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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have decided it's time to upgrade my ICE from a stock S model radio. I really wanted a way to have my screen hooked up to the OBD system so I can monitor things and check codes. I can't seem to find anything like that unless I go carputer. I know nothing about any of this stuff so maybe you guys and gals can assist.

My carputer idea (which may not work IDK) is as follows. I will be using a laptop hidden in the glove box or under the seat. I will run a double din touch screen off the laptop and mount that in dash. I will us a USB gps antenna and USB FM tuner for radio station. Since the screen uses USB as well I will have to find a unit with at least 4 USB ports. Do they make that? I will just have to find a way to turn the laptop on and off remotely as well as find a way to power it. A quick google search gave me a ton of ideas so it shouldn't be too hard.

The in dash nav unit would just be like a pioneer f700bt or something cheap and similar. These indash units do everything I want except auto diagnostics. If there was a way to incorporate that into one of these units I would go that way. Much easier to do and easier to use.

So please give me thoughts and opinions on this. Thanks
 

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Have you thought of using a cell phone application? I wonder if there is one?

Also, some cell phone have as much computing power as any computer. Maybe you can find a phone on Ebay? You don't have to get a service for them to work and use it only as a mini computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure what you mean by cell phone application? My cell has gps, handfree talking, and mp3 functions but not even close to any real power.

I am looking into using an old laptop. Something with a 100+gb hardrive so I can load movies and more music then I can ever need. It wall also have internet via my cell phone data package or wifi hot spots. I can add nav, hands free calling, FM radio if I want to ditch a headunit all together (but then need an amp). Etc.

Not sure of any phone that can rival a laptop and even if there was one it would cost way more money then what I'm proposing on doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm designing a carputer at the moment, running linux and a custom interface, but time is killing me and I haven't gotten too far with it.... :S
I'm in no rush at all. This is going to be a super budget build. I keep finding sub $100USD laptops with broken screens but I am too slow to buy them :). My whole setup should be under $500USD. I plan on just running windows and a front end like centraforce or street deck.
 

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using a laptop is a good idea most of the indash lcd will have an rca jack in it so all you need is a laptop with svideo output so you can use a svideo-rca cable... only problem im seeing with this setup is the power supply :p you can mount the laptop under the passenger seat so it can get some air mounting it in the glove compartment will be tricky because there snot enough room unless you strip the laptop and it will have a restricted air unless you punch holes in the glove compartment :p

so youll need the following
Laptop
In dash LCD
svideo-rca cable
power inverter
bigger battery :p
then wireless keyboard and mouse

youll go over 500 on these :p
+ software and stuff :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
using a laptop is a good idea most of the indash lcd will have an rca jack in it so all you need is a laptop with svideo output so you can use a svideo-rca cable... only problem im seeing with this setup is the power supply :p you can mount the laptop under the passenger seat so it can get some air mounting it in the glove compartment will be tricky because there snot enough room unless you strip the laptop and it will have a restricted air unless you punch holes in the glove compartment :p

so youll need the following
Laptop
In dash LCD
svideo-rca cable
power inverter
bigger battery :p
then wireless keyboard and mouse

youll go over 500 on these :p
+ software and stuff :p

You need to read up a bit as there are better and more efficient ways of doing this then you have suggested. I would never use any RCA to hook up a screen to the laptop. I am going to get a touch screen that connects VGA and USB. RCA doesn't do high enough resolution nor does it allow touchscreen. Also don't use a power inverter. This is a huge waste of energy. If you use an inverter it converts from DC to AC then back to DC. I am going to use a car charger hardwired which keeps the power from DC to DC. It also uses much less power. Also inverters make a ton of heat which I don't want. Not much power needed for the tiny touch screen or laptop so no bigger battery needed. I am also going to put the laptop accessible some how so no keyboard or mouse. I will just pull out the laptop and use that one.

So to recap

so youll need the following
Laptop YES
In dash LCD YES BUT TOUCH SCREEN, IN DASH NO SINCE I CAN MOLD ANYONE INTO THE DASH
svideo-rca cable DON'T NEED
power inverter DON'T NEED
bigger battery :p DON'T NEED
then wireless keyboard and mouse DON'T NEED
Screen, laptop, car charger, various connecters and wires for power, should run me $300. I am keeping the extra $200 for the following; docking station, Gps, OBDII, blue tooth, and software.
 

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What types of things are you looking to monitor? The scangaugeII is pretty good with simple things. I'm happy with mine i monitor battery volts, water temp, and mpg with it. Obviously it can monitor more but thats what i watch mostly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What types of things are you looking to monitor? The scangaugeII is pretty good with simple things. I'm happy with mine i monitor battery volts, water temp, and mpg with it. Obviously it can monitor more but thats what i watch mostly.
You can monitor everything that the OBDII port can spit out. The thing I like is the custom displays and datalogging ability. Plus I like an all in one package. I wanted a scan gauge then wanted gps, then I wanted bluetooth and to be able to play movies (not while driving). Then wanted to be able to store alot of music and video's and me wanting all of these things made me decide to go the carputer route. Otherwise I would have a scan gauge, some sort of in car video setup, and a radio with GPS and an external hardrive to store files. All that would cost me more then a broken laptop carputer setup and still not be able to do as much.
 

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i know nothing about electronics and how to calculate the load and what fuse to use bleh but i found this :p http://www.customcarputers.com/ lol just get a scan guage and a nav unit :p hehehe
here are some alternative for scanguage

http://www.amazon.com/PLX-Kiwi-Calc..._1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1244571184&sr=8-1

http://www.auteltech.com/4in1.htm

but for me ill just go with the alternative scanguage then a sweet sound system head then a separate gps :p but indash nav looks cool :p but it doubles the price of a regular head unit :p well good luck :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm looking at using the new ION setup in mine (http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=53) and making it removable so I can have it in the car, then easily 'unclip it' to use at work, home, friends house etc.

These things are friggen insane!
I was looking into those but decided the laptop was better for my budget. That is if I can find a really cheap one. Possibilities seem endless when it comes to carputers.

i know nothing about electronics and how to calculate the load and what fuse to use bleh but i found this :p http://www.customcarputers.com/ lol just get a scan guage and a nav unit :p hehehe
here are some alternative for scanguage

http://www.amazon.com/PLX-Kiwi-Calc..._1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1244571184&sr=8-1

http://www.auteltech.com/4in1.htm

but for me ill just go with the alternative scanguage then a sweet sound system head then a separate gps :p but indash nav looks cool :p but it doubles the price of a regular head unit :p well good luck :p
Those things you linked are not really adequate for what I'm doing. Not only that but they cost way more then what I'm doing. I don't need a great stereo system. Heck I'm not even replacing the stock speakers. The issue with all seperate stuff is that is cost alot of money and I will have a bunch of valuable things in my car. With the carputer it's all in one and if I want I can just disconnect the laptop and take it with me. The only thing that would remain is a $125 touch screen.

Here are some screenshots of what a carputer can do.








As you can see the depth of the programs you can run far exceed the capabilities of just a scangauge or anything similar. Plus these are just a few of thousands of programs you can run. Also remember it's still a laptop so anything you can do with a laptop you will be able to do with the carputer. I have unlimited data package on my phone and can use it's bluetooth feature to get internet. That is if I'm not already in a wifi spot. This means I also have access to the world wide web which means I can stream music and movies as well.
 

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i understand it can all be done with one computer but you will need to get a laptop with gps capabilities... i didnt read through centrafuse program but it looks like its in beta version still... im guessing the laptop will be using intel atom with built in wireless like a cell phone those laptops are being offered by att with data plan :p well i guess for me its cheaper because i already have a gps :p all i need is this http://www.amazon.com/PLX-Kiwi-Calc..._1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1244571184&sr=8-1 it cannot measure the 0-60 but it can measure the fuel load :p

OH, or just get the att data plan with the laptop the laptop will be free then youll need to pay 30 dolllars a month for the ldataplan if combined with a cellphone or 50 dollars with out a cell phone :p or Iphone "we got apps for everything" o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i understand it can all be done with one computer but you will need to get a laptop with gps capabilities... i didnt read through centrafuse program but it looks like its in beta version still... im guessing the laptop will be using intel atom with built in wireless like a cell phone those laptops are being offered by att with data plan :p well i guess for me its cheaper because i already have a gps :p all i need is this http://www.amazon.com/PLX-Kiwi-Calc..._1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1244571184&sr=8-1 it cannot measure the 0-60 but it can measure the fuel load :p

OH, or just get the att data plan with the laptop the laptop will be free then youll need to pay 30 dolllars a month for the ldataplan if combined with a cellphone or 50 dollars with out a cell phone :p or Iphone "we got apps for everything" o_O
GPS is a $20 USB add on. It does not need to be built in. Same goes for the internet. The laptop doesn't need anything but blue tooth built in, or BT dongle (which I have plenty), or just a USB port for internet. I can tether my phone any of those ways and it doesn't cost me more then the $15 a month I'm paying now for internet service on my phone :).

The centrafuse may be beta but it was just an example. These programs are called front ends and it makes navigating the carputer much easier. I can just keep the window veiw and use a stylus but that isn't any fun. There are a hundred different front ends to choose from. I just used that one as an example.

Only benefit I see to running all separate units is the ability to take from one car to the next. But I wouldn't do that too often.
 

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scartch all of that.
Macmini is the way to go its same size as a standard din deck. you will have to modify a power invertor and they wireup a screen to work with it but when all is said and done it will be sick!
 

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EcoTech. I love your suggestion.

A MacMini is perfect. It's super tiny. What you could do is mount the MacMini in the back of the glovebox and get a little 7" touchscreen monitor to fit where your stereo is and BAM!

You could have that computer run everything. Could play music, movies, probably gps, internet, some kind of car software that could show you gauges. Idk. Wow! I might have to look into this now. lol
 
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