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  1. Vote for the best mp3Car community innovations EVER!

    by , 10-08-2009 at 05:58 PM

    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

    Categories
    Products and Technology
  2. MSI Ultra-Thin 12V In-Vehicle PC

    by , 10-01-2009 at 05:14 PM


    At the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston Rob Wray from mp3Car spoke to representatives from the PC manufacturer MSI which makes this ultra thin computer.

    This computer packs 4 usb prots, laptop hard drive, 2 lan ports, 3 mini pci slots, and 2 wireless antennas into a case less than an inch thin. Wow!

    Updated 10-01-2009 at 08:16 PM by optikalefx

    Categories
    Technology Events
  3. AFKfest 2009 - Will Meyer Car Computer Installation

    by , 08-25-2009 at 10:43 PM


    Rob Wray from mp3Car talks with Will Meyer, member of the mp3Car Forum about his car computer installation.

    Will runs Centrafuse along with this space navigator for control, integrated webcam, dashcommand gauges, game emulators and OBD 2 data.

    Will has written some custom code to have an display panel on his console update with OBD 2 data and GPS data. He has also written some code that allows him to sms his car to retrieve information such as speed, gps location and OBD 2 data.

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 03:50 PM by optikalefx

    Categories
    Technology Events
  4. Hardware Review - Wireless USB TPMS Review

    by , 07-16-2009 at 11:49 PM

    Review by forum member: fixerofallthin

    1. What is the typical setup time for a 4 sensor kit and costs? (This includes having sensors mounted at a tire dealership)
    The typical time to mount sensors is about the same as mounting 4 new tires. When a reputable tire shop replaces tires on a vehicle equipped with factory TPMS they are supposed to dismount the sensors as well to replace the sealing gaskets. So when you contact your tire shop to make an appointment be prepared to allow about 1-2 hours work time plus whatever wait time involved.

    See this product on the mp3Car Store here.



    Our shop charges $25.00 per wheel to mount and balance tires so if you are doing the spare as well then $125.00 is an average price. If you are replacing your tires then we would not charge to install the sensors since the tires would need to be off anyway. Be sure to have the tires rebalanced if you did not replace them as the stems and sensors will alter the balance.
    If you are wanting to monitor your spare tire as well be sure the spare wheel will accept a sensor. Most temporary spare tires (donuts) are not meant to be dismounted and might not have room for the sensor.



    Be sure the shop uses a torque wrench to mount the sensors correctly.


    2. What is an ideal mounting location for the USB TPMS receiver, for both aesthetics and reception?
    The instructions tell you to install the receiver in a central location such as the base of the windshield. I found a central location in my truck to be the center console, which just happens to have a USB hub installed in it. In testing the sensors I spread them around my house and even put one in the freezer and refrigerator to monitor temps and to test reception distance and I was very pleased with how far away I could still communicate with all the sensors. 2 of the sensors were 25 feet away from the receiver and I still saw no issues, so I think just about anywhere you do not have excessive RF interference should work. When you first set up the system you are instructed to unplug the receiver several times so be sure to set it up completely before you tuck it away permanently.

    3. How do you install and use the software? (Both plug-in and standalone)





    I followed the directions that came with the kit to check the system before I mounted the sensors.
    RRTMS (from MP3Car.com forums) comes with the plug-in for RideRunner and a tool to configure the sensors and messages that are displayed and spoken (there is a typo in the dialog that speaks when the tire pressure is too high, it says "hight" instead of "high", so check that while you are installing the software). Download the file and extract it to your RideRunner plug-in folder. Be sure to register the .dll file after you copy it to its final location. You will need to add or modify a button in your skin to launch the TPMS screen. The button command is "TMS" and it launches TMS.skin. You can build your own screen to match the skin you are using or there is a test skin included in the RRTMS folder.




    CFTPMS (from the Centrafuse downloads section on http://forums.fluxmedia.net/) installs the plug-in for Centrafuse 2.0. It is a simple install. It is an exe file that puts everything where it needs to be. When prompted be sure to install the tools also. The tools folder in your Fluxmedia>centrafuse>plugins>tpms will have a program called TPMS doctor that is used to test communication. Once you install the CFTPMS.exe be sure to go download the update 2.1.9.0. Now that CFTPMS is updated you can set one of your buttons to launch tpms by clicking and holding the button you want it assigned to and selecting it from the list; Then go to settings and select advanced settings and you can enter the tpms section and set your preferences (PSI vs. Bar and such).


    4. How do I re-learn the sensors?
    I was able to set up my software before I even mounted the sensors in the wheels because the kit is prelearned by the manufacturer. I installed the software as listed above and was able to monitor the temperatures and battery levels to check communication. The manufacturer includes a sheet with the locations the sensors should be mounted.

    The instructions say not to use Centrafuse to set up the sensors because it is buggy, but I used both Riderunner and Centrafuse with no issues.

    When you rotate your tires you simply change the location of the sensor.





    5. How do I add a spare sensor?
    Using RRTMS I erased all sensors from the receiver and relearned them following the instructions that came with the kit. Once you select the sensor, you change the tire pressure until the receiver "sees" the change and it registers the sensor.

    See this product on the mp3Car Store here.

    Updated 12-26-2009 at 09:48 AM by Jensen2000

    Categories
    Products and Technology , Product Reviews
  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
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