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Discussion Starter #1
My question is this: How many MO owners out there have embarked on a carputer install for their Murano? I have purchased the following items and would like any and all input/advice concerning software and generally what I may have gotten myself into!

Via 1000 mhz nehemiah core mini MB
DVD/CD slimline drive
Mini case
512 meg pc2700 ram
notebook HD 80 gig
7" touchscreen monitor (avatar from Hong Kong)
M1-Atx DC-DC power supply switch unit
15inch gooseneck mount for the monitor to mount on the side of the console
Soundblaster audiology2 notebook card

Any ideas on the frontend to use would be helpful. I am planning on using it for DVD movies, GPS navigation, MP3 player, WI-FI internet, etc.

Thanks
 

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megadivers

interesting project! How much for all this stuff? If you are succesful I might do something similar.
 

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I have a carputer already! Check my Galery for some old pictures....The rest of info is in my signature.

I mounted th screen under the radio. Last night I "extended" the wires going to the OEM non nav screen by two feet. Now I am ready to mount the 7 inch VGA screen in its place and move the OEM screen down to where I have the computer screen now. That should be happening next time my wife is working late so she won't yell at me for spending so much time in the garage.......:2:
 

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zebelkhan

you making me go back to my "electronics hobby" days.....man, it is tempting.....if only I had more time....:(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Price for everything so far:

7" touchscreen from Hong Kong $238.00 ebay

Goose Mount $20.00 ebay

VIA EPIA M10000 Mini-ITX Mainboard
2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400rpm
Sony 24xCD 8XDVD Slimline
512MB DDR RAM PC2700 184-Pin DIMM Memory
Windows XP Pro
M1-ATX
Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Notebook card with all cables, software and books
Extra long USB cable
4-port USB hub
Morex 3688 Mini ITX Case
Hook up Cables
All for $500.00 shipped

So I have a total of $758.00 invested so far.

I don't think this is a bad investment considering I was looking at buying the Lowrance 500c GPS/MP3 unit for somewhere around $650.00 shipped. I have an earthmate GPS receiver and a wifi card as well that I will be using with it. I chose the goose mount for the monitor so that I could easily get the screen out of the way if I needed to. I also like the way it looks when mounted.(Very Police-ish...) I could easily take this system with me if I had to trade my MO for a newer model as well. Zebelkhan, is frodoplayer touchscreen friendly and easy to setup? I was looking into mediaengine for the shear looks of it. The software seems to be the hardest part for me so far.....There are sooooo many choices. Which GPS software to use, etc.....

:crazyeye:
 

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megadivers said:
I have a total of $758.00 invested so far.

I don't think this is a bad investment considering I was looking at buying the Lowrance 500c GPS/MP3 unit for somewhere around $650.00 shipped. I have an earthmate GPS receiver and a wifi card as well that I will be using with it. I chose the goose mount for the monitor so that I could easily get the screen out of the way if I needed to. I also like the way it looks when mounted.(Very Police-ish...) I could easily take this system with me if I had to trade my MO for a newer model as well. Zebelkhan, is frodoplayer touchscreen friendly and easy to setup? I was looking into mediaengine for the shear looks of it. The software seems to be the hardest part for me so far.....There are sooooo many choices. Which GPS software to use, etc.....

:crazyeye:
That is a very good price. I used the same reasoning to justify putting a carputer in. That plus the challenge of doing a good job of it when I did not know anything about electronics! But I think it is coming along just fine...

You need to post a picture when you are ready. I like to see what your goose mount screen looks like. Sounds great though!

Froodo player is one of the oldest and easiest front ends to setup, is easy on resources and very touch screen friendly. It also has XM support if you ever wanted to put that in. Media engine is good too except it does not have support any more so it lacks features and if you encounter bugs, you will be on your own. If you like media engine though, then I recommend Road Runner front end. Road Runner was created based on Media Engine but it is supported by its creator. It also has nice skins, and if you are good with software, comes with a program so you can design your own skin. I have both Frodo Player and Road Runner installed but primarily use Frodo because one of its skins has orange and wood tone that goes extremely well with the rest of the gauges in the Murano, especially at night.

For GPS, the best PC based software out there for in car use, in my opinion, is iGuidance. Be it Routis 2004 (iguidance 1.1) or the newest version, iGuidance 2.1.1, it is touch screen friendly and has lot's of features. It also has good popularity which has led many of its users to find ways to "hack" it and customise it. Where it is lacking, there are many add-on software, also designed by iGudance users, to make it better. My version of iGuidance has customized roads, both color and width, zoom, has my daughter's voice giving directions, and I can use voice control to run it!
 

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Kris said:
zebelkhan

you making me go back to my "electronics hobby" days.....man, it is tempting.....if only I had more time....:(
This was my way of learning "hands-on" and it has been a great venture!
 

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zebelkhan said:


For GPS, the best PC based software out there for in car use, in my opinion, is iGuidance. Be it Routis 2004 (iguidance 1.1) or the newest version, iGuidance 2.1.1, it is touch screen friendly and has lot's of features. It also has good popularity which has led many of its users to find ways to "hack" it and customise it. Where it is lacking, there are many add-on software, also designed by iGudance users, to make it better. My version of iGuidance has customized roads, both color and width, zoom, has my daughter's voice giving directions, and I can use voice control to run it!
I have iguidance 2.1.1. I seoncd your opinion on its quality.
I have been using it since version 1.0 :rolleyes:
 

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megadivers

yes, it looks like a good deal. You can have a nice NAV system (iGuidance is a good software) and much more. I am not sure if I will go with it as I am not planning on keeping the Murano for too long.

Enjoy your project!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys for all the feedback. Kris, I think you are pretty close to me. I live just outside of Greenville,SC.
Packages should start arriving Wednesday. I just ordered a new cable for my Earthmate GPS receiver today. The last one came apart when I pulled it from my last vehicle.(An Acura TSX)
The Iguidance looks like a good program but I have Street Atlas already and I may start with that. The $109.00 is a bit steep for me right now. I think I paid $99 for street atlas with the receiver....... I was hoping that they had a demo version so I could check it out before dropping the cash. I will go by both of your opinions though and break down and get it a little later. Now I just sit back and wait for everything to come in. I will figure out how to post pics and get some out here as the project progresses. For now, I am going to start downloading and testing out software.....:29:
 

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I will be in Knoxville in two weeks and maybe I will drive a couple of hours and come and see your project.....:D

Edit 1- Street Atlas is a very accurate routing program but is not touch screen friendly and does not have voice directions (I think).

Edit 2 - I have a copy of Routis 2004 that I am no longer using. If you want, I can sell it to you...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, the carputer arrived today. Looks great! Thats the good news.

The bad news is the monitor also arrived from HK today. DOA. Great, looks like I am out $245.00. Ouch. Checked to see what it would run to send it back and UPS says $87.00. I might cut my losses and eat it. We'll see what the seller yuki668(ebay) will do about it. BUYERS BEWARE!

:(
 

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Avatar is rebranded xenarc. It is a good monitor so it is odd that it would be DOA if it is brand new. If the seller is not going to honor the warranty, open it up to see if the tiny fuse inside the unit has burnt. Also, small monitors in general are notorious for bad power ribbon cables. These ribbons are not an exact fit with the connectors they connect to and sometimes shift under vibration or during shipment. If that happens, the unit will not turn on. All you will have to do is to open the case and reseat the ribbon in its connector (being careful not to break the connector ofcourse!). While you are there, check the connections on the controller board as well. If that comes loose, you will have white screen! - Good luck...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks I'll try that stuff tonight :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
UPDATE

First of all, THANKS ZEBELKHAN!

Took everything the monitor apart and this is what I found:

All plugs were tight and snug

When I removed the main pcb, the micro fuse marked F1 was blown-(it looks like a miniature bulb)

Not having any idea where I could get a new one (this ain't no Radio Shack part) - I took one single strand from a stranded 18G wire that I had and jumped the fuse. (This single strand looked to be of the same diameter as the fuse wire)

I put everything back together and BOOM it works! I have had it on for about four hours now and it is still performing perfect.

Anybody know where to get micro fuses?

SPECIAL NOTE: I do not recommend anyone jumping a fuse no matter how small. The $87.00 shipping fee back to Hong Kong made me do it! :jump3:
 

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You welcome!

I have never dealt with them but from what I hear, http://www.digikey.com/ is one of the best sources for this kind of stuff. If you can't find it in their on-line catalogue, they have a live chat line where you can describe what you want to them.

A couple of points:

I would not run that board without a proper fuse. There is a reason the original fuse blew, and you are now taking a chance with an unprotected device and a possible problem that has not yet been resolved, plus, the home made fuse you have is not a fast acting one and is not really going to protect anything.

If you cannot find the mini fuse you need but you are good in soldering, you can take a couple of wires, solder them in place of the fuse, and then solder a regular blade type fuse, no larger than 1 amp to the other end. That is assuming you can isolate it from the rest of the electronics inside the case so you would not create a short. Just in case, I would add another 1 amp fuse and fuse holder to the positive wire going into the display!
 
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