Looks like a good start. Keep updating your progress and i'm sure some good things will happen *coughsuperreppointscough*
So I've finally been able to get some progress started here on this project that has been titled the "Motobus" for a friend of mine, skipping all the vehicle technical nonsense its rough around the edges but should look great by the end of this project.
Heres the bus as I saw it first, being stared down by my beastlike chopper.
Step one, deciding what all is going into this thing, when I was recruited to help on this I was basically given open creativity to do whatever I wanted, as long as it was functional and looked good, the only specifics were an overhead monitor, something in dash to control the multimedia, a 55" sony lcd tv, an xbox, and plenty of sound to pump throughout this bus.
We talked about some different ideas and concepts, myself being big into the mobile computing scene, I brought up the idea of a pc based system to control all of the audio/video/web/navigation and whatever else possible, and it was decided thats what it would be!
The interior was in for an overhaul, while the repairs to the floor were being welded I took the panels back to my laboratory, and by laboratory I mean my front porch and started planning and sketching out some different ideas and tried to figure out how to make everything work together.
I started first with the dash, I chose a Lilliput FA1011-NP/C/T 10" monitor with a capacitive touchscreen, the size is perfect for a dash application, it has HDMI, DVI, & VGA inputs, a resolution of # 1024 x 600, Brightness: 250cd/ and a Contrast ratio of 500:1 bought from the awesome folks over at mp3car store at
" http://store.mp3car.com/Lilliput_FA1..._p/mon-130.htm "
This monitor was looking great, nice and new with that fresh smell of win still lingering prior to ripping open its carefully designed case to remove the stand and non essential parts for this particular application.
I removed the button board and the buttons themselves, to relocate the board to the back of the monitors case and remove the button for power and the source select to tap into the circuit and relocate somewhere on the dash with a larger, more attractive push button for ease of use.
A handful of screws and a few pop tabs and the stand was off, and the case was open, I removed the back and the lcd assembly so I could trace the shape of the front of the monitor onto the dash panel to know exactly how much to trim out.
I used some of the scrap plastic left over from cutting out room for the monitor to serve as a backing for the large gaps to fill and to keep them as structurally sound as possible, being flexible and plastic and all.
After all the filling and sanding, and sanding.. and sanding was taken care of and I was happy with the look of the monitor, I reassembled all the pieces from the backside, I cut a hole out of the back cover of the monitor case to let me run the cable out that goes to the button board, and secured it to the back of the monitor case to keep it from flopping around, once the dash is finished, painted, back together and ready to go into the bus for good, is when I will tap into the button board and extend the connections out to new push buttons on the dash.
On a completely embarrassing side note, in the picture of the monitor up close the diagonal line in the corner is not a hair, or a smudge, but yes, unfortunately I did somehow manage to put a pressure crack into the corner of the touch overlay during testing/reassembly, being my first time experimenting with a glass overlay I didnt realize just how fragile these things are and serves as a reminder for everyone [mostly me lol] to take your time on these kinds of projects, pay close attention and dont rush things, LUCKILY the dudes at mp3car.com support was able to source me a replacement for just the overlay, added it to the website and I had waiting at my door in about a week, if annnyone else out there is into the carpc scene, yes you can find most things a couple of bucks cheaper on some other websites, but never have I had a company go out of there way to help me like that before, and I cant say enough good things about them.
I have a lot of pictures to organize and go through of everything I've done so far, the next update should be sometime tomorrow, and will be the progress of the fiberglass overhead panel for the 20" slave led monitor and 6.5 arc audio components.
Feedback, questions, opinions, suggestions, *coughdonationscough* is as always welcomed.
The next part of this build I've been able to focus on over the past few days is the overhead console to hold the 20" slave monitor, fresh from walmart, I chose this because it was the thinnest, lightweight monitor that was in the store, with the highest specs.
I love the tiny little package that monitors have been reduced to, but I wish companies would still make things with actual hardware that holds it together instead of just clips and tabs.
All of the buttons on the front will be filled and the board mounted inside the fiberglass pod, since I had no need for a speaker, the volume buttons, and really anything other then power and the source select, I decided to nix the buttons all together and will extend and mount larger, more aesthetically pleasing push buttons somewhere on the dash.
The design was left completely up to me as far as this went, after some discussing and brainstorming, and seeing exactly what audiowise he wanted to go with, I was able to play around with some ideas and mounting positions, I'm using a total of 4 Arc Audio FD6000 Foose Series 6.5" component sets throughout the bus, 2 sets up front and 2 sets in rear, I laid everything out and came up with this as a concept.
I thought about making the pod larger, but I wanted to do something a little more eye catching and wanted to do either some plexi windows or cutouts on the sides of the pod with the "motobus" logo and some lighting, originally I planned on doing a window about this size with a vinyl decal over the top, this was just a sketch of the idea I had, but is not the final design.
I taped and foiled the panel to prep for fiberglass, I drew out my bottom shape and made a template to transfer it over to the other side, the sharpie on the foil will bleed through the resin and leave the outline for me to cutout once I lay down the first layer of fiberglass.
I cut out some rings, I wanted to flush the woofers in but with the size needed to do so made it look to bulky in a bad way, and I really like the way the grilles look so I figured they needed to be seen.
I dont know if anyone else does it, but I do.. and it works great, but I dont have a big compressor to constantly use air tools so for heavy knock down and rough shaping I use a belt sander with some 40 grit on it, it also works great for large flat areas and making straight edges.
Fleece was a little to thick for this so I just used a seriously stretchy shirt.
The idea is to create the mold, cut out enough space from the back of the panel and reassemble the monitor from the back using the rear of the case to hold the lcd in place, once I got 2 layers of glass down I was happy with how solid it was, I took the top of the tweeter mounts to mold into place for flushed tweeters
Filled and sanded down the panel, and secured it down in place to the plastic overhead panel and then made the edges flush with some bondoglass.
That's a flush tweeter!
Of course I had to test everything out before I can call it finished and hand it over to my friends painter, tested out with my laptop so the resolution is only 800x600 to fit, but went back together easily and works like a champ! I cant wait to see it in action in the bus, tomorrow I should have the "motobus" cutout finished, I spent a few hours on it today and was well worth it, I have a few different ideas on what I want the finished product to be, but any of them should look great and It's probably the thing I'm stoked the most about lol.
Ok so I was really happy with the way this turned out, originally I was going to cutout some roughly 20x8 windows and just have decals made, but I thought it just wouldnt look as good as cutting out just the letters, I've wanted to do something like this for a while now but havent really had the opportunity but I did each cutout a different way the left mostly done with a hot knife and the right only with a rotozip, I sanded down one side of the acrylic sheeting to make it frosted looking and to disburse the lighting evenly.
I went through and found some fonts I liked and decided on one, and created the 20x7 image in photoshop and printed it out, cut it out to make a stencil with an xacto and transferred the image onto the plastic with some spray paint to give me my cut lines, I still went through all the letters with some sandpaper to make the lines as smooth as possible I was testing it out with a few clusters of blue diffused 10mm leds to see how it would look afterward, I'm lovin it!
I still have a few different ideas on how I want the finished product to look, depending on time/costs and some experimenting but I'm pretty sure whichever I decide will come out awesome, but there may be some fancier lighting, water, and reaction to sound..
its actually motobus, the U just happens to resemble an L and an I lol
Yeah I looked at the font for a whiiiile, it was the one I was most confident cutting out of the few I narrowed it down to but once I made that first cut, there's obviously no going back lol but anyone that knows what it is should be just automatically recognize it.