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Thread: Thoughts on my idea.

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on my idea.

    HI All, been in the back ground for a while and now want to go a step further!

    I'm planning a trip to morocco in march next year for 5 weeks in my LR discovery and this has been the seed for fitting a gps/computer based system in the disco on a semi permant manner.

    I want to create a very flexible setup that will enable me to do various tasks.
    I'll try explian in some detail below what i want and then put my suggest as to how i might achieve it ( your thoughts most welcome on this point)!


    I've a Audi A3 and odviously the discovery which day to day are used my gf and me locally, thus not really needing gps/pc system installed. I want to be able to move the setup between these two cars. Both cars have airbags which means that if the passenger has the laptop on there lap then if airbags were to be deploid then injury will occur. I have a hand held 'Garmin etrex vista' which i want to use for the gps signal! this allows me to navigate on foot and on my mounting bike. The use in the audi will mainly be just navigation but the discovery is used for offroading/greenlaning and also for the overland expedition next march so requires more from the system: see below

    Navigation: route finding, lat/long coordinates etc
    service manuals for discovery
    storage for ditigal camera downloads
    journey diary
    Full cd collection (hopefully linking with car amplifier)
    Dvd movies

    MY IDEA!

    Ideally a docking station for laptop!?
    How would i turn the laptop on from drivers seat?
    I have a laptop which is desk top replacement(Fujitsu seimens) would this cope with continous use? vibrations? etc
    I was hope to pickup a old laptop base with a u/s screen put prices seem silly when for little more you can pick up new laptop?
    What other things would need to consider?


    Future expansions ideas include integration into car audio system, reversing cam, engine and int/ext temp monitoring.


    All thoughts welcome please

    Mark.

    ANy other idea for the system that i might find useful?

  2. #2
    See me in my wet t-shirt. stevieg's Avatar
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    Hiya,

    Nice to see someone else local on the boards!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    I've a Audi A3 and odviously the discovery which day to day are used my gf and me locally, thus not really needing gps/pc system installed. I want to be able to move the setup between these two cars. Both cars have airbags which means that if the passenger has the laptop on there lap then if airbags were to be deploid then injury will occur.
    OK, then your best bet is a touchscreen mounted in a proper location, such as the Lilliput or Xenarc/Gain, from www.linitx.com, this also allows you to control the laptop/PC without the keyboard/mouse.

    If you get two mounts from www.dashmount.co.uk which will be suited to each car it should make moving the screens between the two cars quite trivial, along with the laptop wires. Ideally you'd have room for your laptop under the seat, using a laptop DC-DC power supply plugged into the lighter power socket to make moving between cars easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    I have a hand held 'Garmin etrex vista' which i want to use for the gps signal!
    You'll need to check if it has a USB/Serial connection that outputs standard NMEA data. Alternatively, look for a GPS mouse of EBAY (BU303 from Hong kong, approx 30) which you can keep in the cars permanently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    Navigation: route finding, lat/long coordinates etc
    Have a look at Destinator or MS MapPoint with something like VOICES on top for in-car use. If you're looking for something a little cheaper, Navigator 4 is also a good bet (http://www.pcmediastore.co.uk/)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    service manuals for discovery
    storage for ditigal camera downloads
    journey diary
    The above depend on how you want to use the system. I've had the Ford TIS equivalent on mine, but took it off because I don't need it. I'd assume it's the kind of thing you put on and use in emergencies; once again the storage and journey diary is the kind of thing I imagine you can do in normal Windows while the car is stationary, or in the hotel room etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    Full cd collection (hopefully linking with car amplifier)
    Dvd movies
    Have a look at Frodoplayer or MediaCar, even VOICES as a touch screen front end to make it easy to control the music while on the move.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    MY IDEA!

    Ideally a docking station for laptop!?
    How would i turn the laptop on from drivers seat?
    You can either chop the laptop up and wire in an extra power button, alternatively, use it's standby mode and configure it so you can wake it just by tapping the touchscreen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    I have a laptop which is desk top replacement(Fujitsu seimens) would this cope with continous use? vibrations? etc
    Laptop HDDs are usually tougher than desktop HDDs; I use a desktop HDD in my car PC and it's survived driving over a brick some tw*t put in the road in the underpass by the Swan, Cov road if you know it; and general pot-holes on roads out past coleshill on my way home.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    I was hope to pickup a old laptop base with a u/s screen put prices seem silly when for little more you can pick up new laptop?
    Yeah I know, second hand laptop prices are stupid!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    What other things would need to consider?
    You could consider building a proper Car PC. If you go into WH Smiths tommorow, you should be able to pick up a copy of Custom PC magazine, which features my car over 8 pages and has a two page How To Build a Car PC, in which they have basically written all the best advice they've read on these forums to tell you how to get a decent set - up running. The entire of my setup cost around 800 quid, including screen and bits for audio, GPS etc


    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    Future expansions ideas include integration into car audio system, reversing cam, engine and int/ext temp monitoring.
    Sounds good. If you're looking to move the setup between two cars you will end up with maybe one laptop and two sets of everything else - the car audio integration and engine monitoring are often model/manufacturer specific (The ELM scantool that's very popular on these boards comes in different version for different manufacturers, if you have a standard stereo, something like the Connects2 AUX in adapter will do you proud, but you'll need a different kind for each car as far as I know) and items like revering camera require a lot of wiring in, drilling to look as if they are standard.

    HTH

    Steve
    Ford Focus MP3 : www.stevieg.org/carpc Blog Updated 29 January 2009!
    Car PC Status: Complete - Undergoing Software Redevelopment

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate brrman's Avatar
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    An Audi A3??? O I am jealous.
    We don't get the A3 this side of the pond... not yet anyway.
    Car: 2000 Audi A4 Avant 1.8t
    Carputer 2.0: removed. Back to stock.

  4. #4
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    stevie thanks for the reply, i'll be getting a copy asap!

    I've ordered the nav 4 software now.

    Just gonna weigh up building a pc( never done it B4 ) or search a bit longer for a laptop base.

    i See alot of lilliput 7" touch screens on e-bay put there inported from hongkong so not sure of import duties etc

    Anyway cheers, I'll let you know how i get on

    Mark

    PS: brrman the A3 is my best car yet! full spec and great to drive

  5. #5
    See me in my wet t-shirt. stevieg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinx
    stevie thanks for the reply, i'll be getting a copy asap!

    I've ordered the nav 4 software now.

    Just gonna weigh up building a pc( never done it B4 ) or search a bit longer for a laptop base.

    i See alot of lilliput 7" touch screens on e-bay put there inported from hongkong so not sure of import duties etc

    Anyway cheers, I'll let you know how i get on

    Mark

    PS: brrman the A3 is my best car yet! full spec and great to drive
    You can get the Lilliput or Xenarc direct in the UK from decent suppliers you know? You don't HAVE to rely on Ebay.
    Ford Focus MP3 : www.stevieg.org/carpc Blog Updated 29 January 2009!
    Car PC Status: Complete - Undergoing Software Redevelopment

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