This project is a handheld digital pressure / temperature gauge that measures an objects pressure and temperature, and displays the effective Cold Inflation Pressure as if the tire or object is in it's baseline environment (CIP) setting - It does this regardless if the tire or object is hot or cold. I originally designed this for trucks used in the mining industry but quickly realized different markets (ie automotive).
The Effective CIP is the result generated by this product after it reads the air pressure and temperature
of the tire(s) or object(s). It indicates the pressure your tire(s) or object(s) would be at as if
they were in the initial basepoint programming environment, regardless if the tire(s) are currently
hot or cold and regardless of the environment your currently in.
It provides tangible data that the user can actually use and relate to. One key point is the
TireBuddy doesn’t care when, where, what the temperature is, day or night when the user
programs their baseline CIP settings. All of the information necessary to program these
settings is displayed on the TireBuddy.
Once the user baseline settings are programmed that's it. No more
programming is required. From Maine to California. The user can check
and adjust air pressure accurately day or night in any environmental
Over the past 2 years, I talked with and worked with several trucking company personnel, their mechanics, drivers even their owners, got their input. I also talked with a few tire outlets and got their preferences. Then designed it.
Think of this as a handheld TPMS system that does more. Besides displaying the actual tire pressure and tire temperature it also displays the calculated or effective CIP and the amount of PSI the tire or object is off from the user programmable baseline pressure. It has 5 different zones that can be used for different tires on a truck or different vehicles. Each zone programmable in C/KPA or F/PSI among other things.
Most people don't realize that the overwhelming majority of TPMS systems do not take into account temperature for alarms or the displayed pressure. They display the actual temperature then leave the rest up to you to figure out. In other words, they don't calculate the effective Cold Inflation Pressure. This can be verified simply by comparing the displayed pressure with an ordinary mechanical pressure gauge. They will both have the same pressure even if your tire is hot.
This gage will save money on fuel, increases safety, reduces premature tire wear and tear
and decreases downtime overall due to improper air pressure. All of the things TPMS systems
were supposed to do. In Michigan alone, the conservative estimate is over 70 million dollars
trucking companies and independent owner operators spend each year on these issues for
semi tractor and trailers alone.
This handheld unit is universal – not tied to any other system, avoids the hassle
of rotating / changing tires / sensors that occur with most TPMS systems as they require
some reprogramming. It also works great on automobiles or just about anything that requires
There are quite a few more features I put in this unit but I’ll leave those for the
specification and users guide enclosed.
A yard mechanic sets the baseline pressure at 90 PSI for the front steer tires with
the temperature at 68 degrees. He / She chooses Zone 1 and programs in these values.
A couple weeks later, the truck comes in and the pressure is checked while the tires are hot.
The device displays 96 PSI actual along with a temperature of 132 degrees when first connected.
The calculated Effective CIP indicates 90 PSI. The difference displayed is 00.
There is no air loss in the tire(s).
An owner/operator sets the baseline pressure at 100 PSI for the rear drive tires
and the temperature was 72 degrees. He / She chooses Zone 2 and programs in these values.
Three weeks later, the owner checks the pressure on the road in a colder climate
while the tires are cold. The device displays 95 PSI actual along with a temperature
of 23 degrees when first connected. The calculated Effective CIP indicates 100 PSI.
The difference displayed is 00. There is no air loss in the tire(s).
An owner/operator sets the baseline pressure at 110 PSI for the rear drive tires and
the temperature was 40 degrees. He / She chooses Zone 2 and programs in these values.
A couple months later, the owner checks the pressure on the road while the tires are hot.
The device displays 106 PSI actual along with a temperature of 143 degrees when first connected.
The calculated Effective CIP indicates 96 PSI. The difference displayed is -14.
The tire has lost 14 PSI probably due to a small puncture or natural leakage.
The new sensor assembly won't let any air out as it's a IR Thermopile sensor that also very fast (1 - 2 seconds). I need to have a new sensor tube fabricated along with 2 new boards made that fits in the sensor tube assembly and a custom stamping for the filter. From there, I'm sure some mild software changes will be required as the result of testing the new sensor.
The second phase will involve re-laying out the processor PCB so it fits into a production case (The current cases were printed on a 3-D printer).
This product can only help people and the economy by increasing safety, improving mileage, decrease the millions of gallons of fuel wasted every day due to improper inflation and reducing pollutions. I did all of the design, board layout, mechanical design and software myself. I also have a provisional patent on it.
Risks and challenges
Ideally for me, I would like to sell this to a company that has the manufacturing capacity to build this. I believe very strongly about this product and I want to see it in the marketplace as it can only help everyone. This phase of the projects involves some manufacturing on the sensor housing tube, having 2 printed circuit boards made for the sensor assembly and will require some software tweaking during the testing. I'll be done with this phase by end of January. Hopefully I can find somebody thru KickStarter and Facebook that may take an interest.
As far as the second phase, I have the production case picked out, have had the original PCB's made so I know and have worked with the board house. I have also worked with houses that stuff the PCB with components and have quotes on that as well. I also have several quotes for components from vendors.
The second biggest problem is getting the advertising out there. What I'm going to do after phase 2 is to release video's and other information to companies and businesses to get the word out. I have several businesses in mind to start with, along with quotes for radio advertising.