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isam

Carputers

Question

Car Computers or Carputers. I've seen many on the net. There are branded ones to home made ones. Has anyone got either verity in your car?

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interesting gadgets, but i for one don't quite see the point of these...

doesn't simply over digitize and over complicate things packing a car with more electronics?? :huh:

i can see how some would enjoy having various devices integrated into the single console , but aren't most modern cars coming outta the factory with such layouts n setups?

and given that most Sri Lankan drives shortish when considering the distance i don't really know if these serve any usuaful purpose even :mellow:

Didn't Pet#o offer one these systems? - recall a write up in the MotorMag..

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interesting gadgets, but i for one don't quite see the point of these...

doesn't simply over digitize and over complicate things packing a car with more electronics?? :huh:

i can see how some would enjoy having various devices integrated into the single console , but aren't most modern cars coming outta the factory with such layouts n setups?

and given that most Sri Lankan drives shortish when considering the distance i don't really know if these serve any usuaful purpose even :mellow:

Didn't Pet#o offer one these systems? - recall a write up in the MotorMag..

I see that you got a point there Dev. But the tempatetion for gadgets... :rolleyes: simply too much.

On the other hand if you have an on board computer the possibilities are endless:

* Audio support to virtually a limitless set of codecs: Divx, MP3, WMV, etc.

* Add on GPS (when the usage is legalized)

* DVD, DVDR, DVD RW support

* Mobile internet

* Bluetooth pairing with phone

* Hooked up with proper sensors for car security

* Forward/Aft parking support by sensor/camera

* Hooked up with OBD for real time monitoring

* ETC. you think about it, it could be done :rolleyes:

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I see that you got a point there Dev. But the tempatetion for gadgets... :rolleyes: simply too much.

On the other hand if you have an on board computer the possibilities are endless:

* Audio support to virtually a limitless set of codecs: Divx, MP3, WMV, etc.

* Add on GPS (when the usage is legalized)

* DVD, DVDR, DVD RW support

* Mobile internet

* Bluetooth pairing with phone

* Hooked up with proper sensors for car security

* Forward/Aft parking support by sensor/camera

* Hooked up with OBD for real time monitoring

* ETC. you think about it, it could be done :rolleyes:

All of those are things that distract from the actual driving.

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a fool with a tool is still a fool..am i rite peri?

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Yes, but these aren't even tools for the most part, just toys.

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I thought of doing it 'cos I can run my diagnostic software as well as tuning software/etc. on it and flash the PCM right from their, but the initial investment is not pretty. It's got its advantages but there's a lot of fooling around to get it working right.

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I had one in my Legacy for a while, with a 7" WVGA touch screen. It was fun for a while, I ended up taking it out though as it was just a pain to use. I still have all the gear but now just occasionally plug my tactrix cable in with the laptop (netbook) to see what the AF ratios are etc.

I used the centrafuse front end - which actually worked quited well, an old Toshiba Tecra S1 laptop. I modded the port replicator with an off board switch that was mounted in the centre console. Hardwired power, usb bluetooth and a telstra 3g/hsdpa card for internet. I had a screen mounted in the centre console where you'd normally get the factory GPS screen in the legacy/liberty.

MeanGreen is right though, there's a hell of a lot of mucking around to get things working - it was just a thing we did when we had some time at work with old bits. The most expensive bit was the screen i guess - got it from the US when the dollar was better. Would I do it again? no :) Although, if the car had a few mods on it, it would be worthwhile just to see what's going on with the engine etc. The new tactrix cable I got (openport 2.0) has a microSD slot for logging without a PC. I've never tried it though, but I might hang onto it and bring it to Lanka with me. I know it works on all OBDII and Canbus Subarus, not sure what else..

Edited by MSP0RT5

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Just remembered this bit...

I once worked on like a 60s or 70's Lotus 7 ... what the hell does this have to do with carputers? Well, the owner swapped in a LS1/6-speed setup and car a carputer. He cut a hole in the middle of the dash for the screen and all the gauges and every gauge was displayed on the screen in real time. It was pretty neat 'cos there were no conventional gauges in the car whatsoever.

What about the car? Well with the upgrades we put in it, it was pushing ~ 430HP at the wheels and with that power and torque of the V8, it was just STUPID!!! The car was just too light and you could light up the wheels in 4th gear at almost any speed!!! ... just the way I like it ... ha ha

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I had one in my Legacy for a while, with a 7" WVGA touch screen. It was fun for a while, I ended up taking it out though ss it was just a pain to use.

Could you pls elaborate on the it was just a pain to use? any specific reason for this?

MeanGreen is right though, there's a hell of a lot of mucking around to get things working - it was just a thing we did when we had some time at work with old bits. The most expensive bit was the screen i guess - got it from the US when the dollar was better. Would I do it again? no :) Although, if the car had a few mods on it, it would be worthwhile just to see what's going on with the engine etc. The new tactrix cable I got (openport 2.0) has a microSD slot for logging without a PC. I've never tried it though, but I might hang onto it and bring it to Lanka with me. I know it works on all OBDII and Canbus Subarus, not sure what else..

I've been doing some background research and you are spot on. The LCD screen is the most expensive. To make the real use of the AutoPC you will need to have a touch screen monitor. I've come across with many TV screens with VGA input for rather cheap price but does not have touchscreen feature. Of cause you can fix a touch panel in front of the screen as a conversion, but am not sure about the clarity of TV screens. Touchscreen monitors are quite expensive.

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Could you pls elaborate on the it was just a pain to use? any specific reason for this?

Whilst the centrafuse front end was very nicely designed, to get to a lot of the technical features, such as enginuity for the logging etc required you to go into the windows gui, and windows was never really designed to run at that resolution (800x400 or something from memory) so dialog boxes were off the screen etc. If you were using it purely for media/gps it worked well. Windows isn't very finger friendly. I was planning to by a bluetooth mini keyboard (logitech make a nice one) to use with it, but it was just getting too costly for any real benefit I got out of it. In summary, the "pain to use" was due to the UI of XP. If someone designs linux based carpc distro which is optimised for a touch screen (and a 7"-9" touch screen at that..) it would work well imho. After many different bluetooth dongles, I finally found one that supported the centrafuse bluetooth stack, so i managed to get my address book syncing and dialing from the screen working :) That was pretty cool...

As MeanGreen mentioned though, the e-dash was a good feature. If you add up the cost of decent (Defi?) gauges, the carpc using old PC bits makes sense - however, it really needs the software support the purpose. Again, though having said that, after doing it, I prefer some analogue gauges anytime - I agree iwht Peri, you don't really need the distractions while driving - especially in SL.

If you're only doing it for music/media, I'd just look at a dedicated/purpose built headunit which has all that.

I've been doing some background research and you are spot on. The LCD screen is the most expensive. To make the real use of the AutoPC you will need to have a touch screen monitor. I've come across with many TV screens with VGA input for rather cheap price but does not have touchscreen feature. Of cause you can fix a touch panel in front of the screen as a conversion, but am not sure about the clarity of TV screens. Touchscreen monitors are quite expensive.

I used a lilliput screen - it was a LED backlit resistive touch screen. From what I read the overlay panels didn't work as well. Last thing you want while driving is having the thing fail/not work as it should. It cost me $170USD in March 08 (I think) - when the AUD was a lot better - plus 30 bucks or so shipping. Now, I don't know what they're selling for. I still have it, figured I'd bring it to lanka if I ever decide to do the carpc thing again :)

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Whilst the centrafuse front end was very nicely designed, to get to a lot of the technical features, such as enginuity for the logging etc required you to go into the windows gui, and windows was never really designed to run at that resolution (800x400 or something from memory) so dialog boxes were off the screen etc. If you were using it purely for media/gps it worked well. Windows isn't very finger friendly. I was planning to by a bluetooth mini keyboard (logitech make a nice one) to use with it, but it was just getting too costly for any real benefit I got out of it. In summary, the "pain to use" was due to the UI of XP. If someone designs linux based carpc distro which is optimised for a touch screen (and a 7"-9" touch screen at that..) it would work well imho. After many different bluetooth dongles, I finally found one that supported the centrafuse bluetooth stack, so i managed to get my address book syncing and dialing from the screen working :) That was pretty cool...

As MeanGreen mentioned though, the e-dash was a good feature. If you add up the cost of decent (Defi?) gauges, the carpc using old PC bits makes sense - however, it really needs the software support the purpose. Again, though having said that, after doing it, I prefer some analogue gauges anytime - I agree iwht Peri, you don't really need the distractions while driving - especially in SL.

If you're only doing it for music/media, I'd just look at a dedicated/purpose built headunit which has all that.

I used a lilliput screen - it was a LED backlit resistive touch screen. From what I read the overlay panels didn't work as well. Last thing you want while driving is having the thing fail/not work as it should. It cost me $170USD in March 08 (I think) - when the AUD was a lot better - plus 30 bucks or so shipping. Now, I don't know what they're selling for. I still have it, figured I'd bring it to lanka if I ever decide to do the carpc thing again :)

Many thanks MSP0RT5, MeanGreen for sharing your valuable experience. I think we can overcome XP issue with a custom software GUI. Of cause it would be a real pain to click the XP buttons on a 7" or 8" screen. What I've planned is to write a small GUI software and use it as a shell on top of XP. Plan to have more touch friendly buttons on the interface.

Of cause Linux is a real good alternative to XP. I'd love to use Linux over XP any day. But there are many complications when it comes to hardware driver compatibility. If all hardware is OK with Linux I'd use Linux. (Don't want license issues to complicate my task).

I'm thinking of an easily accessible GUI which will enable access to all major facilities provided. Something like this:

bbtlogo.jpg

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isam, i haven't looked into it for about a year now.. but have a look at centrafuse and see what they are doing. There's a lot of backend work that goes into making the gui and all the functions work seamlessly with XP. Part of the problem with using linux was limited hardware support for the OBD-2 cables. Most of them only have drivers for windows.

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isam, i haven't looked into it for about a year now.. but have a look at centrafuse and see what they are doing. There's a lot of backend work that goes into making the gui and all the functions work seamlessly with XP. Part of the problem with using linux was limited hardware support for the OBD-2 cables. Most of them only have drivers for windows.

Many thanks MSP0RT5. This software is quite impressive. And it made me realize that there is a lot that I have to consider in writing the GUI.

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I know if you look in the right places, you can find software packages already designed to be used with the liliput screen/etc. and already have the outputs/etc. from a relay box/etc. for your A/C controls, amp outputs for music, etc. its been a while since I looked into it, but I know for a fact that there's preassembled kits you can get for about $400-500 with all the basic features you need.

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If you're going ahead with it isam, have a look for a 2nd hand Acer minipc - the mac mini look alikes - they run off a 12v dc adapter, so are easily adaptable into a car situ - however do some reading on the mp3car forums about the power requirements, especially with regards to standby and shutdown - last thing you want is a corrupt OS after all your work putting it together.

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I'm putting down a list of options which are possible to be hooked to an Auto PC: I need your ideas please.

1. Audio

2. DVD Video

3. TV/Radio

4. Navigation

5. WiFi/Bluetooth

6. ???

7. ???

8. ???

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Have a look at roadrunner too, another frontend. There's plenty out there - might also be able to find some open source that would give you a good platform without having to reinvent the wheel.

6. E-dash/gauges

7. data logging/monitoring

I'm putting down a list of options which are possible to be hooked to an Auto PC: I need your ideas please.

1. Audio

2. DVD Video

3. TV/Radio

4. Navigation

5. WiFi/Bluetooth

6. ???

7. ???

8. ???

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I was thinking, if I can enter the amount of fuel that I pump into the car each time, and can get the mileage information via the OBD, I could nicely workout the fuel economy of the car. At least what I do manually now, which helps me a lot in getting the maintenance cues. (What I have experienced is every time the fuel consumption has gone high its my mistake or delay in doing the proper maintenance tasks.) Maybe can improve further with the car suggesting the service and maintenance tasks :rolleyes:

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I was thinking, if I can enter the amount of fuel that I pump into the car each time, and can get the mileage information via the OBD, I could nicely workout the fuel economy of the car. At least what I do manually now, which helps me a lot in getting the maintenance cues. (What I have experienced is every time the fuel consumption has gone high its my mistake or delay in doing the proper maintenance tasks.) Maybe can improve further with the car suggesting the service and maintenance tasks :rolleyes:

If you can code, then you're only limited by the info the car spits out! I think I've seen a few object modules for OBD and the common auto protocols on romraider etc.

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- shift light using a tach reference

- A/C, heater controls ... if you like to play with solenoids

- g-force meter

- tire pressure monitoring system

okay, I think I went a bit far 'cos you need external sending units and modules for all those .. lol

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- shift light using a tach reference

- A/C, heater controls ... if you like to play with solenoids

- g-force meter

- tire pressure monitoring system

okay, I think I went a bit far 'cos you need external sending units and modules for all those .. lol

No sweat bro appreciate all the ideas. Want to prepare a feature list first. Then I can go hunting for the parts. :)

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If you can code, then you're only limited by the info the car spits out! I think I've seen a few object modules for OBD and the common auto protocols on romraider etc.

Thanks MSP0RT5, does romraider has a website?

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Thanks MSP0RT5, does romraider has a website?

Guys sorry to take you all off the topic at hand... I am desperate in need of a place to get a K&N Filter cleaner solution and oil. Usual place Moto Kade is out of stock and will not get stock for about a month.

Please help with a pointer at the right direction.

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Guys sorry to take you all off the topic at hand... I am desperate in need of a place to get a K&N Filter cleaner solution and oil. Usual place Moto Kade is out of stock and will not get stock for about a month.

Please help with a pointer at the right direction.

Dude, surely, an urgent request like that would warrant a new thread? :) Anyway, can't be of help, but don't think it would get noticed much in here that's all...

@isam - the romraider.com site is mainly targeted at subaru tuning, but there's plenty of FAQ's and links from there. Also check out enginuity (google), and of course the forums at mp3car.com.

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