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Wireless tire pressure monitoring? Hey, that sounds familiar... - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-09-02 01:21
  Subject:   Wireless tire pressure monitoring? Hey, that sounds familiar...
Public

According to FCC records, Bridgestone is close to releasing their wireless tire pressure monitoring system. The system uses sensors embedded just under the tire rim to send tire pressure and temperature to a handheld device. A 1.5 second alarm is sounded if the pressure is too high or too low.

http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/08/31/bridgestone_wirelesssensor/

I was bound by an NDA, but since the company that I signed that NDA with has gone out of business, I think I can get away with this now...

This tire pressure system may be the same one I worked on when I was at CrossLink. We had a tire pressure monitoring system we were making for Bridgestone. Ours was for giant mining trucks, and the readout was on a panel in the cab, but this looks very similiar otherwise.

Neat tech. Feels cool to say I built something useful once upon a time, as opposed to what I was doing at SignalSoft. :P
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dpcfmander
  User: dpcfmander
  Date: 2006-09-02 03:31 (UTC)
  Subject:   I want one!!!!
You mean I could be even lazier than I am now about checking the air?! Heck yea, sign me up... with a nice payment plan.

Then I wouldn't have to rely on waiting for the car to rock to know I need to check the tires. :)
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Jon
  User: j_b
  Date: 2006-09-02 04:27 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
grats +envy
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2006-09-02 04:37 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Just for the gas savings alone in maintaining proper tire inflation, this should do really well.
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2006-09-02 04:39 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Wait, why don't they mount the little radio gizmo on the wheel well, and get continuous readings? Or mount them at fuel pump islands.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-09-02 19:06 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The wheel well is exactly where we put the sensor when we designed the system. Actually, we did one better. One of the lead engineers found something called "radiating cable" - which is this 2" thick stuff with a copper tube center that both carries AND radiates radio signals. We ran a loop of that around the bottom of the chassis, and it was like having a big U-shaped antenna on the bottom of the truck.

As for why that didn't make it into the final system, who knows. Marketing, is my guess...
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2006-09-02 09:56 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
CrossLink went under? Wonder where Forest went. Masami~ Damn, that was a cheapshot.

-J
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-09-02 19:06 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Last I heard he was at Mylex, the large storage systems part of IBM. Masami and Bill have two kids. ;]
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2006-09-02 22:37 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Hey, off-topic, but of all the people you know, you're probably the one most likely to appreciate this.

Want very fine-resolution measurement of linear displacement without the cost of an LVDT and associated signal conditioning hardware? Check out ICHaus's new one-chip linear displacement Hall sensor.

It's just a tiny little TSSOP chip, past which you slide a piece of magtape with. The chip can sense counts or quadrature, or direct analog output if you prefer.

*I* find this useful for animatronic control... it's finally affordable to build a very low-profile and highly sensitive facial Waldo with zero-force sensors.

I've got some samples coming from their US distributor next week. They're also procuring some tape samples as well.

Snaaaaaaz. :)

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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-09-02 22:46 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Very nice. Looks ideal for using on some series-elastic actuators. Hm...
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Alex Belits: iskra
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-09-03 06:49 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:iskra
I don't know how common this is on other vehicles, but Russian military trucks had kinda-self-healing inner tubes and automatic inflation systems. I haven't seen the actual system except for the external pipe going to the hub of the wheel, but I assumed, it's a channel inside the wheel axis with check valve, channel opening after a seal or between two seals, and a chamber connected to the air compressor that occasionally brings pressure in the chamber to whatever is supposed to be in a tire plus something to open the valve.

No idea if it did any measurements or it just pumped air whenever pressure in the tire dropped enough to open the check valve, but it should be easy to measure the pressure by determining at which pressure in the chamber the check valve opens. Just don't overinflate the tire while measuring it (or have a solenoid to force the valve open if you did).
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