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~~ Computerizing The Fiero ~~ by Mister ~~ (Laptop & Touch Screen) by Mister
Started on: 02-21-2008 04:14 PM
Replies: 147
Last post by: Australian on 09-13-2010 06:46 AM
Mister
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Report this Post02-21-2008 04:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
So…After taking a Sawsall to the roof, and a drill to the trunk wall (LEDs) it’s time to butcher some interior components

The Fiero Carputer idea came from my Fiero mentor PFF: “Spookything” (IT guy) who had a full specs “Car-PC” in the Fiero front compartment and an aluminum custom made solid mount for a Lilliput 7” touch screen.

This is the only picture I could find of his old setup (The car was totaled but the computer still works )



It was as solid build as it could get but had the visibility issue (break-in potential).

Tech support for my future Carputer setup came from the good folks at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/mp3car-technical/

This “computerizing” project has been “cooking” for 3 years or so and had 2 different configurations already.
Now, Usually I take the time to finish a project and “put it to the test” before actually posting a thread about it. However I’ll make an exception in this case.
I guess it’s time to put it out there and maybe get some feedback and fresh ideas LOL.

« On y va »… (let’s go)…

~ Idea:
Fully functioning laptop / Carputer with in-dash 7” touch screen.
Music and GPS navigation support.

~ Concept:
As with all my projects - Have the benefits and try to keep it stock looking as much as practical.
The use of a laptop rather then a designated Carputer comes from a limited budget and the multi purpose functionality of a laptop.
The docking station will provide the quick connect solution (and prevents Laptop theft when away from car)

~ Components:
1. HiInfo - in-dash, non-motorized 7” touch screen (imported from China)





About this unit:
The Good:
- Stealth screen! you can not tell it's a screen when closed
- Colors match the Fiero dash colors
- Non motorized - less things to break
- L/R motion (about 20*)
- FM radio build in
- Screen is good and bright

The Bad:
- No proper RCA AMP output
- Display is blue rather then red
- Low end electronics (cheaply made)
- "Stupid" firmware (cheaply made)

2. IBM/Lenovo – Thinkpad X41 12" Ultra portable laptop [1.5Ghz/1G/40G] with docking station



About the laptop: nothing but praises for this machine - Excellent, solid build, functions great and the most important perfect size. (you'll see why soon)

3. Kensington mobile power supply

4. Fiero Head Unit Mount - http://www.humount.com/

5. Software:
- Win XP sp2
- iGuidance - http://www.inavcorp.com/pro...uidance_software.php
- MS streets & Trips - http://www.microsoft.com/streets/default.mspx
- Media Engine http://www.mediaengine.org/

The Media Engine is a FREE software that was written specifically for a Carputer application and I highly recommend it.
I've also customized one of their skins for the Fiero




(Pic at wrong display ratio)

~~~

X41 Docking station Installation:

Do you see where this is going...



A perfect size match





Good old Jigsaw





First test fit



Trimming the side wall for the connectors: VGA, Power, USB, (Serial connector for scanning would be done later)



Can't avoid the mess of plastic pieces EVERYWHERE



Test fit with the X41 and door



In car installation:

Cables: VGA, USB from Touch screen, USB from GPS, Power, Audio out







First problem(s) cable size coming out from the docking station are too long.



Just loving the way it was made to be there !



One problem laptop Carputers have is the remote power button to start and reset.
You can find a great solution on mp3car.com opening the laptop / docking station and soldering a remote switch.
The location I've chose presented a very simple solution:

Dock power button -->



Drill



And...VOILA (I'll have to find a plastic push pin to match the hole made in the center console side vent.



First solution for the USB plug size.



Slim USB hub I found @ Radio Shack ($10) note the plug size difference



Perfect fit !



Screen Installation:



Looks like any other head unit...







Side motion



Driver P.O.V

Media Engine


iGuidance


Photos...Videos...Whatever....



Test Drive: After a short test drive I had to disable the Thinkpad hard drive protection software.
It basically pauses the HD rotation when sensing strong motion. I know the risk... Hey, it works

Either then that...So far so good...

Still to resolve:
- Center console door hinges or other connectors.
- Need to get a right angle VGA adapter to solve the VGA cable problem


- Power plug size
- Clean up the wires
- Consider USB sound card (better sound)
- Unlocking the docking station cable
Etc...

Opinions, comments, ideas and suggestions are always welcome

~~~~~

***Disclaimer: This is an amateur write-up. Information here is provided for explanation of the general idea, I will not be held responsible for any damage to your car, your garage going in a blaze or destruction of your marriage life Please use information at your owe risk - Thanks.***

------------------

T-Top Conversion~Dual HUD~LED Setup~Red Fieros~Montreal Club

[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 02-21-2008).]

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DESTOS
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Report this Post02-21-2008 04:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DESTOSClick Here to Email DESTOSSend a Private Message to DESTOSDirect Link to This Post
Damn it, you are entirely beating me to the punch to this.

I have to wait until mine comes out of storage before I start my build. Good luck.
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Report this Post02-21-2008 04:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WinkieClick Here to visit Winkie's HomePageSend a Private Message to WinkieDirect Link to This Post
Cool.

You can set it up so you can read PFF on the go. lol.

Ryan
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Report this Post02-21-2008 05:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for darkhorizonSend a Private Message to darkhorizonDirect Link to This Post
I used a soundblaster MP3+ external for my carputer. It was about $10 on ebay shipped...

I like that screen, when I did my carputer 4 years ago, there was only 2 screens out there, and they both were just regular lcd's that just sat out and around making it hard to mount cleanly.
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Report this Post02-21-2008 05:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DracorSend a Private Message to DracorDirect Link to This Post
Great Job! Are you going to tie it into your engine computer, so you can have a suplimental digital dash? I was thinking about doing something like that for my autox car (but not as pretty)
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Report this Post02-21-2008 05:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogtrougeClick Here to Email fierogtrougeSend a Private Message to fierogtrougeDirect Link to This Post
WOW Mister this is relly nice, youll have to post this on FieroTalk and FieroMontreal!!!!!!

J-P
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Report this Post02-21-2008 06:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for timgrayClick Here to visit timgray's HomePageClick Here to Email timgraySend a Private Message to timgrayDirect Link to This Post
http://www.mini-box.com/Voo...ne?sc=8&category=101

A ready to go Pc for the car that is far smaller and easier to install than a laptop. If you want it cheaper you can get the parts on ebay and build it by hand. I built one for $250.00, 1.5ghz processor, It's smaller than my Power AMP. You can get Sirius and XM usb adapters for a car pc setup as well.
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Report this Post02-21-2008 06:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AutoTechClick Here to Email AutoTechSend a Private Message to AutoTechDirect Link to This Post
Great write-up! Ive been thinking of a carputer myself, but using a flip-down monitor which would replace the dome light.

What do you guys think about this carputer?
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Report this Post02-21-2008 07:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by DESTOS: Damn it, you are entirely beating me to the punch to this.
I have to wait until mine comes out of storage before I start my build. Good luck.


Thanks, I hope it works out 4 U 2

 
quote
Originally posted by Winkie: Cool. You can set it up so you can read PFF on the go. lol. Ryan


Theoretically yes, but it's kinda small. Remember not to surf and drive LOL

 
quote
Originally posted by darkhorizon: I used a soundblaster MP3+ external for my carputer. It was about $10 on ebay shipped... I like that screen, when I did my carputer 4 years ago, there was only 2 screens out there, and they both were just regular lcd's that just sat out and around making it hard to mount cleanly.


Thanks, It's the card I'm looking to buy



As for the screen, there are better ones out there for more $$$ but it might be more obvious that there is an expensive setup in the car.

 
quote
Originally posted by Dracor: Great Job! Are you going to tie it into your engine computer, so you can have a suplimental digital dash? I was thinking about doing something like that for my autox car (but not as pretty)


I do have a serial cable for WIN ALDL that I can hook up later on.

 
quote
Originally posted by fierogtrouge: WOW Mister this is relly nice, youll have to post this on FieroTalk and FieroMontreal!!!!!! J-P


I'm on it (but it would be just 2-3 photos and a link to PFF.)

 
quote
Originally posted by timgray:
http://www.mini-box.com/Voo...ne?sc=8&category=101
A ready to go Pc for the car that is far smaller and easier to install than a laptop. If you want it cheaper you can get the parts on ebay and build it by hand. I built one for $250.00, 1.5ghz processor, It's smaller than my Power AMP. You can get Sirius and XM usb adapters for a car pc setup as well.




I agree with you timgray, I looked into those VoomPC units. It would have been an easier fit and maybe even better performance, however In my consideration and budget I wanted a unit that would serve both in and outside the car.
I find it easier to bring it home hook it up to my main PC and update all my files / MP3s then re-dock it in the car when I need it.

 
quote
Originally posted by AutoTech: Great write-up! Ive been thinking of a carputer myself, but using a flip-down monitor which would replace the dome light.
What do you guys think about this carputer?




It's another good option to look into if you want a designated Carputer.
I like your flip-down screen idea.

------------------

T-Top Conversion~Dual HUD~LED Setup~Red Fieros~Montreal Club~Carputer

[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 02-21-2008).]

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Report this Post02-21-2008 07:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonDirect Link to This Post
 
quote



It's another good option to look into if you want a designated Carputer.


We had some of these at work, they ran very hot so you would need good ventilation if you plan on using one like it.

Edit.. Forgot to say nice thread thanks for posting!

[This message has been edited by Jake_Dragon (edited 02-21-2008).]

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Report this Post02-21-2008 08:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Capt FieroClick Here to visit Capt Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Capt FieroSend a Private Message to Capt FieroDirect Link to This Post

I have always wanted to do something like that. That is totally awesome. My idea was to use a Mico ITX MB under the dash and use a high capacity solid state flash drive for the OS. I have a couple of really tiny inverters. That would power a PC just fine. Not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes.

I am drooling over that screen. I have a little 3" touch screen on my Windows Mobil Pocket PC and I run TomTom as well as some assorted media programs. But 3" is not that easy to read while driving down the highway trying to change tracks on the MP3 player.

Your setup is very cool.

------------------
85GT 5spd ,93 Eldorado 4.9 Dual O2 Custom Chip, Archie Clutch. Custom Exhaust. MSD Everything 245/50/16's Not Your Average 4.9 Capt Fiero Com --- My Over View Cadero Pics Yellow 88GT 5spd Stock.

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Report this Post02-21-2008 08:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CurlrupSend a Private Message to CurlrupDirect Link to This Post
As HK the Korean engineer I work with would say, "Hody Crraps".
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Report this Post02-21-2008 09:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for timgrayClick Here to visit timgray's HomePageClick Here to Email timgraySend a Private Message to timgrayDirect Link to This Post
dont need to bring it in to add or update. I had a 802.11 antenna on the car, leave it running and up in the house simply connect to the car and do what you need. I had the car automatically updating the audio files for me every morning with a timed on function.

I found an antenna that did cellular, 802.11 and GPS. I then used a boost mobile sim in a PCMCIA modem card to have internet everywhere I went for traffic alerts and weather updates as well as news podcasts I could listen to..
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Report this Post02-21-2008 09:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for OHNIKOClick Here to Email OHNIKOSend a Private Message to OHNIKODirect Link to This Post
this is totally cool Mister, bringing the Fiero into the year 2008!
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Report this Post02-21-2008 10:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerDirect Link to This Post
And here I was going to put my carputer under the passenger side of the dash or something silly like that. Much better idea, thanks
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Report this Post02-21-2008 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Capt Fiero: I have always wanted to do something like that. Your setup is very cool.

 
quote
Originally posted by Curlrup: As HK the Korean engineer I work with would say, "Hody Crraps".

 
quote
Originally posted by OHNIKO: this is totally cool Mister, bringing the Fiero into the year 2008!


LOL thanks

 
quote
Originally posted by timgray: dont need to bring it in to add or update. I had a 802.11 antenna on the car, leave it running and up in the house simply connect to the car and do what you need. I had the car automatically updating the audio files for me every morning with a timed on function. I found an antenna that did cellular, 802.11 and GPS. I then used a boost mobile sim in a PCMCIA modem card to have internet everywhere I went for traffic alerts and weather updates as well as news podcasts I could listen to..


Sounds like an awesome setup - Please take some pics and lets see it.
As for me, I'm on the 6 fl and the Fiero is in the underground garage...so it wont work with just WiFi.
When I'll make more $$ I'll upgrade to cellular wireless , that would be cool

 
quote
Originally posted by kwagner: And here I was going to put my carputer under the passenger side of the dash or something silly like that. Much better idea, thanks


There are 3 big disadvantages to my setup kwagner.

1. I can't open the laptop and work on it while it's in the cradle (I could but it's going to be really weird)
2. The laptop is vertical, which probably puts it in more danger to hardware malfunction.
3. You loose the center console glove box (Hmmm... never mind that)

My first idea was to mount it under the P/S dash and have it slide out on two rails (like a drawer) this will allow for keyboard access atc.
However after receiving the X41 and seeing the size match I decided on this setup.

[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 02-21-2008).]

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Report this Post02-21-2008 10:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Robert 2Send a Private Message to Robert 2Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierogtrouge:

WOW Mister this is relly nice, youll have to post this on FieroTalk and FieroMontreal!!!!!!

J-P


Very nice Job Mister
And thanks fierogtrouge for thinking of us
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Report this Post02-21-2008 10:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
If it was a free world and anyone could have a laptop visible in a car I would have installed one of these mounts and call it good.





But around here, they don't like seeing you operate any type of computerized system unless it's a manufacturer navigating system.
and with my STOCK concept I can't stand to see a metal construction like that in the middle of my Fiero LOL
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Report this Post02-22-2008 09:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroRumorClick Here to visit FieroRumor's HomePageClick Here to Email FieroRumorSend a Private Message to FieroRumorDirect Link to This Post
Looks nice, just make sure you have some ventilation for that laptop!
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Report this Post02-22-2008 10:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FieromaniacClick Here to visit Fieromaniac's HomePageSend a Private Message to FieromaniacDirect Link to This Post
biiiig + for Mister
looking very good
iam planning to use an ASUS EEEPC as carputer . big advantage is : it has no rotating pieces(flash memory) and i think its passive cooled and its only 1/4 the size of an standard notebook

------------------
1984 Fiero Sport
1987 Fiero <- Ethanol powered Batmobile
1984 Fiero SE
1999 Chrysler Grand Voyager 3.3 LX <-LPG powered family car

*** nuclear winter cures global warming ***

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Report this Post02-22-2008 11:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FieroRumor: Looks nice, just make sure you have some ventilation for that laptop!


Thanks, I'll be checking on that and maybe need to widen the old hinges holes at the bottom of the center console compartment.

 
quote
Originally posted by Fieromaniac: iam planning to use an ASUS EEEPC as carputer . big advantage is : it has no rotating pieces(flash memory) and i think its passive cooled and its only 1/4 the size of an standard notebook


Good one Fieromaniac, I thought about the EEE as well, they are $350-450 new and you can install it ANYWHERE (even in the map pocket LOL)
Two thing I didn't like about the EEE PC is they don't have a dock (quick connect) and their VGA out doesn't have the supporting screws
But it's a great unit indeed.

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Report this Post02-22-2008 02:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportDirect Link to This Post
Me Likes!!! A lot!!!

Quick question: How did you solve the cooling/overheating problem with the laptop? What did you do for airflow?

I'm always dreaming about doing a CarPC solution myself. While I love the foldout screen, I was thinking about doing a Double DIN (2 DIN) touch screen instead.*

Double DIN Stereo Headunit <-- kind of like this. I had fun making the thread. Took a few hours though.

I was just thinking of reversing the postions of the stereo and the HVAC unit. (still not quite sure if that's possible)

_____
* My thinking (hopefully it's not flawed): A double DIN unit looks less like a car stereo, and might not be as interesting to thieves. It might also look more like a "stock" unit that has always been there, and less like aftermarket. Stock units are less interesting to steal, and most thieves aren't smart enough to know that stock integrated navi's weren't around 22 years ago. What do you think? Is my thinking good, or flawed?

[This message has been edited by Austrian Import (edited 02-22-2008).]

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Report this Post02-22-2008 02:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieromaniacClick Here to visit Fieromaniac's HomePageSend a Private Message to FieromaniacDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:

I was just thinking of reversing the postions of the stereo and the HVAC unit. (still not quite sure if that's possible)



sure its possible easy , i changed HVAC and radio in my red 84 SE
you can also divide the HVAC Controls to get more space


------------------
1984 Fiero Sport
1987 Fiero <- Ethanol powered Batmobile
1984 Fiero SE
1999 Chrysler Grand Voyager 3.3 LX <-LPG powered family car

*** nuclear winter cures global warming ***

[This message has been edited by Fieromaniac (edited 02-22-2008).]

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Report this Post02-22-2008 02:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fieromaniac:


sure its possible easy , i changed HVAC and radio in my red 84 SE
you can also divide the HVAC Controls to get more space



Pictures please.

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Report this Post02-22-2008 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieromaniacClick Here to visit Fieromaniac's HomePageSend a Private Message to FieromaniacDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:


Pictures please.


HVACs divided





have atm no pics from the inside of my red 84 SE but in 14 Days i visit my parents ( car is in garage there )
then i take a pic

------------------
1984 Fiero Sport
1987 Fiero <- Ethanol powered Batmobile
1984 Fiero SE
1999 Chrysler Grand Voyager 3.3 LX <-LPG powered family car

*** nuclear winter cures global warming ***

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Report this Post02-22-2008 03:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportDirect Link to This Post
Yea, that's what I meant. The 84 pics.

Mister, what do you think about using this as an aux input device:
~$60


- the fancier version.

http://www.3dconnexion.com/...e/spacenavigator.php
I was looking at www.mp3car.com and these two were suggested. They cautioned against the Griffin Powermate (below), as they said it's unreliable, and it only rotates and clicks. What I haven't found out yet, is how you map this device to Windows as a pointer, or more importantly to a CarPC frontend. (so it works like I-drive)

If you don't have power mirrors, you could put it right there in between the window switches. I was thinking about using something similar for when I do my setup. Kind of like BMW's I-drive. I know a lot of reporters hate it, but I've played with the Audi version - MMI, IIRC at work and I loved it. It's very intuitive.

[This message has been edited by Austrian Import (edited 02-22-2008).]

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Report this Post02-22-2008 03:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fieronum6Send a Private Message to Fieronum6Direct Link to This Post
how are you cooling that laptop? they run hot (I'm a cert IBM teck') just somthing to think about other than that great work
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Report this Post02-22-2008 07:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportDirect Link to This Post
Oh Mister, I got a simple solution for you for a long plastic push pin: Golf tee.
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Report this Post02-22-2008 07:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for p8ntman442Click Here to visit p8ntman442's HomePageClick Here to Email p8ntman442Send a Private Message to p8ntman442Direct Link to This Post
Im pretty sure your gonna wreck your hard drive with a couple potholes. Why not install a screen, and put a docking station on the tunner wall near the passengers left leg. Dock it to use it in the car, undock to take it with you. Much cheaper and easier.
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Report this Post02-22-2008 07:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:I'm always dreaming about doing a CarPC solution myself. While I love the foldout screen, I was thinking about doing a Double DIN (2 DIN) touch screen instead.*
Double DIN Stereo Headunit <-- kind of like this.


- Double din is cool and gives lots of options. Better off, Spookything (the IT guy) has a 10" touch screen he wants to incorporate vertically into the dash

 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:
Mister, what do you think about using this as an aux input device:



I can see that as being a good input device for a 3D environment like gaming or designing in 3D, I don't see yet the need for something like this in a car - i.e GPS and MP3s.
The most common functions I use are:
- Tap the screen for GPS settings (2-3 clicks)
- Tap the screen for an address or song name "on-screen" keyboard
And that's about it for now

This "spacenavigator" wins in the cool factor but the Touch screen works fine.


 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:
Quick question: How did you solve the cooling/overheating problem with the laptop? What did you do for airflow?

 
quote
Originally posted by Fieronum6: how are you cooling that laptop? they run hot (I'm a cert IBM teck') just somthing to think about other than that great work


This is one of the reasons I made this post while in the process, hearing ideas and concerns like this helps a lot.
So far it's -10C outside and I didn't run it for several hours in the summer heat.
As I mentioned above the fan outlet lines up with the old hinge holes at the bottom of the compartment, however I should address this better and widen these holes ASAP.

Fieronum6, can you elaborate a bit and recommend options? add a small PC fan in the compartment?

 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import: Oh Mister, I got a simple solution for you for a long plastic push pin: Golf tee.


Ding ding ding...we have a winner

Thanks Austrian, this is the other reason why I posted this while in the process

 
quote
Originally posted by p8ntman442: Im pretty sure your gonna wreck your hard drive with a couple potholes. Why not install a screen, and put a docking station on the tunner wall near the passengers left leg. Dock it to use it in the car, undock to take it with you. Much cheaper and easier.


Hey p8ntman442, Due to the 60*C difference between the winter and summer here, Montreal is known for it's horrendous potholes. So I guess if it would survive here it would survive anywhere
I've ran another laptop for a few months with no problems and I hope the Thinkpad would hold to it's name. and if it won't I hope the IBM warranty would hold to it's name.
And if it won't ----> I'll be down $200 for another HD and a headache

As for your installation option - I'm not sure what the "tunner wall" is? Is it going to be vertical or horizontal? details please

[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 02-22-2008).]

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Report this Post02-22-2008 09:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mister:




It's another good option to look into if you want a designated Carputer.



I bought an HP eVectra thinking that it would make a good carputer but it didn't come with the 12v power supply. So I ended up using it for light web surfing in my kitchen. I have to disagree that they run hot. I leave it on 24/7 and it's ice cold.



Great thread... I may yet build the carputer.
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Report this Post02-22-2008 10:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:


I bought an HP eVectra thinking that it would make a good carputer but it didn't come with the 12v power supply. So I ended up using it for light web surfing in my kitchen. I have to disagree that they run hot. I leave it on 24/7 and it's ice cold.



Great thread... I may yet build the carputer.


stick it in the oven Out of the 20 or so they purchased at the clinic none of them are still running. the biggest issue is the air flow, if you have enough they are fine but as soon as you cover a vent or build up enough dust it will get hot.
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quote
Originally posted by Jake_Dragon:


Out of the 20 or so they purchased at the clinic none of them are still running. the biggest issue is the air flow, if you have enough they are fine but as soon as you cover a vent or build up enough dust it will get hot.


I haven't tried sticking it in the oven... but it is an old computer, I think I paid somewhere between $75 and $100 for it. And that was a couple of years ago. If it died tomorrow I think I got my money's worth.
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Report this Post02-23-2008 12:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportDirect Link to This Post
Mister, no worries about the 2.5" laptop harddrive. They're made for this kind of abuse. IIRC 15g's off, and 5g's on. Some laptops have shock sensing and will park the heads if they detect shock.

3.5" desktop drives, won't survive. (Don't remember the numbers off the top of my head, but it's less than 1/3rd of laptop specs, IIRC)
I remember reading about life expectancy on mp3car.com: The general consensus was that 3.5" desktop drives have about 1 year shelf life in a car, and laptop harddrives are indestructible. People tried both horizontal and vertical mounting, and neither really makes a difference. I doubt that your method, which is at a slight angle off vertical, is much different. Harddrives are usuallly safest inside the laptop.

Heat is your biggest enemy. (lack of air circulation) My gf's laptop just died from being left on the bed about 2 weeks ago. Won't turn on anymore. I took out the harddrive and rescued the data, but the laptop itself is probably toast (no pun intended ) I've seen numerous laptops die that way over the years. Some I could rescue, some not. Don't underestimate airflow. Use some sort of CPU benchmarking software and do what's called a "burn in". It's where the software runs the computer as hard as it can taxing it with lots of tasks for a few hours. Watch the temperature (the software usually shows that with the stats) and see how high it creeps up. This is going to be the extreme it will ever see. If it stays under 50*C you're in the clear and don't have to worry about it. Over 75*C is usually where you kiss the warranty goodbye (at least for desktops) higher than that you're in danger of killing the CPU. (Keep in mind most laptops use "cpu throttling", where the electronics will actually slow down the CPU to a crawl, rather than let it overheat. Sadly that protection doesn't work all that well in the real world. )
Don't worry so much about summer heat (although cars can get REALLY hot. Usually when you're in it, you have the windows down and it cools down considerably, and the laptop would probably only run when you're in the car anyways, right?) The CPU itself is usually the biggest heat source, I remember reading somewhere that the current top-of-the-line processors generate more heat over the surface area of the chip than any other method of heating anything.

[This message has been edited by Austrian Import (edited 02-23-2008).]

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Report this Post02-23-2008 12:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:
~$60



I think I should have explained it better. It's not meant as an input device like a mouse for your scenario. Think of it as a programmable shortcut key. You could assign different motions to different actions. (it's sometimes faster than tapping the screen, and allows your eyes to stay on the road)
i.e.: on the main screen=moving the pointer each direction selects one of the actions.

Once you're in a function is where the real fun starts:
left/right turn = volume
Yaw from left to right (3rd pic) = next/previous song (fast forward/rewind track when held)
Yaw forward back = folder up down
push down/pull up = input source (radio, mp3, dvd, back-up camera, etc.)
etc..
I think you see where I'm going with this... Use settings that work best for you.

btw.: I'm not saying that "3dconnexion" is the input device to get, I'm just trowing out ideas. I liked that one, because it doesn't clutter up the car with extra buttons. It looks really modern too.
Steering wheel controls would be another idea.
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Report this Post02-23-2008 12:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for darkhorizonSend a Private Message to darkhorizonDirect Link to This Post
PC fans are 12V if you ever have any problems keeping the laptop cool (remember that engine compartment air is sucked through there, that can get VERY warm if its not 100% sealed).

Make sure your USB hub is powered if you plan on using that MP3+ soundcard, I got some funny stuff if my power cord fell out of my powered hub.

Remember that just because you have a TV screen in your fiero, that does not mean you are ready hook that up to the composite out on your videocard...you will never get anything remotely legible on a TV monitor.

For people looking for the cheap way out on this project, look into Lilliput monitors.

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Report this Post02-23-2008 01:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for AutoTechClick Here to Email AutoTechSend a Private Message to AutoTechDirect Link to This Post
I was going to cut out an appropriate size opening between the window switchs and mount this flush.

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Report this Post02-23-2008 02:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by AutoTech:

I was going to cut out an appropriate size opening between the window switchs and mount this flush.



This is cool.

Although they do want to make their touch pad look like it's something novel and the best thing since sliced bread.
Interesting choice of music .
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Report this Post02-23-2008 02:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:

Interesting choice of music .


Sounds like Pron music to me.

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I use a laptop all of the time in my truck (fire department & storm chasing software).
Trust me, you don't want something like this. The only way to go with computers in a vehicle is a trackball or an actual touchscreen monitor.
I'm not going to go into why I feel this is the case, but it all comes down to easy of use in a safe manner.
I've honestly tried everything out there and have given up on most everything except the trackball and or touchscreen.
Just my opinion.

Good Luck.
:-)

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