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Sean's 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Project

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  • Sean's 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Project

    Hey everyone. I'm in the process of buying a WRX and I've decided that I'm going to put together a carputer for it. I've also decided that I will detail my Saga from start to finish. I haven't started anything yet. I'm planning on making staged install, so tomorrow I will begin by posting my preliminary plans.

  • #2
    Ok, so It's been more like a week, I've been busy. Here are my preliminary plans

    Phase 1: Install car computer to be used as a music player using my cellphone as an input method

    Phase 2: Install touch screen to control car computer music player

    Phase 3: Add functionallity such as gps, interface to my phone, dvd? etc.

    Phase 4: Upgrade sound system

    Phase 5: Install a head unit


    • #3
      Phase 1 Progress

      I recently noticed that more and more cell phones these days are coming equipped with bluetooth. This got me thinking, "What more could I do with this other than those stupid head sets?" So I got the idea to control the music playing on a computer with the phone. I found this website that was very encouraging.

      If you aren't interested in reading all that I'll sum it up. Sony Ericsson phones have specialized AT commands that you can send via bluetooth allowing you to add items to the Accessories Menu on the phone. AT commands are the commands that your computer uses to control modems. So if I were to add these menus I could click on them to control the music playing on my computer!

      The website specifies use for the T68i model phone, which seems to be outdated. So I figured "Would Sony Ericsson really remove this functionality from their newer phones? I'll just go ahead and get the z520a" See it was relatively cheap because I just signed up with Cingular.

      After the purchase I found this website...

      Which contains a PDF that outlines all the AT commands available on all of their phones. The good news, using these AT commands I can add menu items to not only the Accessories Menu, but any menu on the phone! The bad news, it doesn't seam trivial to add sub menus. This would make it very difficult to manage the 5000 or so songs I have on my computer.

      After hitting this brick wall I got to thinking. phone has java, I wonder if I could run a java program that could control the music on my computer? This would be even better than the AT commands for a couple of reasons.

      a) To run the AT commands it seems that the computer has to connect to the phone, this is slightly counter productive because I want the phone to control to the computer. With a java program it seems like it should be possible to initiate the program and have the phone connect to the computer. Thus making everything groovy

      b) Using a program on the phone just seems more versatile doesn't it?

      So I've downloaded the java development platform and am reading all kinds of documentation on working with Java ME (Micro Edition) for mobile devices.

      A couple of websites that I've found useful in the java department...

      I plan to use Linux with this whole operation because I want to have some flexibility and I am not so sure I want to pay microsoft so that they can make me do everything their way. Besides, I currently have an old computer running as a music server in my living room that I'd also like to be able to control with my phone. I'm hoping that I can write a java program, or modify an existing one that would be a front end for the mpd (music player daemon) that I have running on that computer.

      This looks promising

      And a little info on mpd


      • #4
        heh.. i see another 2004 rex install coming... sweet...

        if you need any help, message me
        2004 Impreza WRX CarPC Install

        I am willing to host any legal downloads that may benefit the CarPC community - PM for info

        "When you go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, you don't need a made up character called fast. Thats what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."



        • #5
          So turns out being grad school depletes you of time and money, but I've finally found a little bit of both to come back to the project. I've been looking at themes and none of them really suit my fancy. I don't want a bunch of buttons for things that I won't have in my carpc, I also want something a little more simple than what I've seen out there so here are a few screens of what I'm planning. I'm borrowing heavily from the acura itx skin, as well as the simplistique skin. I hope no one minds.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            I use an open source vector drawing program called inkscape to do the black and white mock-ups. I make basic shapes such as circles and squares and combine them to make the various icons.

            To make the stars on the Subaru logos I just used the bezier curves tool and basically traced over a logo that I found on the internet.

            I have found that the best way to go about this method is to either make shapes that are filled with no outline, or have an outline and are not filled. It makes things easier to change later on. Each icon is drawn up in a separate file and then resized and added to menu drawing.

            After a menu is made up in black and white, I basically use it as a stencil in Gimp which is an open source raster drawing program. Here is an example of what the above menus will look like when finished.

            For the brushed metal look I do a gradient from aaaaaa grey to around 555555 grey. Then add rgb noise under the filters->noise menu at 20% on red, green, and blue. Next a motion blur (filters->blur->motion blur) is done with a length of 60 and an angle of 10.

            At this point I select the regions in black and delete them from the brushed metal. I then add a layer underneath and select a blue gradient from the middle outwards. I don't have specific numbers on the blue that I used, I just selected a random light blue and dark blue. I then applied the same rgb noise/motion blur to this blue gradient. I then added a gradient flare on this layer in the center of the subaru logo. And reapplied the rgb noise/motion blur combination.

            Once the colors are mapped out I select the regions that I just cut out of the brushed metal, invert the selection so that everything that is a brushed metal color on the top layer is selected. I then added drop shadow and bevel from the filters->lighting effects menu. This was done with settings of x=1 y=2 I believe. It is possible that those values are reversed (just affects which way the light looks like it is coming from). That makes the brushed metal appear to raise up. I next selected the WRX logo from my black and white stencil (which at this point is underneath both the blue and brushed metal layers) and apply the same drop shadow and bevel effect to it.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Feel free to leave suggestions, and I will hopefully be able to stay on top of this project now. I'm pretty excited that I may finally get this thing going.


              • #8
                And considerations for a night skin.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  I ordered parts last week here's the list

                  Intel D201GLY Little Valley Mobo 1.3GHz Celeron Processor
                  512MB Kingston 667 DDR2 RAM
                  Lilliput 7" Touch Screen

                  And just today I ordered
                  Subaru Bolt-In Kit
                  Seagate Extreme Conditions 40GB 2.5" ATA Hard drive (operates at -25C)

                  As of now I've been installing the system.

                  Step 1: Running Windows XP Pro sp2 and installing on an old 3.5" hard drive I had laying around (Just to get everything working)

                  After installing the drivers for the touchscreen, graphics chip, and audio controller Almost everything was working well I'm still struggling a little bit with the 800x480 resolution. The D201GLY has native support for this, but for some reason when I first set it my lilliput would cut off 90 pixels from the top and bottom as if it were displaying 800x600. It was as if I were watching a movie in letterbox format.

                  Resetting the Lilliput solved this (kind of) after reseting it acts as if displaying 800x480. For example my Road Runner skin that is set to display at 800x480 does open in full screen. However when using this image

                  the lines are squeezed together a bit at regular intervals. Further more when I enter the menu on the Lilliput it says that it is displaying at 640x480

                  After reading a lot of posts on the whole 800x480 business, I guess I should just count my lucky stars that it is displaying 800x480 at all, and that circles look like circles.


                  • #10
                    I've made some significant progress on my skin, both music and gps are working great. Here are some screenshots
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      I designed this so that it would be fairly obvious what the buttons are (at least to myself) but here is the rundown since the whole world doesn't think like I do.

                      top left power button: brings up the power button menu (last screen in the list)

                      Left of the Subaru symbol:
                      skull looking music guy: brings up the audio player (second screen)
                      circle looking globe thing: brings up the gps screen(fourth screen)

                      Right of the Subaru Symbol:
                      phone: brings up phoco support (not implemented yet, I just don't have phoco!)
                      hammer and chisel: brings up the setup menu (also not implemented yet, still contemplating everything I want to put in

                      Volume controls are in the lower left hand corner mute, volume down, and volume up respectively. And next to those is the volume indicator

                      audio player:
                      arrow next to power button: goes to previous screen

                      Left column:
                      stop button
                      previous track/rewind
                      shuffle/repeat toggle
                      lightning bolt: visualization (if I can get some sort of ipod integration I might replace this button)

                      Right column:
                      next track/fast forward
                      magnifying glass: brings up osk to search the playlist
                      music note: brings up the audio bowser

                      To the Right of the Playlist:
                      top: page up
                      top middle: move selection up one song
                      bottom middle: move selection down one song
                      bottom: page down

                      Buttom Right:
                      cross: remove selected song
                      cross in folder: remove entire playlist
                      floppy disk: brings up the osk to save the playlist
                      open folder: load a playlist

                      Directly under the playlist there is a bar indicating song position (it is clickable, and I think I am going to replace the solid colored indicator with a glow type thing, like is seen around the magnifying glass)

                      I pressed the magnifying glass to show what a button looks like when it is pressed. It gets a light blue alien glow around it.

                      Audio Browser:
                      On the left:
                      Plus: Add currently selected song
                      Empty Folder: Replace current playlist with the current directory
                      Folder with plus: Add current directory to playlist
                      Magnifying glass: osk to search
                      skull music guy: go back to audio player

                      Hopefully this one is pretty obvious all the buttons are labeled, except I forgot to label the two in the bottom left corner (move cursor left and move cursor right)

                      It should also be noted that the input text area at the top of the screen looks ugly, I am going to have to redesign the jpg I use for the skin so that it is just solid color up there

                      magnifying glasses:
                      plus: zoom in
                      minus: zoom out
                      plus or minus 'a': text size
                      flag: find near
                      globe circle thing: gps pane
                      satellite: not designated yet
                      compass rose(bottom left): not designated yet, probably driving directions
                      moon/sun type thing: if in night skin will change the map to night skin, if in day skin will change the map to terrain
                      squiggly arrow: brings up osk to enter and address and inserts it into the plan trip menu
                      (right now this works kind of funny, you type into the osk, then you have to press this button again and hit enter from the osk again, then your address is input. I'll have to debug some more. I'm thinking of either having multiple buttons, one for osk, then one for input trip. Or maybe having an intermediate menu.)
                      arrows in circle: reroute

                      Power menu:
                      Left of Subaru Symbol:
                      power symbol: shut down
                      power synmbol with a 'z' in it: stand by (my board doesn't have hibernate so I didn't make a button)
                      power button with arrows: restart

                      Right of Subaru Symbol:
                      cross: exit RoadRunner
                      moon/sun: toggles day night skins
                      question mark: About

                      So there is the run down, perhaps in a couple days I'll post some detail on how I wrote the skin.


                      • #12
                        new skin concept

                        So my skin has been based heavily on the Simplistique skin, and after seeing the transparent version, I decided I might like to copy that one too. Here's a concept screen.
                        Attached Files