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Thread: New Project Ideas Needed.

  1. #1
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    New Project Ideas Needed.

    Hey everyone, I got a whole new project to play with. I picked up a 2000 Chevy Cavalier Z24 Convertible. Now to figure out all the goodies I want to integrate into the computer. Any ideas would be awesome. I already know I can't integrate the top, its a power top but the unlock for the top is manual. So I can't integrate that however everything else in the car is power.

    Give me some ideas as to what you all think. I got a Xenarc 7 inch monitor front bezel and that should require almost no modification of the dash bezel to mount it. I was thinking that I might try to get a 8 inch bezel and see how that looks. Is lilliput the only 8 inch touchscreen out there right now? Couldn't find any Xenarc in the store.

    Sorry I know this probably ain't the typical thread but I am needing some inspiration.

    -Rob
    [1997 Chevrolet Suburban]
    PLANNING.[====================] 15%]
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  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    It's your ride, yet you want ideas from the peanut gallery?
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
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    I guess I am not sure what all can be done with a convertible? When I search for ideas, it just brings up tons of stuff, not sure what is what.
    [1997 Chevrolet Suburban]
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  4. #4
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    Well to start with, pick up a Fusion Brain. This will allow you to to control relays, (Put windows up and down, lock the doors, release the trunk ect), read information (temperature, light level (to dim the screen), knobs (manual volume control), g-force accelerators and the likes) This should give you tons of stuff to play with.

    Next think about an OBDII reader, with this you can read RPM's, Coolant Temeperature, Fuel flow and tons of other stuff. You can pick up the ELM327 on ebay for around $25 shipped.

    I do not know what front end you are planning to use, but Road Runner has plugins for both of the above, so you can display the information on your screen in text, gauges, sliders ect.
    Front End of Choice: Ride Runner (Is there anything else??? ) & Powered by the DFX5.1 Skin Available in the Mobile App Mart

    My Fiero Build Thread

  5. #5
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    was actually looking at Road Runner, was also looking at the skin Enforcer made, the special edition one. the name escapes me right now, but it was awesome, has a link in it for traffic cameras. Thats another thing I want to integrate is a couple cameras. I have just about figured out the computer I am going to use, its funny John that you mention the fusion brain, i was scoping out the specs and downloaded the manual for it. Looks to be a pretty interesting device. I have the convertible top but its a shame that it has a manual unlocking mechanism instead of a powered one. Would be really nice to control the convertible from the carputer. Maybe I could still do the up and downs just have to lock it by hand.

    As far as the manual knobs go, would i be able to mount a potentiometer along side of the monitor to have it control the volume and not need to worry about the volume button in the skin itself?

    Really like the idea of the trunk release. Again with the fusion brain all these things are controlled from the front end on the carputer right?
    [1997 Chevrolet Suburban]
    PLANNING.[====================] 15%]
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  6. #6
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    Funny enough I just reread your post John and I actually have the Digital fx4.0 skin on my pages on skins to check into further.
    [1997 Chevrolet Suburban]
    PLANNING.[====================] 15%]
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  7. #7
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhuller View Post
    Hey everyone, I got a whole new project to play with. I picked up a 2000 Chevy Cavalier Z24 Convertible. Now to figure out all the goodies I want to integrate into the computer. Any ideas would be awesome. I already know I can't integrate the top, its a power top but the unlock for the top is manual. So I can't integrate that however everything else in the car is power.

    Give me some ideas as to what you all think. I got a Xenarc 7 inch monitor front bezel and that should require almost no modification of the dash bezel to mount it. I was thinking that I might try to get a 8 inch bezel and see how that looks. Is lilliput the only 8 inch touchscreen out there right now? Couldn't find any Xenarc in the store.

    Sorry I know this probably ain't the typical thread but I am needing some inspiration.

    -Rob
    OH GOD, you know if i start making suggestions i will go completley overboard, lol..... Anyways I think I'll do it anyways, lol. You could always make the top 100% powered, you just have to figure out some kind of invetion to grab and pull it down then lock into place. If you can think it, it can be done. As far as the screen, I woult just go with what fits.... dont go crazy trying to put bigger.... bigger isnt always better. First off, post some pictures so we can see what your working with so we can give ideas. i know what a Cavalier is, but i can not recall the dash at all. Also, do you want this just to be a system for the driver and passenger or also for the rear passengers too. Do you want to keep the 4 speaker set up, or do you want 5.1? There are just so many questions to ask

    PS: on the volume control, buy a logitech Space Navigator http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mi.../4078&cl=us,en
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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  8. #8
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    Jack, going to sound completely stupid here, but that space navigator, does that take the place of a mouse? They showed it being used in conjunction with the mouse on their website?

    As far as the speakers are concerned I am always good with better sound quality.

    Will try to get some pictures of the car with the wifes phone. We seemed to have misplaced our camera, but I was informed to wait until after christmas before I go look into getting another one.

    And I think I have a great place to mount the carputer. I have removed the air bags from my car and am not going to put them back into the car. The space underneath the dash where the air bag used to be is now my primary location for installing a pc. Also thought about installing a 7 in monitor in my steering wheel to use with the fusion brain. Kinda running a dual screen for the computer again. One for the passenger and normal use. But the one in the steering wheel would be for the driver without having to reach to touch the dash. Sounds kinda crazy and probably is, but whats the fun if you don't dream big...

    The top being automatic would be a tough one, here is a question, would you be able to set up the fusion brain to "run a program." I have noticed that when you put the top up, if you don't roll the windows down a little bit it doesn't close all the way unless you reach up and pull it down. Is this something that could be setup through the front end with a button, or would it need to be done with relays and electronics. If we are going to get into this discussion about window control, another thing I have seen on some more expensive convertibles is where the window will roll down a small amount when you open the door so that it doesn't wear on the weatherstripping. My next question is whether anyone knows a way to make this work, roll the windows down slightly when the door is opened or the engine is shut off, then when the door is closed the window would roll back up. I know the BMW 330ci cars do this and I thought it to be pretty remarkable for saving the top.

    As far as locking the top down, could use something like a rotational torque to reattach it. With the manual lockdown, I have to wait until the top is fully up and then take the handle and push it 90 degrees to get it to lock the top down. Would it be possible to get a rotational motor that has a stop set at each end of 90 degrees. That might work, just replace the handle with the motor, then get rid of the push button lock all together. Make it to where when you push the button onscreen it would start with the rotational motor to release the locks, then after a timed delay? it would start to open the top? Would this work?

    The 7" screen that I will be using is a Xenarc 700TSV because I already have a front bezel that I can use to mold it into the dash. That way I don't have to wait for the screen to show up and dismantle it to mold. I can mold the screen then simply install the rest later.

    As far as the rear passengers being able to see the screen, I am not too worried about it, I have enlisted in the US Army and will be shipping to Basic within the next two weeks. When I finally get to my duty station I don't figure I will see my daughters but once a month if I am lucky so the rear headrest monitors aren't as big of a priority as they were.

    Wow, this has been the longest post I have put on this site and it is filled with jibberish. Hope I didn't bore anyone and maybe sparked some ideas in someone else.

    -Rob
    [1997 Chevrolet Suburban]
    PLANNING.[====================] 15%]
    CAR PC......[====================] 0%]
    INSTALL....[====================] 0%]
    INTERIOR..[====================] 0%]
    BUDGET.....[====================] 5%]

  9. #9
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhuller View Post
    Jack, going to sound completely stupid here, but that space navigator, does that take the place of a mouse? They showed it being used in conjunction with the mouse on their website?
    I dont know why they show it like that, but a few people use it in their carpc installs. What they go is take it apart and put it into a part of the interior so only the blue light and knob are seen.

    As far as the speakers are concerned I am always good with better sound quality.

    Will try to get some pictures of the car with the wifes phone. We seemed to have misplaced our camera, but I was informed to wait until after christmas before I go look into getting another one.

    And I think I have a great place to mount the carputer. I have removed the air bags from my car and am not going to put them back into the car. The space underneath the dash where the air bag used to be is now my primary location for installing a pc. Also thought about installing a 7 in monitor in my steering wheel to use with the fusion brain. Kinda running a dual screen for the computer again. One for the passenger and normal use. But the one in the steering wheel would be for the driver without having to reach to touch the dash. Sounds kinda crazy and probably is, but whats the fun if you don't dream big...
    Well there is one other person that has done a steering wheel screen. Its a cool idea, but I hate that the screen turns with the wheel. If it was stationary, but the wheel could still turn, that would be awsome. OMG, I cant drive without air bags, I considered taking out the passenger air bag which would have gave me tons of room, way more then my current setup, but I just couldnt come to removing that safety feature.

    The top being automatic would be a tough one, here is a question, would you be able to set up the fusion brain to "run a program." I have noticed that when you put the top up, if you don't roll the windows down a little bit it doesn't close all the way unless you reach up and pull it down.
    I think thats why newer cars lower the windows to raise and close the roof. They also lower a bit when opening the door, then close up when you close the door. The fusion brain can most def do that, from the demo it looks to do everything if you have the drive to do what you want it to do.

    Is this something that could be setup through the front end with a button, or would it need to be done with relays and electronics. If we are going to get into this discussion about window control, another thing I have seen on some more expensive convertibles is where the window will roll down a small amount when you open the door so that it doesn't wear on the weatherstripping. My next question is whether anyone knows a way to make this work, roll the windows down slightly when the door is opened or the engine is shut off, then when the door is closed the window would roll back up. I know the BMW 330ci cars do this and I thought it to be pretty remarkable for saving the top.
    You may have to post over in the fusion brain forum, Im at the point I wanted to add the FB, but my setup is already massive and starting to become a headache. Wanted to intergrate my windows into the PC. I figured since the security system can already control it, I didnt need more wiring to complicate things.

    As far as locking the top down, could use something like a rotational torque to reattach it. With the manual lockdown, I have to wait until the top is fully up and then take the handle and push it 90 degrees to get it to lock the top down. Would it be possible to get a rotational motor that has a stop set at each end of 90 degrees. That might work, just replace the handle with the motor, then get rid of the push button lock all together. Make it to where when you push the button onscreen it would start with the rotational motor to release the locks, then after a timed delay? it would start to open the top? Would this work?
    That sounds very doable..... maybe the FB has a way to time control the motor, so the motor can turn to a certain posistion.

    The 7" screen that I will be using is a Xenarc 700TSV because I already have a front bezel that I can use to mold it into the dash. That way I don't have to wait for the screen to show up and dismantle it to mold. I can mold the screen then simply install the rest later.

    As far as the rear passengers being able to see the screen, I am not too worried about it, I have enlisted in the US Army and will be shipping to Basic within the next two weeks. When I finally get to my duty station I don't figure I will see my daughters but once a month if I am lucky so the rear headrest monitors aren't as big of a priority as they were.

    Wow, this has been the longest post I have put on this site and it is filled with jibberish. Hope I didn't bore anyone and maybe sparked some ideas in someone else.

    -Rob
    Well thats cool..... it saves alot of time, money and headaches. No you didnt bore us, I think I take 1st prize for long boring rambals, lol.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  10. #10
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    thanks for the answers, that logitech device, does it move around like a trackball, do you push the top in a direction and it moves a pointer? or do you spin it around and then push a button to get it to do what you are looking for it to do?
    [1997 Chevrolet Suburban]
    PLANNING.[====================] 15%]
    CAR PC......[====================] 0%]
    INSTALL....[====================] 0%]
    INTERIOR..[====================] 0%]
    BUDGET.....[====================] 5%]

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