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  • 'Burb-puter

    Well, the story starts with this. I recently bought my wife a 99 Suburban as a 'kid hauler'. Her first complaint was seeing when backing up. That got us looking into the possibility of a rear-view camera. In thinking about it, we also concluded that Navigation was a major requirement for her. During a visit to Circuit City looking at things, we decided we like the theory behind the Pioneer AVIC-D3. There was one major problem. The 'Burb is a 1.5 DIN, while the AVIC is a 2 DIN. Conclusion was that the project would get tabled for now, as hacking up the dash is alot of work, and finances didnt really permit anyway.

    Fast Forward a couple months. A friend of mine pointed me here to check things out. I started looking around for some examples of what people had done in a dash like mine. I stubled accross DohCrazy's dash mod that he did. Looked pretty sharp! Well in further searching I saw it was FOR SALE! and had been for a YEAR. I sent him an email, and made an offer. And it was all downhill from there!!!

    Sooooo...... Here is the plan

    Hardware:
    • Lilliput 809GL-80NP/C/T
    • IBM Thinkpad T30 with Port Rep
    • Unsure on the Amp yet, 4 channel, 400w range
    • Silabs USB Tuner
    • Custom Built 'ringer' module for 'wake on ring'
    • Fushion Brain

    Software:
    • Streetdeck
    • Mapoint 2006
    • WinXP Tablet

    Cusom Software Theories:
    • Modifed Suburu Logo Skin with a Selectable Camera overlay in place of logo?
    • Reverse Triggered backup camera
    • Custom Pyrometer & boost gauges (its a diesel )
    • Permenant Clock
    • QWERTY Keyboard
    • Relocate Volume to left side
    • Calculator
    • Calendar (maybe integrate with Google or outlook somehow?)
    • 'Shopping List' Module? (considering a dot-matrix printer for a quick printout)

    And much much more.

    I hope to start installing things tomorrow. First plan of attack is to get the dash panel installed, laptop installed, and make things 'functional'. For a few days, it will be playing sound via computer speakers... But it will be ok.

    Here is a pic of the screen powered up in the dash. DohCrazy did a bang-up job when he did this install. I bought a can of gray paint tonight and plan to mask & paint the gray portion of it. I have to admit... if it werent for him making such a nice dash & selling it... I wouldnt be doing this for some time! I do have to figure out what I am going to do with the 4x4 buttons, as the spot they belong is too small now. Although, I might just have enough room there for a 3.5" card reader


    I am open to input on any of my suggestions above!

    'Burb-puter - worklog

  • #2
    Looking like a good start keep up the good work, Id like to see how this turns out.
    "Mess with the best, die like the rest."
    Work Log --> Old Car (Totaled)
    Work Log v2 --> New Car (Totaled)
    Work Log v3 --> GMC Suburban K2500 (Engine died)
    Work Log v4.5 --> 05 Toyota Tundra DC SR5

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    • #3
      You can put a USB hub where the 4X4 buttons go...

      Rafster
      Post # 3000

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      • #4
        Did you say "Dot Matrix Printer for fast printouts"?



        Maybe they have gotten faster but my 'Roland Raven" (from the late 80's) dot matrix takes about 4-5 minutes for a 8.5"x11". Also the paper has to be perfectly aligned on the rollers (the paper with the wholes), or it will jam up, so I can imagine in the car that would be no good.

        They make those small laser printer things. The are pretty much the same size as a can of pringles. Then you put in a sheet and out it comes printed. Might be better than a dot matrix.
        Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
        1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
        30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
        15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
        Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rafster
          You can put a USB hub where the 4X4 buttons go...
          I had planned a card reader there, but I still need to put the 4x4 buttons someplace, and now that I realize its all one module, its got to be there.

          Originally posted by 2k1Toaster
          Maybe they have gotten faster but my 'Roland Raven" (from the late 80's) dot matrix takes about 4-5 minutes for a 8.5"x11". Also the paper has to be perfectly aligned on the rollers (the paper with the wholes), or it will jam up, so I can imagine in the car that would be no good.

          They make those small laser printer things. The are pretty much the same size as a can of pringles. Then you put in a sheet and out it comes printed. Might be better than a dot matrix.
          I meant like a small reciept printer... a laser is real high power, and I am cheap, so a 'portable' laser is probably out. we will see what happens.... very low priority.
          'Burb-puter - worklog

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          • #6
            Welll, I am further along tonight!

            I have the dash installed. It took a little effort, but it went pretty well. We resprayed the gray, to cover up the 'blemish' that it had. I test fit it, and tried it out this afternoon, with the HVAC controls hanging out, and we decided we were ready to hack away! I spent about 2 hours cutting with a dremmel where the stock CD player was to make the HVAC fit properly. Got that all done, and then I disocvered that DohCrazy must have cut the top of the HVAC control box for the VGA cable to clear. I wasnt quite sure I wanted to do that, so I brought the dash inside, and looked at it for a few. I decided to take the bottom 2 screws out of the back cover on the screen, and space it out about 1.25" with spacer made from a bic pen. This worked quite well, and gave the clearence I needed.

            Dash is all in place now, but I must have stressed Doh's handy 'glass work', as I now have a crack at the top of the original 4x4 button hole. This doesnt upset me too much, as because of the way the 4x4 button module is, I think I will have to put it there anyway, and that would cover up the crack.













            'Burb-puter - worklog

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            • #7
              More progress tonight. I got my key for SD, so we can see if my crash issues go away. (I think it was related to Mappoint crashing when it timed out)

              I also stopped by a friends with my old computer case that I plan to use as a 'security box'. He cut out the holes I needed with a plasma cutter. I plan to mount this box under the middle row, drivers side seat. I will atach the lid on with screws like normal, and it also has a padlock hole. I figure that by the time I bolt the box down, and lock it up, under said seat, it aint going anywhere. Especially since to get to it, 2 car seats will have to be removed ;-)

              I am thinking of having some 'blank plates' made up for the ends to fill in some of the existing holes in the case. Also have provisions for a cooling fan.

              I got my 12vdc cord for the laptop tonight. Need to decide if I want to use a VGA ext cable, or a 9 pin Mini-din for the monitor. I could go either way, consdering I plan to stuff a USB hub in the dash.

              Also have my 'ring simulator' module sketched out, so I can use the 'wake on ring' feature of the laptop to bring it out of sleep.

              More tomorrow.....









              'Burb-puter - worklog

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              • #8
                Picked up my Amp & wiring kit last night... And I am almost done with my 'power on' module. Getting closer!
                'Burb-puter - worklog

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                • #9
                  Ok... tonights update.

                  Painted the 'security' box with the same interior paint I used on the dash. Came out pretty nice. Mounted my port replicator in it finally (twice) and set the laptop in. I am wondering if I even need to secure the laptop with anything else in there, its pretty tight!

                  I also scoped out space under the Drivers 'Middle Row' seat where I planned on mounting the box. I discovered there is enough room to mount the amp on top of the box, which works out nicely... as I am opposed to drilling screws through the floor. Now I only have to mount 1 unit.

                  Laptop, Port Rep, Amp, and other random stuff (my small USB hub too)



                  Painted 'Security' Box



                  Box Assembled with Fan, Port Rep, & Amp








                  So... now I am down to finishing my 'remote power on' setup, and installing/wiring. I also need to decide what to do with my 4x4 buttons yet. One thing I have decided I like about my box, is it has room for a Fusion Brain or 2... and my remote power on board.
                  'Burb-puter - worklog

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                  • #10
                    Looking nice... lets see everything wired already!!! Haha good luck man.
                    "Mess with the best, die like the rest."
                    Work Log --> Old Car (Totaled)
                    Work Log v2 --> New Car (Totaled)
                    Work Log v3 --> GMC Suburban K2500 (Engine died)
                    Work Log v4.5 --> 05 Toyota Tundra DC SR5

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by P3D4T0R View Post
                      Looking nice... lets see everything wired already!!! Haha good luck man.

                      Thanks! Was begining to wonder if anyone was watching this....

                      With any luck I may start some wiring tonight!
                      'Burb-puter - worklog

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                      • #12
                        I'm no wizz at this, but IMHO placing the amp on top of the case, might not be a good idea... My amps draw an enormous amount of power, and I'm not sure if that will coinside well with harddrive, and other components on your mobo... also there is heat to think about.. pls tell me if I'm wrong! :-)
                        If you can't drive a stick... You can't drive!

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                        • #13
                          We wil see about this! I dont think the heat is really going to be an issue for me.... As I am not looking to get alot of power out of the amp. I am just trying to replicate the stock radio output as far as that goes.
                          'Burb-puter - worklog

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                          • #14
                            More progress today... (no pics yet though)

                            got 3 out of 4 speakers wired. Ran out of speaker wire....

                            got the amp fired up

                            screen is now powered behind the scenes instead of from the lighter plug



                            Looks like I have a USB puck style gps on the way as a loaner (hoping to go OEM with antenna later)

                            I hope to get the last speaker wired up this week, and get the trim work all back together. Also need to figure out power for the USB. It seems that 10' is too far to stack on a hub, without adding power. I can plug any one item into the end of the EXT cable, but if I add a hub on the end.... all bets are off.

                            Getting closer... Hopefully by the end of next week I will be pretty much done.... oh wait, it will never be 'done' will it?
                            'Burb-puter - worklog

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                            • #15
                              Sounds good but like most people I like pictures ... and I'm not around much I'm ether working or not around a computer plus I don't like talking online much but I subscribe to every thread I post in so sure enough Ill see it if its there.
                              "Mess with the best, die like the rest."
                              Work Log --> Old Car (Totaled)
                              Work Log v2 --> New Car (Totaled)
                              Work Log v3 --> GMC Suburban K2500 (Engine died)
                              Work Log v4.5 --> 05 Toyota Tundra DC SR5

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