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Thread: 02 Land Rover Freelander

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
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    02 Land Rover Freelander

    Welcome to my work log. (besides nibix and his no longer available pics) I believe this is the first freelander install posted on this site.

    I have been reading this forum end to end since june. Hopefully this wealth of information will serve me well.

    Let me catch you all up to my progress so far.


    a similar interior to my car


    the future home of my screen


    a layout of my car interior

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    wow a lot of progress I see you found the shutter button on your camara

    welcome to our land of fustration Nub

    let the hazing begin

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
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    How I got started

    In the beginning of 05 I became restless with the cd player in my car. I thought about a mp3 cd player in my car, but there were too many disadvantages. The display of mp3 files was inadequate, there was no room for upgrades, and the cd's just did not hold enough music. I thought about a dvd reader with mp3 capability, but the poor display of files was magnified. the idea of changing cd's seemed caveman. I started searching online for new technology , gadgets and car audio. In february I stumbled upon a video interview with jp stewart. The interview was conducted august of 04. He showed his car pc, a futuristic marvel. With a screen on the dash and complete computer he played music, movies, ran navigation, browsed the internet and more. This interview blew me away. I had to get started right away. I began doing research furiously on the net. I searched every corner of the internet to see if this was a possible task. I finally stumbled upon mp3car.com, the largest collection of mobile computing ideas, trials and tribulations ever assembled. I started searching and reading everything. By the summer, it seemed I found more problems than solutions. I couldn't give up, I wouldn't give up. In july, I saw there was a meet, a showing of progress and to discuss in person the projects. I couldn't wait to go. I went on july 10th and was amazed at the work that the others performed. 12in touchscreens molded in the dash, home made isolation transformers, multi-monitors, clean installations and cell phone controlled door locks and windows. Impressive stuff. I started buying components for my project the next day.


    Project goals

    -ability to play music without external media such as cd's, memory cards, or usb devices
    -user friendly and easy to maneuver controls
    -movie,video clip and dvd playback
    -gps navigation
    -mobile file sharing via usb cable or wifi
    -internet access anywhere
    -the carpc must be hidden when not in use. With valet parking and new york crime, it had to look completely stock
    -removeable computer- I did not want to spend hours sitting in my car working on software or downloading files. I had to be able to take it inside my apartment for work. Also, I had to be able to remove the computer in harsh weather to prevent damage.



    (just because I haven't posted much, doesn't make me a noob. Don't be so quick to judge)

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
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    Researching and acquiring the proper components

    Lcd screen
    To set the screen properly, I needed to construct my own enclosure. Din-sized enclosures wouldnít work for my setup, so I needed a screen and started from scratch.
    Lilliput vs xenarc vs random import. With the wealth of information regarding the possible screens, I had no choice but to choose the xenarc. Although more expensive, the quality, reliability and customer service from xenarc seemed unmatched and well worth the price difference. The mounting will come later.

    The computer
    The need for a laptop seemed obvious, portability and durability. The cost seemed to great, when all of a sudden a laptop was given to me. A p4 1.8ghz dell latitude c640 was the answer to all of my problems. I replaced the broken hard drive with an 80gb from ebay and I was set to go.

    Power supply
    Careful research revealed that most auto power supplies only provided 75 watts to drive the power hungry p4. the laptop needs 90 watts of continuous power to run the computer and charge the battery at the same time. This feature took a lot of research to find, but it would be worth the journey. I ended up choosing a lind car power supply, what seemed to be a quality product. It was the only power supply on the market that was designed to convert 12v +/- to 20v with 90w. ( I learned more about opus and carnetix later on)

    Stereo input
    There were 3 excellent reasons to input the audio into the existing head unit. first, the head unit needed to remain in order to look stock. Second, it was an 8 speaker premium harmon kardon sound theater. Changing the head unit and speakers would only decrease the quality of the audio. Lastly, using a pre-manufactured input adapter is much easier and cheaper. I bought the din removal tool and adapter easily off the internet. The sound was controlled through the head unit as the cd changer. Furthermore, the steering wheel controls still worked.

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    Hey wait, no pics of the temporary screen mounting? Granted is wasn't complete, but i thought it was a pretty trick setup, and people here would appreciate it.

    -tratpop

  6. #6
    Raw Wave RoyN's Avatar
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    WTF, is it landrover owners or what? You actually lay out what you want to do, explain details about your setup... ahhh heaven...

    Anyways, shout out when the doubts arise, although you seem confident for the time being...

    good luck!
    Roy

    2005 Range Rover 4.4
    Any ideas for putting a PC in this? :)

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
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    Building the Base

    I needed a way to turn on my laptop from the driverís seat (without having to solder inside the laptop). I needed a way to mount my laptop securely. I needed a way to remove my laptop easily, without connecting/disconnecting wires every time I left my car.
    I looked into docking stations to solve my problems. Most docking stations for my laptop have a large lever on the side. Thatís just going to be problems. Most of the rest have a huge base with what looks to be room for a pci card and extra drive. That seemed unnecessary and too bulky for my purpose. I kept searching and found the slim, small c-dock. They are surprising hard to find, but not more expensive.


    The docking station has a small control pad consisting of 2 buttons, and 3 LEDís. Since my experience with electronics is limited, I will just relocate the existing control pad. I carefully opened up the dock and examined the wires. I could not have been simpler. 6 wires attach the control pad to the bottom of the base. I labeled and cut the wires. I used an old cat5e ethernet cable (with 8 wires) to make the male connections on each side. With standard cat5e couplers and another cable I could put the control pad anywhere I desire.



    Next problem to consider, the laptop gets hot during use. I needed to cool the laptop, and it must be quiet. I bought a standard laptop cooler. Some of the good features include usb power, extra quiet, side vents for air flow, and itís only a half inch thick.



    I probably want to mount my laptop upright. No, not because I believe all the articles regarding the mounting angle of hard drives. I donít have enough room in my trunk to lay the base down. I need to have the option open to either mount it to the back seat, or to the side of the trunk. I am not yet sure which direction I will pursue. So I needed a support bar to prevent the laptop from falling off the base (imaging the dock vertical). I went to Home Depot and picked up some ĺĒ aluminum box pieces, some foam padding, bolt, nuts and washers.



    I cut a hole in the dock and mounted the laptop cooler underneath. I mounted the aluminum support bar to the steel bottom of the dock. I also mounted two slim usb hubs and the lind power supply for my laptop. Everything seems to fit rather well.

  8. #8
    Raw Wave tj!2k4's Avatar
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    definitely gonna keep an eye on this thread, looks interesting so far. =)

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
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    Change of plans, new power switch idea, work update

    Although I relocated the docking shutdown/standby switch, It's a chopped up half-*** solution.



    Look at it, I can't. It looks crappy, and I don't want to have to hide it in the glovebox or something. What could I do to allow me to have a button in plain site, that I can easily reach? However, it has to blend in with the car. hmmm...

    Ok, I already knew the answer. There is a blank switch in the console where the sunroof switch would go. You can try and spy it in the first picture in the post (not my vehicle), just to the right of the ashtray. If the car had that switch, no one would thing anything of it. Actually, it doesn't say sunroof, and you probably wouldn't know what it was unless you actually pressed it.

    I bought the switch and just got it this week.





    The crappy old switch had 2 buttons. the first turned the computer on or shut it down. The second put it in standby mode.

    I am looking to press the new button up, and the computer turns on / shuts down. Pressing the new button down would put the computer in standby mode.

    Today I took my continuity tester and checked the back. Just my luck, pins 1& 3 connect when I press one button. Pins one and 4 get connected when I press the other button. Many combinations disconnect, but those are the only ones that connect. There are two outcomes. Maybe I can link them both through pin 1. Worst case is that I only have one switch. It's not the end of the world.



    Today's work update:
    I reran the information wires properly along the passenger side of the car. The wires include the VGA, USB, RCA & Cat5 (power switch). They are hidden underneath the sill. You can't even tell that they are there.



    Upcoming Goal:
    Monitor mounted by 12-26-05
    This would complete all minimum hardware installation. I would be able to turn the computer on/off from the driver's seat, music through stereo, test gps, get temporary power from cigarette lighter.

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate
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    keep up the good work and the great writeup

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