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Thread: BMW 540 Touchscreen Complete!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Chicago, Il

    BMW 540 Touchscreen Complete!

    Well, after spending over a year working on this project for my '99 540i 6 speed, its essentially complete.

    • Via M10000 Motherboard
    • Xenarc 7" touchscreen in custom mold
    • ITPS Startup/Shutdown controller
    • 80Watt Morex DC-DC converter
    • Two 20 gig hard drives
    • Delorme Earthmate GPS w/ Destinator Navigation
    • WinTV TV tuner
    • SNES Emulator with gamepad
    • Wireless Keyboard
    • Mini handheld control mouse
    • RoadRunner Frontend
    • Divx Movies
    • BMW IBUS Interface (can control computer via steering wheel buttons and vice versa)

    I kept the stock radio headunit behind the touchscreen and use the IBUS Interface to contol the radio buttons through the computer. (IBUS is BMWs serial bus interface for the entertainment controls and a few other instruments within the dash). One of the reasons I did this was to keep the heads-up display in the instrument cluster to show the different stations and to get the names/titles from each station. So I just created a small VB program to simulate the steering wheel button presses so that the passenger can also control the radio functions right from the touchscreen. The VB program sends hexadecimal signals to the ibus via the serial port and tells the car that a button is being "pressed". I can change stations, fast forward rewind, etc. all through the computer. I can even control the turn signals!! (pointless, but cool ). And conversely, I can also use the steering wheel buttons to simulate actions on the computer, i.e.scroll through playlists, volume control, etc. (very convenient for when you're driving). The steering wheel controls are mapped thru the IBUS to simulate keystrokes on the screen so that I can "enter" "escape" scroll "up" and "down", etc. Once I learn a bit more about VB, I want to pull that info from the heads up display and have it show up on the touchscreen. Also, the touchscreen itself is on hinges so that it can fold down if I ever need to access the radio controls behind it. The computer itself is mounted under the glove compartment on the upper passenger footwell.

    Here are some pics:

    More Pics here: SLIDESHOW

  2. #2
    I see dead kittens Quattro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    New York
    Excellent install man, looks really good.
    Asus A7N8X-VM - AMD Mobile Athlon 2400
    512 Ram - 60GB HD - Opus 150w
    Lilliput 7" - Rikaline 6010
    [00000000000001100010-] 98% Completed

    Check Out My Install!!!

  3. #3
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
    Blog Entries
    This is outstanding! I really love the flip down screen! Very nice install!
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  4. #4
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    very nice, I'd love to see a shot of the screen down, great intergration...

  5. #5
    Raw Wave BoyNextDoor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Walden, NY
    Nice *** work man... How long did it take you to figure out the flip down monitor setup, including fabwork, and fiting, to finish?

  6. #6
    My man uses Levitra. Peoples's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    i'm very impressed with the quality of those animated GIFs!!

    whats program did you use?

    oh yeah, the install is nice too
    PC Components:
    Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
    My work log

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Chicago, Il
    Thanks guys.

    Theres a few pics of the screen down in the slideshow link. As far as making it, I had the mold created by one of the members on here at mp3car. I tried making my own but it just didnt come out as nice as i wanted it and by that time I was just so sick of bondo-ing and sanding that i just gave it up to better hands. As far as making it flip down, i just used some basic parts that I got from home depot. I used a magnetic push-type hinge (usually used on stereo cabinet doors) at the top that pops the screen out when i push it in a bit. And the frame itself rides on two long hinges that are usually used with jewelery box lids and the like. I just bolted everything up to the pre-existing holes and it worked well.

    About the animated GIFs, im using a program called Video Master. You can get it off of

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate crazymadbastard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Thumbs up very nice install!

    I too was thinking of mounting the computer where you mounted yours,
    Do you find it that the passengers hit it or kick it?
    I am mounting my screen on a giant fence hinge so I can swing it towards the passenger to access the radio. Just need a bit of time to mount it all.
    Iwill ZPCgx 2.4ghz cel, 256mb pc2700, external combo drive, 80gb 2.5 laptop drive, xp pro, usb gps, 7 in Lilliput TS , carnetix CNX1900. All mounted ghetto- still experimenting and tweaking.

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate srcstc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    New Jersey
    Nice work on the flip-down. How do you like the trim?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Chicago, Il
    the trim looks stock, you did a great job, thanks!!

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