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Thread: Sama's ///M3 Convertible Worklog

  1. #1
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    Sama's ///M3 Convertible Worklog

    THE CAR

    More pictures: [1] [2] [3]
    Sequential Manual Gearbox with F1 paddle shifters... oh yea!

    CURRENT SETUP
    The built-in BMW software already does a shedload of stuff, and the navigation on it is actually pretty damn good. You can see some details here. But to summarise: 7 Digit Postcode lookup, Speed Camera Voice Alerts, TMC built-in to the Nav, Built-in GPS Dead reckoning, Bluetooth telephony with auto music muting, TV Tuner built in. All functions controlled via ibus

    THE PLAN

    1. Replace the Navboard 400x240 6.5" screen with an 800x480 Transflective screen (In Progress)
    Still doing this. I've found a 6.5" LCD with good specs. I've also found someone that can convert the LCD to a transflective version. The only thing that remains is squeezing the 6.5" display into the board monitor. The thing is already full of electronics and not really that easy to move them around since they are shared circuitry for the buttons on the front and the LCD driver (maybe). A couple of guys, Bengt and Art have independently done some fabulous work on making their own buttons circuits that mimic the BoardMonitor. The reason they both had is to make more space for LCD driving circuits. I didn't think I'd need it, but having taken my BoardMonitor apart, I can see that I have no choice but to do that is want to keep the BoardMonitor in there.

    2. Use a capacitive touchpanel with multitouch (In Progress)
    I've found a supplier that sells custom size capacitive panels. I'm working with them to produce one that will fit the Board Monitor shell exactly. Problem here is the edge of the active area, it'll be around 2-3mm inactive around the edges, due to the constraints of the shell. I should have tests within the next few weeks to see if this will work.

    Here are the dimensions of the board monitor shell:


    3. Keep all existing BMW system functions (Solved).
    I've managed to get the car's RGsB signal converter using this. See a video here. This means When point 1 is done, I'll be able to feed the car's existing feed into the high resolution screen and seamlessly integrate it.

    4. Use my NexusOne phone as the CarPC (In Progress)
    Sven Killig has done some amazing work and has compiled an Android 2.2 (Froyo) kernel for the NexusOne with USB Host support. The most interesting thing about this setup is that you can hook up a USB VGA adaptor as you can see on his page. My plan was to compile a linux driver for a multitouch USB screen with the modified USB host kernel, but since I can't find a multitouch controller as per point 2 above, I'll have to try and make this work with a resistive screen instead. Hopefully I can find some generic drivers, else I'll have to write my own. So far I've purchased the cable and I'm waiting for a replacement NexusOne since my dad took mine!!

    5. Build an Android ibus interface driver


    6. Build an Android front end that extends the existing system seamlessly


    That's the aspiration. Whether I'll be able to pull it all off or not, is another matter.

    NOTE: The problems I'm having with points 1 & 2 would all just go away if I was to use a 7-8" 16:9 LCD with a bezel instead. That would be too easy of course!

  2. #2
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    PROGRESS UPDATE...

    1. Replace the Navboard 400x240 6.5" screen with an 800x480 Transflective screen

    I found a supplier that sells this screen. To summarise:

    - 6.5" 16:9 LCD
    - 800x480 resolution
    - 550 cd/m2
    - 400:1 contrast ratio
    - 15ms response time
    - LED backlight
    - VGA controller to complement
    - constant current driver with dimming

    I've also discovered that there are services that upgrade LCD's to transflective ones so I'll be using that.

    Now to get the existing BMW system's RGsB video signal into this VGA controller. I was recommended this converter which should do the trick.

    The final piece of the puzzle will be to have a VGA switcher, but that's a really easy bit

    All looking on target so far, so time to start spending money!

    Step 1: Buy the converter and see the BMW RGsB signal on a normal VGA monitor
    Step 2: Buy the LCD and controller and test with the above to make sure
    Step 3: Take the BoardMonitor to surgery to swap the screens and squeeze in the controller circuitry. Ensure existing BMW operates normally
    Step 4: Upgrade the LCD to transflective
    Step 5: Enjoy a high-res Transflective 6.5" upgrade for the BMW BoardMonitor

  3. #3
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    How much is the 6.5" LCD with controller board?



    Can't wait to see more

  4. #4
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    180 for board, controller, power and cables

    more soon

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    Looks liek a cool project, I'll be following it.

    I'm really interested to see how the android will interface with BMW's system.

    Will you be doing any performance tuning with your carPC, or will it be just for media?

  6. #6
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    thanks superart. no plans for performance tuning. My view on making a car go faster is to buy a faster car (unless I've got loads of time and money in which case I would have project car for sure).

    Android/IBUS wise, the NexusOne can be a USB host. There are lots of USB IBUS adaptors, and all the IBUS really does is send some bits on a serial port, so the driver should be really easy (famous last words)

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate Crinos's Avatar
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    Have you seen the other E46 Worklog?
    E46 - CarPC Work Log

    BES have done some real sick mods to stock BM. I have ordererd one from him after the summer is over...

    BTW: Nice car!

  8. #8
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    Thanks

    I've seen Bengt's work, it's insanely good. He's a very very talented man and it seems wherever I go on the internet researching my quest, bes has already been there! Also check out Art's work on an E39.

    The difference between what I'm trying to do and the other installs is that I'm trying to keep the original BMW functionality there and extend it, rather than replace it with a front end. That's what I'm thinking now but of course that may change

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate
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    haha, for a second there, I thought you meant me :-/

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Crinos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sama View Post
    Thanks

    I've seen Bengt's work, it's insanely good. He's a very very talented man and it seems wherever I go on the internet researching my quest, bes has already been there! Also check out Art's work on an E39.

    The difference between what I'm trying to do and the other installs is that I'm trying to keep the original BMW functionality there and extend it, rather than replace it with a front end. That's what I'm thinking now but of course that may change
    Ah then I see.
    There where one member in BMWCCN that did something like what you would like to do.. He bought an "video ibus interface" of sorts, that switched between computer display and original BM.
    The playlist and all "music related" where masked as the CD changer..

    I will try to find his worklog. (It's only on his own homepage, and I cannot remember the URL)

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