November 2018 – March 2019
I have not update the build diary in a while, as most of the work over the this time was done programming or doing wiring which does not show lots of progress.
Below you can see my custom steering wheel made from Carbon fibre. I have spent over 100 hours making the steering wheel, fitting the buttons and programming the Atmel processor to communicate with the system in the car over UART. Apart from the engine stop/start button, all other car functions and controls are all packed into my custom wheel. I also incorporated a 3D G-sensor into the wheel so I can detect the steering angle in order to automatically switch off the indicators after turning. The screen for displaying vehicle data, a Lap timer and other functions is a 3.2″ Nextion HMI display, however I did not program any touch areas on the screen as the idea would be not to ever take your hands off the wheel. This means all functions can be reach through various buttons and rotary encoders close to your fingers.
For my prototyping, I used a combination of an Arduino Mega, Ardunio Uno and Arduino Nano to test the various displays, steering wheel and car controls. At this point, the Atmel processor in the wheel is running low on program memory, as 2KB disappears quite quickly when you have to use multiple software serial ports, button encoders and hook into the vehicle CAN bus. I might have to replace the CPU with an ARM-based processor with more memory, but for now it will do.
Although Ultima don’t provide a panel for the back of the radiator, I noticed many of the other Ultima builders fitted a custom panel to assist with cooling as well as protect the battery compartment for dirt and water. I made another customer carbon panel to do the same.