For the ECU to be useful, it needs to be accessible to the people using it. Tuners and car-geeks are the likely users here, so we need to be accessible to non-computer folks. From discussions on MS lists and with people in "meat space" they want something that is plug'n'play - even telling people how to set up their COM ports to get the ECU talking is getting confusing. We need something that is both self-configuring, and portable across a range of platforms and devices.
Currently we're using RS232 serial. Unfortunately, it's a dying standard in the consumer electronics scene. It works well enough, but just isn't available on a lot of new systems that might be used for tuning or datalogging. The chances of Joe Tuner being able to buy a new laptop or PDA that supports it "out of the box" are deminishing daily. RS232 serial has an advantage of being cheap, easy, and proven, but more modern and user friendly options are out there.
Some alternatives for possible v4 integration are:
- as we will have CAN anyway (probably that will be the ONLY option on tiny boards in the future to allow safe communication between units with only a few wires) It seems straightforward to supply (first get or manufacture) cables that connect CAN to
- USB (most important)
- Ethernet (nicest range, eg. for building automation apps)
- If Ethernet planned/included in future versions, then HTTP server with GCI interpreter or other tuning interface would be nice.
- Should allow among the others building advanced graphical displays (XML/XSLT transformation on consuming client end + more) and tuning via web browsers.
- fex. HTTP server engine, with XML delivering capability
- USB using USB OTG (On The Go) standard. It's USB 2 compatible and can function as either host or peripheral. This means you can plug you PC or you PDA into it. You could datalog to a "keychain" storage device if the USB storage profile was supported.
- USB - RS232 converters are available and cheap. I bought mine locally for 18 Euro, it's built into a cable. GenBoard is only a peripheral, I cannot connect keychain-USB pendrive for logging. However I think having a few Euro worth of MMC flash connected is quite OK, see GenBoard/LoggerIntegration
- drop-in USB - RS232 chips from [FTDI] can be dropped in place of max232 (do they support GenBoard to be a host?)
- Bluetooth. WirelessCommunication. Short-range wireless tuning and logging. Handy for laptops which support it (eg iBook), and you could even log data to your cellphone.
- check out the 1-Wire┬?« to USB part (dallas). Btw can someone get some DS2480B (maybe 10) for developers? It is the only item missing from the shop currently.
- USB OTG page: http://www.usb.org/developers/onthego/
- Bluetooth in automobiles: https://www.bluetooth.org/bluetooth/landing/auto.php