Maxine’s Pi

By adding a cheap OBD-to-Bluetooth adapter to my Jeep (affectionately named Maxine. I’m building it out with a Mad Max theme), I am able to toss a Raspberry Pi in the glovebox and pull real time data from the vehicles OBD system.

Being in Austin Texas, temperatures are usually around “way too hot”, so keeping the Pi cool enough has been an issue. I’ve built a circuit to activate a case fan when a script detects the temps are too high, and shuts it off when the temps are back in a safe range. I do not run the fan all the time so as to save battery drain while the vehicle is off. This project taught me that a Raspberry Pi can drain the entire battery in roughly 3.5 days.

Due to needing to jump start the Jeep far too often, I’ve decided to separate the power source entirely, so I’ve added a Pi-Hat UPS to help keep power a bit more stable and help with blips of power outages, as well as a solar panel to recharge and power it all during the day. Unfortunately, the UPS only has a battery large enough to keep it running for a few hours, even less if the fan is running.

With the use of a couple buck converters and wire taps, I’ve been able to listen to activity in the door sensors (the ones that control the dome lights). With this I intend to send push notifications to my cell phone if the door opens unexpectedly, such as in the middle of the night.

So with all this data collection, I needed a way to store it/share it with other systems. For this, I went with the unusual option of using Zabbix. Now I can track this OBD data over time, and even make a Grafana page for it.