouncing between 11.5 volts and up to 14.5 volts; our ECG monitor operates up to 13.2 volts before switching off to protect the electrical circuit.

In the spirit of rapid prototyping, we setup a voltage regulator in the lab, with the aim of providing a stable 12 volts to the ECG unit. We assembled a linear voltage regulator (below) which was able to drop the power by at least ~1 volt.

We attached the regulator to the T408’s horn cover (pictured below) and set about testing our theory.

Voltage regulator prototype installed into the T408

We had some success with the voltage regulator in place, the ECG unit powered up and connected to the FatigueM8 on-board unit. We were able to capture the ECG signal for a period of time, before it shutdown and disconnected. We tested all the connections and power supplies and all appeared/reported working at the expected voltage. Our investigations are continuing, watch this space for the next update!

On the positive side, we’re starting to collect data from the front camera and GPS which will be fed into our models.

Until next time, stay safe.