I'm new to the community, but I've had a lot of free time on my hands and haven't seen anything on the mp3car forums about this.
I'd like to get an Insignia Infocast and turn it into a carputer. The low power draw, open source hardware, and community behind it all drew me to the platform. The fact that all of it already comes in a package of its own makes it even better for people who want fairly basic functionality, yet more than a car's basic stereo system. It has an FM radio, making that an easy replacement for the stereo. Extensibility would be easily possible, as the Infocast has an internal MicroSD slot that can support 16GB, plenty for the system itself. It also has 2 USB ports which make external input (should you not like the touchscreen), Bluetooth support, GPS support, 3G dongle support, and much more quite possible.
I think this benefits the community as it would allow for an extremely low cost carputer, which I would document all of my work on. My ideas consist of making a more custom built interface for the system, and open-sourcing it when it becomes reality.
Should developing the Infocast into a full-fledged carputer fail for various reasons, such as a possibly too slow processor or such, I at least plan on taking advantage of the fact that it would still be a relatively cheap touchscreen solution, and a pre-enclosed form factor.
Feedback on this idea would be greatly appreciated
Just a note on the plan here: I've budgeted $300 for the basic system, which I plan on including a GPS module, B/G/N wifi, 2 user-accessible ports from the dash, Bluetooth, and OBD-2 diagnostics. I've drawn up a budget for all of these parts and have gotten it to around $250, which makes the plan for a low cost carputer very possible.
EDIT: Changed the idea from the Chumby One to the Insignia Infocast, due to larger screen and faster processor on the same platform. Added notes.
I'm sure there are "better" off the shelf solutions, but consider this: At that size and price point, some people just end up buying GPS units. With this, you could do GPS plus a whole bunch of other things.
i think products like the sheevaplug/guruplug are higher powered(1.2ghz, instead of 454 mhz), while remaining in the low-cost, low power category, and will also be easier to mod, as they are designed as low power computers, and not standalone music servers..
but anyways, i can see how some would prefer a standalone solution like this--can it use 3g usb dongles, or bluetooth dongles, so you could use it with your phones data plan?
My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
"The Project That Never Ended, until it did"
next project? subaru brz
Insignia Infocast, which has a much larger touch screen, faster CPU. Still runs off of the easily hackable platform that the Chumby One did, so this is what I'm wishing to base the project on instead.
I've seen the Chumby One using 3G dongles with the stock software, but as I've stated I plan on making a custom system for the Chumby platform (due to the open-sourceness of the platform), so I'll make it support Bluetooth and 3G dongles.
I'm going to revise my original post to show that I plan on using an Insignia Infocast instead. Other than that, not much has changed for my idea.