Sunday, November 27, 2011

PakTrakr Next Steps and USB Device Power

With the PakTrakr remotes installed and tested, it's time to add the current sensor.  The opening in the sensor is not big enough to pass a lug or battery cable through, so I used the copper bar provided in the kit, and bolted it in.  The sensor's data cable runs through the firewall and in behind the dashboard for its ultimate home in the PakTrakr dashboard display unit.

With that done, it's time to clean up the wiring.  Each PakTrakr remote has a generous amount of wire to run to each battery.  With the help of some butt terminals and zip ties, the wiring is now nice and tidy.

Here's the front battery pack.

Here's the mid battery pack:

Here's the rear battery pack:

and here are the saddlebags:

The final component to go into the PakTrakr system is the serial port output cable.  I've got it lined up here next to the serial port Bluetooth transmitter device which provides the path to the Bluetooth receiver in my Droid Bionic.  This delivers the data stream from the PakTrakr to the Android app I'm desperately trying to finish up, which will run in the phone as I drive down the road.

The Bluetooth transmitter needs power and conveniently it will take power via a USB cable.  My Droid Bionic also will take power via a USB cable.  I also plan to mount a GoPro video camera which recharges with USB power.  See a pattern developing?  With three USB devices, I looked around for a USB hub with 4 ports (for future use or passenger's device) and high-power delivery a la USB 3 at 900ma.  It has to take 12VDC so I don't have to have a separate power regulator.  I came on this sweet device, the awkwardly-named USBG-3X4M.  Notice the green 12V power connector.

Here it is mounted up under the dashboard.  The BlueTooth transmitter powers up no problem, but my Droid Bionic won't recognize any power coming from the unit, no matter what USB cable or port I try.  I've emailed the vendor and hopefully they'll have a suggestion.