In-dash GPS Navigation Receivers vs Carputers
I've been noticing these devices in the Crutchfield catalogs lately. It seems that they do a large portion of what I had hoped to achieve with a carputer. The latest units I've seen have:
- hookup for a backup camera
- iPod / iPhone connectivity
- Pandora (via iPhone, I think)
- GPS navigation
- large touchscreen interface
- AM/FM radio
- CD player (not that I care)
- hands free Bluetooth
- Satellite radio
- HD radio
- USB / SD card inputs
A few years ago I started a carputer project but never finished it. This system seems to have everything I envisioned in an essentially plug and play box.
My car is a 2001 Honda Accord with a double-DIN radio. These units are all double-DIN too. Looks pretty easy.
What do you all think?
OLD SYSTEM (DEAD)
Intel D945GCLF2 Dual Core ATOM
Lilliput 7" 629GL 2008 LED Backlight
BU-353 USB GPS Receiver / iGuidance / IGO8
M2-ATX Power Supply
RideRunner Front End / Various Skins
Windows XP SP3
I will give you my take. After purchasing probably 5 different headunits for my truck, I decided on a carPC. Every one of these headunits, Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine, Panasonic, Sony all had stupid idiotic things about them that would just irritate me.
None of them do BT well, NAV sucks for most of them, but sound quality always seemed well. I am in almost total control now of what I want, and how it should act or look with a carPC.
My CarPC is still a work in progress and I don't have it where I am totally stable but it will get there and I enjoy working on it. If you think the others will update anything they are liars. They tell you they have firmware updates and maps and don't do it for years if not at all.
Not to mention they charge a fortune for the Map updates.
Pioneer charges 250$ for a 2 year map update.
How you like them apples.
For me, most of the time I get tired of the look of my head unit. Or something cool and new comes out.
Now that I have a CarPC installed, I can change the skin in my Riderunner front end if I want a different look, and I can customize the hardware to suit my needs if I want. Also, you can build a pretty decent setup on a budget. Upgrading is easier too. I went from a via board to an intel Atom board for about 100 bucks, which is a lot better than getting a new head unit for 3 to 4 times the amount. I've had mine installed for about 2 years now and I'm loving it. Few hiccups here and there, but that's to be expected. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Plus the "wow" factor always gets the ladies!
I'll agree though with most people in saying that these projects are not for faint of heart, so weigh your options carefully. Hopefully you'll take the plunge!
sticker500 brings up a good point though-- try before you buy. just because it says that it has a specific feature doesn't mean it will work the way you need it to. i have also heard that some of the interfaces can be ugly/slow/hard to use, so you'll need to check for that as well before buying..
My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
"The Project That Never Ended, until it did"
next project? subaru brz