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Old 30th March 2006, 04:57   #1
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Default Has anyone ever try a carputor, or wanted to create one?

I was wondering..how difficult would it be to create a carputor which can interact with the switches in the car and allow one display to be able to manage your computer(with music and other stuff) and A/C controls, music system and may be even talk to the ECM to take down mileage etc??
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Old 30th March 2006, 05:53   #2
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there are mini-ATX mobos, LCD screens, and DIY kits available and 12V smps available that will let you do just that.
Since your location says chicago, Just google for CAR PC and you'll find a bunch of online stores from where you can order all you need.
All the best, and do let us know if you actually get around to doing this
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Old 30th March 2006, 07:39   #3
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Back in 2000, I had built a prototype car-puter.

Used a Philips Atmel microcontroller and Schlumberger contactless smart-cards.

The project was inspired by Daimler-Benz’s “Keyless Go” product on the Mercedes S-class, which was new in 2000.

The idea was to have a contactless SmartCard peripheral interfaced to an in-car embedded computer to automatically secure the car. My prototype could autonomously wind-up and wind-down the windows and control the central locking system of my new 2000 model Daewoo Nexia.

I used a Philips MiFare ISO 14443A contactless SmartCard peripheral. It fit beautifully into an autorickshaw taillamp lens which I used as the casing. The assembly was fixed on the rear parcel shelf, flush with the rear quarter window.

The main Atmel microcontroller based motherboard was mounted in a polypropylene bread-box in the trunk.

A Schlumberger contactless smart-card presented within five inches of the rear quarter window from outside, unlocked the car and disabled the ignition immobilizer. My carputer also recorded timestamps of when the car was last used. Had to replace the driver's doorlock inside lever, with a motorized one from Autocop.

Used another Schlumberger contactless smart-card with a different digital signature-id to unlock the Nexia's trunk.

The system would also automatically windup the windows and lock the car, if the car was left unsecured for some (programmable amount of) time. One early issue that bugged me, was that after 8-hours in the hot sun, the car's battery voltage would drop below the design 11.5 V.

In summary, it was a hugely successful project, but SmartCard peripheral costs in 2000-2001 prevented me from making it a viable commercial product for India.

Last edited by Ram : 30th March 2006 at 07:54.
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Old 30th March 2006, 09:56   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram
Back in 2000, I had built a prototype car-puter.
Ram... very interesting project. But were you using the smart card for anything beyond CSN reading? How about a fingerscan now


But that doesnt fit the current concept of 'Carputer' which implies a Windows/Mac/Linux etc based PC with video/mp3/internet/gaming capabilities and other integration possibilities as mentioned by 1Day.

1Day... while installing a PC in the car is do-able, integration with the ECU etc is more complicated. There is planty of research material out there, look it up and do revert with your findings or if you need any help.
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Old 30th March 2006, 11:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbir
were you using the smart card for anything beyond CSN reading?
Reading the Card Serial Number was enough for that specific automotive prototype application. It didn't need to store data on-the-fly in the SmartCard.

But we did build several corporate access-control and loyalty/library applications that stored data on-card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbir
How about a fingerscan now?
While fingerscan readers are plentiful, cheap and come with friendly APIs, the challenge is building a military spec. application that will tolerate noisy electricals, dust, heat, humidity and milspec environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbir
But that doesn't fit the current concept of 'Carputer' which implies a Windows/Mac/Linux etc based PC with video/mp3/internet/gaming capabilities and other integration possibilities as mentioned by 1Day.
You are right, gunbir. However, you will agree that Windows, the BSD-based Mac OS and most Linuxes are very disk-intensive. And they fail miserably at doing the job of a honest-to-goodness embedded RTOS.
To be very frank, I'm leery of having a spinning hard drive in something as prone to NVH as a car. That's why I originally set aside the PC104 option, in my design.
And the market being very very price-sensitive, you have to use a highly optimized design to keep the price down.

Last edited by Ram : 30th March 2006 at 11:22.
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Old 30th March 2006, 12:16   #6
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www.mp3car.com
possibly the biggest resource for carputers. check the forums. everything from frontends & power supplies to gps & OBD is covered there. i'm currenty working on fitting one in my TATA Indigo.
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