Just starting my new Car PC project. In my old Jag XK8 I had a full windows car pc install - which worked ok, but the car was written off after an accident, i got a replacement but dont really want to do such an involved install. I spent some time thinking about my options and decided recently to go Android. This was prompted by buying my first android mobile and finding it nice and quick, with lots and lots of app support compared to windows mobile. Anyway - Ive just started the project which will involve fitting an Archos 80 G9 into the carbon fibre covered dash in my new XK8 Convertible. The device is little more than a centimeter thick, and looking at the measurements will happily sit behind a slightly modified center fascia of the car.

I will link it to the aux input of my JVC AVx77. Power wise it will run off a cigarette lighter that will be hidden away but accessible. This will be powered in the same way as the current cigarette lighter in the car so it comes on with the turn of the key into ingintion or auxilary positions. This automatically switches the device on. I currently have the device set the screen timeout to 5 seconds when it is not on external power, and with 5-10 seconds the screen switches off. This isnt ideal, but will need to be the case until the device gets "rooted" giving me super user access and hence allowing me to turn off using readily available apps.

On the back of the device is a slot for a 3G key which is simply a full size USB port. Into this i have plugged a laptop hard drive via a USB -> Ide connector. This is recognised and mounted by the archos device. One problem i am yet to overcome however is that this does not get indexed by the media scanners, but i can access the files and playback manually. Im a programmer so i will solve this by either making my own media playback tool that will index from this drive, or by making a media scanner that will scan this drive. One other issue is that the USB drive seems to wake up the device's screen every so often, but i believe that i can solve this once the device has been rooted.

There is a partially successful root already available for the Archos - but so far it has some issues with sound so for now im not using that. While this is the case I may try a move to a large SD card for my media - but we shall wait and see on that. 32gb really isnt enough for the music i currently carry in car, but I only currently have a 60 gb hard drive so there could be a workable solution using an SD card - maybe if i keep the films seperate for now.

Ill hopefully post some photo's once i start making progress in car.