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Thread: Bobby Cannon's Epic Jeep

  1. #1
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    Bobby Cannon's Epic Jeep

    I just wanted to post and let you guys know about my project I've started. I'm hoping to have all the initial hardware installed this weekend. I'll list what I'm using so far.

    Gigabyte GA-E350-N Motherboard
    AMD E350 Dual Core Processor
    4gb of RAM
    Small RF Keyboard with TouchPad
    M3-ATX Power Supply (125w Version)
    BU-353 GPS Adapter
    ScanTool OBDLink SX USB
    NetDuino Plus 2 + Relay Rack

    The computer will run Windows 8 and auto run the Epic Jeep software. The software is 100% custom built by me. With some code coming from random projects I find on the interwebs. For example the gauge controls I found in another project. I'm not designer so I doubt I could create nice pretty controls like those. I will also be doing all the custom hardware to interact with the jeep accessories like Air Compressor, Winch, etc. I don't have the air compressor or winch yet. Those will come in the future. Right now I'm focusing on the computer and software.

    Here are some screenshot of the project so far. I will be adding more as I go forward.

    Name:  Computer.jpg
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    Right now the computer with all USB devices pulls around 2 amps with full CPU load.

    Name:  Jeep Box.jpg
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    The computer is located in the glove box. I've glued the motherboard and accessories in so they won't be floppy around inside the box.

    Update: 04/30/13
    I've decided to not use a monitor. I cannot find a decently priced monitor that I'm happy with. I've also not found a good place to mount it in the jeep. I'm not happy with mounting it anywhere above the dash. I don't like it blocking my field of vision. I'm going to use my phone and tablet for my "screen". I'm keeping the computer in the jeep but it'll run headless. The software is coming along nicely. I should be getting more pictures of it soon.
    Last edited by Bobby Cannon; 04-30-2013 at 11:21 AM. Reason: Updated status.

  2. #2
    FLAC SNOtwistR's Avatar
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    Look's like your off to a great start! Good luck on your adventure. SNO

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    Well I ran into some issues today.

    #1. The touch screen double din will not fit in the factory slot. The new screen is too tall.
    #2. The case I purchased for the motherboard doesn't fit in the glove box.
    #3. I used the factory glove box as the actual case. The cables must be plugged in after the glove box is closed.
    #4. The aux port on the radio looks OK but there is noise in the picture and the screen disables when in drive.

    I killed my battery during install and I hope the battery will not be drained by the newly installed computer and OBD USB reader. Only time will tell. I will post more picture this evening of the installation.

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Cannon View Post
    Well I ran into some issues today.

    #1. The touch screen double din will not fit in the factory slot. The new screen is too tall.
    #2. The case I purchased for the motherboard doesn't fit in the glove box.
    #3. I used the factory glove box as the actual case. The cables must be plugged in after the glove box is closed.
    #4. The aux port on the radio looks OK but there is noise in the picture and the screen disables when in drive.

    I killed my battery during install and I hope the battery will not be drained by the newly installed computer and OBD USB reader. Only time will tell. I will post more picture this evening of the installation.
    1) Yeah the 7in screens are too tall for double din slots. You need a 6.5" screen for that.
    2) Can you mount it under the passenger footwell?
    3) Probably not a good idea. I can picture someone getting in as a passenger 3 years from now who just yanks the glovebox down and shears the connectors off your motherboard. That would suck.
    4) Aux ports on radios are generally not a great solution. Muxing into the speaker connections or an amp that muxes is best.
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  5. #5
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    The jeep glove box locks and will stay locked unless I'm working on it. I really like the mounting in the glove box but I would love it if the rear connection could be connected easier. I'm thinking about ditching the whole interface to the stereo and just doing a headless system with remote interface. The on board video will still be connect but it would only be used to update the system. I'll be able to do Windows updates, reconfiguration, Epic Jeep service update, etc. This would only need to be done when the jeep is in park and at home.

    I can do the interface for both my Windows Phone and my Surface (Pro and RT). Basically the onboard computer will be a black box for just data capturing and logging. It will also have all the IO for interacting with the Jeep. This would also mean I could update the UI without ever removing or updating the Jeep computer.

    The only downside right now to my project is that I've purchased a lot of hardware and accessories that I ended up not using. That is really frustrating and irritates me very badly. I'm really disappointed that the touch screen didn't fit however I'm kinda glad in a way because the touch screen just didn't have the resolution that I expected. The touch screen is a lilliput but it's one of the cheaper ones. I'm thinking I'm going to use the touch screen on my next project so it's not at a total lost. But only maybe because I really don't like the quality of the screen. My next project will be a custom home computer system. This system will do home monitoring and control. That project is going to be really fun but one at a time.

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