| Projects


The following list of sample projects demonstrates some of Beorn Design's capabilities:
Project Description
Electronic Quickshifter

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A quickshifter allows performance car or bike riders to make fast gear changes without using the clutch or lifting the throttle.

A 120 x 55mm control module provided excitation and signal conditioning for a strain gauge mounted on the gear shift linkage, and generated an appropriate ignition cut or throttle blip. As well as tracking the current gear position according to the force on the gear linkage, the control module also measured ignition and wheel sensor pulse frequencies to auto-correct the gear position display after failed gear shifts.

Both the gear position and a number of setup options - such as strain gauge thresholds, cut & blip times and engine rev limits - could be displayed and adjusted on a 20 x 60mm dashboard mounted display module.

Electronic Dashboard

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Designed to provide a complete display for either road or race use, the electronic dashboard used a microcontroller and high efficiency LED's to display:

  • Speed in Mph/kph
  • Engine rpm with peakhold tell-tale LED
  • Water and oil temperatures
  • Fuel level with Neutral, Ignition and Indicator lamps

The dashboard also included adjustable display brightness, a resettable trip timer with average speed, a full milometer, 0-60 and 1/4 mile acceleration timers, log and replay of all dashboard activity for a 20 minute period.

Handheld Gamma Radiation Monitor

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This instrument was based around an Na(I) scintillation detector. The monitor provided a survey mode display, as well as allowing users to collect and analyse gamma energy spectra. Algorithms developed by our clients were incorporated into the software, allowing users to characterise radioactive samples.

The instrument hardware included:
  • A custom low power 0-1kV power supply
  • Active DC restoration
  • Altera FPGA and TMS320 DSP
  • 8Mbit Flash and 32K x 16 SRAM Memories
  • A 128 x 64 graphic LCD with 'soft' keys
  • An infrared serial link
  • Built in NiCd/NiMh charger

Accompanying control software (described below) allowed for full remote operation, setup and calibration, and instrument reprogramming for in field software upgrades.

Instrument Configuration Program

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This was a Visual Basic application developed for use with the Handheld Gamma Detector described above. The program allowed users to control the instrument from a PC using an infrared serial link.

The program included:

  • A graphical view of spectra from 128 to 1024 channel resolution
  • A 'Vu-Meter' style bargraph display for 1 to 10 energy regions.
  • Dose rate and accumulated dose displays
  • Dialogs for instrument status, log spectra view, download and maintenance functions
  • Password protected dialogs for instrument setup, calibration and reprogramming

An autocalibration function was also included. This used regression techniques to characterise the detector and calculate an optimum detector bias voltage