Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

2005 Volkswagen GTI

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 2005 Volkswagen GTI

    This is my first carputer install. I've been lurking on the forums a while, plotting and planning. I finally decided to take some action. I'm long-winded, but it's my worklog so I can be. I'll probaby ramble on and on about small details like user-interfaces and usability and such. These little details make or break a system for me.

    -- The car --
    First, some keywords so anyone searching for similar cars has an easier time: mkiv MkIV, double DIN, monsoon, golf, gti, volkswagen, vw, 2005

    The car is an MkIV, not an MkV because the US doesn't get the new Golf/GTI platform until 2006. It's almost stock, nothing fancy. I've got the double-din monsoon system, so I expect some trouble with that, I'm not a sound quality nut, so I'll probably just hook directly into that monsoon amp. There's a post on this forum somwhere about that. When I'm "done" with the carPC (I hate "carputer") I hope it'll still look almost stock.

    -- The reasons --
    Why am I doing this? Initially, I want only two things a better music player and some gps fun. I expect I'll want much more once I use it a while.

    I'll post my rant on "a better music player" in another post, followed by yet another post with my idea for a GPS system.

    Eventually I'll post my current status and my buying experiences so far (yes, I actually have some of the components already).
    My worklog.
    Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

  • #2
    A better music player UI.

    I've got a little rant all worked out about how I want my carpc to "work" with regards to searching for and playing music.

    Why the need of a carputer for a better music player? I'm already sold on the idea of taking my entire collection with me via an ipod full of mp3s. I currently have my iPod hidden in the armrest connected to a Dension IceLink Plus. This little doodad tricks my OEM headunit into thinking my iPod is a CD changer. It works well, all the transport buttons (next/prev, ff/rew) on the headunit work. I can even jump right to 5 playlists using the CD 1-5 buttons. The IceLink works as advertised. But, it's a crappy way to naviagate a large collection of mp3 (40GB and growing). The IceLink will show id3 tag information (as CD-Text), if the headunit supports it. The VW OEM unit (like most OEM headunits) does not. Even if it did, I want something more like the iPod interface. A set of nested menus that lets me search by album, artist, song, etc. The best way to sum up my problems with the IceLink-iPod (and the Alpine, and the Monster iCruze, etc) solutions are as follows:
    - Get in the car, turn on the head unit.
    - Now, I want to search by artist. Starting at the top of the alphabetically sorted list, I want to get to "R.L. Burnside" quickly and play all songs by this artist.
    - When that's done, I want to search by artist and find "Bad Religion" quickly, and so on.

    Try this with an Icelink or the alpine-ipod thingy or the iCruze. Using "next track" quickly doesn't work. On the iPod this is easy. I get a scrollable screen that shows me 6 artists at a time, and a little jog wheel that lets me zoom really fast to near the Rs then slow down until I get to "R.L Burnside". It's easy. The screen (6 lines) combined with the interface (the scroll wheel that scrolls fast and slow) make this an easy task. There's someone on these forums offering a VW/BMW/Audi headunit->USB device for carPCs. Presumably it maps the transport keys to something on the PC (ideally it's configurable at runtime, if not, I bet girder solves this problem). I asked him about the speed and he said about 2-3 times per second. That seem fast? It's not. On the iPod. I can scroll thru my entire collection by artist in 3-4 seconds. I tried a test with CentraFuse on a full-size PC and a mouse last weekend. The music browser lets me page down quick enough I got thru the whole collection in about 5 seconds. Why don't I just use the damn iPod in my car? It's white, it looks like an iPod, not some piece of automotive gear. More importantly, I would have to look at the small iPod screen while driving. An LCD located where the double din headunit is now would be so much easier to glance at, bonus points if I could use a real, stock-looking knob to function as my scroll-wheel in the example above. I want using this to be easy, no squinting at an iPod screen trying to use it's overly touch-sensitive wheel on a slightly bumpy road.

    So, add one 7" LCD to the list. I'm not thrilled about touchscreens though. The touchscreen layer dims the brightness and you have to actually look at where you're pressing (taking your eyes off the road). Could I make this work with a non-touchscreen and some knobs & buttons? I'll look at the Contour ShuttleXpress and the Powermate and see how they interact with the existing front ends. (I really don't want to have to write my own front end, I might do that eventually, but I would rather this project be installed and working sooner rather than later).

    Man, I'm a picky, whiny little ***** about this stuff...
    My worklog.
    Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm with you on the Monsoon amp. I'm keeping mine as well. Now, if we can both ge ours to work, then we'll really have accomplished something.
      2002 Grand Am progress :
      [] - 80%
      ...complete setup, but still need to make the install cleaner

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mercury7
        I'm with you on the Monsoon amp. I'm keeping mine as well. Now, if we can both ge ours to work, then we'll really have accomplished something.
        I researched this at some point. At least one person on this forum has this solved. The basic idea is that you keep the monsoon because it's not all that bad, plus it has crossovers, and the speakers and wiring in the VW are different Ohms (between front and back) and the monsoon accounts for that. To replace the monsoon, you really have to replace the speakers too.

        Here's a thread from R32 JUhl:
        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=41919
        Post #81 is the solution. I'll quote it here:

        Originally posted by R32 JUhl
        Great news everyone! We beat the "impossible to resolve" Monsoon issue. My carputer's outputs are running directly into my Monsoon amp and working as VW originally intended. The secret: VW is sending a 1/2 battery voltage DC signal on the speaker wires that tells the amp to power up. There is no typical, designated trigger wire to tell the amp to turn on because the speaker input signal is carrying it. So we have the system working. We're stealing the 5V signal from the Opus and as you can imagine, there's a little bit of noise on it. But we're working on a filter to clean out the noise. News as it develops!

        The 5V has to go into the left channel to get the amp to power up. We fed it into the left channel common. I used a 10k ohm resistor in series to drop the amperage, just in case - I didn't want to overload the amp. For the record, the Monsoon's Head Unit speaker A/C outputs are virtually identical to the carputer's!
        My worklog.
        Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

        Comment


        • #5
          Buying some parts, returning some parts, sales tax, and supporting mp3car.com

          I bought a bunch of stuff over the weekend. When doing a project, I like to lay my hands on things. I wanted to see and touch a Via M10000, I wanted to install WinXP and Linux on it and see how fast/slow it was. This was a test run to see if I could get by with a M10000. I also wanted to play with a Griffin Powermate and see how it felt, how fast the computer reacted to it, etc.

          So, I went to my local Fry's Electronics (shut-up, how many stores actually carry Via EPIA motherboard?) to have a look. Fry's doesn't always have the best prices, but they have a good selection of wierd items, and their return policies are very liberal. I went home with (all prices after tax):
          - Via EPIA M10000 ($182.94)
          - 512MB PC2100 Mushikin RAM ($70.36)
          - 80GB 2.5" Fujitsu hard drive. ($172.12)
          - 44pin-to-40pin IDE adapter ($7.00)
          - 250W ATX power supply, ($32.46) I need to power this in my house for a long time before I actually install in my car.

          I also went to the Apple store and picked up a Griffin Powermate and a Contour ShuttleXpress.

          I got home, played with this for a while, struggled a bunch with updating the motherboard BIOS with a CD-ROM and the updated BIOS .bin files on a NTFS partition, and just felt out the whole system. I loaded centrafuse, and started mapping buttons and actions from the shuttlexpress to things like page up/down, left/right/up/down arrows, etc. I know about girder and all, but it's a bit much for testing. I just wanted to see what the whole thing felt like. I was thinking about using a non-touchscreen LCD and using just a powermate or shuttlexpress for control. Was the shuttle-thing at all in the right ballpark?

          The good news is that I'm hooked. I'm definitely installing a system in my car. Hwever, I'm not sure either the shuttle or the powemate is the right way to go right now. They might work, but they feel like improvements I can do later rather than right away, I'll just use an LCD touchscreen like everyone else.

          Then, I started shopping for cases on the mp3car.com site. I liked the small C134 case quickly realized that I would need low-profile RAM. Damn! I start comparing prices and find out that low-profile RAM is pricey. It's also really hard to find non-ECC low profile RAM. The target market for low-profile modules is 1U rack-mounted servers and you generally want ECC RAM in those boxes. While doing this, I notice a pretty big price difference in what I paid for everything (after sales tax) and what I could by the same gear for from mp3.com (even after shipping). So, I got all obsessive and tried to find the best total deal on the motherboard, the memory, and the 2.5" floppy even if I bought from different stores. I ditched the low-profile/C134 case idea and went with regular RAM. I tried to use mp3car.com, just to pay them back for hosting these forums. I decided that if they were close to the price of some other place (after shipping), I would buy from them. I also tried to use Amazon.com, since I have a bunch of "Amazon points" with them. Amazon was a bust, they made it hard to find the right parts and they were from partners that charge a bunch of shipping and don't redeem Amazon gift certificates. Mp3car.com lost out too, the places I ordered from had much lowers shipping plus lower prices to begin with. I'll probably end up buying the M1-ATX, the case, and the LCD from Mp3car.com just to get rid of some guilt.

          The end result? I replaced the motherboard, ram, and hdd. I saved $110.18!
          The motherboard and RAM (slightly faster, PC2700 is cheaper than PC2100?) came from monarch computers. A samsung 2.5" hard drive that mp3car.com and logicsupply.com have came from directron.
          My worklog.
          Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mini review of the Contout ShuttleXpress.

            I'm really not trying to be a post whore, I'm just trying to get all my thoughts down so I later I can remember why I made various decisions.

            If anyone reads this and has comments / questions, maybe we should start a new thread.

            My quick review of the ShuttleXpress:
            - I like it, but I'm returning it and I'll try just a touch screen for a while, once I know more about what using a touch screen feels like, I'll be better able to tell if this thing solves my problems. I really think I'll eventually want at least a volume knob, but a powermate with a different plastic knob would do that.

            My longer review of the ShuttleXpress:
            - It's well built, solid. It has 5 buttons and two knob-ish things (a jog wheel and a spring loaded shuttle knob). Lot's of opportunity to control things from a small space.There's a lot of tactile feedback, the jog wheel has a discrete detents as you turn it, making moving precisely 4 songs down easy without even looking at the screen. The spring loaded ring does not.

            - The included windows software seems very flexible. It lets you map various events (jog right) to mouse clicks or key presses. I mapped "jog right" to page down and "jog left" to page up. In centrafuse, this let me easily scroll through the "search by album" list. The software recognizes 7 different postions of the springy shuttle in both directions. They recommend you do something like map left level 1 to "left arrow, repeat once per second" and map left level 2 to "left arrow, repeate 5 times per second" and so on. There's no detents between the springy positions so you can't really tell whether your in level 2 or 3 just by feeling it.

            - While the jog dial will move fast, and I like the finger indent on it, I can't flick it like a knob to scroll it REALLY fast.

            - It's not as well supported, will it work in Girder? Without girder support, I could only get it to do either mouse clicks (or wheel) or key presses, basically I can map one type of input device to another input device. That might be enough, but the real power of girder (IMHO) is that you can map some input event to "send lbuttondown to this button window whose parent has a title like "GPS Nav - *". I can "press" arbitrary buttons with girder, not just send mouse clicks. I might be able to make that work with a front end, we'll see. If I use Linux as my carPC os, I'm pretty sure the shuttle isn't well supported (is there a girder for Linux? I really want to map arbitrary input to sending an event to a particular window like girder does).

            - It's a bit big (about the size of a CD) I can't see mounting it anywhere easily. I don't know how it could be any smaller, I'm just saying that I can't see an obvious place to mount it in my car. It is the same matte plastic look as my dash, so that's a plus. I could just set it on my armrest while using it and stash it somewhere, but it's not obvoius where to stash it. It won't fit in the armest, maybe the door pocket? Having the USB cable out looks ghetto too. I can just see it. I get in my car, pull the shuttle out of the door pocket, put it on the armrest, plug it in to a USB port near the parking brake, mash the cable down into some crack, and away I got. Actually that doesn't sound half bad! It would be ideal if the shuttle had no USB cable just a port and I had a retractable usb cable near the armrest. Maybe as an later project, I'll pull apart one of these and use just the jog wheel and shuttle ring. One for volume and one for scrolling.
            My worklog.
            Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

            Comment


            • #7
              dont bother trying to swap out the knob on the powermate, its not possible. all the electronic bits are inside the knob

              Comment


              • #8
                i have a shuttle express and i love it. My touch panel stopped working and i found that using the shuttle is far easier than the touchscreen ever was. it works very well with frodoplayer. I am currently in the process of molding it into my dash, I'll post pics when its finished.
                System: AMD Duron 1200+ , 512 MB ram , usb sb mp3+ , Tview 7" touchscreen , M1-ATX PSU , Slot Load iMac DVD-Rom , 40 GB laptop HDD, netgear USB 802.11g

                Progress: Installation: 90% Dash fabrication: 80%

                Parts Needed: USB GPS

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by simon_C
                  dont bother trying to swap out the knob on the powermate, its not possible. all the electronic bits are inside the knob
                  Thanks for the info. I'll likely go the with either a hacked up mouse or a phidgets encoder (if I can think of more uses for an 8/8/8).
                  My worklog.
                  Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by meyer64
                    i have a shuttle express and i love it. My touch panel stopped working and i found that using the shuttle is far easier than the touchscreen ever was. it works very well with frodoplayer. I am currently in the process of molding it into my dash, I'll post pics when its finished.
                    What are your button mappings?
                    My worklog.
                    Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i suggest sticking with the powermate. mounting it in the center of the dash would be an ideal place and its kinda fun having such a large knob for volume.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by simon_C
                        i suggest sticking with the powermate. mounting it in the center of the dash would be an ideal place and its kinda fun having such a large knob for volume.
                        One of the "restrictions" I've placed on myself for this project is that thing look pretty OEM. The Powermate fails that test. In my interior, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Originally, I wanted to have a non-touchscreen and use a Powermate/ShuttleXpress as the only input. I might still go that route, but not yet. I still would like a volume knob, but I think I would do better with hacking up a mouse and finding a knob that matched better.
                        My worklog.
                        Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          New (same) gear arriving today.

                          Man, I love the Internet and shopping by mail. I get free/cheap shipping, no tax, and both directron and monarch computers is getting my gear to me quickly. They should both be arriving today. I'll return the "old" parts to Fry's tommorow, saving myself $110.

                          Now, I really want to run Linux on this. I'm comfortable in that environment and I'd really like to see it see better options for Linux based carPCs. I can't really see myself helping out with PyCar or other Linux software if I'm not eating my own dogfood (running Linux myself). Since this is just an mp3 player for now, I should be OK, right? Do Linux people usually run PyCar? IIRC, I tried it out and it doesn't do id3 tag based browsing, so that would be the first thing I would add before installing. I also need to help see how GizmoDaemon works with pycar and the Shuttle, but that's not really a priority.

                          How do others do BIOS updates? I had trouble with the files sitting on a NTFS partition, I imagine I'll have the same trouble with them on an ext3 partition. I couldn't find anything on the net that was a "here's a DR DOS boot disk, here's how to add AWDFLASH and ***.BIN files to it.

                          So, I guess I'm updating the BIOS and installing Debian and PyCar this weekend.
                          My worklog.
                          Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I did get my new gear. Monarch Computer had about 5 notices warning me that if I'm being paid to reship my order out of the country, I'm probably helping commit credit card fraud. Seriously, two stickers on the box, a sticker on each of the individual item's box and a flyer on the inside. Interestingly they shipped the m10000 and RAM in a different motherboard's box. It was bigger and they padded the hell out of my stuff, but I was getting all worked up when I saw, "DFI AD77 PRO KT400". No actual problems though.

                            I installed Debian and flashed the BIOS. I thought of the idea of setting aside a 10mb partition just for BIOS flashing. It should boot Dr-DOS or FreeDOS or something. My first attempt didn't work, so I asked on the Linux forum here.

                            I returned the other gear to Fry's. My return clerk inspected everything. He asked me if I had opened the RAM, I said yes, it works fine, I just don't want it. The return clerk looked carefully at the RAM and said, "Are you sure? It looks factory sealed and it would be easier on us if you hadn't opened it". I mubled something about being sure I opened it. He needed to match up some serial number on the actual memory module with a a number on the package and with a number on my reciept. Seems like a reasonable system to protect themselves. It turns out, that on any given item, the "serial number" , can really be any number on the item, even a substring of something stamped on the item. So, my clerk needed help. Rhe supervisor came over and said, "This looks new, he didn't open it, no problem" and walked away. My clerk explained that they don't repackage and resell (for those that have never experienced the joys of Fry's Electronics, they resell returned items for a slightly lower price, yes they mark them as returned) RAM because no one buys it. So, my returned RAM is out there somewhere being sold as new. I'm pretty sure that's no legal. On the other hand, I was careful with it and it works just fine.

                            Finally, I returned the Powermate and the ShuttleXpress. I had planned on seeing how it worked under Linux, but I think I'd rather have a working system (just and mp3 player for now) installed before getting fancy.

                            Next, I'm going to copy over my mp3 collection, and try out the various Linux front ends. At first glance PyCar looks to be the best supported. IIRC, it doesn't have a music database, just a file/directory browser. That's no good, maybe I'll write the Python to do it. I like iTunes (and my iPod), I was thinking of just syncing my collection and iTunesDB to my carPC whenever I'm in range of my homre AP. The music browser could just use the iTunesDB, and also update it with playcounts and such. Some thread on here asked for someone to make a clone of the iPod interface for a carPC. The more I think about it, the more I like it. That UI works well, I just want it in my dash. Hmmm.... I wonder how open the PyCar author is to other developers, I need to look.

                            There's an EPIA Linux site I need to go through and make sure I'm using all the latest and greatest drivers. I also need to decide on location of my install in the car. I wonder if it'll fit under one of the front seats? Finally, I need to buy the screen and M1-ATX
                            My worklog.
                            Status: VM GTI sold, got out of the CarPC tinkering hobby, but I still think about getting back in.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kbyrd
                              Some thread on here asked for someone to make a clone of the iPod interface for a carPC.
                              that was me actually. i had thought about doing it and controlling it with a powermate and 4 remapped buttons hooked up through an old joypad.

                              i think it would work well with movies and dvds to.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X