Matrix - It's still somewhat thick..but i'm trying to decide if I want to wait for a spare bezel, or simply hack and hope.
Cris - I had contemplated losing the buttons.. I have to try the auto-on mod, first though. The remote is wierd..it has 'dimmer', 'mirror' and 'mode select' buttons that don't do anything! It does also have power, vid select, menu, and the +/- keys.
As said, I haven't determined if I want to do something like MatrixPC, or fab it inside the existing dash trim.. At this point I still need to run all my USB stuff behind the dash and get some other stuff running. I put the second HD and DVDRom in the other day, but i'm going to have to rearrange it due to it interfering with seat movement. I have a firewire converter for them, so all I need is a longer firewire cable and I can put them anywhere.
And here's an update! I'm about 90% there, (just waiting on the DSSC shutdown controller)
So, some interim pics:
Here's the 40Gb drive i'm using for media (replaced one of the 20's), and an old HP DVDRom. I'm using an IDE-to-Firewire adapter that supports two drives, and extending the molex from the PC to the drives. Works surprisingly well!
And here's the mess of running wires. I ran:
- Power for the glove box drives
- USB behind the screen
- Seems like other stuff, but it's been a blur!
The USB hub behind the dash. Right now for the screen and my WiFi. Probably gonna put in an extension and figure out a nifty way to have a visible USB port.
Here's a nice little touchpad I got from Target a couple of years ago. At $20, I couldn't beat the price! It's just PS/2, but it has a long cord, and reaches perfectly. Good for when I need more specific control than the touchscreen.
Here's my WiFi adapter (and my EQ control above), I'm using the little velcro holder so I can disconnect and hide the WiFi if I want to.
And here's the results of chopping up my screen! I decided not to chop up the dash, and it fits well! A combination of Epoxy, and well placed screws helped with this one. I chopped the power LED, and kept the buttons along with the IrDA reciever. This is just a test fit (to make sure the screen still worked after all I did to it.)
More to come later!
But really, loose those buttons, wipe out that "TFT 7" wide monitor" writting, and you're set :) Everything looks nicely tucked away there...:)
Yeah, gonna wipe out the text, but i'm gonna keep the buttons. Since they just put out a switched ground signal, I can use them for a few different things. The power will still work with the monitor, as well as the Source. I might make the 'M' trigger my remote start, which would be so much easier when I want to hop out of the car.
I really want to use the +/- for some sort of volume control, but I'm not sure what I can do to interface with that Alpine EQ..
I'll probably clean up that gap between the screen and the buttons at one point, but right now it's 'cleaner' than the alternatives I have at hand. Building a CarPC when dead broke means cutting corners...
LOOSE THE BUTTONS! You started this, you finish it right! :)
Nuuuu!! I must have the buttons.. Buttons are good! :pets the buttons:
LCD and AC
And the latest update! (6/12)
Two new additions, one being a seperate LCD Character display, and the other an AC Extension reel so I can run the PC off AC! Mostly because i'm still on stock battery, and, well...it's crap. I need to do some research on 12v power supplies and see if I can put one in the trunk so I can possibly run the car off AC. Hey, i'd already be wired up for shows! I just need..y'know..performance mods..and a paint job...and for the car to not look like crap. :crook:
First up, the LCD itself! It's a 2x16 (2 rows, 16 character) display that I ripped out of a demo for a Beltronics FX1 performance meter I grabbed from CC before I was (summarily) fired. The demo did nothing but repeat a little loop of features, but the screen could be used! Here's a shot after I got it working with one of my desktop PCs!
The trick with this is, it uses the parallel port, and 5v. Well, I already have an independant 5v power source, thanks to my XM power adapter, so, tap into that, tear apart a parallel port extender, and voila! Here's a shot of what my desk looked like while I was trying to wire it up.
And here's a shot of the back of the LCD panel after I cleaned everything up. The ribbon cable came from an old Canopus DVRaptorBay that happened to go on the pins perfectly.
And here's a shot of the donor device. Right now the LCD is up in the headliner (no pic yet) and looks kinda crappy, so what i'm going to do is cut off the sides, and jam just the window part into the headliner, so at least it LOOKS decent. That's a project i'll probably try later tonight or tomorrow (depending on the monsoonlike rain outside at the moment)
And a promo shot of what the FX1 display would normally look like.
Next up, the AC reel!
This I also ganked from CC. I have two of them now. They came from those shop flourescent bulb reels where you have the 18 inch flourecent tube on the end of a 40 ft reel. Well, the bulb holders were destroyed, and I got to keep the reels! So, what I did was reversed it. I put an AC plug on the part that reels out, and attatched the other end to the relay. It works fine in testing!
And here's the relay. I've had this thing hanging around since high school! A simple industrial AC switched relay that Johnson&Johnson was using in the machines that make BandAids. (I'll explain that if you want..)
Anyway. The way it works is this. The Inverter normals through the relay, so the relay doesn't do anything when i'm powering from the car. However, if I plug in the AC reel, the relay automatically switches the computer over to the reel's AC, and the computer will power automatically!
If I put in a battery charger, i'll probably put in a cutoff switch with some sort of circuit breaker as well. But for now, it's JUST the PC, so i'm not too concerned.
Still waiting on the power controller. It's been like, four weeks! I'm giving the guy a couple of days to respond to my last email, then i'm thinking about going to paypal and saying the guy never gave me the goods..
Per request i'm posting up a general layout of the power (and audio) side of my system. It's a bit confusing so i'll attempt to explain it.
There's a 4ga wire (fused, but not shown) coming from the Battery and going to a fused 2-output distribution block. From there it goes to both the Sub and 4 channel amplifier.
There's a seperate 8ga (fused, not shown) wire coming from the batt directly to the inverter.
ACC goes through a switch, which allows me to turn off the CarPC setup when ACC is on, then to the DSSC.
The inverter has been modified internally. The On/Off switch has a relay wired in-line with one of its internal wires. What this lets me do is keep the on/off switch on the inverter on, but when 12v is applied to the relay, the inverter turns on.
Internally, the relay is hooked up this way:
Terminal 30: Cut into one of the switch wires (Switch side, for example)
Terminal 87: Cut into one of the switch wires (Board side)
These two terminals 'interrupt' one of the wires going to the switch.
Terminal 85: Wired to the ground wire on the back of the unit. This is the main ground for the inverter.
Terminal 86: External 12v (from DSSC)
The 'From DSSC' comes from the YELLOW wire of the external DSSC relay. This turns on the inverter as soon as the DSSC has power, and turns it off according to the 'Shutdown Timing Adjustment'
DSSC RA1/RA2 (Which should be labeled RB1/RB2): Comes from the RB1/RB2 terminals on the DSSC, this gets connected to the computer's power switch plug on the motherboard and simulates the on/off signal for the machine. These timings are set by the 'Initial Start Delay Adjustment' and 'ACPI Timing Adjustment'
DSSC RA1: This is the first delay circuit. This is delayed 5-10 seconds and then triggers a relay on my LCD that 'taps' the on button to turn it on. Because I have the TView, there is no auto-on setting. The TView itself is powered by 12v from the PC Power supply.
DSSC RA2: This is the second delay circuit, this leads to an 'Off Override' switch for the audio components, and is the 'Remote turn-on 12v' for the amps, EQ, and also power for the line-amplifier from the PC
The rest is vaguely self-explanitory. Questions?
man, you guys w/ the matrix and vibes are lighting a fire under my butt to do one of these car computers now. I might not be able to wait until fall/winter. Oh, BTW jahntassa, i thought that i recognized you from the genvibe forums. im not registered there, but frequent a lot and read. ill probably go ahead and join now.