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It all *actually* works!

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  • It all *actually* works!

    Hi all -

    There didn't seem to be a good forum for this, since I don't have pictures yet, but I wanted to share

    I got a first test install of my CarPC done tonight. This site helped me out tons.

    1993 Geo tracker (convertible, with hardtop)
    Lilliput display
    Via TC1000 motherboard (256mb)
    Morex case
    40GB laptop hard drive (toshiba)
    Delorme Earthmate GPS
    Carnetix PSU
    Netgear MA111 USB 802.11b

    I basically put it all together, and I started installing Linux on it. I had some success with this, but to get to the point where I could start using the system for navigation would take too long, so I have temporarily installed Windows XP.

    After checking the wiring, it all works! The carnetix waits a bit after I turn the key to start the PC, then powers it on using the power switch. XP resumes from hibernation in about 20 seconds, and starts up MediaEngine, which resumes playing music where I last left off. When I turn off the car, the carnetix hits the button again, which triggers hibernation and power-off in about 10 seconds total. I loaded all my MP3s on the system, total of about 4GB worth of music. Now to make some playlists...

    The lilliput is powered directly from the battery for the moment, and is velcroed to my dash with industrial velcro (not much room in a tracker for fancy stuff, but I may do an overhead console in the future).

    The Earthmate GPS is working OK, but I'm going to wire the Serial cable described elsewhere on this board for it so I don't need to use the funny com port emulation driver. That should also work better for in Linux. Thanks to advice from this board, I dipped the earthmate in tool coating, which gives it a nice waterproof seal. Moisture may still work its way in, we'll see, but at least it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb on top of my car anyway (my car is currently an eye hurting shade of hot pink). Currently streets & trips doesn't recognize the earthmate as being NMEA, so I need to fix that, but the GPS can get a lock and 3-d fix pretty well in the test application.

    I haven't tested the USB 802.11 much yet, but in the parking lot outside my apt. I can still use my home wireless network. I'm also hoping to be able to use the campus network at my university (start my masters' tomorrow).

    Future enhancements planned:
    *Netstumbler with GPS support
    *better display mount (better display?)
    *Steering wheel switches (using serial switchbox)
    *Radar detector with computer interface (for mapping speedtraps)
    *Automated weather/traffic information retrieval when driving by public access points, automatic camera/gps location upload from same
    *Multiple cameras (cop cam, bumper cam, hidden cam for driver seat)

    All in all, this thing is pretty cool. Thanks for all the help from folks here on the boards!


  • #2
    Forgot to mention - I have a bit of alternator noise at the moment, but I think I've already found two possible solutions to that here in the forums.