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Thread: Pulling the plug..

  1. #1
    Raw Wave tj!2k4's Avatar
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    Pulling the plug..

    .. on the carputer.

    After more than a year of seeing my car in pieces and looking at all the fcuking wires hanging all over the place, I've had it, and decided to discontinue this project. It's a whole lot easier for me to revert back to stock head unit at this point and put my car back together again, rather than trying to keep going in the direction I've been going.

    I'm really really sick of seeing my car in pieces.

    There are so many loose ends, and I've lost track of where hell I am with the project. On top of this, the carputer has been working fairly well, and because of this I've become lazy. Aside from just "finishing" it, there are some issues with the attempted in-dash install, but in order to fix them "the right way," it basically warrants a complete re-install and relocation of the pc, investment in new hardware, and will also require fabrication, something I'd hoped to avoid. I don't have the energy to start from scratch now.

    In retrospect, attempting to squeeze everything in the dash has made the project more complicated due to the cramped work-area inside the dash, as well as size-constraints for the system hardware. Originally I didn't want to have to run wires throughout the car, but that would have been a hell of a lot easier than the way I chose to do it. Live and learn. (If there is a) Next time around, I'll do an install in the trunk like most people. Perhaps a laptop with docking station/port replicator type install if I have the cash.

    Another contributing factor is that I don't have a decent place to work on it; since I live in a condo, I either have to work on it out in the street, or if I work in the common garage I have to run up and down 5 flights of stairs if I need to grab another part or tool. It's a royal pain in the ***. "Give me convenience or give me death."

    I'm not sure why I'm even bothering to post this since it affects noone other than myself -- perhaps I just to see my justification for shutting down my project in writing, or maybe it's just one of those things we do around here.. And no, I'm not resigning from the forum, I'll still be around passing off my 2 as gospel.

    But geez.. I'm really gonna miss the GPS and thousands of MP3s at my fingertips.

  2. #2
    Confusion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj!2k4

    But geez.. I'm really gonna miss the GPS and thousands of MP3s at my fingertips.
    Then don't do it.


    Take a deep breath, go get yourself a cold one or two, chill out and dwell.

    Think how annoyed you will next time you go somewhere new and get lost, you will be so cursing the lack of GPS and navigation.

    Think how bored you will get with just a few tracks to listen to.


    Giving up is easy.

  3. #3
    Para Laura thanatos106's Avatar
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    Hang in there body!!! I'm in the same boat like you (my truck looks like ****) but what I did was taking time off (1 some times 2 weeks) without worry about "the project". I really advice you to do the same.

    Thanatos.
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  4. #4
    FLAC IntellaWorks's Avatar
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    I can feel your pain. I decided to get everything going again after taking a substancial break. I planned to do the full install in 2 weeks. Electrical / wirring in one week and fabrication of dash in the following week. Looking back at my plan now I can laugh because that plan was so far out of reach. Even though I had my software basically setup.

    Like you I made things complicated on myself trying to be fancy. To finish my project I barely finished in time for winter and went through so many little issues I wondered why I had put myself through the torture.

    I can say that my setup is working close to how I imagned it after 4+ years of building/designing and coding. I almost quite more times than I can count and have also driven in a brand new truck with the interior ripped out and no radio for months at a time.

    Upon finishing, i'll admit I got a bit emotional. There were times where I could swear my system was purposely trying to **** me off and I simply couldn't understand how the damn thing could be so diffacult.

    I'd say put your car back togeather the way it was and take a step back, a vaction if you will. WHen your ready re-structure your original plans and simplify EVERYTHING (you might laugh at "simplyfying a car pc install, because is there such a thing?).

    For example, for whatever reason I was spending a ton of time getting 800 * 480 res. to work. When for me, there was no difference, so little problems like that I just ignored.

    I began reviewing the best installs I had seen and seeing things that even the designer probably didn't like but probably made a decesion to move forward. That helped me into changing my goals. I'm willing to bet that if you asked the person that has the best install you've seen of anything that bugs them about thier install, they'd be able to list a handful of problems.

    Think about it in positive ways. I mean 5 flights of stairs is probably a good workout right? I hate to see someone give up when the light at the end of the tunnel is cleary in sight...

    Think about it man, good luck with what ever your decesion may be.


    -Intella
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  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate seanshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj!2k4
    .. on the carputer.

    After more than a year of seeing my car in pieces and looking at all the fcuking wires hanging all over the place, I've had it, and decided to discontinue this project. It's a whole lot easier for me to revert back to stock head unit at this point and put my car back together again, rather than trying to keep going in the direction I've been going.

    I'm really really sick of seeing my car in pieces.

    There are so many loose ends, and I've lost track of where hell I am with the project. On top of this, the carputer has been working fairly well, and because of this I've become lazy. Aside from just "finishing" it, there are some issues with the attempted in-dash install, but in order to fix them "the right way," it basically warrants a complete re-install and relocation of the pc, investment in new hardware, and will also require fabrication, something I'd hoped to avoid. I don't have the energy to start from scratch now.

    In retrospect, attempting to squeeze everything in the dash has made the project more complicated due to the cramped work-area inside the dash, as well as size-constraints for the system hardware. Originally I didn't want to have to run wires throughout the car, but that would have been a hell of a lot easier than the way I chose to do it. Live and learn. (If there is a) Next time around, I'll do an install in the trunk like most people. Perhaps a laptop with docking station/port replicator type install if I have the cash.

    Another contributing factor is that I don't have a decent place to work on it; since I live in a condo, I either have to work on it out in the street, or if I work in the common garage I have to run up and down 5 flights of stairs if I need to grab another part or tool. It's a royal pain in the ***. "Give me convenience or give me death."

    I'm not sure why I'm even bothering to post this since it affects noone other than myself -- perhaps I just to see my justification for shutting down my project in writing, or maybe it's just one of those things we do around here.. And no, I'm not resigning from the forum, I'll still be around passing off my 2 as gospel.

    But geez.. I'm really gonna miss the GPS and thousands of MP3s at my fingertips.
    Aww man,don't give up.You say that your setup works well,it's just not finished the way you'd like it to be.I've had the same problem with mine,and after all the time,money and frustration you go to to get it working to begin with,and then have it not meet your expectations of a clean install is disheartening.I'm putting my interior back in and just running mine as is until I finish what I feel will be a much better and asthetically pleasing version two.
    I'm thinking of it as a learning experience,and you get better at anything with more practice....hell,think of the first time you kissed a young lady....
    To quote Aristotle:
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    FLAC ShawJohn's Avatar
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    Name one person with a homebrew carpc who hasn't spent ages with a dismanttled car, flat batteries, screen issues, power problems, GPS receiver issues, PhoCo/BT the list is endless...

    I simplyfied mine by removing BT/Phone support, no voice control, no WiFi, no DVD writer.

    IMHO 90% of the time spent is making all the PC hardware work as it should! 10% fab/fitting.

    Have a break and come back fresh and eager. Then enjoy being in the 0.01% of motorists that have the ability to do stuff like this. Its original, inovative, cutting edge, impressive to laymen, and eternally useful!

    Stick with it! You won't regret it

  7. #7
    Raw Wave tj!2k4's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words, guys.

    I may have gone a bit too far and made it sound too final; you're right, a break is what it'll be for the foreseeable future, returning the car to stock for now, and over the next few months I'll have to spend some time analyzing what I did, and how I can simplify and improve upon it for the next iteration.

    I just can't continue on with this installation, and need to start over with a more or less "clean slate."

  8. #8
    FLAC ShawJohn's Avatar
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    I was lucky with this car, and carpc v2 because I could fab the screen into a section of dash that I was able to get from a scrap car, so the fabing got done in the garage over a period of about 3 weeks (spent getting it just right, an odd few hours here and there). Then I just clipped the panel in and connected the wires. All the rest of the gear is hidden in the rear passenger side wall panel (2dr car), stuck at 90deg in a block of cushion foam. The PC is in a 5 sided (open top for ventilation) tin box I knocked up at work. The wires all run nicely under the carpet in the sill. The trim all just clips on so no screws to loose or struggle with. Big benefit is total stealth install. Only part visible is Lilli but its molded into dash and looks stock

    see here for my fabbing experience

  9. #9
    FLAC ShawJohn's Avatar
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    Its taken me 6 months to get here with this car though mainly due to my much better planning second time round. Make it work in the house first. Then fab your screen in a 2nd hand panel, then just bust a gut for one weekend fitting it all. That way you aren't ****ed & embarassed at driving a butchered car.
    And make reasonably sure you can remove the PC easily for maintainance.

    Oh, and Nissan are good enough to provide you with a double DIN, & two extra/spare sets of Illum/IGN/Bat +ve/Earth wire feeds under the dash for the tuners to add gauges etc. so finding feeds was simple too

    What car are you fitting it in?

  10. #10
    Raw Wave tj!2k4's Avatar
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    It's an 03 Mustang GT.. pics here, if you want to see some photos of my colossal failure.. lol

    Aside from the bad idea of trying to keep my install in-dash, my choice of motherboard was a bad one. (Insight P4-ITX)

    edit: O wait! ShawJohn, you've got that same pos mobo, don't you?! lol

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