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Thread: Roof Mounted Flip Down Pocket PC - Sooooo many possibilities!

  1. #1
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    Smile Roof Mounted Flip Down Pocket PC - Sooooo many possibilities!

    Well to be honest the only reason that im doing this bit of fabrication is because I have a Dell Axim X50V Pocket PC basically 'spare' after getting a new phone that can do everything that it used to do.

    I'm almost finished on a pretty big install on my car which is covered in the worklog section of the forum. But seing as im doing this as a bit of a side project I figured it was better suited to being here.

    As part of the main install I've replaced the roof lining of the car (black now, beige before) and was reminded that my car has a flip down compartment for holding sunglasses. Well, I live in England and as such have very little use for sunglasses as we get very little sun, besides the fact that every pair of sunglasses I've ever tried on have made me look like a pimp, lol. But figured that with a bit of work I could use the compartment to install a flip down pocket PC.

    I'm going to route a 5V supply from my CarPC M2-ATX (under the drivers seat) up into the roof lining and into the Pocket PC to keep the battery topped up. It uses an extended battery so it will survive on standby for a few weeks if I go away and dont use the car.

    Anyway, some pics:


    First step was to remove the front cover from the PDA, lay it down on its front and glue two 'extension' pieces to it (using black acrylic plastic) to make it wide enough to accurately position over the sunglasses holder.


    Then removed the little plastic clips that clip the front cover to the rest of the PDA, this will allow me to remove the 'guts' of the PDA in future if I need to.


    This pic and the next show the front assembly hot glued to the glasses holder in the perfect position (I test fitted the PDA alone in this position to make sure it would still fit in the roof.)




    Then used stripboard, dont know what its called in the US but its basically a fibreboard with lots of tiny holes drilled in it. It's easy to shape and glue into place and has the benefit that when you put filler over it, it seeps through the holes and really reduces the chances of cracks. Once those bite were in, I shaped and sanded the plastic extension pieces to suit.






    Last two pics were taken shortly after the first quick coat of filler. Tomorrow ill get on with the usual sanding and re-filling then a coat of primer.



    So thats where I am now. Only took a couple of hours so I'm really happy with the progress.

    Here's my initial ideas for its uses after setting the PDA up with an ad-hoc wi-fi network to the CarPC:

    - Controller for NOS
    - Display for rear view camera
    - ........ Here's where I ask for suggestions! lol

    more to come.

    Jon

    P.S. If you're wondering why the PDA isn't mounted centrally in the holder, it's because the circuit board from the Dell docking/charging station that I stripped down is about an inch high and plugs into the bottom of the PDA so it needed a bit more space, function over form!

  2. #2
    Raw Wave treetop777's Avatar
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    Subscribed. I have an old Ipac PDA. May be able to put it to use.
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  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate VmtSquad's Avatar
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    Fabrication looks good so far, keep us updated
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  4. #4
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    Great idea! And indeed, many of us probably have an unused but useable PDA lying around.

    Would you care to explain:
    Quote Originally Posted by Greeno2k8 View Post
    - Controller for NOS
    - Display for rear view camera
    - ........ Here's where I ask for suggestions! lol
    What is NOS?
    How would you get your image on this screen?

    A suggestion for another application: Seperate nav display or turn by turn nav indicators.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the comments. Gomer, by NOS i mean nitrous oxide. It's controlled by my car-pc but I could use the PDA as a remote control to the carpc.

    I have a program called netremote which lets you create your own custom remote controls for PDA's and send the commands that they generate out via infra-red or wi-fi, i guess its meant for things like media/entertainment centres. In my case i'd use wi-fi to send the commands to the carpc then my front end can do whatever it has to in response.

    For the rear camera I'd likely hook the video up to a video capture device on the carpc and then setup a video server. The PDA could then log into the video stream again over the wifi. Haven't really put too much thought into its uses just yet but im sure its possible.

    Anyway, fabrication is just about done, got paint on there today. I'll give it a day or two to harden then fit it back into the car. I've run a USB cable and power feed up into the roof lining ready for hook-up.

    Here's a couple of pics, you can also see the console that it fits into in the last one:









    I'll update again once its all in and running.

    Jon

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    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Awesome!
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    I'm not gonna lie... I was rolling my eyes when I started reading.

    However, by the end of the first post I wasn't. Looks good, and I like the idea!
    Play with it, 'til it's broke.

  8. #8
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    One thing Im curious is if this unit has a cable for composite video out? If it did, it may actually be a good solution. You can put Centrafuse CE on it and have the same functions as a car pc. As far as audio, you can simply put it into your headunits AUX port.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies guys, much appreciated.

    I was looking into the pin-out details for the docking connector on the bottom of the PDA and it does have RGB output lines, but i'm pretty sure that these aren't normally functional and would require some device specific software to get them up and running (even then, supported resolutions/refresh rates would be another matter.) I also have a slightly older Toshiba e740 PDA, this has an expansion module with a VGA output, from memory I think it can support up to 800x600 but again its was only ever usable with specific applications so some software work would be required. The toshiba also has a USB port which ive used in the past to hook it up to mass storage devices (ext hard drives etc). So it certainly has possibilities for development.



    It certainly seems like with a bit of work it could be done.

    Now I just need to decide what to do with the toshiba, lol. Could put it behind the fuel filler cap so I can watch family guy whilst filling the tank! lol, maybe not.

    Jon

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate VmtSquad's Avatar
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    So, what would you be able to do with you DELL? Is it simply a personnal agenda...?
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