Newbie Requires Assistance

Ladies and Gents

I am new to Arduino and have a project I want to build. By trade I am a Industrial Electrical Fitter with experience in Programmable Logic Controllers and ladder logic, and associated instrumentation and power electronics (ten years since I worked as a Eleco). So I am not unfamiliar with many of the concepts, but the details is what I need assistance with

The project is to build a module to do up to 8 channel of MOSFET switching in a four wheel drive (LED lighting, fridge, compressor) and have the ability, to in the future, to connect 2 to 4 analog inputs (pressure and temperature) providing feedback to a touch screen.

From what I have read Arduino will achieve this best with 5V logic on the outputs. But where I am unsure, from a initial concept scoping, is that I wnat to do the control via a touch screen at the drivers seat.

The MOSFET module will be mounted in the rear canopy. And I would prefer cable based comms to the touch screen, approx 3 metres of length.

Is this possible and how?

I am sure this will raise other questions.
Thanks is advance.

What your asking is possible, but it is quite complex as a beginner project.

The Arduino UNO has:
14 digital pins which can be inputs or outputs. Enough to drive 8 channels.
5 Analog inputs which meets the 2 to 4 that you need.

Some pins on the UNO are dual function.
4 digital pins used to provide a MOSI/MISO interface. (3 if you don’t need an enable pin)
2 analog pins used to provide a SPI interface.
2 digital pins provide a serial program load interface.

The MOSI/MISO & SPI interfaces could be used to connect to some touch screen device in the future. (dont have one in mind yet)

At this time I would suggest purchase of a UNO, load the Arduino IDE software to a PC and see how it all works. It might not be what you want. The UNO is cheap and the software is free to download. The IDE uses C++ programming language, which can be a challenge on its own if you have no experience; but there are many examples available on the internet.

Once you have the basic operation of the UNO down pat, you could look at building an interface to the MOSFET switching devices. Keep in mind the drive out of the UNO should be limited to a few milliamps and is 5V maximum.


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thanks for the feedback. I had come to the conclusion a few days a ago that the touch screen was a few bridges to far at this stage and have decided to proceed with the project using momentary switches.

I have also purchased a kit yesterday and will start playing.

Have you any suggestions n sits that will help me understand c++ better?

Thanks Dave

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This might help and free to download. (from a google search).

Arduino IDE has setup() { } which runs once only upon power up or reset and loop() { } which runs in a loop until power off or reset. The UNO has a LED attached to digital pin 13. Suggest you get this to blink on and off at a certain rate. Also try sending information to the IDE serial screen via the serial() command

Just some basic stuff so you can see something happening and know what the micro is doing.

All the best

Hi Dave,

Re the touch screen, if you want to use this you’d probably be best to go with a Pi. Then you could get an off the shelf touch screen display like this:

And it’ll be like any computer. We’ve got some handy tutorials for both Raspberry Pis and Arduino Unos here:

Our Pi Beginners Workshop does include some steps on how to setup a basic Graphic User Interface using Tkinter. I’d say for now you’re best to get the sensors working on an Uno and just using momentary switches, then when you feel up to setting up the touch screen.

A MOSFET/Power Transistor tutorial s actually on @Tim 's to do list :slight_smile:

Let us know how you get on and if you need any specific advice.

Support | Core Electronics

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Hi David,.
Just some thoughts if I was building what you are attempting.

  1. Arduino UNO to do the control and sensor readings. (digital and analog pins, 5V interface)
  2. Pi Zero W with 3.5" LCD Touch screen in appropriate case. (small size, lower cost, Wifi and Bluetooth)
  3. Ardunio USB to Pi Zero USB for transfer of information between devices.

Setting it up could be a challenge. Here google is your friend but keep in mind the information may not be at a beginner level. If you don’t mind the extra cost ( $30 to $70 ) a Pi 3 is same form size as the LCD screen and Banggood have many cases to suit. Makes a nice little package that could be easily located in your vehicle. (I have a Pi 3 with LCD and case setup, can provide pic) But the Pi 3 is an overkill for what you want to do. Really just depends on your preference and how much you want to spend. The Pi is a Linux computer and quite powerful for its size; once setup it works good. The Arduino is an embedded controller very good at doing the same thing all the time.


PS some links

Cases for Pi 3 with 3.5" LCD
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