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Thread: 1979 Porsche 911 - Intel Atom + Linux + MegaSquirt

  1. #1
    Newbie RaceBear's Avatar
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    1979 Porsche 911 - Intel Atom + Linux + MegaSquirt

    Hello all,

    This is my first post. I've been lurking a while - great forum guys! My project really started as having a dedicated computer for my Porsche 911 with MegaSquirt EFI that I could use for tuning on the fly.

    Here's the current state of the project:


    And yep, it's the computer I'm typing on right now - so it is indeed up and running

    That big black box that everything is supposed to fit in is actually the factory housing for the A/C evaporator. (Real Porsches don't have cup holders... or AC!) The AC never really worked anyway so I gutted it all which made a nice space for the car PC project in the 'smugglers box' behind the spare tire up front.

    I chose an Intel d945gclf motherboard - decent performance, and rarely draws more than 2A @ 12.2V when it's cranking on something and playing music. 1GB RAM, Pico-ITX power supply, Cheap-o Dynex wifi card, all together I have about $100 invested in hardware.

    The software - I wanted something relatively low overhead, and user-friendly... I'm not uber tech savy, though I do pretty good with computers for a girl ;-) After looking at Gentoo and miserably failing at getting it to boot up on this rig, I went with Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex - which worked right straight out of the box except for some issues with the on-board ethernet card. I also installed the 'Netbook remix' launcher, thinking that will be nicer when I finally get a touch screen attached.

    I'm using MegaTunix for my EFI tuning - I've checked it out in the car with all the wires strewn about and it works great. I had no issues with it whatsoever.

    The car:


    The car has been my daily driver / track car for a couple years and due to an unfortunate pyrotechnic display involving the original mechanical fuel injection, it is now equipped with a MegaSquirt EFI- which actually seems to outperform the factory fuel injection by a solid 20hp... based on my "seat of the panties" evaluation.

    TO DO:
    Actually install the PC in the CAR!
    Find a MONITOR... I really wish there was a CHEAP sunlight readable option! I'm thinking of just using a hacked PSP and controlling the car PC using VNC.... dunno I'll have to think about that though.
    Figure out how to make the PC act as a USB master or figure out some way to access media on the PC with my regular car stereo MP3 player.
    Hook up the bumper cam and find suitable software for collecting incriminating evidence of my driving habits to show off to my friends ;-).

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate rijk's Avatar
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    Nice project RaceBear.
    Have you got a pic of the airco unit in the car, to where it sits in the car?

    I have this one as the TS-screen http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/601
    The car only has a sunroof, and your's has a lot less roof. So you need a sunlightreadable screen. A lower position would be better, but a bit off a downside you see less of the road.

    You use linux, i don't, should be faster than xp.
    For the skin my best advice is to place the buttons with the same function on the same place on eatch page, and don't make the to small.

    Are you also gone use the cpc for the tuning?

    ps Almost forgot, don't use this: http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/937 there always stays a bit of air under it and when you use a light background like internetexplorer they sort of light up and thats irr..

  3. #3
    Newbie RaceBear's Avatar
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    Thanks, rijk!

    here's the spot that the factory condenser box sat in. (note I currently have most of the ventilation system removed while I'm working on this project.



    I've been stalking eBay for a cheap solution that will do the job for the monitor. I would like to find something that could be folded away into the glovebox - but that's a pretty tight fit.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate rijk's Avatar
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    Oke, so the cpc is gone sit under in the hole and the white thing bihind the tire is the filter that sit on top of it? That is a nice spot.
    Or is it a metal cover, d945gclf doesn't produce that mutch heat, so you might very well get away with it.

    The screen needs to fold away in the glovebox, so you are not gone use it to controle the cpc, and you are going for stealth. If you had cold it rotate, than i might have been able to give a few pointers.

    Radio controle, don't know what kind of radio, but maybe this is what you are looking for: http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/738
    No experience with it, i chucked the radio out the cpc has to do it all.

  5. #5
    Newbie RaceBear's Avatar
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    The white thing is a hinged metal cover, it flips over and closes up the box from the luggage compartment. Heat shouldn't be a problem because I am mounting the whole computer in the same box that the AC condenser was originally in which vents from the footwell to the dashboard. So, I can just turn on the AC fan to circulate air through the box. If I get real fancy with it I can use the PC fan output to activate a relay to turn on the Porsche fan. All overkill for the Atom board, probably. Until I add a lot of goodies to the set-up... which I may.

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate rijk's Avatar
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    Hang on, thats the air-inlet of the interieur of the car.
    Thats the position of the mobo of my old setup, i changed it becaus it was to cold, and than it would switch off. Hope you live in an area where it doesn't go below the freezingpoint, than its the perfect position.

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate Bigseven74's Avatar
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    Hey look another Porsche! welcome and good luck with your project. Friend of mine has a white Super C.

  8. #8
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    this looks cool! i love carpc's in old cars. props for going with the *nix.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate simplex's Avatar
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    Nice car - Mice board - Nice OS
    If you want a sunlight readable for cheap, get a cheap tft with CCFL backlight,
    and replace the CCFL with bazillion LEDs.
    Check my worklog:
    Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

    Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

    "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
    because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

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