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Thread: PNDs are CarPC replacement (long post)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    PNDs are CarPC replacement (long post)

    I've been thinking about this. Why isn't there much talk about PND (Personal Navigation Device) modification on this site.

    They basically have 80% of the functions most people here want - playing Music (MP3), bluetooth handsfree, GPS Navigation, Watching video files, and surfing the web. Just about the only thing they don't have is ODB2 engine diagnostic.
    They do have some advantage such as low power consumption, cheaper than traditional computers, and have a breadth of "mobile applications." For example, most PND can be modded to run any number of *good* quality and cheap GPS apps. You can get Co-Pilot live for $20-30 when it is on sale.
    PNDs are mostly Windows CE devices. I've gone through a quite of different ones out of curiosity and because of Black Friday specials.

    Here are some OS/App hacks

    Navigon 2100 hack. The Navigon and the Mios were the first to be hacked (boot off SD cards) to run different GPS applications instead of the stock ones that came from the factory.

    In car fabrication.
    Since these are small units, I think they can be easily fabricated. This image is from a Magellan product for the F150. It is basically a PND in a housing that sits on top of the dash.
    This gives me an idea that it may be easier to fabricate a casing for a cheap PND. Just the same amount of work as fabricating for a liliput LCD screen.

    Now, this is a simple home-grown mod. I wouldn't even call it a mod but the results are pretty good. This is basically a Garmin Nuvi & some $6 ABS plastic to cover a Land Rover cubicle that didn't come w/ Nav from the factory. It has a very clean look.

    Hardware hacks

    This guy here mods a Knight Rider GPS to make it like KITT. I think the potential is endless. I was thinking about getting a KITT gps and fabricating something into my dash to make it look stock. [media][/media]

    That KITT Knight Rider GPS is also a good candidate for software hacks. This youtube video demos music and video players that can run:0

    The idea of running Window CE doesn't end with PNDs. I've seen double din head units and cheap Chinese in-dash units.
    For roughly $85, you can get a stand-alone CE Box w/ GPS cabalities. These can be hacked just as well as the PNDs and integrate into your existing stereo systems.

    Maybe this site should have a section for PMP/PND devices. The cloud computing section is relegated to mostly smart phones integration.

  2. #2
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
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    PND's are dying. They're cheap, low resolution, difficult to expand, and can't run car pc apps. I think they are too limited to be of much interest. Any smartphone can run PND apps plus more and provide more functionality including OBDII with internet connectivity.

    Not that you can't do some interesting things with them, but I think of them as more of a curiosity than a device that is as versatile as a car pc.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  3. #3
    Raw Wave
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    justchat_1's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Boston, Ma or NY,NY
    Not to mention tablets......

    Just take a look at sales for garmin, megallan or tom tom and you'll see the trend.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I have ben playing around with a cheap chinese pnd with win ce 5.0 just to try out what win ce was about,and now im about to order one of these, from here, For me they are ideal, much bigger than smart phone, 700x 480,led backlight ,almost instant on,low power,fully self contained,etc,etc.I really dont need all that a desktop type computer can do,just want some music and mostly gps on and off road,this will give me the versatility to use any gps app that i want,easily.I think a section for win ce type units would be a good idea.
    That menu pic. is from here .just to show what is possible,(just want to aknowledge the author).
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Here is an interesting thing I've been finding. Some of the Chinese GPS have new features such as FM transmitters and AV-IN (for rear camera). The user interfaces have been improving. A lot of them are being sold thru sites like dealextreme.

    This is a pricey box that pretty much does everything.


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