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ES5PW

Ultimate car project

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Hello!

I want to share one project with you, I am not going to make it overnigth, but I´ve set a deadline for the end of this summer, depends on how much money i have, but I am definately going to build it.

Not a fancy car, just a ford, but some ideas what to implement.

# Premium quality sound system ( DONE! )

# DVD / TV (DVB-T) Screens

# Cameras, 1 backing ( useful for hooking up a trailer or any other precision maneuvering ) and one recording camera installed near rear view mirror, to record traffic situations.

# Navigation system. ( Stand alone, from audio ) With full EU maps, and if I get some output from GPS unit, then servo controlled license plates for speed cameras ( Illegal to use, but not to have.. )

# Thinking of radar detectors as well, but they are illegal, even when offline.

# 7-10" Touch screen car computer, with costum interface, also communicating with GPS, and Audio.

# Full connectivity over cable/BT with iPod, phone etc..

# Full internet connectivity, "KÕU" 450MHz CDMA, 3.5G/EDGE/GPRS, Wifi. Also option, to use whatever internet I have and set up an AP to share it

# Radio systems. CB radio, dual band amateur radio and a wide band scanner.

# Small things, like 220 volts etc.

At the moment I have CB and Amateur radios, GPS unit I have to probably replace, 220V, audio systems

And laptop on back seat + 3g modem for internet :biggrin:

Also, for antennas, it will be a forest on the roof..

CB antenna, Dual band antenna, something for scanner ( probably wire antenna under windshield ) 2x DVB-T antennas, GPS antenna, 2x Wifi antennas, 450MHz Antenna, GSM Antenna..

If you have any thoughs, or ideas, what I missed on that list, shoot!

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Hello!

I want to share one project with you, I am not going to make it overnigth, but I´ve set a deadline for the end of this summer, depends on how much money i have, but I am definately going to build it.

Not a fancy car, just a ford, but some ideas what to implement.

# Premium quality sound system ( DONE! )

# DVD / TV (DVB-T) Screens

# Cameras, 1 backing ( useful for hooking up a trailer or any other precision maneuvering ) and one recording camera installed near rear view mirror, to record traffic situations.

# Navigation system. ( Stand alone, from audio ) With full EU maps, and if I get some output from GPS unit, then servo controlled license plates for speed cameras ( Illegal to use, but not to have.. )

# Thinking of radar detectors as well, but they are illegal, even when offline.

# 7-10" Touch screen car computer, with costum interface, also communicating with GPS, and Audio.

# Full connectivity over cable/BT with iPod, phone etc..

# Full internet connectivity, "KÕU" 450MHz CDMA, 3.5G/EDGE/GPRS, Wifi. Also option, to use whatever internet I have and set up an AP to share it

# Radio systems. CB radio, dual band amateur radio and a wide band scanner.

# Small things, like 220 volts etc.

At the moment I have CB and Amateur radios, GPS unit I have to probably replace, 220V, audio systems

And laptop on back seat + 3g modem for internet :biggrin:

Also, for antennas, it will be a forest on the roof..

CB antenna, Dual band antenna, something for scanner ( probably wire antenna under windshield ) 2x DVB-T antennas, GPS antenna, 2x Wifi antennas, 450MHz Antenna, GSM Antenna..

If you have any thoughs, or ideas, what I missed on that list, shoot!

i saw a project that someone did recently where they were able to set up a remote starter.. but via cell phone - they called the car, and had it started (the reason they stated was that their office was too far from the parking spot for the remote starter to send/receive the signal.... to build on top of that idea, i have been thinking that with a system like that, it should not be too difficult to add SMS alerts to your cell phone from the car connected to an alarm system - my idea is the car will text you what triggered the alarm - open door, motion sensor, etc - this will eliminate the need for an actual siren connected to the alarm system.. sorry i did not save the link to the project for the cell phone remote starter...

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For about 500US you can get 2 way alarm system here.

Which functions up to 1km. Pay 20$ extra and you´ll get a remote starter as well. And it is also safe, you can start the car, but can´t drive away unless the remote is very close.

I think there was an optional extra as well, for the cell phone.

Also, I am thinking about replacing my current one with that, since all that technology in that car may catch some attention.

( Or tint all the windows )

Edited by ES5PW
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For about 500US you can get 2 way alarm system here.

Which functions up to 1km. Pay 20$ extra and you´ll get a remote starter as well. And it is also safe, you can start the car, but can´t drive away unless the remote is very close.

I think there was an optional extra as well, for the cell phone.

Also, I am thinking about replacing my current one with that, since all that technology in that car may catch some attention.

( Or tint all the windows )

yea i am aware of commercially available alarm systems with a remote to notify you of alarms... but these are wireless devices, and require that the pager and car are within range from each other... what happens when the signal can not reach you? this is why i figured an alarm system that can SMS you would be better... plus i think it would get points for being custom/original...

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hmm.. idk push2start, bolt in all the computers/radio/antennas with sae bolts instead of metric so people cant steal it, probably upgrade alternator/run 2 alts. maybe 2 batteries a 1-2farad capacitor. as your probably just going to wreck your alternator if you run all that stuff of it. maybe a solenoid hooked up to ignition/switch to take power from all the computers/radios as with mostly anything digital its still going to draw power when its "turned off." probably make heavy duty brackets/mounts for all of it as they can always just smash the window, or jimmy the door. but if you have a 1/4 steel bracket bolted onto the frame, and not just the plastic on the dash, then they will have to have sockets to pull it off. besides that like random upgrades to the actual car, air intakes, exhaust, anti theft mechanisims, ect. for audio could put in actuall music speakers instead of "car" speakers, could have dual 31band eq for cheaper than buying "car" mixers or w.e. could have dual 18" subs

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hmm.. idk push2start, bolt in all the computers/radio/antennas with sae bolts instead of metric so people cant steal it, probably upgrade alternator/run 2 alts. maybe 2 batteries a 1-2farad capacitor. as your probably just going to wreck your alternator if you run all that stuff of it. maybe a solenoid hooked up to ignition/switch to take power from all the computers/radios as with mostly anything digital its still going to draw power when its "turned off." probably make heavy duty brackets/mounts for all of it as they can always just smash the window, or jimmy the door. but if you have a 1/4 steel bracket bolted onto the frame, and not just the plastic on the dash, then they will have to have sockets to pull it off. besides that like random upgrades to the actual car, air intakes, exhaust, anti theft mechanisims, ect. for audio could put in actuall music speakers instead of "car" speakers, could have dual 31band eq for cheaper than buying "car" mixers or w.e. could have dual 18" subs

nice points... an upgraded alternator, and possibly a battery isolator with a second auxiliary battery (a deep cycle batter for the aux battery would drain slower)

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Hello!

I want to share one project with you, I am not going to make it overnigth, but I´ve set a deadline for the end of this summer, depends on how much money i have, but I am definately going to build it.

Not a fancy car, just a ford, but some ideas what to implement.

# Premium quality sound system ( DONE! )

# DVD / TV (DVB-T) Screens

# Cameras, 1 backing ( useful for hooking up a trailer or any other precision maneuvering ) and one recording camera installed near rear view mirror, to record traffic situations.

# Navigation system. ( Stand alone, from audio ) With full EU maps, and if I get some output from GPS unit, then servo controlled license plates for speed cameras ( Illegal to use, but not to have.. )

# Thinking of radar detectors as well, but they are illegal, even when offline.

# 7-10" Touch screen car computer, with costum interface, also communicating with GPS, and Audio.

# Full connectivity over cable/BT with iPod, phone etc..

# Full internet connectivity, "KÕU" 450MHz CDMA, 3.5G/EDGE/GPRS, Wifi. Also option, to use whatever internet I have and set up an AP to share it

# Radio systems. CB radio, dual band amateur radio and a wide band scanner.

# Small things, like 220 volts etc.

At the moment I have CB and Amateur radios, GPS unit I have to probably replace, 220V, audio systems

And laptop on back seat + 3g modem for internet :biggrin:

Also, for antennas, it will be a forest on the roof..

CB antenna, Dual band antenna, something for scanner ( probably wire antenna under windshield ) 2x DVB-T antennas, GPS antenna, 2x Wifi antennas, 450MHz Antenna, GSM Antenna..

If you have any thoughs, or ideas, what I missed on that list, shoot!

Wow.. ambitious.

I've had a CarPC in my ride for the past year so here's some of the things I've learned:

- Power has been one of my biggest problems. Not generating it but managing it. I started with running a laptop which worked except when it was in a inbetween state then it would require physical intervention. Then I put a excess rackmounted pc into my car (In america we have big cars. :)) and that worked except for the hum from the inverter. I replaced the power supply with a 300w DC-DC power supply and that helped remove the hum. But then the next problem is triggering power on and off. Ideally one would install a battery isolator like you'd have in a RV which is the path I'll take then hook it to a secondary battery (one starting battery/one "house" battery) so that you can always start the car even if your computer's battery is dead. Then once the engine is running, it would just recharge the "house" battery. But I haven't gotten this far yet.

- With all the power problems, a few weeks ago I put my BIOS into a crashed state. The system refuses to post. The reason is that most motherboards use a NVRAM board which is susceptible to bad states. Not sure what would be the solution here except to stabilize the power and make it shutdown properly without hard cuts in power. I'm now rethinking the computer itself.. probably a shuttle with a disk-on-chip or a industrial PC with the same features but something I can just eject the drive and bring inside to update/tweak. Keep your media files on a separate drive.

- I also have ham radios in the car. However not enough holes for all the antennas. Again, I'd rig everything to the "house" battery and use a computer controlled relay board to power everything on and off. I also have a PCR-100 receiver in the car. Works well but without a good highgain external antenna for it, reception isn't particularly special. Yes, get everything computer controlled as much as possible.

- Software will probably be the biggest problem for you. I use Centrafuse for a dashboard but you'll find that adding all these extra pieces will require you to code things up. Especially if you want it to look consistent.

- Mock it up before installing a single piece of hardware. Trust me, it's alot easier to diagnose a problem on the bench compared to crawling and contorting your body around the seats.

- USB... oh wow.. remember there is only a 15 foot limit to USB. For it to go farther, there *must* be a *powered* USB hub. Don't think you can do it with a longer cable...

- I have two usb hubs up front and one in the back. The one in the back is hooked to the one in front and externally powered. I pulled the seats to make the run as short as possible.

- Again you want to give serious thought to power... Most touch screens are 12v so unless you want to run a powerstrip under the seat to the inverter (which I have) you'll want to run 12v to all these spots back to the house battery.

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Well..

To start with, it is not going to be an easy task, to make it all work, and it´ll take some time as well.

To switch power, I was planning to use a PC controlled relays, which have an HW override function, for mayor things. Or maybe just use micro processor to communicate with pc.

Car PC should have options to control almost everythink, and maybe digital modes for radio. So a lot of coding, and custom HW mods there as well.. I don´t need much CPU power, because I can always wire up my laptop to 220V and connect it to Wifi.

Power is the most biggest issue at the moment.

My ford´s alternator is too weak for the sound system installed at the moment, even, when listening modestly.

Main battery is 55Ah.

Idea was to run control systems off from main battery, and some essential things, radio, GPS, scanner.. And also install 2x 80Ah ( or some big batteries, like in BMW-s ).

I can also consider a charging socket :tongue: But then again, I shouldn´t use standard car batteryes. And install more powerful alternator.

Even when I don´t have all the equipment at once, I think i should also install a lot of wireing, and think everything through. Takeing the interior and dash apart to install Radios/sound system was a nigthmare..

Also power brings me 2 big(ish) problems as well.. I probably have to sacrifice most of my boot space for power circuits and batteries. 1/3 of it is already full of sub-woofers and amplifiers..

1.6 Litre petrol engine migth be sort of... weak..

When all that extra weight is added up.. especially auxiliary batteries. ( But there is quite easy way to replace the engine with a 2.0 one.. )

I still want it to remain a usable 4 seater. So it must accelerate faster than 3 days.

And most important thing i have learned.

Test everything at bench, for everything.

Radio-interference was immense, when I connected my GPS charger..

After that I spent 2 weeks worth of nigths to make filters and re-testing all my power supplies.

And electric windows still buzz in to the CB radio..

For LCD screen..

I think I want to use some kind of a rack, that i can pull out from glove box. I think GPS, 7 inch Media and 10" PC screen would be too much to display.

All 3 back windows are tinted. Don´t know how well it is going to work, But i want to hide some ( Wifi, GPS .. ) antennas behind the window.

Edited by ES5PW
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Two batteries with a split charge relay wired up so that the second battery (deep charge battery best) only charges when the engine is running. That way you'll never be left for dead with a flat battery because you stayed in one spot too long and if you ever find your primary dead one day, you can jumpstart from the secondry usually. Any caravan/motorhome shop will have the relays and deep cycle batteries, its a very tried and tested approach. You can often find a heavier duty version of your alternator fitted to some of the models with more extras, as they need the extra power to run all the gadgets too.

Ive done the gps/wifi/computer/radio side of it, ran a old lcd display from a ibm till from a small 240v inverter, and a gutted laptop inside the dash. Sony audio joystick out to the steering column connected to a joystick input on the lappy etc. GPS was a then current garmin hvs25 running off 12v direct with a external mouse style active antenna on the roof. The laptop was powered from a 12v laptop psu (you can find them easily now) designed for just the job. Wifi I used a pcmcia prism2 gutted out a dead a/p iirc, which allowed external antenna connections and connected a pair of antennas to the B pillar to keep the lead length losses down (on first a rangerover, then later on a renault panel van) giving me the then current 802b. This was before the bluetooth keyboard days so I had a usb socket on the dash which I could put memory sticks/plug a keyboard into for emergency recovery etc. All very bodged, but it all worked and I could ssh into my car and upload new tunes etc while it was parked in the drive which was cool.

For power control I had some cheezy 12v multi switching unit which had a remote switchbox which was dash mounted, and had 6 12v cigarette plugs on loose individiual flyleads so I could flick off and on each component individually. I kept with the 12v plugs despite the bulk for everything so I could just bring any extra bits and bobs and just plug them in.

However, times moved on. I bet you can find these on some chinese import sites loads cheaper than 1000e if you searched, maybe round the 3-400e mark, which would be as cheap as getting a 12v psu for a carputer etc. No idea how reflashable with a different os etc they are though. Just plug it in and save having to saw holes and run cables all over your car.

http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/993

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- USB... oh wow.. remember there is only a 15 foot limit to USB. For it to go farther, there *must* be a *powered* USB hub. Don't think you can do it with a longer cable...

I remember hitting that limit with the reversing webcam based camera on the panel van, you can get active repeaters built into a giant usb cable which just looks like a lump in the cable to get around that limit with the normal single plug one end and socket on wander lead the other. It seemed to work just fine for repeating a webcam.

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i was thinking of a simple solution to shut down the PC when the car is turned off...

if would require that the carputer is a laptop.... connect the power supply for the carputer to constant power... connect a relay to acc power (power that only is live when the car is turned on) and connect the relay to the switch that shuts the laptop down when the screen is closed....

i am sure there are better commercial ways to do this... but it was just something that i thought of earlier today, and thought i would share...

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However, times moved on. I bet you can find these on some chinese import sites loads cheaper than 1000e if you searched, maybe round the 3-400e mark, which would be as cheap as getting a 12v psu for a carputer etc. No idea how reflashable with a different os etc they are though. Just plug it in and save having to saw holes and run cables all over your car.

http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/993

Yeehaaw

If I find 2DIN version of it, I´ll buy it! ( and hopefully they ship to EU )

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Just run a 1din version with the blanking plate under it you can get from a car stereo place. Almost all of them sell the adaptors also the infills for shaped installs to fit normal square din aperture in etc.

I imagine they'll ship them everywhere that sends them money ;)

I may ressurect my poor old carputer in the near future, only its going to be a poor old mini RV one because thats what we're about to collect, so its already got the inverters and 220v systems in etc. I was thinking about a linksys ap to act as a kind of repeater for internal laptops in the back and stuff...

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have you considered HUDs for display? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-up_display ) not exactly for watching movies, but for gps and other data it should do, and its much less distracting while driving

Actually I have :)

But nothing very fancy.

I found one quite cheap(ish) HUD, for displaying your speed and rev´s. Problem is, it shows mph not km/h.

Just run a 1din version with the blanking plate under it you can get from a car stereo place. Almost all of them sell the adaptors also the infills for shaped installs to fit normal square din aperture in etc.

I would still prefer 2 din one, Because I have that slot, and it would look "cleaner".

At the moment I have my router. Takes 3G in via USB port and USB modem, and I get out 4 RJ45-s and WiFi.

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...

Actually I have :)

But nothing very fancy.

I found one quite cheap(ish) HUD, for displaying your speed and rev´s. Problem is, it shows mph not km/h.

...

Have you thought about fooling the HUD to give kph instead of mph by telling it the wrong tire size and/or gearing?

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have you considered HUDs for display? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-up_display ) not exactly for watching movies, but for gps and other data it should do, and its much less distracting while driving

Actually I have :)

But nothing very fancy.

I found one quite cheap(ish) HUD, for displaying your speed and rev´s. Problem is, it shows mph not km/h.

Have you got a link for the "cheapish" hud? I wonder if its extensible somehow to show other info...

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well if your going to be doing other "hardware mods" just get rid of the psu and use a couple high quality regulators to make 12v/5v that you would need for a computer from the 12-18v battery/alt. power, would save alot of power lost in poor efficiency making 220/ac to go back to 12v. would help the regulator/battery life..

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Project is not dead. But on hold.

Car is destroyed, I think all of the electronics are in working order, haven´t tested yet. Only hard disk drive in car does not run anymore.

I will keep everything, for next car.

This one is going to be sold for parts, no point of restoreing it.

At least I can now start building the whole system up on a bench, not in a car, adding piece by piece.

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When you let other people drive your car, they crash it. Somewhere on dirt roads, lost control and drive offroad, into dirt wall and trees.

Destroyed by family member.

At least good that Ford knows how to make safe cars. People inside unharmed .

Electronics saved by now. Seems to be working, I need some additional door speakers, but other things are OK.

Edited by ES5PW
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