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Thread: Scion xB '06, in-dash Atom 330, Lilliput 889GL; details, pictures, links. Index: pg 1

  1. #451
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    Hey Rdholtz,

    Being a fellow 06 Xb owner, just wanted to write a quick note thanking you for all the time and information and effort you put into your posts. I haven't decided what I want to do yet with my car computing needs but its fun to daydream whilst reading all your exploits.

  2. #452
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdholtz View Post
    More on the Toshiba TG01

    Slashgear has a review of the Toshiba TG01 with lots of photos. They report that it has a micro-USB port, and that performance is pretty snappy. They do complain that the touchscreen is resistive rather than capacitive, so it's less sensitive.

    Sadly, Slashgear also reports that an exclusivity deal with a European carrier is apparently in the works. We may have to wait a while before theTG01 gets to the US of A.
    At 1GHZ, that phone better be snappy. Also I have noticed that alot, phones do not seem to be making it to the USA. I was so looking forward to the Touch HD, which is a iPhone killer. Big HD type screen and fast speed, but it turns out it will stay in Europe.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  3. #453
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabot7726 View Post
    Hey Rdholtz,

    Being a fellow 06 Xb owner, just wanted to write a quick note thanking you for all the time and information and effort you put into your posts. I haven't decided what I want to do yet with my car computing needs but its fun to daydream whilst reading all your exploits.
    Welcome aboard! Good to see another xB'er here . . .

    If I were starting today, I'd be paying very close attention to the threads on meshing phones and carPCs.

    I'd still build a bracket and move the xB's headunit down, and I'd put the chassis where the headunit was. I like keeping the headunit because I like the steering wheel controls.

    For my system, I suspect I'd get a very low-power-usage board like the Intel D945GCLF2 Mini-ITX motherboard with Atom 330 Dual-Core processor and 945 graphics. I'd get a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen, and I'd use a 2.5-inch laptop drive because it has built-in shock resistance. I'd go with an M2-ATX DC-DC power supply, and I'd mount everything in blk02si's nifty double-DIN chassis.

    The fit of the touchscreen with the existing bezel might be the most challenging part.

    Then I'd be watching to see what sort of meshing I could do with a phone -- probably an iPhone, but I'd keep an open mind and consider either Windows Mobile or Android units, too. I'd bet that area is going to see really fast-paced development, and so it's a great time to be involved.

    Good luck with your project, sabot. This is a fine and likable group of thinkers and innovators, and it'll be good to have your input.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  4. #454
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    At 1GHZ, that phone better be snappy. Also I have noticed that alot, phones do not seem to be making it to the USA. I was so looking forward to the Touch HD, which is a iPhone killer. Big HD type screen and fast speed, but it turns out it will stay in Europe.
    It's interesting how similar the Toshiba TG01 is to the HTC Touch HD. The Toshiba has the faster processor, apparently, but processor speeds and processor performance are two different animals, especially when the processors come from different manufacturers.

    It's interesting that these aren't coming to the USA, but it's understandable. Our system here is a bit screwy. The carriers subsidize the phones by a couple of hundred dollars (and then we complain when they want us to sign a two-year agreement, as payback).

    The trouble with that system is that phone manufacturers have a hard time competing with the subsidized phones unless they make a deal with one of the carriers. Without that deal, the phones don't come to the USA. If Americans would pay retail prices for their phones and skip the subsidies and the contracts, we could choose whatever phones we want to use, and we'd have a better selection That's the system I'd prefer -- let me just pay for the phone and be able to change phone and carrier at will.

    We can complain all day long about certain phones not being marketed in the USA, but, until we change our buying system, we're going to lose out on a lot of the cool hardware.

    And there's one other factor: until the exclusivity arrangement between AT&T and Apple ends, AT&T -- one of the biggest carriers in the USA -- has little incentive to bring out an iPhone killer. It's up to Verizon or Sprint to come up with one.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  5. #455
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Another MiMo Mini-Monitor?

    If the news about the Nanovision MiMo UM-710 and UM-740 7-inch monitors (post #428) wasn't enough to make you smile already, there's a UM-750 as well; it adds a TV tuner. It's not available in the USA but if you happen to be in Korea, you could get one there.

    Using just a USB connection makes all of these units pretty slick for automotive use because the wiring is so much easier. If there's not enough power available in a single USB connection, the monitors come with a second USB cable you can use to provide the added juice.

    I think I need one of the UM-740s. I know I want it; I just have to be sure I can reasonably fit one into the car. They're reported to be 197mm (about 7.75 inches) wide in landscape mode, but there's no height dimension listed without the stand; I'm guessing at a height of 4.75 inches for my configuration plans, but I haven't found any confirmation of that anywhere I've searched. If anyone has found the dimension, or if anyone has a UM-740 and can measure it, I'd sure appreciate the information.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  6. #456
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Moved!

    Back in post #446, I talked about moving from Palm Beach County, (southeast) Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. There's good news: the hard part of the move is done: all my "stuff" is out of sunny South Florida and moved up to currently-somewhat-gray Atlanta. The remaining work is sorting out what stays temporarily in storage, what stays at the house, and what little bit goes to the office.

    The sad fact is that most of the stuff staying in storage is my shop; we won't move that until we get the new shop built over the next couple of months. We'll go from a two-car garage to a pair of two-car garages; the regular garage will be for cars, some storage, and the girls' toys. The new one, to be built in an unused area under the house, will be for yard care things and the boys' toys, like carPCs, hot rods, tools, and the growing machinery collection.

    Scion Tow Car

    Just for more fun, I've attached two pictures of the Scion xB towing.

    The first picture shows it hauling a second U-Haul 6 x 12 enclosed trailer. In the interest of full disclosure, I only picked the U-Haul trailers up and towed them from U-Haul to the house, maybe 5 or 6 miles. For the run to Atlanta, the second 6 x 12 was behind a full-size Dodge Ram 4x4 pickup truck.

    The Scion did tow my open 4 x 8 trailer, as shown in the second picture. That pic is actually an earlier shot, with a smaller load. We loaded her even more heavilyfor the run to Atlanta, and the Scion towed it with grace. It had plenty of towing power, even in the mountainous terrain of Georgia. We cruised as fast as 75 with the trailers in tow, and I still got 23 to 24 miles per gallon while towing, more than twice the mileage of the Dodge. Amazing.

    The CarPC Came in Handy
    Saturday night as we towed, we were just north of Atlanta Motor Speedway on I-75. There had been a major accident, and the roadway information sign said "Expect Extreme Delays". I routed around on local roads with Garmin Mobile PC. Instead of sitting on the highway for hours, we got in only 20 to 25 minutes behind our ETA.

    And people still ask, "Why would you want a PC in your car?"

    Doh!

    .
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  7. #457
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    CarPC Keyboard

    The EeePC's keyboard isn't very accessible while it's sitting in the dash, and I've been looking for ways to make keyboarding easier in the car.

    Micro-Mini Keyboard
    On my last couple of road trips, I took along the Mini-Key USB mini keyboard from MP3Car for $16.99.


    Click image to enlarge.

    For reference, it's roughly the size of a Blackberry keyboard: too small to be useful for anything but two-thumb work when a lot of characters are required. It isn't the long-term answer to keyboarding while driving. This unit is actually for the Playstation, so it doesn't have Ctrl, Alt, Delete or Windows keys. But it installed without drivers in XP, and it was fine for just entering a few quick letters as needed, with one hand. It's worked acceptably, because the EeePC's keyboard is available when I need those special keys.

    Still, I'd like something a little more substantial. How about a keyboard on the steering wheel?

    Steering Wheel Keyboard
    Well, that idea is confounded by my unwillingness to give up the steering wheel airbag, or to mount anything in front of it. In the event of a collision, I definitely don't want a faceful of keyboard that's traveling at airbag-detonation speed. So I've been wondering where I can find a small keyboard -- wireless would be best -- that will fit in the arch of the steering wheel. I think a 6-inch keyboard would be about right, but the keys would be quite small. One very interesting solution would be the Microsoft XBox controller keyboard, but no one has been able to get it to work with Windows, and it still lacks function keys.

    It would be great to find a small keyboard with a built-in trackball, trackstick, or joystick. But a keyboard alone would be a good start, and adding a trackpad or even a joystick would be possible. It would be neat to locate the trackball in the steering wheel hub on the right spoke, especially if it could be connected into the wireless steering-wheel keyboard so there's no cabling issue.

    If the keyboard were to lay across the lower part of the steering wheel, out of the path of the airbag, it would be easy to use. Even if it could simply be hung there from the steering wheel spokes when the vehicle is stopped, it would work fairly well. But I'd still like to have a system I could use while the vehicle is in motion. Yes, I know that's probably illegal . . .

    Actually, a keyboard shaped like a smile would be perfect for fitting into the lower open arch of the wheel. A keyboard shaped like a frown would fit into the upper open arch. That brings to mind some of the three-dimensional arched split keyboards, most notably the ergonomic keyboards by Microsoft, though they're way too big.

    Logitech diNovo Mini
    One keyboard that seems to have most of what I want is the Logitech diNovo Mini Bluetooth keyboard -- with trackpad -- that measures only 6 inches by 3.5 inches (90 mm by 27.5 mm):


    Click image to enlarge.

    I went to CompUSA, where I'd seen one of these out as a demo. They said they didn't have a demo any more, and wouldn't unbox one for me. So I'm going to print that picture out full size, take it out to the car, and see how it fits.

    I have a couple other possibilities I'm reviewing. I'll comment on those after I test the size of the diNovo Mini.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  8. #458
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdholtz View Post
    CarPC Keyboard

    The EeePC's keyboard isn't very accessible while it's sitting in the dash, and I've been looking for ways to make keyboarding easier in the car.

    Micro-Mini Keyboard
    On my last couple of road trips, I took along the Mini-Key USB mini keyboard from MP3Car for $16.99.


    Click image to enlarge.

    For reference, it's roughly the size of a Blackberry keyboard: too small to be useful for anything but two-thumb work when a lot of characters are required. It isn't the long-term answer to keyboarding while driving. This unit is actually for the Playstation, so it doesn't have Ctrl, Alt, Delete or Windows keys. But it installed without drivers in XP, and it was fine for just entering a few quick letters as needed, with one hand. It's worked acceptably, because the EeePC's keyboard is available when I need those special keys.

    Still, I'd like something a little more substantial. How about a keyboard on the steering wheel?

    Steering Wheel Keyboard
    Well, that idea is confounded by my unwillingness to give up the steering wheel airbag, or to mount anything in front of it. In the event of a collision, I definitely don't want a faceful of keyboard that's traveling at airbag-detonation speed. So I've been wondering where I can find a small keyboard -- wireless would be best -- that will fit in the arch of the steering wheel. I think a 6-inch keyboard would be about right, but the keys would be quite small. One very interesting solution would be the Microsoft XBox controller keyboard, but no one has been able to get it to work with Windows, and it still lacks function keys.

    It would be great to find a small keyboard with a built-in trackball, trackstick, or joystick. But a keyboard alone would be a good start, and adding a trackpad or even a joystick would be possible. It would be neat to locate the trackball in the steering wheel hub on the right spoke, especially if it could be connected into the wireless steering-wheel keyboard so there's no cabling issue.

    If the keyboard were to lay across the lower part of the steering wheel, out of the path of the airbag, it would be easy to use. Even if it could simply be hung there from the steering wheel spokes when the vehicle is stopped, it would work fairly well. But I'd still like to have a system I could use while the vehicle is in motion. Yes, I know that's probably illegal . . .

    Actually, a keyboard shaped like a smile would be perfect for fitting into the lower open arch of the wheel. A keyboard shaped like a frown would fit into the upper open arch. That brings to mind some of the three-dimensional arched split keyboards, most notably the ergonomic keyboards by Microsoft, though they're way too big.

    Logitech diNovo Mini
    One keyboard that seems to have most of what I want is the Logitech diNovo Mini Bluetooth keyboard -- with trackpad -- that measures only 6 inches by 3.5 inches (90 mm by 27.5 mm):


    Click image to enlarge.

    I went to CompUSA, where I'd seen one of these out as a demo. They said they didn't have a demo any more, and wouldn't unbox one for me. So I'm going to print that picture out full size, take it out to the car, and see how it fits.

    I have a couple other possibilities I'm reviewing. I'll comment on those after I test the size of the diNovo Mini.
    I struggled with the Mini-Key USB mini keyboard for years, now that I have
    a good keyboard in my car the difference is like night and day, problem is
    it takes up a lot of room, and now I am thinking about getting a
    better mount, just so I can move this huge keyboard out of my way
    when I need to, I need a mount with a swing arm, I can make one,
    but it wont look good, I am thinking about the Jeniko CFL-1000 laptop
    mount
    but I am worried about the weight it holds, "Weight capacity 10lbs"
    and the fact that I will have to modify it, remove the laptop tray and
    replace it with my screen mount, So yea I know how you feel

    Good luck

  9. #459
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    You could also try the keyboard I use. Its the same size as the Dinovo, it is way better backlit, and its only $47.00 with $3.00 shipping. Its made by a company called Brando. Only thing is its white. Here is the link: http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail...015&cat_id=034

    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  10. #460
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will1384 View Post
    I struggled with the Mini-Key USB mini keyboard for years, now that I have a good keyboard in my car the difference is like night and day, problem is it takes up a lot of room, and now I am thinking about getting a better mount, just so I can move this huge keyboard out of my way when I need to, I need a mount with a swing arm, I can make one, but it wont look good, I am thinking about the URL="http://www.amazon.com/Jeniko-Cfl-1000-Laptop-Computer-Vehicles/dp/B0015TCPNK"]Jeniko CFL-1000 laptop mount [/URL] but I am worried about the weight it holds, "Weight capacity 10lbs" and the fact that I will have to modify it, remove the laptop tray and replace it with my screen mount, So yea I know how you feel.

    Good luck
    Keyboard space is at a premium in a car. The problem is that every keyboard that fits my fingers is too big, and everything that fits nicely in the car would require me to use a stylus. I'm wishing for a way to put a small QWERTY touchscreen in the steering wheel.

    Now, as to your project:

    You Could Buy a Laptop Mount
    I looked at the $80 laptop mount you linked. It looks pretty good.

    At first glance, the Amazon upgrade listed, the "Computer Car, Truck, RV Mount: laptop table stand, camera" looked even better for $20 more. But I realized there's no data on its weight capacity. The vendor's website provides more information, but still no capacity data. And I'm inherently suspicious of anyone who ships something that's relatively light and charges $19.95 shipping and handling; it seems devious -- I'd find them more credible if they charged realistic shipping and just kicked the price up higher.

    But Maybe You Could "Run What Ya Brung"
    You're pretty ingenious, so, instead of buying a solution, how about modifying the system you've built? You could reduce the size of the keyboard tray to only the depth you need, and attach the keyboard to it with Velcro. You already have it hinged, so you might be able to simply swing the keyboard down when you don't need it.

    I suspect that, if you'd add copper washers sandwiched between steel washers on each end of the hinge pin, you could tighten it to a point where it would provide enough friction to hold the keyboard and tray in any position you choose, but would still allow you to move it easily without fracturing the Lexan.

    Those few copper washers would cost lots less than the laptop mount.

    Since this is mostly about your installation, I'll post it in your thread, too.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

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