Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > In-Car Entertainment


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 17th August 2007, 20:25   #1
BHPian
 
kousik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 201
Thanked: 36 Times
Default iRide's iPC-Lx as car PC

Hi,

Did anyone try installing CarPC System : iPC Lx as a car PC? Does it make sense to buy a `complete solution' as they claim, or build one from scratch? I know the latter would be much more fun, but given my expertise and time, I'd want to consider an almost ready to go solution. So does iPC-Lx look like a bad idea?

Being a software hacker, I want to run Linux on it. Did anyone try installing Linux kernel on it (say a fairly new one, 2.6.+) ? Will it run? I am ok tweaking the kernel, if some drivers need hacking.

regards
Kousik.
kousik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2007, 10:14   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
DerAlte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 8,076
Thanked: 2,876 Times
Default

Depends on the price that you get. Did you enquire about the bundle price?

iRide seems to be a dealer, and the whole stuff must be coming from Taiwan. One wouldn't write them off for A.S.S. but since they are only in Mumbai, that would be suspect. The greatest advantage of a 'bundle' would be that you need not run around for the parts such as DC-DC convertor, cables, etc.

Unfortunately we don't have an Akihabara or a Den Den Town in India, which would have given us off-the-shelf choices. There are quite a few Via C7 based boxes out there, which are suitable for Carputer apps.

It might be prudent to use an older Linux kernel (2.4.x or 2.5.x) instead of 2.6.x, as the latest would not give any distinct advantages over the older ones. Quite likely the drivers etc. would already be available, since the chips used are fairly common, and there would be a mature user community around it. I wouldn't be surprised if there are already some images on Source Forge or in the User Groups for that config - one just needs to ask around.

Also, perhaps a 1.8" HDD might work out better from reliability in automotive apps p-o-v - not sure if they allow user access to the innards without voiding warranty.

Last edited by DerAlte : 18th August 2007 at 10:16.
DerAlte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2007, 13:01   #3
BHPian
 
kousik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 201
Thanked: 36 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Depends on the price that you get. Did you enquire about the bundle price?
Yes. Monitor + Cabinet + Motherboard + power supply + memory + HDD + cable = Rs. 31525.00 + courier charges.
Quote:
iRide seems to be a dealer, and the whole stuff must be coming from Taiwan. One wouldn't write them off for A.S.S. but since they are only in Mumbai, that would be suspect.
Agreed. Though they promise to service it if I send it to them at Mumbai. I know that's a difficult one, and I guess I am better off repairing it locally here, provided I can source the parts.
Quote:
The greatest advantage of a 'bundle' would be that you need not run around for the parts such as DC-DC convertor, cables, etc.
That's the exact reason I was looking for a bundle; it is a pain, and given my time constraint, someone else should figure that out, and I do stuff that is interesting to me (putting together some cool software hacks, maybe).
Quote:
It might be prudent to use an older Linux kernel (2.4.x or 2.5.x) instead of 2.6.x, as the latest would not give any distinct advantages over the older ones. Quite likely the drivers etc. would already be available
They said the drivers will be available in CD shipped with the product (which includes Linux driver too) so it just should be matter of making a custom kernel. After that, I'll try something like SourceForge.net: Headunit or equivalents. Or let a GL-Based window manager run all the cool stuffs ...
Quote:
Also, perhaps a 1.8" HDD might work out better from reliability in automotive apps p-o-v .
I guess so, let me ask them again.

Thanks,
Kousik
kousik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 17:24   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
JayD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cochin! At last
Posts: 3,195
Thanked: 1,996 Times
Default

emm... what can this car pc do? iv seen some carputer setups on this forum and some can communicate with the engine giving info related to it (i think) can this one do it?
JayD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2007, 10:10   #5
BHPian
 
rishibravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 579
Thanked: 6 Times
Default

well I guess it will do what you want it to do. It can analyse the data from you ECU in an OBDII compiant car (provided you have necessary cable and software), It can play music , videos etc.... You can use it for Satellite navigation..etc etc etc...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayD View Post
emm... what can this car pc do? iv seen some carputer setups on this forum and some can communicate with the engine giving info related to it (i think) can this one do it?
rishibravo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st August 2007, 00:47   #6
BHPian
 
kousik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 201
Thanked: 36 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayD View Post
emm... what can this car pc do? iv seen some carputer setups on this forum and some can communicate with the engine giving info related to it (i think) can this one do it?
Sure it can. We can have the car pc interface with a OBD (on board diag) port of the car and display all the information. ScanTool.net has products which will convert OBD codes into serial/USB readable by the carpc.

If you have a car PC, the possibilities are endless ... imagine a geek birdwatcher's dream: you see a rare bird, take a photo, put the SD card in your carpc's usb port, edit the image, and finally post it (with precise latitude/longitude from your bluetooth GPS) to a birding group's mailing list (or flicker) using your mobile as a EDGE modem (again over bluetooth) in 5 minutes flat, without leaving your car!

Kousik
kousik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st August 2007, 01:56   #7
BHPian
 
sys_whiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, USA
Posts: 112
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

I bought some of the parts from iRide for my car PC setup(http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/diy-do...ing-stage.html). The people there are helpful and genuine.
sys_whiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th August 2007, 00:08   #8
Newbie
 
vinayind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 24
Thanked: 0 Times
Smile Me too...

I too am planning for a Car-PC for my Honda City. The parts list (or rather shopping list) is as follows -
PC Case(Quadrant-Fx)
Motherboard(Vista 1G3)
DDR RAM (1GB DDR2 533Mhz (Kingston))
HDD (120 GB Western Digital)
Displays -
1 DIN touchscreen, non-motorized(IRV-700ID)
overhead monitor / headrest LCD screens (need to decide).
OBD over USB - ELM 327 USB(Multiprotocol)
Windows XP Professional

If my calculations are correct, the whole thing must cost me around 42k, excluding the overhead/headrest displays. I already have a factory fitted Alpine music system. So as of now, I'll be using its AUX-in for audio.

As far as the software part is concerned, I'm developing my own. . Its just started. So it will take some time before it is ready. Herez a pic of the partially done main screen -

Last edited by vinayind : 24th August 2007 at 00:16.
vinayind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2007, 00:32   #9
BHPian
 
kousik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 201
Thanked: 36 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayind View Post
I too am planning for a Car-PC for my Honda City. [...]Windows XP Professional
Sounds good, your shopping list almost same as mine, except the software. I have no place for windows in my life ... I am planning to run Ubuntu Fiesty Linux in Live CD mode, booting off a memory stick, using ramdisk for most of the work, and mounting the Harddisk in readonly mode (to minimize damage). When I copy music, I'll remount in rw mode.
Quote:
As far as the software part is concerned, I'm developing my own.
That's real interesting. The screenie looks damn cool. /me too planning to develop my own, though I may not build one from scratch but take a open source one and build on top of it.
Quote:
________
You can be faster...
Don't think you are.... Know you are
Ah, another Matrix fan. Maybe we should meet sometime to exchange notes on the project?

Kousik
kousik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2007, 02:04   #10
Newbie
 
vinayind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 24
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

Sure... why not.
I decided on Windows XP because, I work with .NET and WPF (that jaazy Windows Vista stuff) as a part of my job. So I'll be able to develop my stuff faster.
In the long run, of course, I too will migrate to open source (sooner or later).
vinayind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2007, 18:56   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
DerAlte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 8,076
Thanked: 2,876 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayind View Post
Sure... why not.
I decided on Windows XP because, I work with .NET and WPF (that jaazy Windows Vista stuff) as a part of my job. So I'll be able to develop my stuff faster.
In the long run, of course, I too will migrate to open source (sooner or later).
WinXP (the DT or RT versions) is likely to be crawling on the Via C7. Win CE (Windows Mobile) is a better bet - the touch-screen integration is a natural there. And .NET too. But, why .NET? Were you planning to expose some web services? Now that wouldn't be a bad idea!

Linux, with significantly lesser overheads (especially with lighter no-frills builds), would run significantly faster.

[Kousik: R and RW mounts at different times would be a severe over-kill and likely to be an operational pain. It won't prevent the HDD from crashing on a severe jolt, since the head will float whether you select R or RW mount, as long as the disk is spinning. That's why I wanted 1.8" disks, since the head is much lighter in those drives and far less likely to be influenced by vibrations and bumps. One can always gel-mount the HDD]

Speed, per se, doesn't matter if you are not running large apps, but definitely the apparent response on the screen suffers a lot with Windoze overheads. Case in point: Windows-based seat-back entertainment systems in aircraft - Boeing's system from Rockwell-Collins goes "Huh? OK, sure, gimme a minute or two" for user clicks.

Will it be possible to put a WiFi connection to iRide's box? Of course there are some USB-based adapters, but they aren't 11g grade. That way I could upload to the unit from my home PC or laptop without having to remove it from the car.
DerAlte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2007, 01:08   #12
Newbie
 
vinayind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 24
Thanked: 0 Times
Default Windows, Wi-Fi

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
WinXP (the DT or RT versions) is likely to be crawling on the Via C7. Win CE (Windows Mobile) is a better bet - the touch-screen integration is a natural there. And .NET too. But, why .NET? Were you planning to expose some web services? Now that wouldn't be a bad idea!
Maybe WinXP may crawl on Via C7. But AFAIK, Windows CE will not run in on Via C7. Windows CE is created for use with embedded systems, and optimized for embedded projects. Via C7 is a desktop processor. So, if not WinXP, we must use some older version of Windows, maybe Windows 2000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Linux, with significantly lesser overheads (especially with lighter no-frills builds), would run significantly faster.
Although Linux can be custom built for performance on CarPC, its a laborious process, and my primary goal is to create the CarPC software. So, I really am not so enthusiastic about spending time on customizing Linux before developing the CarPC application.
Also, I'm planning to have speech recognition ahd TTS (Text To Speech) features implemented in my CarPC application. .NET 3.0 comes with Speech libraries. They have very good TTS and speech recognition libraries. I've tried them myself, and am very happy it. In Linux, we need to spend time finding and testing speech libraries even before we incorporate them into the final application.
These are some of the reasons why I want to try things first on Windows before I move over to Linux. First, I want to master the nitty gritties of creating and using a CarPC. Later I can use that knowledge to create a CarPC application in Linux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Will it be possible to put a WiFi connection to iRide's box? Of course there are some USB-based adapters, but they aren't 11g grade. That way I could upload to the unit from my home PC or laptop without having to remove it from the car.
If not a Wi-Fi card or USB based Wi-Fi, you can always use a apple airport express connected over the network port. but of course, that'll take more power and maybe a bit costly too.
And Wi-Fi will not work while driving, since there'll be lot of corrupt packets due to doppler effect on the signal. From what I know, automotive companies are working on a technology called WoW (Wireless LAN on Wheels) to support wireless LAN for ICEs. So currently Wi-Fi will be helpful only when the car is stationary.
vinayind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2007, 18:53   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
DerAlte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 8,076
Thanked: 2,876 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayind View Post
Maybe WinXP may crawl on Via C7. But AFAIK, Windows CE will not run in on Via C7. Windows CE is created for use with embedded systems, and optimized for embedded projects. Via C7 is a desktop processor. So, if not WinXP, we must use some older version of Windows, maybe Windows 2000.
No, not so. Win CE is a soft-RT system. As compared to other Win XX there is nothing embedded-ish about it, and it will happily run on C7 (MS VSe will take care of that aspect).

Desktop processor? Sure, the Vista 1G3 has C7, not C7M - which is the power-optimizing mobile version. But, the OS has nary a relationship with whether the processor is desktop or mobile, as long as it handles x86 instruction set. Power management, as supported by C7M and Pentium M (P-States, the feature that allows the CPU to dynamically reduce voltage and frequency; no, C7 and Celeron M don't have it) is exploited by the same OS. Otherwise, there would be processor specific Win XX installs!!!

Wonder why iRide is not giving MB with C7M! The Mini ITX boards are actually meant for fit-and-forget (but with AC power) applications, not mobile apps. Being able to use P-state as with laptop would be a great help in Car applications (when the engine is off).

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayind View Post
.NET 3.0 comes with Speech libraries. ... In Linux, we need to spend time finding and testing speech libraries even before we incorporate them into the final application. ... First, I want to master the nitty gritties of creating and using a CarPC. Later I can use that knowledge to create a CarPC application in Linux.
The open-source world has had usable TTS and voice recognition abilities waaayyy before Windows. I have used voice recognition on Linux 8 years back, but I had to recompile it with changes for Win CE 5 years back.

But, your approach is quite rational. We'll be waiting to hear of your travails and exploits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayind View Post
If not a Wi-Fi card ... currently Wi-Fi will be helpful only when the car is stationary.
Sure, forget Doppler-effect problems, your connection would have dropped by the time you get to 2nd gear! For that we would need WiMax - still a while away commercially. Perhaps we'll get UMTS-based decent broadband by then.
But, my point was being able to connect to the CarPC from remote, of course with the car stationary, so that I could connect and UPLOAD TO the CarPC, instead of having to DOWNLOAD FROM the CarPC.

BTW, WoW is journo-speak, not tech-speak. Journos are confusing short-distance Bluetooth with continuous connection 802.xx or UMTS transport, without realizing the objectives and means are different.

Last edited by DerAlte : 26th August 2007 at 18:54.
DerAlte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2007, 15:16   #14
Newbie
 
vinayind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 24
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
No, not so. Win CE is a soft-RT system. As compared to other Win XX there is nothing embedded-ish about it, and it will happily run on C7 (MS VSe will take care of that aspect).
Its true that CE can be run on a C7, but CE is inherently designed to use on minimalistic systems. If you see wikipedia and microsoft's page on Windows CE, they say that CE is designed to fit into a system with just 1 MB memory, and is ROMable too. Also, I went thru some whitepapers regarding the use of CE on a desktop system, and I found out that the number of processes and the amount of virtual memory are restricted on a CE platform. Thatz a drawback if I am looking of having 1GB RAM on my CarPC. Using CE, I feel, will throw up some bottlenecks.
Added to that, I have Visual Studio 2005 and it only allows me to use .NET Compact Framework for CE platforms. Thats a big drawback for me.
If you have some articles and information regarding the use of .NET 2.0/3.0 desktop version, on Windows CE the do let us know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Otherwise, there would be processor specific Win XX installs!!!
From what I know, Intel, AMD, Via all use x86 instruction set. So naturally Windows will fit with all their processors. But if the processor architecture changes, then the install build will also change. If you see Linux, they give different builds for different processor architectures. But since Windows concentrates only on x86 market, they only have to release only one build of Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
BTW, WoW is journo-speak, not tech-speak. Journos are confusing short-distance Bluetooth with continuous connection 802.xx or UMTS transport, without realizing the objectives and means are different.
WoW is already being implemented in certain automotive projects that have a release deadline of 2009 / 2010. And I know this first hand (I have been working in automotive software for the past 4 years).
vinayind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2007, 22:17   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
DerAlte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 8,076
Thanked: 2,876 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayind View Post
And I know this first hand (I have been working in automotive software for the past 4 years).
Really? Wow! Which company?
DerAlte is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 10:40.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks