Introducing: Carduino, a micro for Car hacking.

Becoming a member of Wyolum has it’s privileges (and responsibilities)! While waiting for my AlaMode boards to come back, I’ve been helping out on another project led by David Pincus, with electronics and layout by Anool Mahidharia.

David originally wanted this to supply power to his new in-car DVR that has the capability of recording triggered by motion detected by it’s on-board accelerometers. He was worried that if he didn’t drive the car for a few days, it might drain the battery. This little Arduino compatible board can monitor two voltages (through a precision resister voltage divider) and shut off a solid state relay if the voltage falls below a selectable value. There’s also an optional display board (shown here displaying the supply voltage). If you don’t want to use the display, the row of pins is a handy breakout of many of the unused Arduino pins.




Other features:

  • i2C port (sensors anyone?)
  •  2.5 A solid state relay.
  • Jumper block for setting shutdown voltage. Here we got a bit clever, using a resistor ladder tied to an analog pin. Uses just one pin but multiple values.
  • FTDI and ISP programmable
  • Can be powered by FTDI or VBATT input (up to 15V)
  • Protection diodes on all the power inputs
  • Screw terminals for easy connection.
  • Easy to assemble through hole kit.

We’re making a few tweaks, and then we are thinking about doing a kickstarter to judge interest. We’d love to hear what you’d do with it, I think the applications aren’t limited to cars. Certainly, boats, RV’s and maybe solar applications also come to mind.

I’ve learned a lot on this project. I did the logistics, ordering the boards from Laen (, Dorkbot PDX’s new online submission system), kitting parts and writing some test code and trying out the first version.

If you are interested, give us a shout (either on my google+ stream, or at the forums.)