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Thread: Beastly SuperDutyPC

  1. #11
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    Looks like an impressive project!

    Your choice of Kindle hardware and Android is particularly interesting.

    What is cyanogen Mod and TWRP?

    Where did you get the drivers?

    Are you going to publish the technical details?

  2. #12
    Low Bitrate SierraStroker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltersaegir View Post
    Looks like an impressive project!

    Your choice of Kindle hardware and Android is particularly interesting.

    What is cyanogen Mod and TWRP?

    Where did you get the drivers?

    Are you going to publish the technical details?

    Thanks for the comment. As I mentioned, I had the kindle fire sitting around that was given to me as a gift. Its not a bad piece of hardware, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a few reasons... No GPS. No bluetooth. No camera. These days you can get nicer tablets. However, I've found a workaround for the gps. I can share my phone's gps location with my tablet over wifi. I've also got 4g tethering going now so the tablet can get internet wherever I have cell service.

    Cyanogen Mod is just a version of Jelly Bean. The rom I used was specifically designed for the Kindle Fire. More info can be found here.

    TWRP is a boot manager. It is the tool you first install to be able to load various different roms. It can be found here.

    If you really do decide to go the kindle route, I'd advise against it, pm me before you start flashing it and I'll be happy to help you with any details.

    I've got the kindle in a nice military grade enclosure now and mounted to the drivers sun visor. I need to special order some 90 degree cables then I'll hardwire USB and audio to the device.

    Keep in mind, this isn't my final PC install, just something to get me by in the meantime while I work on (and work to pay for) other projects. The idea is the tablet will extend the computer's I/O by providing another touchscreen and display device. I'll also probably keep using it for playing music since it boots instantly and doesn't require a lot of power to run for times when I leave the radio on but the truck off (which is often.)

    I'd like to keep the tablet removable though, for times I want to take it inside somewhere. Right now I have it attached with elastic, but I may build a dock of some sort in the visor in the future, if I decide to stick with that placement.

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    Last edited by SierraStroker; 12-12-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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  3. #13
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    I really like your architecture ideas:
    mounting to the sun visor,
    military grade enclosure (where - what die you use),
    tablet extension of computer's I/O - touch screen,
    removable tablet w/docking station.

    I likely will shy away from the Kindle based upon your input. What tablet do you envision as a logical replacement?

    As you post more details, I will attempt to replicate and become a sort-of beta tester and participate at some level.

  4. #14
    Low Bitrate SierraStroker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltersaegir View Post
    I really like your architecture ideas:
    mounting to the sun visor,
    military grade enclosure (where - what die you use),
    tablet extension of computer's I/O - touch screen,
    removable tablet w/docking station.

    I likely will shy away from the Kindle based upon your input. What tablet do you envision as a logical replacement?

    As you post more details, I will attempt to replicate and become a sort-of beta tester and participate at some level.
    I appreciate the compliments, but you're really a bit early. I'm still just figuring things out in terms of desired placement and what components to use. I'm a chronic craigslister too, so what I use might partially be dictated by what I can find deals on used.

    This is the case I used. Its not waterproof or anything, but its certainly resistant. Pretty solid construction and I feel like I could probably drop the thing from waist height and it would survive (not that I plan to find out.)

    As for other tablets, I'm probably not the best versed in every current offering. However the kindle fire hd has solved most of my gripes, and is available in 8.9" as well. The new gallaxy tablets are nice too. Or if you're an apple fan you can go for an iPad. Its really about preference, most recent tablets have all the features you'd need. Just make sure you get something running 4.0+ android because the 2.x and 3.x operating systems are going to get left behind development-wise before long.
    Last edited by SierraStroker; 12-13-2012 at 11:58 AM.
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  5. #15
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    How do you plan to interface the tablet's touch screen with the PC?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltersaegir View Post
    How do you plan to interface the tablet's touch screen with the PC?
    I haven't really nailed that down yet, but there are a number of ways I could go about that. First and probably cleanest is write a custom android app to open a socket directly with the computer. However I also thought about trying to stray away from depending on the computer for communication directly, since it will be on the least frequently of any device in the car for power reasons.

    What I might do instead is use a dd-wrt compatible router (I've got a few lying around already) and let everything pass messages through it. This will give me a low power usage linux box that can get left on at all times. In addition this will function as the truck's web server, allowing me a web interface to any functions I desire to trigger remotely. The router can also be used to repeat wifi signal from any available wifi in the area. I've thought about even putting a roof rack on the truck and making a folding antenna mast into the frame to get my antenna that much higher (while parked of course.)

    The router can then get connected directly to an arduino (this requires modification to the router to break out the unused serial traces.) Said arduino can then interface with any electrical loads in the car to do things like unlock the doors, start the truck, turn on the heat, etc. In reality that arduino will likely be a handful of arduinos dedicated to different tasks. One just for the security system, one to handle additional lighting and auxillary loads, etc.

    While this may seem convoluted to some, the idea is to be able to leave the router and at least 1 arduino powered on at all times, so centralizing all the control logic there would be prudent. With the 2 big batteries in the truck (and the additional ones I intend to install) it shouldn't be a problem running these devices for days or weeks without needing to jump the truck. In fact the batteries I add will be run through a battery isolator (diode) so when they run low all the accessories will lose power and the main truck batteries will remain untouched. Better yet a voltage sensing circuit on the arduino could start the truck automatically anytime the aux batteries dip below a certian level.
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  7. #17
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    I do like your architecture ideas, but it is not clear how you would get the tablet's touch screen to interact with the PC with the tablet acting like a PC touch screen. Maybe this is related to my very shallow understanding of the dd-wrt.

  8. #18
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    I do like your architecture ideas, but it is not clear how you would get the tablet's touch screen to interact with the PC with the tablet acting like a PC touch screen. Maybe this is related to my very shallow understanding of the dd-wrt.

  9. #19
    Low Bitrate SierraStroker's Avatar
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    DD-WRT is like having a tiny version of linux on a router. Some routers have unused serial ports on their boards to which you can solder a chip and a connector and interface with something else. In my case I'll probably try to fit a small arduino chip into the router case itself so the arduino can be powered from the same source and the leads can be as short as possible.

    Once the router board and the arduino can talk (serial com) I can write any number of scripts to do what I need. I can make it a web interface, a tcp client/server app, a sms/im messenger, etc. The arduino will allow me to control relay loads and take sensor input for a wide variety of applications.

    If you're talking about actually catching touchscreen input, that's possible too, through vnc. DLNA is also a great way to send audio+video over wifi and compatibile with tons of devices (including your flat screen at home possibly.)
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  10. #20
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    Hmm. So, where would the vnc client reside in the tablet, I suppose? Does CyanogenMod already contain a vnc client (and maybe server)?
    DLNA would share audio and video from the PC?

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