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Thread: Project NiteVision - NiteMax + HUD + carputer

  1. #11
    FLAC
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    The software part should be interesting indeed. Ill be talking to the guys in computer vision to see what's up. As per the HUD, the mirror idea is going to work, just remember your equations and you'll do fine.

    One more thing. When i decded to do my HUD proect, and before i abandoned it and then started it back again and then put it on hold, i just the local municipalities for any legalities i may face. Do your very very best to make sure no cop sees you with it. Remember than light goes both ways in a windshield and any light in your dash, could get you pulled over and fined (a ticket you can't fight). Either that or have a PBA card handy (i don't think i have extras). I would suggest tints 30% ofcourse to comply with NYS laws.

    B&W may be best for this application.

    When i get my project nitemaxes, i'll start a thread too and we can share findings and stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by sama
    nice one. I'm interested in how the issues with sunlight etc will be solved. nice adventure dude
    Hehe, i think sunlight defeats the whole purpose of the nitemax
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  2. #12
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    sweet thanks for the tips, I make sure to drop a link to your thread when you get it going, sharing ideas is what this forum is all about, maybe one of us can get something going by the NY meet
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  3. #13
    Variable Bitrate quantum's Avatar
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    Hey Alti and Genesis,

    Add me to the Nitemax HUD club, and I guess I will put up my own thread in here to compare as well and we can have a party!

    I have been studying this concept for a while now, and thought I could offer some help from where I've been already.

    I have almost the identical setup, my LCD fits flat in the speaker grille on the dash. I am using a color 5" LCD that I got off e-bay ($50.00) for now that drops right into the speaker hole. The grille acts like a lid to conceal it when not in use. The grille will be motorized to open and close (like a clamshell) open end facing the glass, side shields to prevent light from escaping and blinding me.

    I first used the B&W Nitemax from the original batch Mark offered. That wasn't bad at all, but it required me to look at the image on the LCD itself to be "normal". The Pros of this were: 1) I didn't need to worry so much about a cop in front of me seeing a big burst of light on the windshield (behind me a whole different story); 2) I could adjust the angle of the 5" LCD for optimal viewing from the driver's seat; 3) Set up was pretty easy (what fun is that?) Cons: It was a little in the way, sticking straight up from the top of the dash, but nothing I couldn't get used to over time; 2) there was a secondary reflection above the monitor on the glass. 3) not very cool in the Caddy.

    So, I got the second wave of CCD boards from Mark, the color version. That one has the mirroring capabilities for output to the RCA jack (the B&W can mirror too, but ONLY to the 2" NiteMax LCD if I remember correctly). So, with the jumper in place on the color CCD, the image is inverted. This allowed me to shine the image right onto the glass right for right / left for left or "normal." For my application, this worked out better, because now the LCD is in a fixed position (flat-ish) and the clamshell operation of the grille is all that is needed. the output is color, which is slick, but it looks more like Sepia at night. The B&W is probably more what I wanted. For that to happen, I will switch over to a B&W monitor instead, 5" or better for optimum viewing, anything smaller is just too hard to see at that distance..

    Some have noticed ghosting on the windshield, I did not have that problem. This is caused by multiple reflections off the inside and outside faces of the windshield due to thickness. Adjusting the distance from the monitor to the glass could have a positive or negative effect on this phenomenon. Pros: 1) no mirror needed; 2) totally concealed from thieving bastards 3) the glare from the outside is minimized since the light source (LCD) is pointing UP, not out. Cons can't think of any right now...

    I have also toyed with the idea of putting a reflective thin layer of something (black translucent mylar) stretched between 2 wires on a little motor between the end of the dash and the glass. Something like a window shade that rolls UP when activated and down when off, maybe 6" x 6". However, I don't think I'll need it, but something to consider.

    One thing I noticed about your setup is that plexiglass cover over the LCD in your dash. You will lose about 10% of the available image (brightness and resolution), because the light from the LCD will be passing through a refractive medium (plexi) then onto the windshield. This Plexi has reflective properties (all refractive mediums do). Simple analgy is when you wear glasses and get your picture taken, the big white splash where your face should be in the photo is the light reflecting off the eyeglass lenses and back to the camera. This can be solved with an anti-reflective coating, but you might be better off letting the light pass from point A to point B un-interupted.

    Good luck with your set up, if there is anything I can help with, feel free to PM or e-mail me. Mine should be fully functional and installed his weekend, and then PICS!!!

    Mike
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  4. #14
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    quantum, I hear what your saying on the plexi, I planned to try it with and without to see if it makes a real difference, I want to try to seal off the electronics in the recessed box from dust and damage. I willl look into the anti-reflective coating that you mentioned, this seems like a good option.

    I have been toying with what might work as a good reflective material to put on the windshield to ensure that the image is not visiable to people coming at the car head-on and to improve the image on the windshield without signifigently degrading the opacity of the windshield. If I find anything good I will post it up here, so far my googling has just resulted in hits on polymer (OEM and between the 2 glass panels in the windshield, also has a specific wedge angle for each car) and tints, but i have not been able to find much else.

    If the image is not visable from the front of the car I dont see how it could be illegal, NightVision was offered as a stock option on the 2000-2004 deville and many other cars have simpler HUD's that project speed, ect.

    Very nice write up BTW, I look forward to seeing how your project turns out.
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  5. #15
    FLAC
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    (i'll link this post up in a day or two and make it interesting, don't worry)

    hehe, i think my post in teh HUD thread showed what i wanted to do.

    quantum, your build on that array of LCDs was my first idea, but i'm nearsighted and the screens were too small. my next idea was pretty simple: get an ATI USB TV wonder and actualy make the nitemax image a window on my desktop that can be minimized and maximized. That way, for night driving, i could have a nice large view of the IR world. The HUD part was going to be my screen anyways (a 8x12 sheet of something that has yet to be determined). So far, i've had a few hits, but almost as many misses. The perfec tsolution truned out to be WAY over budget. A solution that was given to me by an old research professor seems to be the next and far cheaper set. Also, i'm tinting my car. and i hope to use a sheet of polaroised tints to minimized outgoing light form the HUD.

    I've bene researching polarization techniques in manufacturing. Its a polarized flim that makes your LCDs on all calcuators and etc. work, beleive it or not...and its VERY interesting...makes those electic tints on those high end cars seem like a cheap gimmick they ripped off and overcharge on. I'm trying to see if i can get it to work as an HUD that when you desire it, a button press or a mouse wave, an image of the screen appears and allows you to do things, making it a bit less distracting than changing the radio as you don't have to look down. So far, though, it seems chromatic and i'm looking at a similar way that you guys are arranging your HUDs, a physcial screen in the dash, to do it. there si a medical film that, if it works, i'll reccomend. However, righ tnow,my car is pretty much...on the fritz, so until i get a motor swap done, its all research. I'm still wondering if i cna get way to shift polarized films to create a black spot screen that i can reflect off of, like a two way mirror.

    As for the Nitemaxes, i'm thinking a blindspot, foward, and rear CCD is in order. I don't see a real need for a rear view camera, but whatever . I'm still thinking about two forwards though for stereo vision. Ther'es a specific reason for it and i need to start looking at the nitemax pdfs for the resolution of the CCDs. Nissan has this interesting technology that will wake you up if it thinks that you've drifted off and are inadvertantly changing lanes. Also, i'm probably going to be talking with my robotics proffessor, who's big into computer vision, and we'll see what we can come up with. That's my project...atleast for the car. Paintball wise...hehehe..that's going to be something really cool and bring digital warfare onto them poor kids...

    mark...do you have an expereince with recording off a nitemax?

    @quantum....Visibility, or lack there of, from the front of the car can be accomplished by using the angles of incidence (i beleive that's what its called). its a property of trasnperant matereials, ie glass, that as light travels through the two mediums, it will change angle. When you look at an object in water, see how it bends? Well there's an angle where it will just bounce off the medium and not go in, and there's an angle where light will enter the meduim and bounce around in the meduim and not leave (i'm talking about a flat sheet of whatever). the former is a possibility on how they do it. it just reflects off the windsheild and only the people inside the car get to see it.

    I dont' feel like diging through my text books for the equations...but tis really really simple. Liek a few varibales and a proportion based on two n values (n=1 is air)
    Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

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  6. #16
    Constant Bitrate rotarypower101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alti
    thanks, guys.

    sama, will be even cooler if using your software it can identify and warn me of objects in the road (Even though the car will be moving)

    software is where the real fun will be had

    for all those curious check out this thread....

    http://mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=73065
    Did you happen to catch the autonomous car “great challenge “

    The winner used almost pure software to detect object in a 3 part layered scan that searched for the best path for the vehicle to travel, maybe there are remnants or previous versions of the software open to the public you can dig up.

  7. #17
    Variable Bitrate quantum's Avatar
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    Hey Genisisfactor,

    Good call, and I am totally impressed on your angle of incidence / angle of relfection statement. I am an optics professor in a college, this is exactly my bag, baby! Light, sight, and manipulating the visible spectrum.

    It's also EXACTLY why I believe I can do this without anything like a film or tint on the windshield as a screen (at least for starters), like I was saying above. However, I will probably experiment.

    Basically, the angle of incidence needs to be greater than the critical angle of 90 degrees, which will give 100% internal reflection. The index of glass is 1.52 - 1.53. In a car windshield, there is also the laminate sandwiched in between, which would have a slightly different "N" (N = Index of Refraction).

    With that being said, and rather than whipping out all my formulas, I have just angled the LCD back and forth until I found the best combination of driver visability and lack of external noticability. Just by chance, I think I found it, but it really has to do with the rake of the winshield relative to the position of the monitor under it. Each situation will be different. And I don't think it will be totally invisible to the outside world, but as little as possible.

    There is more on Critical Angles here:
    http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/GBSSC...rn/u14l3c.html

  8. #18
    Constant Bitrate NiteMax Mark's Avatar
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    It seems to me that with the reflection or refraction there's two things you're trying to solve at one time...


    The first is: "How do I get a viewable image to appear at the base of my windshield." My feeling is that this will happen by reflecting the video image off of the glass itself if you get the correct mounting angle. You can determine the angle by calculation or experiment. (Or use an experiment to validate your calculations.)

    The second is: "How do I keep the outside world from seeing the display." I think the best solution will monopolize on the fact that the light from an LCD is polarized. I'd stick a polorizing filter on the inside of the windhsield. From inside or out, this patch will look transparent. The catch is that the light from the LED won't pass through it and only the LCD will be effectively "blacked out." If the surface of the polarizing filter is sufficiently shinny, you'll get a reflected image off of its surface and none of the light from the LCD will pass through.

    (It's a really neat blanking out effect using the polarizing filter! If you've ever looked at an LCD screen while wearing polarizing sun glasses, you'll see how the LCD goes black when it's turned to the correct orientation.)

  9. #19
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    Thanks Mark, that is great idea!

    @ rotarypower101 - ya, I think that is the race across the dessart right? last time i had checked in on the website (a year or more ago i think) no one had ever finished the race at that time if memory serves. I will google that info though, thanks!!

    @quantum - I noticed you are planning to mount your ccd and lens outside in the grill. What do you have planned to deal with road grime and weather?
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  10. #20
    FLAC
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    @mark- its a 45 degree turn that will do it as that's how its constructed . The liquid in the display hax a charge that runs through it and changes its polarized orientation or something. Google it, they giv eyou a better explaination than me trying to remember things (you know how good i am at that these days). I will assume the surface is shiny. My idea was to maybe elctrocally shift a second peice of tint at a minute angle, darkening the desired area for an ample darkspot for reflection.

    BTW, i'm ready to complete the order. Gotta love bdays!

    @quantum- thanks! I think you and i need to talk a bit more, i'm going to you for advice then! .

    Yeah, i'm glad a professor agreeing with me on that film idea . Makes me feel like i'm the right track. To everyone else, the light's angle change goes to 0 when its a palendropic (if that's not a word, just add it) composite situation- a palendrome is a word liek radar or racecar, so guess what happens in that sitation- (air, glass, laminate, glass, air), although place where the light exits may not be the same (can vary by factions of millimeters to factions of inches as the light is being redirected). What you do to change that is to add soemthing that changes the sitaution (air tint glass laminate glass air). In that case, we can use the properties (this goes beyond the angles into other things) of the tint to change the reflection angles of the composite. THis can allow us to thne shine a light at an angle that almost no one outside can see, and hopefully returns it at an angle that everyone on the inside can see. (please correct any mistakes, as i haven't seen this since freshman year!)

    There's this Xray film that seems to be promising, but i'm at a loss on how and why (some speical property in it, but i think my researcher teacher mistook what i needed it to do). However, my confusion is mostly because i haven't gotten my hands on the stuff yet .

    lol...yeah...as a mech, we learn that sometimes trail and error usually kicks equations' butt!

    My question is this: How much does the screen enlarge as the glass is technically concave, even though the distance always the light to speard a bit. Also, is there a way to make it so that we can get the virtual focus past the windshield, like a holosight AND still be able to see it if we focus at that point? This way it REALLY looks like the screen is projected and we can still keep an eye on the road. Plus its cool


    @everyone. well...the ATI tv wonder sucks. Only has coax in, unlike the cards. I'll have to find another PVR with RCA in.

    @alti...how come the monkey gets a gun an i turned 21 monday and i don't have one. I hate NY sometimes... Oh, and someone finished the race this year. I believe it was the SUV. I'm mounting the CCD in front of the rear view mirror or on the dash. I think i have a pic in my worklogs.
    Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

    THE GF THEME
    Genesis has speed
    Genesis has class
    Genesis sent money
    before your a__;)

    Join the fight against carputters. EMAIL ME!

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