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Fig. 5.8.14: Data output from transceiver in receive mode after 01 sent.

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Fig. 5.8.15:Data received at input of baseband receiver after 01 sent. Note LED outputs indicate
10 having been sent.

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Fig. 5.8.16: Data output from transceiver in receive mode after 10 sent.

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Fig. 5.8.17: Data received at input of baseband receiver after 10 sent. Note LED outputs indicate
that 10 was interpreted.

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Fig. 5.8.18: Data output from transceiver in receive mode after 11 sent.

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Fig. 5.8.19: Data received at input of baseband receiver after 11 sent. Note that LED outputs
indicate 11 was sent.

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1. Subsystem Integration Considerations
In Section 5 detailed descriptions and analyses were complete for each subsystem. During the
previous sections while some integrations were described along with the issues that came about,
this section aims to focus directly on these integration issues.

Integration of the subsystems within the Baseband Communications Subsystem:


To start off the integration between the Baseband Transmit Data Subsystem with the
Baseband Receive Data Subsystem will be discussed. This also includes discussing the
integration of the Sensors and Hamming Subsystems. The Sensors Subsystem was very simply
integrated into the Baseband Transmit Data Subsystem. All that was necessary was the wiring of
the data from the sensors to both the hold register stage of the parallel-to-serial conversion, and
to the Transmissions Triggering Subsystem. Then whenever the data from the sensors changed it
was tested that the transmission started automatically, and that the data sent directly
corresponded to the status of the sensors. Continuing with the Baseband
Transmissions subsystem the Hamming Parity Generator Subsystem was also easily integrated.
This was done by connecting the data from the sensors to the inputs of the Hamming Parity
Generator circuit. Then the outputs were connected with the hold register stage of the parallel-to-
serial conversion in the appropriate order following the data bits.
A majority of the overall Baseband Communications System integration occurred during
the stage at which the Baseband Receive Data Subsystem was being tested. As mentioned in
Section 5.3 it was very hard to test the Baseband Receive Data Subsystem by itself. To integrate
it the baseband transmitter output was connected with the baseband receivers input and tested.
Again as mentioned in Section 5.3 there were no problems involved with this integration as data
was able to be generated and transmitted and then received properly. All the data sent also
corresponded with the status of the sensors and the parity bits determined by the sensors.
The integration of the Hamming Error Detection and Correction Subsystem was not
integrated with the Baseband Receive Data Subsystem until the printed circuit board (PCB) was
made for the baseband subsystems. The reason it was not tested with the whole system at the
protoboard level was because doing so would take up a lot of space. The integration thus far
already involved the interconnection of three protoboards. Adding the Hamming Detection and
Correction Subsystem would create more connections between protoboards and would become
very hard to characterize. There was some concern if there would be any problems integrating
the complete Hamming Subsystem on the PCB before testing it on the protoboard level.
However, the testing of the Hamming Subsystem by itself was very thorough. Also the
integration simply involved connecting the received data to the Hamming Error Detection and
Correction rather than connecting it directly to manually controlled data, as was done in the
initial Hamming test. For these reasons the PCB integration was still carried out.
After creating the PCB’s for both the Baseband Transmit Data Subsystem and the
Baseband Receive Data Subsystem they were directly connected to one another and tested to see
if they still operated as they did on the protoboard level. They did in fact still work. Then to
make sure the Hamming Error Detection and Correction Subsystem integrated properly bit errors
were created by making the clocks at the transmitter and receiver different. After creating errors
it was proven that the errors able to be corrected. It was also at this point the problem with the
errors always being at the end of the transmission was discovered. For more information on this
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issue refer back to the System Performance test in Section 3.3 and the detailed discussion of
Hamming in Section 5.7.

Integration of Baseband Communications Subsystem with the Wireless Transceiver


Subsystem
The next integration step was making sure that the data was not only able to be sent
directly, between the baseband transmitter to the baseband receiver, but also wirelessly. As
mentioned in Section 5.8 this integration was never completed successfully. While there was a
wireless link made between the two baseband systems, the data was never received correctly.
The main reason for this was the transceiver had an unforeseen characteristic that stops a series
of more than one bit to be sent if the series of bits are all ones. The solution to this laid out in
Section 5.8, was to change the framing of the bits such that the start bit was a one and the stop bit
was a zero. This solution however was not able to be tested because the issue was not found until
late in the prototyping stages. However it seems like a very plausible solution as long as the start
bit detector is changed appropriately to check for ones instead of zeros.

DSSS Integration Considerations


There were no serious issues in the process of integrating the DSSS Subsystems to one
subsystem. Common grounding between all boards used was essential for oscilloscope plots and
correct biasing of ICs implemented. The only issue that occurred with the DSSS Subsystem
integration was that it only operates reliably with a 5 Vdc biasing. The Wireless Transceiver
Subsystem and Baseband Communications Subsystem were reliably operating at 3 V bias, and
the Wireless Transceiver Subsystem required a maximum of 4 V bias. Thus, true integration
between these subsystems was a daunting task.

Integration of the Baseband Communications Subsystem with DSSS Subsystem


The final integration that was performed was between the Baseband Communications
Subsystems and the DSSS Subsystems. This was initially done with the protoboard stage
baseband system that did not have the Hamming error correction integrated. This system spanned
five protoboards. Initially while the subsystems were able to work together there seemed to be
some synchronization issues with the DSSS Subsystem. After these issues were fixed, the PCB
baseband subsystems were readily available to be used in the integration. The PCBs helped
greatly in saving space, and made the system much easier to characterize.

The one major issue of the final integration was that the DSSS subsystem could not initially
synchronize unless a zero was consistently held at its transmission input. The reason why this
was a problem was because the DSSS transmission input was connected with the baseband
transmissions output. This baseband output is consistently a one when it is not transmitting. This
issue was simply fixed by placing an inverter between this baseband-to-DSSS connection.
Because of this change at the received output of the DSSS subsystem the data had to be inverted
again before being sent to the baseband receiver. This was necessary to ensure that baseband
receiver still interpreted the data to be the same as what was sent and not the complement of

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what was sent. This issue only further enforces that it may have been better to frame the data
such that the start bit was a one and the stop bit was a zero. Then the Baseband Subsystems
would have been easily integrated with both the DSSS Subsystem and the Wireless Transceiver
Subsystem. Other than these issues the integration was a success as can be verified by the test
and results described earlier in the System Performance Section 3.3. The next step of integration
would have been between the baseband, DSSS, and wireless subsystems. If the wireless issue
had been discovered early perhaps there would have been more time to make the adjustments to
make them all work together.

2. Economic Considerations

7.1 Cost Analysis – Prototype


Table 7.1.1: Prototyping Cost Summary.

Subsystem Cost
Wireless Transmissions Subtotal $37.13
Baseband Communications Subtotal $96.47
DSSS Subtotal $29.52
Error Detection Subtotal $12.00
Other Logic Components Subtotal $36.88
Total Cost of Prototyping Hardware $212.00
Labor
Quantity Hours Salary
2 320 $20/hr $6,400
Total Labor Cost $12,800
Total Prototyping Cost $13,012

Table 7.1.1 gives a summary of the cost incurred during the prototyping process. This
includes the cost spent on all subsystem parts that were bought during the development. Each
subtotal is broken down further in Table 7.1.2, wherein each piece of hardware is listed. Note
again this is the prototyping cost and not every piece of hardware was necessarily used in the
final product. Extra parts were always bought in case a part broke or was dysfunctional.

The prototype cost summary also includes a rough estimate of the labor cost involved in the
prototyping of the system. This includes hours spent on research and development, hours spent
building, testing, and analyzing each subsystem, along with hours spent on integration of the
subsystems. A salary of $20 per hour was chosen based on an annual salary of $38,400. The
hours were calculated assuming a work week of 20 hours a week for 16 weeks. Since the project
had a two person team the labor cost was doubled, yielding $12,800 as the total cost for labor. In
total the final prototyping cost comes out to be $13,012, which can be considered the fixed start-
up cost.
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Table 7.1.2: Detailed Prototyping Cost Breakdown.

Unit Total
Description Quantity
Cost Cost
Wireless Transmission Components
MODULE
TRANSMITTER 433MHZ 1 $8.33 $8.33
18DIP
SINGLE-CHIP 433 MHZ
1 $6.78 $6.78
RF TRANSMITTER
MODULE RCVR
315/433MHZ ASK/FSK 1 $4.38 $4.38
(RX opt. 1)
IC RECEIVER
315/433MHZ 32-LQFP 1 $9.06 $9.06
(RX opt.2)
ANTENNA 433MHZ
4 $0.88 $3.52
THRU HOLE
CRYSTAL 26.000 MHZ
4 $0.46 $2.30
18PF HC49US
26 MHz XTAL 1 $2.76 $2.76
Transceivers Subtotal $37.13

Baseband Data Communications


IC Serial/Parallel
4 $1.17 $4.68
Converter 8BIT 14-DIP
IC MULTIPLEXER 3ST
4 $0.75 $3.00
8INPUT 16-DIP
IC MUX/DEMUX
15 $0.55 $8.25
TRIPLE 2X1 16DIP
IC MULTIPLEXER 16X1
3 $5.30 $15.90
28DIP
IC DUAL JK EDGE-TRIG
8 $0.46 $3.68
F/F 16-DIP
IC FLIP FLOP DUAL D
20 $0.61 $12.20
14-DIP
IC 4-BIT BINARY
12 $0.57 $6.84
COUNTER 16-DIP
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Unit Total
Description Quantity
Cost Cost
IC F/F OCTAL D-TYPE
8 $0.77 $6.16
3ST 20-DIP
IC 8BIT SHIFT
6 $0.61 $3.66
REGISTER 16-DIP
IC 8-TO-1 DATA
2 $0.57 $1.14
SEL/MUX 16-DIP
IC 8-BIT SHIFT
6 $0.57 $3.42
REGISTER 14-DIP
NAND 3 $0.55 $1.65
IC DUAL D-TYPE FLIP-
8 $0.48 $3.84
FLOP 14-DIP
14 Pin DIP Socket 15 $0.63 $9.45
16 Pin DIP Socket 8 $0.66 $5.28
20 Pin DIP Socket 2 $0.66 $1.32
6x6 Copper Clad Board 1 $6.00 $6.00
Baseband Data Communications Subtotal $96.47

Elementary DSSS Hardware


IC TRANS PNP SS GP 2 $0.39 $0.78
600MA TO-92
OSC 4.0000 MHZ FULL 2 $0.40 $0.80
SIZE
IC FLIP FLOP DUAL D 2 $0.61 $1.22
14-DIP
IC INVERTER HEX 4 $0.71 $2.84
1INPUT 16DIP
IC COUNTER/DIVIDER 6 $0.64 $3.84
DECADE 16-DIP
IC REGISTER PAR-OUT 6 $0.65 $3.90
8BIT 14-DIP
IC GATE OR QUAD 2INP 10 $0.57 $5.70
EXCL 14-DIP
IC MOD/DEMODULTR 2 $0.89 $1.78
BALANCED 14DIP
IC GATE NAND BUFF 4 $0.59 $2.36
QD 2INP 14-DIP
IC SWITCH BILATERAL 2 $0.71 $1.42
QUAD 14-DIP
IC INVERTER HEX 14- 4 $0.56 $2.24
DIP
IC DUAL 4-INPUT NOR 2 $0.67 $1.34
GATE 14-DIP

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Unit Total
Description Quantity
Cost Cost
IC GATE NOR BUFF 2 $0.65 $1.30
QUAD 2IN 14-DIP
DSSS Subtotal $29.52

Error Correction Hardware


Parity Checker 8 $0.98 $7.84
3x8 Decoder 3 $0.66 $1.98
XOR 2 $0.57 $1.14
XNOR 2 $0.52 $1.04
Error Correction Subtotal $12.00

Various Additional Logic Components


Inverters 6 $0.56 $3.36
NAND 3 $0.55 $1.65
AND 3 $0.55 $1.65
OR 3 $0.61 $1.83
NOR 6 $0.56 $3.36
XOR 4 $0.57 $2.28
XNOR 4 $0.52 $2.08
SR LATCH 6 $0.61 $3.66
LEDs 6 $0.17 $1.01
Toggle Switches 4 $4.00 $16.00
Logic Subtotal $36.88
Total Cost $212.00

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7.2 Cost Analysis – Final Version
Table 7.2.1: Final Product Hardware Cost Summary.

Projected
Subsystem Cost
Wireless Transmissions Subtotal $18.91
Sensor Subtotal $7.89
Transmission Triggering Subtotal $2.03
Hamming Parity Bit Generator Subtotal $1.14
Hamming Detection & Correction Subtotal $4.12
Framing and Parallel-to-Serial Conversion Subtotal $4.16
Digital Filter & Start Bit Detection Subtotal $2.17
Sampling, Serial-to-Parallel, Conversion, & Alert $3.64
DSSS Subtotal $14.76
Subtotal for cost of system from car-to-user $58.82
Total Cost = 2 x cost of car-to-user system $117.64

Table 7.2.1 gives a summary of the overall cost for the final product. While the prototype
that was built only cost $58.82 in total for its necessary hardware, the final system would require
a replication of this system to allow for the user to control the alarm. This final system cost takes
into account a four sensor system, not the two sensor system that was prototyped. For this reason
the total hardware cost of the system comes to $117.64, much lower than most current systems
on the market that are $200 or more. Table 7.2.2 shows some specific prices for competing
systems.

Table 7.2.2: Competitor Prices.


Product Name Price
DEI 564T. HORNET 2WAY ALARM SYSTEM / 564T $215.99
Viper 5002 Responder 2-Way Security System Car Alarm $184.95
VIPER 5902 2-Way HD Car Alarm with Remote Start & Pager $384.95

A more detailed breakdown of the each subsystem’s cost is shown in Table 7.2.5 at the end
of this section. This hardware list eliminates all extra parts that were found to be unnecessary or
inefficient, after the research and development was completed. Also note that instead of toggle
switches listed in the sensor subsystem, the actual sensors are listed. The desired SQ-SEN-200
omni-directional sensor would simply replace the toggle switches. The cost of this sensor
assumes that a total of one thousand sensors are ordered, meaning a production of quantity of
250 Novel Two-Way Car Alarm Responder Systems. All other costs are the given prices of Digi-
Key that were incurred during the prototyping.

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If the 250 units are produced the overall cost becomes $29,410. However to save on cost the
Dual Inline Package (DIP) Integrated Circuits (ICs) of the system can be replaced by less
expensive surface mount components. Another way to save on the cost would be to change the
wireless transmissions method. The transceivers included in the cost use OOK modulation
techniques and were mainly used because of its size being good for prototyping. During the
research process many cheaper alternatives were found, but were too small at the time to be of
use. This would not be the case in final production. Also there are normally discounts on
hardware that are bought in larger quantities. If the market is there for the system it becomes
ideal to produce a large number of systems well over the 250 units used in this analysis.

There was no labor cost taken into account for the final production. All final manufacturing
tasks can be exported, such as board manufacturing. Using Pad2Pad, the program used in the
baseband communications PCB designs, some manufacturing cost were estimated and tabulated
in Table 7.2.3 below.

Table 7.2.3: Manufacturing cost for various quantities.


Quantity Unit Price Total Price
250 $1.96 $489.53
1000 $1.23 $1,232.48
10,000 $1.01 $10,131.77

Note that the prototyping cost must still be considered when the overall profitability of the
system is analyzed. Also there may be the chance of gaining revenue through offering
installation help. More detail of the marketability and manufacturing of the system will be
discussed in the next few sections. To estimate the price needed to earn a profit the following
Table 7.2.4 was created. Note the fixed cost is from the prototype cost of $13,012 and the final
hardware cost of $117.64 times the quantity sold. The variable cost is determined by the
manufacturing cost. Also note that this table assumes that all units made are sold.

Table 7.2.4: Profitability Projections.

Quantity Fixed Variable Total Cost Price Revenue Profit


Cost Cost
$42,422 $489.53 $42,911.52 $120 $30,000 -$12,911.52
250 $42,422 $489.53 $42,911.52 $150 $37,500 -$5411.52
$42,422 $489.53 $42,911.52 $170 $42,500 -$411.52
$130,652 $1,232.48 $131,884.48 $120 $120,000 -$11,884.52
1000 $130,652 $1,232.48 $131,884.48 $150 $150,000 $18,115.52
$130,652 $1,232.48 $131,884.48 $170 $170,000 $38,115.52
10,000 $1,189,41 $10,131.77 $1,199,543.77 $120 $1,200,00 $456.23
2 0
$1,189,41 $10,131.77 $1,199,543.77 $150 $1,500,00 $300,456.23
2 0
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Quantity Fixed Variable Total Cost Price Revenue Profit
Cost Cost
$1,189,41 $10,131.77 $1,199,543.77 $170 $1,700,00 $500,456.23
2 0
From this table it can be seen that it is definitely not profitable to produce 250 units. It
seems also that the most competitive price that will still yield a good profit is $150. The price
of $170 can yield greater profits, but is close to the price of some current systems. Whether or
not these profits are achievable will depend on the marketability of the product.

Table 7.2.5: Detailed Cost Breakdown of Final Product.

Description Quantity Unit Cost Total Cost


Wireless Transceiver Subsystem
TRANSCEIVER 433MHZ 1 $17.15 $17.15
ANTENNA 433MHZ THRU HOLE 2 $0.88 $1.76
Transmissions Subtotal $18.91

Sensor Subsystem
Omni-directional Sensors 4 $1.82 $7.28
SR LATCH 1 $0.61 $0.61
Sensor Subtotal $7.89

Transmission Triggering Subsystem


IC DUAL D-TYPE FLIP-FLOP 14-DIP 2 $0.48 $0.96
XNOR 1 $0.52 $0.52
AND 1 $0.55 $0.55
Transmission Triggering Subtotal $2.03

Hamming Parity Bit Generator Subsystem


XOR 2 $0.57 $1.14
Hamming Parity Bit Generator Subtotal $1.14

Hamming Detection & Correction Subsystem


Parity Checker 3 $0.98 $2.94
3x8 Decoder 1 $0.66 $0.66
XNOR 1 $0.52 $0.52
Hamming Detection & Correction Subtotal $4.12

Framing and Parallel-to-Serial Conversion Subsystem


IC 4-BIT BINARY COUNTER 16-DIP 2 $0.57 $1.14
NAND 1 $0.55 $0.55
IC DUAL D-TYPE FLIP-FLOP 14-DIP 1 $0.48 $0.48
IC F/F OCTAL D-TYPE 3ST 20-DIP 1 $0.77 $0.77
IC 8BIT SHIFT REGISTER 16-DIP 2 $0.61 $1.22
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Description Quantity Unit Cost Total Cost
Framing and Parallel-to-Serial Conversion Subtotal $4.16

Digital Filter & Start Bit Detection Subsystems


IC 8-BIT SHIFT REGISTER 14-DIP 1 $0.57 $0.57
IC 8-TO-1 DATA SEL/MUX 16-DIP 1 $0.57 $0.57
IC DUAL D-TYPE FLIP-FLOP 14-DIP 1 $0.48 $0.48
NAND 1 $0.55 $0.55
Digital Filter & Start Bit Detection Subtotal $2.17

Sampling, Serial-to-Parallel, Conversion, & Alert Subsystems


IC 4-BIT BINARY COUNTER 16-DIP 2 $0.57 $1.14
IC 8-BIT SHIFT REGISTER 14-DIP 1 $0.57 $0.57
IC F/F OCTAL D-TYPE 3ST 20-DIP 1 $0.77 $0.77
IC DUAL D-TYPE FLIP-FLOP 14-DIP 1 $0.48 $0.48
LEDs 4 $0.17 $0.68
Sampling, Serial-to-Parallel, Conversion, & Alert Subtotal $3.64

Elementary DSSS Circuit


IC TRANS PNP SS GP 600MA TO-92 1 $0.39 $0.39
OSC 4.0000 MHZ FULL SIZE 1 $0.40 $0.40
IC FLIP FLOP DUAL D 14-DIP 1 $0.61 $0.61
IC INVERTER HEX 1INPUT 16DIP 2 $0.71 $1.42
IC COUNTER/DIVIDER DECADE 16-
DIP 3 $0.64 $1.92
IC REGISTER PAR-OUT 8BIT 14-DIP 3 $0.65 $1.95
IC GATE OR QUAD 2INP EXCL 14-
DIP 5 $0.57 $2.85
IC MOD/DEMODULTR BALANCED
14DIP 1 $0.89 $0.89
IC GATE NAND BUFF QD 2INP 14-
DIP 2 $0.59 $1.18
IC SWITCH BILATERAL QUAD 14-
DIP 1 $0.71 $0.71
IC INVERTER HEX 14-DIP 2 $0.56 $1.12
IC DUAL 4-INPUT NOR GATE 14-
DIP 1 $0.67 $0.67
IC GATE NOR BUFF QUAD 2IN 14-
DIP 1 $0.65 $0.65
DSSS Subtotal $14.76
Subtotal for cost of system from car-to-user $58.82
Total Cost = 2 x cost of car-to-user system $117.64

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8. Manufacturability
Using the cost analysis calculations presented in Section 7.2, the manufacturability
considerations remain relatively simple. In Table 7.2.5, many of the logic components are
Dual In-line Package ICs which are cumbersome in the mass manufacturing process and
inefficient. Modern technology deems surface-mount components (SMT) a much better
solution. Each of the logic components and ICs used in the final version of the system has a
SMT equivalent readily available from electronic component distributors such as Digi-Key
Corporation and Mouser. When bought in bulk these components come well under a dollar
each. From Cost Analysis Table 7.2.4 Profitability Projections, the projected and desired
production quantity must exceed 1000 units in order to stay competitive with other systems
on the market. Table 7.2.6 shows a few example comparisons of availability and price of
SMT and DIP parts from Digi-Key Corporation parts listing.

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Table 7.2.6: Parts list example comparing DIP to SMT pricing from Digi-Key Corporation.
Data acquired on 05/12/2010.

Part Package Price/unit Quantity Package Price/unit Quantity

74HC74 DIP $0.54 6,191 SMT $0.108 12,500


DUAL D
FLIP-FLOP

74HC04 DIP $0.56 9,767 SMT $0.098 2,500


HEX
INVERTER

Manufacturing for these systems would require outsourcing to an electronics


manufacturing facility. These facilities use state-of-the-art electronic manufacturing
techniques involving automated placing and soldering of SMT components to the fabricated
PCBs in-house. This option is the best for a mass production scale which would be the only
means of profitable production. Using electronic manufacturing services (EMS) of a
production house is the best solution because it safe-guards for various market situations as
well. EMS most times have connections to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) that
can make manufacturing from desired parts even more accessible. OEM parts are made by
these manufacturers in large volumes once again taking advantage of economies of scale, and
specialize in these products used in other systems such as this two-way car alarm responder
system.

9. Marketability
The final design to be mass produced and sold has very distinct differences from several
competitor systems currently in market. The demand for these systems is inherent to the
nature of cars. There are several factors that would aid this system in market
competition. The first factor is the very desirable price we have outlined in Table 7.2.3.
The competitor systems provided in Table 7.2.2 have several discernable features which
will be discussed below. Again the most important feature of this novel two-way car
alarm pager system is its cost efficiency.

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From Table 7.2.2, all of the competitor systems listed have several convenient features such
as remote trunk opening and remote engine kill mode to help keep an intruder from starting the
engine of the car. They also include an intricate LCD display responder for visual appeal, and
strobing light alarm options to intimidate intruders. These features are nice and convenient for
many customers in the market for a flashy system. However, a large part of the market would be
open to a baseline two-way car alarm responder system that provides accurate, secure, and
reliable communication at long distances. The truth of the matter is that many of these
competitor systems add special features to make these systems more appealing, but a baseline
two-way car alarm responder system is the better option. Of course there are many opportunities
to add customizations to this two-way responder system later to add a personal appeal to it. The
key point that will make this system sell in market is the peace of mind of a reliable system to
monitor car security at a price that won’t break the bank. Ideally providing this low cost option,
the potential to sell to the masses is indelible.

Also, there lies a potential market within the manufacturers of car companies to provide
the system initially in the car as a baseline package. This would be a selling point for the car
manufacturer’s as well as they can advertise high-tech car security and peace of mind to their
customers from day one. If these two-way car alarm systems are integrated in the car
manufacturing process, market potential for these systems would be very large.

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Individual Discussions

10.1 Matt Elder

10.1.1 Overview Discussion of the Project


The Novel Two-Way Car Alarm Responder System was a serious venture into
communications system design. From the Sensors Subsystem at the car to the Responder with
the user and back again, this system needed to provide stable communications between parties.
What spawned as a convenient way to eliminate ignorance to car alarms turned out to be an
excellent learning tool for the engineers involved. This system is deemed novel in its approach
of communication. Competitor systems on the market have established a two-way car security
solution using frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology as well as specialized surface-
mount ICs with their own personal communications protocol. While this approach is viable as a
solution to car security, the Novel Two-Way Car Alarm Responder System in its finished state
will be a revolutionary approach to car security. Using direct-sequence spread spectrum
technology (DSSS) as well as simple Hamming (7,4) Channel Code error correction, car security
gains a secure stability with existing equipment that is readily available from electronic
component distributors. No specially programmed microcontrollers, spectrum band licenses, or
specialized IC manufacturing required. With this system, car security can become personal
again. Knowledge of car security can ease the worry and tension involved with uncertainty of
car status and the sound of a car alarm.

While existing car security solutions are available in the market, technical details of their
operations are rather difficult to find. In decades past, car alarms used to have a fixed code with
which access was granted to a user. Once this technology was released to the public, it did not
take long before people could successfully bypass the security aspects of these early systems.
Modern systems use “rolling code” technology, fancy for a spread spectrum coding of
information between responder and security sensors. Several hours of research were involved
before KEELOQ encoder and decoder chip technology was found. These KEELOQ chips made
by Microchip Inc. are the backbone of almost all of the “rolling code” two-way car security
systems in the market today. More so almost every car security system can be traced back to one
manufacturer, Direct Electronics Inc. This fact alone raises questions regarding what properties
differ between these car alarm systems on the market today. After some more research it was
found that these systems are highly specialized from the Pulse-Width Modulation transmission
scheme with start and stop bits and built-in error correction to the transmitter and receiver pair
used to communicate. Some systems have small differences from the transmission band used to
the means of protocol used in transmission. However, they all seem to use frequency-hopping
rolling code technology. Once these facts were known, a novel approach was assembled. Could
a system with off-the-shelf electronic parts provide the same security for a lower cost? This was
and still is the basis and focus of the Novel Two-Way Car Alarm Responder System’s success.

134
In the design process, this ‘rolling code’ aspect of car security was a good idea. In step
with modern systems, the Novel Two-Way Car Alarm Security System was to utilize Direct-
Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) instead of the Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)
apparent in these ‘rolling code’ competitor systems. Finding a means to produce DSSS for
baseband information spreading was the next goal. After long forays of search results on the
internet, consultation with an Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) publication “THE SPREAD
SPECTRUM SOURCEBOOK” found experimental construction of DSSS circuits to use as a
ground-work for our system. Although the circuit chosen as a reference model for the novel
two-way security system was built for operation at 4 MHz, the design was scaled and modified
accordingly to utilize a 20 kHz clock.

The Wireless Transceivers Subsystem was the next obstacle in the design process. While
there are many pre-fabricated solutions for a wireless RF link available, our selection was
reduced greatly based on protocol and cost limitations. Most transmission systems on the market
are designed to use a particular IEEE standard protocol in communications. The goal of this
design project was to utilize an RF link with a simple modulation scheme and no protocol
baggage. In the end, the only feasible solution for prototyping was the OOK Transceivers TRM-
433-LT from Linx Technologies. These units are a high-power long range data transmission
solution that modulates baseband data input in On-Off Keying format with no other protocol
processing. While there are other solutions of a similar nature for FSK and PSK especially, this
OOK Linx unit was the only solution available for a working system with our prototyping
situation.

The Baseband Communications Subsystem also required some interesting design work.
While a chip solution UART has all the processing and much more required by the novel two-
way security system, a component level construction was an easier more tangible approach to
baseband communications. Also this construction let the team specialize on parts to eliminate
unnecessary operations and focus on what was important for accurate operation.

In the end, integration issues kept a truly wireless system from spawning.
However, the design process education that resulted from researching and constructing this
system from scratch is a very valuable asset. Getting into the details of a communications
system of this nature provides much more education than reviewing the design on paper. Like
every real world system, theory is never accurately replicated under realistic conditions.
Building and testing each component of the system is the only way to truly understand the scope
and technology which the system operates

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