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Thread: 2004 Honda Accord, Dual Climate Control, interface and Car-PC Touch screen control.

  1. #121
    Maximum Bitrate nasa's Avatar
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    Mickz,

    Thanks for the update! I won't worry about going down that path then. As far as Honda's OBD-II device is concerned -- does it act like a standard scan device with some added capabilities? Or would I be better served with a standard OBD-II scan device? I don't mind getting the more expensive device, if I know I can at least get the basic stuff out of it (and play around with the other possiblities).

  2. #122
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Hi nasa, the Honda OBD device is a very complex purpose built specialized electronic diagnostic interface that is tied to Hondas OEM software and can accesses undocumented and/or proprietary vehicle functions.

    It will only work on a Honda or derivative.

    I tired an “AUTO ENGINUITY” Scan-Tool which is an expensive general OBD-II interface device and the version I used had the ENHANCED Honda diagnostic software options enabled. It is very good but it cannot match the Honda OEM factory device and software when it comes to fault finding, repairing and resetting vehicle sub systems. Nothing does.

    A low cost OBD-II interface will access the standard OBD-II data, but anything beyond that is not possible.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  3. #123
    Maximum Bitrate nasa's Avatar
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    Damn,

    I sure can't ask questions corretly -- let me try again. Can the Honda device be used/accessed as a standard OBD-II device? That way I know I could use it, even if I don't figure out how to get to the nice extras.

  4. #124
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Could be I can’t read the question correctly

    The Honda device cannot be accessed by anything other than Honda Software.

    It’s not an OBD-II device and therefore no other software will work with it.

    The Honda OBD-II port will of course work with a standard OBD-II Scanner.

    I hope that the answer you’re after
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  5. #125
    Maximum Bitrate nasa's Avatar
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    Yeah,

    That answers the question, Thanks!

  6. #126
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Another recap/update.

    I previously mentioned the trouble I had with an external WD 500GB USB-3 HDD over a 9 month period, and if you looked / listened to the crappy video I posted you will hear the FE announce that “Drive E is missing.” That drive was initially used as the dual camera “drive recorder” storage device and has since been replaced with a 500GB 2.5” SATAII HDD.

    From a cold boot this USB-3 WD would go missing 2 out of 10 times, from Hibernate 1 out of 10 and from sleep it was just too random to say. I had always blamed the horrid mini USB-3 socket on the drive and although really poor, it turned out not to be the “main” reason the drive went missing in Windows. The Mini connector was only responsible for it occasionally disappearing while the OS was up and running. The Garmin GPS receiver had also been randomly failing to initialise since day one, usually on a cold boot.

    A month or so back, after some big SW/HW changes, the FE started taking longer to find USB Com port hardware and the GPS Mouse was more often failing to initialise. The changed behaviour was traced back to a modification which supplied clean solid +12v to the front processors during engine cranking and this in turn amplified the effects of a small residual voltage on the USB +5v line. I fix one problem and then another partly hidden, random and seemingly unrelated problem jumps up and bites me.

    Anyway, a few posts back I described fault finding to this small residual voltage on the +5v USB line which appeared when the PSU-PC was off. This voltage was bleeding back from two USB to RS232 devices connecting the PC-USB to the HVAC and Vehicle system interface microcontrollers. These two micros must be powered whenever the vehicle ignition switch is turned on and therefore powered before the PSU-PC starts.

    After fixing that problem I was blown away by how incredibly reliable the system had become, even more reliable than I had ever believed possible, it simply does not miss a single beat on resume from sleep, hibernate or cold boot. Every USB device is perfect, GPS perfect.

    As a result of the systems apparent 100% reliability, I decided to revisit the WD USB-3 drive and do some harsh testing in an attempt to get the drive to vanish, and/or get the GPS USB receiver to fail which mostly happened from a cold boot. Even after a month of perfect operation I am still not convinced I had fixed every problem. (But it appears that I have.)

    Over a few days I have forced sleep mode to fail by switching off +12v to the PSU while suspended and worse, I have just killed the power to the running PC over and over (Windows and FE still running) and the PC simply cold boots without a single USB device failure or complaint. I have tried cranking the vehicle just as the PSU is ABOUT to start a resume from sleep, right at the point of the PSU starting-up and anywhere in between and it’s impossible to cause a glitch or fault. I carried out the same test on resume from suspend and cold booting, same results, perfect every time.

    The reason for this post was to remind us of the need to check the +5v USB line when the PC is off, especially if you have external power supplied to the USB hubs BEFORE the PSU-PC starts, even for a second. Or if there are any USB devices interfacing with the vehicle +12v system that can be powered up before the PC-PSU has started.

    I should point out that although I just crudely killed power to the PC (only for the tests above), I have always had the SSD set for NO write caching and I have always run Windows7-64 with NO Swap file with an SSD. I also have a few underlying OS maintenance tasks responsible for regular disk write activity disabled.

    Late Note: I had the above update ready to post a week ago, however I had a lot of running around to do and have only got to it now. During this past week I’ve been in and out of the vehicle over a dozen times a day, every day and PC system has once again been faultless. Almost instant on (2 seconds) throughout the day and hibernate overnight. In the mornings it resumes from hibernate while the reverse camera is still showing on screen and before I can even back fully out of the garage let alone the driveway. I can tell when it fully resumes without viewing the screen (Reverse camera still showing) because I programmed the FE to say “Welcome it’s (time of day)” on resume.

    I’m beginning to feel, at last, like I‘m in Car-PC Heaven
    Last edited by Mickz; 11-30-2011 at 08:18 PM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  7. #127
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    Awesome man I love your enthusiasm!! I just wanted to let you know I will be using that schematic you posted for the second battery at some point, didn't want you to think all the info you provided was for nothing because I hadn't responded yet. Been busy lately I'm moving in 3 weeks into my first house! my carPC project is delayed a bit but the good news is I will have a nice big garage to work in now!!

  8. #128
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the FB. I did however reach the point of giving up a few times, but at last I achieved an installation that is getting close to looking like a fancy OEM Head-unit on steroids but more importantly is now fully integrated and operating like one. The only indication of a Windows OS or carPC is the “Resuming” message at the first start up of the day. That final circuit also fixed every remaining issue I had with the M4-PSU and sleep, the M4 is absolutely rock solid now.

    Good luck with your carPC build.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  9. #129
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Now that the Hardware is finished and running absolutely perfect, I’m at last enjoying time to fine tune my FE code and control interface functions.

    One of the last changes I made to the HW was to replace the feDrive Optical encoder with an ALPS EM11B16140A4 ENCODER that I found on line. This encoder has16 detents, 16 Pulses per rotation and a push shaft switch. FYI: I purchased it from http://au.element14.com/ but I think this particular unit is an end of run and no longer being made.

    It’s a non-contact type Hall-effect (magnetic) encoder and provides zero-chattering and high reliability. ALPS5217.pdf

    I was originally going to use a programmable force feedback encoder but I couldn’t find one with a push button shaft. I thought of modifying a standard unit but the final size was going to be too large.

    The Optical encoder I was using had no detents and a much higher pulse count resolution then I needed. The problem was no physical feedback as the encoder is rotated. When scrolling through music tracks, radio stations or other menus you had no real indication for how many positions you had moved the encoder. I soon realised that this “physical feedback” and not just audible feedback was extremely important to effortless eyes on the road control.

    Apart from music and station list scrolling or selection (by pushing the encoder knob down) the feDrive encoder also adjusts the dual zone Climate control temperatures, zoom’s the GPS maps in or out, selects the dual drive record camera operation mode and various other functions depending on the current FE screen.

    This replacement encoder has a good strong indent feel and a really nice click feel to the push button shaft. It operates with the same code; however I did a little fine tuning to prevent an opposite direction selection occurring when the encoder was released part way through the indent “centre pull” position. I find that 16 indent positions per 360 deg of rotation give’s a really nice step feel when used with a large control knob but still allows very fast music list scrolling when needed.

    Another realisation about FE programming also hit home when I hadn’t used the vehicle for a month or so. I found that too many options by way of multiple or timed button pushes, remapped buttons and option menus are quickly forgotten, what seemed logical at the time was now unnatural and confusing.

    Over the past year I’ve learnt what I really need and use 99% of the time and what I don’t really need in order to make the feDrive encoder, control buttons and Steering buttons consistent in control and functionally.

    The steering wheel channel UP/DN now only changes the Music track or DAB/FM Station. The Volume UP/DN only changes the volume unless the GPS in on Screen, then Volume DN mutes the radio or mutes and pause’s the music player, Volume UP restores radio or music – this GPS operation mode is a real bonus when navigating suddenly becomes difficult and you want to quickly stop any needless noise (other sounds turning on and off with GPS speech) or distractions to the spoken GPS commands that could affect driving concentration.

    Although I have a separate physical volume encoder controlling DSP hardware volume, I found keeping the steering wheel volume control switches for volume only and not trying to be smart by remapping them for other functions keeps everything simple and logical.

    Having the feDrive control panel in the centre console between the seats positioned at your finger tips means there is also no need to remap the other steering wheel controls and therefore makes the system feel logical and OEM consistent.

    I removed the feDrive encoder double push function that bought up a Window for various function selections on a “per menu basis” that could be assigned to the current Encoder operation. I fell into the trap of doing something I thought was cool just because I could do it and not because it was useful, it wasn’t.

    NOTE: The following is about MY system only - this system has a “single monitor” in front of the driver, Country and State laws apply to the driver Display. Back seat monitors and kid’s entertainment system requirements are completely different so long as the driver cannot see the displays.

    Therefore player visualisations were never included in my FE, this is a Motor vehicle, it’s used for driving from A to B. Advice from the Transport department said visualisations or any media or picture not specific to vehicle control/driving information would/could likely be illegal if the driver can see it “OR” even if the system is “capable” of displaying it whilst driving.

    I removed album art and scrolling song tag info displays from the Player as I don’t sit in a parked vehicle to listen to music or watch movies or TV when I’m not driving. I have a large screen and hi quality audio system in the home for that. However the ability to display TV or Movies is available if ever needed but is fully locked out from the FE when the motor is running.

    Clarification: Test dummies = friends who have never seen anything like this, or me after a month of not using the system.

    The simplified feDrive encoder functions are now hard coded for each menu in the FE and are logical and consistent. Using carPC and FE test dummies on the FE and feDrive control panel has shown the simplified logic and consistent system control to work really well.

    When starting out I tried a few FE’s and that’s what put me off them. So many options seem to be coded or included on screen, sometimes I think because they can be or look cool and not because they are really needed or useful. I still feel that if I can’t use a FE that I’ve never seen without having to read the screen or look around for a control somewhere on screen then my Wife or friends will have no hope of every using it.

    Currently trying to make a better video and I “Still” haven’t started on finishing the front panel – Reason (excuse) I may be able to fit a much larger screen that the current 8” unit.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  10. #130
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    GPS update.

    I’ve been using the final release (prior to it being discontinued) of Garmin Mobile-PC for over a year and I’m very happy with it, however, as it’s been discontinued and as it is “hardware registered” to my Garmin X20 GPS receiver, I decide to once again look around for an alternative in case the X20 GPS receiver dies in the middle of nowhere.

    It came down to a decision between CoPilot8 and Odyssey Navigator from TWiG solutions http://www.twig.com.au. I exchanged emails with each supplier in an effort to clarify Web information. It’s a pain when no demo software is available and this appears to be the case for both of these products. Odyssey Navigator uses NAVTEQ maps and maps for various countries are available. Odyssey is actually made by POLSTAR and is called Polnav.

    I’m going to compare Odyssey to GMPC. I have another GPS mouse on the way but decided to carry out some initial tests with my Garmin X20 receiver and “Franson GpsGate” software to route the Garmin GPS to a com-port and convert Garmin GPS data to NMEA format to run with standard GPS applications like Odyssey.

    First: I’m looking and using this from the point of view of someone who has no interest in reading a manual every time I want to do something more complex with the SW and who just wants to find an address and go to it with the least amount of drama.

    Firstly I imbedded Odyssey into my front end, mapped the Rotary Encoder and GPS button on my feDrive panel to supply the desired control actions.

    1. Rotate the encoder to zoom the map in/out.

    2. Push the encoder to flip views between the Map and Guidance Screen.

    3. The GPS button (next to the Encoder) changes between North-up, 2D Heading-up, 3D Head-up views with each push if the GPS is on-screen; otherwise it brings the GPS application to screen focus first.

    Of course you can do these actions from the touch screen but the hardware controls mean no reaching for the screen while driving.

    I noticed that Odyssey will only run in full-screen, otherwise it clips if forced to a smaller size, not a problem as I run the FE in full-screen anyway. I haven’t looked to see if this can be changed yet (UPDATE) It can by editing the settings file, but not via a windows resize command. Resolution resizing however is perfect and looks the same on my 8” CarPC screen as on a 24” desktop at 1680 x 1050.

    First BIG operational difference – it has an OSK. GMPC has no OSK (on screen Keyboard), I wrote my own for Garmin and it works perfectly allowing you to view the full size search list changing as you type.

    Odyssey has a really great OSK and although you don’t see a full search list (as such) as you type, the OSK Keys are greyed out as the search is refined. This is beautiful to use, especially on a smaller Car-PC screen. I found inputting an address in Odyssey to an absolutely dream. The Screen layout and touch screen control is once again 100%, which is just as well as Odyssey will not accept any Character or Numeric External Keyboard input in the Search Boxes. But its soooooo nice to use why would you?

    Keyboard Shortcuts: The only Keys that appear to be mapped are: F1 Zoom out, F2 Zoom in, F3 Map view toggle, F4 Heading changes, F5 Volume Down, F6 Mute toggle on/off, F7 Volume Up. ESC key closes some menus and goes back to a previous screen on others. Back-Space key is a short cut to the “Find & Go” Menu and the SPACE key brings up the Main Menu. Arrow keys are used for panning the map and some menu navigation, ENTER key selects a highlighted Menu item.

    Speech: Odyssey uses audio files for directions but no TTS, that means that it cannot announce street name like GMPC (wav and TTS). Spoken street names sounds like a desirable feature but it most cases you can’t make use of it unless you can actually see and read the street signs while driving.

    Odyssey voice prompts with map tracking (announced right when you need to turn) seem to be as good as or even better that GMPC, however the Map detail of lakes is not as good as Garmin and it does not show the small parks around me at all, Garmin shows them in green. The colour set of Odyssey is not as natural as Garmin, minor points to most though.

    In just in the bit of time I’ve had to use it I found some things a lot easier to do in Odyssey. IE POI, Routing and Route previewing and main screen navigation information is really good.

    Another thing it won’t do is allow me to zoom in/out when tracking. It locks a certain zoom position and always reverts back to it, however the view it gives IMHO makes navigation easy to follow. I have not found any hesitation to any menu or screen selection, something which GMPC can do when it’s navigating and you play around with some Route information screens.

    I should clarify this. You can turn Auto-zoom off however that means no automatic zooming in or out as you approach turns in 3D view mode. Garmin will zoom out or in and still auto-zoom on a turn. The others seem to change their behaviour between simulated route and GPS locked routing, so I will do a bit more testing over a few trips and see if I can get it nailed down.

    NOTE: This Zoom info has been updated - See my next post for a link to the thread I started in GPS forum.

    Overall Odyssey feels very snappy in operation with no glitches anywhere so far. Saving and renaming routes and destinations is a breeze.
    Last edited by Mickz; 01-14-2012 at 10:16 PM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

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