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Thread: iPod-based Car PC

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    The no-PC solution Bugbyte recommended is starting to look possible. It will, however, require me to jailbreak my iPod and write a few applications for it myself (I'm hoping iPod will have the processing power to handle this). I would also have to remove the iPod interface I already bought.

    Radio to PC interface (allowing me to use my steering wheel controls and radio buttons) ($80):
    GPS module (adding GPS to iPod and interfacing with the PC interface) ($75):
    kiwiwifi module (for ODB-II data) ($150):
    Rev iPod app (for showing ODB-II data) ($50): Apple Store

    The result is that for $355 (not including the price of my iPod Touch) I can get GPS, WiFi, music, movies (iPod-compatible format), and ODB-II data in my car. I will also have to buy a new iPod mount since my current one is attached to my iPod interface. My guess is that even a basic CarPC with no monitor (as described in post 1) will cost me more than that to build.

    The catch is that I will probably have to write an app for my iPod to communicate with the Radio2PC interface, since they're both expecting to be connected to a computer.

    Still not covered by this solution:
    Parking Sensor integration (I might have to build a small board with a WiFi transmitter to send the data to iPod)
    Voice Recognition (microphone easily interfaces with iPod Touch 2G using headphone jack, the tricky part is software that's also not resource intensive)

    Possible problems/risks:
    Too many apps running at once on iPod, resource intensive, it might not handle it (parking sensors, voice recognition, GPS -I'm assuming GPS/music/Rev will be mutually exclusive)
    Car2PC might not talk to iPod correctly even after it's jailbroken
    Jailbroken iPod might crash when running store-bought iPod apps (Rev)

    Feedback is appreciated.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    It seems that my idea might not work. After sending an email to iGPS360 iPod module creator asking him if all of USB data between iPod and whatever is plugged in gets forwarded through the GPS, his reply was that that's not the case, since the module doesn't use USB. This answer seems weird to me, why wouldn't the module still be able to forward the USB data through itself even if it doesn't use it, but the creator probably knows his design better than I do. He did say that the USB connector can be used to charge both the iPod and the GPS. If that's really the case, I will have to build some sort of a carPC. But instead of adding WiFi to it, it might make more sense to remove the current iPod interface, replacing it with PC interface and connecting the PC to iPod using serial connector directly.

    So my questions are:
    1.) Do I still need 3rd party ODB-II module or can I just connect my carPC to my car's ODB-II connector using serial port and forward this data to my iPod?
    2.) Is there ODB-II software for Linux or would I still need to run the ODB-II app on my iPod?
    3.) If I have to build a carPC anyway, I might as well buy cheaper GPS antenna for it than one for my iPod. Are all antennas the same in terms of reception or are there ones that I should stay away from?


  3. #13
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
    Blog Entries
    So, how about using an inexpensive device like this: Sheeva plug.

    It's a low cost linux embedded device based on an open source design and implementation.

    I've got an old router just laying around that I can plug into this thing to put it on a network in the car. Then, you'd need to put apps on the Sheeva plug to serve this stuff up to the iPod. Perhaps it is possible to build an app that runs using Backgrounder on the iPhone and makes GPS data available, along with other info like XM or whatever.

    The app you would write for the iPod would be the basic front end that helps your iPod communicate with the outside world.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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