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My CarPC progress and request for advise!

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  • My CarPC progress and request for advise!

    Hi all!

    1st post but have sent quite some time over the last few months trawling through all sorts of threads, don't know if it was a good or bad idea, as my head is now spinning.
    I have been involved in car audio for a long time now but decided in the new car I want a carpc as none of the off-the-shelf double din units had anywhere near the feature set I was looking for.

    History of Build
    Stuff I have:
    BU-353S4 SiRF Star IV USB GPS Receiver (ebay) $55.60
    fit-PC3 Pro 4GB (fitpc) $487
    Samsung 830 SSD SATA3 128GB (msy) $115
    Lilliput high brightness 869GL-80NP/C/T-HB 8" ( $314.90
    RideRunner user interface - Free (bit of a learning curve but awesome!)
    Win7 Home Premium 32bit $70
    Intelligent DC-DC Converter with USB Interface & Box ( $138
    ARC Audio KS125.4 mini amplifier $410.17
    Morel Tempo 6.5" coaxials $198.03
    Morel Tempo 6.5" splits $204.99

    Spare console (forum) $70

    To order:
    Creative SBXFI-S51-PRO Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Sound Card - $70 from MSY
    Odyssey Navigator $125 from TWIG Solutions (not sure about this one as my Samsung Galaxy 3 has awesome navigation)

    Running total: $1180.50
    (only includes stuff I have bought so far as wish list changes with progress!)

    To Come:
    Mobile phone integration

    Now today I will be starting to install windows and start getting all the hardware to talk together hopefully before installing anything in the car.

    But I have a few questions which I am hoping people can help me with or point me in the right direction...

    Wants for the system:
    FM Radio (potentially DAB but don't know what the reception is like here)
    Movies (rarely)
    Evoscan for engine diagnostics and data display
    Bluetooth handsfree if possible

    Front End
    Initially I was going to use Centrafuse but after browsing around here RoadRunner gets rave reviews and I like open source stuff (my Andriod phone had the factory firmware on for a total of 2 days).
    BUT I don't want to be fiddling with this all the time. Once setup I would like to just enjoy using it. How difficult is RR to get up and running given the list of functions I want? Centrafuse seemed to be a very easy install and use path.

    If I go the RR path, from what I can find, navigation isn't included. I saw iGuidance mentioned, but does this come with maps? If not where do I get them from and how often are they updated? Centrafuse maps don't appear to be updated very often... So any recommendations of navigation software?

    USB FM Radio (maybe DAB FM??)
    Can anyone recommend a product that will hook into my factory aerial? I only seem to be able to find fairly average or negative reviews of these devices...

    Power filtering
    The fitpc requires 10-16V DC unregulated, but I am worried about spikes and low voltage, especially when cranking at startup and general noise. Has anyone got any suggestions here? I sent an email to the mp3car store and they suggested the DCDC USB device which looks pretty cool and will do startup and shutdown ( ). The fitpc can do auto startup on power on, but I may as well just use the supplies capability if I can figure out how to wire it to the motherboard of the fitpc. But any other options?

    I was going to locate it all in the boot (the screen in the dash up the front obviously!) but what is HDMI and USB like over those distances?

    Phew that was an essay. Hopefully this is the right place for a thread like this, if not let me know.
    Will keep you updated with progress as well!

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by Poita; 07-05-2013, 12:37 AM.

  • #2

    Win7 Pro installed
    Currently running RideRunner on the default skin.
    Music is working (winamp) thanks to the help of a few people on this site.
    Odyssey Navigation is working with the BU-353S4 GPS (thanks TWIG Solutions for the trial software, will be sending some money your way once I am confident the other bugs are solvable)
    Still having some issues with movies using VLC, but I think this is my lack of knowledge in installing plugins, so any help there would be appreciated!

    Get VLC working
    Try a few more skins once everything is stable. I really like Simplistique II but its quite old so not sure if I will have any hassles with that. eLite|Wings is another one which is at the top my list but the download link is missing, waiting for a reply on that one.
    DAB + FM radio and Mobile phone hands free setup. Still got a lot of research to do on these two.


    • #3
      Update again..

      Movies are now all working! I downloaded the VLC plugin found on page 17 of the relevant thread and bingo it worked!
      Using the Reborn skin right now and loving it
      Wifi management is all working from within RR
      Weather is working but having a bit of difficulty working out how to default it to the right spot.


      • #4
        lol another crow eater............ welcome to the madness


        • #5
          Update! Progress has been slow as work has been crazy, but got a bit done over the last few days.

          Pulled the screen apart and started to figure out how to attach it to the console.

          Firstly machining the back of the console so the screen sits as flat and as far forward as possible. Hopefully this will make it look like a factory install. You have to remove all the little plastic tabs poking out and the top metal brace. The viewable area of the screen fits perfectly in the double DIN cutout!



          • #6
            The I needed to attach the screens electronics to it somehow. Made up 4 perspex blocks (drilled and tapped with M3 threads) to go in each corner. Araldited these to the back of the screen and then screwed the PCB to the blocks. Perfect! Reason for such a strong bond is the HDMI cable which will be hanging off the side of the PCB is pretty heavy so I needed to make the blocks pretty big to ensure a solid grip on the back of the screen.

            Then for the buttons from the screen... scratched my head for ages on this one. You need to keep a bit of the frame or the button caps will fall off and you wont have any labels. In the end chopped the fame as shown, used a block of perspex+araldite again and then screwed the assembly inside the sunglasses holder. Neat!! Well I think so


            • #7
              Everything is basically up and working.
              I need to test the DC-DC supply's auto on/off ignition sensing when it arrives.
              Amp and speakers are still to be bought so can't test the output side of it yet, but it all works when using headphones!
              Center console is ready to be installed into the car and cables need to be run. This will have to wait till after exams and the bank recovers enough to buy the audio gear (just bought some mags!)

              Will be trying the audio straight from the fit-pc headphone out at first. Not real confident that this will sound any good, but will try it. If it doesn't sound good I will look for some USB audio card.


              • #8
                Nice work, having a cnc machine helps I'm sure. I'm actually going to be learning to run one myself, as a friend of mine just gave me permission to use it for any projects I have in mind. Can't wait to see what your final project comes out looking like. Good luck.
                F350 Superduty 7.3L Diesel - build thread


                • #9
                  It's not a CNC, just a mill with a digital readout, but gets the job done.


                  • #10
                    It's all up and working! Massive delays due to saving for the audio system and having to return the fitpc under warranty, but it got there in the end!

                    Still working on:
                    Navigation. Will most likely go with the Odyssey Navigator but in communication with TWIG right now as the annoyance of having to exit navigation to change the music etc.
                    Evoscan to hook into my cars ECU
                    Radio (web or DAB or FM, I don't care, any would be great!)
                    Mobile Phone -anyone know of a decent reliable plugin for RR? I have an Android.


                    • #11
                      How has your progress been? I invite you to keep your eye on OpenMobile. Navigation is not finished yet. FM works (via the Visteon or Directed units), DAB will be working. Very easy to set up also.

                      03 Cadillac CTS
                      ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E 2.5ghz Core i3 2GB 160GB SSD
                      Win7 Ultimate - OpenMobile - Directed HD - Wifi
                      OMMaps + MS GPS Puck - WiFi via LTE Android phone
                      2 Zones - Matrix Orbital LCD - Arduino - Build Pics


                      • #12
                        I have been using a Visteon radio for about three years now and have had next to 0 problems once it was setup. The setup took an hour or so to figure out between the drivers, selecting the com port as well as getting RR to recognize it.
                        Car PC parts Purchased [90%]
                        Car PC software Setup [80%]
                        Car Audio setup [60%]


                        • #13
                          Yes, its a shameless plug, but OpenMobile handles the visteon out of the box. Auto detects. You DO have to install the serial cable driver but that's pretty normal.
                          03 Cadillac CTS
                          ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E 2.5ghz Core i3 2GB 160GB SSD
                          Win7 Ultimate - OpenMobile - Directed HD - Wifi
                          OMMaps + MS GPS Puck - WiFi via LTE Android phone
                          2 Zones - Matrix Orbital LCD - Arduino - Build Pics