Silabs USB radio arrived yesterday - that was fast! One day to Cairns. Reception depends on little wire antenna - how do you hook up to existing car antenna?
Hi Everyone, quick intro
2.8TD Rodeo dual cab, been following this thread, and many, many others over the past 2 days. On hols, so doing some carputer research. Want to replace current JVC CD/MP3 head unit as it skips a lot, and want to move to GPS. I geocache - based in Cairns, Qld.
I have a background in IT but getting lazy and don't want to tinker too much. Have RR and Destinator 7 running on the laptop (MacBook) with a Holux GR-213 USB GPS. Spent hours on getting MapMonkey running - not impressed? FreeDrive just crashes. Purchased OziExplorer yesterday and one set of maps for Far North Qld. Works well.
Here is what I am looking at purchasing in the next few days - comments and feedback most welcome.
From Ebay - The Mobile Computing Solution
*Mini ITX 1.6G Dual Core Atom 330, M2-ATX, 1G RAM, 120G HDD, USB DVD, BlueTooth
-Price: Around AUD$625 delivered
Features I like are the rubber mounts on the mainboard and drive, included bluetooth, DVD drive, wifi (option $49), but best - it has a 12V regulated supply from the M2 to run the touch screen.
Also from Ebay - The Mobile Computing Solution
* Lilliput 629 7" Inch LCD Touch Screen VGA Monitor
- Price: Around AUD$355 delivered
Features I like include same supplier as carputer, Lilliput seems to be the go if you are on a budget, the new 629 has LED backlight 500 to 1 contrast, 400cd/m2 brightness. Seems a good compromise on price without going transflective.
USB Radio already ordered from Farnell (thanks to this thread)
I am sure I could build one for a bit less here in Aus, but I am kinda over looking at all the different options, and the limited suppliers here in Oz. I figure a mass manufacturer in the US might just work out as cheap as me spending hours.
The Adventure Begins...
Not sure carputers and not tinkering too much are a compatible mix. I spent 12 months up in Atherton and know my way round a bit up there.
I received a lot of advice to stay away from the Lilliput. HappyG was the main one as he had upgraded from Lilliput. I decided on getting the Xenarc 706TSV (http://wwww.xenarc.com/product/706tsa.html) which I bought from Richard Mulder at http://www.customcarputers.com/. I then found I needed the longer interconnect cable which Richard also sent me. This monitor is 650NIT. I would have got the 1000 NIT Xenarc but there was no stock. I am happy with this one, I don't think 400 NIT will be quite bright enough from some feedback I have read.
The reason I went with Richard is freight seemed more reasonable and I could also get a power supply and a few other bits at the same time, but I won't go anywhere else, He has provided excellent service and good advice!
I was going to get the M4-ATX Power supply that Bugger has until I heard of some problems and asked Richard to switch the order to the Opus who have provided excellent support even phoning me one Saturday morning. I have found the Opus is missing one feature for my laptop install and they have sent me some revised firmware to fix it, just waiting for the programing kit to arrive which will cost me about $60. Once I get this upgraded, I will be able to get rid of my power brick and run the laptop and the Xenarc direct from the Xenarc at 19 volts. (the Xenarc is goot for 12-24 volt Power supplies and Xenarc ha sconfirmed 19v will be fine).
I can't really comment on motherboards as I have not gone this way.
Barty and I have had some noise in the Silab and have worked out the best DLL and skin is on the UK forum. It allows the sound to be routed through FFDshow using a filter. On my Pentium M 1.8Ghz, this fixes the noise but I get dropouts, so maybe a faster CPU would be good (but I don't ever get past about 40% CPU utilisation). The provided filter does not work as they seem PC specific, so you need to recreate the filter and it works. I know Barty has got that going, so he might be bale to add some more comment on performance on his faster CPU.
Anyway guys, this will be the last post you hear from me for a while. Off to NZ tomorrow for a 3 week tour in a camper van
Just unclip the Silab case, unsolder the existing antenna and you solder the centre wire of the coax there and the shield to the larger hole beside it. Use Copper Clad coax so you can solder, I cut a TV antenna connector cable I had in half and used that. It just happened to be copper. I used a TV splitter box I had laying around to alllow me to leave the exisiting headunit in place while I tinkered. Dick Smith or Jaycar will sell you the connectors ($2.50 each) and coax.
Here is the link to the DLL and matching skin
Thanks RodWeb, enjoy NZ. I am still soaking all this carputer stuff in. You are right, tinkering is an essential part of it. I have spent ages on reading and messing around already! Still uncertain about hardware - it's getting expensive and I am not sure I can justify the $$$
Hi guys, been back from NZ for about 3 weeks now and have done a bit more installation work. I have updated my worklog, so follow the link in my signature. I'll try and get back to looking at OziExplorer in a few weeks to see if we can refine the skin Bugger nad I have made up.
I have just got myself an 80 series cruiser, it has a double din tape deck in it (that had to go) so I started looking at DVD players then GPS and to cut a long story short I ended up here on mp3Car and have spent the last week reading through forums wanting a 7" touchscreen ect. I came across this thread today and it has been one of the most helpfull seeing as though I am from Brisbane. My question is I have been looking at Mac Mini and wondering if you think they would be upto off road abuse ???
Hi LDM. Welcome aboard. Good to see someone else from Brissy here (millsy and I are both on the south side). Not sure about the Mac Mini. I would have thought the Mac OS would be a bit limiting in relation to software and front ends, but have not followed it at all. I think there are some Mac sub-forums on Mp3car.com. For the same money, you could probably get a very good Windows XP setup using a purpose built Power supply and motherboard with flash RAM or solid state disks running XP. Depends on what OS you are comfortable with.
As far as LCD's go, mine died on its first off road trip, Have not looked at it yet but will in the next day or so, Hope it is just a loose connection somewhere. For some reason, it refuses to turn on even though it has power...
Just been busy with too many other things (like suspension lifts, snorkels, compressors and ho water shower systems) to get back to the Car PC.
the new mac mini's run the pentium chip so you can run windows as an operating system as well as mac osx, I have an I mac at home and you can set it to boot up on windows as default I outperform's my gaming machine for games, I think they are pretty cool! but may have missed somthing ?? .Plus it is already built with cool features including Wi Fi Bluetooth and impressive specs all in that little box, and you can disconnect USB,Power and monitoer and take it inside, I have just got back from holidays today ( Camping at stradie and near kenilworth) I know what you mean about "other things" I am hanging out to get my lift kit in looks like the kids will have to go without dinner for a few nights! LOL!!!
I didn't read your thread closley enough (I am at work and shouldn't be on forums LOL! ) I see you mentioned solid state or flash hard drive that would be where the big advantage would be yeah! ?? .Sorry I am not overly technical when it comes to Computers!