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  • Aussie Offroad Carputers

    Hi all, a couple of us on this forum from Australia decided it would be good to rise a thread for those interested in a carputer for offroad use. So if your idea of going for a drive in a car take you places like this:



    or this:



    this is the thread for you so you can showcase your work, share supplier information and the like. So how about introducing yourself, your rig and your carputer on this thread. So here goes:

    My name is Rod and I live in Brisbane. I have a 2007 Hilux 4 door ute that I bought new in February after the steering failed in my little Suzuki pictured above on the highway at 100 kmh which hurt a bit and prompted me to buy a brand new fourby!

    So here it is:


    Doesn't look anything special, but there is about $10k of extras on it and the suspension is still stock!

    I am modifying an old HP Nx6120 laptop with no keyboard and 9 vertical rows of busted pixels on the screen to drive my carputer. My plan is to use a Xenarc screen in the dash, Silab radio and a Amp behind the back seat. I am using Roadrunner as the front end and will stick with the brushed metal skin.

    My current project is working with Bugger to skin OziExplorer (see http://www.oziexplorer.com/ ), the most popular topographical mapping software out there and we are getting close to make that work. Ozie is not a very well behaived program for car use and it has been hard work, but we are nearly there! Check it out on this thread http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

    By the way if you have Ozie, you will probably want a copy of NatMap raster premium which will give you a 2gb, 1:250,000 topographical map of Australia ( http://www.ga.gov.au/nmd/products/maps/raster250k/ )

    Whilst this is an old thread, it has got a new lease of life over the last couple of weeks!

    I will post a few details about suppliers etc I have found later.

    Cheers

    Rod
    RodW
    2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

    Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
    OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

  • #2
    so solid state hard drive in it then?

    and i guess the passenger cant watch movies while your driving

    Comment


    • #3
      No on both counts mate.

      Would love a solid state drive, but space might have been a bit restrictive with the amount of maps required. Next one will be, but I did replace the HDD before I started.

      For those of you looking for a Silabs USB radio source, I got mine from Farnells ( http://au.farnell.com/ Product Code 1186925) Cost was $70.40 delivered in about a week. Had troubles with the RR Silabs DLL but have got IceRadio working well and it's skin is a good match to the brushed metal skin!

      Rod
      RodW
      2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

      Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
      OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi all,
        I have a ford explorer, my screen is molded in, have a 2.0 p4 board,250 gig h/d,m2 atx power supply,silabs,use FI as front end,silabs works great,also use a free capture program called Debut for recording trips,etc.Mostly use Destinator for turn by turn navigating.I run two batteries and run my comp off the second battery and put it into standby when i turn the car off so it it comes back up in seconds,i also leave my holux gps on all the time so it is always ready to go.
        I use a 1.4 gig laptop with ozi for real time tracking tracks etc, much easier to see.It is great to see excellent work going on with ozi,would be great to get ozi embeded in FI.
        I also belong to Digital car UK, also have a lot of good stuff for carputing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Milssy

          Did you have to modify the dash to get your screen in? Could you post a pic? Not looking forward to hacking up the dash of mine. This may entail relocating the A/c controls.
          RodW
          2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

          Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
          OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Bugger Me

            Hi All...

            Name's Justin and I reside in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. I've got myself a "new" 4by. 1989 GQ patrol wagon with the mighty TD42 and aftermarket DTS turbo running ~12PSI. Mods a many on the way...

            I'm the fool who started the work on the OziExplorer skin... Thanks go to robweb for picking up the graphics and working on this skin with me.

            The carputer currently consists of my home laptop sitting on the back seat running on it's dual batteries (up to 12hrs per charge). I do however have plans:
            8" screen fitted in pod to live on dash which will also hold second UHF - 90%
            Via 1.5GHz microATX system with CF 8GB - almost got funding
            mouse GPS receiver - got already for laptop
            RoadRunner front end with Brushed Metal skin (to be modified to take out video etc) - 60%
            Power supplies for PC and screen - thinking about it


            I'll edit this post on the weekend and put up some pics of my GQ.
            '89 GQ Patrol
            TD42 (go the Diesel!) NEW: Now with DTS Turbo - woot!!!
            "It's times like these you go BUGGER!!!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds petty cool Justin, I was going to go the CF way until my laptop died so am using it for now. I did play around with minlogon etc (I installed the XP embedded demo to get the DLL's) and think it would be good, but Nliteing WinXp might take some time. Note XP does not support more than 2gb SD cards I found out the other day when I bought an 8gb one for my camera, there is a service pack to enable this, but very patchy hardware support. I bought a USB reader with HDSD support which fixed that. I have a supplier somewhere for bootable CF cards, I'll try and dig it up.

              The stuff on the forum about installing minlogon is not quite right, there is a better way, but I got to remember how again! Start at a service pack folder, then DLLcache, then sytem32 from memory.

              Rod
              RodW
              2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

              Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
              OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm looking at using CF to IDE adaptor so the OS doesn't even know about it... fully bootable then too
                '89 GQ Patrol
                TD42 (go the Diesel!) NEW: Now with DTS Turbo - woot!!!
                "It's times like these you go BUGGER!!!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  I didnt have to hack a great deal,7" screens are spot on for a double din, problem is americans always do something different a gave us a din/half in the fords, as i dont use a headunit i now have room in my modified console ( not quite finished) to put my two way radio and the power/ reset/ usb port.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A few links

                    Millsy, thanks for showing me your dash. Very similar to the Hilux one, did you remove the Xenarc fascia?

                    Just a few Aussie links I have unearthed for hardware which might be handy

                    Wireless networking:
                    I have a home network with wireless, so am thinking of adding a network card. This will allow me to remote into the CARPC from my PC using MSTSC which works quite well.

                    PCMCIA Wirelsss network card with external antenna socket $45 – one of the recommended ones out there:
                    http://www.techtopia.com.au/product_...roducts_id/875
                    They also do pigtails to suit various applications including Bigpond 3G wireles cards.

                    Outdoor antenna to suit from same site $45
                    http://www.techtopia.com.au/product_...oducts_id/1013

                    Here is a cheaper indoor antenna
                    http://wifitech.com.au/catalog/produ...d0ec51bd3c03a2
                    (Jaycar also do one for $20) and I’ve got a couple in the house.


                    CF Adaptors and Cards
                    CF Adapters – cheap as chips also ones for laptops, might look more closely at these…
                    http://www.darkwire.com.au/index.html

                    CF Adapters (more expensive) also available here:
                    http://www.mittoni.com.au/flash-card-adapters-c-27.html
                    These guys also do bootable CF cards:
                    http://www.mittoni.com.au/flash-memo...1_253_210.html

                    Silabs FM radio
                    http://au.farnell.com/ $70.40 delivered

                    The RR Temperature sensor kit
                    reasonably priced (look for K145) $39.60
                    Additional DS18S20 sensors available same place $13.20
                    http://ozitronics.com/data.html#k145

                    Cheers, hope these help you out!

                    Rod
                    RodW
                    2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

                    Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
                    OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Rod,

                      How do you find the reception with the Silabs? I have an ADS Intant FM, basically the same as the Silabs.. Uses a Silabs receiver chip in it..

                      I find while driving the reception is a little noisey... I am in brisbane also.

                      I am using new firmware and dll for it, from a thread over on digital-car.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Barty,

                        I soldered on a piece of coax to the Silab over the weekend and plugged it into the TV antenna, was hearing C Fm in Toowoomba and SeaFM at the Gold Coast Clear as day with no static. I'd check your car radio antenna.

                        I had a TV coax splitter (Y-piece) at home, so went up to Dick Smith and bought a couple of fittings, and installed the splitter in behind the dash so I can have the Silab and the head unit sharing the car antenna while I work out how to build my carputer. A couple of us went for a drive up to Mt Mee via Woodford yesterday and I had clear reception all of the way until recepton dropped out for the others as well. I will be looking for some solder on fittings if I can find them.

                        Mine was the other way round, I had noise in the MP3's and a clear radio.

                        I could not get Silabs going under RR so have been using ICERADIO. Today, I downloaded FreeIce from Digital-car today which is what Millsy is using and I go to tell you I think I am going to ditch Roadunner in favour of it. Everything just worked out of the box incluing the radio.. and the interface is so much easier to use than anything else.

                        Anyway, got excited enough to drop in to JB today and found they had a 20% off sale, so bought an amp and some good splits, so ready to rock and roll with this seriously now (once I install it all). As my rig is a ute, I have not got room for a sub. I have only gone with a 2 channel amp as that's all my my laptop sound card supports. We decided that we probably wouldn't hear the rear speakers over the splits... Decided not to buy the $650 Focal splits, but got JB's which were $379 list price less discount.

                        Rod
                        RodW
                        2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

                        Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
                        OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rod,

                          Well, I am running my car computer in an 04 TL Magna... I have custom fabricated a 7" touch screen into the dash..

                          I am running a new Jetway NC62K motherboard and an AMD X2 4850e 2.5G CPU.. I have tiny XP beast edition booting off a 2G CF card with EWF to protect the card. I am using a 250Gb 2.5" USB HDD for FreeICE/iGo8/Music and Videos..

                          I also have coax soldered to my Silabs with a socket for the standard car antenna.. I guess I need to play with it a bit more.. I think my car antenna is a powered antenna (internal amp). Only thing I can think about is that I have the tuner mounted inside my computer case with the antenna socket mounted to the back of the case so that the car antenna just plugs straight into the back of the computer, and I think the coax shield is effectively shorted to the computer case which is probably grounded to the motherboard and power supply. It might be picking up some noise there, might try it out of the case.

                          Yeah, I like FreeICE.. I played with RR and several others... Only thing with FreeICE and stuff that CdRSkull does, it is based off flash and shockwave so it is processor intensive. I just upgraded from a VIA SP13000 board.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I bit the bullet today, ordered a Xenarc 7" 702TSV-SB, 1000 NIT Sunlight Readable Touchscreen LCD/TFT, an M4-ATX power supply, mini keyboard and a USB DVD enclosure rom here http://www.customcarputers.com . Hopefully, I'll be able to relocate the DVD drive from the laptop to the enclosure, Tested that the lappy boots OK without a DVD drive.

                            Based on Bugger's advice, I decided to use a decent power supply with a shutdown/startup controller to my laptop and MTX-4 has a wire to turn the amp on remotely which is usually done by an output on the head unit.

                            At 11 volts the MTX-4 will deliver 12 amps (144 watts), or 96 watts at 6 volt input supply. I got an auxillary 80 amp hour battery to drive this which will be isolated when starting anyway, so voltage should never drop below about 10.8 volts if I remember to turn off the PC when winching! Actually as I think of it, I have a battery link swithc in th efront, If I used a 2 pole switch, I might be bale force a shut down when the batteries are linked. That would be a good 4wd feature.

                            This baby will easilly have enough grunt to run the screen (8 watts), laptop power brick (65 watts), and a 5 volt rail to power a USB hub or two. (it's rated for 20 amps on the 5 volt rail). Hopefully, it will also provide a future upgrade path from the laptop.

                            So all I need to find now is a reversing camera...

                            barty, CPU utilisation does not seem to be an issue on my PC, It is a 1.8gHz Pentium M which I read somewhere are very good for car PC's due to low power.. does not go over 20%.



                            Rod
                            RodW
                            2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

                            Worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ota-hilux.html
                            OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sb-s...iexplorer.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds like your well on your way to a good system.. The M*-ATX supplies are good, I am running an M2-ATX which is more than enough for the AMD X2 especially since I got the 45W version. I also run my 7" touchscreen of the M2-ATX.

                              You will also be pleased that you bit the bullet for the sunlight readable screen.. I bought a cheap eby-701 screen, and it suffers a bit in direct sunlight but I think I can live with it for now.

                              I am also waiting for my USB DVD enclosure to arrive this week so I can relocate my drive from the mini-ITX case.. Since I upgraded to the AMD CPU the drive wont fit in the case, CPU heatsink and fan is just too big.

                              I see your active on digital-car now, good work on embedding oziexplorer. Just have to wait for CdR to stop playing with his kit cars and release FI 2.0...

                              Comment

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