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2004 SEAT Ibiza FR - Project FR1080 - 15.4" Touch with Custom Monitor

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  • 2004 SEAT Ibiza FR - Project FR1080 - 15.4" Touch with Custom Monitor

    The dream started all the way back before I even had a car license I owned a Ford KA for you who don't know its this thing.

    Didn't own it long enough to have my own picture

    6 months after passing well let’s just say it was no longer drivable after flip here and fence there. Now 19 and paying off my second car I'm now continuing my dream of a car-pc.


    Rental, nickname dumbo

    My car
    SEAT Ibiza 1.9 TDi FR 170Bhp Revo

    Project Summary
    I've noticed many successful projects here and they look fantastic but I wanted to do something different. Then with all this hype of HD I thought why not.

    Take Full HD Movies to the beach.

    Budget so Far
    $333.00 - 1st 15.4" LCD screen excluding controller board - Smart-Micro USA
    $309.22 - 1st Pixelworks Controller - Manhattan LCD
    $516.25 - 2nd Pixelworks Controller kit w/ screen - Manhattan LCD
    $269.92 - Dension ice Link Gateway 300 - iPod Car Kit Direct
    $349.42 - Dell Poweredge 2650 Server -

    Total - $1777.81

    Work Log Shortcuts
    (13th Oct 08)
    LCD Purchase & Specs
    (14th Oct 08)
    Update of wiring diaagram
    (14th Oct 08)
    Purchase of Gateway 300
    (20th Oct 08)
    Arrival of Gateway 300
    (22nd Oct 08)
    Gateway 300 update and car tuning
    (29th Jan 09)
    Update and Network Plan
    (30th Jan 09)
    Purchase of Dell PowerEdge 2650 Server
    (1st Feb 09)
    Test of Dell PowerEdge 2650 Server
    (4th Feb 09)
    Update to Network Plan and general log
    (5th Feb 09)
    Update to Network Plan and sync code complete
    (10th Feb 09)
    3D of Monitor Constructed
    (29th Mar 10)
    Continuation of project with adaptation of dash pocket
    (3rd Apr 10)
    Further adaptation of dash pocket with board in finalised position
    (10th Apr 10)
    Both LCD cases made -mount supports. Starting of LVDS cable extending

  • #2
    (13th Oct 08)
    After many months of research I took the first step in buying the first part. The 15.4" LCD, be careful when buying from sites such as Smart Micro because you may buy a LCD then they send you something they think will be compateble. In my case I ordered an LG LP154WU1 for its specification and they sent me a Sharp screen, reasoning "we were out of stock and that screen will be compateble" even though they don't know what its going to be used for. To this day I don't know the spec of the screen due to there been no datasheets on the net for it. Return was not an option due to shipping costs so they refunded me the difference as the screen they gave me was $20 cheaper.

    Max Resolution: 1920 x 1200
    Response: 25ms

    I started playing around and to my frustration HDMI the reason I bought it just wouldn't work. All I got was a Black border and taskbar got cut off. After weeks of trouble I finally picked up the phone and paid international price and called the USA. After about a 5 mins call finally got an answer that most graphics cards have this trouble and its what the GFX card interrupts what the controller is. As such it thinks the native resolution is 1280 x 720 then from there the digital signal is just wrong and the controller doesn't understand the signal been feed.

    I then took the gamble in buying the updated controller board but to no luck. So now got 2 of these 15.4" LCD screens.

    Just this weekend bought the touch panel.

    Whilst waiting I ran into a problem with my design. The problem is I want my engine to recharge the UPS / Glass Batteries but when parked up I can just plug it into the wall and it then takes the power from the grid whilst charging the UPS / Glass Batteries. Need some kind of auto switch.

    Here’s my design. (Update 14th Oct 08)

    Before you ask it is not been moulded into the dash board but found a company in Guildford that have a CAD / CAM system to build the case for the screen. Below the HU Radio in my car is a pocket thing which is going to hold the controller board this way I still get the OEM look as nothing has been changed to the centre console only added.

    Will update as I go along.
    (14 Oct 08)
    Obviuosly I don't own an iPod as I'm a M$ person (bad I know) and own WM6.1 phone so this is the reason I went for the Gateway 300 and not 100. So I went ahead and bought it, another $300 in dept but should be worth it.

    Just got the Gateway 300 and here are a few images.

    I'll install it tonight and test it with my dads little iPod.

    I'll use either USB or Aux to connect my PC.

    (22nd Oct 08)
    Got a little carried away and forgot to post, anyway I love this device everything works. Still waiting on the touch panel, UPS lost it grrr. So whilst waiting went to pick up my new pocket thing to go below the radio incase I screw up, only $6 worthwhile investment. Also new cup holder to replace my broken one.

    Also popped into JKM Performance in Portsmouth and decided to finally REVO it. Took my 130TDI upto 170bhp estimate. Old top speed 125mph (130 when new), New top speed 143mph.


    • #3
      is this still going/gone ahead? a 15.4" ?! are you crazy? :P lol it was a massively tight squeeze fitting in a 7" !

      best of luck :P


      • #4
        Hey RichIbizaSport sorry I haven't really posted much with me been made redundant on 28th Feb, I haven't had much chance or funds to continue for the mean time.

        Nothing stops me from designing though.

        Since my Last post I got my car up to est. 170bhp and those new tyres really arn't surviving long. GO DIESEL!

        I have found a company called Ergo Mounts which have got a very low profile vesa connection to mount to a pole.

        After spending well over $1500 I'm not going to leave this project alone till its done.

        Here's the network plan for the car. Not much to do with the car but important;


        • #5
          Finally got the steel brick into my flat, weighs an absolute ton.

          After opening up the server and finding a very different format of motherboard I started to find out what everything was. Specs for the server;

          1 POWEREDGE 2650 - AC - XEON 2.8GHZ/512K,
          1 2GB ECC DDR MEMORY, (2X1GB)
          1 ADDITIONAL XEON 2.8GHZ/512K, 533FSB CACH
          3 146GB SCSI ULTRA320 (10, 000RPM) 1IN 80 P
          2 36GB SCSI ULTRA320 (10, 000RPM) 1IN 80 PI
          1 24X IDE CD-ROM DRIVE(N)

          All of this for a neat $349.42 and only 4 years old.

          Now installing Windows Server 2003 with raids set;
          C Drive
          Raid 0 Stripped - (2 x 36Gb 10k)

          D Drive
          Volume - (3 x 146Gb 10k)

          Don't think I can watch TV with this on. Its like a small jet especially without its case on.

          Once tested I shall swap out those 36Gb with 73Gb 10k from work.

          Also does anyone know if these look like standard PCI slots to you?


          • #6
            First off, you have a very nice car.

            I like how your going against the main stream by going with a server. My question is, where are you going to fit that beast! From the looks of your car, you don't have much room.

            From the picture, that doesnt look like standard PCI slots to my eyes.


            • #7
              Here's a link to some Dell sales literature. It says those are PCI-X slots.

              It also says those are dual 500W power supplies. That will increase your flat's power consumption by a good bit.
              If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

              2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at


              • #8
                Originally posted by Squadfer View Post
                First off, you have a very nice car.

                I like how your going against the main stream by going with a server. My question is, where are you going to fit that beast! From the looks of your car, you don't have much room.

                From the picture, that doesnt look like standard PCI slots to my eyes.

                Well I think this server may become the MCE-S01 due to its hard drives are a bit delicate. This will be the one that will upload the Media Center TV Recordings and movies to my car.

                You'll be amazed what can fit in my car. A full size 24u Server Rack can fit in my car with seats folded.

                Originally posted by rdholtz
                Here's a link to some Dell sales literature. It says those are PCI-X slots.

                It also says those are dual 500W power supplies. That will increase your flat's power consumption by a good bit.
                Thanks for the PCI thing, looks like this may become MCE-S01 without TV card. Never mind.

                As for the PSU's My PC alone has a 1kw PSU. So money money money.


                • #9
                  Change of plan for the drive allocation.

                  I'm looking at buying a Powervault 220s that way I could have 14 HDs for storage and then the harddrives inside the 2650 all become RAID 0.
                  In 2650:
                  5x 73Gb

                  In Powervault 220s:
                  3x 146Gb
                  7x 73Gb
                  2x 32Gb
                  2x Free Slots

                  Got home from work and brought home with me 6x 73Gb 10k u320 hard drives. I'll bring the other 6 tomorrow as they weigh a ton.

                  Just swapping out the 146Gb for 73Gb and compare speed when all 5 put in RAID 0.

                  4th Feb
                  Price went to high for the 220s as such I now have 12 SCSI hard drives that I can't use, at least they were free.

                  Learning VB to write a short program so when the TV is recorded it transfers files to the file server @ 16:00 so by the time I'm home I'll hit the sync button in my car and transfer files from file server to my car. Once complete it then shuts down my carpc and server ready for the next day.

                  5th Feb
                  Finished the sync code. Decided vb was to long code for something this simple so just created a .bat file to run @3am every night from the server.

                  xcopy M:\TVRECORDINGS\*.* D:\TVRECORDINGS\ /d /e /v
                  xcopy G:\PICTURES\*.* D:\PICTURES\ /d /e /v
                  xcopy G:\VIDEOS\*.* D:\VIDEOS\ /d /e /v
                  xcopy G:\MUSIC\*.* D:\MUSIC\ /d /e /v

                  del M:\TVRECORDINGS\ /s /q
                  del F:\TVRECORDINGS\ /s /q
                  del F:\PICTURES\ /s /q
                  del F:\VIDEOS\ /s /q
                  del F:\MUSIC\ /s /q

                  xcopy D:\TVRECORDINGS\*.* F:\TVRECORDINGS\ /d /e /v
                  xcopy D:\PICTURES\*.* F:\PICTURES\ /d /e /v
                  xcopy D:\VIDEOS\*.* F:\VIDEOS\ /d /e /v
                  xcopy D:\MUSIC\*.* F:\MUSIC\ /d /e /v
                  It takes copies of TV recordings from MCE-S01 then pics, vids and music from PULSE-G01 (main pc).

                  To save space it then deletes TV recordings off MCE-S01 as its only got 100Gb. Also deletes everything else from the car so if I watched and deleted stuff at home changes will be reflected in my car.

                  The server then uploads the whole lot to the car. Thank god I invested in N300mbps 1Gb router or it be all day long uploading.


                  • #10
                    Need all your thoughts on this before I generate the DWG file for CAD/CAM as meeting will be in a week or two.

                    Pros and Cons?


                    • #11
                      I'M FINALLY BACK!

                      After moving home 3 times and country I now got time to settle in and complete this. Still going for the crazy 15.4" screen and have had plenty of time to think about this.

                      Also thought I add the before and after photos of my crash. See first post.

                      Due to MOT and police warnings I have been advised not to go ahead with this as it causes serious restriction when driving. Few modifications have had to been made for one the LCD panel and controller are no longer together to make the panel 1/3 of its original depth meaning I can now indicate without hitting my screen also slimming down the bezel to no longer block the passenger air bag (personal request from family).

                      Right now with the log. Bought lots of tools jigsaw, drills and plenty of L, U, ali poles and some ali sheets. Now there will not be any sketchup this time as been in my head seems to work -self injury due to stupidness with jigsaw. PS ALWAYS clamp down small metal when cutting

                      No camera so please bear with me using my phone

                      First to start was adapting the dash pocket to hold the controller board.

                      Main frame done and once its been bench tested I shall add a front grill with dim red LED's behind showing off the board.

                      tomorrow will be finalising the pocket to insure good fit, possibly will turn board upside down to have a fan on the bottom of the pocket as the controllers tends to get very hot. Also start work on the LCD bezel which I'm still thinking about.

                      Me playing with Vista and 15.4" touch screen.

                      Location where it shall be install. (LCD, Just above hazard light button)(Controller in pocket)

                      Any advise on the easiest way to extend the LVDS cable?

                      That's it for tonight, stay tuned for more tomorrow.


                      • #12
                        Small update with been busy at work due to Easter holiday and all here is some new piccys of the the controller board finally in its mounting position. Underneath the board will be a 100x100x10mm fan to cool the Pixelworks CPU.

                        Need help, does anyone know how I can get the VGA to turn 90 with in 10mm? Got plenty of cables to try on but not keen on soldering it onto the board as its worth a lot.

                        Also can I take 12v directly from a 12v battery or will I need a DC 12v regulator thing. I have a AC-DC adapter but be cleaner if I can take direct 12v DC.

                        All nuts are locking nuts to prevent movement of vibrations with silicon washers.

                        Tomorrow it's time to attack the LCD bezel.


                        • #13
                          Back again, not much done this week but finally became part of the Dremel Club

                          New Toys:

                          Today and tomorrow is extending the LVDS cable with a SCSI cable. Preview of my work to be done:

                          Also finish one part of the LCD and touch screen casing, needs a bit of smoothing.

                          Also second screen case made but doesn't have touch. This shall be used in the rear of my car to say

                          GET BACK BEFORE I BRAKE!
                          MOVE YOUR ISSUES OFF THE ROAD!


                          • #14
                            Thank god for safety goggles, 2 Dremel cutters shattered into my face.

                            First off last night I was working on extending the LVDS cable using SCSI, so far I've done one side of the cable with 1:2 LVDS:SCSI also all have been continuity tested.

                            Also got a few shoots of the casing loosely put together to find errors in dimensions and faults in design. Shall also see the new 100mm fan hole ready for installation. Going to have to add another leg for the screen as it is bouncing quite alot.


                            • #15
                              Long time since last update, been playing with my new tri-screen setup.

                              Anyway back on track, the board case is now complete and before installation I was going to do a test bed of all electronics.

                              To my disappointment the LVDS cable I extended is well, on acid. What the photo doesn't show is also the noise (slightly see it around the orb).

                              As you can see this is annoying and slightly frustrating as my entire design was dependent on the cable been longer. Using the backup cable it runs fine, can see the length difference in photo below.

                              Time to find alternative