Friday, December 27, 2013

My Car PC– Beta Build

After the success in the GPS receiver installation I thought, OK now it’s time to get serious and make a proper installation with some real H/W. The only obstacle preventing that was a way to import some decent H/W that was in my mind. Specially a good APU based system with low power consumption, touch screen display, SSD and what not.
Fortunately a couple of colleague from my workplace was returning from US on-site visit and I finally managed to source following H/W.
1. ASRock E350M1/USB3 Motherboard $109.99 from
2. OCZ Agility 3 - SATA III 2.5 60GB SSD $87.99 from
3. VM70 - 7" TFT LCD touchscreen monitor $119 from eBay store.
4. G.Skill DDR3 1333MHz 2GB (From local computer shop) (For around some LKR 2000+ I think)
5. Plastic Mini ITX VESA Mnt HTPC Car Computer Case(Black A) $37.50 from eBay.
6. For the power supply, I ordered a Pico PSU 12V 120W DC-DC MINI ITX ATX PC Power Supply as well from eBay. $24.99
following is the collection of above items along with other peripherals (OBD-II, GPS cables) I have sourced during previous builds.
IMG_20120703_112018 (800x448)
However unfortunately I found out it hard way (By blowing a voltage regulator IC of motherboard while testing it with a analog variable power supply, which was uncontrollable.Annoyed) that Pico PSU is not capable of operating in wide input voltage range of the vehicle. Sad smile
So had to wait yet another few months (Actually almost an year) to get a new Motherboard (This time, $87.55 from warehouse deals). I also got a M1-ATX Automotive DC-DC Power Supply, 90 Watt for $32.99 from eBay this time.
Once all the necessary items are sourced I test benched the entire setup. (This time using a better digital variable power supply. Hot smile)
IMG_20131024_235720 (2048x1535) (800x600)
For the software setup, I used following setup.
Windows Embedded Standard 7 (Minimalistic setup with Command prompt shell with custom shell support – Approx 1GB image size)
Centrafuse 3.5
Garmin Mobile PC
For mounting the touchscreen I sourced a 1DIN holder for few hundred rupees from local scrapyard (Panchikawaththa) for auto parts, since I did not wanted to drill holes on original 1DIN holder that was in the center console. After bit of dismantling and drilling few holes on 1DIN holder I bought I could mount the screen on it.
Once all the required items are ready, I moved into the vehicle. After pulling the panels on the dashboard I could access the center console for replacing the empty 1DIN holder with the screen.
f4609944 (800x600)
Once the screen is mounted, got the wires layered below the retrofitted carpeting in the vehicle to the backseat under which I plan to put the PC.
SAM_3962 (800x600)
Once all wired up, it’s time to fire up the setup and enjoy the fruits of hard work. Note
Few weeks later, I ordered a reverse camera as well from eBay (18 AUD) and hooked it up to reverse light power supply and connected to Aux input of the LCD monitor so it switch to reverse camera when I shift into reverse.
IMG_20131229_130606 (800x601)
IMG_20131229_140110 (800x599)
So that’s it?
I’m afraid it isn’t.Smile There are much more to do. I already have ordered a Parking distance sensor kit and a USB logic analyzer and couple more front/side view cameras. Ideas are boundless.Light bulb Only time is what I’m lacking of. Clock
[Posted with Windows Live Writer™ 2012 on Windows 7 64bit]