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Category: Car Projects

My Car Projects

Carputer Ideas

Carputer Ideas

Here are a few of my scribblings on what could go into a carputer that I’ll be building. Don’t expect it to be coherent or make much sense.

  1. Basic Computer (VIA C3 667Mhz [Bought])
    1. Hard Drive (Mounted on its side!)
      1. Laptop Hard Drive [Have] (Vibration-Resistance)
      2. Regular Hard Drive with vibration damper (rubber or springs)
    2. Monitor
      1. LCD Display, 6-7″ (EPSON 6″ LCD Monochrome [Bought])
        1. Need Controller
        1. Touchscreen?
      2. LCD Display, 13.3″ (Sharp LQ13X02C, from Dell Latitude CPi [Have]) 
        1. Need Controller
        1. Vertical display replacing center console?
        2. Replace the center panel with screen, and have computer- or PIC-managed temperature control
      3. LCD Display, 2×16 Characters (Dashboard) [Have]
      4. Nokia 3310 LCD (HUD) [Have]
    3. Music Storage/Playback
      1. Aux In on head unit
    4. Hacked Kenwood CD Changer Interface?
  2. Inputs
    1. PS/2 Laptop Touchpad w/2 buttons [Have, from Dell Latitude CPi]
    2. IR Keyboard [Have, from MSNTV2]
  3. Car Alarm
    1. Interface
    2. PIC-Based
  4. GPS [Bought]
    1. GPS Trip Display on LCD
    2. GPS Trip Logs
    3. Wardriving
  5. Webcam(s) [Need] (IR Lights for nighttime driving)
    1. Video Recording
      1. Sync against GPS for speed+heading overlay in a process later
      2. Rolling buffer: Button press to save X minutes of video
    2. License Plate Recognition
      1. Sync against GPS for database of where/when’s
    3. Back-Up Warning System (Wired to reverse lights)
      1. OR Ultrasonic Sensor for back up warning
    4. Car Alarm That Takes Pictures
  6. Wifi Antenna [Have]
    1. Wardriving
      1. Kismet (Win/Linux)
      2. Netstumbler (Win)
    2. Auto-Upload of trip telemetry to Home Server later
    3. Send files through ssh/vpn tunnel through open AP’s?
  7. WRTSL54GS [Have]
    1. Kismet Drone OR Server
    2. Automatic Open-Wifi Connector
  8. OBD-II Interface (Kit or Chip)
    1. Digital Telemetry
      1. Speedometer
      2. Tachometer
      3. Trouble Codes
      4. Temperatures
      5. “Digital Dashboard”
  9. Directional Microphone [Have]
    1. Voice Recognition
  10. Power
    1. DC-DC Converter [Bought]
    2. Inverter [Have]

[Bought]: Bought specifically for this project
[Have]: Had from another project, or just had laying around.

MP3Car Wiki

Multi-Antenna

Mini-Keyboard

X-Car

How-To Linux CarPC – Gentoo

Mazda3 CarPC – Linux

LinuxICE – In Car Entertainment

Carputers: Software and How-tos

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

This is a shot of it while it was still in the junkyard car, but that’s it against the firewall, with 10 wires coming out of it. It’s held on with 2 bolts, and has a throttle cable going from the stepper motor inside that module to the throttle body.

Emergency Brake Handle

Emergency Brake Handle

Since the Emergency Brake handle in the car had fallen apart (the screw came out, and the button came off the plastic stalk, which fits inside the metal stalk), it was fixed, to my surprise, with just the parts shown. (Actually, all it needed was the button, spring, and screw, but it came as a set.)

To my surprise, after installing the plastic stalk, (it took a little coercing) the park brake worked. I had suspected from the description of ‘parking brake not working’ that the cable had seized, but lucky me, it was only the handle button (or lack thereof).

Power Trunk Lock

Power Trunk Lock

A power trunk lock solenoid installed where there was none before. It slipped right on, and bolted right down. All I need to do is run a wire to a switch inside the car.

Rebuilt 3100 Engine

Rebuilt 3100 Engine

A freshly rebuilt engine, since rebuilding the existing one would have cost about $900, and this rebuilt engine ran about $1200. It came with all the gaskets and an oil pump. Some of the sensors can be reused, but some of the really dirty ones probably need replacement. I’d rather use new stuff than risk contamination with dirty parts.

Auto-Dimming Rear-View Mirror

Auto-Dimming Rear-View Mirror

I got this mirror from a junkyard Cadillac Eldorado.

The wiring harness has 3 wires. According to diynetwork.com, there should be a Power, Ground and Reverse Light wire. The Reverse Light wire is so that the dimming is turned off while going in reverse.

  • Power: Magenta/Black +12V
  • Ground: Black
  • Reverse: Green +12V