BACtrack S80 Specifications

BACtrack S80 Specifications
Senior Design Group 8
May 3, 2010
Ashish Thomas | Xi Guo | Brandon Gilzean | Clinton Thomas
1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................. 1
1.1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...................................................................................................................... 1
1.2 MOTIVATION ..................................................................................................................................... 2
1.3 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES ................................................................................................................. 3
1.4 COMPARISON OF EXISTING PRODUCTS ........................................................................................... 4
1.5 SYSTEM OVERVIEW ......................................................................................................................... 9
2. RESEARCH AND REQUIREMENTS .............................................................................................. 10
2.1 PLATFORM ..................................................................................................................................... 10
2.2 SYSTEM LOGIC............................................................................................................................... 12
2.3 VOLTAGE REGULATOR ................................................................................................................... 20
2.4 POWER & I/O INTERFACE............................................................................................................... 28
2.5 LEDS ............................................................................................................................................. 34
2.6 SOFTWARE..................................................................................................................................... 37
2.7 INTERLOCK DEVICE ........................................................................................................................ 41
2.8 ENCLOSURE ................................................................................................................................... 42
2.10 ALCOHOL SENSOR ....................................................................................................................... 51
2.11 BATTERY ...................................................................................................................................... 56
2.12 CHARGING CIRCUIT ..................................................................................................................... 64
2.13 AIRFLOW MEASUREMENT ............................................................................................................ 71
3. HARDWARE DESIGN ...................................................................................................................... 74
3.1 SYSTEM DESIGN SUMMARY ........................................................................................................... 74
3.2 MICROCONTROLLER INTERFACE .................................................................................................... 76
3.3 POWER SUPPLY ............................................................................................................................. 83
3.4 DISPLAY ......................................................................................................................................... 88
3.5 PORTABLE UNIT CIRCUIT BOARD ................................................................................................... 90
3.7 CONTROL/BASE UNIT CIRCUIT BOARD .......................................................................................... 93
4. SOFTWARE DESIGN ..................................................................................................................... 100
4.1 SOFTWARE DESIGN SUMMARY .................................................................................................... 100
4.2 COMMUNICATIONS ....................................................................................................................... 103
4.2.1 WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FUNCTIONS ............................................................................................ 105
4.3 PORTABLE UNIT SOFTWARE ........................................................................................................ 106
4.3.1 DISPLAY FUNCTIONS ................................................................................................................. 107
4.3.2 SAMPLING FUNCTIONS .............................................................................................................. 108
4.4 CONTROL UNIT SOFTWARE.......................................................................................................... 108
5. TESTING AND VALIDATION ........................................................................................................ 111
5.1 HARDWARE VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS ................................................................................. 111
5.2 HARDWARE TEST PROCEDURE .................................................................................................... 113
5.3 SOFTWARE VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.................................................................................. 118
5.4 SOFTWARE TEST PROCEDURE .................................................................................................... 120
5.5 SYSTEM TEST PROCEDURE ......................................................................................................... 121
6.1 BUSINESS CASE........................................................................................................................... 126
6.2 PROJECT PLANNING ..................................................................................................................... 127
6.3 COST ESTIMATES ......................................................................................................................... 129
6.4 BILL OF MATERIALS ...................................................................................................................... 130
6.5 DESIGN TEAM .............................................................................................................................. 133
APPENDIX A. ...................................................................................................................................... 134
A.1 W ORKS CITED ............................................................................................................................. 134
A.2 PERMISSIONS .............................................................................................................................. 135
1. Introduction
1.1 Executive Summary
Determining the breath alcohol content of a driver under the influence can be a
well tested and exhausting procedure. To ensure that the driver is well indeed
under the influence, different examination can be performed on the driver to
determine his or her alcohol content. Many ways to do this are to take a field
sobriety test or breathe examination. To be considered driving under the
influence the person’s blood to alcohol content has to be .08% or higher. This
means that the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood is considered to affect them
to the intensity to effect their impairment to comprehend or to drive. There has
been different ways to test and person’s alcohol to breath concentration but
many are not compatible with a vehicle.
The Breathalyzer System unit is a system that has capabilities to be a portable
unit and a unit that can be connected to a relay on a vehicle. The purpose of this
design is to determine a person’s absorption of alcohol and if the user has
consumed enough liquor to the extent where he or she is unable to drive a car,
this unit will prevent the user from starting the car. As a result this will affect the
rising statistics in driving under the influence deaths. This unit is also used to
authorize that someone not under the influence is capable to drive the current
vehicle when the car has not yet been started.
The Breathalyzer System will be integrated into sub systems, the control box unit
and the hand held unit. For the control unit, this device will determine if the car is
on, how fast the car is going and other characteristics of the car itself. This will
require a logic unit that will be able to read data, store, and write it to a memory
device. The handle held unit will be used to display the data and have a fuel cell
sensor that will read input from the user. In order to synchronizing the systems
together, a microcontroller will be used to communicate the data wirelessly. The
process of flow of this Breathalyzer System will start by having a control box and
the handle held unit. The control box requires validation from the hand held unit.
Once the user takes a sample to the hand held unit the user will hit a push button
that will initiate data to start to be sampled. The data will be read will be blood
alcohol concentration.
Depending on the blood alcohol concentration value, the hand held unit will
behave differently. In order to view this value, the hand held unit will have a LCD
screen that will display the blood alcohol concentration value. If the blood alcohol
concentration value is equal to 0.04 or higher, then the control box unit will not
allow the vehicle to start. If the user receives blood alcohol concentration value of
less than 0.04 then the control unit box will allow the user to start the vehicle.
This user is not off the hook just yet, the control box unit will require another
sample reading at a random time interval. If the user receives a BAC less than
0.04, the user will be able to keep driving with no alerts. If there person receives
a BAC of 0.04 or higher then hand will alert the user that they are under the
influence. The control unit will initiate an alert that will begin to a process of
shutting down the car. The control unit will initiate a sounds and lights until the
ignition is cut off. The only way to stop the alert will be to cut the ignition off.
Once the user has done this, the alert will be cut off.
1.2 Motivation
In 2008, 11,773 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. The chart
below provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.
Department of Transportation emphasizes the percentage of motor vehicle traffic
crashes accumulated by drunk drivers, as seen in Figure 1.2-1.
Figure 1.2-1 Image produced with permission from the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration.
37.4% of Fatalities Traffic Crashes are due to drivers that have previously
consumed alcohol, without a doubt, thousands of people would’ve still be alive if
these drivers were prohibit to start their car after alcohol consumption. Being part
of a group that’s most likely to drink and drive and we all have personal
experience of losing close ones due to drunk driving, therefore we vowed to take
action by designing a better ignition interlock system with wireless alcohol
sensor. This sophisticated device can prevent a vehicle from being driven by a
drunk driver and will decrease the death rates due to drunk driving significantly.
By studies, people who have previous drunk driving convictions makes up onethird of the drunk driving deaths in the United States and in addition, its is known
by researches that alcohol sensor ignition interlock system can decrease these
repeated drunk driving offenses by over 64%. Ignition Interlock System isn’t a
new technology but its still not popularly utilized in any new or existing vehicles.
Currently only twelve states offer incentives for people convicted of DUI, it is not
shocking that there is only twelve states giving this as an option. What is
shocking is that it not made mandatory for all DUI offenders to have it installed in
their vehicles.
Although, DUI offenders are easier targets for repeating drunk drink, we as part
of the college student group, also understand how easy it is for one to make a
bad decision and decided to drink and drive. We have all been in multiple social
outgoing that involves alcohol and toward the end of the night, a concerning
friend would ask, “are you okay to drive?” Most of us, drunk or not would simply
answer “yes” based on gut feeling. This answer and decision did not always
come about based on one’s judgment if he or she is suitable for driving (Even
though his judgment may have already been impaired), but coming from multiple
other reasons, such as not wanting to show as a low tolerance drinker, not
wanting to hassle a friend to driver them home and/or the trouble to go pick up
their car in the next morning. These reason might seems dumb and insignificant
for any readers but truths are these are what goes through ones mind at those
moments and decided to start that car and drive.
We want to establish clearly that we are not against drinking, assuming that
you’re at the appropriate age, but we do have a strong stance in against drunk
driving when you’re not only putting yourself but everyone else on the road in
danger. Therefore, we are motivate to design and create a device that is
portable, easy access and accurate to help make the street and highway safe
1.3 Goals and Objectives
The Voog Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock System will be designed and developed
to significantly decrease the annual fatality rate due to drunk driving. Although
this is not a completely new idea, it is our goal to make it more acceptable to not
only to the current government departments that utilize it, but to make it more
acceptable towards the general public. We will be designing our unit with these
following objectives in mind, accuracy, portable, physically appealing and most
importantly at a reasonable cost.
By professional studies and supported by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk
Driving), by just installing Ignition Interlock System on just individuals who have
previously convicted of Driving Under Influence, we can decrease the drunk
driving fatality rate by over 64%. Imagine a system that is developed can deliver
a different message to the general public and make it acceptable to them.
Different perceptions of the ignition interlock system, a standard of public safety
at the same time without taking away the beauty of one’s vehicle interior. As a
result we will design our Voog Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock System to be a
wireless unit. Voog will be consisting of a handheld unit and a control box. With
no wires attached to the handheld unit, user can easily storage it in their glove
compartment of the vehicle or take it with them in their bags or purses to use it as
a standalone unit at various social functions. The control box unit will be serving
as a communication hub between the hand unit and the vehicle’s internal relay.
The control box will also be hidden behind the vehicle’s dashboard, this way we
can eliminate the unnecessary wires and can make significantly more appealing
to the general public.
Accuracy of the breath-analyzing unit to detect alcohol content in the blood will
be core of the entire design. It is understood that no matter how many features
our unit possess and how appeal it might be, with it being under the acceptable
accuracy level, not a single person will adopt it voluntarily or involuntarily. In
order to achieve the desirable level accuracy, we will explore all option of sensor
choices ranging from traditional semi-conductor sensor to intuitive design of
multiple sensor designs and to the highest industry standard, fuel cell sensors.
Without doubt, ultimately cost will determine if auto manufacturers and the
federal government would want to adopt these systems. We have kept cost in
mind throughout our entire design process, from adopting the existing
mouthpieces available in the market to achieve a lower cost than reconstructing
our unique mouthpieces at a higher cost to exploring the option of utilizing multi
semi conductor sensors instead of the much higher cost fuel cell sensors.
With all our goals and objective in mind, we are motivated to develop a
competitive and functional Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock System that we are
sure will make a difference in saving lives and preventing drunk driving.
1.4 Comparison of Existing Products
Within our scope of research, it is not common for any breathalyzer ignition
interlock system to have the hand-held unit working independently as a
standalone unit as well, therefore throughout the duration of our research and
comparison, we will be reflecting our design with two existing products, Ignition
Interlock system and hand-held standalone breathalyzer unit.
Breath alcohol testers, also known as breathalyzers and many other names are
generally labeled into two separate categories, personal and professional.
Although, its broken into categories, they share the same functions of breathe analysis,
a common method of testing for blood-alcohol content in use today.
Breathalyzers estimate the concentration of alcohol in the body by measuring the
amount of alcohol exhaled from the lungs. The difference between two are, most
obvious, the price. A lower-end professional breath-analyzing device can easily
cost up to $250-$500 dollars as oppose to a personal testing unit at $40-$50
dollars. As we can all imagine the additional difference in functionality have the
direct connection of its high increase in price.
Personal breathalyzers can be purchased in the local store or online and are
used by the general public. Many of us can imagine the use of it is nowhere near
the necessary level compared to the huge percentage in drunk driving fatality
currently in the nation. Personal breathalyzers are more physically appeal to
general consumers, smaller in size for ease to carry around and mentioned
above, lower in cost.
Professional breathalyzers are usually only available for sale online. The general
public can purchase a professional level Breathalyzer if they wish. The law
enforcement, research labs, professional organizations and little by the public
generally use professional breathalyzers. Although some of the low-end
professional breathalyzers still use semi-conductive sensors. At a higher price,
professional breathalyzers employ a higher accuracy sensor, newest fuel cell
sensor technology, designed and manufactured in England. A comparison is
provided in Table 1.4.
Price Range
Small (hand-held)
Small and Large
Sensor Accuracy
Detection Range
+/- 0.01% at 0.02% BAC
.00 - .40% BAC
+/- 0.005 at 0.050% B.A.C.
Air Flow Check
DOT Approved
0.000 - 0.400% BAC
Table 1.4-1. Comparison of existing breathalyzer products.
Existing Hand-held Breathalyzer Unit
The AlcoHawk Slim is a basic entry-level consumer breathalyzer that employs a
folding mouthpiece and slim, portable design. This unit, upon receiving air
samples from the end user will gives an estimate of blood alcohol content. The
Slim is equipped with a clear digital display. The portability is emphasized in this
unit, therefore, the AlcoHawk Slim has been upgraded to use a folding
mouthpiece design for maximum portability yet also has the ability to attach
disposable mouthpiece. Figure 1.4-1 provides a visual of our first purchase.
Figure 1.4-1 (AlcoHawk Slim) Reprinted with permission from
For a low-end consumer breathalyzer, AlcoHawk Slim also employs an electric
air pressure sensor to ensure a deep lung sample is obtained. This is normally a
feature utilized by a professional unit. This feature combined with a low price is a
great value hand held unit. A summary of specifications is provided in Table 1.42.
AlcoHawk Slim Specifications
5 x1.75 x 0.75 inches (L*W*H)
ABS Impact Resistant Material
2 AA batteries
Battery Life
100-300 tests
Sensitive Semiconductor
Blowing Time
5 Seconds
Response Time
4-5 Seconds
Digital Display
2 Digits (.00%B.A.C.)
Sensor Accuracy
+/- 0.01% at 0.02% BAC
Detection Range
.00 - .40% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration)
Air Sample
5 Second Deep Lung Sample
DOT Approved Web Bath Simulator
Single Button
1 Year
Table 1.4-2. AlcoHawk Slim Specifications
The new 2010 BACtrack S80 Pro is a professional breathalyzer unit that just hit
the market. It’s capable of estimating of blood alcohol content (BAC) in a short
period of time. The S80 Pro is selected choice for law enforcement, hospitals,
clinics, businesses, and for general public use when high accuracy is required.
Figure 1.4-2 shows a detail drawing of S80. A summary of specifications is
provided in Table 1.4-3.
Figure 1.4-2 S80 Breathalyzer, image provided with permission from
BACtrack S80 Pro Specifications
2.3 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
4.8 oz (136g)
2 AA batteries
Battery Life
Approximately 1500 tests
Xtend™ Electro-chemical fuel
Blowing Time
5 Seconds
Response Time
3 Seconds
Digital Display
4 Digits (0.000%B.A.C.)
Sensor Accuracy
+/- 0.005 at 0.050% B.A.C.
Detection Range
0.000 - 0.400% BAC (Blood
Alcohol Content)
Air Sample
5 Second Deep Lung Sample
1 Year
Table 1.4-3. BACtrack S80 Pro Specifications.
S80 Pro's employs the Xtend Fuel Cell Sensing Technology, which leads
numerous great features. First, the S80 Pro can provides up to 4 digit test results
that can pickup trace amounts of alcohol – for example, 0.002 %BAC. This
certainly demonstrates its sensitivity and its accuracy. It is most helpful in zerotolerance environments where subjects may have had only a small amount of
alcohol. Second, the S80 Pro extends the range of accuracy all the way from
0.000 – 0.400. With a linear response to measured alcohol, the S80 Pro can
provide more accurate results over the complete range of alcohol concentrations.
To fulfill the expectation of a professional testing unit, S80 has an extended
sensor life along with useable battery life as compared to standard
semiconductor-based breathalyzers, and will require less frequent service and
maintenance and up to 1500 test pet set of AA batteries.
Existing Ignition Interlock System
Although the technology has mature, the demand and the popularity of ignition
interlock systems remain low. As a result only a handful of companies are
providing their own product and installation services nationwide.
SSI-1000 by Smart Start Inc. is a common grade level ignition interlock system
available in the market. SSI-1000 is a small, convenient size unit with numeric
keypad to allow easy recall of appointment date and time. It is built in a modular
components form to allow an easy installation and parts replacement when
necessary. Additional features include programmable options to restrict drive
times and built-in microchip to record all test results, engine starts and stop,
disconnections and tampering for later review.
LIFESAFER FC-100 is currently the most commonly offered ignition interlock
system, accounted for over 50% of all nationwide installation by small and big
providers. The FC100 also utilizes Electro-Chemical fuel cell technology, which
means that it is Alcohol Specific and this translates to fewer false positive
readings. Additional specifications for FC 100 is provided below in Table 1.4-3.
Table 1.4-3 FC 100 specifications table
1.5 System Overview
The Breathalyzer ignition interlock system will be consisting of three major
components, the hand-held unit, control box and the interlock system. The
system is designed to operate, such that the control box will request validation
from the hand-held unit. After confirmed validation, user will be signified to
proceed with providing breath sample to the sensing unit of the hand unit. The
hand unit will then determine the user’s blood alcohol level content. If it fall below
0.04, user will be allow to start the vehicle. Contrary, if user’s blood level is
reported to be over 0.04, interlock unit will not allow the ignition of the vehicle and
user will be ask to perform a re-test.
If the user succeeds in passing the initial breathe test. User will be ask to do a retest as the vehicle is in motion as a way to verify it is the correct driver who has
initiated the test and is currently driving. If the driver fails to pass the rolling retest, he/she will be instructed to pull over immediately by flashing lights and
buzzers. The system will not be shut off until it detects users has kill the ignition.
The control box will log this occurrence indicating the end user’s abuse of the
system and putting him/her self in danger. Shown below is a flow chart of the
system overview, Figure 1.5-1.
Figure 1.5-1 System Overview Flow Diagram
2. Research and Requirements
2.1 Platform
The chosen platform for development is a reflection of the design team’s interest
in new avenues of work-study. Upon conception of this project, it was necessary
to identify a target platform upon which the design could be implemented. One
option here is to design an add-on hardware sensing unit that can be attached to
a pre-existing hardware and software platform, limiting the design to the available
resources offered by the particularly hardware/software vendor. The other option
involves a completely custom hardware and software design from the ground up,
allowing for the greatest level of flexibility in the process of planning and product
realization, while increasing both the quantity and cost of hardware acquisition,
as well as requiring additional time to design a complete interface for the product.
2.1.1 iPhone
The iPhone is an internet enabled smartphone made by Apple Inc. Due to its
elegant design and multimillion dollar advertising campaign, the iPhone is one of
the most widely owned, and as such, most widely developed for mobile hardware
and software platforms in the world. Up to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009, Apple
has shipped almost 34 million hardware units across the globe, and their
percentage of the smartphone market has been rapidly increasing since
inception. Part of this success is due to the software development community
Apple has cultured around its flagship device. Providing a stable operating
system, robust development tools for the Objective-C programming language, as
well as limiting the ability and quantity of erroneous software routines on the
device, software development for the iPhone has evolved into a lucrative
consumer business, driven by users demand for convenient applications and
In 2009, Apple released a set of hardware interface specifications and a
programming interface to allow iPhone software to run with third-party hardware,
thus opening up opportunities for custom hardware applications to use the
iPhone as their complete development platform. Using the interface connector at
the bottom of the iPhone, the hardware can be powered directly from the iPhone
battery, and can use additional lines on the connector for application
communications using a USB interface. This would reduce the hardware
development requirements down to nothing more than a simple communications
and power interface that has been pre-defined by Apple, connecting with
software written for the iPhone operating system using Objective-C. Utilizing the
iPhone as a development platform would also offer the advantage of being able
to use hardware integrated into the phone’s design, such as the built in digital
camera, GPS location tracking, and mobile internet access, for the purpose of
developing a more robust and attractive design solution.
2.1.2 Android Operating System
Android is a mobile operating system and development platform, originally
created by Android Inc., later acquired by Google Inc., and now jointly developed
under the banner of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of hardware,
software, and telecommunications companies. It is based on the Linux operating
system, a platform used worldwide throughout a wide range of embedded
electronics, personal computers, and computer mainframes and servers.
Providing a stable foundation for software development, Android is completely
open source, meaning the software can be modified and changed to the desires
of any hardware or software developer, as long as those changes that are made
are also offered to the open source development community.
In order to simplify software development on the platform, as well as maintain a
specific level of order and stability, the Android platform only allows software
developers to write their code using a managed system in the Java programming
language, controlling system level functionality using a set of Java libraries
developed by Google. When describing software development under a managed
system, better defined as “managed code”, this document refers to the
differentiation in code that runs under the supervision of a platform virtual
machine. The advantages of this approach are that the software can be
developed at a higher level of abstraction from the basic system level
commands, while providing additional security through programming limitations
imposed by the virtual machine. The disadvantages are that the developed code
is compiled into machine bytecode to be translated by the virtual machine,
instead of the platform hardware, thus increasing program overhead.
As of this document’s date of publication, there are over a dozen different
hardware devices that can operate the Android operating system, meaning a
large and relatively accessible target market with a variety of different
implementation possibilities. Because the platform is strictly speaking a software
definition, an add-on hardware device would be limited to the physical interface
of whatever specific hardware platform Android was operating on, utilizing
standard communication protocols such as RS-232 or USB for data, and a
varying number of power options depending on the unit in question.
2.1.3 Custom Hardware/Software Platform
While the accessibility and stability of pre-defined hardware and software
platforms cannot be overlooked, a custom solution designed from the ground up
offers the greatest level of design flexibility and choice. Being able to choose the
programmable system logic, power delivery system, communication protocols
and interfaces, as well as the complete physical appearance of the device,
provides a design team the most dynamic range of variation in delivering a
potential end-user solution. The hardware can be designed to conform to strict
physical size limitations, while providing a determinate level of functionality both
to maximize the quality of use-case scenarios for the operator and to maintain an
upper bound on the per-unit cost of the device. Selection of individual hardware
can also be a function of the software development group’s comfort level with
particular development tools and programming languages, thus reducing the
magnitude of any potential learning curves encountered during the product
design phase.
2.1.4 Platform Conclusions
After evaluating potential candidates for the hardware and software design
platform, it has been determined that a custom solution would be the most
optimum path towards product realization. In evaluating the iPhone platform,
hurdles were discovered in the process of trying to acquire hardware schematics
and resources for developing third party hardware, namely the requirement to
sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement as an incorporated company. Additionally, the
development tools to publish software for the iPhone require an expensive
subscription to Apple’s developer network, which can only be circumvented by
breaking the software restrictions on a particular hardware unit, which would void
the warranty. While the Android platform produces no such limitations for the
software development, the hardware development must overcome the obstacle
of non-standard physical interface across compatible devices that operate on
Android. The implementation of the device on pre-designed hardware also limits
its usability to individuals who already own one of those particular devices,
thereby limiting the market potential for the device. Factor in the costs of
acquiring the smartphone hardware on which to develop our end solution, and
the initial prototyping costs are approximately equivalent across all three potential
platform candidates, lending the advantage to the one that offers the greatest
2.2 System Logic
The system level design for both the handheld breathalyzer unit, as well as the
automobile control unit, calls for the use of programmable logic. This is
necessary for the successful interpretation of output signals from the sensors,
translating user input into device functionality, displaying information related to
the current state of the device, as well as communication with other devices in
the system. The choice for system logic should allow for the development of
complex algorithms to convert sensor data into useful output that can be
interpreted by the operator, as well as the ability to interface with devices
deemed necessary for the computational tasks required. Such devices would
include an Analog-to-Digital converter for decoding a continuous electrical signal
into a discrete digital value, a serial UART (Universal Asynchronous
Receiver/Transmitter) for both intra-device communications as well as potential
inter-device communications with an output display, and any combination of
push-buttons and LEDs used for device initialization and status messages.
Based on these requirements, there are several candidate devices that will be
evaluated for their use in both devices. While it would be possible to utilize a
combination of different devices, based on the individual requirements of each
hardware unit, it would be advantageous for the selection of a single device to be
made in order to simplify both the hardware and software design aspects of this
2.2.1 Application-Specific Integrated Circuit
Known more commonly by its acronym, an ASIC is an integrated circuit designed
for a very specific purpose, as opposed to a general purpose processor designed
for a variety of computational tasks. ASICs have the advantages of being
drastically lower in power consumption than comparable logic devices, as well as
having a significantly lower per-unit cost when factoring out the costs of ramping
up production of the chips. For any mass produced, complex digital device,
ASICs offer reduction to both production costs and system design complexity, as
there are fewer components to be concerned about supplying power and
communications for, and as such, fewer points of potential failure in the design.
Using manufacturer-specific tools, the process of designing an ASIC is usually an
iteration over the following steps.
1. Design Engineers begin with a non-formal understanding of the functions
required for the ASIC, usually going through a period of Requirements
Analysis to determine the level of functionality necessary
2. An initial design of the ASIC is created, using a Hardware Design
Language (HDL) to implement the necessary functional requirements for
the ASIC. This software is known as the Register-Transfer Level design.
3. The RTL design undergoes Functional Verification, where simulations of
device logic and functionality are conducted.
4. Logic Synthesis converts the RTL design into standard cells, or standard
collections of gate logic (2-input OR, AND, etc.), which are then
interconnected electrically. The result is known as the gate-level netlist.
5. The gate-level netlist is processed by software that routes and places the
logical cells into a specified area of the final proposed ASIC. It does this
using a set of Engineer-defined constraints, such as timing, power, and
heat, to determine the most optimum location for each cell.
6. A routing tool takes the gate-level netlist and the standard cells and
creates the mapping for electrical interconnection. The result is a physical
layout that can be passed on to a fabrication facility for production
7. Given a final design, a final simulation is conducted to determine that the
design will operate within the required parameters of timing, environment,
etc. The collection of final verification is called sign-off, and is the last step
before a design is released for fabrication
The end result is a design that is a globally-optimal realization of the product’s
logical requirements. For a production scale on the order of millions of units, a
well designed ASIC can drastically reduce costs of production for digital devices.
However, for initial prototyping of a design, ASIC design presents an
insurmountable cost hurdle. The standard NRE (Non-Recurring Engineering)
costs of ramping up the production of an ASIC can run into the millions of dollars,
making this path to product realization a failure, until such a point where
production can be justified over the number of units being constructed. This will
be a realizable solution if our product design is certified for mass production, and
as such is a valuable consideration for long-term product realization plans.
2.2.2 Field-Programmable Gate Array
FPGAs are a design solution that offers a better cost-compromise than ASICs,
while allowing for the complete customization of the logical hardware design. An
FPGA is an integrated-circuit designed to be programmed after it has been
manufactured (hence, the Field-Programmable aspect). This programming is
done using an HDL such as Verilog or VHDL, just like in the design of an ASIC.
An FPGA can be used to implement any logical function an ASIC can, however,
they offer the advantages of being programmable even after product release,
meaning any logical design flaws that are not caught in the final validation of the
product can be software hot-fixed later if need be. They also offer the advantage
of having an extremely low NRE compared to ASICs, but this is offset by the
drastic increase in per-unit cost of the pre-fabricated, programmable chips. An
FPGA would allow for the definition of system-level components that would
otherwise need to be handled by dedicated hardware, such as digital signal
processing for analog-to-digital conversion, Transistor-Transistor Logic for driving
segment displays, as well as synchronous and asynchronous serial
communications. Some example FPGA development platforms are identified in
the sections below. Altera Cyclone 2 FPGA
The potential for software development on an FPGA could easily be realized on
this variety of low power, low gate count FPGAs made by Altera. The Quartus II
software to design the gate logic using a hardware design language, such as
Verilog or VHDL, is available for free on the Altera website. Using a simple FPGA
breakout board, a circuit for operation and programming of the chip could be
designed with an Altera-supplied programming cable, as well as a power supply
offering select DC voltage supplies of 5v, 3.3v, and 1.5v.
Power consumption in an FPGA is a factor of the quantity of gates and logical
units that are utilized in the HDL design, so it would be impossible to make an
early evaluation of the device power consumption using an FPGA, however the
Cyclone2 has the advantage of being designed on a modern, 90nm process
technology, meaning its total power consumption with respect to other FPGA
solutions in the market, would be significantly low. Based on the size of the
breakout board for the FPGA by itself, as seen in Figure, a custom
designed PCB layout might be necessary in order to reduce space inside the
device enclosure. One consideration to make in the selection of this FPGA would
be the pre-generated core-logic devices provided by Altera for integration into the
FPGA. Notably, much development time could be saved with a predesigned
UART module that could be integrated and programmed into our design.
However, research has indicated that pre-written program logic is a luxury of
those developers who can spend more on the hardware development kit, and as
a project based on this chip will not benefit from such savings in time, due to a
priority for savings in cost.
Figure Altera Cyclone2 Breakout w/ actual size reference, reprinted
with permission from Xilinx Spartan 3E FPGA
Much like the other FPGA evaluated in this document, the Xilinx Spartan 3E is a
low power, user programmable FPGA. This FPGA requires a customized
designed power supply chain to provide the 1.5v, 2.5v, and 3.3v sources required
for operation
Figure demonstrates how this FPGA breakout chip is similar in size to
the Cyclone2 offering from Altera. However, the breakout board does not offer an
easy method of powering and programming the chip, so as a prototyping platform
Xilinx’s offering seems to be a bit more limited. Also much like the Cyclone2, the
Spartan 3E cannot have an approximate power consumption calculation made
until the logical design has been completed and tested, which makes planning for
any kind of power delivery fairly difficult. Xilinx provides a free development
software package for this chip called ISE Webpack, which allows for limited
software development on a select line of FPGAs. ISE is a widely used program,
with a good online support community, and is even used widely in educational
institutions for logical synthesis and testing, meaning the developers should
already have some familiarity with the development platform. The limitations of
the free development software are apparent however, as there are upper limits
on the size of the program code that can be synthesized and programmed into
this FPGA. Much like the Altera offering, Xilinx does not offer any pre-written
modules of basic hardware, such as a serial UART, for integration into a custom
digital design, thereby increasing the time and effort spent trying to get
communications established between different systems using this chip in their
Figure Xilinx Spartan 3E Breakout w/ actual size reference, reprinted
with permission from
2.2.3 Microcontroller
Microcontrollers are a programmable logic solution that provide a wide array of
embedded functionality. Essentially, they are an entire computer inside of a
single chip, providing reasonably accurate clock sources for timing, integrated
instruction RAM and program ROM, and an integrated CPU for mathematically
intensive operations. Microcontrollers are produced by several notable
manufacturers, and have a wide range of selectable options, such as additional
integrated components, communications buses, power consumption restraints,
as well as cost limits. The tools provided by the manufacturer offer the ability to
program the unit in either the machine assembly language, or a common high
level language such as C. Microcontrollers offer a lot of the positives relative to
both an FPGA, or an ASIC. The chips themselves are in fact a pre-designed
ASIC, offering a lot of features in a very small package, while consuming minimal
levels of power, at a reasonably low cost. With integrated program memory, they
offer a level of programmable functionality that while not allowing for custom
logical design at the hardware level, allows the microcontroller to be useful in a
wide variety of applications, albeit not nearly as fast for certain operations, such
as arithmetic and more intensive mathematical operations. Microchip PIC18
The PIC18F is a low cost microchip that displays an ideal brain for the portable
unit. The PIC18Fcharacteristics enhances the data accuracy with a 10-bit
Analog-to-Digital converter. This would give the system an accurate reading that
will be used to display the information, computation, and data transfer. The
choice of this microcontroller is weight out on the output of the sensor. If the
sensor reads out a bulky reading then microcontroller would need to have been
able supply enough resolution to gain precise reading. The memory for this IC is
very efficient as well. It tops out at 2kybytes of RAM, which is very sufficient for
the algorithms and also the logic computation for the design. This design will
need as much memory as possible to approximate the correct value given by the
sensor. Given that, there will be data being transferred from the sensor to the
PIC microcontroller and to the display. The memory will be imperative to
optimizing the system to run at its highest performance. Figure shows the
block diagram of the PIC18F.
Figure PIC18F2455 - Flash 28-pin High Performance Microcontroller
with USB block diagram, permission granted by Microchip.
An advantage to using this microcontroller would be that it has 1 Kbyte of
memory specifically dedicated for the USB buffer. Therefore, this allows this
sensor to be able to have a USB communication interface. PIC18F also
accompanies 256 bytes of EEPROM data memory. For the communications
interface, as spoken above, it has a USB pin and also a EUSART for a RS232,
RS485, and also a LIN serial interface. PIC18F allows this portable unit to run in
two communication interface, one being serial and the other USB. This would
expand on the difference ways to communicate with other peripherals systems,
storage devices, etc.
Since this portable unit will be low in power, this microcontroller would have a
great solution to. The PIC18F is a nanoWatt device that is sure to supply enough
cpu to the connecting devices. This device as well has unique power-managed
mode which can be effect the system in its performance. Since this device has
four timer modules, the timer1 oscillator, the current flows to an astonishing 1.1
micro amps with 32 khz, and controlling the voltage down to 2 volts. In sleep
mode current goes down to 0.1 micro amps and in idle mode the current flows
down to 5.8 micro amps. This device and family packages two capture, compare,
pulse-width modules.
The interesting fact about this particular PIC18F in regards to the pulse-width
module is that it creates 10 bit resolution output which will lead to an efficient way
to produce the result and also sample data. PIC18F has a programmable
brownout reset and low voltage detect circuits. Therefore, allowing the user to
assert what happens when a circuit is in low voltage mode. The PIC18F has
many different advantages but would be overkill as a microcontroller from a stand
not quite enough for the design needed to perform the task needed. Texas Instruments MSP430
The MSP430 series of microcontrollers by TI are recognized industry-wide as
being an ideal platform for any kind of embedded or sensor network design. They
are based on a low-power, 16-bit RISC microprocessor design, and carry a
feature rich set of characteristics ideal for a wide range of design purposes. A list
of features is as follows.
Low voltage power supply requirements (1.8 VDC – 3.6 VDC)
Internal clock frequency up to 16MHz
Universal Serial Interface, configurable as either I2C, SPI, or UART for
RS232 serial communications
Available Analog-to-Digital converters with 10/12/16 bits of resolution
Two 16-bit timers
Low power modes provide minimal power draw in standby, as little as
Another very appealing feature of the MSP430 is the availability of inexpensive,
easily configurable development boards that can actually be inserted into a real
design, and allow for easy programming and debug from any PC with USB. The
EZ430 development kits also come in a variety of flavors, offering MSP430
microcontrollers with a variety of features, including one that offers an integrated
2.4GHz transceiver for wireless communications with other similarly configured
Figure shows how the small board containing the digital I/O lines,
wireless communications hardware, and the microcontroller, can be easily
removed from the USB Debug module, and placed directly into our design. The
EZ430-RF2500 variant would simplify our design by offering a wireless
communications interface between the portable breathalyzer unit and the
automobile control box. This would reduce the amount of physical design
necessary, as we would no longer require a physical connection between the
units for the purposes of communication. A turnkey wireless solution would also
serve to reduce the time spent in hardware communications debug, since the
wireless transceiver and chip antenna have already been tested and validated by
Texas Instruments upon arrival. Also available with this development kit is a
battery board that allows for an easy mobile power implementation, before a
more robust solution can be designed.
Figure TI EZ430-RF2500, reprinted with permission from Texas
2.2.4 System Logic Conclusions
Based upon a thorough evaluation of potential solutions for programmable
system logic, our conclusion is that a Microcontroller would be the most optimum
solution for our design. Compared to either an FPGA or a custom ASIC, the
Microcontroller offers the lowest possible NRE, while maintaining a high level of
performance and programmable flexibility. Utilizing a Microcontroller with a
particular subset of integrated components would allow us to reduce the duration
of both the software and hardware development cycles for this design
2.3 Voltage Regulator
The power requirements of both the portable and car-mounted units will be
determined by the various sub components of each major component. However,
there are basic specifications which will determine the design and selection of
components for the power system. One of the needs of this system will be in
voltage regulation.
One assumption of the design is that the input power will be at least roughly
regulated. As the primary source of power for the devices will be from the 12V
rail of a car’s electrical system, the power should be somewhat regulated.
However, it would be poor design to depend heavily on this. Not all vehicles
output a constant and regulated 12V at all times. A vehicle in good condition will
have a nominal 12V output from the battery. However, a weak battery, defective
fuses, weak alternator, corroded electrical system, or several other concerns, can
create conditions of fluctuating voltage. This can often be seen on a vehicle with
a weak battery; the interior lights will flicker as the electrical system is essentially
running directly from the power output of the alternator, rather than from the
stable output of a healthy car battery being charged from the alternator.
In addition, some simple voltage regulation will be used on the portable unit, in
order to protect against any unexpected voltage transients. The battery in the
portable unit will also serve as a sort of voltage stabilizer, as it should output a
constant voltage within a certain, acceptable range as long as the battery is an
acceptable level of charge. However, wide variances in input voltage could be
dangerous as it could allow the battery to discharge acid, explode, or catch on
fire. Since this device will be used by the general public, as well as likely an
intoxicated individual, basic safety is an important concern.
Since one of the objectives of the overall project is to reduce cost, this concern
also extends to the voltage regulation portion of the circuits. This will be separate
from the charging circuit. The charging circuits will be designed with the
assumption of a regulated voltage input. The basic function of the voltage
regulator for this implementation is summarized in Figure 2.3.1-1.
2.3.1 Requirements
These regulators should be able to reliably function without failing or operating
below a desirable range, since the voltage regulators are essential for the basic
operation of the entire unit (both the control/base unit and the portable unit). They
should be able to accept an input from 5V all the way up to 20V, in order to
account for any possible temporary over voltages on the line. This is a realistic
possibility both in the vehicle and in the portable unit.
They should be able to output usable voltages. Since most logic operates at
3.3Vdc, this must be able to be output by a voltage regulator. In addition, there
will be additional voltage requirements. Namely, a 5Vdc output capability must be
present in order to account for devices that require the higher voltage. Despite
this, it must also be as compact as possible, since space it as at a premium in
both units, but especially in the portable unit.
Related to the size restraints, the regulators should not be taking up a significant
amount of room, since there are many other devices and circuits present in both
units. As such, they should be as compact as possible, as mentioned. In order to
accomplish this, they should be as simple as possible. In general, the more
complex the solution, the more space it will take up, as well as introduce points of
failure which would disable the rest of the devices. As such, the regulators should
ideally have the minimum number of components.
They also need to be low in cost. Since there will be other components that will
cost more, these regulators cannot take up a large portion of the budget. As
such, an ideal price would be below $5 for each regulator, bought in individual
quantity. In addition, given the overall requirement of reducing cost as much as
possible in order to reduce costs on a possible production version of this device,
low cost regulators would be ideal.
The last requirement is one of temperature resilience. Given the wide variety of
temperatures experienced in an automotive application, the regulators must be
able to withstand such stresses. Assuming winter in the coldest climates, the
minimum temperature should be -40° C. If a vehicle parked outside in the hottest
of summers is assumed, the upper bound of the temperature range should be
74° C.
While the temperature requirement is stated, it should also be taken into account
whether the temperature rating of each regulator is for storage or for operation.
Since the device may be stored in a vehicle, both scenarios may require the
forementioned temperature range to be met.
Figure 2.3.1-1: Basic flowchart of voltage regulator function
2.3.2 Zener-Diode Based Regulation
The first option is one of the simplest. It takes advantage of the properties of the
Zener diode in order to produce an output of constant voltage. Essentially, the
diode would be placed in parallel with the load (output), thus providing the load
with a constant voltage provided the diode is chosen appropriately with respect to
its breakdown voltage. This configuration can be seen in Figure 2.3.2-1.
Figure 2.3.2-1: The configuration of the Zener-diode based voltage regulator
circuit is seen here. Reproduced with permission from
The advantages of this circuit are that it is cheap and simple to implement. In
addition, it can be customized to a variety of voltage levels by simply changing
the current-limiting resistor and the Zener diode used. It is also compact, and
should be able to withstand the various requirements previously specified.
The disadvantages are that due to its simplicity, it offers no additional protection
against short circuit current or excessive levels of voltage. Zener diodes can be
destroyed if their maximum voltage and/or current tolerances are exceeded,
rendering the circuit useless. A significant disadvantage of this circuit is its
inefficiency. Any additional voltage simply gets turned into current and shunted to
ground. While this produces the desired output, it is not an efficient use of
available power.
In addition, it offers no additional advanced protections, such as short circuit
protection across the output terminals. While this is not a requirement, it would
be an element of good design to make as robust as possible a solution within the
given cost, size, and implementation restraints.
2.3.3 Voltage Divider Based Solution Using Resistors
Another simple option would be to use a basic voltage divider with resistors. It
would use the well known method of dividing voltages in order to convert 12Vdc
to 5Vdc usable by the circuit. This design is also perhaps the most reliable.
However, it offers no additional regulation – any fluctuation in the input voltage
would be immediately realized at the output voltage proportionally, according to
the ratio of resistors used. In addition, the additional voltage is dissipated in the
resistors, resulting in power inefficiencies and excess heat.
2.3.4 Pre-Built 5Vdc Regulator Circuit Boards
A more robust solution would be to use a professionally designed and assembled
voltage regulation board. While there are many such solutions, one possible
solution is a Dual Output 12 & -5 Voltage DC Regulator Kit produced by EID
Corporation. An image of the board can be seen in Figure 2.2.4-1. It is capable
of accepting 14 to 24 Vac or (+/-) 14 to 24 Vdc input. It then outputs two
regulated voltages of 12 Vdc and -5 Vdc.
Figure 2.3.4-1: The Dual Output 12 & -5 Voltage DC Regulator Kit produced by
EID Corporation. Permission granted by EID Corp.
The primary advantage of this board is that it is a fully packaged solution which
only needs to be connected to the circuit with no further design considerations. In
addition, it can accept AC voltage, although that is an extraneous capability, as a
vehicle’s electrical system is completely DC after the car battery. Such
capabilities for the voltage regulator are simply not needed. It does still offer a
satisfactory amount of voltage flexibility while still being able to keep a constant
output. As such, it does a better job regulating the output voltage and not just
adjusting it in proportion to the input.
The largest disadvantage to this board is its cost. At approximately $40 for the
board, it becomes a significant cost and exceeds the cost target set in the
requirements. A cheaper option would be to buy a bare PCB board of this circuit,
and to purchase and install the components itself. However, even the cost for the
PCB itself is $18 – six times over the upper limit of the cost target. As far as size,
exact specifications are not provided by the manufacturer. However, it appears
this board is designed more for lab use than for use in prototyped products.
Given the size restrictions of our project, it would not be a wise use of space to
dedicate so much space to a single function of a single subsystem.
2.3.5 LM317 Adjustable Voltage Regulator
The LM317 offers a voltage regulation option unlike the ones previously looked
at. It is a package that can output a regulated voltage from 1.25Vdc to 37Vdc,
adjustable by applying a reference voltage to the third lead. It also has a
maximum current output of 1.5A, which should be sufficient for the purposes of
the other components on both the portable and car-based units.
The primary advantage of this unit is that it is a compact and complete package.
It has the ability to accept a wide variety of positive input voltages and output a
steady voltage. It also offers short circuit protection at the output leads, as well as
several other important protections. In addition, it is low cost ($1.95), and
compact to a sufficient degree.
The disadvantages are small. Reliability is a concern, as any failure cannot be
repaired as easily as with earlier circuits. With this unit, it does essentially act as
a black box – requiring replacement of the entire unit. However, due to cost, this
is not a large disadvantage. Another disadvantage is the ability to adjust the
voltage output. While this could be seen as an advantage, it becomes a
disadvantage for the purposes of our project due to the addition of cost and
complexity. A heatsink may be required depending on the eventual power
requirements of the entire circuit.
2.3.6 LD1117V33 3.3Vdc Voltage Regulator
This is very similar to the LM317 previously discussed, with the exception of a
fixed output voltage. No built-in adjustable output is available with this package. It
is capable of accepting input voltages up to 15Vdc. The maximum output current
is 800mA. Given the fact that most likely, logic components will be supplied by
this regulator, an 800mA maximum current output should suffice. If necessary, a
heatsink may be used to increase reliability for the regulator under heavy load.
It offers all the advantages of the LM317 while offering a lower cost ($0.88) due
to the lack of built-in output voltage adjustability. However, the The LD1117
series offers a variety of fixed voltages. The V33 is the 3.3Vdc version. The
temperature tolerance is also acceptable at -40°C to 150°C for storage (a likely
scenario as the device idles in its environment before being used). The circuit to
implement the device is shown in Figure 2.2.6-1.
Figure 2.2.6-1: Configuration of the LM1117V33 as a fixed-output voltage
regulator. Copyright STMicroelectronics. Used with permission.
As mentioned previously, size is a concern for this project. The compact size of
this unit is a very attractive quality, as it allows for much more efficient use of the
available space on both PCBs. In addition, the low cost allows for multiple
application points on the board in order to design a higher quality power supply.
2.3.7 TL780-05 5Vdc Voltage Regulator
This regulator IC is similar to the LM1117V33, except that it offers a fixed output
of 5Vdc. It also offers the desired elements of basic power protection, including
short circuit protection across the output terminals. Depending on the final
implementation of the project, it may be desirable to utilize the TL780-05 in
addition to the LM1117V33, in order to provide regulated 5Vdc and 3.3Vdc.
Although many circuit ICs may be able handle up to 5V, it may not be desirable
to be running components at their upper tolerance, especially as a major
consideration of this project is its long term reliability and accuracy. As such, it
may still be necessary to use the 3.3Vdc regulator in addition to this 5Vdc
Size, temperature, and input data are similar to the LM1117V33. As such, they
will not be repeated. One possible implementation is straightforward, as shown in
Figure 2.2.7-1. Other configurations can allow the output voltage to be adjusted
away from its fixed 5V; however that should not be necessary for this project.
Figure 2.3.7-1: TL780-05 Fixed-output voltage regulator implementation
diagram. Reproduced with permission from Texas Instruments.
2.3.8 Voltage Regulator Comparison
Each discussed circuit has its own advantages and disadvantages. The specifics
of these properties were discussed in each section. Given the requirements of
the voltage regulator, the LM1117 and TL780-05 is the best fit. It has a good
temperature range, small size, simplicity in implementation, and can accept a
relatively wide range of voltage input while outputting a constant 3.3Vdc or 5Vdc,
which should be sufficient for the other components on the boards. Both units will
have voltage regulators on their respective boards.
The portable unit will use a voltage regulator to ensure voltage coming from the
fixed unit is indeed regulated and acceptable for the battery. The portable unit will
use a voltage regulator to ensure stable power to its own circuit. A tabular
summary of the overall comparison is available in Table 2.2.8-1.
Less than
Zener Diode
Fixed to diode
<1 Week
Voltage Divider
<1 Week
Fixed to 12V
and 5V
2-3 Weeks
LM 317
Adjustable to
1-2 Weeks
3.3V Fixed
1-2 Weeks
5V Fixed
1-2 Weeks
Table 2.3.8-1: Comparison of voltage regulators
2.4 Power & I/O Interface
Since one of the overall design requirements of this project is to connect the
portable unit to the base unit for both charging the battery integrated into the
portable unit and data transfer, a means of connecting both units must be
considered. While two separate connections could be used, it would be
inconvenient, would add part count, and would create needless complexity.
Given the fact that this will not require a large amount of high speed data
transfer, nor massive power transfer, a simple, integrated connector should be
There are many options for such a connector, but it would be the most
straightforward to use an existing option that can support both power and data.
Essentially, there must be at least two data transfer lines (receive/transmit), and
two power lines (V+/V-). In addition, this connector must be of a reasonable size,
given the small portable unit. It must also be able to withstand the physical
stresses placed on it, as well as a long life (high number of duty cycles). Of
course, it should also be easy for the user to use, especially in the case that the
user may be intoxicated.
2.4.1 USB
This is a popular, widely-used connection format used in many consumer
electronic devices. It is four pins, and has high availability for both connectors
and cables. In addition, it is proven and reliable to be able to withstand both
stresses and many repeated uses. For this purpose, it is assumed the
microcontroller has native USB. If not, conversion chips would have to be used;
this would increase complexity and cost, as well as add possible points of failure
for debugging the circuit. However, it is also a connection format many
nontechnical people recognize, and one for which replacement cables may be
bought easily at many stores. For this purpose, a female USB Type B connector
(shown in Figure 2.4.1-1) would be used on the portable unit end, while a female
USB Type A connector (shown in Figure 2.4.1-2) would be used on the base unit
end. They would require a cable to be connected together.
However, one aspect that has to be taken into account is the need for a cable.
This is just another piece that must be carried by the user in their vehicle. In
addition, it also creates a cable that must be present in the car’s cabin area,
between units. This could create an inconvenience for the user and possible
safety hazard depending on the mounting point of the base unit.
Figure 2.4.1-1: Female USB
Type B connector. Reproduced
with permission granted by
Figure 2.4.1-2: USB female Type A
connector pin arrangement. View is
directly into the mating opening of the
connector. Reproduced with permission
2.4.2 Serial (RS232)
Another option would be to use a direct serial interface between the devices.
Many devices, especially more industrial electronic devices, often use a RS232compliant serial interface. It would also retain the advantages of the USB;
namely, a standardized interface with a standardized, easily obtainable cable. It
also offers a good amount of proven reliability for long term use. In addition, it
has the additional advantage of being able to be screwed in for a positive lock
from cable to device.
However, the connector (female connector shown in Figure 2.4.2-1) and cable
are not as compact as other connection methods, and if the user is intoxicated, it
can be difficult to secure the cable and screw in the securing screws to the
connector. This can create a situation where the connection may be severed
unexpectedly (since the DB9 connector has no self-locking ability), causing
errors between microcontrollers and frustrating the user. However, it is a
connection which would make connection to a technician’s computer easier, for
troubleshooting, updates, or reprogramming the unit for any reason.
Figure 2.4.2-1: The DB9 female connector for use with RS232 serial.
Reproduced with permission of
2.4.3 Non-Standard Connector
Give the user of standard connectors and communication protocols one concern
is that the units are exposed to several hazards. The first is the issue of device
security. The devices have to be secured against tampering. While there will be
electronic safeguards against such tampering, an additional layer of security can
also be offered by a non-standard connector and/or a non-standard
communication protocol. In addition, the user may attempt to interface or power
the units in a way for which the units were not designed. As such, it would be
possible for the user to damage various components of the units, such as the
battery and logic circuits. This could result in permanently disabling the unit, thus
rendering the user’s vehicle inoperable. One such example is the connector
shown in Figures 2.4.3-1 and 2.4.3-2. A custom cable would have to be
fabricated to support this connector.
Figure 2.4.3-1: Series 678 5-pin male
connector. Reprinted with Permission
Figure 2.4.3-2: Series 678 5-pin
female connector. Reprinted with
Permission from
These connectors are manufactured and distributed by binder-USA. The series
678 connector offers a bayonet locking nut, high cycle life, and in this
configuration, five available pins. This would require the requirement of at least
four pins. The bayonet locking ability creates a more positive lock, which means
that the data and power connection will be secure. While this is not a standard
connector, it is a connector available from binder-USA’s catalog. Thus, it is not a
completely custom connector. However, it is not commonly available, and thus,
offers the advantage of a simple layer of additional security.
2.4.4 RJ-45 (Out of Spec)
Another option is to use a standard RJ-45 connector. However, given the
complexity of Ethernet networking protocol for the relatively simple uses of this
project, it is not necessary to utilize the proper protocols. These connectors could
be run “out of spec,” essentially, using them for the connector itself and not
necessary for the associated protocol.
This type of arrangement provides the best of both scenarios. Not only does it
provide a standardized connector, thus reducing costs for the manufacturer, but it
also provides security in the sense that one cannot simply interface with the unit
using a standard RJ-45 interface (for example, connecting their network-enabled
computer to either of the units). However, it will not provide physical security. Yet,
as mentioned before, it does have the advantage of easily available cables as
well. So if the user loses a cable, there is no need to purchase a proprietary
cable which would most likely be more expensive.
Nonetheless, it does fit many of the desired requirements. These connectors
offer eight pins, easily accommodating the four pins required. In addition, they
are proven as a popular networking connector. A dimensioned example of the
connector is available in Figure 2.4.4-1. They can support the high number of
duty cycles, and if the cable is equipped with a tab, also positively self-lock upon
connection, with easy connecting and disconnecting.
In addition, it would offer the possibility to more easily upgrade the design in the
future, by providing an interface that would still be used in the future. It could then
be changed to a proper Ethernet specification, such that a computer could be
more easily connected to the device in the field for data logging and
reprogramming purposes. However, as it is, this is not necessary, and this would
simply be used for the power and data lines without adhering to the Ethernet
Figure 2.4.4-1: RJ-45 8-pin connectors. Reproduced with permission of
2.4.5 USB (Out of Spec)
Another option would be to use USB connectors. While USB was discussed
earlier, this option would remove the standard USB communication protocol and
use it simply as a connector, similar to the “out of spec” usage of the RJ-45
connectors. In this case, there is another advantage – the cable could be
Rather than use a cable to connect the two units, possibly being a safety hazard
and also an inconvenience to the user, it would be more prudent to instead have
the portable unit directly dock to the base unit. To such an end, USB would be
ideal. As mentioned previously, it has the necessary durability and pin count to
be used for this arrangement.
The arrangement would be different than the previous USB section, however.
Instead of using a female USB Type B connector, the portable unit would utilize
the female USB Type A connector previously discussed. On the base unit end, a
USB male Type A connector (shown in Figure 2.4.5-1) would protrude from the
front of the unit. The portable unit could simply be placed on this connector,
mating the two connectors and creating a secured connection with no need for a
Figure 2.4.5-1: USB male Type A connectors. Reproduced with permission from
This arrangement would utilize all four pins. Although the physical arrangement
of the pin matrix is different in a Type B USB connector, the actual function of the
pins has not changed. As such, it will still be compatible. In addition, if a cable is
still desired, it can still be used, although a female Type A to male Type A cable
will have to be utilized, rather than the Type A to Type B cable.
2.4.6 Wireless
Another option would be to eliminate the wired connection altogether, and go
with a wireless standard. This would greatly simplify operation of the portable unit
and the base unit, as well as create fewer parts.
There are many options for implementing wireless into the portable and base
units. The simplest method would be to use some sort of method integrated with
a major part of the board and portable unit circuitry. The microcontroller would
most likely be the most likely part to be investigated for having integrated
wireless communications, if possible. Most notably, this will be the most compact
solution. This will be discussed in more detail in section 2.1. Power will still need
to be a consideration just for charging the battery, and will most likely use a
simple barrel jack interface.
2.4.7 Power & I/O Interface Comparison
Several options have been discussed. While each have their own advantages
and disadvantages, wireless would be the most ideal. Depending on which
protocol is utilized, it may also offer an additional layer of security by not allowing
the user to use a widely available standard to interface and compromise the
integrity of the device. The results of the comparison are summarized in Table
Extra logic?
Cost (appx)
Lead Time
FT232 Usb to
Serial converter
board = $28
$1.25+1.25+26 =
2 Weeks
Serial (RS232)
MAX232 (?) $1.95
$1.50+1.50+2 =
<1 Week
Semi - Custom
$4.64+ 3.55 =
1-2 Weeks
Ethernet (out of
$1.50x2 = $3
<1 Week
USB (out of
$1.25+1.25= 2.50
<1 Week
Dependent on
Dependent on
<1 Week
Table 2.4.7-1: Comparison of power and I/O interface options.
2.5 LEDs
There are many different types of LEDs that were researched; some of these
components were efficient, practical, and reasonable. Many others were
practicable but not reasonable for the Breathalyzer system design. For
researching on the one that would best suit our design, many factors were taken
into place. One being that this LED should provide enough light to light up in dark
areas. This means that the LED must operate between a wavelength 450 and
760 nm. Furthermore, there should be a correlation between the frequency and
current. This was taken into consideration for the reason that the LEDs would
draw a collective amount of current. One LED that was researched was the
BIPOLAR T-1 ¾ (5mm) from Fairchild Semiconductor™.
The BIPOLAR T model number MV5491A included two different frequencies
spectrums, red, which operated between 1.6V and 2.0V and green, which
operated at between 4V and 1.9 V. This specific LED had various characteristics
that would prove efficient for the Breathalyzer System design. There were many
different LEDs that were researched. Some of the common parameters that were
needed to get the correct LED for this project were low cost, low power,
sustainability, and size. These four characteristics would shape the design layout
for the LEDs aspect.
There are many different types of LEDs that were researched; some of these
components were efficient, practical, and reasonable. Many others were
practicable but not reasonable for the Breathalyzer system design. For
researching on the one that would best suit our design, many factors were taken
into place. One being that this LED should provide enough light to light up in dark
areas. This means that the LED must operate between a wavelength 450 and
760 nm. Furthermore, there should be a correlation between the frequency and
current. This was taken into consideration for the reason that the LEDs would
draw a collective amount of current. One LED that was researched was the
BIPOLAR T-1 ¾ (5mm) from Fairchild Semiconductor™.
The BIPOLAR T model number MV5491A included two different frequencies
spectrums, red, which operated between 1.6V and 2.0V and green, which
operated at between 4V and 1.9 V. This specific LED had various characteristics
that would prove efficient for the Breathalyzer System design. There were many
different LEDs that were researched. Some of the common parameters that were
needed to get the correct LED for this project were low cost, low power,
sustainability, and size. These four characteristics would shape the design layout
for the LEDs aspect.
The rating that characterized this as a prominent choice for the design was that
the MV5419A peak forward current and power dissipation. The size would be
well more than sufficient for our design which is shown in Figure As
mentioned before, implementing this LED on the Breathalyzer system design
would very effective mainly for the reason that it is low in cost, low in power, and
the size requirements will fit the design. Since this Breathalyzer system design
will be used in any occasion during the day this means that this LED should be
effective during any time period. Therefore, this will require an LED that will be
provide enough light to be seen in any time of weather. The advantage of having
this LED on the Breathalyzer system design is that even if the person is outside
in the cold of night and can’t see the LCD display, this light will indicate whether
the user is coherent enough to drive the vehicle.
Figure Spec sheet to show dimensions of LED. Reprinted with
permission granted by Fairchild Semiconductor.
Figure Spec sheet to peak absolute maximum ratings of LED.
Reprinted with permission granted by Fairchild Semiconductor.
There will be four sets of LEDs implemented for indicating the state of the person
level of alcohol consumption. On the hand held unit, there will be three LEDs
placed sequentially in a way to tell the level of comprehension state for driving.
The colors of the LEDs that will be used on the hand held unit will be green,
yellow, and red. On the control box unit, there will be one LED to determine if the
user is over the BAC level. The color of this LED will be red. The basic concept
use of the LEDs on the hand held unit is when the user takes a sample on the
Breathalyzer system; if the user has consumed enough alcohol to the point that
the displays reads 0.02 BAC or less on the hand held unit, then the green LED
will light up to indicate that the user is able to drive the car and is has not
consumed enough alcohol to affect his driving abilities.
If the user takes another sample and the displays a reading between 0.03 BAC to
0.07 BAC on the hand held unit, then the yellow LED will appear on. This yellow
LED on the hand held unit will indicate that the person has consumed alcohol
that it could potentially affect their ability to drive a vehicle. This doesn’t mean
that they can’t drive but they should take precaution when driving. The last LED
on the hand held unit that will be considered will be a red LED. If a person has
taking the breathalyzer system and has received a BAC of .08 or higher then the
red LED will be placed on. This red LED will indicate that the person has
consumed enough alcohol to affect their ability comprehend and also their ability
to drive a vehicle. This indicator will not go off until the user has taken a sample
and has received a reading of .08 or lower.
2.6 Software
The implementation of software for the Breathalyzer system design will have a
procedure with specific variables that will allow the system to work at an optimal
level. The solution to having this task completed will be highly concentrated in
software portion of the design. The software will create the back bone for
introducing a concept that determine which states are needed ensure that the
components are acting as they ought to. There are major rules that must apply to
a programmer when programming a device to interface with multiple devices. For
the Breathalyzer system these feature were taking into consideration.
Modularity – Modularity places an important rule into the code itself. This
concept will simplify the whole system into smaller modules. This will
reduce complexity on many different levels.
Simplicity – Simplicity is also very crucial when it comes to programming
a device. A developer should be able to simplify any function and
algorithms to save CPU time and resources. If it takes 100 lines of code
rather than 200, then the design will be more practical and organized.
Persistence – Persistence in coding will allow the other developers to be
able make correction if possible. If the code changes to the point that
every function is to the declaring of variables is inconsistent, it would be
more challenging to debug.
Design – This will be most important feature. In the beginning the
developer has to lay down the outline of how the design will flow. Which
ways would be simpler, reduce memory, CPU Utilization, etc. Should the
developer use flash memory, or another type of volatile memory. This
should be well thought out and planned before coding starts. This will
allow the code to be more efficient and proficient.
Within the software aspect of the design, the programmers should follow the
steps mentioned above in order to produce a concise, easily read, and highly
effective set of software routines. The MSP430 software will be written using a C
Language compiler provided by the microcontroller manufacturer. The MSP430
requires software routines customized for communications with different devices.
The devices that will interface with the MSP430 specifically shall use standard
communications and signaling protocols over the integrated hardware. Time
continuous voltage readings from sensors that act as system input will be
decoded by the integrated analog-to-digital converter, while input push buttons
will trigger microprocessor interrupts to be service by the software.
There are two different systems, one being the hand held unit and the other the
control box unit. The hand held unit should be able to take in input from the user,
and provide meaningful feedback in the form of visual and audio output. The
inputs that are connecting to the MSP430 are the alcohol sensor, the push
buttons, and the airflow detection sensor. The MSP430 will drive the output blood
alcohol calculations or status messages to the integrated display device. The
software design is illustrated in the diagram in Figure When the a push
button is depressed, the software must be able to determine the current system
state and act accordingly. Depending on which button is pressed, and the
duration over which it is held, this will involve activating and priming the sensors
for accurately reading the user’s breath sample, preparing a message to be sent
to the control box unit for authentication, enabling or disabling the integrated
display unit, or turning off the hand held unit.
Figure Diagram showing the input and output software flow chart for the
hand held unit
Figure Diagram showing the states of the hand held software side.
A description of the varying hand held unit machine states is as follows.
HHU Reading State – Read in input from the sensor, allow only the push button
to interrupt the process. The software should take in data from the sensor and
save that into memory. If the interrupt has not been enabled then it will transfer to
the Processing State.
HHU Processing State – The data will be processed with using a module that
will check for errors. After the data has been completely collected it will be
processed and converted from analog signal to digital signal. Once the data has
been presented in digital, then the next step is to convert the digital signal into a
BAC value. There software should check and see if there was any data lose. If
the data has been lost, then an error module should be able to handle the fault.
The only way to interrupt this process is to hit the push button. Holding the push
button will enable interrupt. The data will stop being collected and wait for user
input. If the interrupt is not enabled and everything is collected correctly then the
state will change to Display State/Transfer.
HHU Display State/Transfer – Display mode allows the data that was collected
and processed by the processor to be displayed on the LCD screen and
transferred the calculated BAC value to control box unit. The data collected is
passed to the display handler. When there is data processed and collected, the
display handler will behave differently depending on the value. The software
transfers the BAC value wirelessly to the control box. If all data has been
transferred correctly, the hand held unit should receive a message and reset the
state back to Reading State.
The control unit system will behave differently. The software for control box unit
will require sending a request to the hand held unit to check for a response. If a
response comes back to the control box, then the receive transmission module
will be called. The control box run in the following states shown in Figure
CBU Receive Transmission State – The receive transmission module will be
called and the control box unit will start to receive data from the hand held unit.
An error check module specifically for the control box unit will be used to check
the data bits and see if there was any data lost during the broadcast. Once the
data has been received and that data is valid, the broadcast will run the next
state which is Enable System Functionality.
CBU Enable Functionality State – In the beginning the software should lock all
access to starting the car. Once the value from the hand held unit has been
received then depending on what value it is, the software will react accordingly to
the data. The data will be passed through a validation module. If the validation
shows that the user is capable for driving then the System Mode will set to 01.
The System Mode will have two modes, 00 or 01. When the System Mode is
enabled, the software control box unit will switch to the idle state.
System Mode 01 – If the System Mode is set to 01 then software will
process the data to unlock the lock to start the car.
System mode 00 – If the System Mode is set to 00 then software will keep
the lock on the car and then driver will not be able to start the car.
CBU Idle State – When the System mode is enabled, then the idle state will be
enabled. The random sample module will be set utilized. As long as the key is in
the ignition and power is be supplied to the control box unit, the software will
needed to handle take random samples to make sure the person doesn’t
consume any more alcohol. The random sample module will handle this process.
Figure Diagram showing the states of the control box unit software side.
2.7 Interlock Device
A breath alcohol ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer, coupled
with an automobile control unit. Due to the increasing prevalence of laws across
the United States requiring the installation of these devices in the automobiles of
repeat DUI offenders, ignition interlock systems are manufactured by a variety of
different companies. While each individually produced interlock system sports its
own appearance and feature set, they all tend to conform to a standard set of
requirements, as established by the states and municipalities whose court orders
mandate their installation.
Before a subject motor vehicle can be started, the operator must deliver a deep
breath sample to the hand held alcohol detection unit. If the operator’s detected
level of breath alcohol is over a state-mandated tolerance level, usually between
0.02% to 0.04% blood alcohol concentration, the interlock system prevents the
engine from being started, usually by means of disabling the fuel pump. It is done
this way because with some automobiles, including manual transmission cars, it
is possible to manually catalyze the air-fuel reaction inside the engine and start
the car. By disabling the fuel pump, no fuel can be delivered to the engine, and
as such, prevents it from being started by any other means.
In the case of a successful initial blood alcohol measurement, the fuel pump relay
is enabled, allowing the vehicle to be started. However, since it is possible that
the driver could have coerced another, more sober individual to take the breath
alcohol test in their place, a well designed interlock system will require additional
samples to be taken at random time intervals over the duration of vehicle
operation. If the resample is not provided within a set period of timeout, or the
resample does not meet the state or municipally mandated threshold for
allowable intoxication, the interlock system will log the event for future recovery
by law enforcement, warn the driver of the impending alert, then initiate an alarm
system of sorts by flashing the lights, honking the horn or creating other
disturbing noises, until either the ignition has been terminated, or a qualifying
sample has been provided to the automobile control unit.
A common misconception is that the automobile control unit will disable the
engine during the operation of the vehicle if a resample test has not been
passed. This presents not only an unnecessary danger to the operator of the
motor vehicle, but also opens the device manufacturer to potential liability in the
case of an incident caused by a disabled motor vehicle in motion. Therefore, a
well designed ignition interlock device will be limited to only being able to
interrupt the starter circuit for the vehicle, and prevent the vehicle from being
Most state and municipal requirements for ignition interlock systems set an
interval of time after which the device must be brought into a manufacturer
certified service center for calibration and logged data gathering. This interval
usually falls into a period between 30 to 90 days. As such, it is a requirement of
any such system that an accurate log of events be recorded by the device, and
made available for later retrieval. Just as well, the device must have a defined
means of calibration and testing of the alcohol sensor unit for the purposes of
system service and accurate measurement.
2.8 Enclosure
Although the design and the construction of our enclosure for our Voog
Breathalyzer unit may not be emphasized with important by our senior design
course. It is the group’s wish to create a marketable product. It is our goal to
design and produce a product that will be appealing and easy to use even
though, traditionally it might not be a device that people would want to install in
their vehicle voluntarily.
In the early phase of our design, group members have researched and
familiarized them self with how most breathalyzer units may look like ranging for
a low cost consumer level unit to any high scale breathalyzers utilized by
research labs and the law enforcement. In addition, physical features it must
possess for necessary functionality and use. It is from these pre-existing handheld units we draw our ideas from and encourages us to do better on physicals
aspects that they lack. We will continue to keep our objectives: accuracy,
portable, physically appealing and low cost in mind even throughout the design
and construction of the enclosure.
The design and construction of the enclosure maybe one of the hardest
challenges for our team in this project due to various reasons such as, acquiring
any new skill set outside of our field of study, accessibility to materials, time and
cost. There is no doubt in the importance of the enclosure to our group but at the
same time we will not let it consume large amount of our time and resource and it
to hinder our progress with the core of the project and the utmost important
learning interest of our group, the electrical/computer engineering and design.
Enclosure Design Resources and Skill sets
Product design and rapid prototyping aren’t a focus in the electrical or the
computer engineering curriculum, therefore the following resources might have to
be obtained from other engineering department or skill sets to be acquired with
the help of colleagues and faculty members among the UCF engineering college.
Resources, Materials and Skill sets
Photoshop Software
SolidWorks and/or AutoCAD Software
Industrial Engineering Rapid Prototyping lab
Fabrication material
This project design will require two separate enclosures, one for the hand-held
unit and one for the control box, which will be installed hidden behind the
dashboard of the vehicle.
Control Box Enclosure
The focus of this enclosure will not be its physical appearance but its physical
construction and its practicality with our design. The enclosure will house a
micro-controller and any necessary part to establish a wireless communication
with the handheld unit and the relay to provide proper operation of the breath test
and the starting of the car.
The first choice option for initial prototyping would be the Sparkfun project case,
physical look and dimension are provided below in figure 2.8-1 and additional
specification will be provided in the appendix:
Figure 2.8-1. Image provided with permission from
A compact design with necessary openings for output devices, it is also make of
durable plastic that can be modified if necessary. A clear version of the enclosure
is also available. Overall this is an affordable unit priced at $10. A internal
detailed drawing is provided below in figure 2.8-2 to be use in PCB and element
Figure 2.8-2. Image provided with permission from by
With 3.16 x 3.95”, it will be substantial for mounting our microcontroller in addition
to input and output elements. Our second choice would be the WM-46 from it is also a quality enclosure at a low cost. Figure 2.8-2
and 2.8-3 shows the general appearance and followed by detailed drawing.
Figure 2.8-3 Image provided with permission granted by Pactech Enclosures
Figure 2.8-4 Image provided with permission granted by Pactech Enclosures
Hand-held Unit Enclosure
Although Senior Design group have the intention to design and create an unique
housing, enclosure unit for our hand-held unit through the new technology of
rapid prototyping, we will not eliminate the option of purchasing existing handheld unit enclosures and modify where necessary.
PPT-3468 is selected as a top choice backup enclosure, if for any reasons rapid
prototyping is not achievable. PPT-3468 is a new design available from and is marketed for hand held test & measurement
meters, education tools, outdoor scanners & readers, medical uses. Therefore it
is a good fit, but not necessary fits our need completely. A visual of the PPT3468 is provided below for visual and followed by a detail dimensional drawing in
figure 2.8-4 and 2.8.5.
Figure 2.8-4 Image provided with permission granted by Pactech Enclosures
Since PPT-3468 is a new design product, it will be available for free sampling,
thus, it will help lower our cost by a fraction. This unit is sized at 6.5inches by
3.25inches, thus it is a good design for our project in terms of space availability
(6.512 x 3.258 x 1.216). A slightly bigger design is also available if necessary.
(8x4x1.5in) Additional dimension drawing will be attached below.
Figure 2.8-5 Image provided with permission pending by
Enclosure Design
Sketches of our preliminary design concept are provided in Section 3.8, followed
by graphical creation of Breathalyzer unit in the secondary designs utilizing the
well-known Photoshop software.
2.9 Display
It is assumed that the operator of the system may not necessarily be a
“technologically inclined” individual. As such, it is necessary for the design of any
unit requiring a human interface to be clear and concise in its messages to the
operator. This is evident in personal electronic devices across every aspect of
industry, from personal communications devices such as cell phones and
adjustable two-way FM radios, to configurable remote control devices for
operating home theater equipment. In order to facilitate this ease of status
communications with the operator, a digital display is a necessary component of
a successful design. A wide variety of such displays are available, defined by
their capabilities such as displaying custom programmed images, letters and
numbers, backlighting for ease of viewing in low-light scenarios, viewable area
dimensions, methods of communication with the control logic, as well as their
per-unit cost. The requirements for a display on the hand held unit include the
ability to display numeric digits that indicate the detected blood-alcohol content of
the individual under test, as well as a timer indicating the time remaining until a
test can be taken. The display must also be small enough to fit within the size
limits of either enclosure. While it would be advantageous to display text and
images to the user for the purpose of communicating system status or
communication messages, it is not considered a necessity for easy and
successful device operation.
2.9.1 Seven-Segment Display
This style of display is probably the most mature display technology in the field of
digital electronics. A seven-segment display is an electronic display device
capable of rendering images of the set of Arabic numerals 0 to 9, as well as
several letters of the alphabet (varying in case). These types of displays have
been in use for the better part of the last 60 years, and have been crafted from a
number of different lighting techniques, from LED arrays, to ideal arrangements
of incandescent filaments. Typically, they require an individually driven line input
for each segment of the display that is to be powered. A convenient way around
this problem involves the use of a digital multiplexer with a constant current drive
output on each pin. Most seven-segment display manufacturers will suggest a
driving integrated circuit to use with their particular display, but there is nothing
that prevents the designer from individually driving each input to the display.
One such display under consideration, the Lumex LDD-A5004RI is commonly
used in portable electronic devices, including personal breathalyzer units
developed by competing companies in the breath-alcohol measurement industry.
Figure 2.9.1-1 shows a mechanical drawing of these displays, demonstrating
how they can be manufactured into extremely small packages, as small as 20mm
wide for a two character display, including decimal point lights for potentially
representing greater numerical accuracy if necessary. Being such a mature,
mass produced technology, these displays are on the extreme end of the supplydemand curve, and as such are incredibly inexpensive. Due to their limited
functionality, these display types are ineffective at communicating anything more
than timing or statistical information to the user, which in the case of the hand
held breathalyzer, would be sufficient for the very basic level of human
interaction needed.
Figure 2.9.1-1 Lumex LDD-A5004RI Seven-Segment Display Mechanical
Characteristics, reprinted with permission granted by Lumex Inc.
2.9.2 Dot-Matrix Display
More complex in design than the previously evaluated seven-segment style
display, dot-matrix displays use a series of row-aligned and column-aligned light
emitting dots, spaced at a constant pitch, to display letters, numbers, and even
an arrangement of various other symbols to the target audience. The clarity of
these characters is a function of the dot-density of the individual display, which
means the more columns and rows on the display, the more resolution each
potential character can have. However, due to the size limitations of the design, it
would be necessary to have a dot-matrix display with a very small pitch size.
Because of the nature of a dot-matrix display, it is necessary to have separate
drivers for both the rows and the columns, so that individual dots within a
particular row-column pair can be driven when necessary, adding to the
complexity of the design necessary for its use. Because of the ability to
individually define the resolution of each character, a dot-matrix display would
offer a greater level of clarity than a seven-segment display, while consuming
nearly the same level of current, and requiring a minimal amount of additional
hardware to support.
2.9.3 Liquid Crystal Display
LCDs are the most complex display being evaluated for use in this design. They
are constructed using thin, flat panels. The panels consist of layers of light
filtering film, liquid crystal, glass panels with electrode film to display shapes, and
either a reflective surface or backlight for making the images viewable to the
audience. These types of displays are extremely lightweight and can be
produced at a very small scale, as seen in Figure 2.9.3-1, making them ideal for
portable electronics devices.
Figure 2.9.3-1 Matrix Orbital LCD0821 Display Module w/ approximate size reference,
reprinted with permission granted by Matrix Orbital, Inc.
LCDs allow for the greatest possible range of image and character resolution,
and even allow the developer to design their own custom characters and images,
based on the display resolution of the device. Because of the complexity of the
display driving, as well as the resolution of the displays themselves, modules that
incorporate an LCD for use in portable electronics often have their own
microcontrollers integrated, for the purpose of receiving display update
messages from the system, and converting those messages into the electrical
signals that drive the display. Considering the additional integrated hardware
required to drive one of these displays, as well as the backlight for illumination,
an LCD will require much more power than any other electronic display suitable
for portable electronic devices. Due to the increased complexity of the display, as
well as the low demand for displays of a particular size and the combination of
factors that make each display unique, these are also the most expensive
displays that can be integrated into the design. The tradeoffs for the increased
complexity and power consumption are notable however, both for the developer
and the end user. LCD displays offer a perceived level of quality that cannot be
matched by competing technologies, presenting the feeling of a higher quality
product to the end user. Additionally, the integrated microcontroller element
allows for device communications on a standardized communications bus, using
an industry recognized protocol for device communications. This reduces the
need for additional driver hardware, as well as software configuration for status
messages being driven to the display. This also allows for the use of the display
in debugging, as the variety of messages that can be displayed allow for realtime understanding of system status messages, machine-state indications, and
even measured data directly out of the system microcontroller. Such functionality
can be disabled for the end-user, but would provide an extremely useful utility
during the early stages of prototyping a design.
2.9.4 Display Conclusions
Based upon a thorough evaluation of available display technologies, the
conclusion of the design team is that a pre-built LCD module would be the most
effective addition to the overall system design. The combination of simplified
software development, increased perception of quality, versatility of display
readability in a variety of lighting environments, as well as the lack of a
requirement for additional driver hardware makes the LCD module a great
choice. While most handheld personal breathalyzer units make use of simple
seven-segment displays for communicating basic information with the end user,
the costs of mass production are not being factored into the design of our
prototype. As such, the increased per-unit cost of the LCD can be ignored for
prototyping and development purposes.
2.10 Alcohol Sensor
Without much explanations required, the alcohol sensor is the key component of
this unit and the project. Although different functionality and portability are always
desirable and are also understood that it is the easiest way to differentiate itself
to any other breathalyzer in the market. It still has a sole purpose of detecting the
blood alcohol content from a person who’s been intoxicated with alcohol and
determines if the user is capable of maneuvering a vehicle safely. Therefore, due
to the nature of this project, the accuracy of the sensor output has become the
single utmost important element of this project. In addition to the need of
accuracy, a few more expectations are also considered important, such as the
size of the sensor, start up time of the unit; start up time after use, the ease of
calibration, its sensitivity to ambient temperature, which all will be summarized
Detecting blood alcohol content is not a new technology, although many newer
technological breakthroughs have aided it in increasing its accuracy significantly.
Most of the sensors in the current market belonged to two categories, semiconductor based such as silicon oxide or fuel cell based sensors, which is a new
technology. Both technology embodies advantages and disadvantages, therefore
extensive research are required and comparisons are needed.
Semi-Conductor based sensors currently occupies the majority of the consumer
market due to its low price, ease in implementation and most importantly it’s a
matured technology and have been around for decades, as opposed to the new
comer, Fuel Cell technology based, it is found to be more accurate but at the
same time can cost up to thirty times more expensive than the silicon oxide
sensors. As a result, fuel cell alcohol gas sensors are currently used only in high
end devices utilized by the government law enforcements and research labs.
The list below is our expectations and requirements of our design:
High sensitivity (Detection Range):
10- 1000ppm Alcohol (Acceptable) or
0-1000ppm Alcohol (Desirable)
Working Voltage: 3.3V or 5V
Size: <18mm Diameter
Semi-Conductor: <$8
Fuel Cell: <$40
Working Temperature: -10C (20F) to 50C(120F)
Semi-Conductor Sensors (Silicon Oxide)
There are three selections of semi-conductor sensors being considered and each
with its own advantage and disadvantages. The MQ3 Gas Sensor is by far the
most commonly used sensor in the market, it is low in price and yet still delivers
desirable functionally and meets majority of the requirement for most uses. The
dimension of MQ-3 is provided below in figure 2.10-1 followed by an example
application circuit in figure 2.10.2.
Figure 2.10-1: MQ-3 Alcohol Sensor, Reproduced with permission from:
Figure 2.10-2: Standard MQ3 alcohol configuration. Reproduced with permission
The major concern of this sensor model is its reliability and sensitivity, although it
is the most commonly used sensor and marketed as “High sensitivity” and
“Stable and long life”, it is still a low-end sensor, but it certainly has its advantage
as well. Being the most common sensor, its availability is not an issue and its
price, cheapest in comparison. With the uncertainty of its reliability and sensitive,
we have created a primitive option to our future design with an easy sensorswapping module. This will take ease in the need of re-calibration due to uses at
the cheap replacement cost of the sensors.
A very similar in appearance design compared to the previous MQ-3, but not so
much internally, thus poses its own advantages. MR-513 utilizes the wheatstone
bridge circuit design and are able to detect both element (alcohol) and
compensation element (sensor and ambient temperature). As a result, it is a
better sensor compared to the MQ-3. An visual is provided in Figure 2.10-3.
Figure 2.10-3: MR-513 Gas Sensor. Reproduced with permission granted by
The cost of this model, MR-513 is twice as much as the previous model, MQ-3.
Which is at the cost of around $12, not a big disadvantage for its extra guarantee
in its reliability and sensitivity, because of its MR-513 Gas Sensor WheatStone
Bridge Design shown in figure 2.10-4.
MR-513 poses similar working
temperature and other criteria as MQ-3 as well.
Figure 2.10-4. Reproduced with the permission of
Fuel Cell Sensors
As mentioned earlier that the new and uprising technology in detecting blood
alcohol content is the fuel cell sensors, which is made to succeed the inferior IR
(Infrared Radiation) technology used in the 1980’s and semi conductor sensor,
unfortunately due to its higher price, semi-conductor sensors remain the most
widely used for alcohol content detection. Due to the reason that this category of
sensor and technology are new to the market, detail of how it operate will be
documented below to aid the design team design the rest of the breathalyzer
system if this time of sensor is chosen.
The fuel cell sensors are designed to have two platinum electrodes with a
porous acid-electrolyte material placed between the two. As the end user
exhales air and flows past one side of the fuel cell, the platinum oxidizes any
alcohol in the air to produce acetic acid, protons and electrons. The electrons will
flow through the wire from the platinum electrode. The wire is connected to an
electrical-current meter and to the platinum electrode on the other side. Protons
will move through the lower portion of the fuel cell and combine with oxygen and
the electrons on the other side to form water. As a result the more alcohol is
sampled and becomes oxidized, the greater the electrical current will be
outputted. It will then be measure and convert to BAC value by a selected
microcontroller in 2.1.
Figure 2.10-4 Reproduced with the permission of
Comparison: Fuel Cell Sensor & Semi Conductor Sensors
Fuel Cell
Higher accuracy
More Consistent
Remain accurate
after a period of uses
Less warm up time
High Cost
Accessibility (Difficult
to obtain)
New Technology
(Very little
Available in large
quantity for purchase
Semi Conductor
Low cost
Easy to obtain
Matured technology
(More resources
Available for single
sensor purchase
Found to be less
accurate compared
to fuel cell sensors
Hard to calibrate
Fuel cell sensors are clearly marked to be a better sensor and the potential for a
better product design, but it certainly posses a great challenge for us with its
cons as a result, Semi Conductor sensors might more realistic and practical for
our design. Majority of the fuel cell sensor manufacturers are based in England,
thus further increases the communication and cost issues for us. Till date, we
have established continues communication with two fuel cell sensor companies
and very little has came out of it. On the contrary, two different models of semiconductor sensors, MQ-3 and MR513 alcohol sensors were purchased for further
in depth profiling to guarantee the compatibility of our system’s overall design.
2.11 Battery
One of the requirements for this project is that the personal unit be portable.
While the portable unit will be connected to the base unit in order to
communicate values for the base unit to decide interlock status, it should also
work independently. In order to achieve this, a portable power source is needed.
While on-demand power generation may work in certain cases, it would not be
appropriate for this project. Solar power would be closest to being viable for a
small, handheld unit; however, due to the common practice of consuming alcohol
at night, or in indoor areas away from sunlight, it would not be an effective source
of power.
As such, the only viable option left is to use a battery. However, even within this
choice, there are several more considerations to be made in order to fit within the
overall design requirements of the project. A primary concern about the battery is
its size. As the goal is to reduce the size of the portable unit as much as possible,
it cannot be so large as to defeat the portable nature of the unit. In addition, it
must also be of an acceptable weight. An excessively heavy portable unit will
discourage use of the product and will be “left behind,” whether at the user’s
home or vehicle – thus again defeating any portable purpose to the portable unit.
It must be low cost not just for an initial purchase, but as a continuing expense
for the user. In addition, it must continue to perform for a fair period of time.
Safety is also a concern as the device will be used most often by intoxicated
individuals; advanced steps to operate the device (for safety reasons) cannot be
introduced for this reason.
The battery will have to supply power a few main components: the general logic
on the board, and any power required by the alcohol sensor, as well as any other
components such as displays and LEDs. Several battery types will be
researched for their advantages and disadvantages in order to achieve this
purpose. In particular, their sizes will also be taken into account as space will be
a consideration within the portable housing.
Since the portable unit will depend on the battery for operation, it is essential to
ensure that the battery selected will be an appropriate one given the
requirements the portable unit and its user will place on the battery. Due to the
presence of both 3Vdc and 5Vdc lines, the battery must be able to supply both of
these lines. Since voltage regulators generally prefer at least 1.5Vdc above their
regulated output voltages, the required range for the battery to output should be
at least 6.5Vdc. Due to thermal constraints on the regulators, it should also not
be too high. Since 12Vdc is a possible input to both units for other reasons, a
12.5Vdc upper limit is reasonable. Thus, the battery should be able to supply an
output voltage somewhere in the range of 6.5Vdc – 12Vdc.
Again, cost becomes a concern. The battery is a major component, and so, will
have a higher budget. As such, a reasonable limit must be established. Indeed,
due to the high importance the battery has to the circuit as a whole, a limit of
about $50 would be desirable. The fact that the battery will eventually need to be
replaced should also be taken into account. Purchased in bulk, the battery, and
thus maintenance, cost of this unit should not be prohibitive.
The other considerations are those of practicality during use. Given the possibly
intoxicated nature of the end user, safety is a consideration. The battery must be
proven to be stable and not significantly vulnerable to injuring its user if
mishandling or misused. In addition, it must be as compact in size as possible. A
battery can easily overwhelm and greatly increase the size of the portable unit.
Also, as a result, it could also greatly increase the weight of the portable unit,
which is not desirable. Lastly, it must be able to last a decent amount of time.
However, since the battery is rechargeable, a very high capacity battery may not
be needed. Nonetheless, it should last as long as possible.
2.11.1 Alkaline Battery
There are two options within alkaline batteries. There are single-use alkaline
batteries, as well as rechargeable alkaline batteries. The former is popular in the
consumer electronics markets, while the latter is not generally used due to its
very poor performance compared to other types of rechargeable cells. In
addition, the performance of such batteries is poor in high-drain electronics.
As this device will be used by a member of the general public with little to no
training or formal instruction on the device, usability is paramount; as such, a
single-use cell is an option. Given the limited voltages in cell sizes such as AAA
and AA, a 9V battery would be the most practical.
However, the continuous cost to the user may be high, and it also introduces an
additional point of failure into the device – a battery door, as well as exposed
electronics that could be stressed and worn over time to eventually lead to a
failed portable unit. It also a relatively wasteful choice, as the user would have to
contribute to the amount of battery waste in the environment. As a principle of
modern engineering, environmental concerns must also take priority; as such, a
rechargeable battery is a wiser choice.
One option for rechargeable alkaline batteries is rechargeable AAs. However, as
mentioned previously, these retain the disadvantages commonly experienced
with rechargeable alkaline batteries. In addition, a non-rechargeable AA
generally produces about 1.5V output. In order to achieve the voltages necessary
for optimal performance of the portable device, multiple batteries would have to
be used. This would increase the weight, complexity, and size of the device.
2.11.2 Nickel Cadmium Battery
Nickel cadmium batteries have been a popular choice for many handheld
electronics requiring portable power. They are widely available in a variety of
formats, and are a mature technology. In addition, the charging technology is well
understood. It offers the advantages of being able to handle a high number of
discharge and charging cycles; this is important so that the battery can be used
as long as possible (as far as recharge cycles) before needing replacement.
In addition, nickel cadmium batteries can withstand deep discharging and
recharging better than most rechargeable batteries. This may prove to be useful
as it is possible the device may be stored for a significant period of time on low or
no battery before being charged. However, with this comes another issue unique
to nickel cadmium batteries. This issue is commonly referred to as the “memory
effect.” While it is not true that the actual capacity of the battery gets reduced if
the battery is discharged and charged to the same level repeatedly, it does set
up a sort of “memory” where the battery voltage will drop rapidly at the point
where it is discharged to repeatedly. This will cause any battery monitoring circuit
to detect a condition of “low” battery, although technically speaking, the
“capacity” of the battery has not changed (if effects due to aging are ignored).
Considering the possible use of the portable device (being charged after only
being used for a short while), this would not be a desirable characteristic. One
possible solution would be to fully discharge the battery occasionally. The issue
with this is that the better functioning cells in the nickel cadmium battery pack will
affect the weaker cells within the pack by essentially reversing their polarity. In
subsequent uses, the weaker cells will deplete first, and when charged yet again,
will be charged reverse from how they should be charged. Essentially, deep
discharging solves the issue of premature voltage dropoff, but it also creates a
bigger problem of prematurely ending the battery pack’s life. So with either case,
a battery with limited usefulness happens after only a few uses.
The size for such a battery is acceptable, however, as is the cost for the battery.
The optimal nickel cadmium battery would be a common 6V hobby battery pack,
commonly used in many electronics. A dimensioned image of this battery pack
can be seen in Figure 2.11.2-1. While the specific milliamp hour (mAh) rating of
the battery may change as the power requirements for the device change, the
overall battery pack will still be very similar.
Figure 2.11.2-1: A 7.2V nickel cadmium battery pack. Reproduced with
permission from .
2.11.3 Nickel Metal-Hydride Battery
Nickel metal hydride batteries are another widely used battery technology. While
they offer fewer recharge cycles over its useful life compared to a nickel
cadmium battery, it offers the advantage of not being susceptible to the
previously mentioned “memory” effect. Like nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride
batteries are also a mature technology with well understood charging schemes.
In addition, the environmental penalty of a metal hydride type battery is less than
that of a cadmium-based battery, as it can be recycled easier and with less toxic
cost to the environment.
The primary disadvantages with this technology are the higher self-discharge
rate compared to other technologies, and also the aforementioned reduced
number of recharge cycles. While this is a concern, it is not as much of a problem
as the issue with the memory effect when recharging nickel cadmium batteries.
The self-discharge rate can be as high as 30% per month. However, since the
battery will be stored in the device and often charged under normal
circumstances, this should not be a concern, as the high discharge often refers to
conditions in open air with an open circuit.
While there are many varieties and configurations of nickel metal hydride
batteries, there are no significant variances as far as the discussed advantages
and disadvantages. The dimensioned battery under consideration for this project
is shown in Figure 2.11.3-1. There are new developments in the consumer
market for higher efficiency nickel metal hydride cells, such as the Sanyo
Eneloop line of batteries. These batteries have significantly reduced selfdischarge rates, higher shelf life, and increased recharge cycles. However, due
to their availability generally only in AA size, they are not considered here for
reasons similar to the physical issues mentioned in the alkaline section.
Figure 2.11.3-1: A 7.2V nickel metal hydride battery pack. Reproduced with
permission from
2.11.4 Lithium Ion Battery
Lithium ion batteries are a somewhat recent technology for the consumer market.
Adaption was driven primarily by the need for a type of battery with no memory
effect and with a high number of recharge cycles in use in mobile and portable
phones. As such, it is also being considered for the portable unit of this project.
Although lithium ion batteries are constantly being improved, their overall
disadvantages and advantages are still valid when comparing this battery type to
others being considered.
There is no significant size penalty for lithium ion. Indeed, it is the most compact
of all the solutions considered. As mentioned previously, it is also able to
withstand partial charges and recharges better than other types of batteries.
However, it can also degrade due to age (rather than use) as well. Most lithium
ion batteries do not typically make it past two or three years. However, this may
be acceptable considering the target use and consumer of this product.
The largest concern with lithium ion batteries is their safety. This is a major
consideration of battery selection. Lithium ion batteries can be dangerous if
handled incorrectly. Explosion or fires can result, potentially causing personal
injury as well as damage to property. While many lithium ion battery packs on the
market today include circuitry to protect from the basic types of undesirable
power events that can cause a lithium ion cell to fail, it must still be handled and
charged correctly.
Indeed, many devices on the market today use lithium ion batteries, proving that
they can be used safely with the appropriate design considerations; it may be a
concern with this project. One possible dimensioned pack is shown in Figure
2.11.4-1. As mentioned previously, the user of this unit will have reduced
functionality if intoxicated. Therefore, the safety aspect of lithium ion must be
taken into account.
As far as weight and cost, both are within the limits set in the requirements.
However, the voltage spec is slightly out of the desired range. While the output
voltage will eventually be run through a voltage regulator to get output to a level
necessary by use by the other components, excessive voltage behind the
regulator is not desired as this would cause more heat in the regulator.
Although several special considerations must be made for lithium ion batteries
with respect to output power, overall safety, and charging considerations, its
advantages also make it a strong option for this project.
Figure 2.11.4-1: A 7.4V lithium ion battery pack. Reproduced with permission
2.11.5 Lead Acid Battery
A very common type of rechargeable battery is the lead acid battery. It is used in
a variety of applications, including marine and automotive use. As such, it is a
mature technology, and the charging technology is not complex and is also well
understood. It is the oldest type of rechargeable technology, and is a proven
As such, concerns of its reliability during operation either when new or after some
time are not of great importance. Compared to other technologies, it is the
cheapest (if compared for each unit of capacity). However, there are several
disadvantages which may make this battery a poor choice for the portable unit.
The primary issue is with its unique charging needs. Lead acid batteries need a
significant amount of time to charge. While the portable unit may be connected to
the base unit to charge for a fair amount of time, it has a high probability of not
being connected for the up to 16 hours required by a lead acid battery. In
addition, as the device may be left with a battery in a low charge or no charge
state, a lead acid battery will experience additional problems due to this. Deep
discharging or being stored at a no/low charge state can damage the battery and
make future recharging difficult, if not impossible.
In addition, due to its low energy density compared to other options, it is the
largest of the options (dimensioned and shown in Figure 2.11.5-1), and also the
heaviest. Neither is optimal for a device which concentrates on portability. Also,
the number of recharge cycles is limited, which means limited life. Due to the
variety of environments the portable device will be used in, the battery must be
able to perform adequately in low temperature. The performance of lead-acid
batteries in cold weather is considered to be low. Lastly, the lead-acid content of
this battery is very environmentally unfriendly.
Figure 2.11.5-1: A 6V lead acid battery. Reproduced with permission from
2.11.6 Zinc Nickel Battery
While zinc nickel batteries have been used in various forms for years, this
technology’s entry into the consumer market is recent. Compared to traditional
nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium rechargeable cells, these offers several
advantages. First, the number of useable recharge cycles is greatly increased
over the other technologies. In addition, in offers a higher capacity (in mAh) than
the other batteries, all while continuing its most significant advantage – it offers
1.6V in a single cell compared to other rechargeable AA cells that only offer 1.21.3V. It also offers this performance more consistently over its lifetime.
However, this technology is not without its disadvantages. The largest
disadvantage is that it is widely available only in AA format, which, as mentioned
in the alkaline section for AAs, is not a desired configuration for batteries in the
portable unit. In addition, to achieve the aforementioned number of charge
cycles, special charging procedures are required. As such, it becomes unfeasible
to use for an application where charging cannot be assumed to be done in a
constant and predictable manner.
2.11.7 Battery Comparison
While all the batteries selected have their own disadvantages and advantages,
only a single battery type will be selected for the portable unit. A final selection
was made with respect to the requirements set out at the beginning of the
research. Eventually, a decision had to be made about which advantages
outweighed disadvantages enough to provide an optimum battery for the unit.
While nickel metal hydride initially seemed like an optimal solution, the significant
size and weight penalty made it an unattractive option.
In the end, the lithium ion battery provided the best balance of life, safety,
capacity, and flexible recharging ability, as well as size and cost concerns. While
lithium ion has significant safety considerations, the prevalence of lithium ion
batteries in many consumer devices today prove they can be used safely if used
with the appropriate protection circuitry. As such, its advantage with size cannot
be ignored. The results of the comparison are summarized in Table 2.11.7-1.
Size (inches)
Size of standard
<1 Week
Poor; limited
over lifespan
Very low
5.2 x 1.7 x 0.87
<1 Week
3.38" x 2" x
<1 Week
than NiCd
<1 Week
Lead Acid
<1 Week
High discharge
$15 for
four (4)
Size of standard
<1 Week
Excellent for
high discharge
High, if
Table 2.11.7-1: Comparison of batteries
2.12 Charging Circuit
Since a rechargeable battery will be used in the portable unit for power away
from the base unit, there must be a method of recharging the battery. There are
several options available for such a task. However, the unique considerations of
the portable unit and project as a whole will require an examination of various
charging solutions to choose the optimal solution for this project.
While rechargeable batteries have many unique properties themselves with
respect to aspects such as number of recharge cycles, capacity, safety, size, and
many other criteria, their unique charging needs can also be exhaustive. Each
battery requires its own method of charging, and has various tolerances to such
general events as insufficient power, too much power, high temperature, and
other power events.
In this case, the battery chosen was a nickel metal hydride battery. While in the
battery comparison section, it had several advantages compared to lithium ion
and even lead acid batteries, it is not necessarily the case with the charging
technology required to charge this type of battery. Indeed, nickel metal hydrides
present several unique challenges with respect to recharging. The basic principle
of charging this type of battery is by essentially passing current through the
battery. This also means that the voltage necessary to charge these batteries is
not necessarily fixed. However, many battery packs are made from several
standard cells wired in series to increase the voltage output. As such, no two
cells are exactly the same with respect to their impedances. So even with a
regulated charging circuit output, there can still be variances in charging the pack
as a whole, as the different impedances of each cell can cause certain cells to
not charge fully, or other cells to overcharge. To address these and other
challenges, several options will be investigated.
2.12.1 Eliminating the Need for a Recharging Circuit
Given the difficulties of building a custom charging circuit, one possible option
would be to create an opening in the portable unit of the housing to allow the
user to remove the battery. This way, the user could charge the battery externally
in a pre-built charger, possibly using a solution that is already available. The user
could use a 12V car charger or perhaps even a wall charger to charge their
battery. This would be similar to many digital cameras and other consumer
electronics with removable, rechargeable batteries.
However, the previous consideration of safety must be taken into account, along
with basic quality concerns such as reliability. If the battery is made removable, it
is possible that the user may inadvertently remove the battery, rendering the
device no longer portable. In addition, the battery may be mishandled or
disposed of into the environment in an inappropriate way. It also creates an
additional point of constant wear on the housing itself. It would require the
creation of robust electrodes, housing door, and materials able to withstand a
high number of duty cycles and possibly abusive battery insertion and removal. It
may also introduce the possibility of additional user error in the form of shorting
contacts or using batteries for which the unit was not designed. Not only does
this present a hazard to the user, but can also permanently damage the unit.
The other option would be to include such a battery charger with the overall kit.
However, one of the goals of this project is to reduce cost as much as possible,
especially considering the high cost of existing solutions similar to this project. An
additional, separate charger would add cost and yet another piece which could
be damaged or misplaced. As such, this option has several disadvantages which
need to be considered carefully.
2.12.2 Simple Charging Circuit
Even using the previous solution of a separate charger, it would also create the
problem of a limited use device. The user would have make sure to constantly
charge the battery or risk having a non-functioning interlock system, thus
disabling his vehicle completely, regardless of whether he is actually intoxicated
or not.
One possible solution is to use a simple, low cost solution to charge the battery.
The battery would be kept in the housing of the portable unit, but could be
charged by way of a connector on the housing itself from a wall or vehicle
adapter. The advantages of this configuration over the previous are several.
An integrated charging circuit would alleviate many of these concerns. It would
allow the user to simply plug the charging adapter connector into the portable
unit and have the unit charge while driving, or while otherwise sitting idly in the
base unit in the vehicle, or even at home. It would also allow the battery function
to be transparent to the end user – no battery to directly handle. In addition, it will
lower the overall complexity of the system (as viewed by the end user). However,
as mentioned earlier, there are certain considerations to take into account when
charging a nickel metal hydride battery.
Because of the simple electrical circuitry that will be required to regulate the
output from the wall adapter, a contained solution has its own advantages. The
circuitry can be integrated into the portable unit along with the battery. This will
achieve the goal of being able to “plug in” straight from the wall adapter to the
Since the motivation behind this option is as a cost reduction method, it would
also be prudent to consider the most cost effective way of recharging this type of
battery. Long term or “overnight” charging is considered to be the most effective
and cheapest way to charge this type of battery. In battery terminology, this is
stated as charging it at C/10 or below, or charging it 10% below rated capacity or
less. C is expressed in mAh (milliamp-hours), as mentioned previously. The
largest cost and complexity savings from this type of charging method is the lack
of need for any advanced auto-detecting features in the circuit, in order to detect
the end of charge and automatically trail off the charging voltage and current in
order to prevent an overcharge.
This simple current-regulation method can be accomplished by means of the
12Vdc wall adapter with two sets of simple 10R resistors, as illustrated in Figure
2.12.2-2. This will also provide enough voltage in order to charge a 6V battery
(the illustration shows a 12V battery).
Figure 2.12.2-2: Simple charging circuit. Permission granted by Colin Mitchell of .
This is sufficient for a slow overcharge rate. This may be practical for a user with
a consistent schedule. However, as a matter of practicality, a faster charge time
is needed. Faster charging can be accomplished by charging it at C/3.33. Due to
the obvious increased risk of overcharging, a timer is also necessary in this case.
However, it is a simple timer, with no additional logic. As such, the battery would
have to be discharged fully in order for the timer-based accelerated charging
circuit to work well. This is not practical as lithium ion batteries should not be
regularly completely discharged then recharged. In addition, they were chosen
primarily because they could withstand recharging from multiple states of
discharge. It would not be practical to choose a circuit that does not also take this
consideration into account.
2.12.3 Intelligent Charging Circuit
The last way of charging is at the fastest rate of charging, at 1*C. At this point, it
becomes mandatory to directly monitor the battery for an end-of-charge
condition. The method of achieving this is to monitor both voltage and current
conditions of the battery. For a lithium ion battery, the voltage must be monitored
until it reaches the 4.1Vdc – 4.2 Vdc level. At this point, current must be
monitored for a drop in current.
There is no additional “conditioning” or special charging treatment required for
lithium ion. As such, the charging behavior will not need to be adjusted
depending on how many cycles have been through the battery. However, there is
consideration with the voltage and current levels used to charge the battery.
Lithium ions require a very narrow range of voltage and current. Voltage should
be no lower than 4.1Vdc, and no higher than 4.2 Vdc. In addition, current should
be constant. Ramping up the current does not significantly shorten charge time; it
serves only to reduce the life of the battery.
The charging voltage can be set at 4.2 Vdc. However, setting it to 4.1Vdc does
reduce the capacity of the battery; at the same time, it extends the usable life of
the battery (charging cycles). Given the fixed nature of the battery to begin with,
making the battery last as long as possible is a consideration.
Since the cell being used is a two- cell configuration (in order to reach the
required minimum battery voltage), these numbers are doubled. The required
charge voltages go to about 8.4 Vdc. The charging circuit must be able to supply
such a voltage. In addition, the current should be proportional to the capacity of
the battery. Since this battery is 850 mAh, the current should optimally be around
0.85 A for charging.
However, additional logic is required in this case in order to constantly read the
input from the current or voltage sensor, detect an end-of-charge condition, and
terminate charging. This arrangement utilizes a microcontroller and a voltage
sensor to achieve the necessary level of automation to make such a circuit work.
When an end-of-charge condition is detected, the microcontroller will use the
power transistor to “turn off” the Vcharge, the charging voltage. Note that an
analog-to-digital converter is not detailed here (in order to be able to read
useable values from the thermal probe). It is assumed to be part of the
There exists an integrated IC that combines all the intelligent charging logic into a
single package. The BQ24005 chip by Texas Instruments is a package specially
designed to act as a nearly complete charging solution for two cell lithium ion or
lithium ion polymer batteries. This matches the application here.
Implementing this package into the board circuit will require several capacitors,
resistors, and LEDs. An example implementation is seen in Figure 2.12.3-1.
Several aspects of this chip can be configured to match the desired application.
Since an 8.4Vdc charge voltage is desired, pin VSEL will be connected to high.
Figure 2.12.3-1: A typical implementation of the Texas Instruments BQ24005.
Reproduced with permission of Texas Instruments.
While lithium ion batteries do not require any sort of special “maintenance” type
of charge modes, they do have to be charged in certain ways depending on their
states of discharge. A deeply discharged battery cannot be charged as a battery
with a moderate amount of charge left. The BQ2400x is capable of sensing this
condition and will enter a precondition mode, where it can compare the battery
voltage to an internal, fixed threshold. The battery is charged at a low current
until the battery can be brought up to a safer voltage before ramping up the
current to normal charge current.
This current can be limited by adjusting the Rsense resistor. There are additional
methods of detecting any unsafe conditions with the battery, including reading a
thermistor value as noted in the initial block diagram. However, no thermistor will
be used in this design. Alternatively, system input voltage may be monitored by
utilizing the AGP/THERM pin. This configuration is shown in Figure 2.12.3-2.
The values of R1 and R2 can be calculated using a formula. This will allow the
circuit to recognize when there is an external power source connected (i.e., when
it is connected to the charger power).
Figure 2.12.3-2: Configuration of the APG configuration (as opposed to the
thermistor configuration) of the BQ24005. Reproduced with permission of Texas
2.12.4 Charging Circuit Comparison
Several different charging circuits were compared, with a focus on reducing cost,
size, and improving quality. While the simpler circuits offer less complexity as
well as possibly less cost, a single IC solution from ISL6291 is less complex than
the other options when viewed from a top down assessment. As such, the
optimum choice is the BQ24005.
While the BQ24005 works best when connected to a thermistor, the battery
selected does not include this feature. As such, it could be connected, but
disassembling the pack and reassembling could introduce failures which may
cause the charge to prematurely terminate charging, or charge past the proper
thresholds and cause dangerous conditions within the battery, leading to a fire or
explosion. As such, it is prudent to simply use the other indicators without
complicating status feedback from the battery. If there are any failures, it should
be visible within the circuit LEDs, if so connected.
As previously mentioned, this will be implemented as a built-in solution to the
portable unit. While this will require the user to go to a service center to
replacement a defective or worn battery, it is optimal for the reasons previously
mentioned. In addition, the existing applications of a fixed lithium ion batteries
show a sufficient success rate to show this strategy as acceptable. A summary of
the comparisons can be found in Table 2.12.4-1.
Charging Circuit
Robustness to power
Simple resistor
Very low
Very simple
Fast charge
resistor network
Very low
components into
Low to
potential for
Low ($4.80)
Simple as a
“black box.”
Very good
Table 2.12.4-1: Comparison of charging circuit solutions
2.13 Airflow Measurement
What happens in the case that a subject under test fails to give a sufficient breath
sample to the hand held unit? Without the ability to quantify the breath sample, it
would be easy enough to just activate the breathalyzer unit, wait for it to
complete its pre-heating period, then deliberately ignore breathing into the unit in
order to produce a false positive result. In order to accurately acquire and
evaluate an automobile operator’s level of intoxication, a means by which to
determine a sufficient amount of breath has been sampled must be established.
2.13.1 Hot Wire Anemometer
A basic anemometer is a device used for measuring the speed of wind passing
by a sampled area. While these devices are used in various forms for weather
evaluation, those designs are far too large for use in a small-scale application. A
variation on this device is a Hot Wire Anemometer. This style of anemometer
uses a very thin wire, heated to a specific temperature over ambient, connected
between a positive and negative terminal to determine air velocity. Because the
electrical resistance of a metal is a function of its temperature, a model can be
established to relate the airflow velocity to the resistance of the wire. A
successful implementation of the hot-wire anemometer can be accomplished by
trying to isolate and maintain a single variable of the application circuit, either a
constant current, a constant voltage across the wire terminals, or a constant
temperature of the wire. As these wires are extremely small and thin, the device
itself can be fairly fragile, but allows for an accurate representation of turbulent
airflow change with a particularly fine resolution.
2.13.2 Pitot Tube
A Pitot (pee-toe) tube is an instrument for measuring fluid flow velocity. First
conceived in the early 1700’s by a French engineer by the name of Henri Pitot,
these devices are commonly used in aeronautical applications for determining
airspeed velocity, as well as industrial applications for measuring air and gas
velocities. These devices work by pointing a fluid filled tube directly into the path
of fluid flow, measuring the induced pressure of the fluid as it has no path to exit
the tube. This measurement, known as the Stagnation Pressure, is a factor in
Bernoulli’s Equation, which establishes a relationship between the static and
dynamic pressure of a fluid flow. The relationship is as follows.
Where V is the fluid velocity, pt is the stagnation pressure, ps is the static
pressure, and ρ is the fluid density. The static pressure is measured by
evaluating the fluid flow pressure perpendicular to the direction of the flow
2.13.3 Piezoresistive Pressure Sensor
These types of sensors utilize what is known as the Piezoelectric effect, which
describes the ability of certain types of materials to generate an electrical field or
electrical potential in response to an applied mechanical stress. In a design that
closely mirrors the effective design of a Pitot Tube, these types of sensors can
detect differential changes in gas pressure within the specific flow channel of
particular interest. Because the structure of the material can be altered at the
time of chip fabrication with subtle changes to semiconductor deposition pressure
and temperature, these sensors can be designed to detect very particular ranges
of pressure change, from high pressure gas lines and containment chambers,
down to very small pressures such as those exhibited during forced human
respiration, or the difference in pressure between two rooms of a building.
Figure 2.13.3-1 shows an example of such a chip. The two tubes sticking out of
the top are capable of measuring differential pressure differences, meaning the
difference between a static and a stagnant air pressure, useful in the
determination of total air velocity when used to solve Bernoulli’s Equation (See
Section 2.13.2). These chips are the combination of a piezoresistive silicon
wafer with an integrated ASIC capable of compensating for temperature and
outputting either a digital signal over a serial device bus, or outputting an analog
signal that can be digitized and evaluated on a particular microcontroller.
Figure 2.13.3-1 Silicon Microsystems SM5852 Series Piezoresistive Pressure
Sensor Chips, printed with permission pending by Silicon Microsystems Inc.
2.13.4 Airflow Measurement Conclusions
After an evaluation of different means by which to sample and measure human
respiratory airflow in the hand held breathalyzer unit, the design team arrived at
the conclusion that the piezoresisitve pressure sensor chips designed by Silicon
Microsystems would present the most optimum solution for the finished design.
Utilizing this approach allows us to select a chip with the most optimum range of
pressure sensitivity, while also delivering the flexibility of either being able to
sample the analog voltage response signal ourselves, or query the integrated
ADC over a standard serial communications bus for a result. The specifications
for successful operation require a 5Vdc input power supply, which has already
been factored into the total design, thus requiring a minimum amount of design
compensation for inclusion into the final product.
3. Hardware Design
While software will be a major component of our project, hardware must also be
considered. Through the design process, there was a focus on ensuring a solid
platform such that any software written could reliably run on the hardware,
without the hardware becoming the proverbial “weak link.” As such, several
considerations such as reliability, price, size, and reduction of complexity are
3.1 System Design Summary
Given the size and usability requirements, simplifying the device is a priority. At
the same time, however, the device needs to offer a significant level of
functionality while being reliable. Hardware reliability is a great concern since this
device will be the element which determines whether the user is able to operate
their vehicle. A failed unit would mean that the user’s ability to use the device and
their vehicle would be compromised. Given the extent to which most people
depend on their personal vehicles for daily transportation, such a failure could
prove significantly inconvenient to the user.
As such, simplification of the circuit is a priority, as mentioned. In order to
achieve this, a centralized form of control must be used. An analog type of
function is possible. Using several comparator circuits, certain inputs could
trigger LEDs and other alert mechanisms, and operate the vehicle disabling
circuitry. However, such a circuit is not only more complex to design and operate,
but is also more difficult to troubleshoot in case of a component failure. It also
greatly limits scalability, in case the design needs to be revised and/or expanded
in the future.
Given such limitations to analog circuitry, a more centralized, digital solution was
considered. This solution is the commonly used microcontroller. Several options
to a centralized digital controller were considered, as detailed in the System
Logic section, but a microcontroller was the final choice, for the reasons detailed
both there and in this section. In addition, such components are generally
significantly more compact than their analog counterparts, especially when
arranged in a useable circuit.
Another consideration was reducing cost, especially if the device was to be
manufactured in production quantities. While most analog components are low
priced, especially in quantity, the additional cost to tool to handle so many
components, along with the additional engineering necessary even on an
ongoing (support) basis made it an unattractive option. Using a microcontroller
and other digital circuitry would allow for a significant reduction in overall
complexity, reliability, and cost.
A basic arrangement of signal flow into the microcontroller and out of the
microcontroller must be established. As such, the microcontroller will obviously
act as the central component in our circuit, ultimately performing all control
functions on board. An arrangement summary is demonstrated in Figure 3.1-1.
Figure 3.1-1: An arrangement summary of signal flow in the portable unit. Small
arrows indicate flow into the microcontroller, and large arrows indicate output
from the microcontroller.
Of course, the overall project consists of two units. In addition to the portable unit
diagrammed above, the control unit performs one of the primary functions of this
device – the interlocking and overall control functionality. Given its semipermanent mount inside the vehicle, space requirements are somewhat relaxed,
but are still present. Nonetheless, it must still adhere to the same requirements
detailed above. However, hardware wise, it needs to accept, control, and output
a different set of variables than the portable unit. A high level design summary of
this arrangement is available in Figure 3.1-2.
Power is also a significant consideration, especially in the portable unit where the
power source must be portable. As such, the power solution will also need to be
designed to support all components, as far as voltage and current requirements.
In addition, charging and any power transient considerations will also need to be
made. While the ability for the portable device to operate both directly from
external power and from the internal battery was considered, it was also realized
that the case of the user actively using the device while it is plugged in is not as
likely as the user using the device while exclusively on the battery. As such, the
portable device will always be powered from the internal rechargeable battery.
Figure 3.1-2: Signal flow summary of the base/control unit. Small arrows indicate
flow into the microcontroller, and large arrows indicate output from the
3.2 Microcontroller Interface
The microcontroller acts as the centerpiece for the entire system design process,
as its function is to receive and process all input data, then return a relevant
result both as a sensory output to the user and a relevant system message to its
counterpart in the opposing hardware unit. As such, there must be defined
specifications for how the microprocessor will communicate with all of these
system devices. The components selected for use in both the hand held unit
design as well as the automobile control box will utilize manufacturer provided
application programming interfaces and industry standard communication
protocols in order to exchange information.
3.2.1 Inter-Integrated Circuit (I²C)
Developed by NXP Semi, now known as Phillips, I²C is a two line serial
communications bus, designed for communications between multiple devices on
the same lines, using a master-slave configuration. This is based on that idea
that most systems have at least one central arbiter or controller, whose job is to
interpret and relay different system device communications between a multitude
of system “slave” devices. In our system design, the I²C bus is offered by the TI
MSP430 microcontroller as a standard for device communications, and as such
the design team chose devices that could take advantage of this interface
Unfortunately, due to a restriction in multiple-device serial communications as
limited by the microcontroller hardware, it may be necessary to develop a
software process to either switch the device control held by the configurable
serial UART on the microcontroller, or emulate the hardware functionality of an
I²C bus controller. This can be accomplished utilizing a technique known as “Bitbanging”. In this technique, software sets and samples the state of pins driven by
the microcontroller, and is responsible for all parameters required for the serial
communication standard.
The I²C requires only two lines. The first line is for serial data and is labeled SDA.
The other is a clock line labeled as SCL. Using a minimum number of bus lines
reduces the overall complexity and physical layout requirements for the
hardware. The target development board has 18 accessible pins, as seen in
Table 3.2.1-1. Fifteen of these pins are software configurable for the purpose of
sampling both analog and digital input, as well as driving analog and digital
output. For the purposes of communicating over the I²C bus, Pin 15 will be used
to drive the SCL line, and Pin 18 will be used to drive and sample the SDA line.
Table 3.2.1-1 EZ430-RF2500 Pinout Diagram, reprinted with permission granted
by Texas Instruments
Standard features of the I²C bus include the ability to detect data collision
between multiple communicating devices, different modes of operation for
reading and writing at speeds ranging from 100 kbps to 3.4 mbps, and physically
defined bus addresses that can be software defined and allow for easy removal
and addition of devices to the bus during system operation.
The SDA line is a bi-directional serial data line that facilitates data transfer
between master and slave devices, synchronized by the SCL line driven by the
master device. These lines are either open-collector or open-drain, depending on
the type of transistor technology used by the device manufacturer. As seen in
Figure 3.2.1-2, the lines are in an unknown state when not being used, so they
must be set to a known state using a 5V voltage source with current-limiting pullup resistors. This sets the condition that both lines are held to a digital logic high
when not in use. The upper limit on the number of devices that can be connected
to a single bus is a function of the bus capacitance, defined by NXP to be no
more than 400pF. Because our system design only incorporates three devices
into the bus, there should be no immediate concern about reaching this upper
limit. With the addition of multiple devices, it would be necessary to calculate the
input capacitance of each device and verify that our design falls within the
Figure 3.2.1-2 The I²C Bus w/ multiple devices, reprinted with permission from
NXP Semiconductor
In the I²C bus topology, a “Master” is the device that provides the clock source on
the SCL line for the “Slave” devices. In Figure 3.2.1-3, the master device initiates
data communications with a “START” condition, consisting of a HIGH to LOW
transition of the SDA line while the SCL line is at a logical high. The master
device terminates with a “STOP” condition, which consists of a LOW to HIGH
transition of the SDA line while the SCL line is at a logical high. The slave device
can receive and transmit data to the master device, but cannot initiate such
conditions. It is also possible to have multiple master devices on the same I²C
bus, using a method of arbitration to prevent multiple masters from initiating
communications at the same time, which would cause data collision and
Figure 3.2.1-3 I²C Start and Stop Clock Conditions, reprinted with permission
from NXP Semiconductor
A valid session of data transfer is represented in Figure 3.2.1-4. In this session,
the master device creates a START condition, then transfers the first byte of
data, which is the address of the slave device the master would like to initiate
communications with. The next part of the transmission represents the direction
of communications, where a logical HIGH represents a read transaction and a
logical LOW represents a write transaction. After this initial message, the master
releases control of the SDA line, bringing it to a logical HIGH. If the slave device
is present on the bus, it will send an ACK message by pulling the SDA line to a
logical LOW. After the slave has sent the ACK message, the master begins to
send data one byte at a time, followed immediately by a START condition to
signal a continued data transaction, or a STOP condition to signal an end to the
data transaction.
Figure 3.2.1-4 Data transfer on the I²C bus, reprinted with permission from NXP
Seen below is Figure 3.2.1-5, a diagram of the hand held unit I²C bus. In this
diagram, the Microcontroller will act as the bus master, driving the SCL line with
a clock frequency set as a function of the desired transaction speed mode, and
will both drive and sample the SDA line to send display data to the LCD display
device, as well as read the digital output from the differential pressure sensor
Figure 3.2.1-5 Hand Held Unit I²C Bus Diagram
3.2.2 Wireless
The target development board is equipped with a Texas Instruments CC2500
2.4Ghz wireless transceiver chip, providing a physical layer to implement
wireless communications with other devices. Also provided by Texas Instruments
is a low power, proprietary wireless communications stack called SimpliciTI. This
software stack occupies a small segment of program flash memory (<8KB), while
providing a broad range of configuration options for the network topology,
including peer-to-peer, access-point based packet routing, and packet repeater
The provided SimplciTI software defines a basic application programming
interface that establishes functions for data send and receive, ping, device link
and initialization, and radio frequency selection. The software also provides a
way to define a persistent hardware address, so that communications with other
similar devices can be easily prevented. This will be the interface of choice for
passing status and authentication messages back and forth between the hand
held unit and the automobile control box.
3.2.3 Programming
Programming the MSP430 target board is accomplished via the provided USB
debugging interface. This interface provides a back channel MSP430 application
UART, which allows the board to be programmed using the provided software
installed on a Windows-based development machine, as well as both sending
and receiving serial data outside of the debug environment. Using a serial
terminal window, data can be transferred back and forth at a rate of 9600bps with
no flow control.
The debug header is the physical connection that provides both the power input
to the target board, as well as the serial transmit and receive lines to the
microprocessor. The connector is a Mill-Max header, model 850-10-006-20001000. This will be designed into the printed circuit board that delivers power to
the microprocessor, and will serve as a fixed mounting solution for the target
board. Table 3.2.3-1 describes the debug header physical pin specifications.
Pins 3 and 4 will be used for programming the target.
Table 3.2.3-1 MSP430 debug and power header pinout, reprinted with
permission from Texas Instruments.
Texas Instruments has seen fit to provide us with two different development
environment software programs for writing and debugging code on the MSP430
target board. One is their in-house compiler suite called Code Composer Studio,
which sets an upper limit of 8KB on the program size. The other program is a
third-party development environment created by IAR Systems, called IAR
Embedded Workbench. The version of IAR Workbench provided with the
development board sets an upper limit on the program code of 4KB. While this
may become a deal-breaker late in the software development cycle, it is widely
recognized industry-wide that the IAR development tools are far more userfriendly and robust than the equivalent Code Composer tools made by TI.
After having the software developers spend time learning how to utilize the two
options for a development environment, It was decided by the group to use Code
Composer Studio v4. While the wireless code was easier to get working in the
IAR Workbench tool suite, the 4KB limit on the software that could be built and
loaded onto a target board proved to be too much. Without an extra 4KB of
memory, software could not be written to drive serial data to and from the LCD
screen, or to analyze time-varying analog signal output from the pressure and
alcohol sensors. Code Composer allows the development team to make more
effective use of the hardware available for the project. On top of that, Code
Composer is based off a very popular, open-source development environment
called Eclipse. Computer Science courses at the University of Central Florida
make heavy use of Eclipse in their classes, as it is widely considered one of the
most versatile software development environments available today. That being
so, the look and feel of the software was very familiar, and made development
more comfortable.
Figure 3.2.3-2 shows an example of the Code Composer Studio development
environment with a small section of the initialization code for the Voog Handheld
Breathalyzer. Based upon developer familiarity, the C programming language
has been chosen for the full software implementation of the hand held unit and
automobile control box. Where necessary, inline assembly instructions can be
used to conduct certain mathematical and system operations, however this will
be kept to a minimum where possible.
Figure 3.2.3-2 Code Composer Studio v4. with example C-code
3.2.4 Analog Sensing
Integrated into the MSP430 microcontroller is a 10-bit analog-to-digital
conversion unit, which will convert a time-continuous analog voltage signal into a
discrete digital value. The 10-bit value is a description of the ADC resolution,
which is an indication of how many discrete levels of measurement can be
produced. An N-bit resolution ADC can output 2N discrete levels of digital voltage,
which can be described as a signed integer between (–2N /2) to (2N /2) -1, or an
unsigned integer between 0 and 2N. The range of voltage that the ADC can
convert into these discrete values is defined by its upper and lower voltage
reference. While the integrated ADC has an internal, software selectable voltage
reference of 1.5Vdc and 2.5Vdc, our pressure sensor output has a potential
range between 0Vdc and 5Vdc. In order to allow our ADC to read between these
levels of voltage, a resistive divider network can be utilized to reduce the output
voltage to fall within the tolerable range. Because the Alcohol sensor voltage
response will be in a very small range, 1.5Vdc reference was chosen to provide
the highest degree of accuracy around the sensor’s voltage response.
The step size of each voltage can be calculated by taking the difference between
the upper and lower reference voltages, and dividing by the total number of
discrete values that can be represented. Because 210 = 1024, our discrete step
size with a 1.5v reference would be
[ 1.5Vdc / 1024 steps ] = 1.46mV
meaning each value output from the ADC will represent a 1.46mV increase in the
time-varying analog signal. This information will be used in the software algorithm
to convert the alcohol sensor part-per-million reading into a blood-alcohol content
value, based on sensor profiling with a dry-gas calibration standard.
3.3 Power Supply
Given the hybrid portable and fixed nature of this project, power becomes a
major element of the design. It must be sufficient to drive all the components of
the portable unit, which include several high power requirement devices, such as
the display, heater, and wireless radio. However, the overall package must still
be small and light enough to be considered portable. In addition, a fair amount of
time must be available before the device requires recharging. Given the
additional importance of the portable unit in that the user will require it to be
functional in order to drive, a very short battery life would be unacceptable for a
usable unit.
The overall power draw of the circuit will need to be considered. Even though the
battery is a rechargeable one, there must be useable capacity during which the
device may be used before having to be recharged. Using power draw
requirements of the major components of the portable unit, a reasonable
estimated of the current draw needed at any one time can be calculated. The
optimum way to calculate the required current draw would be to assume a “worst
case” scenario, where all components are drawing their maximum amount of
current. These numbers are summarized in Table 3.3-1.
Current Draw (mA)
Display – backlight ON
Wireless ON
Other components
1,610 mA = 1.61 A
Table 3.3-1: Worst case current draw for portable unit.
There will be a need for multiple voltages within the units. While the logic can
generally accept a range of voltages, the sensor will have more stringent power
requirements, as will the other components such as the display. As such, it is
prudent to have multiple voltages. To accomplish this, multiple power sources
may be used. For example, several different batteries can be used to generate
each voltage (and power source). However, the disadvantages are numerous.
Not only would this consume more space within our portable housing, but it
would also create multiple parts that would drive up cost and decrease reliability.
As such, it is better to use a single battery. In order to generate multiple voltages,
voltage regulators will be used with this single battery. Since the highest voltage
necessary in the circuit will likely be 5Vdc, the battery should be able to supply
around 1.5Vdc higher than the output of the regulator. This is due to the
requirements of the regulators. Therefore, a minimum battery voltage output
needs to be 6.5Vdc. The 7.4Vdc battery profiled in section 2.11 would meet this
requirement. The next step down in battery voltages is 6V, which would not be
meeting the 6.5Vdc requirement.
3.3.1 Portable Unit Power Supply
The voltage regulators to be used have been profiled in section 2.3. At a
minimum, two voltages are needed within the portable unit, 3.3Vdc and 5Vdc.
Since one 7.4Vdc battery is used in the portable unit as the primary power
source, the voltage regulators will be connected to this battery in order to
regulate the two primary voltages necessary for the other components in the
The battery itself must be recharged. While various configurations were
discussed earlier, the built-in battery configuration turns out to be the optimal
solution. To this point, a charging circuit then becomes necessary, or else the
battery would become a single-use battery, necessitating a visit to a service
center every time the battery was exhausted. Generally, batteries must be
charged at a voltage higher than their output voltages. With lithium ion chemistry
batteries, the nominal charging voltage is 4.1-4.2Vdc. Since this is a two-cell
lithium ion battery generating 7.4Vdc, the charging voltage is 8.1-8.2Vdc. The IC
detailed earlier would automatically take care of this. However, an external
source is still needed.
The external source will be a commonly available AC-DC power supply. It could
also be recharged using a simple adapter which plugs into the 12V supply in a
vehicle. The specs of this unit will be a 12V supply, as these are commonly
available. The current capability should be at least 2A. The charging IC
recommends the input voltage to be no higher than 10Vdc. However, to achieve
this, an additional regulator would need to be connected between the external
input and the input to the charging circuit. This is undesirable as current limits
would then have to be taken into consideration. While it is possible to drive the
regulator at its upper limits, it is not advisable for longevity.
However, another option of driving the charging circuit at 12Vdc is available.
While not within the recommended operating conditions specified by the
BQ24005, it is specific as the maximum safe limit for the input voltages. It is still
possible to maintain this level with an acceptable life to the IC. However, it may
be necessary to utilize heatsinking due to the heat generated by this IC even
under regular operating conditions.
The two status LEDs D1 and D2 will provide feedback about the charge status of
the battery. No additional power protection is provided in the portable unit’s
power supply as not only would it occupy additional space, but there is also a
design assumption that the external power supply provided will have some basic
power protection as a part of its circuitry. These LEDs are capable of providing a
fairly thorough overview of the various states the charging circuit could
encounter, including fault conditions. These states are summarized in Table
Table 3.3.1-1: LED status code table. Reprinted with permission of Texas
A designed schematic of the portable unit’s power supply is available in Figure
3.3.1-1. Essentially, the external power supply will be connected to the unit.
Inside the unit, the connection point will be to the charging circuit. The charging
circuit will connect to the battery. At this point, two voltage regulators will provide
two voltages for use by the rest of the circuit. The battery is always driving the
load. While a switch was considered to allow the external supply to be able to
directly drive the load, the desire for simplicity meant that an extra switch would
not be ideal. This would have also have had the additional advantage of reducing
the number of cycles on the battery, thus extending its life.
It should be noted that the battery is connected to both the charging circuit and
the primary load of the battery (the remainder of the circuitry). There is a design
assumption that the user will most likely not be using the device while it is
plugged in to charge. Even if it is, however, it would still work as again, the
device is still always being driven from the voltage source provided by the
In addition, all major elements of the circuit are capable of driving at least the
worst case draw of current, which is mentioned in table 3.3.-1. In practice, it is
unlikely this scenario would occur. Nonetheless, it should be designed as such
as an element of robust design.
Figure 3.3.1-1: Designed schematic for hand held unit power supply
3.3.2 Control Unit Power Supply
The needs of the control, or base, unit are fairly similar to that of the portable
unit. However, the control unit will be hardwired to the power in the vehicle. A
consideration to be made, however, is how much power is being consumed while
the device is idle. The vehicle’s line to be used is a 12V line; however, this is
from a battery while the vehicle is off. As such, it would be wise to not drain the
vehicle’s battery.
In addition, the condition of the vehicles (and the conditions of their batteries) will
not be consistent in all installations of the overall system. As such, it is imperative
to reduce idle power draw as much as possible. To do this, optimizations will be
made for the control software to reduce or eliminate the draw of certain
components which would not be actively needed during idling.
Otherwise, the system will interface with the constant +12Vdc line in a vehicle’s
electrical system, and regulate this voltage. A schematic of the control unit’s
power supply is available in Figure 3.3.2-1. There will be no charging circuit
since, as mentioned, the power is sourced directly from the vehicle, rather than
adding another battery. Rather, although in the schematic, the charging circuit
will not be populated.
Also, in order to protect against a large transient fluctuation from the power
source, a protection device is inserted near the beginning of the circuit to help
protect the rest of the circuit. While LEDs were considered as an addition to this
circuit, the focus on reducing the idle power draw of the control unit would not be
served by adding in LEDs which may remain on indefinitely.
Figure 3.3.2-1: Designed schematic for the control unit’s power supply
3.3.3 Power Supply Design Summary
Since the device is made to be portable in a variety of environments, and not
limited to a single, controlled location, power is an important concern. As
calculated, the circuit past the battery must be able to support a maximum draw
of 1.61A. Indeed, this is a significant amount, and would normally call for a
battery with a large capacity. However, due to the addition of a charging circuit
designed for a 12Vdc input, recharging is convenient. A simple adapter for a
vehicle’s cigarette lighter outlet can be used, or a commonly available adapter for
recharging in the home or office from an AC outlet.
3.4 Display
The Voog Handheld Breathalyzer requires a means by which to display data to
the user, in order to communicate test results, connection status, etc. One of the
simplest ways to communicate with an LCD display is a serial bus, where data is
packetized by the microcontroller, and synchronously driven to a connected
device. Because the development hardware lacks the ability to directly drive RS232 data, either I2C or SPI would work well for a small display. Because it is a
more simple design, I2C was chosen for this. However, because I2C relies on
connected devices to share the same logic levels, it was important to choose a
display that could communicate on the same level as the microcontroller at 3.3v.
For this, the Newhaven C0216CiZ was chosen for external communications.
Figure 3.3.4 illustrates the pin out for the C0216CiZ, as well as the connection
diagram to establish reliable communications between the display and the
microcontroller. It is necessary to provide separate power chains for both the
backlight, as well as the onboard display logic. The device itself is very simple to
interface with, and has a pre-programmed slave device address to listen for. All
of these communications are handled by software on the microcontroller that
emulates the functionality of a hardware serial controller. For this reason, it was
important to evaluate the rise and fall time, and the stability of the signal as it was
being driven high and low by software. If the signal did not meet the timing
specifications established by the display manufacturer, then the digital logic on
the display would not be able to recognize a proper high to low, or low to high
Figure 3.4.1: Pinout table and connection diagram for the Newhaven C0216Ciz
LCD Display, printed with permission granted by Newhaven Display.
3.5 Portable Unit Circuit Board
Given our variety of smaller circuitry and need for a compact solution, an
organized form of assembling the components needed is a requirement. There
are several options available. Some of the requirements and considerations is
that primarily, size must be as reduced as possible, especially for the portable
unit. In addition, cost is a consideration, as is the long-term reliability of the
method (quality). In addition, it must be durable enough to withstand use in the
real world.
3.6.1 Breadboard
One option considered was to simply use a prototyping or hobbyist breadboard.
This would be the lowest cost method, and would also prove the simplest to be
able to repair or fix in case of errors discovered in the circuit. It would simplify
replacement of any failed components.
However, it is the largest of all options, as the size of the circuit is given a
minimum size of the breadboard. While smaller breadboards can be obtained, it
is still restricted even by the spacing of the holes in the breadboard. In addition, it
does not have the durability characteristics of a portable device, since the
components are held in by friction. It is intended for a desktop or lab table
application, and would not work well in an environment where the device could
be turned to any orientation or subjected to shocks and movement.
3.6.2 Perforated Board
The second option was to use a type of board commonly used for being able to
retain the advantages of a breadboard, yet being able to make the circuit more
permanent. This type of board would allow for easy, low cost assembly, as well
as easy debugging and troubleshooting. In addition, it would allow components to
be soldered together for longer term durability.
However, the size is still an issue. While it can be made compact, It is still limited
by the limit of being able to organize the physical components. In addition,
electrical wire will have to be used between certain components, greatly
increasing the overall physical size of the circuit. However, it would be durable
enough for portable use; however, it is still not as durable as would be optimal for
the application of this project.
3.6.3 Printed Circuit Board
A third option would be to create a printed circuit board. This is the most durable
of all options considered, and also retains several other advantages. The
possible circuit density is also much higher, allowing for a much more compact
circuit layout. As far as the aforementioned durability, a PCB would be the least
susceptible to have wires or components come undone due to normal use of the
portable unit. One possible disadvantage of a PCB is its relatively high cost.
However, this can be addressed by creating one’s own PCB. There are two ways
to utilize a PCB: it can be ordered by a company specializing in the production of
PCBs, or it can be created by an individual. Both have their own advantages and
In order to etch a PCB, the PCB circuit layout of the portable unit would first be
plotted on a computer. The image would then be inverted. It would then be
printed on a laser printer, preferably on simple photo paper. At this point, the
copper-clad board would be cut to size, and the piece of paper placed on it, toner
side down. A hot iron would then be pressed onto the paper with heavy pressure.
After this, the paper-copper combination is placed into water. After a few hours,
the paper should be removed. After placing the combination in water again, all
remaining paper should be rubbed or otherwise removed. The combination is
then left to etch in a solution of ferrous chloride. Then, holes must be drilled, and
components soldered. At this point, the board should be complete.
While etching a PCB was an attractive option, given its elimination of the price
penalty commonly associated with PCBs, none of the group members had the
appropriate materials necessary to do as such. In addition, the lack of experience
meant that several boards would likely be wasted as a working board was
created. As such, the other option is more attractive – outsourcing production to
a company specializing in custom PCB production.
The company chosen was Sunstone Circuit’s PCB123. Although there is a cost
penalty, the final result is more professional looking, and will be as durable as
possible for any possible long term use of the portable unit. The PCB circuit
layout is detailed in Figure 3.6.3-1 below.
Figure 3.6.3-1: Layout of printed circuit board.
To understand the component placement better, a simulated view of the finished
product is available in Figure 3.6.3-2. Using this view, it is possible to ascertain
the types of capacitors and resistors needed. While PCB123 has several predefined (and user definable) footprints, the final appearance and relative size is
not always immediately obvious. The simulated view helps in this regard. The
layout was designed using PCB123’s proprietary software, PCB123 Design
Suite. While available for free download, it creates PCB123’s own format that is
not compatible with software from other custom PCB manufacturers.
When designing this PCB, not only was space efficiency a large concern (given
our small board size), but also efficiency in routing traces was a chief concern.
Given the fact that component footprints were not as clearly defined as possible
in the PCB123 software, it is important to have a bit of flexibility in placing the
components. If the traces are too far apart, space on the board will be wasted.
However, if they are too close together, a small variation in a part could mean
that a trace becomes accidentally soldered. Several considerations were made
due to the relatively large power flows through this board, as well as the fact that
it would be handling both analog and digital signals. The need to reduce
crosstalk and other interference effects was significant. Therefore, several
conditions were observed in routing traces. Power traces were set at 32 mil,
signal traces were set at 15 mil, and signals traces were spaced 25 mil apart. In
addition, a mostly dedicated group plane was used to provide a robust ground
and to reduce unintended capacitive and inductive effects. In addition, all pin
openings are set at 0.1” spacing (2.54mm) to standardize them for use with
standard spaced interconnect headers.
Figure 3.6.3-2: A simulated, rendered image of the PCB layout.
A simple two-layer board was chosen. Additional layers can simplify routing and
create a more compact overall circuit, but also increases cost. Given our level of
complexity for the designed schematic, a two layer board would most likely be
sufficient. The size of the board was chosen at 3in x 2in. Thickness was chosen
to be 0.062”. While space is at a premium in the portable unit, there should be
sufficient space to fit a 0.03” thicker board. The additional thickness should also
help increase durability of the board.
3.7 Control/Base Unit Circuit Board
3.7.1 Choice of Circuit Board for Control/Base Unit
The control or base unit will not require as much circuitry as the portable unit did.
The primary reason for this is that no rechargeable battery will be used for the
control unit, as it will be powered directly from the vehicle’s electrical system.
Given this fact, the same options that were considered for the portable unit were
also considered for the control unit.
However, one possible option was to design the circuit above to also be
compatible with the control unit. Doing this would yield significant cost savings as
it would then only be necessary to commission a single printed circuit board
rather than two separate boards. Given the minimum order quantities at the
majority of custom PCB manufacturers, this would yield a cost savings
regardless of manufacturer chosen.
3.7.2 Creating a Dual-Purpose Board
In order to do this, two issues had to be considered. First, the charging circuit
must be disconnected. Secondly, the issue of switching the voltage source of the
voltage regulators, and thus the rest of the device had to be considered. Since
the circuit is powered from the battery for the portable configuration, a change to
the external voltage source must be made in order for the control unit to have
power without the battery.
One option considered was to create a type of voltage comparator, which would
be capable of automatically detecting the higher of two voltages, and “switching”
to the greater voltage. However, this would likely not be the most efficient route
since it would create extra circuitry to handle a case which would not be
encountered under the expected usage plan. Since this board will be switched
during manufacturing, the board’s role as a portable board or control unit board is
decided a single time, by the device manufacturer (not the user). As such, a
jumper system made more sense. By changing a few jumpers at certain
locations, the circuit could be adjusted for either the portable or base unit
purpose. The summary of the jumper configurations is listed in Table 3.7.2-1.
Using these settings will yield the desired configuration by disconnecting and
connecting appropriate portions of the circuit.
Open/Closed if
Open/Closed if
Table 3.7.2-1: Jumper configurations to achieve either portable or control board
Thus, not only can the boards be used for both circuits, but it can be done
cheaply and reliably.
3.8 Enclosure
Our development for the enclosure design initiated after the research of our
resource availability and options. It is our goal to make an attempt on our
enclosure housing for the hand-held unit. Three preliminary drawing were
created and documented below each with its purpose.
Concept I is based on the number 8, representing our group number 8. It is
design with the purpose to grab one’s attention right away. This concept will be
composing of white polyurethane plastic surfacing majority of the unit. An initial
sketch provided in Figure 3.8-1.
Figure 3.8-1 Voog Concept I
The dimension of this design will be 6x2.5x1.75inch to fit our PCB properly along
with the airflow-sampling valve. In addition, custom cut vinyl will be used to
provide more professional product feel and looks to it. Vinyl will also be used to
mask out any display designs need to achieve any shape and look where the
physical element might not be.
Concept II is based on the current trend designs such as Apple’s iPod. On a
side-by-side comparison with any other breathalyzer hand held unit, Voog
concept II will certainly stand out among all. It is also design with the purpose to
grab one’s attention right away and utilize the advantage of the market’s demand
for this type of design electronics. The color of this design will be pearl white with
a clear glossy coating and will also be made of polyurethane plastic for its
lightweight and durability. An initial sketch provided in Figure 3.8-2.
Figure 3.8-2 Voog Concept II
In this design, a bigger LCD screen will be utilized to achieve a quality build. A
black trim will be made with black custom cut vinyl to provide a black glass look.
Concept II will be employing the single button design as well to make sure our
product’s ease of use is achieved. Similar to concept I, a flip up airflow valve will
be use to provide maximum portability.
Concept III is designed with the emphasis on cost and the simplicity of producing
with the use of rapid prototyping. A traditional rectangular shape unit will be used
along with curved sides on each end. 7 Segment LED display will be used in this
design install of pricier LCD display to aid in cutting the cost. Instead of
polyurethanes plastics, standard rapid prototyping plastic powder will be use.
Finally, vinyl will be used once again to touch up the unit with added perceived
value. An initial sketch provided in Figure 3.8-3.
Figure 3.8-3 Voog Concept III
The dimension of concept III is 6x2.5x1.75. A 1-inch attachable airflow valve will
be located on the left side of the unit. One button design located in the center for
the ease of use, followed by opening holes for speaker’s sound transmission.
Once again this is a low cost and less time consuming design acts as a
contingency design in cases when our resources and time are limited.
Secondary Computerized Designs
Secondary drawings are created using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to
create a better visual of our enclosure and our hand held unit. Shadow and
reflections are added to generate a more realistic feel. From our computerized
designs we’re able to continue on with our next step if the designs are chosen for
rapid prototyping. Vector graphic design can be use to accelerate the process of
CAD design which is need in order to be use to manufacture the housing
enclosure through the Rapid Prototyping lab of the Industrial Engineering
department of the UCF Engineering college.
Digital computer design of Voog breathalyzer concept I:
Figure 3.8-4. Designed by Xi Guo, Senior Design Group 8
Digital computer design of Voog breathalyzer concept II:
Figure 3.8-5. Designed by Xi Guo, Senior Design Group 8
4. Software Design
4.1 Software Design Summary
The software design as described should define the characteristics of both the
hand held unit system and the control box unit system. These design specs
should be reasonable, attainable, and perform on an optimal level. Since the
hand held unit will be more of a passive device, but it will require more of well
defined design. There are certain factors that will play a crucial role in designing
a system that can perform at an optimal level. Some of the factors are the
Robustness – This design should be able to withstand many different complex
challenges and be able to correct them accordingly. Ways to complete this task it
design a platform that will be able to error correct. This correct shouldn’t take as
minimal time as possible. Creating states and data logging will allow modification
to be more efficient.
Optimization Time – Response time should a main aspect to the design. The
user will be taking in sample data, getting the data and processing it should use
the minimal amount of CPU time. The data being transferred should be able to
be packaged in a way that will optimize transfer rate. When the user BAC is over
a legal limit then control box unit should be able to immediately respond with the
alert system without any delays. Delaying any type of data or information can
slow down the system. The user should be able to take a breath sample and get
a response on the LCD display in less than 10,000 milliseconds. This data should
be able to process this data in a reasonable amount of time and send the data to
the control unit wirelessly. If there are any errors in this process it should take in
account and correct them accordingly within a rational amount of time.
Simplicity – The code should be simple. The importance of this practice is to
ensure that “The code does what it needs”. The software should not be
overdesigned to the point that the additional lines code take up CPU time. In
regards to simplicity, if an algorithm is used to calculate a value, it should be a
straightforward. Redundancy can cause dirty code and use up memory.
Now that certain guidelines have been defined, the design process will be split up
into the system. The hand held unit and the control box unit. The hand held unit
will require data acquisition from the hand held unit. The IDE workspace that is
used by the MSP430 is Code Composer Studio. All the code implementation will
be compiled through this environment. Before actually creating the software,
there are certain specs that are set on the project so that the compiler will
produce more efficient code. The MSP430 offers six different unique project
configurations that can increase compiler efficiency. The different project
configurations are the following, process configuration, normal or position-
independent code, data model, size of double floating-point type, optimization
settings, and runtime environment. The settings that will be increase compiler
effectiveness is the runtime environment and optimization settings. The reason
why the other project configuration is not being used is for the simple fact that
they are not needed. The size of a double floating-point type basically means that
it will allow a 32 bit and 64 bit numbers standard IEEE754. The data that will be
read in and used will be exploited as integers.
The data model allows a default model for the memory. The memory can be split
up into three different models. Small Data Model, Medium data model, and Large
data model. The Small Data Model defines that the first 64Kbytes of memory can
be used. The Medium Data Model defines that the objects are positioned in the
first 64Kbytes of memory. The Large Data Model defines the entire memory can
be used. Even though the models set up the memory in such a way that can be
utilized for different aspects of the project, the developers will memory map the
flash memory. The MSP430 has flash memory addresses range from 0x0000 to
0x8000. The address range from 0x0000 to 0x1000 is reserved primarily for the
MSP430. The remaining area will be used for data logging and the application
itself. Figure 4.1-1
Table Figure 4.1-1: Diagram illustrating Flash memory map
Each application Control Box Unit will be used between the address ranges from
0x1000 to 0x4000. This will have all the information and look up table for what to
do when the data is being passed. The information passed will always use the
look up table. In this look up table, there will be information on the status on if the
key is in the ignition, the alarm algorithm that will used when the BAC level is
over the legal limit, and the status of the car itself. The data logging will be utilize
the address range from 0x4000 to 0x8000. The data logging will store the
information about he user and the status of the car. From ranges 0x4000 to
0x5000 the information iteration will be store. This means that the when read in
will be given an iteration number so the user can pull the exact information on on
certain duration. The remainder of the address will be use for the message string.
In Figure 4.1-2 it shows the block diagram of the memory and how it split up to
handle the log information. The runtime environment will be used to maintain the
ISO/ANSI library C and C++ library. Prebuilt libraries will allow more efficient
coding and less software design. The most useful setting for the software design
that will be used in the project configuration is the optimization settings.
Figure 4.1-2: Diagram illustrating Flash memory map for data logging.
The optimization setting allows an optimizer to be used that can enable deadcode elimination, constant propagation, inclining, common sub expression
elimination, and precision reduction. This configuration will ensure that memory is
not be wasted and utilized in the most efficient way. With only 32Kbytes of flash
memory, there should no waste of memory. The memory should only be
accessed and used when it is needed. The procedure that will take place first will
be Request to Receive Authentication from the hand held unit. Sense the
communication is wireless there is a certain error checking and evaluation that
will ensure that the performance of the wireless is being used and the highest
4.2 Communications
The communication will design will be differ from each system. The system that
will be taken into account will be the hand held unit system and the control box
unit. The software should be able to handle the different devices should as the
display, the air flow sensor, the alcohol sensor, the LEDs, and other devices
used by each of the systems. The communication software should have certain
routines that will invoke different function to handle the certain task to
communicate with the devices. These routines should be able to have interrupt
handler just in case an error is sent. The basic skeleton should involve a
message pump procedure that will be able to distinguish from what message.
The message pump routine will allow certain classes to post the message on
itself to save in the message state. Each message will invoke a different routine
depending on the message that was received by the message pump. This
message pump will act a manger that will distribute the necessary parameters
that will each message to be utilized in an effect way. These parameters can be
the BAC value, air flow pressure, and other components received by inputs.
The hand held unit will be the first software implantation. Figure 4.2-1 illustrates
the system itself from the inputs and the outputs with the description of the bus
lines. Since the inputs will be taken into consideration, the air flow sensor to
measure pressure and the display will be using I2C. Setting up the configuration
for the I2C, the MSP430 is configured to enable. The software itself for the
communication will be set up to handle the number of connection, maximum size
of application, default link token, default join token, devices address on the hand
held unit, device type, and the end device Rx type.
Within each of these, there are certain commands that can be passed to achieve
these goals. The access point should be able to configure three things, initialize
the HW/Radio, handle the linking, and receive the message. The access point
will act as a hub for the hand held unit system. On the end device, the device
should have a link id, a board HW, and allow the data to be received and dealt
with accordingly. Figure 4.2-2 shows a great a well detailed example on how the
senor taking in readings will be used. The hand held unit will read the input, and
will take it with an id. The link id string for the air flow sensor will be airFlow and
the display link id string will be lcdDisplay. These link ids will be significant when
the end device passes the link id to the hub. The hub will always require a link id.
If none of the link ids are used then the end module will go into sleep mode.
Figure 4.2-1: Diagram illustrating the end device configuration sample from TI.
Pending permissions from Texas Instruments
Figure 4.2-2: Diagram illustrating the end device configuration sample from TI.
Pending permissions from Texas Instruments
The control box unit communication will be slightly different. The only
communication on the control box unit will be the transceiver. This will be
handled wirelessly, and handled by a routine that will retrieve the message and
deal with it accordingly. The data that will be processed from the hand held unit
will be received by the control box unit transceiver. From this point the data will
be accounted for and processed. Once processed, the information will be stored
in the memory location allocated for the results in RAM. The RAM will specifically
be used for the calculating process.
With the hand held unit and the control box having such a different
communication platform, the best way to ensure that each of them is
communicating correctly is send a message via wireless and wait for a response
from each unit. When the control box unit sends a message to request for
authentication then a wireless message should be sent to the control box unit
and then the hand held unit will be able to communicate appropriately with the
control box unit.
4.2.1 Wireless Communications Functions
Table 4.2.1-1 is a list of the C functions that comprise the wireless
implementation of the SimpliciTI software stack. They were utilized by both the
handheld breathalyzer and the automobile unit for the purposes of wireless
message passing, using the CC2500 wireless transceiver.
void createRandomAddress()
This function uses a random seed integer,
sourced from the VLO to generate a random
32-bit wireless physical address. If the
address has been generated previously and
stored in Flash, this function is ignored
void linkTo()
Runs until a link is established with a local
void initRadio()
Invokes functions to create address and link
with peers. Exits on successful link and reply
void sendWirelessData(int x) Transfers a single integer over the wireless
link by converting the input integer to a 32-bit
output string
Table 4.2.1-1 – Functional Breakdown of Wireless Functions
4.3 Portable Unit Software
The portable unit software is described to be more of a passive device. This
passive device just takes input and does not request for information from the
control box unit. The hand held unit will flow like the following. The user will press
the power button which is a push button and the HHU will initializes. The device
starts heating up server until ready for a test. Once it is ready to take input from
the user, it will alert the user by displaying the ready on the LCD display. When
the user blows into the hand held unit the air flow sensor will take in data and
make sure that the correct amount of air flow is being supplied. When that test
has been passed then the hand held unit will display the result sample. If the
Sample is inadequate then user is required to take another sample if. After the
user does not require another sample then the user can turn on the device. If the
user gives an adequate sample then the hand held unit will display the message
to the module that will be pass the data to the LCD display. When the user does
not receive an authentication then the user may turn off the device. If the use
user requires n authentication then user will presses the wireless authentication
The hand held unit will broadcast the message over wireless connection. The
message will validate with the control box and allow the user to disable the
device. Figure 4.3-1 shows the flow chart for this process. This information is
logged into the data log memory portion for the data log. The module that will set
the bit inputs to high will set the air flow sensor to high. Once a confirmation
message has been given to the data management, then data will start to be
collected. The data will continue to be collected and then stored into RAM. As
long as the bus line to the sensor is set to high then the data will be continue to
be collected. When the data has been fully collected, a module will be set the bit
to low.
Figure 4.3-1: Diagram illustrating flow chart for hand held unit.
4.3.1 Display Functions
In order to communicate over the I2C bus with the display, an accurate “bitbanged” I2C interface was created using a set of functions to encapsulate certain
functionality of the bus, including operations to drive pins high and low, convert
strings to binary output, transmit, receive acknowledgement, and configure the
LCD to default functionality. Table 4.3.1-1 describes the purpose of each function
in the display software.
void I2C_Init()
Prepares the I2C bus data structure, Initializes
GPIO pins to SDA and SCL
void I2C_Start()
Creates a START condition on the I2C data
line by creating a falling edge on SDA, while
holding SCL high
void I2C_Stop()
Creates a STOP condition on the I2C data line
by creating a rising edge on SDA, while
holding SCL high
void I2C_WriteByte(byte)
Writes a single byte to the I2C bus by masking
each bit to determine the value (1 or 0),
creating the correct high/low transition on SDA,
then driving the clock line high and low to clock
the data in
void I2C_GetAck()
Sets the SDA line to input and drives the SCL
line high. Checks if the device pulls the SDA
line low to acknowledge receipt of a packet.
void SetPinValue(Port, Pin, bool) Sets an individual pin to either high or low
bool GetPinValue(Port, Pin)
Gets the value of an individual pin
void SetPortValue(Port, byte)
Sets lines of a port to either output or input,
depending on the input 8-bit value
char GetPortValue(Port)
Returns the current 8-bit register controlling the
port direction
void Init_LCD()
Initializes the LCD for output using values
suggested by the manufacturer
void cgram()
Part of the LCD initialization, this routine writes
values to the internal LCD character RAM, as
suggested by the manufacturer
void show(char *text)
Loops through an input string array, outputting
each character to the LCD display
void nextline()
Moves cursor to the next line of the LCD
void clearscreen()
Clears the LCD screen
Table 4.3.1-1 – Display Communications Functional Breakdown
4.3.2 Sampling Functions
The output of the alcohol and pressure sensors needs to be sampled on
separate channels of the ADC, at varying times. In order to simply program
structure, the functions for sampling have been isolated into their own
functionality and return values. Table 4.3.2-1 summarizes these functions.
void sampleThreshold()
Runs an infinite sample loop of the pressure
sensor, function exits when pressure reading
reaches an established threshold value for an
adequate breath sample
Int samplePressureInterval()
Samples the pressure sensor over a 4 second
interval. Increments return value for each valid
second over which the sample was taken. A
perfect sample will return a value of 4.
Int sampleAlcoholSensor()
Samples the alcohol sensor output over a 1
second period at the end of the breath
submission interval. Returns the number of
BAC points calculated using the calibration
standard value of 1 BAC point (0.01 BAC)
Table 4.3.2-1 Sampling Function Breakdown
4.4 Control Unit Software
The software process for the control box unit will be different being that this
system will be more of an active device. It will be query for messages from the
hand held unit. The control box unit will need to get information from the hand
held unit and be able to process it handle the message that will be coming from
the hand held unit. Being that this device is active there will be certain modules
that will define the states. When the control box unit transmits a response to the
hand held unit. The control box will run in different states. The first state will be a
RST which is receive transmission status. This state will run continuously until
the data is valid and has been validated as an accurate value. This state while
require a while loop that will run until an interrupt has been invoked. Once the
data has been processes and validated then the control box unit will call the
system mode module and pass either a high or low. Depending on if the value is
a high or low, the system will take different paths. If the data is set to high the car
will not be able to start. The system module will be able to handle the relay
The control box unit will have access to the relay and other components that will
enable the vehicle to start. If all these test pass, then the next state will transfer
into enter functionality state. The functionality state will enable the system mode
and allow the user to get access to the vehicle. If the system has passed these
requirements then the system will load in the last state which is idle state. In the
Idle state the system will have all the information needed and will be able to
either allow the vehicle to be started. The requirements have been set and since
they have been set the software should be able to handle the procedures. The
routines that will be used for control box unit software will be strictly integer
based functions. Every data that will be passed in will be considered to be an
integer. Since the routine will be used quite often, the application will be saved in
flash memory. The software will handle the messages from the hand held unit by
a message pump. The messages will be stored into a message handler routine.
The message will post to itself and then invoke the correct routine that will allow
the device to be used. Figure 4.4-1 illustrates the flow chart for the design.
Figure 4.4-1: Diagram illustrating the flow chart control box unit.
The control box unit code will involve setting LED’s high or low, setting the relay
to high or low. This will be taken care of in the beginning of the code. In order to
do this, the code must set different ports to outputs so that it can be utilized as an
output. These ports will also be used for headlights, motor relay, red status led,
and green status led. Port four pin four will be used for the motor relay, port four
pin three will be used for the green status led, port four pin five will be used for
the red status led, and port four pin six will be used for the headlight LEDs.
These declarations will be made in the beginning so that the car will not drive. In
order to utilize the control box unit as a access point, there are certain states that
should be created to manage the data that is coming from the end point. The
data will be transferred from the end point (Hand Held Unit) will be character.
This character will determine transition to the different sates listed below states.
There will be four states that will manage the control box unit. The first state will
be the wait state. The wait state will wait for a valid reading from the hand held
unit. If the user who has taking the breath sample gives a bad reading, it will stay
in the wait state. This means that the motor relay, headlight LEDs, green status
LED, and red status LED. Once a valid reading has been registered, then the
current state will be transitioned to enabled state. In the enabled state, the motor
relay bits is set to high, as well as the green status led and highlight LEDs. Once
the system is in the enabled state, the system will request another reading at a
random interval. As soon as the system asked for another reading, the current
state will transition to rolling state. The rolling state will enable red status led,
disable the green led and wait for the user to give a valid reading. The user will
have four minutes to give a valid reading. If the user gives an invalid reading, the
current state will be transitioned to the alert state. In the alert state, the green
status LED, red status LED, and the headlight LEDs will be toggled until the user
cuts power to the vehicle. Figure 4.4-2 shows the flow diagram for the control
box unit states.
Figure 4.4-2: Diagram illustrating the flow chart control box unit states.
The functions that were used for the control box unit can be listed in the tables
below. These functions are essential in order to communicate with the hand held
unit and also enable the correct bits to disable or enable the LEDs and motor
relay. Table 4.4.2-1 summarizes these functions.
void EnabledState(void)
Enables the port 4 pin bit 4 to enable the motor
relay, port 4 bit 6 to enable the headlights, and
port 4 pin 3. Will use random function to
request new reading.
void WaitState(void)
Enables internal MSP430 LED for status that it
is communicating with hand held unit.
void RandomRollingState(void) Disables port 4 to pin 3 for green status LED,
port 4 pin 5 to enable red status LED.
void AlertState(void)
Toggle internal LEDs for MSP430. Toggle
headlights, red and green status LED.
Table 4.4.2-1 States Transition Function Breakdown
5. Testing and Validation
5.1 Hardware Verification Requirements
In order to establish that each unit has been produced to the highest possible
degree of quality, it is necessary to establish specific requirements for the
verification of hardware functionality. These requirements should be defined for
each individual component of the system under design, including the sensors,
power delivery subsystems, internal and external communications hardware,
system logic, as well as the system enclosures.
5.1.1 Power Hardware
The power requirements of this device will consist of several integrated circuits,
as well as hardware requiring power requirements above standard circuit
voltages. The largest voltages required will be 9Vdc. As such, 3.3Vdc and 5Vdc
are needed for this device. The portable unit will have both voltages available,
whereas the control unit could also have both voltages available, depending on
implementation. In addition, a 9Vdc rail will be needed for use by the charging IC.
There must also be a source of power for the portable unit. Given its portable
nature, a battery would be the ideal source of power. This battery would supply
the voltages necessary via a form of voltage step-down, or possible step-up
voltages. However, stepping up voltages presents current limits which would not
be acceptable given the overall power requirements of both units.
Basic power protection will be available in both units. The battery should
especially be protected from large, undesirable power events. This will be
integrated into any charging and control circuits that interface directly with the
external charging or power source, before any power transients can reach the
more sensitive integrated circuit components such as the microcontroller.
5.1.2 Gas Detection Sensor
This hardware and associated hardware will provide the main function of this
project. As such, the gas detection sensor has several main requirements that
will need to be verified. It must detect a low enough concentration of alcohol so
as to be appropriate for an intoxicated human. In addition, in must be sensitive
enough to differentiate between various alcohol levels within the range of legal
BAC (blood alcohol content) ranges, able to be detected by a microprocessor’s
analog to digital convertor. In addition, it must be able to be reset in an
automated and relatively simple manner, in order to allow for additional readings.
The size must also be reasonable, as it must fit in a small space within the sizerestricted portable unit. The price must also be reasonable since the component
will need to be replaced after a certain number of uses due to the degeneration
(due to time and use) of all types of gas sensors.
5.1.3 Enclosure
The enclosure for the portable unit must be as compact as possible. Specifically,
it should be around the size of 4x5” at a maximum. The specifics of this may
change, depending on optimizations or special needs of other components within
the device. It must also be durable enough to withstand repeated use by a
possibly intoxicated individual, and able to possess a reasonable amount of
resistance to basic environmental factors.
It must also possess an opening for sensor input airflow, as well as an exit
aperture for air to flow out. In addition, an opening will have to be made for a
display, as well as one or more LEDs to indicate various statuses and alerts. It
should also be aesthetically non-offensive, such that the user would not leave the
device in his car simply because of the appearance of the unit. If this happened,
it would defeat the portable nature of this project.
5.1.4 Display
The display must be able to display, at a minimum, the BAC content detected. It
must have a backlight to allow for nighttime usage. In addition, it must be easily
legible during both the day and the night. The power requirements should also be
as low as possible, in order to extend battery life. In addition, it should be able to
be easily interfaced to the microcontroller.
Additionally, it should be easily controllable. Whether this means building a driver
circuit to control and drive the display, or having the display have a built-in control
solution, it should not require a large amount of supporting circuitry which would
require a large amount of physical space on the PCB.
5.1.5 Wireless Communications
The wireless communication protocol should be a relatively easily implemented
protocol. It should be fairly well known, in order to speed application and also to
reduce debugging time. The range of the wireless radios will not have to be
large; as it is a near-range application, the range will most likely not extend
beyond 5-10 feet at a maximum.
The wireless should be robust, and without frequent errors or issues. The data
transmission rate will not have to be high, as a large amount of data is not being
transmitted or received. As such, the data rate will not have to exceed more than
several thousand bytes per second. Lastly, the wireless protocol used should be
efficient in power consumption, and able to be controlled easily via the
5.1.6 Airflow Detection Requirements
Since flow confirmation must be reliable enough to prevent abuse and misuse of
the unit, the airflow detection must have several characteristics. First, it must be
able to be integrated into the portable unit. Specifically, it must be able to be
integrated into the flow channel that will be in the portable unit. Given this
requirement, the airflow detection mechanism must either be small enough to fit
inside the channel, or have appropriate built-in channels in order to be able
interface directly with flow channel. In addition, this flow measurement location
must not impede with the overall airflow so as to cause an incorrect
measurement of airflow or airpressure from the breathing of the user. Also, it
should not impede flow across the sensor.
The other major requirement of the sensor is that it has some sort of output
readable by the rest of the circuit. This format could be in several different forms,
but the closer it is to being able to communicate directly with the microcontroller,
the more ideal it will be. It must also be sensitive enough to detect pressures low
enough as would be exerted by a human. Also, it must durable enough to be able
to withstand repeated uses.
5.2 Hardware Test Procedure
In order to properly verify the successful integration of all devices and
subsystems into a high quality product, it is necessary to define procedures by
which each subsystem can be individually tested against the established
requirements. Each component should be observed to operate under typical
conditions within its specified tolerance. Test procedures allow a technician who
is unfamiliar with the design and inner workings of a given system to make these
observations, and certify that there are no faults in components of the design.
5.2.1 Verifying Power Hardware
Since excessive voltages can damage the integrated circuits, it is necessary to
test the voltage regulators and battery first. To do this, a multimeter will be used.
The battery can be tested by measuring the voltage across the positive and
negative terminals using a multimeter. It is not necessary to connect the battery
into a circuit. The voltage must be verified to be close to 7.4Vdc. If this is not the
case, ensure the battery is fully charged, and then try again.
For the voltage regulators, a basic circuit must be established. Using the
schematics available in the voltage regulators section, connect each voltage
regulator in a separate circuit utilizing filtering capacitors, and positive and
negative connections. Common connections should be grounded. In addition, a
heatsink is recommended for the 5Vdc regulator. The 12Vdc external source
should be connected to both units. Both units should have a parallel
configuration. At this point, connect the positive lead of the multimeter to the
output of the 5Vdc regulator. Connect the common lead to ground of the circuit.
Verify that the output voltage is a nominal 5Vdc. If not, disconnect the 12Vdc
source and measure it with respect to ground. Ensure the source is correct. If
correct, ensure there is no short circuit present. Repeat the procedure for the
3.3Vdc regulator.
One question is that of the value of the Rsense resistor in the circuit of the
charging IC. This resistor determines the charge current, and thus, the charge
time and speed of the battery. There are several considerations to be made in
choosing this value. First is the issue of heat. While the IC can dissipate large
amounts of heat through its integrated thermal pad (and thus use the copper
ground plane as a large heatsink), the other components may not be able to. As
such, an appropriate charge current is needed. In addition, while the IC can
handle large amounts of heat, it can only handle a certain amount before
reaching an auto-shutdown state. This state was encountered several times in
testing. To determine an optimal resistance, several trials were conducted to
determine which Rsense value should be used. The results are summarized in
Table 5.2.1-1.
Current Limiting
Resistor (ohm)
Table 5.2.1-1: Summary of optimal Rsense value experiments. Green indicates
chosen value (success).
5.2.2 Verifying Gas Detection Mechanisms
In order to do simplistic verification of the gas detection hardware, the sensor
must first be connected as per schematics provided in the alcohol sensor section.
This may require connecting the regulators in the previous section; as such, it is
important to verify those before using them here, in order to prevent another
variable from being present in this verification routine.
After connecting the Alcohol sensor into the correct configuration, utilizing a 390
ohm load resistor, a measurement of voltage across this load resistor can be
taken to determine the voltage response of the fuel cell to a known quantity of
alcohol. Using a dry-gas that has been calibrated to a known BAC value, a
sample should be released into the alcohol sensor for a period of approximately
5 seconds. This will simulate the user’s interaction with the handheld
breathalyzer. After this interval has elapsed, a measurement of the voltage
should be recorded. Conducting this test repeatedly will result in a data set of
voltage responses over time that should be averaged, in order to determine an
average expected value of response based on a certain quantity of alcohol input.
This value can then be used to interpolate alcohol concentration at different
levels, based upon the set level of the calibration standard. Table 5.2.2-1 shows
the results of repeated testing of the alcohol sensor, using particular known
Alcohol Fuel Cell Sensor Output
Input Sample
Reference Voltage
ADC Output
BAC Equivalent Value
(1.46 mv/step)
Dry Gas (.04 BAC)
Dry Gas (.04 BAC)
Dry Gas (.04 BAC)
1 Beer
Mouth Wash
Table 5.2.2-1 Alcohol Sensor test data
5.2.3 Verifying Enclosure
Verifying the enclosure will be a fairly subjective process. The size verification
will be done using a ruler, and the overall verification will be done after installing
all components into the housing. If successful, the housing should be able to
close securely, without upsetting any components inside. The circuit should
remain functional, and the user should not be subject to any current or excessive
heat from the circuit.
Environmental testing will take place by subjecting the housing to cold
temperatures and then placing it in a warmer temperature, and verifying that the
housing does not suffer any structural damage, such as cracks or discoloration
indicating structural weakness. It must also undergo basic testing, such as
knocking against a hard surface and a basic drop test from 3-4” onto a hard
surface. If successful, the housing should still be in a single piece, without any
significant structural damage.
5.2.4 Verifying Display
First, the display must be connected to power. At this point, ensure that the
display is receiving power by monitoring whether there is any response from the
display, such as the backlight turning on or any status LEDs on the control board
that have become active. If there is no control board, use a multimeter in series
with the supply voltage line to measure any current flowing to the board.
If this is successful, the display should be disconnected from power, and
connected to a microcontroller or microprocessor, utilizing the application circuit
specified by Newhaven Display. After successfully interfacing, the display can be
powered up. At this point, an initialization message must be sent to the screen in
order to set default values, such as the contrast, cursor position, character data,
etc. Use the application code to send a few test strings or simple integers. If they
display on the unit, basic verification is complete. Next, send several integers
consistent with the display format of BAC. If this is successful, the basic
functionality of the display has been verified.
Next, test control functionality of the backlight. If possible, test control of the
backlight by direct commands from the microcontroller, or by adjusting a timer. If
not possible, look for a pin that controls power to the backlight. Wire this pin to a
power transistor, and the transistor to the power supply. This transistor should be
controlled by the microcontroller. Verify that it is now possible to control the
backlight by flipping that particular pin on the microcontroller high or low
(depending on transistor and microcontroller configuration). If successful, the
backlight should turn on or off as expected. Lastly, measure the current while the
backlight is on. If within the expected, relatively low values, the power
consumption portion has been verified.
5.2.5 Verifying Wireless Communications
The MSP430-RF2500 target boards are pre-loaded with a test set of software to
verify communications are working between two boards. The easiest means of
testing and verifying the wireless target boards is to load the application code
provided by Texas Instruments onto each board, and allow the demo application
to run correctly. In order to do this, software must be downloaded from Texas
Instruments, and an Export-Trade agreement must be signed in order to receive
the software from TI. Once the environment is setup inside Code Composer
Studio, there are two available projects that can be configured for build. One is
called the “Main ED”, which is a simple temperature sensing device that
communicates back to the other project, the “Main AP”. Program each board with
its respective software, plug the “Main AP” board into a Windows computer, and
connect to the COM port on your computer that is associated with the debug
stick. Supply power to the “Main ED” board using the battery breakout board, and
look for data coming into the serial port of the computer. Successful
communications will be established if the lights on both boards finish an initial
round of repeated blinking between the Red and Green onboard LEDs, then
begin only blinking the Red LED. This will indicate that packets are being
transmitted from the ED to the AP, and the AP is sending back its
acknowledgement packets successfully.
5.2.6 Verifying Airflow Detection
The airflow sensor or circuitry must first be interfaced to the microcontroller or
other components in the circuit. It must then be mounted into or on the airflow
channel. This will verify the mounting and interfacing characteristics of the
sensor, to ensure it falls within requirements. It should be inspected to ensure
that a proper pressure sample will be taken given the orientation of the sensor in
the flow channel. In addition, it should be verified that the sensor is not blocking
flow over or into the alcohol sensor.
After this is completed, a small amount of airflow from a human breath should be
directed into or onto the airflow or pressure detection mechanism. At this point,
any sort of result should be verified in the rest of the system. The approximate
same level of exhalation effort and amount should then be directed into the
mechanism again, and a similar result verified. Alternatively, a low pressure
mechanical pressure exertion device can be used, such as a low pressure can of
compressed air or perhaps a medical inhaler (which contains no chemicals). If
the results are indeed similar, this portion of the test is passed. Then, a deep
breath, similar to the one required for alcohol testing, should be performed on the
detection mechanism to ensure a proper reading is obtained, and for the proper
duration. This test should then be repeated two more times to ensure the sensor
produces consistent results within an acceptable range to prove its utility in the
application of deep lung exhalation detection.
Table 5.2.6-1 provides the results of repeated testing and evaluation of the
pressure detection system of the Voog handheld breathalyzer. Based on this
data, a threshold value was established to determine the strength and quantity of
breath flow necessary for a sufficient sample reading.
Differential Pressure Sensor Output
Input Sample
Reference Voltage
No Breath
ADC Output
(1.46 mv/step)
Breath Sample 1
Breath Sample 2
(less minimal)
Breath Sample 3
Breath Sample 4
Table 5.2.2-1 Pressure Sensor Test Data
5.3 Software Verification Requirements
Much like the hardware components of a complete system design, the software
components must also have established requirements for the confirmation of
successful operation. These will be specific to each software routine, based on
its intended purpose and defined range of inputs, with the expected range of
outputs. It will be important to stress the software components by attempting their
operation on inputs known to be invalid or corrupt, in order to thoroughly evaluate
the quality of their design.
5.3.1 Hand Held Software
The hand held unit software has several notable responsibilities, including
capturing the analog sensor output into a discrete digital representation,
processing those outputs through the algorithm and output a valid result. It must
be able to send and receive messages from the control box, as well as control
and drive the outputs to the screen and status LEDs. The hand held software
routines must also be able to accept user input in the form of push button
interrupts to the microcontroller, and make the appropriate state changes.
To adequately meet the requirements of end-user application, the software
needs to be able to handle not only the expected order of user operations, but
also handle use cases of invalid operation order. An example of this would be a
case where the user is about to give a breath sample to the hand held unit, but
then decides to randomly push buttons on the device they would not need to
push at the time of sample. This could be for any number of reasons, whether the
user was mishandling the unit, or perhaps some other environmental stimulus
generates an event that the software could detect as a user or device action.
Events where an unexpected input or action is generated are usually called False
Triggers, and can wreck havoc upon any unprepared software routine.
The software routines must also be able to handle values of input that are
outside the defined range of operation. An example of this would be if suddenly
the ADC output values coming into the software routine were over the expected
upper limits. Such bitwise overflow errors could be introduced by digital crosstalk
or false triggering on the input lines, and must be accounted for by the software
in order to prevent the reporting of erroneous and unanticipated results.
5.3.2 Control Box Software
Much like the hand held unit, the software routines of the automobile control box
must be capable of handling both unexpected use-case scenarios, as well as
erroneous and unexpected input outside of the range of expected values. While
the software on the control box will not have quite as many mathematical or
signal processing responsibilities as the hand held software, the validity of its
state transitions are a key element of a well designed automobile interlock unit.
As such, an important requirement of the control box software is to secure all
state transitions, protecting the unit from entering any particular state without
some kind of procedure to verify that the transition is in fact desired.
5.4 Software Test Procedure
The Breathalyzer system is will be sub divided into two different systems. The
control box unit and the hand held unit. There should be defined procedures in
order to test to see that the hardware and the software is producing the correct
values and data, as well as driving the correct display output at expected times.
A means by which this can be tested is with different software modules designed
for stressing the inputs and evaluating the output response for each particular
software routine. Since there are different software states, the module should be
inserted in different states to evaluate program operation in that particular state.
Examples of software routine testing include the ability to verify that LCD output
is identical to the values that were driven to its inputs by the software, correctly
measure specific input voltage levels from the ADC and digitally represent those
in software, and verify that packet data sent over the wireless infrastructure
arrives as intended.
The module called LCD_D will debug the display to see what values are being
transferred via bus to the display. The module will have an interrupt handler that
will allow the data to be interrupted mid transaction. The only way to check and
see if there is a interrupt is to debug the interrupt handler. There is a debug
handler that will be able to test to verify that the data is being sent or if the push
button has been push to interrupt the sample that will currently be taken. There is
another module that will determine the input and what values are being passed.
This module is called the Verify Input module. This module will identify the
correct input and deal with the input correctly.
These inputs are passed through the bus. The module that will test the bus lines
will be called line_d, and will have capabilities to determine which bus line is
high. This will take care of the procedure that will be on the hand held unit. The
hand held unit should be able to report to these modules the input and the output
that it sends and receives. Without an effective debugging mechanism there will
be no way to determine if the input is the same value that was given to the
MSP430. This is why it is crucial to verify that the data is coming out on the other
end. Figure 5.4-1 shows the debug modules connected to the specific devices.
This flow chart shows the description on how the developers will use module to
debug and test the inputs and outputs on the hand held unit.
Figure 5.4-1: Diagram illustrating the flow chart control box unit.
For the control box unit there will only be input coming from the hand held unit
which is the calculated BAC value. There will be a module that will be able to test
and see if this is a valid value for the car to be able to start. This module will be
named ingite_d. This module will be able to debug all the data that has been
received and able to determine the state of the control box unit. The calculated
BAC value determines the state of the control box unit. Given that, it is very
important to make sure that the validation is not failing. With the ignite_d module,
it will be able to check the information that has been received from the hand held
unit. Furthermore, since the control box unit has access the vehicles relay, it will
be highly important to check and see that the bus line is active when it is
supposed to be. The module that will be used for this is called sysStat_d. This
module will be able to get information on the system and to check and see if the
lines that are connected to the MSP430 are active or deactivated. Just as
mentioned before it crucial to detect any defects in the system. If there is no way
to detect procedure, the system will fail at any type of interference.
5.5 System Test Procedure
It is imaginable that all testing equipment has the sole purpose of outputting a
correct and accurate result for whatever it desires to sample. Our product is no
difference. It is same in a way so imperative that professionally, it is the key to
get governmental approval or not. It is so crucial that accuracy will be the sole
reason for the customers to want to purchase the product and ultimately decide
to use it or not. With that being said, system test procedure plays a great role in
our development of the product.
5.5.1 Handheld Breathalyzer calibration and accuracy
Breath alcohol testing instruments are calibrated and checked for accuracy
utilizing an ethanol standard with a known alcohol concentration. There are two
types of standards that are widely accepted and commonly used: Wet Bath
Standards and Dry Gas Standards.
Wet Bath Standards Calibration
In all cases, it is important that the calibration equipment set such as,
compressed gas tanks, simulators and simulator solutions are used and
maintained only in accordance with the quality assurance plans provided by their
respective manufacturers to insure that they produce consistent and reliable
Required elements:
I. Glass jar which holds 500cc of solution.
II. Jar head contains heater thermostat, stirrer, thermometer, and inlet and
outlet ports for sampling headspace gas standing above the solution.
III. Solution is a water/alcohol mixture of a certified BrAC/BAC concentration.
Calibration guidelines:
I. Attach tubing to the inlet port.
II. Remove the glass container from the simulator top housing. Make sure all
parts all clean and dry. (To prevent breakage, do not strike the thermostat
or mercury thermometer against the glass container).
III. Pour certified simulator solution to the 500 ml mark on the glass container.
(Do not over fill).
IV. Reassemble the simulator by replacing the container into the top housing;
be sure the container is properly seated to the top housing. (Do not over
V. Plug simulator into electric outlet. Turn the power ON and allow the
solution to heat to 34°C. This will require approximately 15 minutes. The
heater lamp is lit when the heating element is heating. The heater lamp is
OFF when the simulator has reached the proper temperature of 34°C. (It
is normal for the heater lamp to rapidly turn on and off as the instrument
cycles.) Once the heater lamp turns OFF, wait an additional 10 minutes
prior to testing.
VI. Observe the reference thermometer to verify the simulator has reached
the proper operating temperature. Blow a sample into the inlet port to
purge the initial headspace.
The simulator is ready for use. A new mouthpiece should be
attached/inserted to instrument and then this assembly should be attached
to the outlet port on the front of the simulator.
The connection from the outlet port of the simulator and the
instrument should always be as short as possible. Long tubes will collect
condensation and can affect the stability of a provided sample.
IX. Then the simulator is not in use, connect the inlet tube to the outlet port to
seal the simulator to avoid loss of alcohol from the solution.
It is recommended that upon every use, the temperature of the simulator is
checked and is producing the appropriate alcohol concentration level after being
heated to 34 degree Celsius.
Dry Gas Standards Calibration
Required elements:
I. Pressurized approved dry gas tank/cylinder. (Tank contains a singlephased mixture of nitrogen and ethanol at a known BAC quantity).
II. Small single staged approved regulator. (A regulator is a gauge that
regulates the flow of vapor from the tank to an instrument).
III. True-Cal device. (The True-Cal Device used in the vicinity of the dry gas
standard will display the true value of the standard at the time of the test.
The True-Cal Device is purchased based on the value of the dry gas
Both calibration standards have proven to be at the highest industry level of
accuracy and are established as the current industry standard, and both work in
the same way that its providing a sample of known concentration of alcohol
content. Upon completing the calibration procedures listed, a know sample will
be provided to our Breathalyzer unit to process and output a value. Our system
will then be tuned to provide the correct output based on the selected sample.
Calibration guidelines:
I. Remove the plastic cap from the tank.
II. Before attaching the regulator to the tank, verify there is an "0" ring on the
threads of the regulator.
III. Mount the regulator on the tank and hand tighten by turning the regulator
clockwise – until it is snug.
IV. Observe that the gauge on the regulator indicates at least 900 PSI
V. If the gauge on the regulator is at or above 900 PSI take a felt tip pen and
mark the needle’s position directly on the glass face of the gauge. Let the
tank stand for two hours and then observe the gauge and verify that the
needle has not moved.
VI. After the regulator is initially mounted, depress the regulator control button
and allow the gas to purge the valve for several seconds.
Leave the regulator on your tank unless it is absolutely necessary
to remove it. This will reduce the possibility of leaky connections.
5.5.2 Overall Breathalyzer ignition interlock system test
Due to the money and time involved with setting up an ignition interlock system
to a real automobile, a suitable substitute was obtained for use for the
demonstration of how the system will operate within a particular car, and is
shown below in Figure 5.5.2-1
Figure 5.5.2-1 Automobile Replacement
As seen above, the automobile is mounted with two status LEDs that indicate the
current state of the automobile.
The user will turn on the power switch for the RC Car, initializing the
control box unit and bringing the system online.
ii. The user will then turn on the handheld unit, allowing approximately 10
seconds for settling time and initialization messages to display.
iii. User will then exhale into the handheld breathalyzer for 5 seconds. At the
end of the interval, if a sufficient breath sample was provided, a message
indicating a successful test, and the resulting BAC value, will be displayed
to the screen. If a sample was insufficient, a message requesting the user
to re-submit will be displayed
iv. The handheld unit will wirelessly link to the automobile unit, and pass it a
message, based on the results of the test. If a successful test was
performed, then the “ignition” will be enabled, and the car will be able to
v. Assuming the user pass the breath test and the engine of the car has
been started. After a random period of time, a retest will be requested by
the automobile unit, indicated by a solid red LED on top of the car turning
vi. If the rolling retest fails, or is not submitted within a short period of time
(approximately 2 minutes), the car will enter the Alarm State, which
consists of the status LEDs and the headlights flashing at an alternating
pace. The car will still be able to drive, however this behavior indicates to
local law enforcement that the driver is in “distress” and should be
6. Administrative Materials
6.1 Business Case
In order for our group to establish a working and trusting relationship with our
supplier/manufacturer in obtaining our initial purchase order of prototyping
materials and high accuracy sensor, we feel it was in our best interest to
establish ourselves as a business organization and use that to our advantage
when necessary.
6.1.1 Business Name & Logo
With great consideration of all creative names, we have decided to name our
company, GEE8. In honor of our UCF senior design program and our senior
design group, group 8. The logo of our organization will be used in the cover
sheet and are also found below:
Figure 6.1.1-1 Business Logo
Our logo is created with a touch of technological look to remind us of our goal in
learning and excelling in the study of engineering.
6.1.2 Product Name & Logo
Motivation develops passion; it is all of our group members’ passion to one day
allows our product to save people’s life by providing the most accurate results
and act like a guardian. Voog, an Afrikaans word which translates in English to
“guardian” was selected to be our product name. Similar to its physical design,
its wording and sound also shares a trend among the current consumer
electronics market of appealing to the intrigue of the user. Our product logo will
be printed on our prototype and future products.
Figure 6.1.2-1 Product Logo
Till date, we’re not yet fully recognized as a formal business organization but
substantial research were done and experience were gained. Our design group
will seek full recognition if the benefit of incorporating will exceed our process
6.1.3 Targeted Consumer
Our main targeted consumer group is between the age of 18-25, simply because
by study, this is age group is the top contributor to the drunk driving fatality rate
every year, however this does not exclude a focus on individuals older than 25,
as there are many repeat DUI offenders within this age category as well. Our
product is designed to be appealing to this younger crowds, a more stylish,
minimalistic design that will fit in a college student’s Mustang or G35 without
taking away their passion for their car’s interior look, while also allowing
portability and convenience of use.
6.1.4 Governmental Approvals and Recognitions
Upon the completion of our final design and testing, our product maybe be
applied to receive FDA –CDRH approval. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) is
responsible for regulating firms who manufacture, repackage, re-label, and/or
import medical devices sold in the United States. We will follow FDA’s guideline
and allow their science experts to review our data in order to be granted an
approval to sell the product.
In addition to FDA approval, we will apply to be able to label our product as a
DOT / NHTSA approved as an alcohol screening device in order to be
competitive among other designs and to have an upper edge in competing for
governmental contract.
6.2 Project Planning
6.2.1 Fall 2009 Semester
The following milestones and objectives are set to ensure Voog breathalyzers
are completed on a designated date, which will be the end of Spring 2010
semesters. Although, some procedures might not be occurring in the exact
sequence as listed below, this guideline will continue to be use and follow to its
full extend. Our goal for fall semester is to have a complete documentation of our
finalized project idea. Although future modification and adjustment are expected,
it is our goal to have evaluated all circumstances. This is summarized in Table
Fall 2009 Semester Milestones
Research and Planning
Week 1- Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5 –Week 6
Week 7
Group member recruitment
Exploring potential project ideas
Discussion of potential ideas
Research the feasibility of ideas and finalize idea
Divide and Conquer Excise
Week 8
Week 9 –Week 10
Define project goals and features
Establish individual’s responsibility and position,
establish a budget and organize future meeting date
and location
Week 11
Research existing products and design & determine
if there is a market for the product
Research required part components
Purchase primitive parts for testing and data
Research required skill sets and determine feasibility
of features
Prototype planning and design
Group Organization
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Define documentation criteria and responsibilities
among group members.
Parts comparison and selection documentation
Evaluate primitive design
Goal: 50% completion of documentation
Finalize the initial documentation for submission
Table 6.2.1. Fall 2009 Milestone Chart.
6.2.2 Spring 2010 Semester
Spring 2010 semester will be dedicated for building and testing, although
continuous research will be need. Our goal for spring semester is to develop a
fully working prototype, revise our documentation to reflect on all necessary
change we may have made, create a professional website to present our project
to a larger audience and finally, a presentation to a panel of professors with
expertise in the area of our project scope.
We will begin our purchases for parts and materials needed for the project, which
means our budget must be consistently monitored in order for us to not go over
our previously establish amount.
Spring 2010 Semester Milestones
Planning and Group Reorganizing
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Re-evaluate group member responsibility
Parts acquisition
Review budget
Seek sponsorship
Contact professors, establish of a panel of grading
Review objectives and goals
Test parts
Week 5-Week 7
Week 8-Week 10
Week 11
Test acquired parts
Review design
Hand-held unit prototyping
Software development
Control Box unit prototyping
Overall System prototyping
Week 12-Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Seek location (City PD and/or Research labs) for
Sensor Calibration
Final Design Testing
Website Creation
Revise final documentation
Create / Practice presentation
Table 6.2.2. Spring 2010 Milestone Chart.
6.3 Cost Estimates
The Voog Wireless Breathalzyer Ignition Interlock design project will be financed
by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Central
Florida.. Our budget was established at $150 per member, which equates to no
more than $600. The money provided by our sponsor is greater than the amount
budgeted for the design, but additional money will be spent on testing and
assembly hardware to be utilized in the design process, and as such will not be
accounted for in the unit cost estimates.
6.4 Bill of Materials
Due to the variety of materials used, the bill of materials was separated into two
main sections. All items are listed below, although multiple items of the same
value or specific identity are not listed multiple times; rather, they have their
quantity numbers adjusted accordingly. Specific suppliers were not listed as this
is a simple bill of materials.
Power Supply
Part Name
Charging IC for two cell Li-Ion Poly
Panasonic ECG
470Ω, 0.5W
560Ω, 1W
Panasonic ECG
Jumper Shuts
7.4V Li-Po battery
3.3Vdc voltage regulator
5Vdc voltage regulator
Printed Circuit Board
Green LED
10 pF
0.1 uF
10 uF
0.33 uF
1 uF
47 uF
0.22 uF
Additional Hardware
Part Name
Device display
Newhaven Display
Alcohol sensor (high
Henan Hanwei Electronics
Co., Ltd
Alcohol sensor (high
Henan Hanwei Electronics
Co., Ltd
Alcohol sensor (fuel cell
Dart Sensors
DS 11
Retail breathalyzer
Control box enclosure
Pactec Enclosures
Handheld enclosure
Pactec Enclosures
Microcontroller cum 2.4
GHz wireless board
Texas Instruments
6.5 Design Team
Ashish Thomas is currently a senior in electrical
engineering at the University of Central Florida. He has an
interest in power electronics and plans to continue at UCF
for graduate studies in electrical engineering after his
graduation in the Spring of 2010. He has experience in
engineering project management with Progress Energy and
wishes to continue with this company in the future for the
engineering or management track. He interest in
electronics started at a young age, and continues to this
Xi Guo is currently a senior majoring in electrical
engineering and minor in Engineering Leadership at the
University of Central Florida. Aside from being a full time
engineering student, his entrepreneurial ambition also
allowed him to be a business owner who started his own
company. Upon completely his internship at Progress
Energy, Xi continued to develop his interest and focus in
power generation and power electronic at UCF and will be
graduating in the upcoming semester.
Brandon Gilzean, born in Odessa, Texas, is a senior in
Computer Engineering in at the University of Central
Florida. He has experience software design implantation.
He has researched on human-robot interface (HRI) in
arbitrary instructed environment. He also has experience in
autonomous robotics. He is currently holds a position as
an intern as a Software Engineer. Brandon is a Christian
and enjoys playing worship music at homeless shelters and
church events. His relationship with God has molded him
to who he is and he enjoys helping others.
Clinton Thomas is a senior is Computer Engineering at the
University of Central Florida.
His interests include
computers, broad topics in engineering and technology,
cooking, and sports. He has been an employee of DRS
Defense Solutions, formerly Soneticom Inc. since January
2005, gaining experience in digital design, embedded Linux
software, and Cell Broadband Engine development in C.
After graduation in Spring 2010, he plans to continue his
education by pursuing an Masters in Business.
Appendix A.
A.1 Works Cited
"Charging lithium-ion batteries." Welcome to Battery University. Web. 05 Dec.
2009. <>.
"Charging NiMH Cells." Welcome to Oct. & nov. 2006.
Web. 05 Dec. 2009.
"How to charge Lithium Batteries." PowerStream Power Supplies and Chargers
for OEMs in a Hurry. Web. 01 Dec. 2009. <>.
"Howstuffworks "How the iBreath Alcohol Breathalyzer Works"" Howstuffworks
"Electronics" Web. 28 Nov. 2009.
"Voltage regulator - Wikipedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 15 Nov.
2009. <>.
"Calibration and testing –Intox.." Thur. 10 Dec. 2009.
"Breathalzyers –howstuffwork.." Thur. 10 Dec. 2009.
"Analog-to-digital converter -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 1 Dec.
2009. <>.
"Anemometer -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
"I2C Bus: How I2C Hardware Works." I2C-Bus: What's that? Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
"Ignition interlock device -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
"Pitot tube -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A.2 Permissions
A.2.1 Binder-USA
Hi Ashish,
Not sure if anyone has replied to you, but as long as this is only being used for academic
use it should not be a problem.
Thanks for asking.
Greg Harter
Tel: 805.437.9925
Fax: 805.383.1150
Ashish Thomas wrote:
I’d like to request permission to use images of two of your connectors for an academic
research paper of mine. You will be credited and cited appropriately. This is purely for
academic use and will not be used commercially.
The images to be used are the following:
A.2.2 Maxim-IC
Thanks for asking. Yes, you can use the material from the website. Please complete the
attached form and return via mail or fax, as instructed on the form. Please attribute the
quoted material with: "Copyright Maxim Integrated Products (
Used by permission."
Maxim Customer Suppoer
>I'd like to request permission to use some diagrams and schematics from the datasheet for
the MAX712. This will be for an academic paper. You will be credited and cited appropriately.
This will not be used for any commercial purpose, only academic purposes.
>Thank You,
>Ashish Thomas
The circuit from this page:
Specifically, this image:
If you also wanted to know, I am a student at the University of Central Florida in Florida,
USA. This is for a senior design document.
Thanks for considering my request.
From: Colin Mitchell [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 12:25 AM
To: Ashish Thomas
Subject: Re: Permission to use images
ok Which circuits?
----- Original Message ----From: Ashish Thomas
To: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 4:24 PM
Subject: Permission to use images
I’d like to request your permission to use several images of circuits on your website in an
academic paper of mine. You will be credited and cited appropriately. This is purely for
academic use and will not be used for commercial purposes.
Ashish Thomas
Hello Ashish,
That would be fine. Thanks for asking...
Responsible Energy Corporation
Curtis Randolph - CEO
454 Jill Court
Incline Village, NV 89451
cell 775-722-9901
fax 815-301-3958
Follow me:
mailto:[email protected]
Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 11:42:45 AM, you wrote:
Ashish T> Hello,
Ashish T> I'd like to request permission to use a few product images from the website to use
in an academic document. You will be credited and cited appropriately. This will not be used
for any commercial purpose.
Ashish T> Thanks,
Ashish T> Ashish Thomas
Hi Ashish,
Thanks for your email. You can use them as long as you indicate that they are from
Best Regards, :-)
Jasmine Sun / AA Portable Power Corp
860 S 19th Street, #A
Richmond, CA 94804
Tel: 510-525-2328
Fax: 510-439-2808
--------------------------------- On Tue, 11/10/09, Ashish Thomas <[email protected]> wrote:
From: Ashish Thomas <[email protected]>
Subject: Permission to use site images
To: [email protected]
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 11:49 PM
I am working on an academic project and wanted to request your permission to use
some product images from the website in my documentation. You would be credited and
cited appropriately. This is purely for academic use and will not be used for any other
purpose, including any commercial purpose.
Ashish Thomas
Hello Ashish! Thanks for contacting us. Yes, you may use our product photos and
schematics for academic purposes. Thanks for crediting and citing us appropriately.
Good luck with your project!
AnnDrea Boe
Director of Marketing Communications
SparkFun Electronics
6175 Longbow Drive, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301
From: "Ashish Thomas" <[email protected]>
Date: October 24, 2009 6:48:55 PM MDT
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Permission to use images/schematics from
I’d like to request permission to use a few images and schematics of various
components on the site. This is for use in engineering design documentation for
academic purposes. There will be no commercial use whatsoever. The site will be
credited and cited appropriately.
Ashish Thomas
No problem at all.
Best regards
On Sat, Oct 24, 2009 at 10:13 PM, Ashish Thomas <[email protected]> wrote:
I’d like to ask for your permission to use the following figure in an academic design
document of mine:
You will be credited. This is not for commercial purposes, only for academic purposes.
A.2.8 Permission Seeking:
My name is Xi Guo, I am writing on behalf of University of Central Florida Fall
2009 Senior Design Group 8, to request for your permission to allow us to use
your image available on your website for our final documentation, for which it
would be submitted to our instructor. If you may, please kindly provide us with
your permission to use your images, you can simply reply to this email. Thank
you so much for your time.
The picture (snapshot of the flash demonstration) we're requesting permission is
located at:
Xi Guo
[email protected]
A.2.9 Permission Seeking:
My name is Xi Guo, I am writing on behalf of University of Central Florida Fall
2009 Senior Design Group 8, to request for your permission to allow us to use
your image available on your website of your products that we have
purchased(MQ-3 Sensor and MR-513) on our final documentation, for which it
would be submitted to our instructor. If you may, please kindly provide us with
your permission to use your images, you can simply reply to this email. Thank
you so much for your time.
Xi Guo
[email protected]
A.2.9 Permission Seeking:
My name is Xi Guo, I am writing on behalf of University of Central Florida Fall
2009 Senior Design Group 8, to request for your permission to allow us to use
your image available on your website of your products that we have purchased
and or planning to purchase (MQ-3 Sensor and MR-513) on our final
documentation, for which it would be submitted to our instructor. If you may,
please kindly provide us with your permission to use your images, you can simply
reply to this email. Thank you so much for your time.
Xi Guo
[email protected]
A.2.11 Permission Seeking:
My name is Xi Guo, I am writing on behalf of University of Central Florida Fall
2009 Senior Design Group 8, to request for your permission to allow us to use
your image available on your website of your products that we have purchased
and or planning to purchase (attachable enclosure stock photo) on our final
documentation, for which it would be submitted to our instructor. If you may,
please kindly provide us with your permission to use your images, you can simply
reply to this email. Thank you so much for your time.
Xi Guo
[email protected]
A.2.12 SI Micro
Mark Manzano <[email protected]>
To: Clinton Thomas <[email protected]>
Hello Clinton,
As long as the images are only used for educational purposes, than yes we give you
Mark Manzano
Regional Sales Director
Silicon Microstructures, Inc.
From: Clinton Thomas [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, Apr 04, 2010 10:28 PM
To: Sales
Subject: Permission for Image Use
To whom it may concern,
I am working on an academic senior design project at the University of Central Florida. I
respectfully request your permission to use some product images, charts, diagrams, etc.
from your website, in my documentation. You would be credited and cited appropriately.
This is purely for academic use and will not be used for any other purpose, including any
commercial purpose.
Clinton Thomas
A.2.13 Newhaven Display
Saurabh Bhatia <[email protected]>
To: Clinton Thomas <[email protected]>
Cc: [email protected], Gary Murrell <[email protected]>
Hi Clinton,
Feel free to use any images/documentation from our website for your project.
Saurabh Bhatia
Applications Engineer
Newhaven Display International, INC
2511 Technology Drive., Suite 101
Elgin, IL 60124
Phone: 847-844-8795
-----Original Message----From: Clinton Thomas [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, Apr 04, 2010 12:22 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Message from Newhaven Display International, Inc.
From: Clinton Thomas
Email: [email protected]
-----------------------------------------------------To whom it may concern,
I am working on an academic senior design project at the University of
Central Florida. I respectfully request your permission to use some product
images, charts, diagrams, etc. from your website, in my documentation. You
would be credited and cited appropriately. This is purely for academic use
and will not be used for any other purpose, including any commercial
Clinton Thomas
A.2.14 Matrix Orbital
Matrix Orbital <[email protected]>
Reply-To: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Hello Clinton,
Thank you for contacting us, please let this serve as permission to use our images.
Thank you,
On Sun April 04 23:19:16 2010, [email protected] wrote:
> Sales Support: Permission for Image Use
> To whom it may concern,
> I am working on an academic senior design project at the University of
> Central
> Florida. I respectfully request your permission to use some product
> images,
> charts, diagrams, etc. from your website, in my documentation. You
> would be
> credited and cited appropriately. This is purely for academic use and
> will not
> be used for any other purpose, including any commercial purpose.
> Thanks,
> Clinton Thomas
A.2.15 Phidgets
Bernard Rousseau <[email protected]>
To: Clinton Thomas <[email protected]>
Hello Clinton,
No problems. You can use whatever material you find useful from
Best Regards,
-Bernard Rousseau
Director of Marketing
Phidgets Inc.
Tel: +1 (403) 282.7335
Fax: +1 (403) 282.7332
e-mail: [email protected]
A.2.15 Binder USA
Rick Lopez <[email protected]>
Reply-To: [email protected]
To: Clinton Thomas <[email protected]>
Cc: [email protected]
Hi Clinton,
Thanks for your request. Yes, you may use the images and documentation you need from
our website. We wish you much success with your project!
Best regards,
Rick Lopez
Tel: 805-437-9925, Fax: 805-383-1150
A.2.16 ST Micro
Michael MARKOWITZ <[email protected]>
To: Clinton Thomas <[email protected]>
I can give you ST's permission to use Fig 3 of the LD1117xx Data
Sheet (Doc ID 7194 Rev21). Please use the following attribution:
"Copyright STMicroelectronics. Used with permission."
Thanks and good luck!
Michael Markowitz
Director Technical Media Relations
NEW NUMBER +1 781 591 0354
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