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Thread: Bugbyte's iPad Connected Car Install

  1. #31
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    Today I sprayed a finish coat on the main iPad bezel and it turned out pretty good. Actually, I sprayed a coat yesterday and A) I got slightly too close to the bezel and almost got a sag, which is uncharacteristic for me. I'm usually better at spraypainting than that; B) there were still a very few nicks/gaps that were faintly showing through.

    This morning, I sanded the sag areas - really, they were more like buildups than sags, and put one last bit of spot putty on the faint gaps, let it dry, then wet sanded it with 800 grit paper.

    Here's the main result.



    I've managed to do a reasonably good job of taking care of the gaps that were in the original assembly, here:
    and smooth them out, as you can see here:



    The upper half moons were nearly gone when I put the primer on it:


    and now there's no sign of them at all.


    Joints where disparate pieces came together also smoothed out pretty well.


    If you look closely, there are still some very faint joint lines that show through but using the hammered texture paint helped hide some of the sins. You can see on the right hand side of this pic where the orange glow of the overhead light reflects off the piece that there is a faint line where the different pieces came together.


    All in all, it went better than I thought it would. I managed to go from this rough piece:


    To this finished piece:


    At this point, I'm going to declare victory and move on. In test fitting the heater control and hazard switch box yesterday I came to the conclusion I was dreading. The electrical wires for the switches have to be extended to make them fit in the new positions.

    I've already prepared 18 wires and ends for the hideously tedious task of cut, solder, shrink wrap, repeat task ahead. Two hours of work should get me there and the refab/install of the iPad will be complete.

    At that point, I will turn my attention to how to use the igepv2 in conjunction with the iPad.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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  2. #32
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    The igepv2 is extremely small, by the way. Here's a picture of it inside my power distribution box. It's the thing with the green light on it next to the mouse.


    Here's the mouse covering it up.


    The system is currently running Ubuntu 9.04 with the GNOME desktop. Works pretty good for such a little board!
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
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  3. #33
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    These next posts are basically rants about how hard it is for someone who knows nothing about Linux to actually use it. Feel free to skip them or, follow along and feel the burn. It just makes me feel better to write it all down.

    I purchased a 16gb microSD for the igep and am installing Ubunut 10.1 on it. I'll use this thread to document how difficult it is. Remember, the purpose of an igep is to have an always on computer running in the car. The idea is to use it to serve up data to any device, iPad, online browser, whatever. This device will talk to the outside world through sensors and OBDII using fusion brain and other software. It's the only practical option right now.

    Don't be fooled by people who say Linux is simple or easy. Those are people who already know how to use Linux. For the rest of us, it is difficult and requires a lot of time and effort to get it to work. However, it is the operating system of choice on the embedded boards like Sheeva an igep and it is one of those things that you simply have to learn.

    Installing Ubuntu 10.1 on the igep from scratch.

    1. Purchase 16gb SD card from buy.com.
    2. Insert into igepv2 running a previously installed Ubuntu 9.04 system.
    3. Ubuntu does not recognize the USB card. In fact, it does not recognize any USB sticks that I plug into the USB port. I can see them using dmesg but I cannot mount them as a device. The error has something to do with codepage 44xx or whatever.
    4. Spend several hours searching forums for people who have this same problem. Give up and decide to use a different Linux machine - my Sheeva plug, which runs a flavor of Linux that does detect the USB stick.
    5. Begin following instructions for how to get Ubuntu distribution on igep, here. Realize that the mkcard.sh script that it uses was for a 2 gig card and didn't work on my original 2 gig card because of an error in the way SanDisk reports the size of the card. The fix for that was 2 weeks of searching on Linux forums pouring massive amounts of personal time into the troubleshooting process led to this blog entry that led to this blog entry that contained this comment that allowed me to finally fix the problem:

    "Comment by challinan, Aug 05, 2009
    As noted elsewhere, there is a typo under "Create the FAT32 partition for booting and transferring files from Windows". Type simply 51? and not the +50 as indicated. Also, for unknown reasons, after the first fdisk on a SanDisk? 2GB SD Card (about the most common card you can find) the total bytes shows up under fdisk as 1977614336 and not the full 2GB. When you do the calculation above, you end up with number of cylinders = 240, not 245. My resulting SD Card was not recognized by the X-Loader until I corrected this."

    Frankly, I'm lucky that the solution was posted. With information from the previous install issue in hand, I returned to this page, which is the clearest guide I've found for formatting a USB stick in Linux, and proceed to follow the command line instructions, including doing mathematical calculations to set up the USB stick properly.

    I'm not saying that Linux doesn't work. It may work for some people, but at this point, I'm in terminal mode on an alternative machine doing the math to format a f*%king USB stick so I can boot from it. And, incredibly, the USB stick is now formatted with a boot partition and a root file system partition.

    6. I'm now back off of this page and back to the original wiki page for getting ubuntu on igep. I want to install Ubuntu 10.1 on the igep but the 10.1 instructions warn that there is a bug in the kernel. However, I'm using tripzero's kernel (don't even ask) and he encourages me to try to build it that way.

    What way? Well, building the install involves downloading Ubuntu, using an emulator that can mimic the ARM architecture of the igep and build a root file system that can run on the igep. How does all of this sound so far to you Windows or Mac folks? Sound like fun? I'd rather have red hot knitting needles plunged into my eyes. But, my choices are A) quit and declare defeat; B) operate in Linux 'crazy-world' where instead of having a command you can remember like "password" they decide to call it "passwrd" and give you no hints whatsoever if you misspell it.

    7. Okay, since I managed to master installing Ubuntu on the igep once before, I have a program called rootstock that helps me build a distro. Since the Sheeva and igep have limited onboard memory, you can't really build a whole distro for them using their internal memory. So, I plug in my USB external drive and I'll build the distro on it. Naturally, the rootstock installer file assumes you have enough onboard memory to build the new distro. So...I open up the installer file and comb through the hundreds of lines of stuff in it until I find the variable they use to designate the build directory. While I'm in there, I find that there is a variable for a default user with blank as username and password. This explains why the last time I built the 9.04 version that I couldn't get into the desktop when it finally booted. I change the username and password to something I can remember, the go back and change the build directory, rename the file it rootstocknew and try to run the file. Naturally, I've forgotten to terminate the modified entry I made with a quote. So I terminate it and resave the file and rerun.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  4. #34
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    8. ...and that didn't work. It looked like it did, but the command basically hung at the command line for a couple of hours until I ctrl-c'd my way out. After re-initiating it with the old rootstock script with no changes, I got back an error "Your version of rootstock doesn't seem to support the maverick distribution.

    Okay, fair enough. I find the rootstock project out on the interwebs and download the latest version, which is in fact newer. I go to uncompress it and get the following:
    Code:
    tar xzf rootstock-0.1.99.4.tar.gz
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/gui/bin/rootstock-gtk: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/gui/bin: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/gui/lib/rootstock-tasksel: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/gui/lib: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/gui/share/rootstock.desktop: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/gui/share: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/gui: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/rootstock: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/README: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/images/rootstock_64.png: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/images/rootstock_192.png: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/images/rootstock.svg: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/images/rootstock_icon.png: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/images: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4/rootstock.1: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    tar: rootstock-0.1.99.4: Cannot change ownership to uid 1000, gid 1000: Operation not permitted
    Sooo...there's some kind of permission problem with the disk drive and I can't figure out what it is since I'm running as root, which is the super-user. Not to mention that it did in fact untar the files. I guess I have to figure out how to change the ownership over.

    Time to go scour the web again for this problem. After 30 minutes of reading, I find others who have had this problem and it required updating their fstab file. I change mine as it has a similar issue but it doesn't help. I blow away the directory with the unzipped files and untar it again. Same error.

    I decide to try and run rootstock anyway and it gives me an error that says it can't open the /etc/defaults/locale folder. I switch to the directory and sure enough, it's right. That folder doesn't exist. Is it supposed to? Should I just create it?

    Actually, this is simply the next error awaiting me. First I need to fix the ownership problem for these files. I head back to the web to figure it out.

    9. I decided my error had to do with ownership by the root user so I use chown -R root against the directory with the rootstock files in it. The command took without error, so I *guess* I'm okay. Now, the current error is as I thought above, that when I run rootstock using the command "./rootstock --fqdn ubuntu --login jdoe --password letmein --imagesize 3G --seed ubuntu-desktop -d maverick" it errors by saying it can't open the /etc/defaults/locale folder. A search on the web reveals no one else with this issue using rootstock. I think I'll just create the directory and hope there isn't supposed to be something in it.

    10. Created the /etc/defaults/locale folder and got this error: "Only jaunty is supported in arm5". Interesting. Especially since the wiki instructions tell you that you can install maverick by just changing the distro switch to 'maverick'. As you can see, this process is like going to the DMV where they tell you to bring your proof of insurance, then you come back and they tell you to bring additional identification, then you go home and get that, then they tell you they can't do the transaction.

    Okay, I'm not out of options yet, though. There is an "alternate method" for getting this install on the igep. I'll follow that and post about it.

    11. Following the alternative instructions, I download a pre-compiled netbook image as instructed. Works fine.

    12. I unzip the netbook image and that also works fine.

    13. Now, I need to make an exact copy to the microSD card I want to use in the igepv2 using the ultra-weird dd command. Problem is, I only have one USB port on the Sheeva plug and it is occupied by the USB disk drive right now. I'll have to unmount the drive, connect it to a USB hub, replug it and then mount both the USB drive and the microSD card, which plugs into the hub. Then, I can copy.

    14. Replug and remount goes without issue. I input the dd command and it drops down a line and is blank without any feedback. Is it working? I dunno. I'm not sure if there is any output from this process or not? I know it will be pretty lengthy since the download took awhile.

    15. Yep, it worked alright. I input: dd if=/media/external/[insanely long name of file image] of=/dev/sde2 and it dropped to a blank line for about 20 minutes then reported it had read several thousand records in and the same number out.

    16. Next step is to manipulate some files on the new image that was copied to the microSD card. I went to mount the card and it asked for the filetype. Bad sign. Everytime it asks for filetype I'm in trouble. I do a df of the /dev/sde2 partition and get:

    Code:
    root@iPlug:/mnt/usbmedia# df /dev/sdc2
    Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sdc2            73786976294837968896 73786976294823124992  14837692 100% /mnt/usbmedia
    The card only holds 15 gigs so, there's something really wrong with it. Turns out that maybe I should have used the mount point to specify where to copy the image! Who knew? It's not like there's some helpful gui to move things along for me. Or even helpful instructions. Nope, just the ones in the wiki, which I am both grateful and hateful for. I'm obviously in over my head. After all, it clearly takes a PhD in rocket science with a second major in Physics to simply create a bootable USB card using the command line in Linux. Since the planetary alignment that got Ubuntu 9 working for me, I apparently will have to wait for the second coming before I can repeat the feat.

    Looks like I'll probably have to start over. Over? Yep, over. Step numero uno or dos way up there. Lather rinse, repeat, give the proper incantations and then make sure you don't repeat the error of actually following the instructions next time.

    17. I've actually had to start over twice. It goes a lot faster if you've stumbled through it once. I went back and reformatted and repartitioned my microSD card and did dd copy again. Again, it wiped the card out somehow. According to the guys on #linuxice on irc, you don't point it at the partition (i.e. /dev/sda2) LIKE THE INSTRUCTIONS SAY but instead at the device (i.e. /dev/sda). How it knows what to copy where, I don't have the faintest idea but it's working away on it right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  5. #35
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    18. Dead stop right now. Everytime I dd copy the file it shreds the microSD and I can't mount it. I know I need to mount it because I have to change some files on it. It doesn't matter anyway because there's some kind of problem with the kernel so it doesn't work anyhow. The guys on IRC are urging me to go back to using rootstock but I don't get what they're saying. It's too complicated and involves adding repositories, which I did, and then updating and running debootstrap, which I don't understand the relationship between debootstrap and rootstock and one of the instructions they gave me was to cd into the debootstrap directory except there's not one and I feel like a complete dolt and really am not going to make them spoonfeed me the answers.

    19. At this point, it is simply too complex for a regular person with a Master's degree in technology management to figure out how to install what is arguably the simplest Linux distribution on the planet onto a Linux machine. Maybe I'll try to pick it up later but right now I'm dead-ended.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  6. #36
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    Sorry to hear your problems with igepv2. Wait, I guess your problem is really Ubuntu. I've been strongly considering buying the igepv2 to run full-time in the car and have been watching your thread hoping to get advice when I'm in your shoes.

    Do the people on IRC have a modified Ubuntu distro for the igepv2???

  7. #37
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    My problem is I don't know what I'm doing and I'm learning it all at once. Eventually, people will figure this out, but right now it is over my head.

    In other news, I've basically finished the fab work. I spent 4 excruciating hours extending every single wire in my hazard light box so I could move them lower. Now, I've finished it up and here's the results.

    Stock dash looked pretty much like this:


    iPad dash of iBug3 looks like this:




    Still need to spray it with Krylon Frosted Glass to flatten it out a bit so it isn't so shiny. Also, fashion the caps for the remaining half moons that are for the bolt holes. And the little seat heater covers in the lower left and right have to be cut in half and shortened to match the smaller width of the hazard light box.

    But in general, that's what the final result looks like. I'll take a pic tomorrow with the iPad inserted and actually turned on. Looks cooler like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  8. #38
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    Moving on to the audio and rear view mirror...

    I'm pretty happy with the iPad as car PC and the install in the dash. I've had a chance to use it quite a bit now and I'm enjoying it. But now I need to turn my attention to the audio and a rear view mirror project I've had in mind for awhile.

    I currently use a small, inexpensive ($12.99) bluetooth dongle for wireless audio. It works pretty well, considering I paid so little for it. Basically, it is a battery powered device that plugs into the 1/8" stereo jack that runs into my HU. I can control volume with it, but that's about all. The pause and next track functions don't work, which is okay since I control the music from the screen anyhow.

    But, it has to be recharged and the biggest drawback is that it fails to auto connect to the iPad when I turn it on. In addition, I have a concept for Distributed Computing that uses a number of computers in the car and on the net rather than a single monolithic device. I cannot easily connect the audio of several devices into my HU and I can't easily use my BT iPhone over the car speakers because the device is A2DP but not HF (handsfree) and even if it was, it doesn't do more than one device at a time.

    I like the wireless idea, so I thought about getting a HU with built in bluetooth that could connect both the iPad and the iPhone to it. It turns out there are two ways to do this. One is to build in BT into the HU. The other is to add it as an external option and sell it as an accessory.

    A friend of mine had an Alpine ex-10 external device he experimented with but wanted to get rid of and for $20 it could be mine. How could I pass it up?


    The ex-10 has 3 inputs - 1 iPod dock connector, 1 A2DP connection for audio, and 1 HF for your phone. I can now do the following:
    1. Connect my 2nd gen iPod touch and play music from it
    2. Connect the iPad via BT A2DP and stream audio to the ex-10
    3. Connect the iPhone and answer/make calls using the ex-10 and the car's speakers. The ex-10 comes with a microphone and can access the phone contacts on the iPhone.

    I also tried it out as if it were in my car and I was bringing the iPad into the car. It auto connects when the ex-10 starts up, as if you were starting the car. It even resumes music from the iPad automatically.

    There are two drawbacks to the ex-10:

    1. Uses a remote control to operate. I hate remote controls. Even if I solder to it, the IR sensor has to point at the ex-10's screen to work.
    2. Uses a little 2.5" display to show you what it is doing. That's an extra thing hanging out in the car and I have to figure out how to integrate it into the car.

    Fortunately, I have an idea.

    For quite awhile, I've been considering putting my iPod touch 2g into my rear view mirror. I would load it with music and just let it sit up there and I can control it using a program called tango remote from the iPad. It would be easy to sync/change the music on it as I could just take it out of the rear view mirror and connect it to iTunes in the house.

    I went so far as to buy a replacement rear view mirror on ebay. The mirror shell itself is pretty big and I was thinking I could put the iPod AND the screen from the ex-10 into it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  9. #39
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    Cracking open the mirror, the glass is thin and sits at the very front of the mirror. Inside are two things - the mounting mechanism and a light that is the dome light for the car. If I do this, I'll have to figure out where to put a dome light.


    After quite a bit of wrestling, I figured out how to remove the mount and the light. Now, I'm left with the shell.



    The mirror glass itself is wedge shaped and that explains how it works when you flip the little dimmer thing on the bottom of the mirror. It changes the angle and reflects off of the other surface of the glass.



    Next was to remove the Alpine screen from its housing and see if the innards were the right size to fit inside the mirror. The entire bezel was too large.


    Hrmm. Looksl like the electronics are pretty big...


    It will physically fit inside, but that mounting mechanism in the middle is going to get interfered with. Not to mention that I want to put my iPod in there. I'm running out of room fast.


    Any ideas for how to alter the mounting mechanism to allow for room inside? Maybe an external cage for the ball joint....?
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  10. #40
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    If you're the only person who drives the car, could you just make a permanent mount in the position you need it in? The other solution, as you said, would be to make everything external. This may sound strange, but you may be able to use a swivel socket for a ratchet wrench to do this.



    ^^this is the best picture I can find, but what I had in mind only has one ball bearing. It should be rigid enough that you can adjust it and it will stay in its place. To maximize the room in the casing you could lose the ability to flip the switch and change the mirror setting, but who uses that anyways?

    As a side note, what would be really cool is if you could replace the mirror glass with a one-way mirror, so you could mount the iPod directly behind the mirror and you won't see the screen unless it's on. Sort of how this screen protector works:


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