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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: In-dash computer for comfort's sake

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Grinch123456, 12 Sep 2008.

  1. Grinch123456

    Grinch123456 What's a Dremel?

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    Just to get this out there: I've never modded anything with much of anything. I've built bird houses, I mill aluminum at work, and I've modded stock LEGO models to something that wasn't stupid, but that's really it.

    Right, so, I got a car two days ago: a blue Protege5. I promised myself that with my next car, I would attempt to build an in-dash computer. I have a bad back and leaning forward to place a GPS on my windshield is painful. Also, I don't want a 6CD changer, I want my .mp3 collection and mp3 players have hard drives that are too small or are otherwise too expensive. So, there are a few things I would like to accomplish with this project:
    1. Touchscreen (no mouse/keyboard/anything clunky, it needs to look like it was meant to be there)
    2. Attaches to the speaker system in my car, obviously
    3. GPS
    4. Media capabilities- syncs with my desktop as I pull into the driveway through wireless network
    5. AM/FM radio, the one attached to the car (how the hell am I going to wire this?)
    6. A spare USB port to charge my phone/whatever else needs to charged.
    7. Possible trackbutton like on the IBM laptops on the steering wheel

    Brainstorming, details, and pictures coming later. I need to go to college and work after.

    EDIT: Alright, I'm back. Now, for challenges. I don't have a welding anything. I also don't have any fancy english wheels or other strangely named tools for modifying things. That means I'm going to nail and screw my way to victory. Probably screw. My powertools include a drill and a dremel powered by electricity and a screwdriver and hammer powered by hand. Sunday, the measuring tape comes out for some preliminary planning.
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2008
  2. Lone_Wolf

    Lone_Wolf What's a Dremel?

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    now this is going to be something i would love to see happen. i wish you good luck on the project.
     
  3. WakoNako

    WakoNako What's a Dremel?

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    This sounds like an awesome idea and i look forward to seeing its development. But I don't think a track button on the steering wheel is a hot idea. It could be a big distraction or you might accidentally knock it while driving. Good luck though.
     
  4. tominated

    tominated What's a Dremel?

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    i making one at the moment, but i am using a pre-made double-din chassis. All I have left is to get xp on the *******
     
  5. x06jsp

    x06jsp da ginger monkey!!!!

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    wrong forum mate this is only for projects that have actually been started with pics to prove it. so no doubt it will get moved by a mod....

    Josh
     
  6. Hixin

    Hixin What's a Dremel?

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    For your AM/FM tuner, most TV Tuner cards can do this anyway, just be a case of modifying your cars existing aerial with a connection which fits the tuner card.

    Or, if you still want to use your existing head unit, rig up a pass through cable that goes from the RCA outputs of the head unit, to maybe the line in/mic jack of the sound card.

    Hope that helps with your radio worries.

    http://scan.co.uk/Index.aspx?NT=1-0-33-277-0
     
  7. andybones

    andybones What's a Dremel?

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    interesting project.will keep an eye on this.good luck
     
  8. tominated

    tominated What's a Dremel?

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    with the tuner, you can't just use an ordinary tuner, you need one designed for cars. google "hqct" and you should find out what i mean. You might wanna head over to mp3car.comif you ever have throuble on something a little more specific to cars
     
  9. Grinch123456

    Grinch123456 What's a Dremel?

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    Just as a forewarning, I will only have time for this on weekends.

    I've thought it over and I definitely think you're absolutely right. It could be a major distraction as I drive and possibly kill me.

    Thanks for the link. I just hope they ship to the US if I need to order a part from them, or maybe they have similar parts in the US. There's no reason as to why they wouldn't.

    Wow, what a phenominal link. Of course, since it's a specialty store, their prices are not where they could be, so price hunting is going to be critical. Also, I definitely want to do this myself and 500 bucks is a tad high for their base-level computer. Still, it's an interesting link to see how a professional company does things.

    Right, so, for preliminary research. I'm going to document every step of the way so anyone who wants to try something similar can do so as well with less fuss. The first step is finding the dimensions of the current in-dash player. My first step was to hit up google and search for "mazda protege5 in dash cd player dimensions." 2nd page in, I found a Mazdaspeed Development .pdf containing part numbers for my an in-dash player in a model identical to mine. In the table of contents, it yielded "BL8D-66-9S0A" and "BL8G-66-9RO". The first one just led me back to the same document. The second one gave me a million sites in russian, which I can thankfully read, but didn't actually tell me anything about the dimensions.

    Then, it hit me. I can call a local Mazda dealership with service people and just ask them. Surely they'd have such information! Unfortunately, on Sundays, they're all closed so I will find out tommorow. :(
     
  10. WakoNako

    WakoNako What's a Dremel?

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    The only thing is, you said you wanted a touch-screen. So wouldn't it be better looking up touch screens? or have I been stupid and not thought that the in-dash player might have touch-screen capabilities already?
     
  11. tominated

    tominated What's a Dremel?

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    as for the screen I highly recommend a lilliput 629 (something along the lines of that) cos it's incredibly easy to mod and it's the perfect size for a double din sized unit. For the link I suggested, have a look at the forums, not just the store. Good luck!
     
  12. Grinch123456

    Grinch123456 What's a Dremel?

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    I'm pretty sure I've lost you. Let me break it down: a computer with a touchscreen and no keyboard/mouse that has GPS, AM/FM, and a hard drive for mp3s. Pretty simple.

    Ok, now, the financial situation is pretty grim. With the most recent collapsing of Wall Street companies thanks to the gross incompetency of leadership on a national level, I'm going to put the "buying" portion of this on hold for the mean while. However, I will continue posting research and other interesting things of note, lengthening my planning phase and hopefully making more well-informed decisions when I open up my wallet and cry tears of pain as I bleed myself dry.

    Right, so. Getting AM/FM radio to play on a computer is not worth 170 dollars. It's just not. That's why I'm going to find a way to make it myself and learn some electrical engineering while I'm at it. For 50 smackers, I could get an HD radio from Crutchfield instead, and get better quality audio.

    For front end software, I'm looking at Centrafuge Navigation Edition or Mediaengine. Basically, I heard from my dad who had a USB GPS system hooked onto a tablet PC that it was terrible a few years back. No touch screen support, bad pathfinding, etc. Not qualities I want in my vehicle. A front-end like this should alleviate many of those problems without issue. Of course, before even considering purchasing any of these, I'll have to refer to my handy-dandy torrent pals, rip it, see if I like it, and then consider plopping unfathomably large sums of cash for a program that may not even see an iota of use.
     
  13. dark_avenger

    dark_avenger Minimodder

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    screen go for a double din 7" (not fold out) easy to install and less tools needed.
    google M2-ATX power supplys for the computer automatic switch on with the car, etc.
    low end core 2 duo for the computer (cheap) or if you need space have a look at some mini-itx stuff.
    4 channel amp is the easest way to hook the speakers up, provided you don't need the head unit any more.
     
  14. WakoNako

    WakoNako What's a Dremel?

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    Oh no. I know what a touch screen is. The definition is in the name lol. I just wasn't sure whether the screen you were looking at was a touch screen.
     
  15. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    Good luck


    I'd really like to see someone do this (so I can later :hehe:)
     
  16. tominated

    tominated What's a Dremel?

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