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  • Pocket PC-based carputer idea.

    To cut the long story short, I have a Toshiba e740 Pocket PC (can be bought for $115 on eBay). It's a full-featured little computer with a 400MHz processor, 64 MB of RAM, wi-fi, microphone, touchscreen, CF and SD slots. Sounds nice, but isn't it a little too small?
    Well, here's where the expansion pack comes in. I just found this today:


    /\ this plugs into your Toshiba Pocket PC (this is compatible with quite a few models). The device lets you connect a VGA monitor to your PDA. It also enables your PDA to accept various USB devices with the proper driver. You can use a USB hub to connect things like external hard drives, CD-R/RW drives, DVD drives, keyboards, mice, etc, etc. Most of those things have Windows CE drivers written for them. Anyways, I had this crazy idea of using the Pocket PC for a carputer, or to be precise - as a second computer in my car to be used fot GPS navigation and various miscelaneous things. There are programs out there that will make your Pocket PC work in resolutions up to 1024x768 so this sounds like a good deal to me.

    Anyone else out there thinks that this could be done?
    00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
    Newest install - my quickest ever
    My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
    My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

  • #2
    that's pretty sweet. Do you know if iPaq's have those?

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    • #3
      Do you have a link to the expansion packs?

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      • #4
        I had an e740 an it was a great, buggy little pocket pc... Why would you want to run your PPC at 1024x768? Are you talking about the VGA output from the expansion pack? For a while I used my PocketPC as an MP3 player in my car and it was horrible...bad audio quality to my amps, hard to see, and I had wires running everywhere.
        Compaq v6719 Athlon X2 tk-57
        Xenarc 7" Dash Install, iGuidance w/ iGPS 500
        HD Radio, Powermate, ShuttleXpress, XMDirect, DC/Auto turn on, Pioneer TS-C720PRS, 2 12" MTX BTE's, JL 500/1 and RBC

        94.3% of all percentages are made up

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        • #5
          I think he is talking about a more integrated scenerio. Like use the expansion pack connected to a lilliput or something.

          I think that this is the road less traveled becasue the lack of software that is out there for CE

          Good luck anyhow and post lots of pictures
          -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

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          • #6
            Sounds like a good idea to me. Everything adds up! I wonder if you can get a lilli touchscreen working with it. Thats a cool little project.
            I used to play music, and watch videos from my IpaQ 3670[ARM Processor} all the time in the car. Never had any sound issues. Sounded great actually. Wonder how that toshiba sounds.?
            I'll be watching this thread!
            Status: [|||||||||-] 90% finished
            My 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo SS Install

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            • #7
              Originally posted by antimatter
              I think he is talking about a more integrated scenerio. Like use the expansion pack connected to a lilliput or something.

              I think that this is the road less traveled becasue the lack of software that is out there for CE

              Good luck anyhow and post lots of pictures
              I think you shouldn't have problems finding software for just about anything you may need to do. If you can program, even just a little, you can overcome any issues related to software. That expansion pack is pretty cool! Nice find. I use my Pocket PC with a FM mod. and it works great in the company vehicle (read - no mods allowed )! The sound is what I expected through a modulator (pretty good). I wonder what (if any) USB audio devices have drivers for CE... hmmm They're nice little devices which could make for a easily removable and simple to integrate MP3 player in your car.

              - Jeff
              95 Mustang GT Convertible
              87 Mustang GT Convertible
              My Project | Let's Go Mets! | SCT Tuners

              Project Status [===#===] [Bezel and dash creation]

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              • #8
                Yes, I am thinking about using an external VGA screen for it (hence the 1024x786 resolution). The screen would connect via the expansion pack. The sound coming out of that little device is as good as from any other MP3 player, although you do have to use some tweaking before you can get it to where you want it. There are MP3 softwares for Pocket PC's that have equalizers. My favorite is WinamPAQ, a real nice copy of PC WinAmp, even supports the same skins.


                Now concerning the Lilliput touchscreen, you might have some trouble finding the drivers for a USB touchscreen that would work under Windows CE, unless there are already drivers in the device's ROM. Can anyone tell me if lilliputs are plug&play when it comes to touchscreen? I wouldn't think so since there should be some special software for calibration anyway.
                Here's the link to the expansion pack:
                http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

                There have to be similar devices for other famous brands, including iPAQ. I used to have an iPAQ and it was nice. Even if you are unable to find a VGA pack for your iPAQ you can always use the PCMCIA video card, which is a standalone video card. I don't know if Pocket PCs support two video cards at once though.
                The pros of using a Pocket PC for carputer is that they consume almost no power, they are very flexible (GPS, MP3, DVD, SMS and Internet, cell phone capability) and they take up little space so you can take it with you when you exit your car. I also happen to be a Pocket PC software developer, I can make some really cool animated interfaces for your Pocket PC. If you can imagine it - I can build it. Of course there are certain limitations to the use of PPCs graphical resources.
                Oh, and there are some very good (PSOne quality) games on the Pocket PCs too, so this could also be used as your gaming platform for your kids or even yourself

                My very first Pocket PC was an iPAQ 3635, and I used to connect a 4GB laptop hard drive to it via the CF>PCMCIA>IDE conversion. It worked really well. Now imagine you could connect a USB 2.0 drive (actually you can connect several drives!) to it, wouldn't that be cool?

                And one more thing - the boot time of a Pocket PC is ridiculously short
                00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
                Newest install - my quickest ever
                My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
                My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

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                • #9
                  the lilliput is not plug and play. it comes with a drivers cd.

                  I thought about this idea about 4-5 yrs ago when i had the casio casiopeia. I now have a toshiba e330that I love except that it uses sd (not sdio) and no cf or wifi, so it wouldn't be upgradable.

                  What's going to be interesting is all of the VGA PDAs coming out this upcoming year.
                  Check out pocketpcthoughts.com for more info.
                  --------
                  mykolJay
                  99 Accord coupe
                  http://www.geocities.com/accordpc
                  My Project Thread on mp3car.com

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                  • #10
                    I thought about something like that before with my IPAQ 3970, but I didn't have allot of memory in it, but now, I will have 1.5 GB of memory..

                    DVD to PPC for DVD movies ( 128mb ea. )
                    Divx
                    MP3
                    plus games etc...

                    definately doable...
                    I even use my PPC as an interface to music and movies on PC's on my home LAN.. works great over 802.11b... would work better 802.11g

                    So, I think it's a great ( and cheaper ) route...
                    Keep us informed, as I am interested in your progress

                    Don

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                    • #11
                      I will
                      My PPC is currently experiencing some technical difficulties - broken touchscreen and no backlight.
                      But I plan on buying a new e740 or e755 within the next few weeks since I need it for GPS.
                      00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
                      Newest install - my quickest ever
                      My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
                      My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You know come to think about it a pocket PC device, is actually a very good option costwise. b4 I went in to carputing, I used to use my pocket PC for in car video and audio, but navigation was hard b/c of the small screen. But now the revisit the issue, the problem waesn't really the screensize as much, b/c if you have it sideways like this the Video is pretty ok for in car use(I mean thats the size of come car tv screens, that people bought when screens were expensive).

                        I think what we need on PocketPC end, is an interface software like mediaCar or frodoplayer e.g that has support for the horizonal position like video above, and lots of large buttons to navigate things around.(i.e audio and video).

                        As for memory, these things have the 1gig CF cards available, all you need is to really power them up with car charger, while still not as powerfull as CAR PC, they still pack a punch.
                        Oh also one thing I enjoyed was the instant boot time vs carPC, and well no need of shutdown controller for this guy too.

                        what do u guys think?
                        MY CAR PROFILE (@HONDA SHOWOFF)

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                        • #13
                          Well they have CE.net thats the developer apps for a pc OS but for a PPC OS

                          Maybe some of these VB apps can port to PPC....

                          Maybe something to push, once some of the final releases of back end apps get done.... ATTN: Frodo

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Yuriy
                            I will
                            My PPC is currently experiencing some technical difficulties - broken touchscreen and no backlight.
                            But I plan on buying a new e740 or e755 within the next few weeks since I need it for GPS.
                            There was site that had all those replacement parts pretty cheap..I'll try to find info

                            Also, there are some new models coming out that have CF & SD slots with Wi-Fi and bluetooth..,

                            It seems my 4 year old IPAQ is still pretty modern, with the exception of integrated Wi-Fi ( Ipaq 3970 , 400 mhz , 64mb ram, 48 mb rom, upgraded OS - bootleg ). I paid like $450 for it way back, and I'd like to find another cheap .

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Don 944 LA
                              There was site that had all those replacement parts pretty cheap..I'll try to find info
                              I would really appreciate that. I have fixed Pocket PC's before so it's not a problem. The reason I want to buy a new one is because I couldn't find a replacement LCD for my current device.
                              By the way, a PPC could be molded into the dash!
                              If any of you are looking for an interface, I can make one, although I only do interfaces that launch other applications, I use Flash for all my applications and unfortunately Flash isn't easilly integrated with other apps. But a nicely designed "home page" with all your GPS, MP3, DVD, etc. shortcuts is exactly my thing The rest can indeed be ported. The biggest obstacle are the drivers for certain hardware, like the Lilly touchscreen driver. The drivers aren't very hard to port, I think, but we'll need somebody (read Frodo) with the correct skills to do it
                              00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
                              Newest install - my quickest ever
                              My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
                              My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

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