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Thread: Some guidance would be lovely

  1. #1
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    Some guidance would be lovely

    Hi all

    I'm going to apologise now if I ask an obvious question but I have looked around for a good few months now and now I'm just more confused.

    I have a Holden Commodore and can accommodate a double din radio. Looking at many reviews double din PC's are not the way to go. With this I want to find the cheapest but doesn't need to be cheap (if that makes sense....) way of building this to my needs.

    There seems to be lots of front ends and I do keep coming back to centrafuse as it seems so much more polished and active. Should I be looking at anything else???

    As to my requirements, it seems being in the uk for some more bespoke stuff means importing but hey I own and oz car in the uk.... I'm getting used to that!!!

    I must have ODBII connectivity. There is no great place to put guages with out it looking bolt on. It would be nice to work with my Wide band but not essensial as I can use my innovate wireless unitand logworks on windows if needed when I'm testing and tuning.

    Radio is also a must. I'm not wanting to run a separate amp. I'm trying to minimise foot print to hide it all away and look stock. I have seen the small 4 speaker RCA to clam connectors and this looks like an idea.

    I don't require a DVD or CD player as I will use USB or HDD to play MP3's and Videos

    My thoughts to do this is.......

    Use a I dash screen and then I have room behind my screen for a USB hub or Two and the speaker amp that can plug in to my existing ISO connector wiring. This means I only need to run 2xRCA leads and a USB for connections up front.

    I'm relocating my battery to the rear soon so this resolves log power cabling but that either way is easy to resolve too.

    Use an SSD for speed to boot from to put music on too also reduce heat. what I'm not sure on is what spec I should build too?? obviously overspec means extra cost. I'm not going to push the limits of this. But will want to add some extra features at some point.

    Rear camera and or parking sensors. Saw the centrafuse plugin that has been made for that... I like that idea.

    So is my thought train sound. What is my best source for cases, amps and Is there better than centrafuse.

    Thankyou for your time all

  2. #2
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    Anyone???

    Thanks

  3. #3
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    I guess im not in the right place to get the help i need.

    This looked like a knowledgable forum that might help me get past the cloudy thoughts in my head.

    Thanks anyway

  4. #4
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    Better in the newbie or proposed setups forum instead of general I think. However, can' see why no one else replied, so I'll gander some info I have.

    I have a Holden Commodore and can accommodate a double din radio. Looking at many reviews double din PC's are not the way to go. With this I want to find the cheapest but doesn't need to be cheap (if that makes sense....) way of building this to my needs.
    No double din pc's readily available. If you know how to build a pc, get a 7" touchscreen and fabricate your own custom dash/trim to fit to the screen and attach to your dash. Check out the worklogs and fabrication sections of the forums.

    There seems to be lots of front ends and I do keep coming back to centrafuse as it seems so much more polished and active. Should I be looking at anything else???
    Majority I think use RR (RideRunner/RoadRunner). But there ais also CF (Centrafuse), FI (FreeIce), OM (OpenMobile), and Driveline. Sorry if I missed any, but check out the Front End sections.

    Your requirements are pretty spot on with what we normally do. OBDII modules are sold as bluetooth, wireless, or usb I believe. Cameras are either usb or rca (rca can be auto triggered to switch to via some touchscreens on reverse 12v+). I don't use radio but there are HD radio options. Regarding using an amp, kinda need to. PC's output 1/8" headphone, or use an audio card, and connect via an amp, amp then connects to the factory speaker wiring (use and aftermarket harness to avoid cutting/splicing/soldering your factory wiring). I don't use and SSD so not sure how much of an increase boot times get.

    Regarding specs. Dual core intel atoms, or the amd fusion, is normally well enough, unless your into high end audio processing on the pc. Look around for USB info though, gonna need some way to power 5V (most use a rail from the dc power supply), as certain usb items need the powered hub to work without issues.

    I'll look at this again later, but some info for though right now.
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  5. #5
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    Definitely use an SSD. My original build with a laptop HDD would freeze up in the winter. 64gb SSD is all I needed for Win7 and music. If I need more space, I'll add a 32gb thumb drive.

    Powered hubs are alright, but I would recommend utilizing the on-board USB ports instead of a hub wherever possible.

    A double-DIN pc sounds like a bad idea to me. I would think that you want something you'll be able to [somewhat] easily access in case you need to troubleshoot or upgrade. If the battery is going in the trunk, I'd consider putting a mini-itx PC back there. Though I don't really trust super-long USB cables. My PC is in my dash (in the cubby hole area), and everything is so tight that it's hard to work with.

    I love the Commodore (Pontiac G8 here in the US). I wish they were still making them.

    Have you considered keeping the stock head-unit and connecting the PC audio to an aux-in on the head-unit? Seems like an easy way to still have radio and CD, and use the stock amp. I googled the G8 dashboard to see what it looks like. From the pics I saw, the head-unit was mounted pretty low in the dash. I wouldn't want my screen positioned so far from my view of the road.

    These are just my thoughts. I'm certainly not a pro at this. I am biased when it comes to front-ends, so I cannot say much there.

  6. #6
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    Yeah I have realised Double Din computer is not the right idea.

    My radio is double din and ancient. Not really worthy of having on display. It does sit low my screen but not a real issue for me. It will run gauges on the screen but not for continual staring.

    I have found ways to not need an amp on the site's shop. Looks quite a good idea. Next steps is case and position. I agree on long cable runs is not great. there might be room up behind my glovebox but concerened on the heat that would be generated on the PC and that it might over heat???

    As to SSD's I was thinkin on a 64/128 to cover music aswell. its not like its being constantly changed so why use a spinning disk. (More heat and less reliability when driving)

    Any recomended cases to use? I like the Vroom V1 (Nice intake vent as i don't need a CD player) or the M350 (Looks like good flow and some space to hide some small daughter boards.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate DaveDog's Avatar
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    since you are in the UK, take a look at FreeIce for a front end, it is developed over on that side of the pond and tailored as such, especially radio options.
    I personally use RR and it's quite aggravating to get set up properly, but does seem to have the most features/plugins.

    Just as with front end skins, there's no reason why you cannot try multiple front ends.

    I'm partial to an AMD Fusion motherboard, make sure you get one that has the 6G SATA interface and USB3 and that should future proof you a bit.

    Of course if your dealing with multiple cameras, you probably need to step up the processing horsepower.

    SSD with a 6G SATA interface and boot time will be pleasant. Check throughput speeds, in a lot of instances a 64G drive is half the speed of a 128G drive.

    Get a Bluetooth dongle that supports Blue Soleil, this gives you more options as BS is the only stack that has an open API.

    I use the Carnetix 2140 for a power supply, with the optional 5V add on, powers not only the PC, but the monitor, radio unit, USB hubs and other devices. Be warned, it's remote out signal is a bit weak. There are other options if you are building your own system.

    If you do run long USB cables, get the ones with the signal amplifier built in.
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