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Thread: Looking for advice on a new system

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Post Looking for advice on a new system


    It's been some years since I was active here, and a lot has changed in my life since then.

    These days, I've got a lot less time and a fair bit more money- so I'm easily tempted to buy these premade solutions... but I never really know what I want.

    Right now, my DD is an '85 toyota. She's a bit loud, but a series of events this past winter has put an interior rebuild up in my top 10 project lists. Having said that, the whole dash is coming out- and the one that goes back in might be custom.

    Because of this, I've got basically no restrictions on my car-computer device in terms of size or other requirements- In fact, I have a chance to design a dashboard around it.

    Currently, I have an alpine radio that links to my android phone via bluetooth, where I play pandora. This has a few problems-
    1) the faceplate was stolen so it doesnt work anymore
    2) when it did work, the phone wouldnt auto-start. I had to wait for BT to sync, then take out my phone and start pandora. If I was in my driveway, I had to disable the wifi first, since it would start streaming from that and then crash when I drove away.
    3) It had a hands free thing that worked alright. The car is too loud for this, but before the new dash goes in I have some serious improvements to make- I already know what the problems are.

    I absolutely love the hands free- and these days, its mandatory. What would be nice is if the cars hands free extension of this was a bit more useful- as it is, I can really only answer calls, and it only displays the number of the caller. I'm also a big fan of pandora. Even though they're raising their prices, I'd like to be able to give a quick thumbs down if it starts playing a song I dont like- and I dont want to have to muck about with different programs to do it. HARDWARE buttons for this would be best, but obviously not always the easiest.
    Lastly, my GPS was also stolen- I never used it because my phones GPS worked better, but now that its gone I'm noticing that I did use the thing- not for navigation, but for speed limits. It would always know (roughly) what the speed limit was, which was nice.

    What would be really spiffy is if I could get a gps-like device ( a screen ) that mounted up by my mirror that used my phones GPS abilities. The google GPS is great, it does a good job with traffic, construction, etc.

    I dont have a firm grasp on what I want or even whats available, so I guess that's what I'm hoping the community can provide. I'm guessing tablets have gotten pretty common as car-puters these days, perhaps there's software (and hardware) that could make a tablet useful for these purposes? Heck, I could even pretty easily re-purpose a laptop, but I never cared for the software.

    I'm going to be browsing the forums to see what other people are doing, but the goal here is ease of use. I dont want to have to muck about with it for music to start playing when I get in the car- and I really dont like the idea of having to store mp3's (or whatever kids use these days)- streaming is where its at, since I've got an internet connection in my pocket anyhow. Assuming the hands free works well, I'm not adversed to having to throw the phone on a usb dock to make everything work, assuming its easily adapted to different phones, since I do go through one almost every two years.

    I'm also not terribly adversed to some sort of low power always on device, within reason.
    I'm thinking of installing a secondary deep cycle battery in the car to power some other gizmos I've been working on and wiring it up only to charge when the car is running.
    Last edited by netman86; 03-24-2014 at 04:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Raw Wave
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I only have a suggestion for your very last sentence. (Yeah, so trivial isn't it?)
    Use your alternator's charge light to turn on a relay to connect your secondary battery(s) whilst charging. Being '85 vintage the alternator (Nippon Denso?) L-circuit should have no problems powering a typical relay.
    And re fusing, I'd suggest self resetting circuit breakers at each end (up to 50A) and a relay to suit - ie, 60A, or 30A if fusing is 30A or less.

    Search for uibi, or google 'uibi oldspark' for more info. Or maybe better still, just ask.

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Thats it, eh?

    Well, lets make it a little more simple- can a tablet be wired into an amplifier and act as a bluetooth radio/hands free device?
    That way my phone could keep doing all the work, and all the tablet would have to do is connect it to the car. That would be enough to get it going, and then I could work on things like GPS later...

    Really, the priority is music- going to go nuts soon without at least that and put in another cheap head unit. Hands free is required in this state if you want to use the phone in the car- so that's also pretty high on the list.

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