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Thread: Vw Sharan CarPc

  1. #1
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    Vw Sharan CarPc

    Ok guys . As i am heading to the end ( if anybody can say that there is an end at these kind of things) of the carpc project i thought it would be good to post at this section a thread.
    I dont think my project is something so usefull for others to see as it lucks aesthetic and the main cponcern from the beggining was to build it withoout spend even a cent.

    In reality the cost was a big issue as through 2010 that i bought the first compmonent ( mobo) i was already without a job and things in Greece at that time was't too hopefull for anybody.

    From that time to today ( meaning 3 years now ) the days that i ve managed to work was 30 days/year and this was on 2010. At this year i worked 14 days.

    So i think you get the picture of how difficult it was for me to move fast and how i would like . But i am very happy at this point as it seems that htis project is going somewhere and the kids like it a lot .

    From the very beggining this project was mostly for the kids. What i mean is that i could't imagine back then how much i would appreciate a quite trip or even a small ride with the car . It issomething that only the persons who have kids can understand. On the other hand i ve never had issues with navigation as i am a pda fun so i had my tools, but i could imagine that a pc can do this job better without concernig if the pda rings so you ll have to answer it and loose instantlly the visual of the navigation. Something else that i wanted to succed was the continuous monitoring of the engine of the car.

    SO to clarify again . My project is not beautifull and i am kind of embarassing to post it but at least it would be a good "not to do" guide for everyone here.

    Also i would like to apologice for the luck of your mother language and the mistakes that you are gonna see here.

    Starting from the very Begiging . My selection on my mobo was based on a core duo cpu that i had . So it was kind of one way road the fuzzy 945gme.

    In the beggining i had in mind that i would integrate it to the double din case i had in the car but after it came it seemed to me difficult to make it fit in this tiny space. For once more i was wrong.

    Searching for alternative position for the case i got myself in this forum were a guy had a brilliant idea and a wonderfull setup. I just copied him .

    But even this simple thing was difficult to be copied by me . So instead of putting the mobo the way he did i just put it this way



    The case has been made from plywood ( i think you can see that ) with the addition of two part epoxies and a permatex wood glue.


    The side panel can be slide out and the top one is can open .


    On the very begging it was a good idea . But it the reality it was messy idea as the cables and all the stuff around the mobo make it a pain in the *** to do any work inside the case.

    The thing has been saved from totaly disaster as i ve had the case opening from two sides. But then again i have to take it out from the car to do anything to it.

    to be continued..

    edit: sorry guys but the kids need some support every now and then .

    Lets go to the good parts now.

    The next thing to do was the lcds. From the begging i had here a damaged laptop which had inside some good stuff. The only thing i cared about at that moment was the lcd panel. I knew that i would use at the end 2 screens but i thought it would be better ( and cheaper ) to start with the big one. the screen was a 1280 x800 lcd so i ve picked one lvds board from chinattoby to make it work

    Now the only thing to overcome that had ben left was me . . ANyway took almost 2 motnhs to get the board here so ive spent some time on supporting the family's holiday

    in our new tent.


    Got myself back got very disapointed knowing that htere was no sign of the board. After i ve talk to the seller i looked into the hellenic postal office were i ve found that they had my board sitting there for almost a month . Anyway got the board and started to play with the panel. To be more specific and tell the truth there were no gmae for me there but the good old me doing my magiacal things. At the end and finding no reason for couldn't not see a damn thing into the panel ( i could only see with a torch light) i got the brightness way to up. That didn't change anything too. Finally i found that i had not connected the cables that powering the lcds lamps. Then the things got better . But not much better as i had already cooked something. During to my searching of the no image panel and the cause i ve moved one jumper to the 12v option instead of 3.3 that was on its default.

    Ignoring at that moment what the problem was ( i knew i had something cooked but did't know if it was the board or the panel itself) i asked help from chinnatobby. He send me a knew panel but at this time i put this in the basket too . See if i had my panel burned it would cost more to get myself a new panel.

    After two months the package arrived . I was very happy as finally i could get some real action in the car . So i ve started the fabication keeping in mind that at that time and for some months that panel would be in the car as a standalone and moveable.
    So i ve bought a 1 running meter of pvc corner profile ( 10mmx20mm ) and 1 meter of aluminium corner profile ( 9mmx19mm) . I would prefer a abs for the pvc but i couldn't find somewhere fast enough so i turned it down as an option.


    The problem on making something is usually the tools. I have a small butane welder which i use mostly for welding abs plastics. I ve tried some other one as pp and hdpe but the easiest of all them is the abs. Anyway at that time i ve had my tooltip lost so i had to come up with another solution. The epoxies was somehting that i didn't want as there are more then an hour cured so i used some cyanoacrylic glue and some ash from the ashtray . The results were impressing.


    Some testing

    And a double sided glue tape for keeping the screen in place. To tell the truth i regret i put the double side tape as the screen was fitting tide enough. But to be more sucure i used this . On the other hand if i will try to remove it it will be an issue.




    Protection on the back of the panel. It would meant to screwed on the pvc frame but at that time the fabric tape were good enough. I have also made a protection board from cork, thick paper, and fabric to protect the screen as it would moved aroound the car




    this is what i got finally





    Last but not least guys. I think that the personality of each person depands on its own surrounding . I ve always had people that helped me a lot in my life . That includes forums too.
    I would never could succed it if it werent all of you guys and this wonderfull forum . I just dont have words to describe the way i am feeling for all of you guys here. I just only wish i could reached only a small percent of ur character and giviness ( sorry for the word) guys.

    I wish God have all of you, the people you love, and the people who loves you well and give you all the goods in this world.

    Be well guys i will keep posting on my "not to do" guide whenever i am finding new photos
    Last edited by Happy_Feet; 12-06-2013 at 09:40 AM.

  2. #2
    FLAC SNOtwistR's Avatar
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    Not as bad as you think it is and the kids don't really care if it's all neat and tidy. As long as it works for you and the kids. Don't forget you are learning at the same time. Keep it up and continue to refine your work as you go. Good Luck SNO
    Last edited by SNOtwistR; 12-05-2013 at 09:16 AM.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I noticed that its really hard to save money on a carpc build. You always end up buying something else to make the system better.

    -Robert

  4. #4
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    Errors cost .

    Ok lets continue,

    On the time that i ve ordered the 800x600 wasn't sure what exactly wanted. See i was thinking that i would put the big screen to the car for the kids and that i had some time to decide what to get for the driver.
    The way that chinatobby deal with my problem made me embarassing for myself as there was no win of the "win-win" for kevin. See i was thinking the problems that the 480x800 have with my chipset but on the other hand a 7" lcd had a lot of options for integrate on a van car like the sharan.

    So i ve decided to go the safe chipset way and buy the 8" thinking that i would enclosure it to this point (sorry for the photo i ll get a closer one)

    So when i have it prepared took it down to the car to see if it fits this space. For once more i was wrong and had in my hands the wrong lcd. As everybody knows the errors usually costs and this was no exception.

    At that time and while for 2 weeks or something the kids were very happy with their new toy i thought that it was time to set the big screen as it was difficult to watch a movie on a 8" from 2 meter far.

    So i thought to give one more try with the new board hoping that when i had somethhing cooked was the board and not the panel. You see it was a good panel and i was thinking that it would have a good visibility in the sunlight.




    But no go . I set the board switched on the panel and was getting a very white or a black screen. At that time i realized that there was no hope for this panel.

    A friend of mine though had a 15.4 old laptop for recycling and he had told me that if i want it i can have it . So called him and some days later i had the laptop home. The same day i removed the panel with it's covering and put it on the new board that chinatobby send me. It worked right away so started to find a way get it soon down to the car.

    What i did was to drill a hole at the back of covering as the lvds cable that i got with the board was short and couldn't get it down where the original lvds cable got out to get into the laptop's mainboard.

    After that i weld some fasteners m3 if i can recall with my gas welder ( at that time thank God i have found that tooltip) and used what i have left from the pvc corner to make something to enclosure the boards.


    The pvc corner glued with instant glue

    You can see here the the edge of the circle of abs ( black color ) that i ve created around the fastener to keep it in place.

    I used also the aluminium corner to make a frame combined with a thin acrylic sheet that i had ( low cost = use whatever you have ).
    That was the result of the covering



    I ll get some photos later on that my wife will be back to post it finished.





    Now that the kids had a proper screen there was time for the drivers one. So now there was no options for the 8". The only thing have been left was to remove or even alter ( if you can say so ) the existing storage . But i was sure that my wife would like this idea . So searched for finding an new second used to buy. To tell the truth i found a dealer that would give it to me for 40 here in greece but again i ve prefered to take the free way.

    This is what i have to replace.

    The lid and the storage compartment comes as one part. And i really like a lot the one touch release-lock system that it has. I also like the movement mechanism but it is difficult to be copied.

    Started the proccess of making one storage from scratch . Then again i started from the end that means top

    This is a light wood that is used for aeromodeling

    On the top of the storage with some fiberglass and carbons strings and some small pieces of sheet with a lot of 2 part epoxy to get the shape

    Shape of the lid

    Second layer of extremely heavy carbon sheet

    Third layer of medium thickness carbon

    Some putty . Let me take a break and describe my real me at this time. Some years ago i ve bought some sm of fabrics . There were carbon and fiberglass sheets for a restoration of a citroen 2cv. At that time the dealer asked me if i wanted some putty. I told him that i would bought from a local store a usual one for cars. Then he laughed and told me that this was not the proper one for this job. So i told him then to send me some.

    He send me a backet that had inside a white very light dust. Took it the other day as i really didn't knew what i should do it it to become a proper putty. At the begging i add some water. As you can see no gain. After an hour or so it was exactly the same . so sign of cure. Then i thought of adding it inside the epoxy . That worked better so here what i got.

    After two layer of epoxy putty .

    Three layers of putty and some sanding. Normally it needs one layer more to be close to perfect but the perfect word is not an option here.....

    The red dots shows the corners of the lid.

    At this moment i am not really sure how i am going to construct this box to open and close while the lcd from orizontal posiotion moving to vertical. This is where all of you coming in again

    I ll get back to you guys. Be well and have a beautifull day
    Last edited by Happy_Feet; 12-06-2013 at 09:47 AM. Reason: adding photos

  5. #5
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    More progress on the "Not to do guide "

    Ok guys here i am again to post some progress. It took me a while since i had the diy enclosure ready that would replace the oem one, trying to find out what would be the best cheapest way to make the monitor and the lid standing.

    After some thinking i finally get on one picture again from the sgaf forum that a guy had a 7" ( important as mine couldnt fit in the original enclosure) in the oem enclosure with some cupboard hinges . So as you can see i copied for once more and far from the dissapointed feeling that i lack of ideas i was pretty happy that i got this solved...!

    Here is the enclosure with the lid down



    some more opened



    I also did put a piece of fabric to make it look nicer but i didn't do it well so i need to redo it .

    As you probably noticed there is more work to be done mostly on the position of the switches and on the finally way of attaching ( this hinge is good enough be it is quite big so i ll probably use some from laptops ...)

    At this point i would like to apologe for posting in this section ( the wrong one ) and not to the worklogs. Anyway if somebody can move it it would be perfect.

    Back to the point again.

    I also had in mind that i had some wire to send to the car computer but thank god this was easy enough . Except the cables that where behind the oem stereo. You can see some photos of a wire mess here



    Finally the most difficult thing to do was a reversed camera. I bought one but kept it for 4 days in the house for little of testing . i got very dissapointed as the camera that was rated at 12v was getting hot on 12v and after a while the screen was starting to losing signal .

    Anyway on 9v it was ok for a 24h period so i plugged it to the car. The plugging was another issue as first i didn't want to make any holes to the car and secondly i didn't knew waht exactly to wait from the camera and the viewing angle.finally i took out a small light above the licence plate cut a clear acrylic made a three holes and voila.....!



    Remember that you are reading a not to do guide....!

    Anyway the tough thing on this was the cables through the oem wiring directions. So i had to past some difficult spots but finally got on my cars floor.



    Anyway i am happy with my rear camera now and keeps going. I still nee some work on this to as the lcd has an auto switch option that i didn't use to untill now.

    At this point i am running both of windows 7 and xp but for daily use i am booting only in xp. I still missing a fast ssd solution a wirelless card as the one i did get was doa and a gps module as the one that i got ( thanks sno ) can't be picked up by me due to a problem.

    i also need to find a way of hanging the second screen but that's another story on another thread...!

    Thanks and be well guys.

  6. #6
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    Second screen

    Updates ..!

    Finally after two failures got the second display on its permanent posiotion.


    is is impressing as all the five persons have a good vidibility.

    Of caurse my wife didn't like the idea that we are losing the option of the interanl mirror. But i ll work it out ( make a hole through the screen).

    Be well guys.

  7. #7
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    Ok a small update.

    First of all i bought thst ssd and made a clean install of ms w7. this is quite fast on booting and shutting down. to have three sata devices in a two sata mobo i used an ide to sata adaptor

    you can see the adapter in the following photo

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    the second update is the hinges of the driver's monitor . I have installed some laptop hinges as the cupboard one was too big ...!

    Name:  IMAG0860.jpg
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    this project is coming to its end finally.....!

    ps do you have guys a good alternative of the imageshack ?

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    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I use picassa web and log into it with my gmail account so you don't have to sign up if you have gmail.

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  9. #9
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    ok today i did some progress and i am very happy with what i got.

    My intention was to write this progress two weeks ago, but things didnt get the way i wanted to.

    As you probably read i had a problem with the gps unit. This problem solved by SnotwistR who send me a sure gps unit ( thanks Sno ) . The other thing i wanted was to plug audio in my vw mcd .
    Gps came in less than a week ( did i say thanks Sno ? :-) ) so plugged it right away. After this and while the car was a really mess i installed the vw cdc changer emulator . But things didn't go as i wanted . The vw unit couldn't see the emulator no matter what i did ( i even burned some resistors on the unit ) . So i dump it and continued with the gps . I wanted to plug the oem antenna to the unit but the pin was a different one. So i plugged the shipped one temporally . To tell you the truth i wasn't happy at all but i was pretty sure that i had my magic s....s working again .

    After a week or so i got some true progress. The problems that i have to overcome was a lot .

    The sure unit couldn't lock fast . I mean i was driving for 10-15 minutes to get it cold locked. That wasn't a problem as i knew that the front glass was a difficult thing for the signal to get through. At that time i did't mind at all as the sma to smb adapter was on it's way from uk. The things got even worst when the adapter came . I saw i had ordered the wrong adapter.

    The second one to overcome was a weird conflict that i had in the pointing devices . I am using a cheap wirelless keyboard, an even cheaper bluetooth 4 dongle and at that time i had some more problems with the sure's bluetooth . When i had the bluetooth connected the mouse pointer couldn't focus neither with the touchscreen and the keyboard-mouse. I found a solution to that as the bluetooth was servicing only the old bluetooth gps. So i plugged it out and got that problem solved too.

    Coming to yesterday were i thought "now that clockwork is releasing a new update you should be able to have a phone in the driveline" so the bluetooth had to got back in it's first position. The solution was to disable ( at that time i was thinking a software mod ) the sure's bluetooth . Googling it i got in this wonderful page . As you can see i did the mod and now the bluetooth isn't a problem anymore. So this was something big as it pumped my ego and i deside to give it a try with the gps. I knew that one reason for long locked times was a device's continuous resets. So i examine the enclosure of the unit carefully to see that the reset button was pressed by the enclosure ( did i talk you about my magic skills ) . Soon i had this sorted out too. To tell you the truth it wasn't a true enclosure but two acrylic for protect the unit touching things .

    Now the last thing was the antenna. It wasn't only the 5 more euros that i had to pay again to get the sma-smb adaptor but it was that i had the car in a messy situation so i could do something with the antenna. i have to add the information that i got from ( quess who ) Sno again that the antenna was bulletproof, and that helped me diceide to take it out of the car. The hole was ready from last year ( due to hho installation ) so i did it .

    The last thing that i did was to plug chinatobby's screen a second ( reverse signal ) power. That was easy too as i discovered that this crap vw mcd had a reverse cable on . So i soldered the wires and now when i am reversing i don't have to change manually the input . It goes automatic to AV2 in .

    Concerning the module when i put the antenna out ( pictures will come later ) i could believed what i saw. Guys i have used some gps but this quick lock i have never see it again . This unit is faster than itself .

    That was a progress and now the only thing in the wish list is that aux in in the vw mcd . I think i ll find a cheap way to that too.

    So i ll edit this to post some more photos but i just wanted to tell the progress as i am really happy with what i got.

    Concerning the hardware mod to the gps there were some other workarounds ( to keep it in a shield box was an easy one ) but i just wanted this really disabled.

    Thanks guys for reading and my special thanks to sno once more for his help .

    Be well guys
    Vw Sharan 2007 1.9tdi || Exide 100Ah
    Fuzzy 945gme + core duo T2400 + 2gb ddr 667 + pci nvidia 5500 256mb + kingston v300 60gb + hdd 2.5" 100gb 5400 + Sure Gps module
    Primary monitor 8" 800x600 || Secondary monitor 15.4" 1280x800
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