Sorry for the late reply. It's been a while since I've been on these forums. Buzy with other things then car pc's lately. You probably allready removed the pictures since I didn't reply on any of your posts. Sorry...:o
As I don't see the pics I don't know what your sollution is. :(
No i didn't removed pictures but i had a trouble with my domain name which wasn't responsive for few days :)
After using this solution with plexi, i changed my mind. The plexi could be nice but it "breaks" the whole line and give a strange feeling when looking at it. There is no harmony. So i plan to make another bezel from scratch with foam block i can easy cut and sculpt. After that some fiberglass and it should give a better result than the first thing i made. While i'm here i will add some more depth to the bezel for better protection against ambiance light.
Seems that infra-red is useless, and maybe the touch screen device will be useless as well at least this is what i hope by using i-bus and steering wheel buttons. The screen i bought recently manages allright with the power on/off without the need of infra-red remote as needed with my old screen.
The overall result with plexi is not so bad but not 100% complying with the dashboard, more pics here http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/worklogs/92493-bmw-e39.html.
Looks nice. But as you say, it breaks the harmony of the dashboard a little bit.
The idea with the foam block and the fiberglass should be perfect. You should be able to do anything what you want with it. It's like the PU foam I used on my bezel. For making a base to put fiberglass on it's perfect.
Are you gonna use the steering wheel buttons to contol the entire system? How are you gonna manage this with only 4 -EDIT just noticed you have 6 of them, but still- buttons? I have my ibus controller laying around here but didn't have the time to put it in the car yet. But I was only planning to use it for vol +/- and track +/-.
foam + fiber seems to be definitely the right solution but i'll give it a try to make an hybrid with wooden part and plexi.
About the i-bus here is the thoughts i had about it :
After observing how it works i saw that buttons are sending always the same patterns.
If we imagine that the software is able to react to external patterns inputs in relation with i-bus, we can drive anything.
Buttons can be reassigned on the fly and depending where we are in the software.
In example : let's take the + / - vol buttons. They can easy be assigned to be used to jump from one track to another or play with bass or treble controls or to select source or to do anything else like clim control (those stock buttons are in too low position and often i open the cup holder when manipulating those buttons).
It could seem confusing but it isn't just because we have screen which displays and probably a voice synthesis (mine has one) to confirm selected item or menu or action to complete the overall work with buttons.
In the end this has at least the benefit to keep the screen clean from fingers crap (do we still need expensive touch screen device ?) and it also avoids using additionnal buttons or infra red remote.
You're loosing me here... :o
I know a thing or two about cars, know my way a little bit around soft and hardware but in the end I'm just an electrician.
I allready knew that buttons can be assigned to control anything you want but the part where they can be reassigned on the fly and depending where in the software you are I don't really get yet.
Maybe when installed in the car, and when I see what excactly happens with de buttons and software I will understand it better.
If not, I have a friend who is programmer and knows his way around BUS-systems. When the time is right I let him take a look at it and explain your thoughts about it to him. Probably he will understand what you're saying better and he should be able to help me assign the buttons in that manner.
If it works it really is the perfect way to control the system, much better then touchscreen because when you're driving you often press on the wrong place on a touchscreen and that's not the safest way to drive a car...
ok let's take buttons [+] and [-]
When you are in in the main menu of your software (you wrote youself) you can check if buttons + or - are pressed. If so you can assign a task inside your software to jump from an option to the next or previous. When you are satisfied then you press let's say the recycling air button or the phone button. It will then jump inside the selected part of the software (i.e. music player) now again you can use the + or - buttons to jump from one folder to another and chose your music. Again press the recycle air command or the phone command and it starts to play the selected music. Now that you are in the music player part of software + and - buttons will act on volume only, pressing again on recycle air or phone button could stop playing music and drops you back to the main menu or to the folder or whatever option you could program.
About the touchscreen i noticed this error possibility so there's no escape to make it work right and flawless. A huge interface with big buttons displayed and more than that a constant position of commands helps getting habits so there's no more need to watch the screen. This completed with a voice synthesis is the best workaround when there is no other way to make it work (old bus less cars).
I think you get it now ;)
I think I'm starting to catch your drift. When you write your own program you probably can indeed assign another function to a button depending on the screen you're in. To bad I can't write squad except for plain text... :p
But now I'm not sure about another issue. You say that you're using the "recycle air" button. :confused: Since this is still connected to the Ibus and thus also to the Climatronic, doesn't the clima changes also when you press it?
Ok, for the recycle air, it was in example but we can chose another button, of course it will toggle the clima but remember we have a real computer and we can program anything, so when you are inside your software you can send double sentence, one sentence for the thing you want to be done inside your program, second, immediately behind the first with a delay of few milliseconds to not let the clima doing unexpected things, so it would avoid to let enough time for the climatronic to change really its mechanical status (moving actuators)....what i write is probably crap but i'm optimist with this idea, only experimenting with i-bus can tell if this could work or not and which are the real delays needed and of course when you are outside of your software or outside the part corresponding to the button value assigned on the fly, then the button recover it's very own function.
If you can imagine the work of a "piggy back" then you can imagine we are fooling ibus with the carpc the same way.
Hi there, any progress on your system?
I finally managed to put the iBus controller in the car. Works like a charm! For now it just controls the volume and track up/down in roadrunner. But even so it's a major improvement.
Altough I actually don't use the track buttons often. So, I'm thinking of getting the buttons on the steering wheel from a model with original telephone (maybe even change the entire steering wheel to an M-technic)and then use the track buttons to scroll trough the playlist and the phone buttons to select and go back. I think this is more important then changing the tracks because changing the playlist is the most difficult thing to do when driving.
To do it your way is a bit to difficult for me. Writing custom software to make the buttons completely functional for all functions is essential. And as I stated before, I don't know anything about programming, so...
Oops, sorry for this late reply, i have no time for myself...
I started playing with i-bus last week and it works fine, for play / pause / stop / shuffle / volume +/- with stock buttons.
It can be done more but i had to stop due to the work i have to do for this manufacturer, so i'll be back later when i'll have finished with the project shown under. About programming i don't know what i can say except that with patience you can do whatever you want ;)
I'm working on this new product where i'm installing some automotive embedded elements which are going beyond the only entertainement, unfortunately i can't show more than this because i have not the right to do it but i'm taking pictures anyway. Maybe the manufacturer of this brand will allow me to show more later.
You can believe me this machine is huge and simply beautiful inside but it will be more than that when i'll have finished with it adding my toys and ideas :cool:.