Any change in making version 2 with a 5x45W amp? That way you could power a center speaker.
Will there be a USB audio in the headunit so line audio does not have to be sent from the PC? This would require a line out for a sub.
I really like the PIP idea and if the PC can program the location of any of the video inputs then some could be full screen and other PIP.
The backup input should be programmable. If there was no video coming through the WVGA connector it should switch the backup camera input to display full screen. If the PC is running then the backup request should be sent to the pc with the option to display directly or wait for the PC to switch.
Have you looked into a multi-conductor cable that can be use between the head unit and the computer? One connector on the head unit which the cable plugs into. The other end has breakouts for WVGA, USB, Audio (if not through USB) power controls to connect to the IGN Sense connections that could be use to control power on the PC. Would make connecting the headunit to the PC a snap. One more EDIT: The cable could also carry the backup video to the front. One more cable removed.
Just some thoughts.
software. The monitor will come bundled with a small utility application that will allow each function to be mapped. The buttons can be mapped to keypresses, volume to wave or master volume, etc. However, the command information (and an SDK) will also be available so FE developers can intergrate this directly into the FE's.
The rotary encoder will not use any standard drivers to control the volume. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that we didn't want to lock that rotary knob down to volume only. With the SDK, one can use the rotary knob as volume, or as a scroll wheel when in a menu, etc etc...
The monitor will be accessible through a virtual COM port for easy interfacing. There will also be D2XX drivers for those who want access to the USB through a DLL.
Most everything about the monitor will be available in the configuration. You'll be able to tell the monitor what to do on power-up, what to do when the reverse line goes high, etc etc. So, if you want it to show the reverse cam when you're in reverse and the PC is still booting, but not when the PC is fully booted (and instead just inform the PC that you're in reverse or something), you can do that.
I have a design-change question to ask of everyone:
It turns out that the space behind the plastic LCD bezel where the rotary encoder would be mounted is not big enough, or even close. There are ways around this, but not as easy. What's worse is that Mouser doesn't have the right detent-less encoders that I wanted to use. This means that if we stuck with the rotary encoder idea, the encoder would have ~24 detents, it would not be smooth like a normal volume knob (which is what I thought would be nice).
Here's what I was thinking: What if the rotary encoder knob was ditched and there was an additional button? This button could be roughly 1.5x the height of the others, backlit, and would be a rocker shape with up and down on it. What do you think?? (PS: it would also shorten the time until it's released )
My humble opinion is that a knob with push action is a great GUI thing. Almost as intuitive as touch screen. Having two, one for volume and on/off power and a second one with <shift-tab> alike action (scrolling thru screen buttons) and push as enter makes even the touch pad unnessessary getting improved visibility as a bonus.
However. With only one knob and if you use it as volume up/down only, I think rocker-buttons are just as good. Even better looking.
So it is configurable to turn the VGA upside down, or is that a matter of the display driver?
What are your dimension restrictions for the rotary encoder?
"It's a blessing . . . and a curse."
Just a thought but how about extending the shaft on the rotary knob so the encoder goes behing the screen. If you offset the encoder and use a second cog / gear to drive it you could fit any size you want. You could also integrate a micro switch under the shaft to enable push button effects and can gear up / down to get the sensitivity you desire.
I've done a very rough MSPaint job to give a visual idea of what I'm on about but can't work out how to insert it. Sorry guys.
MrBMW99 I can email it to you if you want a look. PM me with your address.
I love the look of this new unit. The only thing that kills it for me is the knob. It looks out of place. It throws the weight of the unit off and almost looks like an afterthought. I understand the importance of it because of the other options it allows but it's an eye sore. I think aesthetics are just as important as function and this is one tradeoff that I could definately live with. I would jump on this unit if it had the rocker button for volume. Is the need to turn down the volume instantly that important? If so, why not just make a button below the rocker button a mute button?
Just my two cents...
On the subject of knobs and buttons may be this design can give you future inspration....
More here ....