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Old 12-26-2016, 07:43 PM   #1
waferthin
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Default Ideas for charging project

Fellow Citizens, got any ideas?

If this isn't an appropriate place to ask, please point me in the right direction.

My brother and I are keen to "geek out" and do something charging/rasberry pi related (we own iChargers).

We don't want to do this in a vacuum tho, so with that in mind, what would you find useful?

Ideas we've had so far include:

- Remote charge status / alerts (e.g: done storage charging...)
- Remote control of iCharger (iOS, watch etc)
- Bump charging
- Notification of charge completion
- History (I know it's already possible with SD card, but why not automate it inside the iOS app?)


I can see myself burying the charger in a charge case and remote controlling it with my phone (which will also buzz when the charge is done).

We're also primarily Apple users/developers - so for now, the interface would likely be either iOS or an embedded HTTP app. Nothing stopping Android integration later, but we personally have no expertise in that area.

We intend for it to be open source, targeting Pi3 at this stage (easier since it's got built in Wifi etc).

So, any other ideas (crazy or otherwise!)?

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Old 12-27-2016, 10:46 PM   #2
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https://www.rc-thoughts.com/icharger-touch-software/

https://www.rc-thoughts.com/icharger-touch/

Inspiration to get you started.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:29 AM   #3
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Hi

Fauropitotto - thanks for the links. I've seen this about a year before.

I'm the other half of the help on this project. Last year I started messing with the modbus based protocol that Junsi implemented over USB-HID. I got enough of a program working to prove I can read general and ch1, ch2 status values from the unit, as well as start/stop charging.

We want to give something back to the community, and this idea/project is a way of using our skills to do just that.

My immediate goal is to kick start the project by providing a github repo containing the code as well as detailed instructions on how to set up a Raspberry PI 3 unit such that it can be plugged into the iCharger 4010 and provide charging status information via a WIFI network.

We'll need to have something along the lines of:
- raspberry pi 3 running the code that connects to the iCharger; and
- a simple desktop and/or mobile app that shows the info to you

I'll post again here once I've got this far - bear with me, my goal is to bring out something that works and provides "meat on the bone", a way of touching and using a working product - but it won't be "production ready" in the first release, it'll have its rough edges because for us its more important to validate direction and make sure we are providing something that others would value / use to begin with - after that we'll make it pretty.

Happy holidays everyone, take care and fly safe!
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:36 AM   #4
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I think an IR vs time chart for a battery. Maybe with a possibility of adding in battery temp if the temp probe has been used on the charger. That would be very interesting.

Also, alerts on your phone if the charger throws an error during charge.

Thanks for doing this. Junsi doesn't seem to be actively doing much development right now and is falling behind Revo. This would move them back on par again.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:49 AM   #5
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A sh'load of ideas here: https://www.helifreak.com/showthread...highlight=case
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:46 AM   #6
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iBump would be cool!
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:58 PM   #7
waferthin
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Thanks KiloXray, I recall seeing this sometime ago when I was looking to do .... "just a case" Some good ideas there.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:17 PM   #8
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Default Progress update

Progress update - today we managed to get a simple RESTful server running. The only way to install this presently is if you know some command line kung fu.

Firstly, attach the iCharger to a computer of your choice with Python2 installed on it.

Then - if the following makes sense, you'll have a small RESTful service available to you that provides read-only status information about the charger itself, as well as the current state of each channel:

$ sudo pip install electric

IF that makes sense, and IF the planets align and it installs properly, to run it - do this:

$ electric-server

THEN, access http://<ip-address>:5000/status, or /channel/1 or /channel/2

NOTE: there is no user interface aside from a JSON reply to the above URI calls. You have been warned - don't msg me asking for an app, we're on it.

Of course - this is going to be useful to tech-heads that are proficient with the command line on Linux/Unix/Raspberry PI at this point - but we're working on changing that in the future :-)
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:24 PM   #9
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Let me know when you guys get to page 117
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:25 PM   #10
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Lol.

Got an iCharger?
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:27 PM   #11
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Certainly https://www.helifreak.com/showpost.p...postcount=2326
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:29 PM   #12
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That piece of kit looks just jaw dropping awesome - which I'll *assume* everyone has already told you. NICE WORK, freaking cool.

Did you open-source the code that runs the interface for the iCharger?
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:31 PM   #13
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Not yet but leaning that direction, the direction I took was quite a bit different than the one you guys are pursuing. Interested to see how you guys solve this
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:33 PM   #14
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Feel like swapping war stories (e.g. experience) here or offline? Both Neil and I (Neil is waferthin) are up for re-using other peoples code if they are willing - with the main idea of being able to use our skills to give back to the community.

Generally we want to bring the charger information and events into 2016, to make something attractive (yours absolutely is) and useful.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:36 PM   #15
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Yah man, happy to help
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:42 PM   #16
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What's best for you - sounds like we should chew the fat via skype or hangouts. I would *love* to simply hear about what drove you to make the charging case. I'm presently taking responsibility for the back end services to the charger units (only handling iCharger for now).

We're definitely in the phase of "validate the vision", and we're both looking to get feedback from people about what they would love to see in a product - again, not looking to make this commercial for everyone - we want to put it out as GPLv3. *IF* (massive emphasis on that) it seems people want turn key, then ok, we'll potentially/maybe/twist-my-arm build something and re-sell it but the code will always be open source so anyone can use it to build their own stuff.

I'll PM you my Skype name.
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Old 01-04-2017, 03:18 PM   #17
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Got a thought guys. All this 'remote' stuff is pretty cool, which could leave the charge case unattended. What about temp probes velcro'd to the pack/s on charge and auto shutdown if temp goes over a threshold.?? Dunno, just a thought... M
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizza View Post
Got a thought guys. All this 'remote' stuff is pretty cool, which could leave the charge case unattended. What about temp probes velcro'd to the pack/s on charge and auto shutdown if temp goes over a threshold.?? Dunno, just a thought... M
That function is already built into those chargers I think. At least it was when I had the iChargers.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:18 PM   #19
waferthin
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Yep, from memory it's part of the charger. Temp sensors connect to the front, you can set thresholds someplace in settings.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:00 AM   #20
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Progress Update.

We have a phone/tablet app that can control the iCharger + settings. It receives its data from a Raspberry Pi 3 connected to the iCharger.

Next steps:

We're working through how to distribute the code now - where the goal is to produce a single SD card image that you write to a Rasberry Pi 3. Then download / get the app - configure WiFi ... DONE.

We are NOT done with the SD image yet (I'm working on this right now).

Up front who is interested in being a guinea pig? We need others to take the system and try it on their Raspberry Pi 3.

Anyone interested in trying it at this stage should have some level of comfort with the Unix terminal command - because until the SD image is ready (and some networking discovery stuff), you will need it.

Ping here if interested - I'm subscribed to the topic so will be notified that way.

And remember: all code is open source - we don't make a dime on this one as we're just interested in giving something meaningful back to everyone in the community.

And yeah - screenshots are coming ...

https://github.com/johncclayton/electric
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