Replacing Headunit completely
I'm in the process of building my carputer for my new car (I had an older install in my old car, but I've updated the hardware and software for my new car).
I'd like to be able to completely replace my headunit in my car.
The headunit functions I need to replace are: Built-in Amp for speakers, Radio, Volume Control
Now I have a amp for my sub which I'm already running and a spare 4 channel amp which I can use to run my front and rear speakers, so thats the amp side of the headunit taken care of. I'm thinking of getting one of those Audigy 2 NX USB External Sound cards for better SQ.
The radio, I guess I can add one of those HQTi (or whatever they are called) and that will give me AM and FM, so that's that solved...
Now the last one is the Volume Control. I've been wondering how the best way will be to replace the volume control? I know I can control the volume on the carputer with the touchscreen but to do that quickly or without looking is a lot harder. So I was wondering what the option are? Two options I've thought of are, getting one of those 1/2 DIN pre-amps and use it for volume control, the second option I have thought of is to make a hardware interface (maybe using one of those free spinning electric components that are used in HiFi volume controls (can't think of the name) and connect it to the serial port and have some software to control the volume in windows. But the issue with that is if Windows crashes I won't have control over the volume and also that won't work for POST/BIOS volume etc...
Any ideas? or suggestions for any of the items?