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  1. Best of mp3Car May edition

    by , 05-14-2009 at 11:11 AM


    Best of Mp3car.com community innovation and development

    Ride Runner

    New Skin

    The community is helping DocBreezy bring a sleek new skin, named '506' to Ride Runner. by DocBreezy.

    In addition to suggestions and beta testing, Treetop, Thunderstick, blk02si, Sonicxtacy02, GizmoQ, carputer1are lending a hand with advice and code support to bring it along.

    506 also builds on the flexible plug-in architecture of Ride Runner by using:
    - RRGas -Enforcer's gas price finder for US and UK
    - Movietimes - a plug-in that retrieves movie times for your zip code (US only)
    - Coverjuke - an implementation of Coverflow for Ride Runner.



    Control your phone in Ride Runner. MyMobiler is a Windows mobile phone control program that can be controlled from the skin.

    Skype for RR

    Member lambosprit is at it again. As if solving the bluetooth problem wasn't enough, lambosprit has a basic plug-in for Ride Runner that brings Skype functionality to the car PC. It makes and receives calls between both Skype users and external phone numbers. Check it out.

    Covermess

    Member pcpete has developed a plug-in for Ride Runner called Covermess. It's a Flash app that displays your albums in a pile, as if they were real CD's. You can select and play music from them, similar to the Coverflow display on an iPod. Check out the video in the first post for what it looks like. A really nice bit of programming!

    Community Development

    Linux ICE and nGhost

    Just in case you don't hang out on mp3car.com forums 24X7, you may not be aware that there is a flourishing open source car PC environment for Linux called nGhost.



    Version 2.0.0 is details are available here and kev000 is one of the lead developers for a team of like minded community members including:

    tripzero
    kshots
    kantlivelong
    psy_cho
    billygalbreath
    eubey
    gladier

    among others. You can find the nGhost download here

    Shift by wire

    Automated P-R-N-D-L - Member turbocad6 is at it again with a plan to replace his automatic shifter. The community has been tossing around ideas about how to do this and ways to implement it. Right now, it looks like an Arduino board and a linear actuator will do the job for push button shifting. Got something to contribute? turbocad6 will need help programming and engineering. Check it out.

    Towards a more flexible front-end.

    The front end is the software that ties together all of the functions that the computer offers into an easy to navigate and control 'face' for using the computer while driving. There are numerous front ends (Ride Runner, Centrafuse, nGhost, Streetdeck as examples). This thread is a brainstorming discussion about how to create a more flexible front end that requires less configuration and tinkering yet runs across platforms. If you've got ideas or want to see the community at work on an idea, stop by and check it out!

    Lovely when a plan comes together. Check out member malcom2073's new front end, CarPal. The community is helping him to lay out a plug-in scheme for the front end, and Sonicxtacy02 is working on a skin for the new front end. A great example of the community helping to develop a software product.



    The Unexpected

    From spud cannons to automated pyrotechnics controllers the community continues to innovate and develop new and very unexpected uses for hardware. Find out how a plastic toolbox and a Fusion Brain = pyrotechnics controller.

    The Fusion Brain is one of the most popular hardware add-ons for community members. Developed by two of the community members, 2k1Toaster and greenman, the FB allows your computer to interface with the outside world in both analog and digital fashion. Using standalone software, the FB can be programmed to read temperatures, control relays, stepper motors, infrared sensors and so forth. Car PC'ers use them to operate windows, switch relays on and off, read temperatures and even control Christmas lights on their car

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:06 PM by optikalefx

    Tags: end, front, ride, road, runner, skin Add / Edit Tags
    Categories
    mp3Car News
  2. New 7 inch DVI touchscreen by lilliput

    by , 05-13-2009 at 12:41 AM


    Lilliput is getting ready to release their new 7" touchscreen that has native DVI and component digital out. Previous models such as the 629 had only VGA, Composite and S-Video.

    What is great about this monitor is that it's now extra versatile. They left the pigtail plug on the monitor and just added the extra DVI and component cables. That means you have the option to output to 5 different video sources, DVI, VGA, composite, component and s-video.

    The connectors for DVI came out of the bottom of the unit, whereas the pigtail connector came out of the side. So this may affect some installations but just be aware that it *may* be changed.

    The digital output was, in our opinion, more defined in terms of the colors. More specifically the blacks were blacker and the whites were whiter.

    The only down side we noticed is that the DVI output seemed to have off colors. The ocean in the video seemed very green, even though on VGA it was blue.

    All the settings for the test were brightness 50% Green 50% blue 50% and red 50% with a resolution of 800x600. They ran from the same ATI graphics card playing BBC's blue ocean on VLC player.

    This product should be coming soon to the mp3Car store, so look out for it.

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:06 PM by optikalefx

    Categories
    Products and Technology
  3. Hypermiling for cheap using iPhone

    by , 05-06-2009 at 08:33 PM


    You don't need an expensive hybrid vehicle or car computer to get the most miles per gallon out of your car. Hypermiling is a set of techniques that maximize your MPG.

    Some common techniques are:
    Don't drive aggressively
    Don't go over the speed limit
    Avoid traffic
    Avoid coming to a complete stop
    Try to accelerate as slowly as possible
    Using neutral when going down hills

    Some uncommon techniques are"
    Drafting behind trucks
    Using centripetal force to go around turns fast
    Over-inflating your tires to reduce friction

    We took a look at how what kind of MPG we got out of our Toyota Matrix when doing basic hypermiling around town. We averaged 61 MPG when hypermiling and 27 MPG when driving normal. At some points on the trip going down hill in neutral we got up to 247 MPG.

    If you have any of your own techniques or stories of your own hypermiling let's hear it.

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:08 PM by optikalefx

    Categories
    How To Videos , mp3Car News
  4. mp3Car Forums Recognition Award - you won

    by , 04-30-2009 at 10:51 AM
    Thanks to Seagate - mp3Car had 3 EE25.2 80GB ST980817AM hard drives to hand out to forum members for their contributions to the mp3Car community. It was a hard decision, but the mp3Car forum moderators selected Malcom 2073 for his work on creating a Fusion Brain driver for Linux and DarquePervert for his valuable contributions across the forums.

    Other members in the running for awards were:

    Civic Modz for his creation of the EyeR

    Clockwork for Open source FE Driveline

    Chunkyks for OBDII GPS logger for OS X and Linux so thanks for your contributions!

    Also - there was an open contest on the forums, for whomever could do something cool to support the community. GizmoQ plans to attend 2-3 meets per month this spring and summer - so look out for him at your local meet, he already made his way via plane to one here in DC.

    There will be more forum recognitions to come so the mods are on the look out for contributions - not quite up to giving away a car yet, but just maybe someday we will get there.

    And if you have any suggestions for who deserves an mp3Car recognition award in the future - let one of the moderators know.

    Updated 10-20-2009 at 06:00 PM by Heather

    Categories
    mp3Car News
  5. Best of Mp3Car - volume 2, 4.21.09

    by , 04-21-2009 at 10:10 AM


    Community development

    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

    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.

    Fabrication

    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.
    New forums

    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.
    The Unexpected

    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

    Categories
    mp3Car News