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2003 Dodge Ram 4x4 Laramie

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  • 2003 Dodge Ram 4x4 Laramie

    Hi fellow tech heads and mod'ers. I had struggled on how to put a monitor in my truck since I bought it in December. My last Carputer went into a 99 Dodge Ram and was powered with an inverter and I had my 10.4" ELO Touch screen mounted too low and just out of reach to be effective while driving. Allthough it wasn't Ideal I managed to use it without many problems for two years.

    Version two was destin to succeed and Here I share with you all:

    My Truck...


    The Lexan Case...


    Carpeted Sheet Metal Surround...


    With the Cup Holder Down...


    The Desktop...


    The Cockpit...


    Pilot's View...


    ITPS outlet...


    Co-Pilot's View...


    I put the ITPS behiend the outlet so I can just bring the CPU inside and connect to a regulated DC supply that I picked up at Wallmart on sale. I ran an external wire from the ITPS to splice into the power button circuit so it can be disabled or bypassed if needed or used indoors.

    The GPS was an old earthmate that I removed the battery compartment and re-packaged into a smaller project case that mached the look of the vehiecle (not yellow).

    I use my SprintPCS phone with unlimited Vision to access the internet. They've improved thier download speed in my area at least.

    Delorme Street Atlus 2003 works fine for me and I don't see a reason to upgrade to 2004 yet. I've upgraded every time they've come out with a new release and it's cost me 50 bucks a pop. I also have the Topo USA for off-roading. I like the 3-D view, it makes you feel like you're in a fighterjet.

    Got all Laptop components crammed in that 1/8" Lexan box 7"x7"x3.25" along with a PW-70 and ATI Stereo TV Tuner card. I was jazzed when they started making these cards in a 1/2 height. Slim-Slot DVD/CDRW saved me space and makes DVD loading a snap. 40G 2.5" HD will store loads of movies and tunes. My co-pilots like watching the Girls Gone Wild marathons on river trips. Haven't made one in this truck yet. Can't wait though.

    Of course I went MINI-ITX to keep the footprint smaller than my cupholder.

    Wireless Keyboard was from my buddies at internetishop.com for like 30 bucks. A great inexpensive RF device.

    USB WiFi and Bluetooth dongles makes transfers a snap to and from my home computer and IPaq.

    Windows XP Home is my OS of choice. Who needs MediaCar when you can use icons and Active Desktop web objects to do anything you need. I'm an aplication designer and haven't seen the need for any front end.

    I have a rear-veiw camera that I mounted in my trailer hitch cover. Sleek hidden design. 12V camera is powered by the reverse lights in the tow harness.

    Headliner antenna for TV reception. I still get a lot of interferance from the unsheilded power supply in the case.

    Used a microphone stand at radio shack with some mod to attach the standard video mount. Clipped it with 1/8" Lexan to the dash for stablilty. When I want to re-position it, I can with just grabbing it and putting it where I want. I had all sorts of plans on motorizing this and settled on this. Now I got spare linier slides and a stepper motor I can sell.

    Tell me what you guys think?

    GinoRP
    VIA M-1K Nh; Lilliput 7" Touch; Earthmate GPS; Slim Slot DVD/CDRw; OBD-2.COM; ATI-Pro TV; RF Wireless KB; USB Thumb 802.11b; 7"x3.5"x7" Lexan Case; 40G Laptop HD; PW-70 w/ITPS; Headliner TV Antenna; XPHome; Delorme Streets 2003/Topo USA

  • #2
    I'm also running Sirius Satelite radio tuner and an AUX device so that I can play the audio at digital sound. Even though this tuner doesn't support Surround Sound, I would swear that it was. What a clean sound compared to my last Carputer that was using an FM Modulator. I use the PIE steering wheel control unit to interface my steering wheel controls into the small LED transmitter in my dash right next to the head unit. I was determined not to sacrifice luxury this time around. Before I would have to start the truck, turn on the inverter, turn on the pc. Then remember to shutdown when I stopped. No more. It's all controlled by the key thanks to the ITPS Power Sequencer. When I'm at the gas station, I can keep it on by putting the truck in AUX mode after turning off the ignition.

    Haven't put in the dual battery yet to save it from the crank, but it's soon. It's a 4X thing.

    Thanks again for looking,

    GinoRP

    P.S. Look for my 10.4 " ELO touch monitor (captive saftey glass) and controller on Ebay soon. I will also be selling my stock 6-disk in-dash Chrysler head unit, a CHR-AUX-02 PIE Aux input protocol converter, and whatever else I don't need anymore.
    VIA M-1K Nh; Lilliput 7" Touch; Earthmate GPS; Slim Slot DVD/CDRw; OBD-2.COM; ATI-Pro TV; RF Wireless KB; USB Thumb 802.11b; 7"x3.5"x7" Lexan Case; 40G Laptop HD; PW-70 w/ITPS; Headliner TV Antenna; XPHome; Delorme Streets 2003/Topo USA

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    • #3
      SWEET!!!!

      Why not utilize the space under the middle seat?

      Check mine at the address below........

      P.S. how much for the screen and controller?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Wolfman
        SWEET!!!!

        Why not utilize the space under the middle seat?

        Check mine at the address below........

        P.S. how much for the screen and controller?
        Wolfman,

        I considered that location. In fact, I had a prior design that was inspired by your install specifically (after visiting your website over a month ago).

        I liked having a completely transportable unit. This is where I had it for testing purposes. It just turned out to be convienent for accessing the buttons, usb/firewire ports, and looking at the status LED's.

        I just decided to cover it with sheet metal and leave it there since it fit perfectly under my drink holder. Let's face it, the damn thing is always down anyhow. Even in my last truck I never put it up. See how dirty it is? That's from use.

        Thank you for your feedback,

        GinoRP
        VIA M-1K Nh; Lilliput 7" Touch; Earthmate GPS; Slim Slot DVD/CDRw; OBD-2.COM; ATI-Pro TV; RF Wireless KB; USB Thumb 802.11b; 7"x3.5"x7" Lexan Case; 40G Laptop HD; PW-70 w/ITPS; Headliner TV Antenna; XPHome; Delorme Streets 2003/Topo USA

        Comment


        • #5
          I like it! Looks very nice and clean.
          Very simple and to the point and fully functional,, with driving still as your number one objective and not distracted with lots of bells and whistles!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm thinking about selling my Eclipse and buying 2003 Ram. You guys are giving me great ideas. Looks great man. Keep up the good work.

            Comment


            • #7
              hi, im pretty interested in your 10.4". do you have any pics of your last install with you 10.4 inch? also, how many nits is it? what are the width and height of the screen? overall, besides with the size, were you happy with the screen? what is ur user id on ebay ? what is the resolution? how much are you hoping for? thanks -Ryan

              Comment


              • #8
                Sharp LCD Panel...

                Originally posted by ryanerb
                hi, im pretty interested in your 10.4". do you have any pics of your last install with you 10.4 inch? also, how many nits is it? what are the width and height of the screen? overall, besides with the size, were you happy with the screen? what is ur user id on ebay ? what is the resolution? how much are you hoping for? thanks -Ryan
                It's a sharp LCD panel and I don't remember the model number right now (LQ10D367 I think). It's at my other house. 200 Nits and it doesn't use resistive touch to reduce brightness and clarity. The non-reflective security glass is actually IntelliTouch Technology.

                The Controller is from my pals at EarthLCD and only supports 640X480 (the true dimensions of the panel anyhow).

                It works great. I made a bezle and cabinate for it out of metal and wood. I will put up some pics when I get back to LA.

                You just can't beat ELO, Sharp, and EarthLCD when building monitors. It's just not the most cost-effective solution. It never scratches. I wish they made it for smaller screens.

                Thanks for reading,

                GinoRP

                PS. That's my EBay name also...
                VIA M-1K Nh; Lilliput 7" Touch; Earthmate GPS; Slim Slot DVD/CDRw; OBD-2.COM; ATI-Pro TV; RF Wireless KB; USB Thumb 802.11b; 7"x3.5"x7" Lexan Case; 40G Laptop HD; PW-70 w/ITPS; Headliner TV Antenna; XPHome; Delorme Streets 2003/Topo USA

                Comment


                • #9
                  Simply Thanks

                  Originally posted by Rireal
                  I'm thinking about selling my Eclipse and buying 2003 Ram. You guys are giving me great ideas. Looks great man. Keep up the good work.
                  Thank you all for the kind comments.

                  GinoRP
                  VIA M-1K Nh; Lilliput 7" Touch; Earthmate GPS; Slim Slot DVD/CDRw; OBD-2.COM; ATI-Pro TV; RF Wireless KB; USB Thumb 802.11b; 7"x3.5"x7" Lexan Case; 40G Laptop HD; PW-70 w/ITPS; Headliner TV Antenna; XPHome; Delorme Streets 2003/Topo USA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My dad has a truck like this, and I have to say that that keyboard matches the car to a "T" way too big for my little cavalier tho, want somthing that will fit in the glove :-D
                    CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
                    Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A couple of question on your install:

                      1) How did you mod the microphone stand to attach to the Lilliput display?

                      2) What power supply are you using - you meantioned that you picked it up at Wal-mart??

                      Thanks, it looks just great!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He is using an inverter.
                        Philip Plante
                        my projects:
                        idgn.org | idgnonline.net | contrastsolutions.net

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Answers...

                          Originally posted by oester
                          A couple of question on your install:

                          1) How did you mod the microphone stand to attach to the Lilliput display?

                          2) What power supply are you using - you meantioned that you picked it up at Wal-mart??

                          Thanks, it looks just great!
                          1. The microphone stand from Radio Shack took a bit of simple mod'ing using the parts from the microphone clip and monitor stand and some bonding material. I cut the bits using my dremmel. I will add a pic soon.

                          2. The Wal-mart power supply I mentioned is for out-of-car use only. It already has a dc power socet on it so I just used a cigarette plug on my car computer. That way I can disconnect the PC from the ITPS using the cigarette adapter and plug it into my DC power supply in the house. I'm using a PW-70 inside the computer that snaps right on to the motherboard.

                          The ITPS is tucked away in a Radio Shack project case behiend the plate where my DC outlet is in the pictures earlier.

                          No more inverters. I have one, but don't need it unless my girlfriend wants to bring her hair dryer along on a camping trip.

                          Thanks for looking,

                          GinoRP
                          VIA M-1K Nh; Lilliput 7" Touch; Earthmate GPS; Slim Slot DVD/CDRw; OBD-2.COM; ATI-Pro TV; RF Wireless KB; USB Thumb 802.11b; 7"x3.5"x7" Lexan Case; 40G Laptop HD; PW-70 w/ITPS; Headliner TV Antenna; XPHome; Delorme Streets 2003/Topo USA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            More Pics

                            Originally posted by GinoRP
                            I will add a pic soon...

                            Thanks for looking,

                            GinoRP
                            The power supply is much like This one.

                            Here are some photos of the mike stand mod...




                            Thank you,

                            GinoRP
                            VIA M-1K Nh; Lilliput 7" Touch; Earthmate GPS; Slim Slot DVD/CDRw; OBD-2.COM; ATI-Pro TV; RF Wireless KB; USB Thumb 802.11b; 7"x3.5"x7" Lexan Case; 40G Laptop HD; PW-70 w/ITPS; Headliner TV Antenna; XPHome; Delorme Streets 2003/Topo USA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              GinoRP,

                              VERY SWEET!

                              I am actually workong on an installation into my 2003 Ram 1500 SLT. I am in the process of tearing down a Shuttle SB52G2 P4 machine to go into the compartment under the middle seat. Should be a lot of work, but well worth it. The Shuttle has these nice black screens on both sides of the case that I am going to incorporate into the front and rear of that storage location so that I can keep air moving through it so that it won't overheat...

                              How do you like the Lilliput? I need two, actually.. one for the dash, and another in the back headrest for my son to watch movies... but I am somewhat deterred by their low price... worth it?

                              Instead of putting mine on an arm like yours, my plan is to mold the screen into the dash to make it look integrated. I am going to move the A/C controls down to where the storage bin is located take out the radio and put in the screen. I figure I will run my sound card to an amp under the seat to run the stereo (need to find a way to fit 3 PCI cards into 2 PCI slots - one fm/tv card, one dual-head video, and one PCI-PCMCIA bridge... thoughts?) Going to install USB ports two firewire ports, the stock power buttons/LED's from the Shuttle case, a slimline, slot-feed CD-RW/DVD, and two PCMCIA ports in the dash as well (wardriving, GPRS wireless, etc)... but at $230 a hit for the center console bezel, I am a little reluctant to hack that apart just yet!

                              At any rate, I am sure that you get a thousand and one questions, but if you have the chance, i would look forward to any response you might have.

                              Thanks,

                              Bob

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