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System ideas

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  • System ideas

    Greets everyone! I'm totally new to the idea of a carputer, but not to computers in general. I've been itching to try chipping the ecu in my car but I've been worried about the downtime between logging and chip burning and such that I just stayed away. My ideas of building a new system have resurfaced with the current engine build I've gotten started on and I'm hoping that this is the place to ask my questions. I'm looking to datalog though a usb connection on my ecu to a program called Crome/CromePro but I don't own a laptop and I really don't like the idea of lugging it around anyway....too many dishonest folks around.....

    Anyway, I thought I'd start with a smallish mobo with integrated sound/video to begin. Running an inverter for power and remotely mounting an external dvd player in the place of my stock head unit. I own a '93 del sol and the flip up cover hides things nicely, and the ash-tray cover also has some possibilities for hiding the controls and such. My final build would play dvds/mps/cds and possibly navigation software through a touchscreen (lilliput probably) and, given the current pricing of large harddrives lately, a somewhat huge sata hard drive. I'm thinking on hiding the touchscreen either in the ashtray compartment (if there's room of course), or hiding it from casual view for the initial construction. I really haven't completed enough research on hardware yet, so what I'm really looking to find are opinions on whether or not it's feasible. I was thinking to drop the head unit entirely and pick up an FM receiver eventually....possibly XM or some such in the future.

    I was hoping to run linux with Crome but it's not an option so it'll probably be WinXP. Once I start gathering more info on the hardware, I'll get a bigger picture of where I want to go and how I can get there.

    Thanks for looking and I hope to see lots of opinons!

  • #2
    First off, welcome

    Secondly, everything that you mention has already been done. It's nothing new. I suggest you do a bunch more research and actually read what people have done.

    Small form factor MOBOs are the norm, inverters are not (I'll argue that at least).

    Congrats on the ingenuity to think it all but, but just realize that it's nothing new. It's been done before. User this site to discover what others have done. Look at the products that other members use. Read their reviews of those products. See if their specs meet your applications. THEN purchase.

    Essentially, what I gather from your post, is that you're asking if what you want to do is possible. I just find this a little funny because it's what this entire site is dedicated to....

    Enjoy our hobby! Welcome to the addiction!
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!


    • #3
      Thanks for reading and responding... I knew that it's all been done before, but there seems to be two separate followings....those with carputers for music/navigation/videos, and those using standalone/laptop control programs for engine management. I've been searching both as well as here but there's really nothing (that I've found so far at least) that runs an in-car monitoring system for both engine management and enjoyment (i.e. tunes and movies). I'm certain that _someone_ has done it somewhere....I just want to make sure that I go the right way with it....

      After doing more research, I've realized that a DC-DC power supply would be best. So once I get the build ideas finalized, I'll get the appropriate ps for what I'm running. The next thing that bugs me is the screen. Everyone seems to be using touchscreens but I'm worried about the engine management software and the small boxes and such...not to mention getting it a bit dirty from working on the motor. I'm definitely leaning towards a simple display with some sort of input device separate...probably a trackball type that I can conceal. I like the idea of the mouse but having a usb wireless mouse uses both the usb power and batteries for the mouse whereas a simple usb trackball type wouldn't have to worry over batteries and I can hide the cabling easily.

      Like you said though, it's definitely an addiction! I think the hardest part is doing enough research so that I plan it all out BEFORE I go buy the just wanna get to building you know... Nice pics on your site btw, thanks again!


      • #4
        You are on the right track, keep us posted with the progress.
        D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

        Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

        Read the FAQ!


        • #5
          the first carpc I ever did, was because of the need to tune my then dfi setup, music & video was just a side bonus to me at that point...... a pc built into the car is so much better than a laptop to tune, data log... etc..
          MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

          first windows carpc liquid cooled LVDS screen :D


          • #6
            hehe - thanks btw!

            We're in the contemplation stages of running standalone on our truck (link). Difference is that we would probably be able to run a 10.4" in it. A stylus is an option in that instance.

            The way i had it all thought out:

            You wouldn't need to make a lot of on the fly adjustments, mostly on the fly stuff would before changing maps to run different fuels, etc.

            Most of the intense functions would be done when stationary. In that instance, remoting into the CarPC with a laptop would be the best bet. Like when you're at the dyno, tuning.

            Dono if this is the same situation you are looking at or not.
            Jan Bennett
            FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

            Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!


            • #7
              Nice projects you guys, thanks for the links! And that woodgrain from your first install...

              A stylus for input crossed my mind early on, but I figured that my wife would think it was a pen that didn't work and throw it away.....I can imagine buying at least 4 of those things before she quit doing it.......

              The biggest attaction to the software would be datalogging of course....if only for the show effect. I still haven't made up my mind to go with a real-time programmer like the Ostrich or stick with a simple eeprom burner so I can help my friends out. My first thoughts were to make it somewhat removable so I could help the other guys in their cars....but they change their minds so much that one minute they'll be using NOS and the next it's turbo'ed and then it's NA fully-built! I'm just sticking to what I know best....D-series single-stick banger.