First proper post, so wasn't sure where to post this one, its a bit big, but here it goes. I've recently setup an in-car pc with the following specs, don't have pics just yet, will post when I can find a decent camera:
2.8GHz Quad Core Q9300s (low powered version)
2GB DDR2 RAM (1 Low profile to fit underneath CPU cooler, 1 standard DIMM Size)
32GB SSD Pqi s525 (Primary - really gay drive, not even a legit 'SSD,' so many problems during installation)
1.5TB Western Digital 7200rpm Drive (Secondary, MUSIC, VIDEO, etc drive)
Zotac Mini-ITX GeForce 9400 Motherboard
m4-atx power supply (Possibly bought a dodgy one, but seems to work for the moment - will explain below)
Globalsat BU-353 GPS USB receiver
Linksys WUSB600N Wireless N Dual Band Adapter USB Cisco (Pretty sure thats the model)
Small PC case (mini-ITX)
Generic USB Digital TV Tuner - (Connected indoor antenna, so tv signal is really low)
Generic USB Radio Receiver - (Connected and working occasionally, poor reception due to the antenna being 1 inch long)
200W Amplifier connected using RCA to 3.5mm adaptors
* I did have a Creative PCI-e Soundblaster Fatal1ty Champion Card, but it would make an almighty WHINE/SQUEAL after driving for a long period, I'm guessing its the PCI connection popping loose, so I switched back to stock onboard sound.
Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit (fully updated)
Centrafuse 3.1 AUS NAV edition (Just updated to the new version)
Bluetooth Soleil (Latest Version)
I'm pretty sure that's all the specs relevant, everything else is like iTunes, VLC, Office, etc...
*Just so your aware I didn't buy the components just to build a car PC (MASSIVE OVERKILL), they were part of my HTPC, which I never used so I decided to port it over to the car. I do know a lil bit bout computers, but I still consider myself a NOOB, so if my descriptions are vague or incorrect forgive me.
It's been installed in my 1993 Mitsubishi Verada, HAHA, yeah i know, just wanted to try it before I start ripping dashboards, etc off a good car!
Now to the problems!!!
1st ISSUE - Ever since the install the m4-atx hasn't been working as I thought it should be. I've pushed the first pin down on the box, just like it recommends in the manual. However, everytime I switch ignition off, NOTHING HAPPENS! It'll take like a few minutes then shut off like the power's been cut, not hibernate, or a proper shutdown.
TEMPORARY SOLUTION - I've had to resort to pressing hibernate through centrafuse before I switch the car off, just to prevent restarting and waiting 1min each time I start the car. I don't trust windows enough to switch ignition off and hope that it hibernates. Now I am aware there is meant to be a USB connection from m4-atx to pc, however, I have no idea how to make a USB cable and no clue if it'll fix my problem.
I just want the m4-atx to hibernate when i switch ignition off (without me having to press hibernate everytime), and resume when I start the car. I'm thinking that my setup may chew too much power so i may need a bigger PSU as I have some boot problems occasionally when I don't use the car for extended periods of time (not sure! just thinking!)
Ever since the beginning GPS has been working intermittantly; poor reception is a probability, but not the full cause I would say. I use xport and I use COM ports 2 and 5 for GPS, however, everytime I start it begins saying - LOW SIGNAL, or INVALID DATA at the bottom. The manual says to let it calibrate, but it takes too long to calibrate and I'm not sure its worth doing.... I've set the settings in Centrafuse right, i think...... but I can't use TMC which is a shame.
NO SOLUTION AT THE MOMENT
Just have to pretty much pull usb out, put it back in drive to a hill and wait a while... wait for a lock then drive to my destination.... or restart and hope for the best... not ideal at all.....
I just want GPS to work on each reboot, lock on a satellite and not lose track every 50m!
those brief seconds are vital when it means i miss an exit and have to detour 4km!!!! especially when I'm late! I also wish centrafuse would get updated AUS maps, sometimes I end up driving on nothing.......:S so I always keep a refidex handy..
Centrafuse 3.1 update is almost worst than the initial 3.0 update! Everytime I pair a phone, headset, etc it works fine initially; I hibernate.... BAM! nothing. I've found exiting centrafuse and opening it reloads bluetooth, and it reconnects but that gets annoying. Also the Voice control doesn't work! I've got hands-free working on the phone with centrafuse, but no luck telling centrafuse to change song, etc. Doesn't work.... Are you meant to press that button on the main screen to get it to work? Coz everytime I press it, nothing happens, it just pops back up like you can't press it. I'm pretty sure all the settings are the same as centrafuse 2.0 where it worked fine...
Well atm I have to exit centrafuse and open it again to reconnect my iphone.. not ideal.
Not sure if you can write a script to re-initialize bluetooth, but I dont know how to do that.
Voice control... no idea... don't know how to get it working... WINDOWS speech recognition works, but centrafuse doesn't...
I just want to have a phone automatically connect, be able to play music over the speakers if I want to (so the passengers can control the music from the iphone), as well as play centrafuse music; I want to have contacts show up on the phone icon, there's always nothing there. Plus I wanna be able to send and receive sms, that would be nice... and above all want to get Voice Control working again! I just use a standard 3.5mm mic, which sits under the headlining above my door pointed at my face, picks up my voice fine amongst the loud noises, so mic quality shouldnt be an issue!
RADIO! I know noone listens to the radio anymore, but its good! Easy simple, news, music all in one, I tried using every FM receiver known to man! except the HCQTi (expensive), I want to connect the motorola coax antenna connector to the receiver so I get better reception. Does anyone know how I can do this? There is no sat HD radio in australia, so i have to settle with good ol FM. If you know of a USB FM Radio, compatible wiht centrafuse that works with good reception or can connect with the stock car antenna LET ME KNOW! My current one, bought on eBay, works just.... i had to google for drivers for the thing just so centrafuse can use it.
No solution, just hope someone konws of a reliable product with good reception, to use for the radio. nothing flashy, simple easy to install, possibly connected to the antenna in the car already...
iPhone PAN Network, I know that the iPhone has lots of limitations for bluetooth, I have a 3gs and it connects fine (most of the time, as stated above), can play music over the top usually... You might have noticed that OS 3.1.3 brought along with it legit tethering... no need to jailbreak (well I updated accidentally, so I cant anyway!), however I don't want to have to pullover, go to windows, open bluetooth soleil (SLOW TO OPEN!!!) then select iPhone then double click and enable PAN, then go back to centrafuse.
It would be nice if I could auto-connect PAN, each time the phone connects to centrafuse.
If anyone konws if this is possible, Id appreciate it ALOT!
Screen GHOSTING, I know its probably my 15m Generic VGA cable, but I had it connected via HDMI to compare and it still looks all ghostly and faded. Not a big deal, but would like a sharper image! when I take it out and connect in-house, the pic quality is fine, both touchscreen monitor and PC, so it's only when they're combined in-car.
Not sure, if I have to replace the cable, but if theres any other possible causes let me know!
That's it for now....
I have lots more problems, but well I've already written too much.. Sorry for the long post!
Issue 1: Sounds like a wiring issue. You need to check all your wires with a multimeter to make sure they are providing the proper voltages to the M4, both with ignition on and ignition off.
Issue 2: Make sure the GPS antenna has the best view of the sky possible. Metallic-tinted windows can interfere with reception, so keep that in mind as well.
Issue 3: Can't help you there, although I though CF had it's own BT stack, so you don't need a third party stack (like BlueSoleil). I could be wrong.
Issue 4: PC-based radios aren't built to be mobile, and the antennas and/or tuners are craptastical. You either need a PC radio that is made to me mobile, plain and simple.
Issue 5: Can't help there. I tethered a Palm Treo with no problems back in the day. Can't help w/ iPhone tethering.
I'm guessing the ignition cable is the one that affects the "smart" part of the PSU? so if it doesn't receive the right amount of voltage nothing happens?
hey for issue 6. what monitor are you using? my Lilliput eby701 was doing the same thing. i had to use tons of force and push the DIN connector together then screw it down SUPER tight to get the screen to clear up. try to jiggle your connector around and see if it changes and if it does then its probably just loose.
issue 4: as far as i know there is no easy answer. i am using (not really) the ADSsilislabs USB radio. it says its supported but it does not work no matter what i try and Centrafuse forums are no help. they all say " oh mine works blah blah" their support is kind weak IMO.
issue 2: i have same USB GPS and mine was doing the same thing. you need to make sure the port settings in windows are set to 4800 as well as in CF. mine worked as soon as i changed those settings.
as far as everything else, i use the M2-ATX-HV and it works as described. i haven't had a chance to set up bluetooth yet and with all issues everyone has i may wait on that considering its not that important to me.
2nd Issue, where is the GPS puck sitting? Is it covered by anything? Sitting up on the top of the dash? Let us know where it sits, and we might be able to give some more pointers.
3rd Issue, I think you can use Xport to reset some of the devices on resume from hibernation, might be worth adding the bluetooth dongle to that to get it to reset, I think that is one of the solutions posted over on the centrafuse forums.
4th Issue, see if you can pick up a Directed HD radio, or the other unit that is the same. They are US HD radio's, but they work perfectly in Australia with the regular FM stations, they support AM too, and they will actually pick up some of the track details on some of the FM stations (In perth I can get about 3 of the stations to give track info). You will need to look for one on something like Ebay, or Mo-Co-So, then pick up one of mitchjs's cables to interface it back to the PC. Works out of the box on Centrafuse.
In all honesty....don't even LOOK at the HQCT-i. I bought one originally, as it looked perfect for my use....but your antenna is a 75ohm unit, and the HQCT-i is a 50ohm, so you are immediately capped at 50% reception. The unit sounds horrible, doesn't work very reliably, especially out of hibernation, and is WAAAAAY overpriced. As a rough idea, it was about $260 AUD to order the HQCT-i with the extra couple of cables and have it posted (After a month long wait with no updates), versus about 4 days to order the Directed HD radio off ebay US, and order the mitchjs cable from Mo-Co-So.
5th Issue: I can't even get my iphone to tether on my system, I think I'm going to have to do a reinstall to see if that cleans it up (I have a couple of other issues with CF3.1, so hoping a reinstall might improve on that).
6th Issue: It may be worth checking your power input to the screen. The ghosting could be the cable, but it could also be interference of power cables around the VGA cable. Make sure the screen is running on 12V regulated power, not the 12V direct from the car. Make sure that along the length of the VGA cable, there aren't any power lines running near it. If its a 15m cable, then I'm guessing you have the computer in the boot of the car? If so, one of the big recommendations is to run the power leads down one side of the chassis, and the data and video leads down the other side, or through the middle, to give as much separation as possible. But obviously, this depends on the car.
power, but I do have a 12v power regulator inline which i bought from dick smith. This should provide clean 12v power, but I guess not... the interference is another possibility, I'll check it out
issue 4, yeah i've had a look for something decent, no go with the majority of what's out there.
issue 2, the gps has the correct baud rate, but the setting's have worked before, it's just the data coming through it.
I was thinking of changing the psu, maybe the m2-atx might play a little bit nicer with my setup
Thanks for your input!
my gps is sitting behind my back seat right underneath the rear windscreen, I've drilled a hole from the boot next to where the speakers sit at the back, but i've run my indoor tv antenna and my wifi dongle through the same hole... maybe the interference is causing some errors... I have some pics from my iphone and I'll post them up when I get some free time on my hands just so you can have a look.
3rd issue, thanks for that, I didn't know that xport could be used that way, I'll have a look in the forums, but if you know of the link to the thread i'd appreciate it as it'd save me some time.
4th issue, you are a lifesaver if this thing does what you say, what brands are available and how much did you pick yours up for, including cables, etc?
5th issue, yeah i found out apple released usb and bluetooth tethering legitimately with OS 3.1.3, so i decided to update straight away, not knowing my model has a newer bootrom and so i can't jailbreak it. I've got no troubles with the usb tethering, i just want it to auto tether the internet through bluetooth (the lack of bluetooth profiles on the iphone sucks!) so I don't have to switch to windows from centrafuse and connect using PAN (bluesoleil). I tried a Centrafuse 3.1 reinstall... no luck, now i'm having troubles with general responsiveness.. maybe its because of the installed plugins, i'll have to do some troubleshooting when i get some time.
6th issue, yeah my pc is in the boot, i've run the vga cable pretty much through the centre of the car because i took the centre console out as well as the centre panels with the storage compartments, etc. I know it was dodge the moment I bought it, but I thought I could clear it up a bit once it was all laid out, but it's pretty complicated and time-consuming tearing everything up, so i might just leave it altogether. My power leads (its a rockford fosgate multiamp wiring kit that i had lying around, massive 2-gauge stuff like 5cm in diameter!) which I run through the firewall and under the trim panel of the driver's side. My thinking was even if I had the vga next to it, being rockford fosgate leads, the shielding would be superior enough to prevent a lot of interference.... another possiblity someone advised me of is grounding with regards to my lcd power connection but I don't really know much about grounding.... I've tested the screens and pc out of the car and they are perfect. So its either the vga cable or the power to the screen.
Thanks for your tip bout the hd radio, will have to scrounge around and have a look on ebay!
i picked up a 2ND HAND hqct for $100 us delivered, barging as I listen to AM radio, will move to HD when there's more options, so atm it's the HQCT
New Car PC Build list in progress
I have had issues with a radio as well, I don't use the radio much but the misses does and is always complaining to me that there isn't one. After a lot of research I have found what I believe 2 viable options.
Directed HD DMHD1000. This has been hard to find, few on eBay but high shipping costs out of the US. Have found it on mo-co-so.com for USD 99.99, not a bad price, I have emailed them and asked for shipping costs, I have used them before and they are a good supplier, well in my experience anyway. They also have the audio cable. I have read this is a good solution, my biggest issue is I don't have a serial connection on my PC, although there is a header for one so I could add one.
Car TFT FM Tuner with RDS. This seems to be fairly new or I have missed it in my previous searches. It seems to have some fairly positive installs but I am sure the quality is not as good as the Directed HD. Positive side is it is a bit cheaper and uses USB. The biggest negatives seems to be the reception. If I go this option I would connect it to my existing car aerial which seems possible.
So that is what I have found so far. I will probably try the 2nd option for ease of install and cost and I can get it from a European dealer. I have included some links below that might help. Hope this helps a little.