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Old 6th December 2012, 15:06   #1
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Default Another Car PC in a Safari!

Hello,

From a long time I was in the process of installing a PC in my TCIC Safari, in the mean time I sold my old Safari and bought a 3.0L Dicor. So, the project which was delayed due to lack of components further delayed. It was lst month when I got all the required components for the PC the list goes as follows:

1) Monitor : VM70 Touch Screen from short-circuit.com

2) PSU : 160W Intelligent Car PSU from short-circuit.com

3) DIY Acrylic Case: This was the most difficult and dirty job in this whole process, I fabricated the CPU case myself using Acrylic sheet. Initially I tried to cut it with no success and after breaking a few of the sheets, I gave-up and went to a nearby carpenter who did it in half hour. Now, after all the pieces were cut, I had 2 options either using nut-bolts/brackets to make the case or use some adhesive which would be strong enough to survive in the Indian road conditions. After trying to stick and make the case with feviquick, mseal,... what not. with no success I headed a last time in the market and found Araldite and it did its job in 5 minutes. Although for a good bonding the case has tobe left untouched for 24 hours. Then drilled the holes and mounted the components which was a far clean and easy job.

4) Cables : 5m VGA for 300 Rs, 5m USB for 200 Rs, 2mm wire around 50 ft for 250 Rs.

5) Active USB Hub (500 rs Enter company)

6) 1 to 3 Cigarette lighter splitter

7) DIY Aux-in cable.


Tested and installed the PC in my car a few days ago, The installation took close to 4 hours, the cables and wires were routed from behind the dash, then below the carpet to the back of LHS side-seat. There were a few hole which were needed tobe drilled and I did'nt liked it, but had to do as it was a no OEM fitment! The PC fired up in first attempt and I was the most happiest persons standing there amongst others who had gathered there to see a idiot who was fitting a PC in a car, it was a new concept for them and I was amused a few times to answer their questions, At sometimes they even stared at me untill I started feeling embarrassed.

I am using Intel Atom D425KT motherboard + processor combo, purchased it from Flipkart for some 3500 INR. The memory id DDR3 4 GB Transcend. This processor does the job of booting Windows XP from hibernation in 8-10 seconds and consumes less than 90W when at full load.

Right now the softwares I am using are:

OS: Windows XP, less space consuming plus I thought that this might also consume less memory thereby helping in increasing the speed, don't know if this actually happens or I should have gone for Windows 7 or even Win 8 which would have been an ideal choice for a carputer. Please help on this issue!

Front-end: Going nowhere else its Centrafuse 4.0 ver. But I am having a problem, Centrafue does'nt plays DRM! When I try to play DRM files it gives invalid artist error at the top of the screen.

Core-temp: For monitoring the temperature of CPU but it has some problem shows 0 degrees most of the time, Please suggest a good hardware monitoring software, any reviews on HWmonitor?


Coming to the point, the installer (my usual car electrician) took 1000 INR for the whole work rest let the pictures do the talking:
















Some more pictures of working carputer taken at night:















The whole project costed me around 14K INR till now, in future with added components this might finally cost me around 20K complete.

Unsolved queries:

1) How could I monitor the temperature, rpm of engine on my pc? I have seen a couple of carputers here on team-bhp having that facility. I own a 3.0L dicor.

2) Is a bluetooth handsfree car kit necessary? Any tips on which one would be good plus cost effective, how to install, I am complete dumb in this regard.

3) Cost of adding a rev cam!

4) How to make a infrared remote to change tracks paying on centrafuse.

Next step is adding a GPS receiver then a USB DVD drive, possibly a bluetooth.

Thanks.

Last edited by mercedised : 7th December 2012 at 21:31.
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Old 8th December 2012, 00:48   #2
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the ICE - DIY section. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 8th December 2012, 08:04   #3
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Thanks, I forgot to thank DrAlte and nc1bad for their support, without you guys, it was difficult.
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Old 8th December 2012, 12:27   #4
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Thank you for sharing this. I can see that you're passionate about the setup and it must be great to have it working just the way you want it to. However, the whole setup looks crude at the moment. You need a new installer who will take pride in his work.

I don't know if that dash can now be returned to its original condition since I see its been drilled for cabling as well as screws. The screws are sticking out as well.

Why don't you get a dash kit and mount the monitor in that. Also tuck away the USB hub and charger kit elsewhere. Why have it all on the dash. It's going to be a rattle magnet very soon. Also the exposed wires etc will inevitably snag sooner or later when somebody is sitting next to it. Especially if you have kids in the front seat.

Mount the CPU securely and ensure its protected from dust and is adequately cooled. Do not leave it like this with cables et all exposed.

The good thing is that you have the kit now. Work towards a clean stealth install and it would look awesome. Plus the system would be reliable on the longer run if its not this exposed.

As for OS, is the display touch enabled? Windows 8 is ruled out because the minimum requirements for the touchscreen or gesture pad dont make sense in a car. Win7 would be a good option. Its relatively memory efficient as well. Also look at linux if you're comfortable with it.

And check these out for input devices - (The first one is cheaper if bought locally. These guys ship from the US I think.)

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Portable-2-4G...item3f19c8290b

http://www.ebay.in/itm/USB-Measy-RC1...item2324f032bb

Looking forward to your project!

Last edited by Tassem : 8th December 2012 at 12:28.
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Old 8th December 2012, 15:03   #5
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassem View Post
T
And check these out for input devices - (The first one is cheaper if bought locally. These guys ship from the US I think.)

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Portable-2-4G...item3f19c8290b

http://www.ebay.in/itm/USB-Measy-RC1...item2324f032bb

Looking forward to your project!
Thanks for the suggestions. Although I would like to clear a few things:

1) I tried fitting the monitor with double tape but it would vibrate too much on the bad roads and may come out, the only thing that could have been done was either screw it or as you suggested a kit for dash mount which I did'nt even had in mind! The screws popping out, they are keot like that intentionally by me as tightening them fully might crack the dash. I would surely give a try to the dash mount kit in the future as the finance permits.

2) Yes, the USB hub and the cigarette lighter kit are not mounted as they should be but I could'nt find a better location for them. Their position was fixed after alot of trial and error, the feets don't touch the cigarette lighter and USB hub even in the full forward position, they do look bad at their positions but they are serving their purpose and are more ergonomical at that place. Moreover, If you can suggest a better place for these things I would be glad to shift them.

3) The display is touch enabled.

4) Could you explain a little on what you found bad in the cabinet? I found it the mose secure position tobe inside after researching alot.

5) As for the dash returning to its original position yes it could'nt be returned to original position but I could atleast hide them with either antislip matt in the case I remove this setup which would not be going to happen untill I sell the car!

6) Exposed wires do look bad! I am also in the process of hiding them. Please suggest if you have a better idea.

Again many thanks for your suggestions.

Last edited by mercedised : 8th December 2012 at 15:04.
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Old 8th December 2012, 15:56   #6
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Congratulations on the set-up, looks good

However I did have a question, What all functions of the car can be accessed by the car-pc??
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Old 8th December 2012, 16:55   #7
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Default

For monitoring the Car engine temp etc., you need to connect the PC to the OBD port of the car. This can be done via Bluetooth or a USB cable. A compatible software would then be able to display a sea of information
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Old 8th December 2012, 19:50   #8
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

@mercedised:
1> For monitoring the vitals of your car, search for some Free OBD software.
don't know much about OBD on diesel engines, but i think they should be standard.

2> A bluetooth handsfree speaker phone is not really necessary [AFAIK any form of communication via a mobile device in a car is illegal]
advantages of a bluetooth Handsfree are that you can easily answer calls and actually hear what the other person is saying without any impediment.
disadvantages of a bluetooth handsfree is that everyone in the car can hear the whole conversation and butt in.

You can pair your phone with your computer and possibly use the computer to answer calls. [using the mic and speakers]

3> Cost of a reverse camera: the camera itself is not too pricey [i think they start as low as Rs. 1500].
Does your monitor have an extra "composite in" for the reverse camera?
Can you easily switch between sources [PC Rev Cam]

If your monitor does not have a composite in then it will be more expensive to solve.. and a lot more painful to implement

4> i don't see how a cost effective IR remote can be made. what you can do is make your Car PC a WiFi access point and let other people use their smartphones to remotely access your music player to change the music
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Old 8th December 2012, 21:01   #9
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassem View Post
... Why don't you get a dash kit and mount the monitor in that. ...
The Safari center console doesn't have any place for that. The HU slot is 1DIN at the bottom of the console, a 7" monitor needs 2DIN space. What *could* have worked is a 1DIN retractable monitor, but a. that would mean replacing the HU, and b. those are not available in India. Even in US the ones that are available are Pyle and such - bad quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
... OBD port of the car. This can be done via Bluetooth or a USB cable. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprucegoose View Post
... don't know much about OBD on diesel engines, but i think they should be standard ...
The Safari DICOR OBD is an older version (K-line; older Delphi ECU) - none of the ELM-327 clones work with it. There is a Chinese unit that apparently works, but it is a standalone unit - no interface to a PC.
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Old 8th December 2012, 23:11   #10
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprucegoose View Post
@mercedised:
2> A bluetooth handsfree speaker phone is not really necessary [AFAIK any form of communication via a mobile device in a car is illegal]
advantages of a bluetooth Handsfree are that you can easily answer calls and actually hear what the other person is saying without any impediment.
disadvantages of a bluetooth handsfree is that everyone in the car can hear the whole conversation and butt in.
If I use a PC to answer the call would'nt it be the same as a bluettoth kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
The Safari DICOR OBD is an older version (K-line; older Delphi ECU) - none of the ELM-327 clones work with it. There is a Chinese unit that apparently works, but it is a standalone unit - no interface to a PC.
Thanks, could you give me some hints on what would work here? I mean which interface/connector cable or what should be used?
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Old 8th December 2012, 23:52   #11
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Originally Posted by mercedised View Post
Core-temp: For monitoring the temperature of CPU but it has some problem shows 0 degrees most of the time, Please suggest a good hardware monitoring software, any reviews on HWmonitor?
You can use Core Temp by Arthur Lieberman for this. I have attached a screen shot here.
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Old 8th December 2012, 23:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercedised View Post
Thanks, could you give me some hints on what would work here? I mean which interface/connector cable or what should be used?
Did you try asking the Tata service guy? They always say they use a laptop to tune the engine or check ECU. If the s/w they use is some kind of OEM stuff it may be available on the internet somewhere.
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Old 9th December 2012, 10:09   #13
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Default Re: Another Car PC in a Safari!

Quote:
Originally Posted by srinih75 View Post
You can use Core Temp by Arthur Lieberman for this. I have attached a screen shot here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by srinih75 View Post
Did you try asking the Tata service guy? They always say they use a laptop to tune the engine or check ECU. If the s/w they use is some kind of OEM stuff it may be available on the internet somewhere.
Thanks, I have tried core temp. but it just shows ) degrees! Will do uninstall and install again and see it.

I will talk to the TASC guy and see if he can give me that software.
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