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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




How-To Linux CarPC – Gentoo

Mazda3 CarPC – Linux

LinuxICE – In Car Entertainment

Carputers: Software and How-tos

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, 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


Horn from a 1998 Saturn SL1 that was in the Junkyard. I’m hoping it’s a different note than the horn I have now.

  • Black: Ground
  • Green: +12V
The Trophy Shot

The Trophy Shot

A picture of me, holding the steering column high after a fight to remove it. We got this tilt steering column since my red Corsica had no tilt steering, and no cruise control. The tilt steering columns also come with the cruise control controls on the turn signal stalk.