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Coding Station

The Technical Stuff


The software is made up of over ten modules targetting different OS framworks.

First we have the firmware installed on the VOS boxes. This is written in C# and targeted for the Amtel 2560 MCU.

Next we have the server daemons, the cue daemon and the odometry daemon. These are written in .NET and targeting a 64 bit Windows OS. They are written as services and therefore require no UI. To allow monitoring of the state of these daemons, we have watcher applications which are also windows based UI applications written in .NET. These talk to the daemons to report their state.

On the client windows PC we have the Showrunner. This, like the daemons, is written in .NET and is also targeted for a windows 64 bit OS. In addition to the Showrunner, we also have the designer application. This application is what is used to actually write the scripts that run the show. It does not need to run on the showrunner client PC but it must have network access to the SQL server. Like showrunner this is a 64 bit windows application.

There are a couple of support applications that are part of the suite, these are the Odometry simulator and the dummy load servers. The former is used to emulate the odometry server output to allow the show designer to run a parade without any actual floats, the dummy load is a socket sink for things like lighting and projection systems.

The final part of the puzzle is the SQL server, we are using MySQL and this is running in a VM running on the server hardware along with the daemons, each running in its own VM.

A total of three VMs and a client windows PC are required to run the system. The VMs are replicated across two physical servers running fallback CPU locked FT.

  VOS, Vehicle Odometry System

The Vehicle Odometry System (VOS), formerly the VTS, has been completely re-designed from the ground up.

The new system is a fully integrated unit with all the core functionality on a single PCB.

The new hardware has additional IO to allow for expansion boards to be added to allow for future functionality.

Designed in EasyEDA and fabricated in Germany, the new boards offer a higher stability than the MKII as well as having a completely new set of firmware written for them.

Designed to run natively over POE they offer electrical isolation from the chassis through opt isolated wheel interfaces.

Power isolation to the ethernet is through the use of a switch mode PSU and transformer isolated RJ45 LAN connectors give data level isolation.

An SD card interface has been added to allow for configuration files to be easily swapped out without the need to connect to the unit through a termal.

OTA firmware updates are also now possible network allowing.

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