Working on a project and looking for help / partner.

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zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
Hi,

I'm new here. I have interest in electronics etc. and I know a bit about how things work.

I have an idea that has potential and I am looking for and electronics engineer to work together on that idea. I have done my market research and it has potential to be a very nice side project.

The work that needs to be done is reverse engineering an old board from the 1980s and creating a new design either a "passive" design like the original board (basically take a few inputs and generating an output based on that) or doing it all with a micro controller and some programing.

There are advantages to each method and I am trying to decide on the right one.

I have attached a picture of the board in question. I had someone do some reverse engineering of it and I have a simulation of the board but it is not working due to errors.

I am ideally looking fro someone who lives in the DFW metroplex (North Dallas area, TX) to work with.

If you are interested, send me a PM and I can explain more.
 

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Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,614
So you have a design with four quad opamp packages.
  1. What is the function of the board?
  2. Why do you want to duplicate the function?
  3. What kind of errors does the simulation have?
  4. How much is it worth to you?
 

Thread Starter

zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
So you have a design with four quad opamp packages.
  1. What is the function of the board?
  2. Why do you want to duplicate the function?
  3. What kind of errors does the simulation have?
  4. How much is it worth to you?
The board is an automotive board controlling an air bypass (or idle) valve based on engine load. it receive several inputs and monitors and controls engine idle.

My end goal is to reproduce it and sell. The market is not big but it is there.

Because I understand this takes some work that is beyond my capabilities I would like to partner with someone who will do the design, share production expense and then share profit from sales. I will handle all sales, shipping, stocking and customer support. The engineer's work ends once we produce the units.

The simulation is not producing the correct output. I think it was done with errors. I have a schematic and I am now transferring it into a simulation but I'm not sure it is correct.

I have a working unit in my car and I can see all inputs and the output on my scope so I know what to expect from the simulation.

Hopefully this answers the questions.
 

Thread Starter

zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
Does the board you want to reverse engineer have a copyright?
I don't think so. I have several of them in several versions and they were made back in the 1980s. I have not seen any copyright on it but I'm thinking of the option of recreating it in a modern way with a controller instead of the "passive" components.
 

zophas

Joined Jul 16, 2021
157
@Papabravo You are asking all the wrong questions. The TS is hoping to make some money with his idea. He is not going to give away trade secrets on an open forum. PM him and maybe you can share the spoils.

Edit: Ooops! My bad. So he did share the basic idea. Good luck to anyone wanting to try this.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
194
Why not a micro controller? Easy to program and can control an IAC Valve easily. If the IAC V draws a high amperage - you just need to interface a drive circuit.
 

Thread Starter

zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
Why not a micro controller? Easy to program and can control an IAC Valve easily. If the IAC V draws a high amperage - you just need to interface a drive circuit.
A micro controller is definitely a way to do this but step one is to completely understand how it works. right?
 

Thread Starter

zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
@Papabravo You are asking all the wrong questions. The TS is hoping to make some money with his idea. He is not going to give away trade secrets on an open forum. PM him and maybe you can share the spoils.

Edit: Ooops! My bad. So he did share the basic idea. Good luck to anyone wanting to try this.
I did not share which car this goes into. lol.
I have asked in several forums and groups and if I don't expose enough info people get mad. Hopefully the right person will be interested. My advantage is that I know the market for that specific car and I have the car to test it on.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
194
The IAC Valve simply is an air bypass. If the engine RPM is too low it opens the valve a little further. The valve is not like a motor, rather, it's like a lever on a spring with an electromagnet to pull on it and open it. If the engine RPM drops below specs the electromagnet, which is probably already energized and tugging against a spring will get more voltage causing it to pull harder and thus open the valve more. When the engine RPM reaches a balance the IACV stops moving and holds its position. When you step on the gas the IACV will likely close down. If the valve goes into fault there's a bypass to bypass the bypass, meaning it will default to some mechanically set idle, though that might not be ideal. I worked on a foreign car, can't remember exactly which, but it had a faulty IACV. The owner bought a junk yard IACV and I installed it. When you revved the engine the valve responded by opening even further. I thought we got a bad one or the wrong type. No, the computer just had to learn a new setting. Formerly it was constantly trying to open the valve, which was frozen by rust or corrosion or something that just wouldn't let it move. I think it was a Saab, turbocharged. Scared the crap out of the owner the first time she drove it. Took her foot off the pedal and the engine just wanted to push even harder for a moment. But after a few drive cycles it settled down and operated correctly.

So if you want to design your own control from scratch then it's likely going to have to be something particular to the vehicle you want it to work with. I'm assuming it's a 1980's car. It may or may not have its own computer - you won't disclose that info, so - there's not much we can do to help you.

Start by working out the schematic of the PCB, then fill in the components. Once you have a design you should be ready to concur the market of old cars.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,614
What package are you using for the simulation?
I'm not really interested in the business prospects, or profit sharing, but I would be willing to help you get the simulation working if I can.
 

Thread Starter

zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
The IAC Valve simply is an air bypass. If the engine RPM is too low it opens the valve a little further. The valve is not like a motor, rather, it's like a lever on a spring with an electromagnet to pull on it and open it. If the engine RPM drops below specs the electromagnet, which is probably already energized and tugging against a spring will get more voltage causing it to pull harder and thus open the valve more. When the engine RPM reaches a balance the IACV stops moving and holds its position. When you step on the gas the IACV will likely close down. If the valve goes into fault there's a bypass to bypass the bypass, meaning it will default to some mechanically set idle, though that might not be ideal. I worked on a foreign car, can't remember exactly which, but it had a faulty IACV. The owner bought a junk yard IACV and I installed it. When you revved the engine the valve responded by opening even further. I thought we got a bad one or the wrong type. No, the computer just had to learn a new setting. Formerly it was constantly trying to open the valve, which was frozen by rust or corrosion or something that just wouldn't let it move. I think it was a Saab, turbocharged. Scared the crap out of the owner the first time she drove it. Took her foot off the pedal and the engine just wanted to push even harder for a moment. But after a few drive cycles it settled down and operated correctly.

So if you want to design your own control from scratch then it's likely going to have to be something particular to the vehicle you want it to work with. I'm assuming it's a 1980's car. It may or may not have its own computer - you won't disclose that info, so - there's not much we can do to help you.

Start by working out the schematic of the PCB, then fill in the components. Once you have a design you should be ready to concur the market of old cars.
You are very correct. The IACV is a solenoid and it is being controlled by a square wave signal. Changing the duty cycle opens or closes the valve.

I can post all the info but I don't want anyone to copy my idea. You seem to be very knowledgable. if you are interested, I would love to talk to you and explain everything. See if we can work together.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,614
@Papabravo You are asking all the wrong questions. The TS is hoping to make some money with his idea. He is not going to give away trade secrets on an open forum. PM him and maybe you can share the spoils.

Edit: Ooops! My bad. So he did share the basic idea. Good luck to anyone wanting to try this.
I don't do secret projects with NDA's and all that noise. The chances of a meaningful payoff are slim to none in my estimation.
 

Thread Starter

zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
I don't do secret projects with NDA's and all that noise. The chances of a meaningful payoff are slim to none in my estimation.
Actually you are wrong regarding the payoff. The market is there and I know it because I am part of that market. There is a big community of these specific cars and they all have issues with this board simply because it is old. I already proposed my idea in several places and had parts companies contact me asking to buy in bulk. So I know this will sell. I am willing to put my money into the development and production of such unit.
 

ThePanMan

Joined Mar 13, 2020
194
I would love to talk to you
I'm not an engineer, neither am I interested in pursuing a business venture just now. I will say this: Maybe - and ONLY maybe, a 555 timer can do the job based on the voltage supplied by the alternator. Pin 5 can be used to create a variable frequency pulse, which just might do what you want it to. But again, I'm not an engineer and I don't really know if that would solve your problem. Then again, you're talking about automotive engineering. I DO know that whatever you DO build MUST be robust and be reliable so as to not cause an accident with a car that won't slow down. There was a law suit some years ago against a car maker who's car would accelerate uncontrollably and cause accidents. If memory is good, I think someone may have lost their life. You want that responsibility??? I don't.
 

metermannd

Joined Oct 25, 2020
239
Looks like something that would lend itself well to an SMT conversion (other than large parts like the low-value resistor and the inductor) and is small enough it could be produced a panel at a time.

One thing that stands out is that there are two sets of terminals with resistors hand-soldered to them, and which suggests that those parts are specifically selected per board, which might mean you could be dealing with a tolerance 'stack-up'. One solution could be to work out the tolerances required to minimize stack-up issues or swap those resistors for a trimmer pot with a resistance in series (and a way to 'seal' the pot at the desired value).

Also, when you get to part selection, I believe there are specific components that are already qualified for automotive applications, so it may be wise to focus on those parts and not those for the general electronics market.
 

Travm

Joined Aug 16, 2016
356
Actually you are wrong regarding the payoff. The market is there and I know it because I am part of that market. There is a big community of these specific cars and they all have issues with this board simply because it is old. I already proposed my idea in several places and had parts companies contact me asking to buy in bulk. So I know this will sell. I am willing to put my money into the development and production of such unit.
The issue is costs... By the time you build the card, package and get it ready to ship, I expect you'll be in for $100-200/board. Are people going to pay $400 for this?
 

Thread Starter

zoti

Joined Oct 28, 2021
19
The issue is costs... By the time you build the card, package and get it ready to ship, I expect you'll be in for $100-200/board. Are people going to pay $400 for this?
actually it's $40-50 per board when making in bulk. Already had it priced.
 
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