I am 100% impressed with this worklog!!! Keep up the great work cant wait to see the finished product!
WOW - That install is Dope !
I really like your case building - are you in the professional business building equipment for the navy since you use those sweet anodised aluminium casings ?
We used a lot of that sweet aluminium on my former job, where we made power supples for submarines etc.
Hi racerx and zapro, thanks for the kind words :thumb:
Actually the cases are just hacked together with aluminium plate and angle pieces from the local hardware. I think the pictures hide some of the close up non-details.
I once had them made as needed but businesses doing that now are few and far between and hellishly expensive.
The voltage monitoring, is that done via tapping into the car's diagnostics, or are you using sensors that you installed? I really like that idea and wanted to add to it a meter for my IMA battery as I have the hybrid accord.
Also, why have a rotary volume knob? Don't you have steering wheel and on-screen controls for volume? I think I'm gonna forego the volume knob myself, unless it becomes the default state for the powermate I plan to use for my iDrive-esque rotary encoder.
Still, your work continues to impress. We'll talk more once I get the rest of my components to wire my computer into my car.
Hi Ryven, thanks again for your comments. Surprisingly (or not depending on your point of view) one of the complaints from a lot of Car-Pc users is a lack of a manual volume control, specifically one controlling a hardware volume device at the amp input, itís seems like such a minor thing. However the number of times I and my wife (as a passenger) adjust that dam control is enough to make its absence ďveryĒ annoying.
Yes, I have volume button controls on the steering wheel; however IMHO nothing beats the speed and no searching for it control offered by a volume knob. I really hated not having it.
I also refuse to waste screen real-estate on any audio or player controls, even as an overlay, unless that audio app is on screen, and nor do I need to with the way my FE is controlled. But everyone has their preference.
Another point we may need to start thinking about Ė The authorities are already introducing legislation which will make it an offence to touch, adjust or reach out to a screen or device while driving, including GPS. Itís only a matter of time before itís in a ďpolice stateĒ near us. With this system, everything can be controlled by my version of iDrive mounted next to me.
Voltage monitoring is carried out by the microprocessors in my system. You just need a micro with a few ADC inputs and some means to get a display on screen and calibrate it.
If you canít find what you want, I would be happy to give you a simple circuit with the firmware for a small Microprocessor and a Windows application for a Meter display.
BTW I have ordered a few bits to start looking at the Accord CAN-BUS; Iím now at a stage in my software development where this data can be used and I want to add and process more Vehicle systems information.
Another question for you, Mike. You said you can do both manual (physical buttons) and digital (via touchscreen) controls for the climate control, correct? The reason I am asking is that I want to remove my seat heater buttons to make more room for the iDrive controls (I'm also planning to have a smartphone dock, like the one from the Land Rover concept a few years back). There is no more room for physical buttons to control the seat heaters, so I wanted to be sure I could add that in to the touchscreen interface & if not, I'll need to find a place to relocate them to
Yes, any switch in the vehicle can be replaced with a touch screen control.
One thing that can be incorporated for systems that are needed when the PC is “not running or broken” is a small hidden 3 wire socket to plug in a tiny control panel that allows manual control of the systems if needed.
Not replaced, but in addition to. Can the manual and digital controls be simultaneously available?
Yes, manual and screen controls are available simultaneously but the devil is in the detail.
You need to change the switches to momentary pushbutton or momentary rocker switches, and use a power FET or relay to control power to the circuit. Although there are ways around this switch requirement it complicates the circuit somewhat.
The Software control reads the state of the power to the circuit to indicate the status on screen, and to stay in sync with the state set by the manual switch. Both touch screen and manual controls work in sync.
When software control is removed the manual switch continues to control and toggle the circuit on or off.
All ADC inputs for voltage reading and sensors and the digital IO lines that control and read a dozen or so switches can be contained in one small microprocessor box.
First try of the centre console FeDrive controls in the car, in one word, fantastic :rock:
Everything works perfectly and I added a few new items to one of the setup screen.
1. FeDrive Encoder step rate.
2. Menu Clicks Ė On/Off.
3. FeDrive Clicks on rotate - On/Off.
4. FeDrive Buttons Voice announcements Ė On/Off.
I also added Dual functionally to the buttons.
If Menu button pressed and already at Main Menu then toggle Mute / Un-mute. (Hardware mute at Amplifier input.)
If GPS button pressed and GPS is on screen then toggle the OSK on/off - that change just rocks!
If Climate button pressed and Climate is on Screen then toggle FeDrive select menu on/off.
This allows selection of any HVAC function from the FeDrive encoder.
I thought my Car-PC with integrated Steering buttons, Volume knob and Screen brightness automatically controlled by the vehicle lightning system was feeling pretty OEM integrated.
This new system has taken that to a whole new level of feel and integration, to the point where the original OEM system now feels like the add-on. Iím just blown away with the simplicity of use.
I have a way of doing backlit Icons next to each button and will incorporate that into the insert panel when I decide on the final colour, donít know if I should go with the wood grain or dark charcoal finish of the upper dash, guess it depends on what colour I do the Screen surround panel.
Still to do:
1. Convert the FeDrive encoder to torque/indent feedback.
2. Redo and relocate the CarPC enclosure to a different location in the trunk and incorporate flow through ventilation to the rear breather vents. Amazing how a boot full of air can slowly heat up after 3 or 4 hours driving on a hot day - PC is still within limits but I like things running luke warm to cold. Put the rear centre arm rest down and open a small panel that allows a tiny amount of cool cabin air into the trunk and it then runs cold all day in summer heat.