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Thread: Planning a car PC for a e39 bmw with OEM navigation- help needed

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    Planning a car PC for a e39 bmw with OEM navigation- help needed

    Hi all,

    I have a 2002 BMW M5, with the factory widescreen sat-nav system.

    I'd like to add a car pc to my car, and keep it as factory as possible. Main aims are to play music and have a better sat-nav than the ten-year old system I have now.

    After much searching on these forums and the internet at large, it seems that I can do that by using a car pc in the boot, connected to the factory screen using a video converter from navtools, and I can get the PC controlled by the existing keys on both the steering wheel and factory sat-nav using a ibus USB interface and matching drivers. Audio goes into factory stereo, using tape input. So far so good.

    The problem is that the factory screen is not touch screen, and the factory interface is designed to be operated using just a few buttons, actually a rotary knob is used for most things. In practice this works well. So I would like a front-end which can be controlled entirely by these controls. Essentially the knob would be mapped to say up/down, pressing the knob mapped to "enter", and the menu button can be used too. Volume can be controlled by sterring wheels buttons or the volume rotary knob.

    I have been looking for a front-end that would let me control everything using just a few keys, but so far, I have had no luck. Both riderunner and centrafuse are not well suited for that it seems, they seem mostly targeted towards touchscreens. RR seemed to kind of work, but the sat nav would not work well with just keys.


    Yes I could use a separate keyboard, indeed I have one already, but for daily use it would be best if it was not necessary.

    What are my options at this point?
    - Is there a front-end, or a skin for RR/Centrafuse, that would work? That would seem the simplest.
    - Is retrofitting some kind of touchscreen overlay possible? Ultrasound/video based solutions maybe?
    - Adding a wireless mouse/ joystick to control the PC?


    All suggestions welcome!

  2. #2
    Confusion Master
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    RR can work quite well as the physical buttons you have can be mapped to almost anything, even different ones on different screens.


    The iDrive skins are designed to be able to work with keyboard arrow controls (or mapped buttons/keys) to move around.


    The BMW screns don't tend to be standard size (normally 6.5" as opposed to 7") so getting a touch screen to work wouldbe tricky.

    However have a look for a thread by Sama, he did a lot of work getting a carPC to work with his M3 OEM system, including a capacitive touch screen.

    Also look at the work by bes51659

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