electronics and software design

Marine Propulsion Control Systems :

Working as a consultant for a Melbourne Technology Company, we designed a complex marine Propulsion Control System for a 21 foot Mustang Sports Cruiser, fitted with a Continuously Variable Pitch Propeller (CPP). With some help from the in-house mechanics workshop, we build all electronic control modules, wrote the Software and installed the complete electronic control system in the boat.

A "Drive-by-Wire" controller (CAN) inside the boat was designed to interface to a Optical Control Lever, a Satellite Navigation device (NMEA 182), the Pitch Control Unit, a Display Unit and a 200 KW Diesel Engine.

Various algorithms where developed for Cruising and manoeuvring the vessel, including an automated Cruise Control. The Stern Drive CPP system was successfully demonstrated in Melbourne and is currently being tested by a customer under real world operating conditions.

The development of the algorithms and monitoring of the system status was facilitated by customised Data Logging Software (written in Delphi) which allowed us to monitor and analyse a number of performance parameters during and after testing.

Because of the excellent performance of the Cruise Control, it was decided to also develop a Fixed Pitch Propeller (FPP) "Drive-by-Wire" Control system (CAN) with an Optical Control Lever, to be able to enter the market earlier with a simplified control system and without the mechanical complications of a CPP. The system was completed by the end of 2005 and was ready for a pilot production run. An in-house electronics department was established to take over the manufacturing and testing of the FPP system.

Drive by Wire (CAN) Systems:

Horst started working for BOSCH Australia as a Project Engineer in the R&D Department for Automotive Equipment, conducting a feasibility study for FORD Australia (FOA). The task was, to design and implement a Multiplex System to aid simplification of the wiring harness in the car and to provide additional functionality like Cruise Control, Anti Theft and Driver Information Displays.

Leading a team of 2 Engineers, we achieved our goal of successfully presenting our first prototype car to FOA within a period of less than 6 month. The system comprised of 1 Master Controller, 1 Cluster Display Unit and 1 Trip Computer, all communicating via twisted pair wires.

During this time, the main duties were: communicating with Engineers at FOA, analysis and redesign of the wiring harness, design and costing of the overall system, design and implementation of a Multiplex Protocol, hardware and software design of the Master Controller and overseeing the hardware and software design of the Cluster and the Trip Computer.

After completion of the feasibility study for FORD Australia, Horst was given the task of designing a Multiplex System for General Motors Holden (GMH). Overseeing a team of 3 Engineers, a network of 3 controllers (Left Hand Side and Right Hand Side Controller plus Memory Seat Controller) was implemented, all communicating via twisted pair, using a subset of the CAN protocol. The system was successfully presented to GMH in a prototype car.

Current Developments:

We are currently developing a number of Alternative Controllers (for musical applications) using the Microchip Digital Signal Processor (DSP) dsPIC30 and dsPIC33 and relevant development tools. One of those Alternative Controllers is the Midi Wave-Theremin, which is currently produced in small quantities and sold online (read more at: www.wave-theremin.com ).

Other Projects:

We have been designing products for a long time and have done too many projects to list here.

Some highlights are:

Electronic Transmission Controllers, remote monitoring alarm systems (via RF), Cruise Control, Anti Theft devices (tilt sensor, RFID etc..), Driver Information Displays, J1708 serial protocol and other diagnostic interfaces, Direct Fire Ignition Test System, variable power steering, all things CAN, motor control (electric, regenerative and combustion), EPROM and other device programmers, real time operating systems, Software Translators, Electronic Drum Trigger Module, Midi Theremin and other Theremins, guitar amplifiers, recording preamps, distortion pedals, filters, delays and all things Tubes.

We have written software in C, DELPHI, BASIC, FORTRAN, PASCAL, ASSEMBLER for various processors (Motorola, Intel, Zilog, Microchip and more) and under numerous operating systems (UNIX, DOS, WINDOS, RTOS ... ).

We are familiar with all stages of the product development cycle, from concept to production and we are very business minded, with a strong aptitude for mechanical engineering (Hands on if needed). We have been using Protel (99SE) for years, know our way around EXCEL, MS-WORD, Windows etc., we can solder SMD chips, wire up electrical things and have a strong interest in physics, science, alternative energy and more.

We are very flexible, creative and always ready to explore new territory, with a strong desire to learn and above all, with a strong commitment to success.