WiFi engine telemetry to android app ?

Thread Starter

SteveDouglas

Joined Apr 30, 2009
49
I've been looking for a WiFi board that has several channels for sensors to be connected to that connects with a phone app, preferably user customizable.

In order to be able to see real time parameters such as oil pressure, temperature, etc. Similar to what I can do in my vehicles using an ELM327 bluetooth to OBD II and the Torque app. However, this use would be on a single cylinder generator engine (or any engine without OBD).

Does such a unit exist ?
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,127
I don't know of a standalone board for that purpose, but a friend of mine has a telemetry system on his race bike that relays all that sort of info. The downside is price - its $2000+

Creating one using a microcontroller with WiFi or BlueTooth capability isn't that hard - I've built a few similar. The important aspect is finding appropriate sensors or cleaning up and conditioning the signals from existing sensors; automotive environments are harsh on electronics. The rest is 'just' software!
 

Thread Starter

SteveDouglas

Joined Apr 30, 2009
49
I don't know of a standalone board for that purpose, but a friend of mine has a telemetry system on his race bike that relays all that sort of info. The downside is price - its $2000+

Creating one using a microcontroller with WiFi or BlueTooth capability isn't that hard - I've built a few similar. The important aspect is finding appropriate sensors or cleaning up and conditioning the signals from existing sensors; automotive environments are harsh on electronics. The rest is 'just' software!
Yes that is certainly a downside !

I'm decent at programming microcontrollers, but know nothing about apps. Say I program one to work with a wifi board, is there a generic user customizable android app to work with it ?
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,127
Yes that is certainly a downside !

I'm decent at programming microcontrollers, but know nothing about apps. Say I program one to work with a wifi board, is there a generic user customizable android app to work with it ?
Not that I'm aware of, but there are 'frameworks' that allow creating good looking apps by plugging visual blocks together. How they integrate with WiFi/BlueTooth I don't know, I've always rolled my own. Have a look at this for example

My goto microcontroller for this would be the ESP32 as its got the wifi/bluetooth on-board and its easy to configure/code for.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
5,743
The simplest way do it is to use the browser as the aoo and implement a web page on the device. Serving an HTML page is actually pretty trivial. I use this method myself on a PIC microcontroller with an ESP8266 as the WIFI interface.

Edited to add: If you want mote details, just ask.
 
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Unfortunately Wi-Fi and socket programming on android is not something quick and easy, but is possible with enough time and effort.
I couldn't count how many times I wanted to give up before it finally started to work.

As mentioned above a web page would be pretty easy, but it won't update on it's own.
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,127
Unfortunately Wi-Fi and socket programming on android is not something quick and easy, but is possible with enough time and effort.
I couldn't count how many times I wanted to give up before it finally started to work.

As mentioned above a web page would be pretty easy, but it won't update on it's own.
In my experience it wasn't that difficult. Agreed you have to have a clear understanding of the Android environment but there are many good examples to copy.

I've used web pages and that works well for real-time data but not so good if you want to store data for later processing. Tho' I did implement a bulk transfer via FTP to a remote data store on a daily basis. Not sure what you mean by 'update on its own' - its easy to issue client side JS to do, say, a 5 second refresh.
 
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In my experience it wasn't that difficult. Agreed you have to have a clear understanding of the Android environment but there are many good examples to copy.

I've used web pages and that works well for real-time data but not so good if you want to store data for later processing. Tho' I did implement a bulk transfer via FTP to a remote data store on a daily basis. Not sure what you mean by 'update on its own' - its easy to issue client side JS to do, say, a 5 second refresh.
Thinking back six or seven years when I put my first program together there were a lot of good examples... just not any in the way I wanted to do things. Most were open the connection, read data, and close the connection. I couldn't find anything that kept the connection open the way I wanted to do it. I did figure out a way to do it and have been improving my template with every use. It's been a long and interesting journey learning Java and Android.

As far as updating on it's own I didn't consider browser based methods like JS or HTML tags (I remember there being a timer based tag that would load a URL... it's been too long).
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,127
As far as updating on it's own I didn't consider browser based methods like JS or HTML tags (I remember there being a timer based tag that would load a URL... it's been too long).
node.js has a server-side push notification which provides for high performance client updating and is probably a good bet for this requirement.
 
Thanks @Irving... Something new to learn and figure out how to make it work. :rolleyes:

Android apps are fun, but I have made a couple creations for family that are HTML based just to make life easier in the long run for everyone... this could add the extras I wanted to do, but had to leave out.
 

LesJones

Joined Jan 8, 2017
3,805
Another possible solution is to send the data as text messages via Bluetooth to the phone (Or tablet.) and display these text messages using a terminal emulator app (Such as blueterm.) running on the phone or tablet.)

Les.
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,127
Another possible solution is to send the data as text messages via Bluetooth to the phone (Or tablet.) and display these text messages using a terminal emulator app (Such as blueterm.) running on the phone or tablet.)

Les.
Which I do as a matter of course in most first iterations of code on an ESP32** as an alternative to Serial.print(), use SerialBT.print(). Its quick and easy and validates the initial data stream. The only limitation I've found is that none of the BlueTooth receiver apps seem to be able to keep the connection open for longer than 30min - 1hr... using it for logging over an extended period is tricky.


**also install webUpdater then I can ditch the cable connection and validate everything runs untethered off a USB powerpack right from day 1. Too many bad experiences of trying to debug OTA activity after the code has got 'sophisticated'!
 

Thread Starter

SteveDouglas

Joined Apr 30, 2009
49
Well, I was hoping there was something existing that could be "edited" to a specific application. Like a WiFi telemetry board with a corresponding app. Looks like there isn't.

Thanks for all the help and info.
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,127
Well, I was hoping there was something existing that could be "edited" to a specific application. Like a WiFi telemetry board with a corresponding app. Looks like there isn't.

Thanks for all the help and info.
Not that I've seen...

I'm playing with a browser based app now that looks promising in terms of client-side update rate... I'll post a video if it works out...
 
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