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PressurePoint Control Unit in Limited Production


  • Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    We now have a tyre pressure control device that requires no mobile phone,

    The LCD shows:

    • Hose pressure,
    • Incoming battery voltage,
    • Compressor current consumption
    • Operation running time

    • One button to start the compressor (any size up to 60A).
    • One button to start the deflator, (which is housed in the unit)
    • One button to stop both.

    The unit is intended to be integrated into a self-contained system housed in a utility box as shown in the attachment.

    Even with the largest commonly available compressor there’s lots of room for tyre levers, inner tubes, rubber hammer, and the rest of what you need to get yourself out of trouble.

    The control unit is 100% functional using just the 3 buttons and LCD, but greater mobility is available with the remote control afforded by the Bluetooth connection to our Android phone app. This allow you to see and do everything from the end of the hose, saving some back and forth trips between tyre valves and compressor.

    Attachments:

    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    That’s going to help the iPhone users a lot – they’ve been excluded up to now.

    I seen those compressor in every colour except red up to now. Where do they come from. And what do they cost now?

    And what happened to Auto Mode?


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    I’m a big user of my own products and I found that to inflate just one tyre it was too big a deal to find my phone (I’m not enslaved so I leave it lying around) and use it. I wanted the option of something that’s instantly ready for use, which this push button panel is – you connect the power and it’s ready to rock. When doing 6 wheels in succession it means you’re probably out in the sticks somewhere with the phone in the car next to you and ready to hand.

    The phone app is quite capable of doing Auto Mode, but the LCD and 3 buttons are not able to enter all of the variable parameters that are easily input on the phone. So I left it out for now. It’s easy enough to put it back, but that means there’s a big difference between what the phone can do and what the control box without phone can do.

    Also I put in a seconds counter that shows how long the present operation has been running. If you inflate or deflate 6 wheels there’s probably only 3 different timings to learn – the front pair, the back pair, and the trailer pair. If you watch the time you can anticipate when the pressure is where you wanted after just a short learning curve.

    The compressor in red comes from Adendorff at about R2000, the 10M blue hose also from Adendorff at about R23o, and the utility box from Makro at under R200.

    I made the coiling horns wide and shallow, so the hose coil doesn’t intrude into the box, and you can put the store-bought repair kit (+/- R500) in the middle of the coil. There never seems to be a good place for it in the bottom area of the box. Piano hinge is strong enough to carry the lid as long as you have a restraining cord to keep it from flipping back.

     


    Josef Konrad
    Josef Konrad on

    Please give your website again. I don’t want to ask questions which are already answered there.

    Thanks.


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    The URL for this device is:

    https://caravanpilot.co.za/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50:pressurepoint&catid=40&Itemid=110

    If you have any questions please ask them here – others may want to know the answer as well.


    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins on

    I like that a LOT.

    I agree with you that when doing only a single wheel you want to get done as quickly as possible., and not hassle with a phone. But I would ask if it’s at all possible to keep the Auto mode in the app.

    For me it’s a major pleasure to be sitting in the bakkie drink a cold one or two, tapping buttons while Junior moves the hose between 6 wheels.

    I wouldn’t want to lose that in future. Please.

     


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    We’re now shipping these devices a one of 2 options:

    PressurePoint has an LCD and 3 control buttons:

    • Start Compressor,
    • Start Deflator
    • Stop Both

    The LCD shows:

    • Hose pressure,
    • Input voltage,
    • Current consumption,
    • Running time.

    PressurePointBT has all of the above plus a Bluetooth communication module that adds Control and Reporting to an Android mobile phone app. Below is a screenshot of the mobile phone engaged in an Auto Mode inflation operation.

    You see the battery voltage is down to 10,4V (due to a heavy discharge), the compressor is drawing over 40A from the battery, the target pressure is 240kPa, the hose pressure is 169kPa, and the compressor will run for another 99 seconds before resting to read an accurate tyre pressure (hose pressure is unreliable as a tyre pressure indicator while air is flowing in the hose). After that a decision will be made as the whether another inflation phase is needed, or even a short deflation phase in the case of an overshoot. (Setting the tyre size and compressor capacity helps the logic to get as close to target pressure on the first try.)


    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins on

    Could you post some detail closeups of the various connections?

    And some cost estimates please?


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    Hi Dan,

    The compressor shown above is a version of the ubiquitous 160Lpm unit that comes under a variety of brands. I bought mine more than 10 years ago as T-Max, prior to this it was marketed with an ARB label, if I remember correctly.

    The version shown above and below is from Adendorff. It comes in a handsome red paint job and costs about R2000. You can get the same device from Outdoor Warehouse, where it’s branded Trail Boss, for R2700 last time I looked.

    They always come with a horrible spiral plastic pipe which is too short to be useful and is well capable of destroying your tyre valve if it’s stretched near the limit. The electric cable supplied is of the right wire gauge and long enough to reach most battery mounting locations from outside the vehicle.

    The compressor itself is very durable. I’ve run mine for literally hundreds of hours inflating six wheels countless times.

    For this demonstrator I’ve use a 10 metre blue PVC hose supplied also by Adendorff for about R230 and includes good-quality brass air couplings. My usual choice for hose is rubber or silicone rubber, but this plastic  hose is a whole lot less expensive and will do the job perfectly as long as it’s not abused by for instance driving over it or leaving it out in the sun for long periods.

    At the compressor outlet I’ve retained the coupling from the 6mm spiral tubing but added a spacer to make it fit into the 8mm blue hose. Stainless steel jubilee clips and heat shrink tubing to complete to joint.

    The compressor is supplied with shock mounts on a pressed steel foot late. I discard the plate and drill holes in the bottom of the box to accept the shock mounts directly. The rubber feet under the steel plate can be reused under the utility box.

    The PHP code that controls this forum only allows one image to be embedded per post. So I’ll insert the pic and continue if further posts.

    So far you’ve spent:

    1. R2000 for the compressor,
    2. R250 for the hose,
    3. R250 for the utility box


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    The blue PVC hose already has a quality brass air coupling attached, which allows it to be connected to the control unit with any modification.

    There are two 50A Anderson plugs on the control unit – one connects to the battery, the other to the compressor. In emergency these to can be mated to bypass the control unit.

    The control unit costs between R2000 and R2500 depending on enhancements installed.


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    The 160Lpm compressor comes with that nasty spiral tubing griped about above, that also has an analogue pressure gauge attached, which seems a pity to waste and might be useful in an emergency situation.

    Since you need an 8mm gas T-piece you might want to incorporate that gauge there. It takes a 3/16th gas fitting which is a fiddly job getting attached to the T-piece, but when you’re done you have a backup pressure gauge at no extra cost.


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    Connecting wires to the Anderson terminals is a whole subject on it’s own. To crimp or to solder? That is the question. It’s quite a controversial matter which the most ill-informed and unqualified feel forced to get bombastic about.

    I’ve put a little section on it at the bottom of this page:

    https://caravanpilot.co.za/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=256

    Anderson Power have a goodly amount of info as well on their website. Look under the SB series. The connectors we use are SB50.

     


    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    Twenty-something years ago I had a trailer tyre stabbed in a failed hijacking on the road entering Harare from the south. With the one tyre deflated I warded off the attackers with the help of my friends Smith & Wesson who had jumped the border while I was doing immigration at Beit Bridge.

    I hobbled onward to the nearest petrol pump where I phone the Zim police to report the incident. The Zim cops turned out to be even more useless than the SAPS so I closed in the sidewall the hole with more than one plug due to the length of the cut and sallied forth northward with only 700mB in the holed tyre since this was all the pressure it could take without blowing out the plugs. At my accommodation that night I fitted the trailer’s spare in place of the wheel with the cut.

    Since no convenient place resented itself between there and Matusadona I entered the national park without a working spare wheel for the trailer, and the Pajero’s wheels were not compatible, of course.

    Entering a dry watercourse by a very steep track on the road to Tashinga the trailer broke left trying to overtake the Pajero and was stopped short by a roadside rock with such force that the tyre bead was pushed away from the rim and, being tubeless, instantly deflated.

    Even with the wheel lying flat on the ground it proved impossible to get the bead back on the rim sufficiently to trap enough air to inflate the tyre. All manner of jumping, bouncing and cursing was not sufficient to close the gap.

    Without a viable spare wheel, on a track that saw maybe one vehicle per week I did the only thing available – I dug out the tyre levers I habitually carried and pried one side off the rim sufficiently to insert the inner tube that I habitually carried. The beauty of inner tubes is that one size fits just about any size of wheel, so you only need to carry something average between your tyre sizes.

    So, in addition to the (totally essential) repair kit I suggest you add to your impressive utility box:

    • 2 x Tyre levers @ R150 each
    • At least 1 inner tube @ R600

    I never thought I’d need them. Till I needed them a lot.


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    Hi Dan,

    The blue PVC hose from Adendorff that I mentioned previously comes with good quality brass couplings attached. Couplings that would cost you almost the price of the hose if you bought them at Midas.

    This means that the hose can attach to the air coupling on the control unit without any modification.

    The control unit also has two 50A Anderson plugs fitted – one for the incoming supply from the battery and one for the outgoing to the compressor. (If ever a fault is suspected these 2 cables can be mated directly to bypass the control unit.)

    Connecting Anderson terminals is a subject of it’s own and I’ll just supply the link to some additional info here rather than type the whole story again. Scroll to the bottom of this page:

    https://caravanpilot.co.za/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=256

    Anderson Power has a good website if you want to read some more:

    https://www.andersonpower.com/us/en/resources/SBseriesResourcesPage.html

     


    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko van der Molen on

    The blue PVC hose already has a quality brass air coupling attached, which allows it to be connected to the control unit with any modification.

    There are two 50A Anderson plugs on the control unit – one connects to the battery, the other to the compressor. In emergency these to can be mated to bypass the control unit.

    Attaching wires to Anderson terminals will be a new experience for some and hence requires further explanation. The lower section of this webpage offers some insight:

    https://caravanpilot.co.za/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=256

    Anderson Power has a very informative website with lots of data for the SB series, which the 50A is part of.

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