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Project start for 1965 Mustang Fastback

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  • Project start for 1965 Mustang Fastback

    Hi there, new to the forum, have been reading a bunch over the last couple of weeks and I think I am ready for some feedback.

    Most of what I read on the forum seems to be for late model vehicles.. mine is not, so I have some possible unique challenges.

    Overall I am a computer engineer and a general geek.. if I want to I can build anything.. so here goes my next project.

    The Car: 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, 289 HiPo, 4 speed gearbox, 4.11 positrack rear-end.. no power anything... original audio: 8-track player and AM radio. The car is currently being professionally restored to be my weekend driver.

    The project: install a computer, sound, network, touchpanel, motor information tracking, camera, video log, internet into the car without altering anything on the original vehicle.

    The plan:
    The main computer: a Dell laptop (C400 that I have) with 12 volt power supply, automatic power management (shutdown and boot from disk) running Linux (probably RedHat or Fedora) and possibly wine or CX office.
    Attached to the computer : BU303 GPS, USB 802.11g network card, web camera, cingular edge GPRS modem, hard wired (10BaseT) network, car power adapter, external power amp, USB tach to engine.
    User interface: Converted 3Com Audrey internet appliance, running VNC to control the main computer. This system is cheap and stateless. Connected to the 10BaseT network.
    Sound: Amp in the trunk, speakers behind the backseat and under the dash (without modification of the original car !!!.

    While running I want to be able to:
    - play sound
    - GPS tracking
    - record video
    - Record still images, GPS location, engine state and upload to video log on internet in real time.
    - monitor GPS and engine statistics
    - surf the internet
    - automatically update sound library from central server in house (when parked in garage)
    - switch between 802.11 and GPRS network as available

    Planing to install everything in the trunk in a double bottom, with a lexan (or alike) cover, the touchpanel will be installed under the original dash in the center where the airconditioning would be if the car had one.

    I am also planning to setup a website with information as the project goes forward and to post my video log and gps location info when it is done.

    Any feedback ideas?
    Question that I have:
    - Bad idea? or pretty cool?
    - Anyone done this before?
    - Has a tach/rpm interface to a computer been build before? can I buy one? or where can I get the design?
    - Audrey as an interface?


  • #2
    We need pics of the car!!! :-)


    • #3
      Originally posted by 65_2plus2
      Any feedback ideas?
      Question that I have:
      - Audrey as an interface?
      A friend of mine has an Audery that he keeps on his bar at home for looking up drink recipes and the answers to stupid trivia questions. It always appeared to run slowly to me. Why use it instead of a standard 7-inch touch LCD? You don't mention anything about watching videos so that's not a concern. And the Audrey's near zero boot time is irrelevant when you still have to wait for the laptop. I'm just not seeing the advantages to using it.

      BTW, very nice car. 65 was a good year for the Mustang. As will 05 be when the new Mustang convertible comes out.


      • #4
        Because I have one?

        Best reason I have, because I have the Audrey..

        Other reasons include the relative simplicity of building this into my dash.
        The client/server model doesn't limit me to one computer, I can run others if I want to with the Audrey screen being the front-end to all.

        Audrey runs a real-time OS called QNS.. very nimble and fast. The Audrey is actually a pretty fast system once you load a good OS image on it.

        I can use the Wake On Lan feature on my Laptop with the Audrey, don't have to deal with a remote power button.

        But you may be right, I may be making it extra complex for no reason.. What are the experiences with lcd touchscreens under linux? what about computer in the trunk and screen on the dash any cabling length issues?

        I agree about the mustang.. great years 65 and 05.. but we are quietly waiting for the Cobra convertible.