Long time no post

It has been a while since I last posted. A lot and a little has happened in the meantime. I went on vacation to London and had a great time, but I have not made a huge amount of progress on my AVC entry.

What I have gotten is a PID loop module that I will use for controlling speed and heading. I am trying to tune the speed parameters and found that trial and error is not the way to go. I really needed a way to collect some sudden changes and record the output. That allows you to use some math to get close.

I was not about to collect this data under computer control. The safest way would be under RC control. But to do this, I needed a way to record the PWM output to the ESC from the micro. Since my ARM processor has a Timer/Counter peripheral, I wrote some code to measure the pulse width. Amazingly, this seemed to work right out of the gate other than the counts were 1/2 of what I had calculated them to be. I almost let it go, but something told me to dig deeper.

Well I found the issue in the LowLevel initialization routine where the PLL and the main clocks get setup. I had divided the PLL by 4 and not the desired 2. I have been running my processor at 1/2 speed all this time. I changed the dividor expecting nothing to work properly, but was pleasently surprised to see everything working. This means I had properly normalized everything by the clock rate.

I hope to get out this weekend and collect the data I need to tune the speed PID loop. If I get this far, I will then try to stabilize the heading loop.

Speaking of heading, I have too many sources of heading. I have headings from the GPS, the magnetometer, the IMU, and by solar compass. I think I have given up trying to figure out Kalman filters so I am going to implement a Complementory filter. Should be simpler to implement. Just need to figure out a measure of accuracy for each source. I think GPS is best when moving at high speed and the EHE is low. Magnetometer is best when the car is not moving at all. The IMU is ok for short periods of time, and the solar compass is best if it is locked on the sun. Should be doable.

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