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Thread: Interior Crocodile Alligator: Alison's '07 HHR

  1. #1
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    Interior Crocodile Alligator: Alison's '07 HHR

    this thread title is a reference to a song.
    So, this is in infant stage right now... but I have plans.
    • Front display: mounted in centre dash cubby here:

      I'm looking at a few trying to decide whether I want to go with a VGA only screen or one that can use HDMI/DVI too. The computer I have now only has VGA out but i want to make upgrades possible.
    • Computer: IBM Thinkpad X60 laptop. It's pretty beat up, but still works fine. I will have it after I steal it back from my sister (giving her a HP TC1100 tablet PC!!) I plan to mount it under the passenger seat. It shall run some flavour of Linux.
    • Rear displays: Mounted in each headrest, driven by a DisplayLink adapter each. Dual zone rear entertainment with independent UI and independent USB audio adapters, doing something neat with some kind of Linux multi-seat solution in order to enable totally independent UI. This is totally up in the air though, I might end up giving each rear seat passenger their own small PC and having a LAN'd storage, if multi-seat things with Linux end up being unworkably difficult. Damn it, I just passed up a chance to acquire several thin clients for a buck each.
    • Audio to front zone: Aux in on factory head unit. I'm going to integrate this kind of loosely for easier migration to different car, and if i lose the factory head unit then I lose warning chimes and trip computer steering wheel controls.
    • Internet access: Wifi tether to my Android phone.


    If there's anything I missed, in my plans, call me out on it.

    Now for the actual work accomplished.

    June 23, 2011
    Bought a plastic toy crocodile to go with the name of this project.



    June 24, 2011
    Tore down the dashboard, exploratory surgery to find out good places to route cable. Probably shall leave dash in this torn-down state until actual installation work commences, I'm lazy like that.


    The cubby where I shall install the front monitor, only without the cubby assembly in it.


    The glove box has been removed. Not sure why I did this, I don't plan on routing anything through or mounting anything in the glove box.


    Centre stack trim has been removed, as well as factory head unit and climate controls. This was strictly exploratory, since I plan on sticking with the factory HU. I don't think I am going to route anything up through the front-accessible part of the centre stack. There's planty of space behind it that I can route cable through.

    Shots of the laptop and mounting location will come in early July; my sister is currently on vacation with the X60, I need to steal it from her and give her the TC1100.

    Cheers,
    Alison

  2. #2
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    I wont mount the touchscreen in the centre dash cubby; if I do that it's too high and forward for me to easily reach as the driver. I'm thinking of a way to have it stored in that cubby but slide down to a final position in front of the air vents/hazard switch because that is a perfect place. I will not fabricate it into the centre stack bezel because of a few reasons:
    1. No experiance fabbing
    2. want to keep the car as stock as possible to futurely sell
    3. want to migrate my setup easily to a new car, I already have plans for a 1994-96 buick roadmaster wagon with front bucket seats and a Caprice Police esque console between for equipment

  3. #3
    FLAC hexxamillion's Avatar
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    So are you using a laptop or tablet as your carPC? If you don't want add an external monitor in the cubby or install anything in the center then you are limiting some options. I am not a fan of the IBM Thinkpad...I use that at work. You may have some excellent flexibility if you decide to go with the Tablet PC option. You won't have to get an external monitor because you can use the tablet itself and there are tons of floor and dash mounts available on the web for them. You could then still keep your factory radio and perhaps think about getting an A2DP bluetooth device so you wont have to use an audio jack (less cabling), but if you prefer to use an audio jack then make sure your factory radio has an auxiliary input.
    "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
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  4. #4
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    Hey hexxamillion,
    I'm using the Thinkpad X60 and stashing it under the front passenger seat because I have it around and it is physically pretty beat up (scuffs, scratches, cracked plastics) but still works great. The TC1100 or my other tablet (a HP TC4400) are not options because they both have stylus-only inductive digitizers. I'm not going to have the 1100 much longer anyway, it's going to my sister.
    Yes, my stock HU has an aux in, I use it a lot for my existing phone and mp3 player.

    And I would still want an external monitor, I just won't be mounting it inside the cubby because that's not good ergonomics for me (too high and far forward). What I actually intend to do is build a bracket that mounts to the two screws on the front edge of the cubby (pic tonight, I'm at work now) and hangs down, thus putting the monitor in front of the hazard switch and air vents. Not too worried about the stock look, just want easy removability, really.

    Also, I can't do a multi-zone setup with a tablet if you were meaning Android or iOS. If you were meaning a Windows/Linux PC then I could do that, but generally tablets have a quite poor price/performance ratio, obviously that would be important for running VirtualBox virtual machines.

    And I've decided on the Faytech-8 monitor for the front, and VM70 for the rears.
    Last edited by AlisonC; 06-29-2011 at 10:36 PM. Reason: link

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    Well this is a minor setback.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate kolton5543's Avatar
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    That sucks

  7. #7
    FLAC hexxamillion's Avatar
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    Yeah..That's never fun. My last Altima got totalled.
    "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
    Current Proj:Android Mount in 2013 Altima
    Old Proj II
    Old Proj I
    YouTube:Project Videos
    Homepage: HexxWorld.net
    Twitter:http://twitter.com/hexxamillion

  8. #8
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    This is what happened:

    There was a flash traffic jam on 94 and everyone slammed on their brakes. I did too but I couldn't slow down enough in time, so I dived for the left shoulder which is where the driver in front of me went too, but I was going faster at the time.
    I got cited for following too closely, and this is the second time I've rear ended someone in 1.5 years so I may get my licence suspended. Michigan's drivers handbook doesn't spell out any explicit policy for drivers on probation (you're on probation automatically until 21) having to undergo licence re-examination hearings, it only says "If you are under probation or Graduated Driver Licensing, you may be required to attend a driver re-examination after only one or two violations. The purpose of the driver re-examination is to discuss driving performance, determine the appropriate licensing controls to reduce driving risk associated with this performance, and encourage improvement. Licensing controls may include restrictions, suspensions, revocations, or a combination of these actions."

  9. #9
    FLAC hexxamillion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlisonC View Post
    This is what happened:

    There was a flash traffic jam on 94 and everyone slammed on their brakes. I did too but I couldn't slow down enough in time, so I dived for the left shoulder which is where the driver in front of me went too, but I was going faster at the time.
    I got cited for following too closely, and this is the second time I've rear ended someone in 1.5 years so I may get my licence suspended. Michigan's drivers handbook doesn't spell out any explicit policy for drivers on probation (you're on probation automatically until 21) having to undergo licence re-examination hearings, it only says "If you are under probation or Graduated Driver Licensing, you may be required to attend a driver re-examination after only one or two violations. The purpose of the driver re-examination is to discuss driving performance, determine the appropriate licensing controls to reduce driving risk associated with this performance, and encourage improvement. Licensing controls may include restrictions, suspensions, revocations, or a combination of these actions."
    Crazy..
    "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
    Current Proj:Android Mount in 2013 Altima
    Old Proj II
    Old Proj I
    YouTube:Project Videos
    Homepage: HexxWorld.net
    Twitter:http://twitter.com/hexxamillion

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate kolton5543's Avatar
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    Well I kinda hope it doesn't delay the car PC (and get your license suspended. That would suck more than crashing the car)

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