Broadcast radio and CarPC
I have used a car PC in the car for a couple of years now, but I was using a surplus industrial computer that was used as a numerical controller for a cutting table application. I picked some parts out of the electronic scrap disposal at work and managed to get a unit working. I wiped the HD and put XP on it. I installed Streets and Trips for navigation, and winamp for music. In the past year or so I've moved to Road Runner as a Front End to make life easier. The deal is, this industrial PC comes with a 10 Inch LVDS screen. In an effort to keep things simple, I cut the sides off the aluminum chassis that the parts were attached to originally, put wood sides on it, put a plexi back on it, took out the original AC power supply and bolted in an M2-ATX. I then added a cig lighter plug and plugged it in. This made the system portable and removable. I use a Sony radio with a 10-Disc CD/MP3 changer. I was able to get an option box from Sony ($100-Ouch!) that allows for aux inputs to come in on the bus audio input. It actually also has a USB input on it that makes the computer see a pair of USB speakers. The sound is fine, it's digital from the computer to the aux input box, analog from there. I have been toying with the idea of installing this system in a more permanant fashion, as it's slightly uncomfortable to have the passenger hold the portable CarPC. It also dangerous to have it sitting on the passenger seat, as to run it I have to take my eyes off the road (laptop users know what I mean). The problem is that I wish to have it so that the system is not in plain sight when not being used (theft reasons). Also I usually drive older Hondas (Pre-1996), so they usually have a single DIN stereo. Putting the large 10 Inch screen on the dash is tough as it's Huge compared to the dash. I have decided to upgrade and buy a 7 Inch touchscreen that will fit my dash better and get an SSD so I don't have to worry about bumps to the HD. I'm also required to update the motherboard and memory as my old MB does not have SATA, and all new SSD's are SATA. I would then completely take out the sony stereo, and run the audio out of the PC directly to my amps (front-rear-sub). That's fine and dandy except for the extremely rare case when I would want/need to listen to the radio. To be honest, I have only tuned to a radio station in the car once in the last three years. I'm thinking of having the ability to recieve radio broadcasts in the case of emergency or traffic or construction. I don't have a smartphone, and have no plan to pay for a data plan to have one. I read through the entire thread on here of the "FM/DAB radio that finally works" (all 159 pages). It was a very catty thread, and actually most of it does not apply to me as I live in the US (No DAB or DAB+). I did some more searching and found the Directed HD radio module DMHD-1000, and Mitch's cable to control it.
Can anyone tell me if there is a difference between model DMHD-1000 and DMHD-1000I?
Will Mitch's cable and Road Runner work with both models?
I'm excited about going completely PC in the car, I think with an SSD and by using hibernate, I'll get good enough boot times to not even miss the stereo. My brother has a pioneer unit in his car with integrated navigation in a double DIN stereo, and it seems to take a while to start playing music once he starts the car. He usually is getting music off of an SD card or a thumb drive. I'm driving a rented Camry right now that has USB input to the factory stereo, and it's instant music as soon as I turn on the radio. I think that by using the full PC, I'll have the capability to be faster to start the music on powerup than his pioneer.
Anyways, sorry for the long post. Really looking to see if anyone has definitive data on whether the version of the Directed HD Tuner with the "I" on the end of the model works with Mitch's cable and RR. Also if anyone has any feedback on the unit, it would be appreciated. Also any other thoughts, feel free to chime in, and thanks in advance for any ideas/thoughts.
I thought about posting this in the Road Runner area, but it seemed more like a hardware discussion than software. My ideal hope is that Mitch will see this and chime in.
Thanks for the responses...
Thanks for the info. I was hoping you'd see my post and respond. I hope the "what?" question you posted was due to the length of the post. Thanks for taking the time to read it and answer the questions.
I will most likely go with one on ebay, as the prices there seem to reasonable. Of course I'll be ordering your cable. I'm going to read through the manual of the motherboard I'm looking at, hopefully it will have an RS-232 header inside. That would allow me to forgo the USB to Serial adapter.
Presently in the car (a 96 Del Sol), in the trunk, I have removed the carpet at the front of the trunk, next to the rear window, and found that there was several inches of wasted space. I bolted an aluminum panel there, and mounted a couple amps and the CD Changer. With careful placement of the parts, I was able to install all that without interfering with the space that the removable top fits into. I was even able to change the magazine on the CD Changer with the roof in the trunk, with the roof rack in it's raised position. Now that I am ditching the CD changer, I will most likely put the PC and the tuner in the area vacated by the CD Changer. Since the PC will be next to the amps, I'll be able to use shorter RCA cables, hopefully keeping induced noise to a minimum.