Hi guys, I haven’t posted on here for about a year now, I thought after my carputer installation that I would share with you my overall experience...
In a nutshell, it was a total waste of time, and I would really push anyone away from doing it, here's why!
im quite technical myself, and did manage a successful install which I thought worked great, I didn’t have any major issues that I wasn’t able to resolve pretty quickly (apart from getting the laptop to auto power on with the ignition, that was a nightmare solved by using wake on LAN in the end)
my friend installed his first, and I was so impressed at the mere thought of having a computer in the car that I went out and spent £1000 on a laptop, a lilliput motorized screen with built in TV tuner etc, as well as software for gps. And of course all the cables and bits I would need to go with it.
installing it and getting it all working correctly; by which I mean using a relay so the head unit would not totally drain the battery when the ignition was turned off, hardwiring the power from the cig lighter for the laptop etc took a good couple of weeks, and for a time it was great...but then I stepped back
firstly, the screen was crap, when it was sunny you couldn’t see it, a lot of the time it wouldn’t register the touch press’s (that could have been road runner's fault though) the gps used (destinator 3) is totally abysmal and was about 2 years out of date (although map monkey was very nice) the software would crash which would mean having to park up, get out of the car and walk to the boot to power cycle and then sit there for another 2 minutes while it all rebooted again, only to find that sometimes the gps signal would be lost and it wouldn’t register again
ive just finished ripping it all out today, and have replaced it with a nice sony all in one unit that supports Bluetooth A2DP(stream music from phone to unit), Bluetooth calls, as well as standard CD playing abilities (including mp3 etc) for my GPS I use my nokia 6110 which has built in GPS or my N73 with external gps for longer journeys, everything just works nicely! I would strongly recommend if you are close to buying all the bits you need to build your own, DONT, I know my words will fall on deaf ears because if you want to do it your going to do it no matter who says what, I know that I certainly wouldn’t have listened to someone like me saying this when I was considering building mine...
Does anyone else feel this way? Or have things changed a lot in the last year? I suspect not but you never know!!!!