I am looking into putting a laptop (permanently mounted) in my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid.
The laptop is a Dell M1710
Core 2 Duo T7600 @ 2.33 GHz
4.0 GB RAM
Dell Truemobile 355 Bluetooth
BD-RE UJ-210 Blueray drive
Intel Pro/wireless 3945ABG Wireless
Windows Vista 32 SP1
I would like the computer to serve as a HD radio, video playback, navigation, blue tooth (network and cellphone), and auto diagnostics center for my car.
My question here is what software is best suited for a laptop car computer with a touchscreen?
I am considering:
open source front ends - to all custom configuration needs
prepackaged GPS navigational
auto diagnostic software
Also what hardware will i need to recieve HD radio, and interface with my car for diagnostics?
Just to get started I wanted to mount the laptop securely in the trunk, with a docking station. then route the display and USB connections towards the dash. I was thinking of using a the black double DIN nano ITX enclosure that they sell here to hold a 7" touch display.
I already have a 1200w 110vac power source in the car, with a spare battery to power it, just have to throw together a delayed power on circuit. Once I have the computer installed i think the rest will come with time and patience. I have been reading through the different forums, but I just wanted feed back on what people are using now for software. I live in Southern California, and I wanted to get a GPS receiver and software that work well here. I want the GPS antenna to be able to mount externally, as this improves signal strength. I have no preference of software as yet, but was looking into MS streets and trips currently. The other two things are the front end and the diagnostic software. I picked this laptop because of how powerful it was for this type of application, plus its kinda nice to watch HD Bluray movies on.
no need to spend $55 on just a screen holder:
i would actually recommend getting the pre-mounted unit-- because it will carry at least a small warranty(if you mount it yourself, you void all warranties)-- mp3car, or bybyte sells them.
it is not so much that it is hard to mount, or that anything will go wrong, just the fact that you loose all warranties as soon as the screen is removed from its case, and if something were to happen after that, your out the cost of a screen...
invertors are a little frowned upon because some of them emit dirty power, just something to keep in mind...
as long as your in the US, there are plenty of options-- i don't use any gps programs, and have heard great and horrible things about all the different ones, so i don't think that any of them are 'better', just different routing engines, and gui's...
i have the gps puck from the mp3car store,(bu53 or something...). i had it outside, mounted on the corner of the hood(have a convertible, so roof wouldn't work), and currently have it under the dash, it seems to pick up the signal great in either location.
for frontends, there are many, and every one has its own haters and supporters, so can't help you much there either...(i run riderunner, but watch openmobile, and some of the other open source fe's on the verge of working...)
i don't run diagnostics, so can't help there...
My eyes are blurry from all the reading I did this morning,
but I have a good idea on peripherals I am considering.
For the AM/FM/HD radio:
I am still up in the air about the GPS, you said you use the BU-353 GPS device, but do you use any maps, or routing software?
I am considering both the Garmin Mobile PC that comes with a GPS device for $99, or the BU-353 with some other software package.
I also would like to have the computer do a blue tooth connection for my phone but I do not know if this is possible.
I am considering removing the inverter if I can come up with a good way to power the laptop without the use of AC power
Just gotta say, I used to have a 03 HCH and I loved it, so props on the great car! Next, I don't know what kind of budget you are looking at but I had ised a 1Ghz nanoITX, Xenarc 7" and M2-atx PSU and mounted all of those behind the screen in the dash. Might be something to look into. all you would need to run wires for in the amp ( although you could use the bybyte mini amp for that behind the screen also if you want.
I used the Bu-353 with iGuidance 3 when I had that car, butthe gps unit should work with just about any PC software you decide to use.
I have a limited budget, that is why I am using the laptop, as I will spend more time modifying the car then buying parts that are made to fit. the only purchases I will consider for this project are the peripherals, some sort of DC to DC power supply, and the control circuits required to power up the laptop when I auto start the car.
i don't use it for maps yet(i planned to, and just haven't gotten to it) but i have heard/read very few complaints on the bu-353, it "just works", and seems to lock in pretty quick.
i am under the asumption that you can use any gps dongle with any software, but i could be wrong... the biggest difference is the routing engine in the different programs-- streets and trips could send you down the freeway, and garmin maps could send you down side streets(or vice-versa), but both would get you where you need to go...
can't help you with bluetooth much, though i thought i heard that centrafuse is supposed to have better bt integration(can't confirm)...
being that you have a dell, head over to the dell section of the laptop area-- some dell ac adapters have a special little coded board that tells the laptop it is allowed to charge from the adapter-- if yours has it, it will take more work, cause the laptop wont even charge/power up from any other adapter, even with the correct voltage..
If you go with garmin mobile PC I can offer this:
I'm also going to recommend you pull 2gb of ram out of the laptop. Thats going to sound strange at first but you will never use more then 1 1/2. All that 4GB will do is slow down your startup speeds.
If that is how it will work, all I have to say is wow, definitely going with the Garmin Mobile PC.
I will take your advice to remove the ram when I build the system, right now I am still figuring out all the things I need for the build and the software.
I have a plan for the power adapter (DC to DC) for the laptop but I will probably have to buy a separate power adapter for the screen, and still do not know what to choose. Since it is only powering the screen itself, witch is only 7w of power it can be very small. I do not want to just hook it up to the battery.
As far as Front Ends go I like the idea of an open source FE. The two I am interested in are openMobile, and Riderunner. I am still a beginner programmer, as I just graduated from programming school, and would love to be able to customize the FE. I can program in C++, C#, VB, java, and a little flash.
I am not primarily concerned with the OBD II stuff as I can incorporate that later on.
So i am pretty close to nailing down all the hardware and software.
I really cant wait to get started.