I have had a 10.4" touch panel and lcd panel sitting here for a while and i thought i would upgrade my car pc setup. I held the touch panel up to the dash roughly where i thought it would sit and it looked overkill, but i thought what the hell and went ahead with the idea.
I went to a wreckers and purchased the stock centre dash section for about $100 (i thought it was reasonable considering the electronics int he thing).
The idea was reuse as much of the stock dash as i could as im going for a 'stock...ish' look. the plan was to use bog as the main building material as some scrap grey perspex that i had laying around to support the screen while i shape it.
I had no previous experience using bog or making anything in this way (i had a lot of experience working with wood and metal) so it was going to be a massive learning curve for me and a lengthy process.
As i am posting this the dash is close to being finished but i wasnt able to get access to the net for long periods at a time so posting my project just wasnt going to happen.
To finish it i need more paint and some primer/filler to spray the centre dash as well as the door trim (trim as 'wood grain' which matched the centre of the dash so i thought so everything matched i would get rid of the 'wood grain' all together).
i am in the process of designing a controller to replace the control board for ac/heating as i am changing the backlighting/status lighting of the buttons and it is going to be simpler and more compact if i design it myself rather than converting voltages for lights etc from the stock controller board. I will use a microcontroller such as the arduino mega which down the track will let me control everything from an interface on the computer. i am also adding a thermister so i can setup a climate control system.
The main problem that is stopping me from finishing the project (i havent worked on it for about a month now) is the display.
The panel i have has a 20pin 18bit lvds interface which worked fine with the old motherboard (until it died) so i bought another one boasting the intel d510 chipset which supports the lvds interface, however it is a 30pin 24bit interface. So i need a converter of some type which i have only found one manufacturer for and can't get a hold of them or i need to buy another panel that supports the interface (hoping for around $100) but havent found anything that suits.
I will apologise in advanced for the layout of this information as i have no idea how i am going to set it out.
This is what it looked like with my original 7" display installed. The part i am reworking is that whole 'wood grain' piece.
This is a test of roughly where i will install the screen. if you look behind the touch panel you can still see the uncut surround.
I have covered the touch panel in white electrical tape to save it from damage and you can see i can cut out the surround so that panel sits in nicely.
Here it is sitting in the dash to see what angle the screen should sit at. (optomise the viewing angle from drivers seat, yet making sure its easily visible in the back)
You can see on the sides of the panel i have put in some perspex to support the panel. (so it doesnt fall back when in use)
Here is one of the layouts i thought of making. I decided against this one as i didnt like it compared to the next one.
This is the layout i ended up with. It makes it look less cluttered and made more sense. I put the AC button above the temperature knob and the demister button is by itself on the second row as i felt it was seperate from heating/ac controls and vent controls
As you will see towards the end; i have left out the centre vents. at the start i tried the idea of having vents point toward the windscreen out the back of the screen and thought of using some already curved plastic except i would have cut it down and had one on each side. didnt end up doing this because it would overcomplicate things, i would need to heat sheild the lcd panel and have reasonably small air ducts to supply the vents. so ill just block the outlets in the dash. i never really use the 'face' vents, normally just the ones that point at your feet.
I have done more support for the display as well as something for the bog to cling onto.
I needed something to support the front so i cut up some more perspex. gave it a little bit more rigidity as well.
More support for the sides of the display, its at the verkill level but i still needed something for the bog to grab onto and to give the insides of the dash some 'boundaries'
Starting to bog up the dash. bit challenging but i eventually got the idea.
More bog work being done.
The front has been fully bogged. fun, fun.
Here it is for the first time with some shape sitting in the car. It needs shaping but i was dieing to see how it would look.
The next week or so i probably did somewhere between 20 and 30 hours of sanding using different grits of wet/dry sanding paper. very messy. i dont have any pics of this sorry.
This is the controller board that would have sat behind all the controls on the stock dash. i want to recreate this using a microcontroller as the 'brain' but will also need another 1 or 2 pcbs (home made) for power supply, resistors, transistors etc.
This is the plastic assembly that held all the buttons etc on it and the control board sat behind it. i ending up cutting it up to support the buttons. it works, its not pretty so i may design something myself.
This is the face that i cut up to get the shapes and smooth inserts for the buttons.
Stock dash next to my "improved" version
Here it is with the buttons temporarily fitted to see roughly how it would look. It has a gloss layer on it as well which i decided against. it doesnt tie in with the rest of the car so please disregard it. I did find spraying a layer of clear on was worth it as it showed me the imperfections in the surface.
The last picture is how it looks at the moment (minus the buttons attached). i am happy with the shape however the surface will need work as i have intentionally left it in the sun and next to the heater so it can heat up and cool down to roughly the extremes as it would in the car which i am happy to say hasnt cracked anything (i doubt it will) however there are some small faint lines in it where some joins are which i will fix up.
At the moment i am looking for a LCD panel that has a 30pin 24bit lvds interface on ebay and other sites thanks to google. I also spent about an hour today prototyping the control board.
Once i find everything im looking for i will have to be patient as i am a student who just moved out of home at the start of the year so money is tight. Once i have the funds and make any more advances on this project i will post the updates hopefully with pictures asap.
Oh yeah, by the way, all the Hot Glue you see used in this project is just there to hold things while i bog and secure them. There will be no hot glue present in the final product. (however there may be small traces of it) :-D
If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.
Hopefully my post hasnt been too hard to follow and that you like the outcome.