So today I set out to install it all in the car, and then I remembered: the LCD will be powered by the M2-ATX, but it won't necessarily power-on automatically when power is applied, or will it? So I had a look in the Lilliput's OSD, and there is no mention of an auto-power on feature. I decided to experiment a bit, explained here, but no luck. So now I thought I might as well run all the cables and once I figure out how to auto-power on the LCD, I'll install the car PC and LCD.
UPDATE: Ok, I should've searched the forums properly. My LCD does have an auto-power on feature which is accessible via a hidden menu. I'll give this a shot tonight to enable the feature. Once I can confirm this works, I'll install the PC and LCD in the car, which might be tonight, but most probably tomorrow.
Today I took some time to complete all of the amplifier wiring except speaker cabling. If I have time tonight, I'll run the speaker cables down the centre console and under the passenger seat which is where the amp is located. Then, tomorrow I can hopefully only worry about installing the LCD and PC
Thanks again to all who have contributed their suggestions. I'll post an update as soon as I've installed everything.
Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!
1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
3x Perixx Touchpads
3x 7 inch Screens
1X 7 inch motorized Screen
1x Win 7 PC
I was just browsing around and I realised that I'd have to spend USD $275 to get CentraFuse. That works out to around AUD $425. While I'm a big fan of the interface and its features, I don't think I can afford it at this stage. I might just use RoadRunner in the mean time and when the budget permits, I might consider buying CentraFuse. As it is, I'm a software engineer so playing around with RoadRunner should be fun ... and probably frustrating at times, but hey ... that's part of the fun
In case you weren't aware, the standard version of CF is exactly the same as the Navigation version - except standard doesn't come with maps. The maps that come with the NAV version for Australia are outdated anyway (Q2 2007), so you can pick up the standard version and get you maps from 'elsewhere'. CF just won't provided support for maps not supplied by them.
P.S. It's coming along nicely! I would have loved to end up fitting mine all in dash - I built it all into a chassis only to find the dash wasn't deep enough once the vga cable etc was connected.
I installed my carpc into my pet Kangaroo, mate.
It's all installed and working reasonably well. It was all installed on Wednesday but I just didn't have enough time to upload the photos until now. Enjoy
This is the inside of my 07 Camry with the centre console removed:
Here's the car PC with the dash brackets attached to the sides. Note that the airconditioner controls also fit between these brackets just below the car PC.
So ... does it actually fit in the dash? ...
... yep, it does
Working out where to drill mounting holes in the LCD:
(note: in this pic, the LCD is being held in place by the friction of the side brackets only)
Here I temporarily fitted the double-DIN fascia to see how it will look once it's installed:
I removed the car PC, took apart the LCD, and drilled the mounting holes. In this photo, you can see the four bolts, two on each side. (bottom right bolt is covered in insulation tape)
The finished product:
So does the PSU actually work? In this photo, I wired everything up outside the dash so that I could test the system before installation. This was the first time I actually fired up my M2-ATX, and I can say that I was very pleased
And here it is installed in the dash with RideRunner running - pardon the pun
The Lilliput is recessed because of the way the fascia is designed. While I initially didn't like the idea of a recessed LCD, I'm glad it is recessed because the top part of the fascia shadows the LCD in sunlight so it's easier to read
The amplifier is under the passenger seat. It's a perfect fit with ample space above to allow for cooling:
When I had the centre console out, I ran a few USB cables and a couple of audio cables into the glovebox:
From left: microphone, auxiliary input, USB cable, Linksys WUSB54GC Wifi adaptor connected to one USB cable, and slot-loading Teac DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive connected to another USB cable.
A closer view of the LCD:
So there you have it I'll be connecting my Bluetooth dongle soon and I plan to purchase a USB GPS receiver (BU-353 seems like a good choice). I've bought a power switch and I'll try to install it soon. I'm just looking for a neat place to mount it.
Might I also add that there's absolutely no engine noise coming through the speakers. I can't even hear a hissing noise through the speakers when I turn them up with no music playing. I've tested this several times when driving, using my signals, hazard lights, headlights and highbeams, windscreen wipers, etc. and nothing seems to be introducing noise into the system so as you can imagine, I'm filled with glee
At the moment, I still have a few minor issues:
- RR plays around with the volume settings. I've made some changes to the config file and it seemed ok the last time I used it, but I still want to test it a bit more. Also, if I mute some of the items in the Windows volume control panel, and I then run RR, it unmutes them.
- The touchscreen occasionally does not respond when the PC comes out of hibernation. I have to turn the LCD off and on again to get the touchscreen to work.
- After monitoring the system's temperature readings with SpeedFan, I've concluded that the system idles at around 50 degrees Celsius and around 54 under load. I've always been concerned with the temperature readings on my desktops and laptops so I'm currently thinking up some ideas to help reduce the temperature. Any suggestions appreciated
Overall, I'm quite happy with my first car PC. It does what I want it to do and gives me great flexibility to customise my in-car entertainment system. This project is not complete, and probably won't be for a while - that's the beauty of car PCs: there's always something to add or modify.
Thank you very much to you all for your assistance and suggestions. Don't go away though, I'll be posting more photos once I mount the power switch, LEDs, GPS, and fascia side pieces.
Watch this space!
Nice install man. I really like the case you made and how it all fits into the dash. I still haven't bought my motherboard yet so I was wondering how much was the mini ITX and from where did you buy it? I might possibly go for the in-dash solution as well.
Also for the GPS receiver, do you have a third brake light? I have an idea to mount mine in there. That way it's hidden and pretty much has a clear signal (I hope). I've yet to test it but it would be neat if it worked there :P
I bought my motherboard from GameDude. It was AUD $149 which was reasonable considering it's a motherboard with an integrated Intel Atom processor.
Yep, I have a third brake light at the bottom of my back windshield. It's an array of LEDs. To get to it, I'm pretty sure I'd have to remove the rear parcel shelf because it's one big piece. I'd have to do the same thing if I was replacing my rear speakers. Mounting the GPS receiver in there is a neat idea - I've been trying to work out where I could mount it out of sight and still get a decent signal. When I get my GPS receiver, I'll put it there and see how it works.
Ok, I seem to have fixed the volume problem with RR by editing the config file.
Yesterday, the touchscreen didn't respond whenever the PC resumed from hibernation so I had to turn the LCD off and then on again to get it to work, but today the touchscreen responded appropriately whenever the system resumed from hibernation, so I think it's a bit temperamental.
An another note, the temperature readings were a bit more pleasing last night. It was a hot and slightly humid night, but even after playing MP3s for some time, the CPU registered 48 degrees Celsius and the ambient temperature was around 35, so that's an improvement.
I've now installed a 4-port USB 2.0 hub in the glovebox and connected the Bluetooth dongle as well. So there's a few things still in the pipeline:
- Use car PC as Bluetooth handsfree - I'm sure there's a few threads on here about programs to do this
- Install GPS receiver (on its way from Melbourne) and GPS software (still not sure what to get ...)
- Setup internet sharing on my HTC Touch Cruise mobile phone so I can connect to the internet on the go. It's a simple procedure but I just haven't had time to do it yet.
- Run the cable for the amplifier's remote gain control - the plan is to mount it with double-sided tape somewhere near the driver's right knee area.
- Visit a plastic welder to see what we can do about covering the gaps on the sides of the LCD.
- Install power switch and LEDs - this is dependant on the above gap-filling item because then I can choose a larger area in which to mount the switch and LEDs. If I mount the switch and LEDs before getting the plastic fittings made and fitted, I'll probably end up having to remove them in order to fit the plastic pieces into place, so I'd rather wait until the fascia is complete.
- Try to work out why RR resets my bass and treble settings whenever I resume from hibernation (but it remembers volume and everything else :S)
I had a little hiccup with the system this morning. I started the car, the car PC resumed from hibernation, RR showed up as normal, and I began playing MP3s as usual. Then, I was listening to a song which is naturally softer than many of the others in my collection, so I kept turning up the volume. RR showed the volume at 100%, but the actual volume would still increase when I pressed the up button. The real problem was that it wouldn't go down when I tried to decrease the volume. Then, RR wasn't responding to any buttons. The touchscreen was still responding because the cursor would move wherever I touched, but RR was stuck. The PC itself wasn't frozen because when I turned the key to the off position, the PC went into hibernation normally. Anyway, with no keyboard connected, and the Windows taskbar hidden, I couldn't think of a way to bring up the task manager. I was lucky to be in my garage so I ran in to my room, pulled out an old PS2 keyboard, came back into the garage, pulled out the car PC and connected the keyboard. Ctrl+Alt+Del worked and I was able to end RR. Phew! I didn't notice anything abnormal in the task manager - no funny processes chewing up CPU power or memory. I've used the car a few times since this morning and it hasn't frozen again. No idea what caused it though ... but I'd admit that if RR had it's own built-in MP3 player, it would prevent many apparent bugs and crashes because Winamp has its issues from time to time especially if something interfaces with it.
While I had the car PC out, I wired up my power switch and I just let it sit in the side gap between the fascia and the LCD. At least now I can turn off (or, technically speaking, hibernate) the car PC if I don't want it on while I'm driving. I'm going to be busy today and tomorrow so I won't get a chance to visit the plastic welder any time soon. If I do get any time though, I'll visit a car audio shop to get hold of those plastic side ears.
I'll take a picture of the power switch later today hopefully.
... and RR froze again this afternoon. This time I think I've pinpointed the problem: whenever I run RR, it runs Winamp in the background as normal, but it also enables the Visualization window in Winamp. I don't usually use Visualization in Winamp, partly because in the past they've given me some trouble on desktop PCs (I've used third-party vis. plugins for Winamp and they seemed to work much better). In any case, I won't be needing the Visualizations in the car in a hurry, so tomorrow I'll try to find out how to disable this feature. I don't know for sure whether Winamp is doing it by default or whether RR is instructing Winamp to do it - I'm leaning towards the latter.
Hopefully I get a chance to buy a small, cheap, USB keyboard tomorrow too.