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  • Griffin Powermate as only input device?

    Hi guys,

    Does anyone here use JUST a griffin powermate (or similar) to control their car pc?

    I'm getting sick of not being able to see the screen due to the dullness added by the Touchscreen overlay so I'm thinking about doing a new install with just a normal tft and a griffin powermate 'ala i-drive!

    How does RR handle only being navigated via something like this ?

    Cheers!

  • #2
    I'm using a Contour Shuttle Pro to control RR, and all other applications on my CarPC. It can easily be configured to send any key or key combination, and it automatically switches profiles between applications. The keystrokes, in turn, can be defined in keytbl.ini to control almost all RR functions. The only downside to the Shuttle Pro is the size. Google their website for more information -- I think it is a very good solution.

    Kirk

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply Kirk, I'd be interested to hear how you handle satnav using a device like that, since when the GPS is embedded into RR surely RR would just take control of the inputs and wouldn't be passing them to the GPS?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by swift_gti View Post
        Thanks for your reply Kirk, I'd be interested to hear how you handle satnav using a device like that, since when the GPS is embedded into RR surely RR would just take control of the inputs and wouldn't be passing them to the GPS?
        I think this may be the most tedious thing to do without a keyboard. If you rely on the on-screen keyboard, you can scroll through the keys (arrow up, down, left, right) and have an enter button defined. I keep a small RF keyboard in my console for entering text to avoid the hassle, but I rarely use it. It was about $30 at BestBuy, and meant to attach to a playstation 2 controller. It works perfectly, and fits in the palm of your hand.

        Kirk

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        • #5
          The idea is great, but i wouldnt trust it to the powermate. It is unreliable sometimes which makes life difficult without another input device. I originally wanted to go that rout as well. The only downside is using a control knob to navigate, you will be essentially just rotating it to tab through button choices. That means youll have to watch the screen more to tell where your cursor is.
          Car Pc progress meter:
          [-5%-------------------] Carpc build #2. So far, 20$ deep! I love recycling!

          "The car is the closest we will ever come to creating something that is truly alive" -Sir William Lyons
          My worklog

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          • #6
            Yes thats the problem I foresee.. that and getting it to work correctly with an embedded program such as GPS.
            I have been looking at another device that is similar to the Powermate but also has directional control (like a joystick) this could be useful for switching track etc.. with a nudge of the stick instead of having to look at the screen..

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            • #7
              Maybe this will help

              I don't even have a car pc yet, but I have been thinking about this for a while.
              This is the solution I came up with.
              Why not mount a track-ball mouse in your center console?
              Basically you could dismantle it, and mount the ball under the center console, with the top half of the ball sticking out. If done correctly you would have a perfectly functioning mouse in the center console.

              The main reason I was thinking about this, is because I don't really like any of the front end software I've tried. I haven't tried road runner yet, because I can't get it to work. That's a different story, but if anyone could help me out with this that would be great. Basically I think I just need to configure it properly. I dont even know how to tell it where to find my music on my hard drive, and I have no idea what some of the buttons do. If anyone has a good working, basic "config" they could send me that would be awesome. As well as some instructions on how to install said "config".

              At this point I feel like I just want to do the "mouse" idea I have, and use iTunes as my player. I like the idea of having a front end program, but it seems like more of a pain in the @ss than it's worth.

              Any input on this would be appreciated, thanks

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sydneyACE View Post
                At this point I feel like I just want to do the "mouse" idea I have, and use iTunes as my player. I like the idea of having a front end program, but it seems like more of a pain in the @ss than it's worth.

                Any input on this would be appreciated, thanks
                I used my carputer with no front end for about a month, when I first installed it. I used winamp for my music. This was bad because: 1) windows desktop looks tacky in a car, and most importantly, 2) the buttons are TINY... I had to try really hard to click on tiny little buttons with my touch-screen.

                If I had a trackball instead of a touch-screen, I think it may be a little easier, but still require me to put alot of attention to the screen just to click on a button. Now I have road runner and I just use my finger to press a big fat button on the touchscreen without even looking away from the road, using my peripheral vision, just as if I had a real head unit.

                Alot faster/safer/easier.
                2008 Mustang GT CarPC

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                • #9
                  I have a griffin powermate as a volume knob, but would never consider it for use as anything else.. all it does is rotate and click.

                  Check out the SpaceNavigator control. It moves in all 6 directions and can also be tilted in all 4 directions. I think it runs about $50 on Amazon.com.

                  [media]http://www.3dconnexion.com/3dmouse/images/PZM.jpg[/media]

                  http://www.3dconnexion.com/3dmouse/spacenavigator.php
                  2008 Mustang GT CarPC

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                  • #10
                    Okay someone's going to punch me in the face for saying it again... but if you have the room NOTHING beats a touchpad



                    If you have room for it' easier to reach than the screen and you don't get finger prints all over your screen (hell you never even touch your screen)


                    Got mine from newegg.

                    P.S thats my bass control knob beneath the touchpad
                    My Install

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                    • #11
                      I just got a Griffin PowerMate and installed it yesterday. It is perfect for controlling the volume and easier than using the Roadrunner screen buttons for that. I would hate to try to use it as my only input device for everything though. You would have to put a large amount of effort into setting up every application you would use for it and it would still be limited and require more attention to the screen than other methods.
                      ~Jimmy

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                      • #12
                        The point of using the Contour ShuttlePro is the programmable buttons. You have 13 buttons to define as you wish, and they can do different things by screen. The jog wheel in the middle can always adjust volume. I can navigate between skins, control functions such as next, previous, mute, vol+, vol-, etc. without ever looking at the screen. I also use it to control winamp directly, outside of RR. Just about everything you want to do in winamp has a keyboard shortcut which can be assigned to a button or jog wheel.

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                        • #13
                          I have a hacked powermate, but I only use it for volume control.

                          I hacked up a game pad and used CDr's Joypad 3.1 program (15 programmable inputs) to make buttons on the dash for audio, gps, ff, rwd, pause, mute, etc.

                          I also have a piece of hardware called "carbuttons" purchased off a guy named "madhacker" that allows me to use my steering wheel controls through Girder.


                          Just like a factory system, never have to look away from the road to control anything. Almost everything can be done by feel.....
                          For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
                          Leonardo Da Vinci

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the replies everyone, the SpaceNavigator looks to be the best of the bunch so far, but it looks very big! Anyone hacked one of these apart and just used the internals with a smaller dial ?

                            Also, how would I go about configuring it for use with RR etc.. the website says it works with over 100+ apps but I'm guessing that you can somehow customise it for other apps too ??

                            The touchpad looks like a great option but would require lots of extra toys to make the system usable without looking at the screen too much..

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                            • #15
                              keep in mind if considering a mouse or trackball, when you hit bumps the pointer will be all over the place. I'd imagin it to be pretty annoying when watching movies. I went the touchpad route. Works like a charm and not to mention if you have issues with your touchscreen usb not being found after stand by or hibernation, then problem solved.
                              http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...06-vw-gti.html

                              Snowperformance.net
                              vwvortex.com

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