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  • knobs/buttons vs touchscreen?

    I haven't yet built a PC for my truck, but have been trying to give it plenty of thought before jumping in (currently working on replacing speakers and amps first). My questions are for those of you who have built some custom buttons/knobs to go along with your carputer, as well as for everyone who has a touchscreen. Please be honest as I'm really trying to figure out what would work best for me.

    1. If you have both a touchscreen and some knobs/buttons, do you find yourself mostly using the touchscreen or the knobs/buttons in your daily driving?

    2. If you have both, what functions do you use the knobs & buttons only, vs what you use for the touchscreen only. I.e. you just use the knobs & buttons for radio/CD and then use the touchscreen for nav, or something to that effect.

    3. If you have a touchscreen only, do you find it difficult to operate your carputer without looking at it?

    The way I've figured so far, just driving around and really paying attention to how I use my stock stereo, I really like that I can basically rest my hand on the shifter (2006 silverado) and simply extend my finger out to any of the knobs & buttons on it to change stations, CD tracks, etc without even looking. I'm wondering if I'd be able to do the same on a touchscreen with no tactile feedback. I do have the means to build myself some custom controls, I just wanted to know how many of you out there did it and what you think of it vs touchscreen alone.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I have both as well as steering wheel controls

    I use the buttons/steering wheel for FF/Next, Rwd, Play/Pause, Vol+/- and a few other functions

    I use both inputs pretty much equally, but vol knob and steering wheel controls mainly for vol and skipping tracks. Everything else is pretty much touchscreen.

    I found it distracted me from the road too much when driving to use touchscreen only. I went with buttons so I could control the main functions of music by touch for added safety.

    Cheers
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

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    • #3
      I ride with my hand on the shifter, so it might not apply, but...

      With the iMon Ultrabay, I program the 5 top buttons for most used modules: music, xm, "speech command", home, navigation.

      The bottom buttons are previous song, rewind, stop, play/pause, ff, and next song.

      Left knob is scroll and enter, and the right knob is volume/mute or hold down and choose what you want displayed on the imon lcd.

      I find I rarely use the touchscreen and because of the placement, I don't look at the buttons or knobs either.

      The problem is you have to have double din for the imon and then another single din/ double din for the screen.
      My opinion is my own.

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      • #4
        yeah the setup I keep envisioning is a double din screen where my current stock double din HU is, then some kind of custom console with a nice single din HU, and a secondary set of controls somewhere for the nav, music, dvd, etc. I like that idea of two knobs, one for scroll/enter the other for volume/mute.

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        • #5
          I'm working with soundgraph on getting a thin knob/button controller that can be mounted anywhere. Right now they are checking need with their customer base. Wouldn't hurt to go put a comment in their bbs requesting it. Lol
          My opinion is my own.

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          • #6
            I have an 8 direction joystick + rotary knob, steering wheel controls, and a touch screen.

            The rotary knob is awesome for scrolling through and selecting songs. The steering wheel controls are great for changing volume and songs. The touch screen covers all the miscellaneous controls.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dyne View Post
              I have an 8 direction joystick + rotary knob, steering wheel controls, and a touch screen.

              The rotary knob is awesome for scrolling through and selecting songs. The steering wheel controls are great for changing volume and songs. The touch screen covers all the miscellaneous controls.
              Ok....he wins.
              My opinion is my own.

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              • #8
                I have a touch screen and a SpaceNavigator (using RBC9 driver). I find I use the touch screen only when I'm setting a nav location or adding songs to a play list. I use the SN for volume (rotate left right), play/pause (short press down), media/music menu (pull up), main menu (long press down), next/previous track (slide left/right), menu/list scroll up down (slide forward/back).

                The device also has rock left/right and rock forward/back but I don't use those. I had originally had it set to rock left/right to fast forward/rewind the song but never used it so I disabled it. One of the benefits of this device is that you only need to grab one knob and not worry about finding any other buttons for control.
                Nick - 08 GG Element
                Custom 3D-CAD Design, Reverse Engineering and Fabrication

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                • #9
                  That SpaceNavigator looks awesome... Now I have to think of somewhere to mount that in my car without it looking out of place or being cumbersome to operate.
                  Planning: Never ends!
                  Parts: Strewn about the house...
                  Install: Someday soon...

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                  • #10
                    that is an awesome input device, may have to get one just for giggles if nothing else

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ik632 View Post
                      I have a touch screen and a SpaceNavigator (using RBC9 driver). I find I use the touch screen only when I'm setting a nav location or adding songs to a play list. I use the SN for volume (rotate left right), play/pause (short press down), media/music menu (pull up), main menu (long press down), next/previous track (slide left/right), menu/list scroll up down (slide forward/back).

                      The device also has rock left/right and rock forward/back but I don't use those. I had originally had it set to rock left/right to fast forward/rewind the song but never used it so I disabled it. One of the benefits of this device is that you only need to grab one knob and not worry about finding any other buttons for control.
                      My control knob is similar to the spacenavigator in that it has the 8 direction joystick + rotary encoder (it also has a center push)

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                      • #12
                        That spacenavigator is really cool looking, but wind up having same problem as I did with the powermate. No place to put it.
                        My opinion is my own.

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                        • #13
                          I'm pretty sure my cup holders will be replaced with the spacenav, a slot load DVD, and any miscellaneous connection plugs I decide to have. Food and drinks are a huge no go inside my car so it won't be a huge loss, I'll just have to stash my loose change somewhere else.

                          Only issue is going to be testing that spot to see if it's comfortable to use while driving.
                          Planning: Never ends!
                          Parts: Strewn about the house...
                          Install: Someday soon...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mjb_ View Post
                            I'm pretty sure my cup holders will be replaced with the spacenav, a slot load DVD, and any miscellaneous connection plugs I decide to have. Food and drinks are a huge no go inside my car so it won't be a huge loss, I'll just have to stash my loose change somewhere else.

                            Only issue is going to be testing that spot to see if it's comfortable to use while driving.
                            In a 350Z, the cupholders are out of reach or inside consoles.
                            My opinion is my own.

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                            • #15
                              The big metal base is also removable if you need to in order to mount it. Someone with an E46 BMW removed the bottom and rear mounted it to a panel and it turned out really nice. For my install I just have it on a 3" tall standoff in a cubby next to my parking brake (link in my sig).
                              Nick - 08 GG Element
                              Custom 3D-CAD Design, Reverse Engineering and Fabrication

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