2005 Camry Install
I'm going to use this as a blog to keep track of everything I'm doing with my car computer. I started this project a little over a month ago and have it installed and working with the minimum of my requirements. These are MP3 player, GPS and DVD.
- Dell Latitude laptop and docking station. 1Ghz processor, 512MB Ram, 60GB Hard disk and Windows XP Pro.
- Dell Latitude Docking Station
- Auto power adapter (cig lighter) for Dell Latitude
- Pioneer DVR-K05 Slim 8X Dual Layer Drive
- Compusa 2-port firewire, 2-port USB PCMCIA adapter
- Lilliput 8" VGA Touch Screen TFT LCD Display w/extension cable
- Custom built bracket for mounting the Lilliput to the dash.
I searched online for about a week looking at different brackets, I almost settled on a $50+ item and was about to buy it. Then I decided to go to Lowes, buy some aluminum and make a bracket. So, off to Lowes I went and got what I needed. I don't have pics of the bracket but I'll describe the steps to make it.
The bracket is made of aluminum bent and folded to fit. After it was bent I used engine block spraypaint (flat black) and coated it 3 times. Then baked in the oven at 400 degrees for it to harden.
We removed the center console covering the stereo and air vents. I rivited the bracket to the cover in order to mount it. After that we used some rubber as bushings to dampen the vibration and that's it. The mount has been holding the touchscreen up well, it has a little crackling noise I have to pinpoint but no shakes and handles a lot of weight.
- I've chosen to go with the Frodoplayer front end as it was the quickest/easiest to configure for me plus it has some nice skins.
- Since I needed a GPS receiver and software I bought the Microsoft Streets and Trips package. I've been using Resource Hacker to move/resize buttons so it's turned into a very nice setup.
- Music is supplied via the tape adapter and a long 1/8 cable going back to the laptop. Kind of cheap but hey, it works!
Some of the things I've learned so far about the setup is that cables are expensive and don't buy cheap stuff. I bought a Meritline 4-Port USB 2.0 PCMCIA adapter originally to connect all of my peripherals, this was a bad choice. The Pioneer DVD player skips bad when plugged in. So I went out and got the firewire PCMCIA card and the DVD player works great with it. So I highly recommend using Firewire if your laptop has USB1.1.
Need to Complete
- I am still trying to decide how to mount the laptop in the trunk as right now it's free floating.
- Mounting the DVD player in the center console so that I can use it as a cd/dvd player. I am not without DVD as with the 60GB HD I can copy about 4 or 5 movies and still have plenty of space. I use DVD Shrink to make ISO's and Daemon Tools to mount the ISO's as drives.
- Relocating the power button from the computer to the front. If anyone knows where I can get nice long ribbon cables I could potentially relocate the docking station power button to the front. If not I'm thinking of using the Wake On Ring feature of the laptop as discovered in some of the threads that I have read.
- Other items include wifi and bluetooth features which will come as I have time to play.
- And of course clean up cables, etc...
And finally what everyone wants to see, pictures! These were taken a couple of nights ago. One with the DVD player going and one with the Night time view of Microsoft Streets and Trips.
Look great. Do you have some more pictures. How did you mount the bracket to LCD....