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Thread: 1998 G20 Van Toy Hauler Project

  1. #1
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    Talking 1998 G20 Van Toy Hauler Project

    Hello all!

    I found this site by searching around for different applications to run on a computer I am planning on installing in my van. This forum seems exactly what I am looking for to get direction and advice and to show off my completed project in the near future. Since I am finding this site before work, I will be brief in my introduction and then poke around the site later today to see what I can learn.

    Here is a list of the things I plan to do with my recently purchased 1998 Chevy G20 cargo van:

    1. Install electric winch and ramp for single-person loading of motorcycle <- COMPLETED

    2. Install back-up camera and monitor <- equipment purchased, not yet installed

    3. Install Dell Optiplex SX270 computer with Exorvision 15" touch screen LCD <- have equipment, not yet installed

    4. Install Axiom A2 GPS and interface with computer <- have equipment and tech specs...haven't visited Radio Shack yet for necessary stuff

    5. Install webcam array on top of van <- have equipment, not yet installed

    6. Install active scanning radar system <- currently scouring military surplus sites and stores

    7. Install infrared and nightvision cams <- have technical specs to hack webcams to do the trick, haven't done it yet

    8. Increase overall security of vehicle by routing start-up functions and access control through computer or computerized lock-out system <- have magnetic card scanner and various bits of equipment, still looking for reliable method to accomplish this

    9. Install alternative power source through either solar panels, card-deck fuel cells, or some other suggestion <- currently in contact with various suppliers of these types of equipment and a couple of professors who seem to have perfected low output fuel cells for my type of applications

    10. Install GPS on motorcycle that will wirelessly interface with main system for downloads and mapping <- have equipment, looking for hacks and tech specs to accomplish

    11. Install weapons systems and defensive counter-measures <- turns out, this is a felony in my state so that stage is ON-HOLD



    Ok, I was just joking on that last one, although I seriously contemplated the potato-gun ramifications of 6" by 12' pipes mounted to the top of the van when I bought it. (It was a fleet vehicle for a large plumbing company.)

    As you can see, my goals are somewhat ambitious, maybe even unrealistic, and certainly early on in their development. This has the potential to suck massive amounts of my time, so I am forcing myself to relegate it the weekends. However, this isn't stopping me from visiting Fry's while I am out and about for work later today.

    I appreciate any and all direction the other members here. I know I am new to this clique, but I learn fast, understand most of the technical stuff, and am not afraid to sweat and get my hands dirty.

    The eventual goal is create a James Bond meets Starship Enterprise type of vehicle to take on long excursions to the west with my motorcycle and to just generally impress the bejesus out of my friends. As I progress, I will update with pictures and questions. Thanks for this site!!!!

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    7. Install infrared and nightvision cams <- have technical
    specs to hack webcams to do the trick, haven't done it yet
    Infrared lights and webcams - do work - but you really need
    image intensifier - like in real night vision - or a realy strong
    Infrared flood light - it will glow a dull red

    2. Install back-up camera and monitor <- equipment
    purchased, not yet installed
    use the computer for video capture - so you can record video
    I just ordered the "GESS DVR 104" from ebay - its a video capture
    card that captures from 4 different video cams at the same time -
    and it does it in MPEG-4 - I think it will allow me to view 4
    cams at the same time - that would be cool for your van

    9. Install alternative power source through either solar
    panels, card-deck fuel cells, or some other suggestion <- currently
    in contact with various suppliers of these types of equipment and
    a couple of professors who seem to have perfected low output
    fuel cells for my type of applications
    Wow guess you got some money - - just get a small
    generator that runs off of propane and have it charge 12v batterys
    you can put the generator in a sound proof box - just vent it good
    and watch the heat

    you can roll you own fuel cells but the membranes costs lots of $$$
    check out this page
    guerrilla.net
    check out "Power Systems" on that page

    11. Install weapons systems and defensive
    counter-measures <- turns out, this is a felony in my
    state so that stage is ON-HOLD

    Ok, I was just joking on that last one
    no, your not - not like the state has to know

    I used to play a game called "Interstate 76" I loved that dam game,
    you got to drive around in cars with guns mounted on them, and all
    kinds of good stuff - you had to kill every one in the cars with your
    car - it was fun we found ways to hack the cars, and had even more fun

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    Infrared lights and webcams - do work - but you really need
    image intensifier - like in real night vision - or a realy strong
    Infrared flood light - it will glow a dull red
    Good advice. I actually saw the infrared flood lights at Fry's yesterday and they weren't that expensive at all.



    use the computer for video capture - so you can record video
    I just ordered the "GESS DVR 104" from ebay - its a video capture
    card that captures from 4 different video cams at the same time -
    and it does it in MPEG-4 - I think it will allow me to view 4
    cams at the same time - that would be cool for your van
    I considered that, but I ran into a couple of problems:

    1. The windows on the van in the back are blacked out completely so the actual rearview mirror is useless.
    2. The G20 is REALLY long.

    Backing up is a major issue and I wanted it to be as seamless as possible for not just me, but for whomever might be moving the van. The actual webcam array will take care of the recording part from the rear, but I wanted a dedicated CCTV system which could be powered on in seconds.


    Wow guess you got some money - - just get a small
    generator that runs off of propane and have it charge 12v batterys
    you can put the generator in a sound proof box - just vent it good
    and watch the heat

    you can roll you own fuel cells but the membranes costs lots of $$$
    check out this page
    guerrilla.net
    check out "Power Systems" on that page
    Excellent link! Thank you!

    Surprisingly enough, what I am finding with regards to solar cells puts them well within my grasp. Again, Fry's helped me out yesterday. Their cheapest panel set was about $70, generating enough wattage to keep a deep cycle battery charged, even constant low load. I don't have my full electrical needs determined yet so I am not sure how many additional panels (or bigger ones) I will need yet. Here is the site for the panels Fry's carries: http://www.icpsolar.com/


    no, your not - not like the state has to know

    I used to play a game called "Interstate 76" I loved that dam game,
    you got to drive around in cars with guns mounted on them, and all
    kinds of good stuff - you had to kill every one in the cars with your
    car - it was fun we found ways to hack the cars, and had even more fun
    I would be interested in hearing more details about this game, if you care to share them. In the meantime, don't think I haven't seriously wondered what types of dual-use hardware I could install. I found a really great book once at Barnes and Noble which contained detailed plans for off-the-shelf inexpensive (relatively) devices. One which intrigued me was an EMP generator. Issues of disabling your own vehicle in the burst aside, imagine the possibilities of directing a pulse at the car near the stoplight with the music so loud it's shaking your windows. They also had directions for a medium distance cutting laser.

    Ah, the possibilities....


    I have considered what Stage II of this project would entail and I post some of thoughts soon. I am hoping that once Stage I (above) is complete, it will garner enough attention to get some corporate sponsorship for the next part.

  4. #4
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    Sound like you are building this vehicle for military use instead of for everyday carputer users.
    Who need an array of webcam, infrared, night vision cams. Active scanning radar system for what? Weapons for defend and counter-measure. Now you are sure of building a vehicle to guarding something.....
    Something isn't right with your setup man.
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  5. #5
    Rub One Out Motoko's Avatar
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    init, i was like "what the?"
    CarPC status: iPod, 3,456,217 songs so **** you

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixPC
    Sound like you are building this vehicle for military use instead of for everyday carputer users.
    Who need an array of webcam, infrared, night vision cams. Active scanning radar system for what? Weapons for defend and counter-measure. Now you are sure of building a vehicle to guarding something.....
    Something isn't right with your setup man.

    I need it because I think it would be cool and I want it. What other real reason do I need? I mean, when you stop to think about it, there is no NEED for a carputer at all except for some gee-whiz factors and A/V applications.

    The fact is that I stated quite clearly this vehicle is going to be used as a camping van. All the things I want on it, and which are well within the reach of anyone, have real uses in that situation. Infrared and night vision? Check some of the newer high-end sedans to see applications. Radar? I think nearly every new mini-van is equipped with it for crash and collision warnings.

    The fact is none of you were content with just having a car in the garage and a computer in the house. I am fortunate to have access to the equipment I do, the know-how to implement it, and the nerd-level to want to play once it is finished. Lighten up. Sheesh!

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    You got to check out this page Information Unlimited they got all kinds of good stuff

    I would be interested in hearing more details about this game,
    if you care to share them.
    the game took place in the mid 1970s - you got to use all the big
    cars from that time, they even had a few trucks a bus and
    some small cars

    You could make you car custom, but had a wait limit - and you
    had a limit on gun mounts, thats were the hacks came in - we
    could change the wait of the car - add more guns, even make it fly

    I had a flying school bus with 8 50cal guns and heavy armor
    but it moved like 15mph

    in the game they had a helicoptor and a tank that you had to fight
    - we hacked them so you could play with them, and some peeps
    found out how to make stuff out of the parts of the game - like one
    guy used a tire from one of the cars , made it bigger and put a 50cal
    gun on the top and bottom of the tire , and made it fly - it looked like
    a ufo with guns - another one did the same thing, but had the tire
    rolling on the ground - you could make maps for the game also
    some of the best maps had huge jumps , this game came out in 1996
    it was in 3D, but they decided to update the game and disabled all the
    good stuff - no more long jumps, and no hacked cars

    here is a webpage on the game
    Interstate '76

  8. #8
    Raw Wave lostreception's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum
    its nice to see some vans here from time to time

    where are you mounting the 15in monitor i have a 7in xenarc and will probably be selling it soon as i cant see a thing on it due to where its mounted in the center console. its a shame too cause its brand new
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by will1384
    You got to check out this page Information Unlimited they got all kinds of good stuff
    WOW! I love that site. The very real temptation to build and implement some of that stuff is powerful. On the bright side of things, no future wife will ever accuse me of being a couch potato with no hobbies. Thanks for the link!



    here is a webpage on the game
    Interstate '76[/QUOTE]


    I am checking into it. Looks like a winner, though I hope no one construes that to mean I am looking for some sort of training simulator for "military" cargo van.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostreception
    Welcome to the forum
    its nice to see some vans here from time to time

    where are you mounting the 15in monitor i have a 7in xenarc and will probably be selling it soon as i cant see a thing on it due to where its mounted in the center console. its a shame too cause its brand new

    Let me know some details about what you have. Maybe we can work something out as I am always looking for gadgets. Thanks!

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