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Discussion Starter #1
In the design stage of a carputer project and have just put together a rough Bill of Materials before doing the research on suppliers.

Have gone with a laptop to keep the price down and to allow easy upgrades as you can alway pick up a cheap laptop with a broken screen.

Here is the first draft of the BOM
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here are a few options for the location of the display and joystick/trackball.
 

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i got a question about your option # 10 & 11

why do u need a separate 802.11g card in your computer when you are already buying a internet access modem.
i do read that you need it for home syncing.... but at home wouldnt you be able to use your roaming internet access ??? and if required, you can take your PC out and sync it via cable.... i mean syncing about 2 -3 GB of data via 802.11 (b or g) will take quite a bit of time.

just my 5 pennies !!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hasaanbhutta said:
i got a question about your option # 10 & 11

why do u need a separate 802.11g card in your computer when you are already buying a internet access modem.
i do read that you need it for home syncing.... but at home wouldnt you be able to use your roaming internet access ??? and if required, you can take your PC out and sync it via cable.... i mean syncing about 2 -3 GB of data via 802.11 (b or g) will take quite a bit of time.

just my 5 pennies !!
Will investigate this further but one of the carriers here uses
1xEV-DO which is a highly efficient way of transferring data via an enhancement to the CDMA mobile phone networks. I don't think the 802.11g modem cards work on this.

As there is no cost to the home synching I suppose it does not matter how long it takes. I think a couple of the other members are doing this and I imagine this would be less hassle then undocking and docking your computer each night.

My experience using synching software is that you only upload the delta of the synched files and this is usually not that long unless you have bought some new movies or albums.
 

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I'd say skip the wireless internet modem and just connect through your cell phone using bluetooth... If your cell phone has it.

Totally off topic, but I'm curious in time zone differences. It's 5:20 AM right now, for me.... I wonder what local time your post was?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
jaak said:
I'd say skip the wireless internet modem and just connect through your cell phone using bluetooth... If your cell phone has it.

Totally off topic, but I'm curious in time zone differences. It's 5:20 AM right now, for me.... I wonder what local time your post was?
THis particular carrier can give you broadband speeds as oppossed to 56K using GPRS at reasonable rates

1901 hours was the time of the previous post.
 

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Cool, 13 hours ahead of me. Took me more than that to fly home from there, though...

So your carrier actually has it implemented? What are the rates like for it? Is the coverage widespread or still experimental?

I'm looking forward to W-CDMA. I love CDMA phone technology (and it makes Qualcomm rich) but I really got sick of the lousy phone selection and having to pay my carrier to change hardware.

Both my Ipaq and Laptop access my work network through bluetooth to the phone and I find the data rates could be higher, but the cost could be lower. I think finding WiFi hotspots for high bandwidth apps, is a cheaper way to go.

Right now, here, anyway...

I love the carputer idea, but I want it in the display area with a touchscreen and until I can seamlessly get rid of the orange display, I'm in no rush.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1) For metro only one carrier does $40AUS per month 256K 2GB per month, throttles back to 64K after the download limit. Uses specially built wireless infrastructure

2) another carrier does 256 or 512kbps (in a wireless broadband coverage area) and up to 144kpbs outside these areas using the CDMA coverage area. They cost a bit more, $99.95 per month.

2) is the most convenient as I can travel up and down the east coast and still access email or use citrix metaframe to access CRM and ERP applications

Not a big deal for me as my wired plan is $69 unlimited a month so I could ditch that and go for one of the wireless deals. I am fortunate enough to have a $150 a month telco allowance so it is all within budget.

I think we pay more then North America for Internet access though !
 

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Discussion Starter #9
jaak said:

I love the carputer idea, but I want it in the display area with a touchscreen and until I can seamlessly get rid of the orange display, I'm in no rush.

My brief for all mods is that I can remove all equipment and you would not know it had been there. Flipdown DVD, iPod dock, phone, bluetooth phone, carputer and 7" touch screen could all be removed an it taken with you to the next car. No holes have been drilled so far except for a fill point for the polyair bags in the rear.

I can't really get rid of the orange display because of the above requirement

So with the 7'' touch screen I was thinking of using the lilliput screen mounted directly over the OEM screen using the same industrial strength velcro ( same stuff I use mount the phone, remote control and remote in the rear)

Stealthily run the cables between the OEM display and OEM surround behind the new touch screen display

The new screen won't have a OEM look but I would be happy to have 7'' sat nav and multimedia O/S
 

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Wow, that beats the heck out of what I have to cough up...

Internet access is basically $40 a month here, for real high speed, Cable or DSL.

Now the fun part...

$1 Canadian = $0.85 US
$1 Canadian = $1.13 Australian

Wow, you really do get a good deal!!! My Cell phone bill's $250 a month, and that's not with a lot of data usage. Fortunately, my employer pays for it.

In Toronto, there's a number of cameras on the major highways. I've always thought it would be a really slick application to take the GPS co-ordinates and pull the pictures from the traffic cameras, as you travel, to see what things look like ahead.

Like this...

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/compass/camera/camhome.htm

and this...

http://www.toronto.ca/rescu/loc24.htm

And for fun, a live updated link!





So to have this stuff appear on the Murano's display and dynamically update, would be awesome...
 

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I basically have the same requirements as the vehicle's a lease... However, I'd be good with the Lilliput in front of it, if all the data can be pulled into the car pc...

And of course, that's being investigated!

Car PC > Losing the monochrome LCD

I hope to capture data two weekends from now. This weekend might be crazy, but if I'm lucky, I'll squeak it in...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
jaak said:
Wow, that beats the heck out of what I have to cough up...

In Toronto, there's a number of cameras on the major highways. I've always thought it would be a really slick application to take the GPS co-ordinates and pull the pictures from the traffic cameras, as you travel, to see what things look like ahead.

Yes that would be cool and usefull.

Should send your idea to one of the carputer forums, one of the software wizkids could knock something up. Maybe the frodoplayer guy or media centre.

We have a gadget in Oz that that uses GPS to warn you when you are near a traffic black spot or speed camera, they now are integrated into a Sat/Nav device. Next step would be to add traffic cams to the database to load the appropriate URL on your internet browser
 

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ekka said:
So with the 7'' touch screen I was thinking of using the lilliput screen mounted directly over the OEM screen using the same industrial strength velcro ( same stuff I use mount the phone, remote control and remote in the rear)

Stealthily run the cables between the OEM display and OEM surround behind the new touch screen display

The new screen won't have a OEM look but I would be happy to have 7'' sat nav and multimedia O/S
I don't think you can do that without some major permanent modification to the dashboard (cutting, etc.) to make room, or taking the liliput apart and then building a new housing for it. If you don't care to see the orange screen, it would be a lot easier (and faster) to extend its wires and then hide the screen somewhere under the dash. Then drop the lilliput into its place. It will fit perfectly in that spot, case and all with no need to take it apart. I chose to sand a bit of the housing on the right to center it and then used a bit of foam in its back to support it but you don't have to. You can then program the liliput to turn on when it gets power (so you will not need to have access to its buttons) and basically that will be the end of the install. You will now have the OEM look too!

I went one step further and opend the liliput case and removed its IR (remote control) sensor and mounted it under the dash, and then added a small 40 mm fan to help it with cooling but you may not need those either. Worst case scenario you can install a small 12 volt computer CPU fan on the outside of the case to move the air around under the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
zebelkhan said:

I don't think you can do that without some major permanent modification to the dashboard (cutting, etc.) to make room, or taking the liliput apart and then building a new housing for it. If you don't care to see the orange screen, it would be a lot easier (and faster) to extend its wires and then hide the screen somewhere under the dash. Then drop the lilliput into its place.

Just measured the dash against the specs and it will fit width wise but height seems to be the issue.

I think I remember a thread on the extending of the cable. That is a good idea to hide it under the dash on a extended cable. You can bring it out when you drop the car off for a service.
 

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ekka said:
Just measured the dash against the specs and it will fit width wise but height seems to be the issue.
I thought you were going to take the liliput LCD out of its case and mount it over the OEM LCD but under the vent cover, hence my comment about not fitting (due to too much thickness).

If you plan to mount the liliput on the outside of the trim, that is going to be a different story and you may still have issues with the width because power and usb feeds are also on the side of the monitor and will need room to be accomodated.

Not trying to be negative....just that.... been there....done that....!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
zebelkhan said:

I thought you were going to take the liliput LCD out of its case and mount it over the OEM LCD but under the vent cover, hence my comment about not fitting (due to too much thickness).

If you plan to mount the liliput on the outside of the trim, that is going to be a different story and you may still have issues with the width because power and usb feeds are also on the side of the monitor and will need room to be accomodated.

Not trying to be negative....just that.... been there....done that....!

all good feedback, posted my thoughts for discussion so it could drive a final design.

Zeb, if you get a chance can you post the link to the thread on your carputer project and the guy who originally did this, I looked everywhere and can't find it.

specifically interested in how you extended the cables for the OEM display
 

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ekka said:



Just measured the dash against the specs and it will fit width wise but height seems to be the issue.

I think I remember a thread on the extending of the cable. That is a good idea to hide it under the dash on a extended cable. You can bring it out when you drop the car off for a service.

Ekka,

Found this local website started out building a Carputer and selling his product using Mac mini:

http://www.mobycar.com/moby/cms/index.html

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #19
sgpmo said:



Ekka,

Found this local website started out building a Carputer and selling his product using Mac mini:

http://www.mobycar.com/moby/cms/index.html

Cheers
Can see how they would be popular if you want to outsource the integration and implimentation.

As carputers are at the early adopter stage and I work in IT I find it an interesting project to do myself, especially with the info you can obtain from other members who are generous enough to share their knowledge.

This is an area ripe for investment from tech savvy companies, I am surprised TW and China are not yet supplying a fully integrated replacement system for stock systems in vehicles.

One of the guys from work is fabricating his own 2 Din system complete with CPU and touch screen 7" display.

He plans to market it to his mates, I have passed on it as I am keeping the BOSE head unit but I would not be surprised if he does not have some competition soon.
 

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Since our Aussie screens dont really output that much information, I dont think its essential to have like the US MO owners.

I have a feeling that removing it and replacing it with a 7" Lilliput will be fine. No holes needed either. You will be able to replace the screen easily if you return or sell the car.

Is the OEM screen essential for servicing?

Out of interest, what happens when you remove the screen in the US model? Do you lose control of your climate control and radio?
 
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