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BMW X1 E84 CarPC application - ongoing-

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  • BMW X1 E84 CarPC application - ongoing-

    Hello Folks,
    Instead of finalising my installation and then showing off, I decided to start this thread and explain my setup. Most probably, I will have loads of mistakes, this being my first carpc install. So I will share my plans, hardware and etc here. Please comment as you like, maybe I can correct an irreversible installation problem.
    Ok, my biggest problem was the lcd installation. I dont know if lucky or not, I found the bezel for my car, for a small fortune. These guys being the only manufacturer of bezel this kind, I didnt have any other choice. here is how it looks like;

    Most of you will be critisizing my choice of display, I know but here is what I got from a chinese trader;

    I bought a dome shaped small rearview camera which I cannot find any pictures in web now. I installed it to the dummy cover for original rearview camera hole. I drilled a 1.5cm hole and installed it. I should take some pictures installed. The display I have has a 12v input to switch to AV input. So, reversing lamp will supply 12v both to camera itself and the digital input of the display control board. I might have to drive a lower voltage relay to get this working correctly, I will see.

    I bought a used Acer AspireOne, 1.6Ghz processor, 1 Gbram and 8Gb SSD. Sounded like bestbuy for me.
    aspireOne SSD
    I also bought a smps car charger for this computer.

    Here is the usb hub I thought would be a good fit behind the bezel.
    usb hub

    As a gps receiver, I bought a usb gps dongle, chinese crap, but looks like it works. Im having issues with igo 8.3 but Garmin and Sygic performs quite OK. I will ask for opinions about this problem later on.
    gps receiver

    A keyboard, most probably I will not need it after my front end comes to its last look, but just in case, here it is.

    A sound card would be useful I thought. Since I will place the computer in the trunk, it would be wise to keep the audio cable as short as possible. Mic in port will be also useful for bluetooth handsfree, shorter the cable, less the loss. (No need to say that Im planning to connect this to the usb hub behind the bezel) I found it useless to pay loads of money to a sound card, since the amplifier and the speaker setup of the X1 is the main bottle neck! radio business sucks!
    usb sound

    Bluetooth adapter, it should be usefull if Im planning to have a handsfree functionality.
    BT dongle

    Why not to have analog TV?
    AverTV VolarGO

    I will use 2 elm327 adapters, again chinese crap ones, one for obd, other for kcan.
    Elm327-usb interpreter

    I am planning to use RideRunner with Reborn Skin. I already have it sort of fixed, almost ready to use. Only thing I need to fix is, with help of TrevorC2, to get the steering wheel buttons control some functions on the software.

    My cousin is now preparing a plastic frame to the naked display so that I can install it to the bezel I bought specific for my car.
    Very very soon, I will start installation. Please comment on this plan of a newbie.

    I will take pictures and share them with you as I start installing.
    Last edited by canstb; 03-31-2013, 04:07 AM.
    Zotac Zbox id80
    64Gb Sansdisk SSD
    4Gb Ram, BU-353-S4 Gps
    7" resistive touch screen
    Win7 x86, BS 10.0.470, RR, Reborn,
    KKCanBus, BT Mobilephone, igo8.3, Garmin

  • #2
    so, did you ever get any work done on it? Would really like to see...


    • #3
      yes, I have loads of progress on my project, but not completed yet so Im not sharing details now. Here is a little hint if you are still interested.

      By the way, I replaced my,
      d-link usb sound card with a SB XFi-Go, (far better sound quality)
      Trust BT adapter to a bigger and older one, Epox bt-dg02a. (Trust didnt work well with .net Bluetooth Mobilephone Plugin)
      And my no-name display with Samsung 7" sunlight readable touch screen with hdmi from Derrick. (old display sucks under daylight)

      I have ordered,
      Globalsat 353S4 from a chinese trader, will replace existing gt1513sf chip gps receiver. (hoping to solve my issues with igo8.3pc, was working fine with Garmin though)

      So, my project is still improving and its not at its final situation. I will share once Im there. ,)
      Last edited by canstb; 07-15-2013, 04:19 PM. Reason: added details about components
      Zotac Zbox id80
      64Gb Sansdisk SSD
      4Gb Ram, BU-353-S4 Gps
      7" resistive touch screen
      Win7 x86, BS 10.0.470, RR, Reborn,
      KKCanBus, BT Mobilephone, igo8.3, Garmin


      • #4
        Ok, let me introduce my project a little bit;
        I made this plug&play cable harness using the connectors that I already had from one of the chinese gps units I tried earlier.
        I needed 12vdc, kcan and aux-in to my display unit. here is the harness;
        Click image for larger version

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        the yellow wires are canH and canL. orange is the output from arduino board to power up the pc according to fob lock/unlock buttons.
        you can tell the other two, which one is power and which one is aux-in.
        All I need to do with this harness is connect it between the radio and its original connector. So no need to cut any of the original car cables or connectors.

        then some pictures from my display unit; lcd, bezel, frame(thanks to Umit (my cousin who laser cut the plexiglass to fit my monitor to the bezel)), 5vdc regulator, arduino board (many thanks to TrevC2)and usb hub.
        Click image for larger version

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        Click image for larger version

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        used ports are like;
        Arduino, (manufactured by TrevorC2)
        SB X-fi Go! pro
        Epox Bt dongle
        free (extension to glove box)
        Gps receiver
        touch panel
        wireless keyboard receiver

        There are few cables running from the dash to the trunk;
        VGA cable (5m)
        Usb extension (5m)
        12Vdc from the cigarette lighter
        2x3.5mm stereo audio extension (male-female) just in case (5m)
        AV-in with auto switch input (5m)
        3*0.5mm2 wires for arduino power on output, radio on output, head lights on output
        2*0.25mm2 wires for power switch to laptop (just in case)

        I will write further when I take pictures from my trunk.
        Last edited by canstb; 07-21-2013, 12:03 PM.
        Zotac Zbox id80
        64Gb Sansdisk SSD
        4Gb Ram, BU-353-S4 Gps
        7" resistive touch screen
        Win7 x86, BS 10.0.470, RR, Reborn,
        KKCanBus, BT Mobilephone, igo8.3, Garmin


        • #5
          Looking great @canstb!! Especially like the amount of planning going into your project... When I did mine I just threw everything in the car, i have no idea how many cables I ran to the trunk lol

          That screen is also looking very OEM... How did you fabricate those side buttons? I was interested in doing something like that on a future project...

          Also your plan to connect to the can bus is very interesting, the level of integration youre going to get will be really worth it

          Congratulations bro!


          • #6
            thanks nandosreis, I am really trying hard to achive a result that looks like OEM.

            and before saying anything else, all credits are TrevorC2's, about the can bus integration. he is the one who designed and manufactured the arduino board, coded it and prepared a PI for KcanBus. I just installed the hw and sw he supplied.

            Actually, I have replaced the monitor with the new one like I mentioned earlier. I will add pictures with the new monitor soon. I got rid of all those buttons with the new version of frame. its the IR receiver and the mic hole that is visible from the front now.
            But to give you some idea, here is the old frame and the buttons after I took it out from the car. the buttons board is the original one that came with the old monitor itself, no special manufacturing was done for that. and the black cover that you saw at my previous post is only a thin black mask for the transparent frame and the button board. I hope these pictures help;
            Click image for larger version

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            mask on top;
            Last edited by canstb; 07-21-2013, 12:12 PM.
            Zotac Zbox id80
            64Gb Sansdisk SSD
            4Gb Ram, BU-353-S4 Gps
            7" resistive touch screen
            Win7 x86, BS 10.0.470, RR, Reborn,
            KKCanBus, BT Mobilephone, igo8.3, Garmin


            • #7
              Cool project !