PI-TOP Hardware and Applications

Good Morning Solar Car Teams,

You should have received both the PI-Top Lap Top and several other pieces of equipment. I have asked our Race Technical Committee PI-Top Specialist, Jarrett Dunn, to provide your some additional background. Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Dr. Lehman Marks
Solar Car Challenge

By now you hopefully have received the pi-top HELIOS boards in the mail and may have been wondering what exactly you recieved. Working with out partners, we have developed a system to assist teams in developing their own information systems assist in better understanding how their car works and to assist in making informed decisions as to how best to operate their car. The system has basic functionality out of the box, however it also offers incredible opportunity and flexibility for teams to customize it and develop their own ideas.

What you have received is two boards. The first is a receiver that is meant to pair with your pi-top laptop. The second is a transmitter board intended for your solar car. The solar car board has a GPS chip to allow you to monitor the speed and location of your car, an analog to digital converter to measure analog signals like voltage and current, a relay, a buzzer, and some GPIO pins to allow you to expand.

Our friends at pi-top have put together a short video with a little more information available here:

You can find the software and supporting documentation on our GITHUB page:

If this is all Greek to you, don't worry. We will be hosting a hands on workshop during the evenings of Scrutineering to help explain the system. During that workshop, we will teach you how to use the system as well as program your boards to function as the required low voltage alarm.

If you have a question, you are probably not alone. There is a section of the github called issues where you can post your questions and issues. There everyone can benefit from your experience and answers. I would encourage you to make use of it. However, if you have an extremely specific or important question please don't hesitate to email me directly at Jarrett.dunn@gmail.com.

I look forward to seeing you in Texas.

Jarrett Dunn
Solar Car Challenge Technology Team