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  • Dash M.I.N.D.

    Here is my car PC. I wanted to buy a MP3 player, and then I wanted a navigation system.
    Then I decided to do it myself - it sounded more interesting and more exciting. Here is the result.

    Here are few pictures of the car PC that I built. What is unique in my car PC? It fits in the car audio opening. The case is 7 x 7 x 2. Inside is the motherboard, DVD and HDD drive. 20GB of room for music. It could hold about 300-400 CD (if I go crazy about the quality). I do not think I have enough CDs, but I am working on that.

    For more pictures come to the project website : http://www.neoslogic.com/media4d

    As I said - I created the application running on the car PC. I did not want to use off the shelf products, but build it myself.


    This is the navigation screen.


    This is the MP3 player. I can select the CDs based on artist or album or genre.


    I decided to put few tools - calculator, unit conversion and so on....

    I'm working on the DVD player and car data utility (I am going to connect to the car computer and collect some data form it).
    Visit my web site if you are interested in this kind of things and let me know what you think.

  • #2
    your VB code seems to be a bit off... or is that my crappy browser.
    Edit:: Oops, appears to work now, cool man, way cool on the DIN case.
    My Carputer! (More Car Pics at the end)
    2 Kicker Comp 10"
    Epia M-9000, 256 MB DDR, 120 Gig HD
    Lilliput 7" VGA Touchscreen
    Check it out?!

    Comment


    • #3
      The single DIN case looks stunning!
      I'm just waiting for nano-itx.... ;-)

      Tom
      VIA EPIA M9000/120 GB/Xenarc 700TSV/Opus 90W DC-DC
      Haicom GPS/3Com 11g Wi-Fi/D-Link BT
      WinXP/myHTPC/InfoMap Navigator Eu/PhoneControl w/T68i
      Blaupunkt HU & speakers/Velocity active subs/Alpine amps

      Progress: removed while waiting for nano-itx

      Comment


      • #4
        Sweet install! Nice software setup too!

        I've been trying to play around with the MapPoint control in VB as well, but since I'm not exactly Mr Wizard with VB, it's been giving me fits, and I decided to leave it for later (or at least until I could learn some more about it).

        I tried parsing through MSDN for info, but it's not very informative. What did you use as a source of info to learn how to do this? (If I may ask)
        The ALEXIS Project
        MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
        Color Coding :
        DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

        Comment


        • #5
          media4d,

          Any plans to share your software with the mp3car community?

          The project looks great and I like the way you crammed everything into the DIN case.

          I was thinking of doing the same thing with my monitor integrated into my double-DIN case with quick action buttons around the outside of the screen for some of the more common used functions of the software.

          The buttons would be easy to implement using a keyboard emulator or a hacked keyboard circuit.
          Check out my hopefully useful site...

          www.hobbybotics.com

          It's still under design but it is functional

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, thanks guys for the nice words .
            deadweasek, it is not a VB application, it is in C++. MapPoint is not documented very well and it took me a lot of time trying this and that.

            brooksware2000, I had a double-DIN project, that is on hold now , because I changes the car. My Contour now has 2 single-DIN openings, instead of one double-DIN.
            I have implemented an on-screen keyboard and I could post few more pictures , if you'd like to see more of the app.
            I like direct-access butons on the screen, because when you drive it is not practicle to go trough main menu , sub-menu and so on...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by media4d
              Well, thanks guys for the nice words .
              deadweasek, it is not a VB application, it is in C++. MapPoint is not documented very well and it took me a lot of time trying this and that.
              Oops. I think it was mentioned already yours is in C++. Sorry, my bad, as they say in D-Town. You aren't lying about not being documented well. MSDN will tell me how to layout the syntax for a control, but not how the control works in the grand scheme of things.
              As much as I do like Windows, and the general programming environment that MS has set up so far, I really have to gripe about them:

              1) Bragging about how MapPoint is part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs, and will have integration built-in for cross-program data, then keeping it well separate from the Office suite (but maintaining that connection anyway).

              2) Providing the tools to make that cross-program integration work for you, but not giving the user a single clue as to how they're supposed to be used.

              3) Making it so expensive that the only people who can afford it are people who make too much money to worry about such mundane things as "retrieving email", people who have enough money but have already written something better from scratch for themselves alone, and nerds like us who have nothing better to do than "see what this does".

              Anyhow, again, great work! I'm betting more than a couple folks here needed to change their drawers when they saw how small the install was!
              The ALEXIS Project
              MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
              Color Coding :
              DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

              Comment


              • #8
                Looks very good.
                A fantastic 1din build. And your take on the software gives it a much more factory look. Is it skinable?
                4x4 in a turbo stylee.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, MapPoint is very tricksy . But ones you get it working, it is really good. The problem is that it is too fat, because it ofers too much. Some functionality is not needed in car navigation, but there is no way to configure the ActiveX. And yes - it is very expensive.
                  If you guys know of another Win ActiveX that can replace MapPoint, please let me know. I found a few companies offering such things, but they are not as nice looking as MapPoint....
                  skraggy_uk, it is a dialog-based application. Dialogs itselfs are skinned. I'm working on 'settings', where you can specify a skin form a pre-set list of skins. It is meant to help you match your car interior .
                  But if you are asking 'can you skin it?', I think it is too much work to be done by a single man to make it skinable. It is doable, but will take me a week or so and I prefer to leave this functionality for later, if you do not mind .
                  Hey, brooksware2000. can you make a keyboard circuit? I was thinking to use a touch-panel on the case front panel, instead of buttons (I hate buttons - unflexible are they ). The same touch panels that are using on the latest ovens . The controler is very simple and the only thing that you need to do is to 'draw' your buttons . But until then, if you can make the keyboard buttons work, me can make something nice .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by media4d
                    Yes, MapPoint is very tricksy . But ones you get it working, it is really good. The problem is that it is too fat, because it ofers too much. Some functionality is not needed in car navigation, but there is no way to configure the ActiveX. And yes - it is very expensive.
                    If you guys know of another Win ActiveX that can replace MapPoint, please let me know. I found a few companies offering such things, but they are not as nice looking as MapPoint....
                    skraggy_uk, it is a dialog-based application. Dialogs itselfs are skinned. I'm working on 'settings', where you can specify a skin form a pre-set list of skins. It is meant to help you match your car interior .
                    But if you are asking 'can you skin it?', I think it is too much work to be done by a single man to make it skinable. It is doable, but will take me a week or so and I prefer to leave this functionality for later, if you do not mind .
                    Hey, brooksware2000. can you make a keyboard circuit? I was thinking to use a touch-panel on the case front panel, instead of buttons (I hate buttons - unflexible are they ). The same touch panels that are using on the latest ovens . The controler is very simple and the only thing that you need to do is to 'draw' your buttons . But until then, if you can make the keyboard buttons work, me can make something nice .
                    Yep, I can do it. In fact there are two methods to go with it. The first is to hack the circuit board out of an old keyboard and spend about an hour mapping out the associated keys. The second is to buy a premade keyboard emulator with 28 or 56 outputs at a very resonable cost called the Ipac. I have like 4 of these and I am using one in my full blown Arcade Mame machine. The second option is definitely the easiest. I have been using MediaEngine and I can map out the keyboard keys in the program to whatever buttons on the emulator that I have. I have done the keyboard hack and it is definitly the cheapest method but the most time consuming.
                    Check out my hopefully useful site...

                    www.hobbybotics.com

                    It's still under design but it is functional

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey brooksware2000,
                      I am not looking for the cheapest solution. I am more concerned how good it will look. Well, I am not going to spend a fortune , but the whole point of doing this things here is to feel good about what you did .
                      I'd put few buttons on the front panel of the single-DIN case to free up some space on the display. THe idea is to have the buttons that switch the applications implemented as hadrware (keyboard) buttons and use the screen to show information.
                      I find that it is very useful to have direct access to the applications (instead going trough menu/submenu/...), but it reduces the space available for information.
                      What do you say?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with you on that point. The purpose I want to integrate some buttons into the case front panel is to free up some space on the screen. It would be the most common buttons like play, next, prev, vol up/down, pause, etc. Or better yet, buttons to switch to GPS, Radio, Music, or video. Like you said, the most common buttons that are shared between applications would be the obvious benefit. If you're interested in trying it out, I can find the link to the website selling the keyboard emulators or I can send ya one of mine for developmental purposes.

                        Okay, just found the link. It's www.ultimarc.com

                        look for the board called the ipac. The newest model is very small and it comes with software to map out the keyboard keys to each switch input.
                        Check out my hopefully useful site...

                        www.hobbybotics.com

                        It's still under design but it is functional

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          thank you brooksware2000!
                          I feel like you are reading my mind . I wanted to use hardware buttons on both sides of the display (my double-DIN project), like you, for the most common functions. The button function actually was going to depend on the application you are using. Let's call it - context sensitive functionality , just to make it sound very important. But then decided that it will introduce complexity, so I'm back to only switch between the apps.
                          It looks like 28-input is more that enough. I'm going to buy one. Unless you rally do not need yours and want to sale/donate it .
                          Can you measure the unti for me (L, W, H) please? I want to know how big is it and could I put it in the single-DIN case? Yes, I'm crazy enugh to try that . Single-DIN has a planty of room...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Amazing! I can't beleive you build that yourself! Super tiny! You're da man!
                            00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
                            Newest install - my quickest ever
                            My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
                            My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Media4d,

                              check out this link www.ultimarc.com/minipac that for some reason is not mentioned on the main page of the site. I think you will like this one a lot more than the standard size one. It is called the minipac and it is only 2 1/4 X 1 1/2 inches.

                              I could donate or sell one of mine. I'll be willing to donate it if you are willing to allow the mp3car community access to your great looking and seemingly functional software or if you don't want to share, then I'll be willing to part with one for a great price.

                              I prefer the first choice myself in that I think your software has great potential from what I have seen from your site. Hell, beta testers never hurt.

                              I'm working on some code myself (when I have time, the Military keeps me very busy). The code I am working on is mainly for the hardware interface side of things. There is a lot of great projects on this site and I figure why recreate the wheel. The schematic forum I see floating around here is a great place for me to start making my posts if it ever becomes a sticky. I have a $800.00 development system for Micros that was kindly donated to me by the Air Force so it makes a lot of my development much easier. Let me know if you have any ideas that you may need help with.

                              Also, I am planning to integrate the buttons along the side and bottom of my double-din enclosure. I am currently having one machined (man are they expensive). I also thought of the touch membrane like on microwave ovens but not sure how I could implement it. I think buttons hanging off the front of the front panel looks really cheesy and not stock at all. Let me know if you have any ideas of how I could accomplish this. Hopefully by the time my setup is ready to install, the nana itx will be out and my job will be a lot easier.
                              Check out my hopefully useful site...

                              www.hobbybotics.com

                              It's still under design but it is functional

                              Comment

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