The mp3car forums are about 10 years old. It is about time we recognized some of the innovators that have made this community great. Please take a minute to recognize the efforts which made car computing feasible and vote for your top 5 products or innovations which were generated by the community.
Updated 10-08-2009 at 11:22 PM by optikalefx
IBUS interpreter - Community member Wanted has written a plug-in for Ride Runner that interprets BMW steering wheel button commands and relays them to your car PC. The plug-in is an attempt to improve on some of the issues he's experienced with the IBUSCOMM plug-in. It runs as a Windows service and allows the user to switch screens using the R/T key press. Support for up to 255 screens is available.
Don't own an I-BUS equipped BMW? You can build an IBUS-2-COMport adaptor! Read post #8 for discussion and a link to how-to.
Mac front end. The duo from down under, New Zealand brothers Stephen and Kevin Ramsay, have released ICE3 version 2.1, a front end for Mac that has quickly gained popularity on the OSX platform. Version 2.1 brings improvements to coverflow, native use of iTunes library, better video controls, among other improvements. The next version will begin to incorporate non-media functionality such as XM and OBDII. Read about it here.
One-click web cam recording. Want to know how to record from a web cam while on the go? Capture! is a one-click web cam application by community member Prefect. Currently, members are working on adding the ability to overlay information on the recorded video. (See a similiar project in OBDII, below) Read about it in a loooong running thread since 2005!
DVR capability for radio. Member Extide is working on a C# proof of concept application that allows DVR capability for radio or nearly any line-in source like XM Direct. He's targeting the SiLabs tuner, since that's what he owns. This is a work in progress, but head over and see what he's done so far.
OBDII gauges - Member malcolm 2073 has released a GaugeDisplay application here. GaugeDisplay is a standalone app that provides gauges for frontends that may not have support for it but that do support external program embedding - like Ride Runner. Users can configure GaugeDisplay to display numerous values by editing the XML file.
Overlay driving information on video - New member dirtysanchez from Poland scores on his very first post with an application that combines data from a VAG-COM OBDII cable and a webcam to record the RPMs, Throttle position, and speed over the video stream, allowing it to be played back at a later date. Check it out here.
New member lanceam24 is getting some tips on how to smooth out his fiberglas sub boxes over in the fabrication forum. Want to know how to get a smooth appearance without wavy lines? Check it out here.
Wanna get rid of the fan noise? Watercool it. Member WuNgUn is 95% complete with his water-cooled system and custom fab job on his front bezel. Beautiful job and a nice, clean install. Check it out here.
Congratulations to Robby BMW! His long running thread on a Tire Pressure Management System (TPMS) is a great example of the community coming together to bring a hack to product status. The TPMS version 2.0 is available soon. The TPMS system is a wireless tire pressure monitoring system that integrates into Ride Runner via a USB receiver and plug-in, displaying pressures on the PC. This device was developed by the mp3car.com community first as a project and now as a product for the community.
Here's a photo of version 1 and 2 side by side.
Driveline - open source front end. User ClockWork has released a functional frontend in VB6 with source code. It uses VB.net 2005 and Win32API's. No external components except Windows Medial Player. A new forum has been created to allow bug reports, testing, news and notes.
OBDII GPS logger.
Member chunkyks has developed an OBDII GPS logger for Mac OS X and Linux. This is the first community developed and released software for OS X OBDII. A forum has been created for bug reports and testing of the software.
Proving that the car pc scene is indeed global, check out user mpower86's install in a Mitsubishi Pajero 2004. The install is quite nice with double screens but the location is rather more unexpected - Iraq. As far as we know, this is the first Iraqi install of a car PC. mpower86 says he struggled to find all the parts he needed, but using an inverter and a Compaq Presario 2500 laptop, managed to make it work. Well done!
Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:14 PM by optikalefx
Mp3car.com, Digital-car.co.uk, and mp3car.ru have been acquired by Mr. Jack Smittinghurst, a new mp3car forum user that goes by the name Abolition. The cash only deal was signed late in the evening last night at 6pm GMT for 8 million British pounds sterling. Details of how the money was split are unavailable. Founders of Mp3car.com and Digital-car.co.uk have been unavailable for comment.
Mr. Smittinghurst is expected to meet later this week in Washington, DC with President Obama’s CTO Vivek Kundram on how this new international mobile computing partnership could help spur growth in the economy and inspire international cooperation.
Mr. Smittinghurst was quoted as saying “We look forward to using technology from the three communities to facilitate “greener” transportation.” We also hope to expand into other markets. Specifically, we hope to use this global technology and community to make international warfare more eco-friendly by documenting and supplying spud cannon parts and accessories through a redesigned mp3car.com store”
Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:19 PM by optikalefx
The best of innovation and development from the Mp3Car.com forums.
Want to see how to mold a dash in your Cadillac Escalade? Member Brian at Nexations Creations has posted pictures of his latest work here .
Member WuNgUn is making progress on his bezel and paintwork and is asking for forum members to critique it. The fab includes a Griffin powermate and custom gauges mounted into the bezel. Nice work!
Finally, an OBDII implementation for OSX and Unix! Community member chunkyks has created an OBD GPS logger application that does exactly what it says - reads OBDII data from any ELM 327 device and logs it to a file. You can output the information to a visualizer like Google Earth. A GREAT start to the OBDII issue for Macs and Unix systems! We hope to see this implementation extended to provide full functionality on both platforms. See more info at chunkyks website: http://icculus.org/obdgpslogger/
Member willmeyer has an OBDII plug that is big and ugly and sticks straight out of the socket into the footwell. He found a solution to his problem form michbound, OBDPros vendor that keeps him from reorienting the car's OBDII plug. Read about it here .
My quest to kill my car PC is investigating using a bluetooth touchscreen controller to control the iPhone. Know anything about this hardware or software for the iPhone? Head on over and give me a hand !
Community continues to work on Bluetooth integration - Standalone BlueSoleil wrapper from lambosprit. Rather than continue to suffer headaches with integrating bluetooth into the PC environment for mobile phones, lambosprit has decided to fix it using the Bluesoleil bluetooth stack. This week, he released a standalone BlueSoleil wrapper for Ride Runner. The wrapper comes complete with a sample VB.net express 2008 project that demonstrates how to use it. Developers can now use the wrapper to build their own custom bluetooth functions in RR plugins or standalone applications.
Interested in Bluetooth on the PC but aren't a coder? Don't miss lambosprit's mobilephone plugin for Ride Runner. The plugin is based on ANOTHER member's work (Lucifer) on a mobilephone plugin. lambosprit has added the BlueSoleil bluetooth stack to the mix. Several members, including tempgp are helping, offering, or testing the plug-in.
Excellent worklog and install - I rarely read people's worklogs because they usually depress me. My car PC used to be a slick and well disguised OEM looking installation but lately it's looked more like Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory with cables all over the interior. It's driving me nuts but that's the cost of experimentation. However, if you'd like to see what a great install looks like, with TONS of detail and nearly 500 posts actively following the progress, check out member rdholtz's great worklog. There's lots of advice and information. You'll find plenty to learn and his detailed index to the thread on post 1 will save you reading the whole thing.
Love the iPhone interface and want it on your PC? Member route78 has released a beta.1 of an iPhone skin. It handles music and video and next version plans to support external gps, web browser, settings, mixer, background changes and possibly phone. Looks gorgeous! Check it out.
Those crazy Aussies are at it again. Member Abolition has been posting with questions about how to install twin spud cannons in his car. So far, he's been dissuaded by forum members from his original plan to fire it using gasoline or LP from his dual fuel vehicle. He's currently searching for the right materials to fire it using compressed air. Check in on his progress here .
Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:20 PM by optikalefx
How to build your own wireless USB monitor - We took an IOGear wireless VGA device (GUC2015V), an M1-ATX, a Lilliput 10” monitor and a laptop battery to make a super hacked wireless monitor. If you spent more than an hour on this you could really make this hack usable. We couldn’t get more than 15’ of range out of this with line of sight, but it was fun to try. Based on the amperage of the devices, we could theoretically get a few hours out of this per charge.
Other power supplies that could be used:
The m3-atx is probably a better supply to use for this project.
How much Power does this use?
260 milli amps for just the receiver.
1.1 amps for the receiver and screen.
Our battery has a capacity at 14.8 volts of 6600mAH.
Does this mean we get 6 hours of run time? Wow.
Host CPU Loads tested on my desktop
DisplayLinkManager is what does the processing for the Wireless VGA adapter.
Hardware used for testing
3 year old 2.8 Ghz Pentium D Dual core CPU
4gb of Ram
CPU Load Results
0% - CPU load with an idle screen (desktop only)
0-2% - CPU load with google talk
2-3% - VLC movie paused
9%-12% - VLC playing a movie
Part 2 Video Transcript:
Hi. My name is Rob Wray with MP3 Car. I told you we would test out this wireless monitor in the car, so for the last hour we’ve been goofing around in the parking lot of our office trying to get this to work. And actually it worked perfectly right off the bat the same way as it did work in our office. I just wanted to do something off-the-wall with it.
So it’s working perfectly. I happen to have a Centrifuge help video loaded on the monitor right now. We’ve got a great wireless signal. We’ve done some calculations recently. We think this little hack job here can get about six hours of wireless time using the 10” monitor. So that’s pretty exciting. And we’ve been really happy with the video quality playback.
The first thing that we tried to do to hack it, to make it look kind of cool and newsworthy was to hack in a USB HDTV tuner. So we did that. It worked well except the HDTV won’t play on this monitor. There’s certain things that don’t work well over ultra wideband USB and apparently the GT HD tuner that we sell in our store is one of those things that doesn’t work well.
We also had some problems with getting StreetDeck to work well wirelessly over ultra wideband, but things like VLC which I used in my previous demo worked wonderfully. You get great frame rate playback, and that sort of thing. So I’m going to go ahead and start this movie here, and you can see that the picture quality’s pretty good.
So we’ve been pretty happy with this as a solution. The only thing that we’ve seen is that, again it doesn’t support all video formats, and you also get – every now and then you’ll get a little bit of a wiggle over here on the left side. I’m assuming that’s from some type of interference that’s happening as a result of the engine alternator or various other little things. But it was happening before and now it’s completely gone away, so I think it’s almost unnoticeable.
So try this at home. Thanks for watching our blog.
Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:23 PM by optikalefx