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FM Tuner Hardware, Remote Power On, and Windows GPS

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  • FM Tuner Hardware, Remote Power On, and Windows GPS

    Hey guys, new to the forum, not sure if this should go in the audio forum or not.

    Anyway, I saw a thread recently about FM tuners for Android, but it doesn't really have what I'm looking for. I am building a computer to put in my hot rod (Atom board, case and power supply for cars from this site), and I'm building a custom dashboard program (and android app for remote control) for it. My intention is to get rid of the radio head unit altogether, and have just a touchscreen in the car. So far, no problems- apps are coming along fine; the dashboard can control a relay board in the car (hooked to lights, ignition, start, etc), and it hosts external apps inside it so that it looks like the fuel injection tuning software and the GPS app are all part of the same program- really makes it all feel integrated. Part of the plan is to build a radio into the dashboard. Software is no problem, but I can't find any FM radio tuners (or combo TV/FM tuners) out there that I really like. Everything I've found I remember working with 5 years ago when I did video production software for a living, and it's all on Ebay and not from any trusted source (Newegg, Amazon, here, etc). So, the first question is simple- does anybody have a USB (can go PCI in a pinch) FM tuner dongle/card that they can recommend? I have been googling for a few days for things like "PC FM tuner" or "USB FM tuner" and I'm not happy with the results. There are some units I've seen that are like full-on radios that connect over USB, but I don't need all of that- I'll handle the interface side of things. I just need a good, solid, FM tuner.

    The second question concerns the one glaring limitation in my plan. I have my computer and software working as the master control for the car, which is all well and good. Remote start in a 65 El Camino? Sweet, right? Problem is, I can't use it unless the computer is on, and for the computer to be on it requires the ignition be on in the first place. D'oh. So, my idea is to get a second relay card that can be directly controlled via bluetooth, and have that control the ignition (or at least accessory) circuit in the car. I can have an android service that would pair with the relay, and pretty much any time it gets near the car to pair it would turn on the computer, and then I can use the computer to turn on the car itself. My dashboard and computer is set up to do most of the talking over IP via wireless networking most of the time rather than bluetooth, which is cool because when the car is parked at home I'll be able to control it via the web as well. So my second question is this: do you guys see any glaring problems with this plan, or do you have a better alternative? I haven't found anything in the store here that really even approaches the problem of remote power on. The biggest problem I see with the bluetooth relay is battery drain; the car will have 2 batteries on an isolator switch so that I never really get screwed. I am looking particularly at this module:

    Last, and I'll keep this short, do you guys have a recommended navigation suite? I was planning on using MS Streets & Trips, I figure the software is at least well supported compared to some of the alternatives I've seen.

    Thanks for any advice you guys can give me, I appreciate any heads up on pitfalls I may be getting myself into.