"Classic" Oldsmobile Aurora CarPC Worklog

Conceptual Ideas 05-09-2011

Always thought building and installing a carpc would be the pinnacle of in-cabin entertainment and functionality. A [small] list of features I would like to include in this build are support for most popular forms of media excluding CD/DVD-ROM. Integrated OBD-II diagnostics for on-board systems check, code reading, sensor and gauge readout, etc. GPS turn by turn navigation. Hands-free wireless calling via bluetooth. Wireless capability via cellular phone tethering. Ability to listen to FM radio would be nice as well but is not of great importance at this moment.

Hardware & Components:

  • Touch Display: VM70 (7" TFT LCD WVGA/VGA)
  • Laptop: Fujitsu B6230 (Core 2 Duo U7600 / 1.2 GHz ULV - RAM 2 GB - HDD 80 GB - GMA 950 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0 - Gigabit Ethernet - WLAN : 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0)
  • GPS Receiver: Global Satellite BU-353 SiRF III
  • OBD-II Diagnostics: ELM327 OBD2/CAN-BUS Diagnostic Scanner V.1.5
  • Amplifier: Phonics Digital PD-IC4CH (4 Channel - 4x30W RMS @ 4 Ohms)
  • Soundcard: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Z
  • Bluetooth Integrated in Laptop
  • Wire Harness: Custom Wire Harness integrating VM70 cables, Metra 70-2001, a couple relays, etc)
  • More to add in future I'm sure...



Software:

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP SP3 Slimmed Down
  • Front End: Road Runner
  • GPS: iGuidance or Microsoft Streets & Trips?
  • OBD-II Diagnostics: Dash Command
  • More to add in future I'm sure...



Given the proximity of the factory head unit location to the shifter it makes it difficult to operate any double din head unit in the Classic Aurora (especially with shifter in Park). To combat this issue I have decided to swap the locations of the center vents and the head unit. Moving the VM70 display to the top and the vents to the bottom. I actually got this idea from the Glass Roof Aurora concept car. Plan to flush mount with VM70 headrest bezel instead of protruding out like the concept car picture below.

Current Setup:




Glass Roof Aurora Concept:







In this process I will be removing the aftermarket head-unit and using the carpc as the dedicated source. Luckily, I have quote the room to custom mount the amplifier under the dash between two kick panels.




The factory headunit is currently stashed down there. It is there so I could retain the date on DIC (Driver Information Center) and steering wheel controls. It however, will be removed and the amplifier will be in it's place.
Plenty of room here. This also makes it very simple to extend the after market Metra 70-2001 direct to amplifier speaker outputs and hidden away.

I have taken the first steps to remotely power up the laptop by finding the continuity of the momentary switch and soldering leads to a new momentary switch. So, for anyone ever planning to use a Fujitsu Lifebook B6230 (there others that are the exact same just slightly different hardware in the B series that are identical) this is really simple. As simple as popping the beauty cover off with a small flat head screwdriver, removing the circuit board (if you want) and soldering wires to the bottom two solder joints. Not the finished product but just pictures for reference!





I plan on building one W3bMa5t3r's Auto Power-On / Turn-On Module design to accomplish this. In turn the laptop will be powered by a DC-DC auto adapter. The Shut Down / Turn-Off tasks will be accomplished by the Hibermon application when power is disconnected from auto adapter.

That is all I have for today... comments / suggestions appreciated for the build!