Some more pics...
enclosed some pictures of my carputer.
Car: 2002 BMW E39 touring
Stereo: BMW HiFi-System with DSP
Entertainment-System: BMW MK3 Navigation system with 16:9 TFT, wireless Siemens telephone, CD-Changer, Radio "Professionell" with double-tuner
The Carputer is based on an EPIA M2-12000, 256MB RAM, 4,3GB HDD for the system, 80GB external HDD for the music and movies (connected via Firewire), PW70A and ITPS, additional Batterie 3,4 Ah for survive cranking and short stops, and finally an I-Bus-Interface to connect the carputer to the BMW entertainment system.
The complete unit is located behind the rear seats and can not be seen from outside; the external HDD is located o the left side in the boot (where the Nav-computer and the CD-Changer are based); a keyboard and a mouse are not connected as the software is completely driven by the original BMW keys from the onboard monitor, handled by the I-Bus-Interface.
Some more pics...
Man, that is pretty F'in cool!
That's pretty damn slick - me wants to know more
so u can use the knobs for the interface? ie spinning the knob goes through the menu options?
if so thats pretty killer.
thanks for your replies.
To answer your questions and give some more information:
The original BMW screen has a resolution of 400 x 240 dots. This is okay for the integrated BMW stuff, but of course not very nice for people who want to attach a carputer to this.
So, the way is that you use the TV out of the EPIA and attach it to a video input which is available at the video module (the case you see on one of the picures left of the carputer).
Also, you don't have an input at the BMW system for the audio signal. So what I did was splitting up the wiring from the tape deck (which is useless for me) and tap into there (for those who don't know it: the screen can be opened motorized, slides downwards and behind the screen there's the tape deck).
Now, when the car is started, the computer is also started from hibernation and is up after a few seconds. Till now you don't see anything from the carputer, the BMW system acts like normal, all the buttons are in normal use.
But when you switch to "tape", the software recognises this via the I-Bus-interface and switches via RTS a relais which then switches to the external video input and shows the picture of the computer. From now, the buttons on the BMW system act for the computer. You can press different buttons for different functions, also the turning of the right knob lets you do several things (scroll through the menus, while playing a movie or a MP3 it acts for fast forward or review, pressing it shows a menu when available, etc.).
Pressing the "menu"-button on the system brings you back to the BMW software, switching to tape again back to the carputer, etc.
So the computer is driven COMPLETELY with the original BMW buttons, no mouse or keyboard is attached (or necessary).
The software is not from me (I'm good in electronics, but not in writing programs); the name is "CarX", it's free, and it can be found at http://www.creative-nightshifts.de/carx.htm
For those of you who are interested in this soft: it also runs standalone on a desktop PC, but of course it makes more sense in a BMW ;-)
The functions are: it plays MP3's, it plays movies, it has an integrated drivers log (as all the nav information comes over the I-Bus), you can surf the internet (with wireless LAN or via GSM/GPRS/UMTS) and read your e-Mails.
If you want to know more about the BMW I-Bus have a look at the Yahoo group "HackTheIBus" where you find a lot of information regarding different projects around the BMW and the integration of them into the factory system.
Wow! Now we actually can say truthfully - it looks completely stock! Good Job!
Well done ! that is awesome, makes me want to go out and get a bmw !
Nano ITX / 512 MB / 60 GB / Panasonic slot load / M1-ATX / Bu303 / Sound blaster 24 / PPi amps / rockford sub