Hi tripzero. I know this is a dead thread but reading it has sparked ideas in my head. I even registered specifically to reply to this. I read your rant above about the lack of quality screens and did some googling and found nothing of note since you had last posted in this forum. I've been building and working on computers since I was in high school, but my abilities when it comes to programming and actual hardware integration (pin-outs, schematics, etc) are limited.
Originally Posted by tripzero
Would it be possible to take a capacitive/multitouch screen from an android tablet and use that as a display? Most tablets run off ARM as does the IGEP and the SEIKO screen has a ribbon interface. I can almost guarantee that the screen on, let's say, a cheap 7" android tablet would have the same if not similar interface. Another inspiration was the thread "How to use an alpine screen with your carpc" by etsicc.
I'm sure the biggest issues would be
1) physical interface with the IGEP
2) drivers (but since the screen was from an Android tablet technically it should work on a linux based distro)
3) form fitting into the bybyte case/double-din opening
it's very possible... the igep people have a 7" touchscreen they sell that is plug and play with their extension board. But their extension board has been sold out for almost a year...
It's also possible to take a touchscreen from a tablet... but, that's beyond my capability, and not very economical. the point of this project is to prove that anyone can to it. If it's too difficult, no one will want to do it.
A new direction...
The igepv2 + expansion + 7" lcd has a few problems. The expansion board is expensive and it is almost never in stock. Add the cost of the lcd panel and you've blown a lot of cash. Too add insult to injury, distro's available for the igep are riddled with bugs (linaro is missing working wifi, etc). The igep just isn't a popular enough platform to get the development attention it needs.
Enter beaglebone. The beaglebone, like its big brother the beagleboard is a small, inexpensive ARM A8 embedded development board with a number of inexpensive expansion capabilities. It's the size of a credit card, has I/O, USB, Ethernet and a very small power footprint. Could this be the solution? I believe it is. And I will prove it.
The beaglebone is however missing any video outputs. But malcom found a solution:
This is an inexpensive touchscreen expansion board. It adds video (lvds and hdmi), sound (in and out) and an accelerometer to the base beaglebone. It comes mounted on a plexi-glass plate and is ready to go (operating system not included).
The grand total for me for this setup was $318 converted from EUR currency. But recent European upheaval and relatively strengthening USD puts todays price at around $299.
Now, this setup is still missing bluetooth and wifi. This can be added via usb.
Initial power testing proved promising. With the screen powered, I was seeing initial wattage of 4.5-5W. I expect the lcd to take 1-2W itself. This will allow the system to remain powered for an extended time before requiring a power off.
Next step is to get it up and running with an operating system and some software. I will post updates as more progress is made.
 - beaglebone expansion kit: http://www.tigal.com/product/2559
Excellent! Glad you got it up and running, and so quick! I'll look forward to updates as to how it performs
I also look forward to this. And also look forward to tripzero building me one and giving it to me for my birthday.
Hey Tidder. Long time no read
Yeah. My tablet has wifi hotspot built-in and I plan on using this when I get my headrest tablets installed. Can you explain your purpose for zones? I am still having difficulty understanding whether that is necessary in the car.
Originally Posted by tripzero
I see zones as individual entertainment for passengers. They can each do what they want (music, videos, internet) all independent of each other. I currently have two zones. The main driver one of course (embedded in the dash) and one for the right-rear passenger. The passenger has their own video and audio source, but all zones run from one PC.
Not everyone sees a need. Up to the individual's own tastes.
I have a 3G router in the car to give all guest devices internet access as well and the host system.
I can also see NOT having zones if, in your case, all in-car devices are individual tablets. Each table has to have their own media library, or still share a common library on a host system.
That's the wonderful thing: choices!
Originally Posted by jmullan99
Cool! That makes sense. This whole community is awesome because of all the variety of systems. Each are unique.