Saturday, January 31, 2015
Basic Hardware Plan
The basic hardware plan. The solar panel connects to the charge controller, and that to the battery. The 12V USB converter makes 5 volt for the phone, relay controller and maybe a bluetooth speaker. The relay controller controls electromagnet, horn, lights, and motors. The power for the things the relay controller controls comes from the 12 volt battery and those wires are not shown to simplify the drawing. The phone talks by bluetooth to the relay controller and speaker.
The electromagnet(s) will be used to disconnect from a towed boat and maybe to deploy a water brake. However, the current plan is for the water brake to just drag a little bit and deploy automatically if the boat starts to go backward.
The relay controller really uses up 2 USB slots.
Note that the phone also has its own battery and could keep transmitting GPS coordinates through the night (Internet or SMS) even if the boat were resting on the water brake and the main battery was dead.
We also plan to have the phone controlling a GoPro camera, which is not shown in this drawing. For a long time we will probably just put the GoPro on the boat or a towed boat and have it shoot video without any control by the phone. The long term plan is to use some camera, either on the phone or GoPro via wifi, to look at lights on other boat for automatic docking while at sea.