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-   -   Tablet PC as Carputer? (http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149420)

MatsuDano 11-10-2010 06:41 AM

Tablet PC as Carputer?
 
I noticed on a lot of the carputer/aftermarket GPS builds, the use of a 7" screen is predominant. So with a proper bracket and mounting hardware, do you think it would be possible to just bolt a 7" tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and run that as a barebones carputer that just does music over AUX and GPS? Maybe a few other things too, but hey you get the idea.

needforsleep 11-10-2010 11:29 PM

not completely "bolted" in though.. the idea seems to go along with what you want..

http://legacygt.com/forums/showthrea...highlight=ipad

MatsuDano 11-11-2010 04:21 AM

Kind of. I'll refrain from commenting on my utter disdain for Apple, but that's basically the idea. Ideally I want an Android or dedicated CarPC OS, and IMHO the (iTampon) iPad is just too big and clunky.

To the drawing board!

nemo 11-11-2010 06:23 AM

I'm looking to do the same thing, Dano. Something like the Galaxy Tab would be perfect, but I'm not planning on spending that kind of money for a CarPC. Something eventually will come out and fit the bill. The only few issues I'd see with an Android based system is:
  1. Storage size: You're limited to a 32GB SDHC Card? It'd work for me, but maybe not you.
  2. Front End: Ideally I'd want a car-friendly front end. It really wouldn't be hard, as android already comes with a Car Panel type thing -- but just in case this isn't enough, I guess someone would have to code it.
  3. Power Control: Turning the system on and off with ignition. Might be a bit tougher than using existing controllers that are out there. Otherwise, you could always just wire a switched +12V (w/ dc/dc converter) for charging, and manually turn the system on and off each time.

MatsuDano 11-11-2010 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nemo (Post 3164214)
I'm looking to do the same thing, Dano. Something like the Galaxy Tab would be perfect, but I'm not planning on spending that kind of money for a CarPC. Something eventually will come out and fit the bill. The only few issues I'd see with an Android based system is:
  1. Storage size: You're limited to a 32GB SDHC Card? It'd work for me, but maybe not you.
  2. Front End: Ideally I'd want a car-friendly front end. It really wouldn't be hard, as android already comes with a Car Panel type thing -- but just in case this isn't enough, I guess someone would have to code it.
  3. Power Control: Turning the system on and off with ignition. Might be a bit tougher than using existing controllers that are out there. Otherwise, you could always just wire a switched +12V (w/ dc/dc converter) for charging, and manually turn the system on and off each time.

Meh, it'a not so much that it would cost a good amount, I just don't want to get hosed by buying something on the cusp of a technological paradigm shift. Samsung's Hummingbird proccessor is on the way out and Orion is coming up quick. I don't want to blow $600 on something like that.

Good points on those caveats. A 32 GB SDHC is limiting for some, but I think you and I are on the same boat. And yea, android's car mode is pretty anemic but I plan on either running Navigation, Music, or Torque apps. Especially Torque.


The thing I don't understand is your power control point. When I start the car I don't want to have to wait a few minutes while the software boots to post. I figured the tablet would have somewhat of an "always available" function, sit at idle for hours while the car is off, then charge via usb when the car is running and the battery needs it. I'm not sure I understand why you would need the system off at all:confused:

f1anatic 11-11-2010 06:54 AM

ok take a chilling break back.

Grab one of these: Foxconn D510 Nettop that has more computing power than the space shuttle (mine is 4 cores, 64 bit - a wee overkill for the car right ?). It is the size of a VHS tape.

A DC-DC converter (P1900 or P2240 by Carnetix) will allow you to supply power to a wide range of PCs and smartly turn it on and turn it off. You may have to do some soldering such as to the power button to connect it to the smart power source ports. But in the case of the above unit that was easy.

Screen of your choice.

There will come a time when you will either forget to remove the tablet PC or you will feel either lazy or secure in your decision to leave it hanging there for 5 min while you run in the gas station or back to the house/office etc. In doing that you will provide an excellent opportunistic crime event. Not to mention that hanging that huge thing (the IPAD or tablet PCs) does take time; may reduce visibility and or inconvenience you in the safe operation of your vehicle. You only need that one time reaching in your glove compartment and getting your T-shirt caught in your hanging tablet to either ruin clothing or smash into someone. Additionally, in case of an accident, I'd would like to reduce the number of things flying in the car which are mounted in front of a driver (and that includes GPS units; radar detectors etc).

My advise is do it right the first time. Once you go on the CarPC route, you should have a budget but if you have 3-500 to spend on a tablet spend another 3 and get it done right for a number of reasons, some outlined above. And if you're gonna tell me that portability and being able to take it from one vehicle to another matters; then that's what a 5 inch Tom-Tom is for.

See the CarPC thread for details. The first 20 pages should give you the idea of how to mount your screen. Mind you, you can get a screen to already fit in there http://store.mp3car.com/In_Dash_Touchscreens_s/61.htm or you may have to hack a little.

And no, a basic touchscreen interface akin to a smartphone is not gonna get you far for a CarPC. Recommend Centrafuse or RoadRunner (on the free side)

rtbrjason 11-11-2010 07:07 AM

Pretty much in agreement with F1 here.. Do it right the first time.

A tablet installation will never look or fit right in the car and any wires you plug in will be visible and in the way.

If you're just doing music/gps get one of the higher end gps units that does mp3 playback and put it in your cubby.

nemo 11-11-2010 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanoH5656 (Post 3164240)
Meh, it'a not so much that it would cost a good amount, I just don't want to get hosed by buying something on the cusp of a technological paradigm shift. Samsung's Hummingbird proccessor is on the way out and Orion is coming up quick. I don't want to blow $600 on something like that.

That's always going to be the case, though. You can always wait until and Orion based system comes out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanoH5656 (Post 3164240)
Good points on those caveats. A 32 GB SDHC is limiting for some, but I think you and I are on the same boat. And yea, android's car mode is pretty anemic but I plan on either running Navigation, Music, or Torque apps. Especially Torque.

The one thing that I loved about my CarPC, was LumberJack. It was a windows based SSM monitor. Infinitely better than ODBII. I'd love to see something ported to android, but I don't see the market.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanoH5656 (Post 3164240)
The thing I don't understand is your power control point. When I start the car I don't want to have to wait a few minutes while the software boots to post. I figured the tablet would have somewhat of an "always available" function, sit at idle for hours while the car is off, then charge via usb when the car is running and the battery needs it. I'm not sure I understand why you would need the system off at all:confused:

Well, you're right, it would be like you're phone. When it's idle, it turns the screen off. So I guess as long as you wired it to charge and configured the settings correctly, as soon as the car turned on (and in turn, started charging the tablet), the screen would turn on.

My only concern would be if you don't drive your car for a few days (I do it quite often), the battery would die and it'd have to do a full start. But if you drive the car every day, I doubt this would ever happen (except maybe during winter, if the car is parked outside for a while).

nemo 11-11-2010 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by f1anatic (Post 3164245)
ok take a chilling break back.

Grab one of these: Foxconn D510 Nettop that has more computing power than the space shuttle (mine is 4 cores, 64 bit - a wee overkill for the car right ?). It is the size of a VHS tape.

A DC-DC converter (P1900 or P2240 by Carnetix) will allow you to supply power to a wide range of PCs and smartly turn it on and turn it off. You may have to do some soldering such as to the power button to connect it to the smart power source ports. But in the case of the above unit that was easy.

Screen of your choice.

There will come a time when you will either forget to remove the tablet PC or you will feel either lazy or secure in your decision to leave it hanging there for 5 min while you run in the gas station or back to the house/office etc. In doing that you will provide an excellent opportunistic crime event. Not to mention that hanging that huge thing (the IPAD or tablet PCs) does take time; may reduce visibility and or inconvenience you in the safe operation of your vehicle. You only need that one time reaching in your glove compartment and getting your T-shirt caught in your hanging tablet to either ruin clothing or smash into someone. Additionally, in case of an accident, I'd would like to reduce the number of things flying in the car which are mounted in front of a driver (and that includes GPS units; radar detectors etc).

My advise is do it right the first time. Once you go on the CarPC route, you should have a budget but if you have 3-500 to spend on a tablet spend another 3 and get it done right for a number of reasons, some outlined above. And if you're gonna tell me that portability and being able to take it from one vehicle to another matters; then that's what a 5 inch Tom-Tom is for.

See the CarPC thread for details. The first 20 pages should give you the idea of how to mount your screen. Mind you, you can get a screen to already fit in there http://store.mp3car.com/In_Dash_Touchscreens_s/61.htm or you may have to hack a little.

And no, a basic touchscreen interface akin to a smartphone is not gonna get you far for a CarPC. Recommend Centrafuse or RoadRunner (on the free side)

You're missing two very important points here (at least for me - and I bet the OP as well):
  1. I dunno about the OP, but I already had a CarPC setup. The computer died. The rest is still laying in the car. Point is, I already have a Double DIN console, and I'd modify the console so the tablet could be mounted and it would look OEM. It wouldn't be laying out in the open on a bracket like you assumed.
  2. Like I said, I already did the CarPC thing. It was a nightmare. If I could replace all of the wiring and components with an all-in-one system running android, that's what I'm gonna do.

f1anatic 11-11-2010 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nemo (Post 3164285)
You're missing two very important points here (at least for me - and I bet the OP as well):
  1. I dunno about the OP, but I already had a CarPC setup. The computer died. The rest is still laying in the car. Point is, I already have a Double DIN console, and I'd modify the console so the tablet could be mounted and it would look OEM. It wouldn't be laying out in the open on a bracket like you assumed.
  2. Like I said, I already did the CarPC thing. It was a nightmare. If I could replace all of the wiring and components with an all-in-one system running android, that's what I'm gonna do.


You assume that I assumed that you are at the begining with the CarPC thing. I chave noted your contributions over the years in the CarPC thread. I've recently been thru the same thing: PC died (actually USB ports stopped working) and the screen died. Screen got fixed by Xenarc and I bought the D510 unit. 170 bucks; no more work but solder two wires and mount it in a smaller plastic box enclosure. In fact in about 10 minutes I am gonna take this Veteran's Day break to go install my CarPC...version 2.0 to be exact. And in fact I can teach you how to get your old Windows Operating system (with Centrafuse, SSM-3, iGuidance or whatever you are running etc) back in a new PC. That was my course of action because I did not want to fiddle with new hardware beyond minor soldering and wrenching several screws and chopping out a plastic box so I can put my new CarPC inside. It worked out so far.

MatsuDano 11-11-2010 08:03 AM

Hey f1anatic, thanks for the input. Let me clear up a few things I may have been ambiguous on:

I didn't want to leave the tablet hanging, and I guess my definition of portability is a bit vague. The initial thought was that it could be mounted the same as a 7" lcd screen like yours. At least I think this one is yours :iam:

EDIT: Woops, got the link from your official CarPC thread, but it belongs to Stage3Legacy

With similar dimensions, wouldn't the tablet also fit?

http://mysite.verizon.net/legacygt/i...cture_015s.JPG

It's really all I'm looking for, at least as a starter CarPC system (I may be able to get the tablet for free through work. They'll let me play around with it.)

But If I could get that form and fit with just basic android functionality, methinks I'll be good. At least for now.

nemo 11-11-2010 08:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by f1anatic (Post 3164323)
You assume that I assumed that you are at the begining with the CarPC thing. I chave noted your contributions over the years in the CarPC thread. I've recently been thru the same thing: PC died (actually USB ports stopped working) and the screen died. Screen got fixed by Xenarc and I bought the D510 unit. 170 bucks; no more work but solder two wires and mount it in a smaller plastic box enclosure. In fact in about 10 minutes I am gonna take this Veteran's Day break to go install my CarPC...version 2.0 to be exact. And in fact I can teach you how to get your old Windows Operating system (with Centrafuse, SSM-3, iGuidance or whatever you are running etc) back in a new PC. That was my course of action because I did not want to fiddle with new hardware beyond minor soldering and wrenching several screws and chopping out a plastic box so I can put my new CarPC inside. It worked out so far.

Well, you know what they say when you assume.... :lol:

You're a bigger man than I, though. I don't have the time anymore, nor the patience to deal with a full on CarPC. I finally got off of Centrafuse (pc couldn't handle CF3, among other reasons) and switched to RoadRunner and things started to seem better. Then it started giving me problems again. Though, it could have just been a sign that it was on it's way out, which it was.

Good luck with V2.0. I'm hoping my 2.0 is what we're talking about. I'd LOVE to be able to just shove a tablet behind my existing 2DIN (hopefully with little-to-no modifications), and be done. I intended on a more sophisticated system - for use with bluetooth, back-up cam, etc... but never got around to it, so it was mainly for smaller things like music, weather, navigation, etc. which would be perfect for an android tablet.

f1anatic 11-11-2010 09:24 AM

Ok...so screen works, but I need some skinny zip-ties and it will be back in the car within an hour. Windows does not display once it gets to the full windows interface...must be some issues with the resolution. And one of the splitters that i am using for my on-off doesn't work. and the P1900 output A to turn on-off the PC does not work. Back to installing output B onto the PSU and looking for the splitter issues.

MatsuDano 11-11-2010 10:02 AM

But that's what I'm talking about. I solve enough goofy computer problems at my job. I'd like to just be able to get in the car and play a tune >:(

I know this kind of undertaking is not for the faint of heart, especially when being done as thoroughly as you describe, methinks I may put off this project until I don't have to work 12-13 hours a day.

f1anatic 11-11-2010 10:17 AM

it took 5 months to get it in the car but i was not working on it every day. I say you will put an honest 200 work-hours in it. Or about 1 month of daily work on it for a couple of hours at a time.


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