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Thread: 1985 Fiero Sport - Eeepc 702 Carputer Project

  1. #1
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    1985 Fiero Sport - Eeepc 702 Carputer Project

    85 Pontiac Fiero Sport 2m4 - 2.5L Iron Duke Engine with 5-speed Isuzu
    Not the fastest car... but it has a LOT of potential. Any comments or critique are welcome!! I love this forum already! So much useful information!

    Hardware:
    Asus Eeepc 702 netbook (900mhz, 8GB solid state SLC, 1gig ram, 5200mAh battery) (PURCHASED) (SHIPPED)
    Lilliput 7inch Touchscreen (PURCHASED) (SHIPPED)
    Duracell Power Inverter (with battery and USB port) (PURCHASED) (SHIPPED)
    GlobalSat BU-353 USB GPS Reciever (PURCHASED)(SHIPPED)
    Eeepc Car Adapter (PURCHASED)
    4 Port USB Octopus Hub with addition power input(PURCHASED)
    USB Bluetooth Adapter (Purchased)
    640gig 2.5 USB hard drive (Sourcing)
    26inch LCD Monitor (Sourcing)

    Software:
    Centrafuse 2.0 (trial)
    Microsoft Street & Trips 2010 (Purchased)
    Windows 7 Professional ($30 student discount)


    Worklog Update:
    [1/29/2010]
    Bought the car, stripped the interior... planning for the change.
    I've been planning/sourcing/buying/researching for a carputer for a while, just waiting for the right car to come along. Bought this car two weeks ago, drove it around, fix and replace a couple parts to make sure it run well. 73K miles on a 1985!!!
    [2/1/2010]
    Ordered a couple more parts from Dealextreme... probably be here in about a month... no rush, still planning. The Duracell inverter/battery pack is sweeeeet. It charges two USB device at one time, and power any laptop for about an hour or so. Can be charge using AC or DC power... The BU353 Bluetooth reciever is problemo... cant seem to get it to work with Street and Trips 2010... gonna try to find my old 2007 version and see if it work. If not I'll have to solder my old HOLUX SiRFIII USB back together to see if that work.
    Lilliput touchscreen only works half the time... and it's not great. I dont like touchscreen anyway, it's never perfect. I'm gonna order a touchpad and wire it in the middle console for control, and a keyboard stashed somewhere when I need it.

    Current Project:
    Researching a front end... still haven't found a front end I like yet, Centrafuse is Niiiice, but $$$, and doesn't work street and trips... RR is too much to config... Haven't even tried street deck since it's 1.3gig to download and I only have 8 gig of HD space... windows 7 takes up 6 gig leaving about 1.3 spare for software... dont want anything that big.

    Plan:
    Incorporate GPS, Music, Movies together in a Car-puter. 2MP webcam as backup camera, 640gig HD for music and movies, Wifi Internet access, or Bluetooth DUN through Verizon 3G network. 26inch LCD will be mount on the reverse open hood like a "drive in" theater. Still debating to use an LCD monitor or Projector...

    Pics will be up soon...

    Other mods:
    Projector HID Retrofit (Purchased)
    Lambo Doors (Sourcing)
    4.9 Northstar Caddy Engine (Saving Up...)

  2. #2
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    Front End

    So I've spent the whole day looking for a front end that I like... haven't found anything amazing yet...

    CentraFuse is still the best choice, but $$$$...
    RR is a no-no
    Media Engine is simple easy, but it's not as nice as Centrafuse

    I'm resorting to different route now for a front end... testing Asus' Easy Mode XP (for the Eee Top, [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyMn92mQSns[/media]
    It looks promising if I can find a copy of it to work on windows 7!!! I cant get it to open in 7... gonna keep trying though. It's nice and simple to customize!
    1985 Pontiac Fiero Sport 2m4
    Carputer Process:
    Planning: 60%
    Building: 25%

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate sargeants's Avatar
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    you've definitely got some killer plans for that thing. N*; Lambo; rear LCD
    There's definitely the space back there and I can see it working, will just have to keep the rear 'trunk' cool.

    I'm looking forward to watching your build.... and giving me hope that one day I'll get to mine.
    03 Hyundai Elantra GT {Worklog}
    HP TC4400; 250GB SATA, WiFi, BT, 12.1" touch
    RideRunner; w/ mobilephone.net, OBDMPG, mediaart, RRMedia, DFXVoice and more...
    cmdRR tall skin creator

    86 Pontiac Fiero SE 2m6
    possible carpc install

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
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    Looks good so far. I wasn't exactly sure what you'd need the inverter/battery back up for if you bought the Eee Car Charger as well... But now I can see that it has a lot of potential, especially with the USB chargers built in, you could run your USB devices off that exclusively, and have less power drain from the Eee when you put it to sleep... Great price on that too..

    Not sure why you really want to run windows 7 on an Eee either. It is definitely more of a resource hog and space hog, compared to a good slimmed-down install of XP Pro, which you can make take up only about a gig or so of hard disk space... Plus there is much more support out there for running windows xp. Also, don't forget your SD Card slot, which is definitely fast enough to run software and store your GPS maps. In addition, you'll need as much hard drive space free as you have RAM if you want to put your Eee into hibernate, i.e. 1GB free space for 1GB RAM to use hibernate.

    I would also highly recommend going with the touchscreen if you can get it working.

    Does the 702 come clocked at 900MHz from the factory?? I thought the 700 series all came clocked at 630MHz, even though you could increase it to 900 MHZ... Personally I wouldn't recommend running it at 900 all the time for heat and reliability issues. The program that does the overclocking, "eeectl" also has a medium setting of 765MHz, which is what I run mine at, and I haven't had any issues performance-wise or heat-wise so far... When you push it to 900MHz without seriously increasing the cooling capacity, you'll run into lag issues... This is also true on some of the 900 series Eee PCs that run at 900MHz when plugged in from the factory...

    Finally, I prefer to read all of my data off of solid state disks for the car setting. I can bring my external hard drive with all my music with me if I really wanted to, but I generally leave it at home and then take the time to load the music that I want to listen to for a couple of weeks or on a road trip onto an 8GB USB drive, and then play it off of that. This way, I don't have to worry about my hard drive crashing when I hit a bump in the road. Just a thought.

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    I run it at 900mhz, but I removed the screen and have a big copper pad on top of the processors and heatsinks attached to the copper pad. Overall it felt pretty cool under full load. So I'm hoping that's good enough. If not when I enclose it I'll add a fan. There's a bios for the 701 that keeps it running at 900mhz all the time, I cant remember where I got it now... but it was from eeeuser forum.

    As for the Duracell Inverter, you're right. I just bought it because it was cheap until my Eee car charger gets here... plus I can actually use the Eee another two hours plugged into that thing! So I'm considering different route for it to see what work out well.

    And you're definitely right about Windows 7. I went back to an nlited version of Windows XP instead and now it boots to windows in 15 seconds. Windows 7 boots on my dual core laptop in about 18 seconds, so I was hoping it get good performance from the Eee, but that didn't work as planned.

    Thanks for the comments, I am still on the "planning" phase... far from the build.
    1985 Pontiac Fiero Sport 2m4
    Carputer Process:
    Planning: 60%
    Building: 25%

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
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    ya, just be conscious of the heat and make sure your enclosure is well ventilated.. I would definitely consider adding a fan (or two)... You may also want to think about turning the internal Wi-Fi card off when you're not using it, as I found that generates a good amount of heat. Plus it doesn't pick up the best signal either, so you may want to think about removing it altogether and running a Hi powered external one... That's definitely what I'd do if I did my setup over. Something like this setup:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-MAC-WIRELE...item1e5a397003


    That seller also has 1 watt usb adapters, with up to 15" 9db gain antennas! That will pick up some serious networks. He's a great seller and I've bought many products from him and recommended him to my friends and family as well.

    when I originally planned my setup, I was going to extend the LVDS cable or run another monitor and I was going to put the 701 into an old external cd-rom enclosure, with a small fan at either end.

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    I got a rosewill RNX-G1 B/G adapter that I'll be using for wifi along with a 1 watt power amplifier along with a 7db D-link antenna.
    I'll wire the amplifier to a switch, so I can turn the power off when I dont really need it to conserve power.

    Matter fact, I'll remove the +5 altogether from the USB hub so it doesn't drain power from the laptop, and wire it to the USB power from the power inverter. This way all my stuff will be powered by the power inverter's battery. I will have a switch to turn off all the accessories when they're not needed since my music will be coming from SD card reader on the Eeepc. I wont need any USB devices when I'm only listening to music.

    Have to buy a copy of iGuidance today since it's the only thing that work with Centrafuse... pretty stupid. I want to use Street and Trips since I already have it, but too late.
    1985 Pontiac Fiero Sport 2m4
    Carputer Process:
    Planning: 60%
    Building: 25%

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    So, the plan is coming along nicely. For some reason, my touchscreen on the Lilliput is not working well... so I'm using the original screen from the Eeepc... which will only leave me with about 4 inches of room from the LCD to the PC... This could be a problem. I have to try and mount the whole PC into the dash. A couple rough measurement says that it'll fit. And the touchscreen on the Eeepc is better anyway, so it'll work out fine. I wont have the extra Composite input from the Lilliput though, so the backup camera will have to be the Webcam camera, which is fine, just have to use a longer USB wire for that.

    Another idea I got brewing for the Carputer is to have it control my windows, lights, and all the electronics in the car.

    For this, I'll be using an Arduino Mega. I have a couple of arduino, but they only have 13 I/O pins, so I can only control max of 13 devices or relays. The Arduino Mega is capable of controlling up to 54 devices I believe. I want to use the Arduino Mega so there's room for expansion later on.
    So far, passenger and driver windows up and down will require 4 relays already. Headlight and fog lamp will be two more. Trunk and hood popper will be two more. Plus I plan on using some of the pins to control lights, sensors, and other stuff.

    The arduino will also be used to power on the carputer from hibernation. I will wire a relay to the carputer as well, and an RF relay to the arduino. When the RF recieve a signal, trigger the sensor, and the arduino turn on the carputer. The arduino will be on all the time, but it only consumes 20mA, so it should be fine.
    1985 Pontiac Fiero Sport 2m4
    Carputer Process:
    Planning: 60%
    Building: 25%

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
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    Sounds good... You may want to think twice about having the CarPC control EVERYTHING, because then you will have to wait for it to boot every time you want to turn on your lights, put your windows down etc.. definitely build in an override system, in case of PC failure.. also, not sure which webcams people are using out there, but from what I've found, the only ones suitable as backup cams would have to be pretty hi-res and also have some sort of IR/nightvision to make them usable at night, unless you just want to beef up your reverse lights.

    Good luck, waiting to hear more good news.

  10. #10
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    Haha, nah, the CarPC wont be controlling the car... it'll just be "another way" to put the windows down and what not. The stock buttons and knobs will all still work. I just like the high tech touchscreen control to see if it work. Like those new BMW
    1985 Pontiac Fiero Sport 2m4
    Carputer Process:
    Planning: 60%
    Building: 25%

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