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Thread: Thanks! (You just didn't know you helped)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Thanks! (You just didn't know you helped)

    Well..... This is the first time I've posted, but I've been here quite some time finding many of the answers I needed for my project... This forum is a GREAT place for Carputer info.

    I thought I would share a couple of things I "figured out" in my project since I took advantage of everyone else finding out the hard way on most items.

    I show my Corvette Pace Car, and I wanted to add a "Carputer" to make it stand out. I have to admit, this is not for the weak-hearted...

    The good news is it is in and working flawlessly (Not QUITE that easily) and it is about the closest I could make it to an acual, working Carputer. Fast install pic below... (I'm going to try make this as short as possible.... Sorry if it's long)

    Because I wanted this thing to do some "stuff" that's not "normal", I had to write my own software.... Image shot below.... (The car outline on the right is a Pace Car strobe indicator with LED's that flash in the same sequence as selected by software)

    The "Not Normal" stuff I wanted to do was;

    Control my Pace Car strobes (around car) with the computer
    Control the Electric Antenna with the computer
    Completely remove the Bose receiver and use computer

    To make this as short as I can, I'll just say it is possible and all works extremely well. To control all the electro-mechanical "stuff", I'm using an 8 relay serial controller board. A click on the software will turn on / off the amps, raise / lower the antenna, turn on strobes and allow strobe pattern selection. (The software also "watches" for the FM app to launch and raises the antenna, then lowers it when the app is closed) Both the front Bose amps and the main amp installed to replace the receiver are also operated by the relay controller / software.

    All peripherals are USB. This way, the only wiring (except the keyboard in the console) is (a lot of) USB from the front and back. This way all speaker, serial, other wiring is in the dash and similar to stereo replacement with an aftermarket stereo. The new amp is behind the monitor

    The monitor is an 8" Lilliput touchscreen (Don't ask.... It took more than 1 to get it right.....)

    Because I needed POWER up front for the FM receiver, USB 2.0 hubs, etc. I chose to use a M1-ATX (also behind the monitor mounted with the Serial Relay Board and USB hub plus a very long terminal strip). This gave me the 5v I needed for my FM and USB, plus enough on the 12v bus for the Lilliput and Serial relay board. It also gives me power supply protection and regulated power for everything.

    The computer was tough.... Not a lot of extra room in a Corvette, plus I wanted to be able to show the software at shows without killing the battery. Because of that, I chose a notebook (Dell Inspiron 8100). I can let the notebook run on internal batteries for computer power (about 5 hours) and use the car battery only for powering the M1-ATX (monitor, usb, relay board). I've had it on for 5 hours with no dead battery problem (Optimus Yellow Top). Because the 8100 does not have USB 2.0 (MUST for video) I used a CardBus USB 2.0 on the Dell. The Dell is in an attached docking station which is hard-wired to the front for boot / reboot switching. It is completely "hidden" in the center storage compartment in the trunk.

    I'll stop before I write a book here, but I'd like to again thank everyone for all the info you posted that kept me from pulling more hair out that I did!

    (Just in case you wondered, the switches under the Monitor is where a slimline DVD was SUPPOSED to go... Uh...... Nevermind.... I'll just say room in that tiny Corvette dash was my biggest challenge..... I have an amp, serial relay board, M1-ATX, USB 2.0 hub, Bose interface and all wiring in there.....)


  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate Moneyfink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    S Ohio
    don't stop we want more, write a book, that is a beautiful install.
    Great car,and it sounds like you know what you are doing.
    My OLD carputer page
    My NEW carPC

    Via Epia M10000, 512 PC2100, Opus 150, 8" lilly touch, 320 GB 7200 WD Caviar

  3. #3
    Jesus Freak antimatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    more pics more details. EXCELLENT

    Mode move to correct forum "Show off your project"
    -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Pomona, CA
    Where do you live? I have seen a car almost identical to that in cupertino numerous times. Were there more than one with those colors?

  5. #5
    Raw Wave justintime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!!!!
    2002 Honda CR-V
    Carputer progress: 90% [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ -]
    Spent so far: $1105.90

    Download the NEXUS Skin for Centrafuse
    ...or even Listen to my music

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate jzgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Nicely done! I like the screen install looks very factory!

    - Jeff
    95 Mustang GT Convertible
    87 Mustang GT Convertible
    My Project | Let's Go Mets! | SCT Tuners

    Project Status [===#===] [Bezel and dash creation]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by sivart321
    Where do you live? I have seen a car almost identical to that in cupertino numerous times. Were there more than one with those colors?
    I'm in Houston.... They made 1163 of these pace cars.... 616 Automatics and 547 6 speeds..... This one's a 6 speed. I've had it since '98 and have put a whopping 11,000 miles on it..... Mostly to car shows and short Sunday drives....


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