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Thread: Need help choosing the best setup for my needs

  1. #1
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    Question Need help choosing the best setup for my needs

    I just bought a new car ('92 Camaro), and I'm trying to figure out how I should best equip it in terms of audio control. I know I want a single DIN flip-out touchscreen. I want it to quickly begin playing my music (10,000+ songs) after putting the key in the ignition. Preferably it would have a hard drive to store my music, and would display artist/album/song and album art. It could have an iPod audio/video hookup instead. I would also like regular radio, and DVD, as well as bluetooth. I would like it to have rear USB control, and if possible I would like to be able to control the unit from my phone. (I have a Palm Pre, and there are multiple VNC and VLC remote apps available).

    From the research I have done, the Pioneer AVH-P5200BT would be pretty much perfect, if it had rear input for iPod. Is there anything else that fits my needs? I like a good-looking UI (and being able to change background image, button lighting), and fast response. I'm open to standalone head-units as well as computer setups...whatever would fit my needs best.

    Also the screen needs to flip out regularly, not like the weird way that the Kenwood KVT-516 flips out.

    Thanks in advance!

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    i am heavily biased against head units(part of the reason i am here), so i really don't know too much about the pioneer units anymore...

    if you choose to go with a carpc, i would never recommend any of the current motorized vga-lcd flip-up screens-- all of the ones in the current market are horrible quality: some, the video cable ribbon constantly breaks, and others use such poor quality, plastic gears to flip the display up, that they strip within months of just normal usage...

    if you were to go with a windows 7 based carpc, you could setup hybrid sleep-- which is just short of instant-on..(probably about 5sec on average boot time)

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    i am heavily biased against head units(part of the reason i am here), so i really don't know too much about the pioneer units anymore...

    if you choose to go with a carpc, i would never recommend any of the current motorized vga-lcd flip-up screens-- all of the ones in the current market are horrible quality: some, the video cable ribbon constantly breaks, and others use such poor quality, plastic gears to flip the display up, that they strip within months of just normal usage...

    if you were to go with a windows 7 based carpc, you could setup hybrid sleep-- which is just short of instant-on..(probably about 5sec on average boot time)
    +1 about the motorized screens. I have one and I just keep it "out" all the time since it's fairly unreliable mechanically.

    can you do a double din in your car? if so, just get one of those double din adapters.

    As for instant playback, you can get pretty close to instant, but it will depend on your software and hardware choices. This is a good thread to read about different hardware/software combos and related boot times. I personally am building a CarPC that never turns off. That way I will have true instant-on .
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    Unfortunately, I NEED to go with a flip-out display. My car is a convertible, so I need the screen to be hide-able so people are less tempted to cut into the top. I attached a picture of where I want the screen to come out. I'm at work so it's just a low quality picture I found online, but you should still be able to see what I mean. I want to move the climate control to the bottom, then put just the faceplate from the stock radio on top so it looks like that's what I have installed. I would have some flap thing where the yellow is the screen would push out of the way so that it cannot be seen at all. The screen would probably have to come out at a forwardish angle so the unit would clear the lowered climate controls, then tip backwards so it's straight up and down.

    Does that make sense? Does anyone have any other ideas as to how I could make it appear that I have the factory radio installed? Thanks for the advice so far!
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    some other ideas-- they are all computer-related though, so if you want hu info, can't help much..

    1. i tried finding the thread, but can't seem to locate it right now-- there was a member that used cabinet-drawer rails to slot-load a normal lcd screen(it was a mid/late 90's ford ranger/explorer). maybe you could use a similar setup to get a normal sized lcd to work without looking obtrusive when parked.

    2. use a flip-up hu, but use a vga-to-composite adapter to get the video to display, and use something like a space navigator, or griffin powermate to control the computer, and audio playback-- this video solution will have video-quality issues though-- so text, and other small icons might be unreadable, or very hard to read...

    3. use a control solution similar as option 2, but use a small graphic lcd to display song info.

    i think that these are some good options for a non-obtrusive, high-song-count setup, but there are really tons of different ways to do each of the options i listed. these forums have been around since they were running graphic lcd's, and home-brew software setups, so i am pretty confident that anything that you can think of doing has been done, or at least considered...

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    some other ideas-- they are all computer-related though, so if you want hu info, can't help much..

    1. i tried finding the thread, but can't seem to locate it right now-- there was a member that used cabinet-drawer rails to slot-load a normal lcd screen(it was a mid/late 90's ford ranger/explorer). maybe you could use a similar setup to get a normal sized lcd to work without looking obtrusive when parked.

    2. use a flip-up hu, but use a vga-to-composite adapter to get the video to display, and use something like a space navigator, or griffin powermate to control the computer, and audio playback-- this video solution will have video-quality issues though-- so text, and other small icons might be unreadable, or very hard to read...

    3. use a control solution similar as option 2, but use a small graphic lcd to display song info.

    i think that these are some good options for a non-obtrusive, high-song-count setup, but there are really tons of different ways to do each of the options i listed. these forums have been around since they were running graphic lcd's, and home-brew software setups, so i am pretty confident that anything that you can think of doing has been done, or at least considered...

    I think I will probably get a regular HU, then if at some point down the road I want to add a computer I could using composite in as you suggested. I was also thinking it would be cool if I could hook up a steering wheel control module into the faceplate from the stock radio so that the stock buttons could control the flip up display. That may mean that too much of the stock radio would have to stay intact and there would be no room for the flip-out display though...

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    a common solution for theft prevention is to cut off the face of a crummy looking radio, and create a way to allow the crummy face to cover the real radio. usually, this is done by setting the aftermarket radio deeper into the dash, so the crummy plate looks flush..

    i think it usually looks bad when you can see the good hu, but such can be the cost for good theft prevention...

    for steering wheel controls-- PAC makes steering wheel button adapters for aftermarket radios. there are also options like this for carpc's as well.

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    After looking more closely at the clearance I have, I think my best bet would be to mount a 2 DIN size touch screen behind a factory radio faceplate that would somehow flip down and slide underneath the touchscreen. I would have to get rid of the climate controls, so I would need to go with a CarPC that can control car temperature. I would want it to have at least 80GB solid-state storage, bluetooth and internet. Eventually I would probably want CD/DVD, HD radio, AM/FM Radio, etc but not right away

    How much would a setup like that run me?

    EDIT: After more thinking, I think I have a plan that will be easy and look good. I would like to use the original radio and climate controls, and simply mount a flip-down (roof type) screen under the center air vents. I need to find a screen that's only about 8" wide, and less than 6" tall when flipped down though. Does anyone know there are flip-down touchscreens that are that small? The smallest I've seen is 12" diag which would be way too big.

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    a rough estimate of a general carpc is about $1,000. i have seem carpcs way below this(sometimes as little as $500), and way above(my setup is roughly nearing the $3,000 mark...), but in general...

    there are a couple threads in the fusion brain area on controlling a cars hvac, so that would be a good place to start for that.

    for the screen, maybe look into the factory-installed flipdown monitors from ford/chrysler minivans? i remember them being small when i looked at them a couple years ago, but don't remember how small..

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    Do you know if those factory screens are touchscreen though? That's my biggest problem.

    Has anyone ever tried mounting the Mimo 720-S upside-down? If it could be done that would probably be the best solutions, but I'm concerned that it will want to tilt with the bottom back farther than the front instead of straight up and down...

    EDIT: Is there any reason why I couldn't just mount a touchscreen netbook upside-down?

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