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Hello, my name is Brandon Gilligan. I work for the website RFInspireD, which is a data collection database. Commonly used for RFID or barcodes, It can be used for lot's of different data collection including the weather. I did this project to show off what our website is capable of and I plan on having more projects to write about here soon. This was my first Arduino project and I had a blast with it. Really easy to set up and figure out, and you get quick results making it a really good project for beginners or weather enthusiasts. For the project I used SparkFun shields, sensors, and their own RedBoard. The RedBoard can be compared to an Arduino Uno and is programmed the same way. I would love some feedback or comments on my project. I am always looking to improve! You can read my full article at the home page of our website which I will provide a link for below. Thanks everyone!



During the Enchanted Objects design challenge I learnt quite a few things about the Arduino Yún, I thought I'd summarise and share them here. My posts in this challenge were all themed with a running story hence the strange titles.


Introduction to the Arduino Yún

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - Yum Yum Yun at the Enchanted Cottage


Using the bridge and Curl to read pages over HTTPS

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - Channels and a special delivery to the Enchanted Cottage


Python, Expanding the disk, using Requests library, Failure to install the Requests[Secure] library

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - The snake, the troll and the fighting dwarves


Python and Pycurl reading HTTPS including checking the certificates

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - Taming the Python


Turning off the Linino portion of the Yún to save power

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - Sleeping Golem


A 3D printed adapter so that status LEDs can be seen from a top panel

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - The Crystal Cave


Parsing the output of pretty-wifi-info.lua in Python

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - This is not the WiFi you are looking for


Using the handshaking line to check if the Linino portion has booted

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - A tale of two bridges


Swapping the bridge for a simpler serial communication

Swapping out the bridge


Security lockdown on the Yún

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - Locking the doors


Starting and stopping a Python script in an init.d daemon

Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - Python Start, Python Stop


Thoughts on speeding up the booting process (not implemented)

Booting the Yún


All the code for the project is on github


I will share my design Step by Step from an Idea till working Project

see it here:




I am going do this small side project as a way to take a break from my main project.  For a basic introduction please see my original blog post at


If anyone has concerns about my project, please post them in that thread.  I have changed the design slightly after doing  some research and testing.  I am also going to have a control panel in the car with me so I can monitor things as well as manually test the lights.


The car has running lights, brake lights, and turn signals all on separate channels.  However the trailer lights only have 2 channels as the running lights also function as turn signals. My initial analysis was incorrect that the running lights also function as brake lights.


First a tentative parts list and then I will explain.

2X Arduino mini pros 16mhz boot loader

1X Raspberry Pi model B

1X 2.5" TFT touchscreen LCD

1X 4 channel mechanical relay

6X AMS1117 SO-223 5V regulators

3X NRF24L01+ wireless transceivers

1X 1.5 watt solar charger

3X enclosures

1X 20,000mAh (20Ah) 12V lead acid battery

1X hobbyking 5V/5A regulator

1X 1000 mAh 2s LIPO


Explanation of parts :

There are 3 units involved. We have the unit that reads the car's lights, the unit that controls the trailer lights, and the unit that acts as a control panel.  All 3 are connected via the wireless adapters.


2X Arduino mini pros 16mhz boot loader

These will be used for the units that read the lights and control the trailer lights.  I have some of these on hand is why I went with them and the small footprint will allow me to tuck it away nicely.


1X Raspberry Pi model B and 1X 2.5" TFT touchscreen LCD

This will function as the main control panel with a simple interface.  The Pi attaches easily to the LCD which is why I chose this route.  Its way overkill but I feel it will be useful for other projects that also need a remote or control panel.  The control panel will allow monitoring as well as manual control of the lights for testing.


1X 4 channel mechanical relay

The stock lights on my trailer pull 2A for the brakes lights per side, and 500 mA per side for the running lights.  Originally I was going to use a mosfet but I see no reason with this high of current.  The brake lights will be turned on at the same time so the relay will see 4A.  However the running lights will be on separate channels as they also function as blinkers.  The 4th channel I may use to turn on internal lights in the trailer remotely.


6X AMS1117 SO-223 5V regulators

These small regulators will be used to power the Arduinos off of the main 12V sources which come from the vehicle as well as the 12V battery in the trailer.  They are also used to read the  vehicle lights.  My plan is to splice into the lines of each light the same way I did before when installing an off the shelf light controller.  The lights will be routed to the 5v regulators which then step down the voltages to 5V for reading via the GPIO pins on the Arduino.  I will need 4 regulators to read the lights.  1 for the brake lights, 1 for the running lights, and 1 each for each turn signal.


3X NRF24L01+ wireless transceivers

These 2.4ghz transceivers are similar to an I2C connection and a serial connection combined.  Each one has an ID and you can broadcast information. I will have a small protocol in place for error correction as well as some minor tamper proofing.  I don't want a rogue 2.4ghz signal to be able to mess with my lights.  I will be using a command set that requires a sequence of bytes in order to validate commands.


1X 1.5 watt solar charger

These can be had from Harbor Freight and low cost.  I decided that the trailer might as well be "green" and charge its own battery.  Besides its just another thing for me to forget to do.


The rest of the items are self explanatory and used to house the items and power the Pi.


I may choose to get some LED based trailer lights, but I am going to stick with the stock trailer lights for now until I have a working project.

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