Samsung Q1 Ultra as a CarPC
Well, my original carpc fianlly died so I decided to go a different route and use my Samsung Q1 Ultra EL as my new carpc. Its a pretty interesting setup and I'll have to take some pics of it to post but it works quite well for me.
My head unit is a JVC KD-S100 and I have run the line inputs to the line out on the Q1. The Q1 is secured in place by a RAM Mount that I have modified to slide into the storage pocket under the radio on my Accord. Once in place the wole setup coveres the radio and stays snugly in place but can be easilly removed for storage.
My front end is Centrafuse and I really like the look and feel of it. It scales well and runs well on my UMPC. In fact, very well considering that my Q1 is the 800mHz model. I upgraded the RAM to 2 gigs and shoehorned a 60 gig 1.8" drive into it. And....I'm running Win 7 RC with Aero active. Runs quite well. I have the extended battery so I get 6+ hours of run time on it. I recently made a trip from Charleston SC to Knoxville TN with it running the whole way and had about 30 mins of battery life left by the time I got home. That was running on full brightness. Another good point about the Q1 is that it had an extremely bright and crisp LED backlit screen.
CF is linked to my PDA Phone (PPC6800 Mogul) and I can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth PAN to get on the internet. A bit slow but not bad...I could always use a USB cable for faster speeds but I'm trying to minimize all the wires.
The only other thing I wish was that there was a SSD that would work in the miniPCI slot inside the Q1. It seems to be reserved for a HSPDA modem and not many (anyone) has been successful in getting an SSD to work there in addition to the primary HDD.
Once I get some batteries for my camera I'll post some pics. Its by no means a professional setup but its highly functional.
Sounds interesting. Can't wait for the pics. It doesn't matter about professional setup..as long as it's clean looking, gets the job done and maintains mobility. Curious, does that have a video output also?
Originally Posted by DaveTN
Ok, so its not pretty….and its not fully done yet but it works – and it works quite well.
Here’s a rundown of what I have so far:
I got a great deal on a JVC KD-S100 which uses the Bongovi DPS chip to make standard OEM speakers sound good. Since my 2002 Accord already has the “premium” 6 speaker setup, The KD really did a great job of improving their sound and range. One of my favorite songs to test my system is Dire Straits “Money For Nothing” and it hits hard without any distortion. It’s a bit biased to the high end but the lows are low and crisp and the midrange is not overdriven. I think my next addition is to install a small amplified sub under the seat to take advantage of that option on the KD. That should add a little umph. I’m not going for competition grade here, just something to make me want to keep my accord for a few more years while I finish grad school.
Here’s a couple pics of the KD in the dash. I really don’t like the silver bezel so its gonna get a shot of matte black to make it blend into the dash better.
As for my carputer setup, as previously mentioned the system that I had been using for several years went kaput. I had quit using my Samsung Q1U as my day to day tablet and began testing Win7 on it. All runs well and significantly better than the Vista that was running on it.
Centrafuse has been my favorite front end for quite some time so I stuck with it and installed it on my Q1. I had to make it run in Vista compatibility mode but it works almost perfectly. I got BT and phone integration working but not navigation – but I use iGuidance for that anyway.
The install was pretty straight forward and allows me to slide it out and take it with me for security reasons, plus, I can still use it as a UMPC if I want. I got a RAM Mount for it and after playing with various configurations with the suction cup and cup holder mounts, I settled on a slight modification which placed it perfectly where I needed it – right where my radio is. Although the radio is obstructed, I can still use the remote to control it but I really don’t have to because Centrafuse takes care of most of it.
To modify the RAM Mount, I simply attached a 6” piece of ˝ x ˝ wood and covered it with some rubber material to hold it in the slot securely. It slides right in the storage slot under my radio and does not move around. Fits nice and snug. I can adjust the RAM Mount so it is either angled towards me, the center of the car, or the passenger and I can angle it up and down slightly to help with the viewing angle and eliminate glare from the sun. As a side note, the Q1 screen is great in the car and its LED backlight makes it useable in almost any viewing conditions.
As you can see in one of the pics, I have a Holux Bluetooth GPS Puck mounted to the back of the RAM Mount. It works out great back there and still picks up a good signal.
I had tried installing it a little lower in the pocket under the dash console but it got in the way of my shifter. I used to have my touchscreen mounted there from my previous carputer install but the Q1 doesn’t fit as well.
The setup is by no means finished yet. I’m going to get a right angle mini plug adapter for the audio cable so it won’t get in the way of my A/C controls and I’m probably going to go with an internal BT adapter. Being the Q1-EL, it did not come with built in BT so I have to use the Cirago USB BT.
I also did some mods to the Q1 besides Win7, I upgraded to 2 gigs of RAM and went with the 60 gig 1.8” HDD. Right now there is not a viable SSD alternative for the Q1 that will give me better performance and unfortunately the MPCIe slot is reserved for a HSDPA modem only. But, I have 30 gigs of music on it and still have 30 gigs free, so I’m good to go for a while.
The future may hold a full dash mod as I found a matching dash panel on ebay for $20.00. I’ll probably modify the double DIN cutout to accommodate the Q1 and install the radio in the pocket under the dash but I have way too many other things to do now and this suits me fine at the moment.
Hex, thanks for the comments. The Q1 has a “D-Sub” VGA output only. Not sure if the Ultra Premium has other outputs but I don’t think it does.
More to come…
Hello there! how you doing with your install did you progress any further? how about the dash mod? i've had my Q1 in my car for a while now, just chagning a few bits here and there at the moment, also managed to pick one up for my friend so will be installing one in a 306 Cabriolet this weekend. Really looking forward to that to be honest, would love an update.
p.s. pics of both installs to follow soon.
---------- Post added at 01:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:27 PM ----------
here is one pic of the install in my 2000 Renault Espace.
comments would be good.
I haven't done much more work on mine other than adding an internal wifi/bluetooth module and upgrading centrafuse. Everything has been working good for me so I'm not going to change much.
Probably won't modify the car much more either as most of my time is now consumed with the challenges of being an "old guy" in grad school with classmates as old as my kids. :-)
Looking forward to seeing your other pictures of your install.
I have a Q1 as well, and lately have been wondering if i can use this as a basis for my upcoming carpc install. is there any way to turn the thing on remotely? does yours support bluetooth in centrafuse?
Hi there cooker. Yes my build supports bluetooth in centrafuse, (using windows phone 7) and works quite well. i havnt found a way of turning the unit on automatically, but thats not a problem for me as i use thedevice for web browsing at home anyway, and i just clip the device in and out each time i get in and out of the car so it is on most of the time anyway. have looked into it but not got very far to be honest. i did however take my tablet apart to see if could fit my gps receiver into the unit, but there was very limited space, i have however just upgraded the HDD to a 128GB SSD, and to be honest notice no improvement in performance.
Originally Posted by DaveTN
Its really outstanding system which you are using, great to see me that your amazing carputer setup, yes my friend had told me about the Bongovi DPS chip to make standard OEM speakers sound . great job man.
Last edited by AimyThomas; 10-29-2013 at 01:34 AM.
Thanks. I'm still making good use of it although not on a daily basis mainly do to me being in grad school full time. One thing on my list is to try out the newer version of Centrafuse when I get a bit of free time before my clinical rotations start.