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Roof Mounted Flip Down Pocket PC - Sooooo many possibilities!

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  • Roof Mounted Flip Down Pocket PC - Sooooo many possibilities!

    Well to be honest the only reason that im doing this bit of fabrication is because I have a Dell Axim X50V Pocket PC basically 'spare' after getting a new phone that can do everything that it used to do.

    I'm almost finished on a pretty big install on my car which is covered in the worklog section of the forum. But seing as im doing this as a bit of a side project I figured it was better suited to being here.

    As part of the main install I've replaced the roof lining of the car (black now, beige before) and was reminded that my car has a flip down compartment for holding sunglasses. Well, I live in England and as such have very little use for sunglasses as we get very little sun, besides the fact that every pair of sunglasses I've ever tried on have made me look like a pimp, lol. But figured that with a bit of work I could use the compartment to install a flip down pocket PC.

    I'm going to route a 5V supply from my CarPC M2-ATX (under the drivers seat) up into the roof lining and into the Pocket PC to keep the battery topped up. It uses an extended battery so it will survive on standby for a few weeks if I go away and dont use the car.

    Anyway, some pics:


    First step was to remove the front cover from the PDA, lay it down on its front and glue two 'extension' pieces to it (using black acrylic plastic) to make it wide enough to accurately position over the sunglasses holder.


    Then removed the little plastic clips that clip the front cover to the rest of the PDA, this will allow me to remove the 'guts' of the PDA in future if I need to.


    This pic and the next show the front assembly hot glued to the glasses holder in the perfect position (I test fitted the PDA alone in this position to make sure it would still fit in the roof.)




    Then used stripboard, dont know what its called in the US but its basically a fibreboard with lots of tiny holes drilled in it. It's easy to shape and glue into place and has the benefit that when you put filler over it, it seeps through the holes and really reduces the chances of cracks. Once those bite were in, I shaped and sanded the plastic extension pieces to suit.






    Last two pics were taken shortly after the first quick coat of filler. Tomorrow ill get on with the usual sanding and re-filling then a coat of primer.



    So thats where I am now. Only took a couple of hours so I'm really happy with the progress.

    Here's my initial ideas for its uses after setting the PDA up with an ad-hoc wi-fi network to the CarPC:

    - Controller for NOS
    - Display for rear view camera
    - ........ Here's where I ask for suggestions! lol

    more to come.

    Jon

    P.S. If you're wondering why the PDA isn't mounted centrally in the holder, it's because the circuit board from the Dell docking/charging station that I stripped down is about an inch high and plugs into the bottom of the PDA so it needed a bit more space, function over form!

  • #2
    Subscribed. I have an old Ipac PDA. May be able to put it to use.
    ****************************************
    OLD SYSTEM (DEAD)
    Intel D945GCLF2 Dual Core ATOM
    Lilliput 7" 629GL 2008 LED Backlight
    BU-353 USB GPS Receiver / iGuidance / IGO8
    M2-ATX Power Supply
    RideRunner Front End / Various Skins
    Windows XP SP3

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    • #3
      Fabrication looks good so far, keep us updated
      VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
      Final Install
      CarPC progress: 95%

      Comment


      • #4
        Great idea! And indeed, many of us probably have an unused but useable PDA lying around.

        Would you care to explain:
        Originally posted by Greeno2k8 View Post
        - Controller for NOS
        - Display for rear view camera
        - ........ Here's where I ask for suggestions! lol
        What is NOS?
        How would you get your image on this screen?

        A suggestion for another application: Seperate nav display or turn by turn nav indicators.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the comments. Gomer, by NOS i mean nitrous oxide. It's controlled by my car-pc but I could use the PDA as a remote control to the carpc.

          I have a program called netremote which lets you create your own custom remote controls for PDA's and send the commands that they generate out via infra-red or wi-fi, i guess its meant for things like media/entertainment centres. In my case i'd use wi-fi to send the commands to the carpc then my front end can do whatever it has to in response.

          For the rear camera I'd likely hook the video up to a video capture device on the carpc and then setup a video server. The PDA could then log into the video stream again over the wifi. Haven't really put too much thought into its uses just yet but im sure its possible.

          Anyway, fabrication is just about done, got paint on there today. I'll give it a day or two to harden then fit it back into the car. I've run a USB cable and power feed up into the roof lining ready for hook-up.

          Here's a couple of pics, you can also see the console that it fits into in the last one:









          I'll update again once its all in and running.

          Jon

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          • #6
            Awesome!
            Tidder

            Try RevFE
            The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


            I Wish I could ban people

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            • #7
              I'm not gonna lie... I was rolling my eyes when I started reading.

              However, by the end of the first post I wasn't. Looks good, and I like the idea!
              Play with it, 'til it's broke.

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              • #8
                One thing Im curious is if this unit has a cable for composite video out? If it did, it may actually be a good solution. You can put Centrafuse CE on it and have the same functions as a car pc. As far as audio, you can simply put it into your headunits AUX port.
                Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                4X MK808b
                3x Perixx Touchpads
                3x 7 inch Screens
                1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                1x Win 7 PC

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the replies guys, much appreciated.

                  I was looking into the pin-out details for the docking connector on the bottom of the PDA and it does have RGB output lines, but i'm pretty sure that these aren't normally functional and would require some device specific software to get them up and running (even then, supported resolutions/refresh rates would be another matter.) I also have a slightly older Toshiba e740 PDA, this has an expansion module with a VGA output, from memory I think it can support up to 800x600 but again its was only ever usable with specific applications so some software work would be required. The toshiba also has a USB port which ive used in the past to hook it up to mass storage devices (ext hard drives etc). So it certainly has possibilities for development.



                  It certainly seems like with a bit of work it could be done.

                  Now I just need to decide what to do with the toshiba, lol. Could put it behind the fuel filler cap so I can watch family guy whilst filling the tank! lol, maybe not.

                  Jon

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                  • #10
                    So, what would you be able to do with you DELL? Is it simply a personnal agenda...?
                    VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
                    Final Install
                    CarPC progress: 95%

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To be honest I havent put a whole lot of thought into what I'm gonna do with it. At the moment I'm putting all of my efforts into getting all of the hardware/electronics installed in the car. I'll work on developing software when all of that's done.

                      Jon

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Greeno2k8 View Post
                        To be honest I havent put a whole lot of thought into what I'm gonna do with it. At the moment I'm putting all of my efforts into getting all of the hardware/electronics installed in the car. I'll work on developing software when all of that's done.

                        Jon
                        What operating system is on it? If its Windows pocket PC 2003, then CF CE will work, i think. So that takes care of alot programing.... I think CF ce will do everything, even NAV... Im not 100% sure on that since CF CE never really caught my attention.

                        EDIT: Silly me, I didnt see that you already had a CAR PC installed..... So what will be the purpose? If you would have made it so you can pop it out and hold it like a remote, you could have used it to control the Car PC.
                        Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                        1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                        4X MK808b
                        3x Perixx Touchpads
                        3x 7 inch Screens
                        1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                        1x Win 7 PC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi,

                          Might be a bit of a mis-understanding here. I already have a carPC installed in the car running XP SP3 and a custom front end which is the guts of the system and pretty much controls everything in the car. I'm planning on using the PDA as an extension to this. Two-way communication between the two units at the programming level is pretty simple using socket communications over wi-fi so the software that i'll be putting on the PDA wont directly control anything, it'll just send commands to the CarPC and receive feedback/status messages in return.

                          There's more info on my worklog thread:

                          Coupe Worklog

                          Jon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Post Edit: lol

                            I've got my current phone set-up with both microsoft remote desktop connection and a custon netremote remote control for the carpc so a 'mobile' remote is already in place.

                            I think at the moment, the primary uses are gonna be display for a reverse camera and remote control for the NOS. I already have an OBD interface installed to the carpc, so I might also develop an app to display some info from that on the PDA. My front end for the carpc is intentionally kept quite 'clean' so various bits of info from the OBD would be better suited to the PDA anyway.

                            I'll keep the thread up to date with developments, but for now all my attention is on finishing the rest of the interior. Now that the fabrication and cabling has been installed, that part of the project can go on the back burner.

                            Jon

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                            • #15
                              Just got it installed in the car and it works perfectly. Took a bit of messing around to give the cables enough freedom to let the PDA flip up and down without getting caught anywhere, but got there in the end.

                              Here's a quick pic of how it looks, but to get the full effect you need to see the video which is linked below.

                              Flip Down Poacket PC



                              Just need some software to run on it now!

                              Jon

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