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Thread: CarPC for older cars

  1. #1
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    Smile CarPC for older cars

    Hi guys, I have a 1973 S1 XJ12 Jag. This means the walnut dash and the LSD inspired interior colours - see http://www.oldclassiccar.co.uk/class...guar_xj6_3.jpg for what I'm working with.

    I want to build a system to do the following:

    Control my thermofans (it's not 100% authentic under the bonnet) - with inputs such as temp, speed, brakes on/off, A/C on/off and with two fan speeds.
    Play MP3s - I can upgrade the stock A/C if I use the space the stereo is currently taking.
    Climate control.

    But I don't want an obtrusive screen and it's an old car so I can't just build a touchscreen into it and have it look factory. If I had a modern car this would be a no-brainer.

    So far I'm leaning towards a fusion brain and a small laptop running a VB2008 program to control it all (I'm familiar with VB). MP3 control via a small iPod like control.

    So is this viable or is there a better way to go? I'd prefer to have a small cradle with an iPod like device that drops in and off I go but I'm pretty sure that's not possible (yet).

  2. #2
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    I'll take that as a huge silent "Go elsewhere to answer that one"

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate jpinkerton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motley_foo1 View Post
    I'll take that as a huge silent "Go elsewhere to answer that one"
    I wouldn't say it's a go elsewhere for an answer.

    If I were you I'd read a bit also in Bugbyte's thread about killing his carPC with an iPhone/iTouch install.

  4. #4
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    You don't want to be controlling mission-critical items from a laptop sitting on the seat next to you (eg - engine fan, lights, etc). I'm not sure I'd use the fusion brain for that stuff with an installed system (requires windows....). For HVAC, interior stuff, you would be OK, but don't get mad when you hit a bump, knock the laptop to the floor, windows freezes and your A/C shuts off....

    The entertainment side is easy.

  5. #5
    Raw Wave treetop777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motley_foo1 View Post

    But I don't want an obtrusive screen and it's an old car so I can't just build a touchscreen into it and have it look factory. If I had a modern car this would be a no-brainer.
    Why not hack a screen into the dash? Done tastfully, it will make the "old" car unique. I would see if it was a full-up restoration (is it?) to original the reluctance to chop-it-up but on a restification - go for it! IMO.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the idea guys, I'll keep an eye on BugByte's progress. As for fabrication, there is a space I can create for a small screen but it requires moving the gear selector and some metalwork so it's a little major for now.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    If it helps, I plan on using the FB in a pre-obd vehicle and an OBDI one to collect anything and everything I can get/make sensors for. Long term I'd like to expose the data collected using the FB with an OBDII simulator so I can piggyback off all the OBD stuff out there instead of re-inventing the wheel.

  8. #8
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    So cgalpin, you're thinking of using the FB to convert non-ODB (and ODBI) data to OBDII data? That's a good idea!

  9. #9
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    Yessir. That way we can leverage all the cool stuff that already exists for OBDII

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