The past couple of days, I've made some progress on the physical install. I took the rack out of my car and painted it and lit it up properly. Finally some pictures.
First level of the rack, nothing exciting here.
The rack all together. Bottom shelf will be for amps, top shelf for the computer and all of its friends. So that I still have trunk space, this gets mounted to the roof of my trunk.
The bottom shelf with the amps on it.
Both shelves put together with the amps in there.
Those amps aren't going to get very much air flow with a shelf above them so I intend to mound fans such that they blow air between each amp to get the most air possible off of the heat sinks. Each fan pushes 9 cubic feat of air per minute and if you stand in front of the rack you can definitely feel it. This is my eventual planned configuration for them:
Now I wanted to get some more blue light in there, so I used logisys 12 inch cold cathode tubes. The cord on the tubes was very short and I didn't want to mount the inverter under the rack because it looks messy there and the wires were white and looked bad, so I decided to extend the cables and cover them in black heat shrink. This took about an hour to do with since I soldered each connection.
My trusty bernzomatic torch/soldering iron that makes everything happen
Now while you may think this plan was good just as I did, it turns out that after mounting the lights with their extended cables, they were significantly darker and one of them only lit up half-way as in half the tube was lit. Grr. Extended cables, ohm's law, and 400 volts don't mix. So my plan failed.
To fix this, I decided hey I'll make the cables even shorter than they were before. I drilled two holes in the rack for the light wires and mounted the inverters right next to the holes.
I also put some paper on top of that screw to keep me from getting a short circuit at 400 volts of amp killer.
Light 1 on:
Both lights lit:
And my computer will end up in the middle of the rack like this:
In the end, the top shelf will be about 4 inches tall. Looking at it straight on, the left and right side will be wood. In the middle will be plexiglas looking through to the illuminated computer. I plan to etch my signature into the plexiglas too. On the left and right wooden panel will be 120 mm fans pushing air into the top shelf.
So Alpha install number 2 is complete. I will post pictures very shortly. I have the main computer in the trunk and my amps and everything all hooked up. Now I'm working on the sheeva plug portion of the install. The task list for that baby keep on growing. I just picked up a wirless b/g/n linksys router for 20 bucks on woot.com. The networking portion of my install is slightly complex as there are a couple of different network connections going on here for different devices.
So I will have the Sheeva Plug acting as a gateway/router/dhcp server. It runs linux so it's perfect for the task. I'm getting a 3G usb adapter which is going to connect to the sheeva plug via usb. The sheeva plug will then be connected via ethernet to the "wireless router" which will be acting as a switch/wireless access point. The main computer will also be connected via ethernet to the linksys. This will be neat because any wifi device in my car will be able to get 3G. Issue with 3G is that it's capped pretty low at like 5GB a month. So for music syncing between the PC and main computer and also for downloading on the PC, wifi will be pretty necessary, so the PC will have a wifi adapter in it.
This is where it gets fun. Most home networks out there use the private IP ranges of 192.168.1.*, 192.168.2.*, or 192.168.0.*. Linksys uses 192.168.1.*. My router that i just bought is linksys as is the router in my house. If a computer is connected to two networks that use the same IP range, that screws it all up and it has no idea how to get anywhere. This means I need to use a less common range of IPs in the car so I can connect to any wifi without issue. So I'm setting up the sheeva as a DHCP server with 10.1.1.* as its IP range. PITA.
you are my idol! I was looking at Carpc's for my last car, and never really got started on my build. You obviously have a broad range of experience and expertise in computers... im not a software guy at all so I have no idea how you're gonna do it... but I like the way you're thinking in regards to sinking with your music on your home computer, and the GPS functions. I look forward to checking out your progress!
Hey thanks for the support. I feel warm and fuzzy inside haha. No, but really it feels good to hear that.
Originally Posted by JDBeck23
Software is where it all started for me. The nice thing with software is that it's pretty much a free thing to learn. When you mess with hardware/electronics, if you make a calculation wrong, you fry some component and you have to go out and buy a new part. With software, if you hit compile and it fails, 2 minutes later you're back on track. It really takes out the "i'm scared" part and any associated stress. Pick up a programming book man, and start messing around. It's easy once you get going haha
Wow, I haven't posted here in a while. I have a lot of pictures to post. 73% of my physical install is now done.
I now have a fusion brain in my car, a sheeva plug, and a wireless router.
Today I did a ton of programming. I wrote a python application for the sheeva plug which constantly communicates with the fusion brain daemon. It sits and checks the car's voltage to see if the car is on, if the car is on, it uses the fusion brain to close a relay on the computer's power pin for 1 second, which turns the computer on.
The brain also controls my amplifiers and blue lights in the foot areas of the car.
The python app also listens on an IP socket. So on the main computer, in C# I create a socket and connect it to the brain, then I just send a string through it in a syntax that I designed the end result is a private method that is this simple:
It takes something disgustingly fast for this to happen. I push the button and you instantly hear the relay click. I can get analog values in a similar fashion. I'm just working out all the bugs now, like multiple connections and whatnot and then I'll be implementing this into my own front end. Overall, it was a productive day seeing as I learned how to use python, the dbus, and sockets, and successfully put together all three into the application I was looking for. 12 hours well spent. Heres a screenshot of the windows control app, it's not too special:
//turn on fusion output 0
//turn off fusion output 2
The sheeva plug's default operating system is a stripped down version of Ubuntu and it is awful. It has no useful kernel modules, and it has a slow file system. I've now hooked up a usb hub to the sheevaplug, on it I have a 4 gb flash drive, the fusion brain, and the verizon usb760 3g usb stick. After some mucking around, I got the usb760 working great.
Now when I get home from work, I plan to set up the machine as a gateway so that my in-car wifi will have internet and I'll be able to control my car from any internet connection. This project is starting to get pretty cool.
Just got sound working on the sheeva plug. More info here:
Now with sound, I'm actually thinking about upping the ante and doing video. With that, I could completely replace my car pc with the sheeva plug and have a complete system in under 15 watts which could stay on 24/7 without killing my battery. Fusion brain could control a relay to turn the screen on and off instead of the computer. "boot up" time would be under a second.
Now if only there were decent Nav software on arm linux...
Just did some serious programming. I rewrote the command interface to my sheeva plug, so now through HTTP post instead of sockets (to improve reliability), I am able to send commands to the sheeva plug. The app on the touch screen has been reprogrammed to use this interface to send things to the sheeva plug and fusion brain. Works great. Whats cool about this too is that I can send commands to it from across the internet. Whats even cooler, is I set up a server in my house which runs a C# application. The C# app is logged into AIM. It sends me text message updates of battery voltage every hour. I can also send texts to it to send commands to my car. So now when I'm in a friends house and I want to remote start, I'll be able to send a text to my car saying "engine:on" and it will start. Nice.
Speed is impressive too. In under 2 seconds:
1. send text to screen name getvolts:0
2. server in house receives text
3. server in house sends command to car via http post
4. python app in car receives command
5. python app in car deciphers command
6. python app in car uses dbus to send the command to the fusion brain
7. fusion brain replies on dbus
8. python deciphers reply
9. python sends the deciphered reply to house
10. server in house gets the reply
11. server in house sends the reply in an aim message back to the phone
Computers are amazing. 6 protocols working together in perfect harmony.
I've decided to drop development of my own front end. I'm now using Centrafuse 2.0 and loving it. Now I need to work on developing a plugin to control all of my accessories.
Getting Rid of Keys
Check out this thread, here.
but i bought a OEM carpc sepcial for my car