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Thread: ~ Computerizing a Fiero ~ by Mister ~ (Laptop & Touch Screen)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Montreal, Quebec

    ~ Computerizing a Fiero ~ by Mister ~ (Laptop & Touch Screen)

    So, after Laptop - New or Used ??
    And this little nightmare...Touch screen problem-USB 1.1/USB 2-XP-Driver-Worcol-Touchkit-Solution

    Comes the promised build thread...and yes...It's a Fiero

    Tech support for this Carputer setup came from all you good people on - So thanks!!

    On y va … (let’s go)…

    ~ Concept:
    As with all my Fiero projects - I aim to have the benefits of an upgrade and keep the 1986 stock look as much as practical.
    The use of a laptop rather then a designated Carputer comes from a limited budget and the multi purpose functionality of a laptop.
    The docking station will provide the quick connect solution (and prevents Laptop theft when away from car)

    ~ Components:
    1. HiInfo - in-dash, non-motorized 7” touch screen (imported from China)

    About this unit:
    The Good:
    - Stealth screen! you can not tell it's a screen when closed
    - Colors match the Fiero dash colors
    - Non motorized - less things to break
    - L/R motion (about 20*)
    - FM radio build in
    - Screen is good and bright

    The Bad:
    - No proper RCA AMP output
    - Display is blue rather then red
    - Low end electronics (cheaply made)
    - "Stupid" firmware (cheaply made)

    Bottom line - I works but I [HL]DON'T[/HL] recommend it.

    2. IBM/Lenovo – Thinkpad X41 12" Ultra portable laptop [1.5Ghz/1G/40G] with docking station

    About the laptop: nothing but praises for this machine - Excellent, solid build, functions great and the most important perfect size. (you'll see why soon)

    3. Kensington mobile power supply

    4. Fiero Head Unit Mount -

    5. Software:
    - Win XP sp2
    - iGuidance -
    - MS streets & Trips -
    - Media Engine
    I've customized one of their skins with the Fiero logo.

    (Pic at wrong display ratio)


    X41 Docking station Installation:

    This is the Fiero center console - between the two seats.
    Do you see where this is going...

    A perfect size match

    Good old Jigsaw

    First test fit

    Trimming the side wall for the connectors: VGA, Power, USB, (Serial connector for scanning would be done later)

    Test fit with the X41 and door cover

    In car installation:

    Cables: VGA, USB from Touch screen, USB from GPS, Power, Audio out

    First problem(s) cable size coming out from the docking station are too long.

    Just loving the way it was made to be there !

    One problem laptop Carputers have is the remote power button to start and reset. The location I've chose presented a very simple solution:

    Dock power button -->


    And...VOILA (I'll have to find a plastic push pin to match the hole made in the center console side vent.

    First solution for the USB plug size.

    Slim USB hub I found @ Radio Shack ($10) note the plug size difference

    Perfect fit !

    Screen Installation:

    Looks like any other head unit...

    Side motion

    Driver P.O.V

    Media Engine



    Test Drive: After a short test drive I had to disable the Thinkpad hard drive protection software.
    It basically pauses the HD rotation when sensing strong motion. I know the risk... Hey, it works

    Either then that...So far so good...

    Still to resolve:
    - Center console door hinges or other connectors.
    - Need to get a right angle VGA adapter to solve the VGA cable problem

    - Power plug size
    - Clean up the wires
    - Consider USB sound card (better sound)
    - Unlocking the docking station cable

    Opinions, comments, ideas and suggestions are always welcome


    ***Disclaimer: This is an amateur write-up. Information here is provided for explanation of the general idea, I will not be held responsible for any damage to your car, your garage going in a blaze or destruction of your marriage life Please use information at your owe risk - Thanks.***

  2. #2
    It ain't easy being a green moderator meddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Steps out the front of Henson's workshop or Sydney
    moved to worklogs
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

  3. #3
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    OMG, I love how the laptop takes up so little space!!!!!!!! If my build wasnt so massive and complex, I would have went this route!
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Montreal, Quebec

    I keep updates log on the Fiero forum (too much work to upload the pics everywhere LOL)

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate americasfuture2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Edmond, Ok
    woo, hell yea a fiero! ive got my 87 gt with a lot of nice work done to it. the carputer thing is next, but it will be a while till i get around to it. there are many other things to take care of. are you on pennocks? if so, maybe we have chatted in a post. i have the same name on here as on pennocks. cept its 2k. happy fiero-ing and high five *slap*

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Where did you buy the monitor?
    I saw that you imported it from china..
    Can you get me a link to purchase from?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Wow, this is a really awesome build!! I'm doing an 85 Fiero sport and love the way you did yours!
    Where did you get the screen from?? I'm interested... I need something exactly like that!

    Where did you find a T-top Fiero!!! Those are super rare... I tried to find one but couldn't!

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate americasfuture2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Edmond, Ok
    me or mister1?

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