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Nissan Enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #1
I have an inexpensive solution to your DVD, video game and MP3 woes. In the attached photos you will see my x-box playing on my NAV screen. Read the whole thread before going nuts.

I have been slaving over a DVD solution for the MO for some time now. I wanted to use the NAV screen as a primary display as welll as expand the system at a later date to include headrest monitors for the kids.

My solution came in the form of the XBOX. Why not? It does almost everything. The major problem was the conversion necessary to get it to work on the NAV screen. I busted my head open trying to figure it out and slowly but surely I have refined my circuit to comply with the NAV system. Most of the problems were related to timing but those have been resolved. The prototype works suprisingly well. I am in the process of producing refined modules and have just finished the circuits in CAD for a test run. Here are some photos (the white specs on the screen are dust):














So what do you think? Nice Huh?

The nav screen does a real good job.

The installation is relatively simple and should work on any NAV system that utilizes a RGB+Sync signal. A flick of a switch restores the normal NAV screen.
Basically you cut into four wires and a power source. If you live in the New York area I can do the install or any respectable car audio shop can do it.


Please note this particular XBOX is modified with a larger hard drive etc, but the there is no modification necessary for the NAV screen conversion. This Xbox can play movies from the hard drive or DVD drive. It has a media player for all type of MP3 and AVI files. Most of my games are stored directly on the hard drive.

I will offering a variety of devices and services at generatorlabs.com. The web site is under construction so it may be a while before it is officially launched. I will offer xbox modifications, inverters, fm-modulators and the such. Until then I will entertain solicitations via e-mail at [email protected].

This forum will be the only place I will post any information for the time being. I am looking for some feedback. I am trying to determine a reasonable cost for these devices. I was planning to offer them between $100.00-$150.00. I have to do a cost/time analysis to figur it out. That is less than half of any solution out there now. I do not have any type of automated facility to build these so it is time and labor intensive.

Another alternative is to use the Pioneer GEX, or the AVElectronics tuner, or a conversion with an ALTINEX unit but most of these solutions are much too expensive and cumbersome and then you still have to purchase the DVD player.

I hope you like it. I'll be looking for your feedback.
 

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Just wanna help
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1,403 Posts
Generator, that is an excellent work. I am sure...

there will be lots of murano anthusiast who will buy the solution, especially if the price is right.

Me, myself, will get it without further consideration if i have nav in my murano :rolleyes: . Oh well, one of those regrets not getting the nav...
 

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Moderator
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Very nice job!!!!

Yeah, makes me wish I had the nav... Too bad mine's a lease!
 

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Wish I had NAV also.
Is there any way that we can install an 7" color LCD onto it for the sake of DVD playing?
 

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Major Geek
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638 Posts
Generator, congratulations on getting a product out!! I'm so sorry I just finished my avelectronic tv install kit today! Your kit, paired with the PAC Audio kit, appears to be an excellent solution, especially considering that I only really wanted one A/V input. I wish I had realized you were almost done with your prototyping. I would probably have been your first customer. :(

Best of luck with your development, and congratulations again.
 

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NO-MO-SNOW
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902 Posts
Havent had a chance to read the whole post yet, but i heard the key words...xbox, nav screen, kit...I'm in, when I get finished with my crappy Sunday evening server maintenance I will be sending you an email...my hero! :29:
 

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Nissan Enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for some of the feedback:

I just ask for your patience while I work out some problems I am having with development. I do have a 9-5 so it makes this a weekend project.

The quality of the product is my primary concern (both functionally and cosmetically). I want to make sure I deliver the goods to my fellow forum members.

The inteface works very well. The problem lies in the inverter I use to power the x-box. The combination of all these devices leaves slight noise on the screen. The photos I shot for the forum were while I was using household current. I am trying to avoid using higher end full wave inverters. Searching around I found this problem is not limited to me but is widespread with users in other forums having similar problems using non-nav type displays. I will improve shielding and grounding.

In the mean time I would ask you this to help me with some development issues:

Where do you plan to actually put the XBOX/PS2 in the car? Are you going to dismantle the game unit for a custom fit install? Have you considered the game units generate a lot of heat? What would be a good length cable? Are you modding the XBOX/PS2? Would you be doing the install or would you have a shop do it? Is voiding your NAV warranty an issue?
 

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NO-MO-SNOW
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902 Posts
generator said:
Where do you plan to actually put the XBOX/PS2 in the car? Are you going to dismantle the game unit for a custom fit install?
I am seriously thinking about going this route...I am thinking about putting it inside the center console and using the power supply in there to power the unit.

Have you considered the game units generate a lot of heat?
Yes and I was thinking about putting some extra fans in the console.

What would be a good length cable?
Not sure.

Are you modding the XBOX/PS2?
Definitely. I am planning on making it so the DVD tray will pop out of the console and also so that you can use infrared controllers to cut down on the wires.

Would you be doing the install or would you have a shop do it?
Probably me, but I am definitely willing to use a shop if the price is right.

Is voiding your NAV warranty an issue?
Yes, I would definitely love something that is plug and play but also understand that this may not be possible.
 

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Moderator
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If you pull the power supply out of the Xbox and put it in a box under one of the seats, that will help keep some of the heat out of the console.

Better still, if you can find a PS that runs off 12 volts, as going through an inverter then PS is not an efficient way to run it.

Now if only you could pitch the Cassette player and put the Xbox DVD in it's place... Hmmmm....
 

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Nice, if only I had the Nav before. Oh well...I have all the features now, just probably at a steeper price.
 

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Great concept!! I really like it and would be tempted if I didn't already have the DVD in the rear. One note of caution - it is illegal in a handful of states to have a TV/DVD screen in view of the driver. Depending on your home state, you may want to ensure that the state motor vehicle inspector or your friendly trooper who may pull you over doesn't know about the system.
 

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Major Geek
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638 Posts
Jim, I wouldn't be surprised if it its illegal in all 50 states by now. That's the main reason why I hid the video switch so far up under the stereo. On some G35 sites, I've seen people mount a huge red button in the cup holder for toggling the video. No thanks!
 

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It's been illegal in Canada for years.... It actually a Federal law, but I don't recall the detail. Basically it states that it can't be in view of the driver. Of course, it's one of those things that wouldn't like be pursued, unless it was deemed to be the cause of an accident.

Imagine your Insurance company refusing to pay, because of it. That, would suck.... Especially if you were being sued!
 

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Here in the U.S., there is no federal law restricting TV/DVD screens in front. Instead, its done on a state by state basis. Having looked at this issue earlier in the year, I can say that thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have some type of restriction on TV/DVD screens in view of the driver. The District of Columbia's restriction expressly notes that the prohibition is to use only (i.e., the screen can be there, just not in use while the vehicle is being driven). Of the thirty eight states, thirty-five have have a prohibition provision that can be legally interpreted as applying to the vehicle while in motion only - i.e., the screen can be there, but not in use while the vehicle is being driven. However, this is a defense to a citation as it is based on a legal theory of interpretation. Three states, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas, expressly ban TV/DVD screens in view of the driver regardless of vehicle operation.
 

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Nissan Enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #18
I haven't been sleeping on this project and I wish I could move quicker but my plate is so full I have no spare time. I have revised the circuit. Now the board is two layers with surface mounted components. The video IC is a lot nicer now. It is tiny and is smaller than the size of the eraser on a pencil. The other chip is even smaller. With the use of this video chip I can easily implement a circuit to dertmine whether the car is moving to disable viewing while driving which is mandatory in some states.
The video quality is great. My next obsticle is clean power for the x-box. I will continue posting with further developments.

 

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Major Geek
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generator, this looks great! what thought, if any, have you given to providing for automatic shutoff when the car is in motion. Are you interested in tapping the line that (may) go hot when the car is in motion to reduce the number of menu options available? What about a bypass switch for times when you want to force the video to stay on nav? Are you amplifying the signal to support multiple video outputs?

If you can find a way to make a line go to ground using the "menu reduction feature", then I'm sure AV Electronic would be interested as it would enable their unit to function only when the car is stopped, not necessarily when the parking brake is applied.

Again, looks like you're making great progress.
 

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Nissan Enthusiast
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Discussion Starter #20
Eastern:

The murano does not have a line that goes "HOT" when driving but rather has a line that pulses and the frequency of the pulse determines the speed. The Nav already utilizes this signal line to limit your input when driving. I could easily add a feature to monitor this pulsing and automatically swicth the screen from DVD to NAV. Of course a small hidden switch to interupt the pulse could over-ride this safety feature. For safety I would not recommend doing so. (hmmmm) This pulsing line may not be typical on all cars with nav so that is why AVelectonics did not use this method in their design but I imagine you could build a little circuit to accomplish this with the AVelectronics unit. My idea was to tap into the power mirror selector switch to choose NAV or DVD. The switch would not loose its original function and that switch is just sitting there waiting to be loved. I also thought of sending a tiny infra-red beam across the screen with two pin holes on either side of the screen bezel. Passing your hand in front of the screen would change modes.

I did slightly amplify the signal by 2db for normal losses and termination.
 
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