Nissan 370Z Tech Forums banner

1 - 20 of 105 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am planning on building an in-car-PC and will be posting updates here as I find information. Please post personal experiences as well as other options for hardware/software/etc..

This post will be updated as I find more information. Full tutorials coming soon...

The Computer
Windows/Linux: Build your own, SFF (small form factor), Prebuilt Car-PC
MAC/Linux: Mac Mini
Dashboards (Front Ends)
Windows:
AutoTouch ,
CentraFuse ($ ??) : music, video, DVD, satellite radio, FM radio, mixer, Bluetooth phone support, GPS Navigation, web browser, weather, rear camera support, OBD-II engine diagnostics, TV tuner, multiple monitors, custom interfaces, USB devices
Freeway ,
FrodoPlayer ,
MediaEngine , <a href="http://mobileimpact.biz.tm/" target="_blank">
</a>Mobile Impact ,
Mobile Media Centre ,
NeoCar Media Center,
PyCar (free) : Media only, music, video, DVD, Open source, runs on all platforms
RoadRunner :
StreetDeck ($199) : Navigation (enhanced with internet connection), games, touch and gesture control, voice control, media sync, music, video, DVD, multiple monitors, custom skins, satellite radio, real time traffic updates, Bluetooth phone support, Vehicle Diagnostics, Vehicle e-Mail
Voices

MAC:
AMP ,
CarMinX ,
Harmony , <a href="http://pymedia.org/pycar/index.html" target="_blank">
</a>PyCar (free) : Media only, music, video, DVD, Open source, runs on all platforms
TatraApp

Linux:
PyCar (free) : Media only, music, video, DVD, Open source, runs on all platforms
nGhost ,
Silverwolf

NOTE
: There are quite a few "in-work" dashboards, so visit MP3Car.com forums for the latest.
GPS
Windows: RoadNav , StreetDeck
MAC: nRoute , RoadNav , RouteBuddy
Linux: RoadNav
Displays
Touch Screen
: Xenarc 7" , Xenarc 8.4" , Lilliput 7" , Lilliput 8"
Input Devices
Keyboards:
Touchpads:
Media Knobs: Griffin PowerMate, NuLOOQ Navigator,
Mice:
Power Supplies
PC: CarNetix CNX-P1290
MAC: CarNetix CNX-P1900
OBD-II

Car Audio
Head Unit Integration: Audio inputs required either for both aftermarket or OEM stereos
Headless setup: Run RCA cables directly to amplifier(s)
Fabrication and Installation
Visible install:
Stealth install:
Misc..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
i built my system a good while ago, thought it was neat, but i surely didnt use it to its potential, so i sold it. I definately recommend a switch for power so that you can leave it off for short trips or for reboots while on the road if you're using windows or when temperature extremes may cause temporary issues.

also create a wireing scheme that allows for a dedicated power source. I tried it wired into my headunit power, and i dont think that it was the correct way to do it.

Also, a robust laptop hard drive mounted in the correct position is absolutely critical.

I actually used a 7" Dynamix ultrabrite screen and it worked very well and was less expensive than any of the others.

For navigation i actually used the Delorme software which was nice, but not really small screen friendly.

I also built my own custom lexan enclosure that fit perfectly in the passenger compartment. It had 2 80mm fans to cool the area, using one in and one out. Living in the south, cooling was critical.

For input, i used the touch screen and a roll up keyboard...all worked beautifullly

I also had a linksys wireless adapter to network with my house, an to be able to get free wifi when i was out.

A unique feature i had was a dvd/cdrw drive mounted in an external enclosure w/ firewire connection up to the front under my headunit so that i could load cds and dvds more easily. (this isnt necessary, but it was cool) If i had to do it again i would go ahead and mount it in the center console compartment to the lid so it popped up when you open that.

I dont remember the power supply name right off now, but i got it through mp3car.com it wasnt a carnetix though.

have fun with it man....its definately something neat to have in your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
all i can say is mp3car.com is ur friend if looking into this

i have done a car pc in a few dif cars but as for use, i only truely used it for regulating the car. iv put one in a 4runner but it really could be considered a waste as for the features that the person has, but as for monitering a series of sensors, engine stuff, etc and being able to adjust them on the fly is a very helpful feature. not sure of programs that will do this i had to write my own to have these features and i developed a few different ways of displaying the information
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
I love the Road Runner front end, free and well supported, it does a lot right out of the proverbial box. That said, what I like most is tweaking it to do what I want :)

My original setup is here http://www.hypersprite.com/auto/tech-z-007/default.asp I have done more to it since but most of the basics are still in use. I really need to update that page though. For instance I have a windows .reg file now that will change the windows desktop color to a group of amber (although finding the exact amber of the 350Z has been elusive).

My recommendation for anyone starting out is to cut as little of the car as possible for random controllers etc until you know you really use them.

The dark oval Belkin 4 port USB hubs match the interior pretty well, I ran a wire up the drivers side sill and up and over the kick panel. Pulled out the feet on the hub to run a zip tie through it and put one hole in the kick panel for the tie. This lets me plug in usb sticks, keyboards or touchpad if necessary (used more for interface changes than real world use) and ODBII jack.

I am using the USB GPS that shipped with MS Streets, it is sold under another name and will work with any GPS app. I have found the bundle for less than just the GPS at Fry's. Some mount the GPS behind the gauge cluster, I believe this is where the stock one is as well. I mounted mine just under the black etched glass in the back window next to the 3rd brake light. I normally get 7 to 9 satellites there. I am currently running Streets and Trips 2007, others hate it for not having an API but I have done a lot of work with send keys and Road Runner to make it work well for me. My main reason for sticking with it is the fact that I have been using S&T for a long time and have hundreds of saved maps.

I also have a Dynamix 7" ultrabright and it fits like it belongs in there.

My Griffen powermate sucks @$$, it has a heck of time coming out off hibernate and continuing to work. May revisit that later but I am using it as a video jog dial on my home pc right now. There was another knob and button setup that I was looking at but it was some off brand I can't remember right now.

I have the Mini USB palystation keyboard that works for most keyboard tasks. I much prefer it to OSKing it.

Chris
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I am leaning towards a Mac Mini setup. Compact, great hibernation mode, simple. I know GPS options are lacking but there are a few that are in Beta that look promising. I dont really use GPS so that is not a huge negative to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Just put an order in with Dynamix Computers for a 706 Touch Screen. Only to be told that they have none in stock and are not looking at manufacturing more. They have also taken the money out of my bank account and havent responded to any emails to refund my purchase.

:banghead:

Just an FYI to everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Just put an order in with Dynamix Computers for a 706 Touch Screen. Only to be told that they have none in stock and are not looking at manufacturing more. They have also taken the money out of my bank account and havent responded to any emails to refund my purchase.

:banghead:

Just an FYI to everyone.

wow how scary, i was just about to order one from there today too.. thanks for the heads up! let me know what happens with them.. hope you get your refund :punch:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,368 Posts
I am leaning towards a Mac Mini setup. Compact, great hibernation mode, simple. I know GPS options are lacking but there are a few that are in Beta that look promising. I dont really use GPS so that is not a huge negative to me.
Just get the Intel Mac-Mini and load windows on it. Then use whatever software you want. It is dual bootable so you can boot to either Mac OS10 or XP when you boot up. The front page setup on the mac looks like it was made for a incar setup
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Just get the Intel Mac-Mini and load windows on it. Then use whatever software you want. It is dual bootable so you can boot to either Mac OS10 or XP when you boot up. The front page setup on the mac looks like it was made for a incar setup
That was my plan...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
Just put an order in with Dynamix Computers for a 706 Touch Screen. Only to be told that they have none in stock and are not looking at manufacturing more. They have also taken the money out of my bank account and havent responded to any emails to refund my purchase.

:banghead:

Just an FYI to everyone.
Keep us informed on what they do, I have had no problems with them but will not continue to recommend them if they start getting sloppy.

As far as Mac Minis, there is a DC to DC PSU for them someplace, I read about it somewhere.

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Just put an order in with Dynamix Computers for a 706 Touch Screen. Only to be told that they have none in stock and are not looking at manufacturing more. They have also taken the money out of my bank account and havent responded to any emails to refund my purchase.

:banghead:

Just an FYI to everyone.
Money has been returned to me however, it did require a couple of emails.

But they are still not producing any of these touch-screens so better start looking at either the 8" or Zenarc/Lilliput...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I think I'm also going to go the Mac Mini route. Good price, real simple, great system. I like the MacPac power cable kit, no splicing of anything for the DC-DC power! :) The less cutting of cords, the better (IMHO). Only real concern is heat at this point.

It looks like I'll definitely be doing a Windows setup. Vista looks like it's going to have some really nice features that will work great with a car PC. Windows Media Center looks like it'd be pretty nice for touch screen music (I know it's already out, but it's not in XP). Speech recognition would be awesome to get working and it's totally integrated in Vista, meaning I'll probably have to do a custom (or semi-custom) front end in .NET to get it to work. If I get it working, I'll definitely give everyone all the code/executables. Vista is supposed to be a lot prettier, but it'll probably just end up in a performance hit :) And the graphics driver in Vista is supposed to be enhanced and better. That'll be big if it works since graphics from Macs always seem so far superior to Windows. In any case, it's just software and not really a big deal at this point.

Now I just gotta figure out which monitor is going to fit nicely in the '06 cubby...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Oh, and the big thing I hate about Windows (esp Vista) is that it's a veritable resource hog. Minimum system requirements: 800 MHz, 512 MB RAM, 15 GB free space. Recommends: 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, and at least a 40 GB HDD.

Geez...
 
1 - 20 of 105 Posts
Top