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Thread: Just started my project, very very very confused

  1. #1
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    Question Just started my project, very very very confused

    Hi guys,

    I live in a pretty crappy neighborhood where cars get broken into all the time. About 3 days ago my brand new head unit was robbed out of my car. So i decided that the only way im gonna be able to enjoy good sound in my car is to gut my delco pontiac headunit (circa '94) and rewire it to work as a serial interface plus screen to a car pc that will be hidden far far away. I picked up a few things that I know ill need (an amp some wiring stuff, car power supply)

    Ive tried browsing around but i am really overwhelemed as to what i need and where i can start. Im a decently skilled computer user more with windows and os x but i think ill need linux to get this off the ground.

    Can anyone tell me where i can get started with setting up car pc software that will play mp3s off of my ipod, do sirius, and output to probably an alphanumeric display.

    In specific id like to put a simple serial lcd where my head unit's clock lcd was and then install a 2 or 3" screen where the eq and tape deck are.

    I dont want a touch screen but i want to wire the buttons i have to an interface.

    Does anyone know if i can get a wiring schematic from the ribbon cable that goes from the face of delco unit to the main board, i would love to keep it looking stock.


    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    You can do all you suggest but it will be 10x harder than going with a conventional setup (touchscreen) and just disguising it in some way. I saw a bmw pic around where the owner had an LCD low in the dash and when he left his car he had a notepad (pad of paper) he would put there. The notepad looked “installed” so nobody would expect to see anything behind it. That is what I am talking about. A fake cover for your LCD or something that makes it look like your stock faceplate. Anything like that will be way easier (and just as effective) than trying to wire everything to your stock components.

  3. #3
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    Thats a pretty good idea, but I think it would be really cool i pulled off interfacing with the head unit. Im not trying to deck it out either, i dont really need gps and i dont want to invest in a 7" touch screen. Does anyone of the smallest color lcd screen that i can get will accept composite video, i was thinking about ripping apart a dreamcast portable screen but i think its too big for what i want.

    Also, would i be able to drive to separate lcd's with dashwerks, or cmms?

    Im trying to sort of out all the info right but if anyone does something like this before i would be gratefull.

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate DJiK's Avatar
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    Look Here for what you're trying to achieve.

    If you want to go that route and make your own "Button Input Prototype," keep in mind that I have one I created a few months ago...
    PM me if you have any questions about it.
    For Sale: Carputer (CarPC) & RCA Y-Adapter
    Newsflash: Take a look at my unsold stuff above, thanks!
    Up Next: Make an OBD to Serial cable & Redo the "MMI buttons"

  5. #5
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    do a search for the toyota mr2 in the show off your projects sectioin he did what you're talking about. also some possible solutions would be using centrafuse and it's text lcd capability, ipac2 keyboard interface with wired to the stock h/u's buttons and also look at the idrive interface tonyg put together.
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  6. #6
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    yeah, it doesnt look like id be able to interface with the head unit's controls straight through. i think if i found the service manual for this headunit id be able to at least to get the lights on. anyway thanks guys and if anyone knows where to get the manual it would be a life saver.

  7. #7
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    you wont be able to interface with it unless you ae able to use the pc to car adapter someone on the forum made, i think it's mostly honda, toyota and audi but i could be wrong. what the guy with the mr2 did was actually gut the h/u and install the computer in there and then wired up the buttons to contorl the computer
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  8. #8
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    Oh, and why do you say you'll need linux? I'm a RHCE and Solaris certified, have been for 10 years, do that in my day job, and I'm running windows on my carpc. It's not about cool factor, it's about the availability of supporting programs. Linux just isn't there yet, but coming up to speed.

  9. #9
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    um, im not doing for the "cool" factor, im doing it for small factor. I wanted to get something like lfs and boot it from a cf drive. also ive been using linux for years, and yeah its not there yet, but i cant fathom why id put something like xp on a computer that's only purpose it to play mp3s.

    DJik, thats a really sweet setup you have, im probly gonna wind up doing the same thing, i just need to figure out where in the keypad's harness the power line is for the lights.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate DJiK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdave
    DJik, thats a really sweet setup you have, im probly gonna wind up doing the same thing, i just need to figure out where in the keypad's harness the power line is for the lights.
    That's not my setup, but I've seen it in person and liked it the most. It's also the same one scott_fx is referring to in the post after mine.
    I tried to go that route (so I could add 15 buttons to my setup), but ended up getting used to the touchscreen. That's why I have some of the parts laying around, particularly the board, the RS232 cable, and the buttons.

    In the near future (by the end of the summer), I hope to be able to implement this chip in my setup. It's just that I have never programmed any ICs and don't know how to make MAX232 work with my COM1 port, yet.
    When/if I get it to work, though, I'll be able to have 16 inputs of my choice without going the fully analog route.
    For Sale: Carputer (CarPC) & RCA Y-Adapter
    Newsflash: Take a look at my unsold stuff above, thanks!
    Up Next: Make an OBD to Serial cable & Redo the "MMI buttons"

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