Thursday, November 14, 2013

CarPC ver.2 in August 2012

I decided to revise the complete CarPC setup after one year of usage.
The ver.1 setup was simply too distracting in my opinion, because the monitor placed on top of the dashboard did not blend well with the shape of dashboard.
The 7 inch LCD monitor's dimensions fit very well into a 2DIN opening. After taking a few measurements I decided to swap the head unit with LCD monitor.
First I had to fabricate a new fixture that would hold and fix the monitor in place.
The fixture consists of two pieces. One fixture part holds the monitor with 4 small screws. Another fixture part is bolted onto the console metal brace. Both fixture parts are tied together with two screws from behind.

Fabricated fixture for monitor (first fixture part).

The second fixture part with two holes.
The monitor is installed using two
screws from behind.

After a year of using the custom trackball I found it not very precise and uncomfortable. Totally useless during driving because the interior is sometimes heavily shaking on the bumpy roads. An upgrade was needed. For replacing the trackball I decided to try out a touch pad ring mouse, which I have customized to suit my application.


After customizing:
Custom parts before assembly.
Assembled custom touch pad ring mouse. 

Front view.
The mouse pad is suspended on a small spring thus making the controlling of PC comfortable even during riding, and because the laser is tracking the finger movement directly, the accuracy is better. 

During the first two years of ownership I have found myself a few times in situation, especially when parallel parking, when I could not precisely judge the distance to the car behind me because of the big Type R wing in the rear and narrow rear view. Having a car PC on board made me think about adding a reversing camera that would be very useful in these situations. The reversing camera had to be small, light with no more than one cord. These criteria were met only by web cameras. For my project I purchased a generic webcam and replaced the lens with a wide angle lens, that gives a nice 140 Degree view.
I installed the camera during the car restoration period, when I had the rear bumper disassembled.

The camera is watertight thanks to the silicone sealant. 

This is how the camera is fixed behind the bumper. The USB cable goes 
through the rubber grommet inside to the car.

Reverse camera installed.

The next question to solve was how am I going to play the video from camera automatically when selecting the R gear. The solution is hardware and software based. When selecting the R gear, the back up lights go on. The 12V source from lights is the input to trigger the camera. To convert the analog voltage to digital input I needed some sort of data acquisition device (DAQ). For this purpose I have purchased a simple DAQ DIY kit consisting of all electronic components and main pcb. After assembling it together the DAQ pcb worked perfectly. The board can read up to 4 analog channels and one temperature channel. So I added an external ambient temperature sensor as a bonus. The 12V voltage has to be first reduced to approx 3.5-4.5V using a simple resistor bridge. This voltage is interpreted as binary 1 (lights on). Everything below 2.5V is binary 0 (lights off). These states can be read through USB via sending commands from a custom software periodically.

Data acquisition electronic board.

During browsing the web I discovered a simple DLC diagnostic interface with software, which was able to read data from the stock Honda ECU, OBD0 and OBD1. It worked fine but it was a very simple software, and the interface worked only with an old COM port on the pc or laptop.

Simple DLC diagnostic software.

It wasn't enough for the purposes of my CarPC project and certainly not very attractive as digital dashboard.

Therefore I decided to do my own app, the Hondash, which is now available to download. For more details
click on Hondash developer's blog.


Hondash prototype 2013.

Swapping the head unit with monitor made me think where to put the head unit. I found only one good place, underneath the glove box. The problem is that the radio is too far from reaching in this position, thus making the controlling during riding impossible. Fortunately I needed only two functions, the volume control and on-off control. This is done by only one button so the solution was simply to relocate this button. I decided to swap the button with the cigarette lighter socket. Worked like a charm.

Swapped radio control button.


Currently I am working on project plans for CarPC ver. 3, but this will be done in summer 2014 at earliest. Stay tuned.

CarPC youtube video:

CarPC software youtube video:

66 comments:

  1. What software did u use to make ur own dash display? How many head unit did u have to replace?

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    1. I used delphi 2007 for developing the win32 application. I'm not sure if I understand your second question correctly. I just replaced one headunit. The car had a standard aftermarket headunit installed from previous owner which I replaced with the headunit from Kia Sportage.

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  2. Im about to trade in my prelude for an ITR, what are the chances of me getting one of these for it? I wish I were technologically capable of this but it seems like a lot more work than I could justify. How much money do I have to throw at you to get one? lol

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    1. You're right there is a lot of work to be done. Therefore I'm currently working on a wireless interface and software version for android. So basically everything you gonna need is an android tablet or android smartphone and you get every feature of my software without the hassle. I'm also going to make wired USB version for windows PC, which of course would need either a laptop with windows OS or something like my CarPC.
      Though I am not going to make any DIY kit for CarPC project, jut the interfaces and software as I described. They will be available to purchase. So stay tuned and follow my YT channel or this blog. I'm going to announce more details about it soon.

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    2. +1 subscriber. Id be down with a sick app that could show all the same stuff, but it doesnt look nearly as nice as a super clean double den radio. Nice job with all the work too, looks really clean

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    3. I think the android app is going to be a very good alternative. I have a prototype wireless interface already running the only thing left to do is to port the win32 app to android compatible code. I'll create an affiliate blog covering this topic in a few weeks. It will be accessible via top menu of this blog.

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  3. Thos is incredible i cant wait for the program to come out. Can you give us and ETA for it ? And would i still need the doctronic interferences for it ? Are yoi still able to play music on it ?

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    1. It will be a complete product, wireless or USB interface + software, you won't need anything else except for a android smartphone/tablet or windows pc.
      Currently I am in testing phase of both interface prototypes and completing the software for windows.
      The android version is still a subject of development.
      I'd say the prototypes and windows version of the software will be ready in approx. 2 months. The android version will take probably 4 months, in this year summer.
      Yes I can still play music on my carpc, it is connected via 3.5mm jack to the headunit.

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  4. That's really exciting, i was seriously going to start building one, but i think itll be better if i wait till your version comes out. Would it only work for those interfaces, could it possibly work in a pioneer or Kenwood touch screen indash. Are you going to give options for GPS and rear view camera ?

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  5. The android version will be controlled via touch control like every other android app.
    The windows version is currently based strictly on mouse control (However this may change in the future). The touchscreens may be backward compatible with it if they can emulate left and right mouse click.
    The GPS option will be available for android and windows as well, the GPS in my software works only as as additional speed measuring device. The GPS will be also used for speedometer data reading calibration.
    As for the windows version, currently I don't have any plans to include rear view camera, because mine is based on web camera. The commercial rear view cameras today are not based on webcam technology so they wouldn't work at all. They support only analog tv output, not the usb image transfer as webcam. However if the demand for including the support for such rear cams will be high enough I may implement it in the future.
    The android version will not support rear view cameras.

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    Replies
    1. Am currently using a DLC/USB module who can read the data from the DLC (based on the Doctronic function) .You will use the standard protocol Honda ? and your software for windows will be compatible with mine (module)?

      PS : if you have an trial version i will be happy to test on my PC onboard.

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    2. Yes the software is based on the standard Honda protocol, but I can not guarantee the compatibility with your module. I purchased the DLC-COM doctronic interface myself two years ago. It is also based on the standard Honda protocol but it uses a simple encryption algorithm in combination with programmable chip to scramble the input and output. Although my software for doctronic interface uses this algorithm as well in order to be able to work with the doctronic interface, in the case of my own interfaces I will use the Honda protocol in its original form, without scrambling. Therefore the doctronic interface will be not directly compatible with my software.
      When my software is ready you can try it out, it will be free to download as a trial version. You can try it out.

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    3. The old version of my software, the version I used to made the video presentation, was compatible with the doctronic interface. But I stopped developing this version a year ago, it was just an experimental version. The future versions will be compatible only with my USB/Wireless interfaces or interfaces that don't encrypt the data.

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  6. Hi thanks for you reply per mail,

    So if i understand right you are working on a andriod version ? (Wich be awesome!!!)
    I have a question will your trail version be pc based or andriod based? And will it be possible to mod the program to add some own features (Am keeping it private) but willing to share per private message or whatsapp.

    I would love to have a trail version and i would be you first customer to pay you for it if you make it for android :)

    Greetings from Honda nut.

    John Kirby,

    www.spunk-performance.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the android version will be available in combination with the wireless interface. You will just pair the smartphone with the interface and run the app.
      The windows and android versions both will have a trial version, it will be a full version running in evaluation mode if you don't enter a serial code.
      I don't have any plans to release the source code. So it will be not available to mod.
      The software will have some degree of customizations, the graph layouts etc.
      Any new features will be added upon request. You can suggest the features you would like to see right now.

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  7. Hello juat checkng how the project is coming along any advaxnces ? Possibly a beta version ?

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    1. Hi,
      I'm finalizing the windows version currently and field-testing the wireless prototype. It looks good for now.
      I'm planing to release the windows version as a final version, no beta. Of course this version will be updated if any bugs get discovered or new features will be requested.
      The Windows version should be available for download within 6 weeks.
      The android version is still in concept stage.

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  8. I'm really curious to see the wireless interface for non-OBD2 ECU.. And of course your android and windows version (even if I'd rather see and RasperryPi one).. And since your open to requests, eventually I would like to have other (external) inputs, like oil temp and pressure..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For now, the windows and android version has the highest priority, other versions might come if the demand is high enough. For external input like oil temp, etc. you need a standalone data acquisition device, something like I am using for reverse gear input. This device has to communicate through additional channel, a bluetooth channel or USB, this channel must be accessible in operating system, preferably as a virtual COM port. If these requirements are met, than it will be just a question of correct setup in settings tab of my software.

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    2. thats seems fairly easy, at least in windows.. Do you have ETA for the android version? And price range?

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    3. I'd like to have Android version up and running during summer period, july - september, Release time depends on many factors, can't estimate better ETA right know.
      For the android version to be able to read oil, temperature extra sensors, one would have to hook up a data acquisition device that is able to communicate with Android via bluetooth. In other words, the extra sensors hooked up to an analog/digital converter with wireless data input/ouput.
      Prices of interfaces not yet determined, USB interface will be cheaper, less components, easier to manufacture. The sotware will be available for free.

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    4. I guess an Arduino would do the interfacing just fine.. Still looking forward for wireless interface, but an USB one won't be such a bigger problem to conceal..

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    5. USB interface would be definitely a better choice in case of a carputer project, the only problem is the USB driver, its only for Windows, don't know about other operating systems. The manufacturer of USB chip that is part of my USB interface has driver only for Windows. In contrary the wirelesses Interface doesn't require nothing else than a Bluetooth radio receiver on particular computing device, because it's got required drivers already incorporated by manufacturer of that device.

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    6. I've never seen, aside from ultra expensive ( >600€ ) wireless modules that could easily communicate with the original ECU of the ITR... For OBD2 its stupid simple...

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    7. True, OBD2 has so many cheap Chinese interfaces, you can choose from many manufacturer, but in case of Honda it's a different story, totally weird. Probably they don't have any interest in pre-OBD2 cars, especially Honda, because the market is much smaller compared to OBD2 cars. Nonetheless my interface will be an affordable compact solution for a fraction of that price.

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  9. In my Integra I have Hondata that have an usb port, if you make and sell this Virtual Dashboard for android in the app store that is compatible with the Hondata will be awesome and useful

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    Replies
    1. I'm planning to add Hondata compatibility later, probably the next year when I get ahold of Hondata ECU. But it may be compatible even without doing Hondata specific compatibility update if the Honda protocol hasn't been changed on the stock DLC port.

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  10. How can i get updates? Can i subscribe to a newsletter or something?

    Because i dont wanna missout on any info or updates :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I was thinking about it. I'm going to create a facebook page or G+ plus page soon.
      Anyway, at this time it's good enough to have a RSS reader enabled for my blog, when I'll have something new to say I'll post it here and the RSS reader will instantly notify you about new updates. You can also follow this blog by Email, you register your email using the top right input box, which says "Follow this blog by Email". Also If you click the Home button (top left of this page) you will always see the latest posts. When the Facebook page or G+ page is up I'll post info about it on my blog.

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  11. You get all the information from OBD? Or also you are using additional analog/digital inputs?

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    1. All information is read from OBD data stream. I use additional analog inputs just for ambient temperature measurement and reverse gear detection.

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    2. Maybe you can give a link to a boards, which measuring analog inputs? I found one, but just digital inputs and only 4 :(

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    3. My board has integrated internal temperature sensor and one plug for external sensor, in addition it has 4 analog/digital inputs. It doesn't matter if they are described as analog or digital, what matter is how the voltage is interpreted by the chip-set. For example I use one input as digital, when it senses more than 2V voltage it sets logical high "1" then I know the rear gear is engaged. When I want to switch on the shift-light LED connected to other pin I send logical high "1" to output, it sets the output pin to 5V. In reality all I/O pins are analog as they work with analog voltage, the chip-set processing the voltages makes it look as digital for the software which communicates through them.
      I bought mine from Ebay 3 years ago, try serching on Ebay with these keywords : "weather" "data acquisition" "USB"

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  12. Hi, I'm a massive fan of your car pc project and especially the virtual dash software you have developed. Is there any update on the windows application and when it might be ready. Many thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, I have to apologize for not being able to release the application during this month. I had to postpone the development of the application, but it's 100% coming, ETA for Windows app is set for end of July now, the Android app ETA end of Summer.
      At this time I can confirm that the Wireless interface prototype is working flawlessly, so the hardware is ready for production, only the windows app needs a few tweaks, to make it more user friendly.
      As always, if there's something new I'll post a message on this blog so follow this blog and stay tuned. Thanks.

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  13. Hi . I don't remenber if on windows app it's will be possible to record data and replay later ? My car pc is currently in windows xp,software will be compatible with in ? Thanks for all .

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    1. Yes the data-logging will be possible, I have this feature on the "To Do" list. The software is 100% compatible with Windows XP, but the software also needs an OpenGL capable graphic card and driver, but this is a standard in every pc nowadays, it should be fine.

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  14. Hi guys, the windows version needs a little more time, 2 weeks more. Sorry for the delay.

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    1. No problem, for me anyway.. And the android version?

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    2. The Android version release date is still unchanged, coming out at the end of summer 2014.

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    3. Thanks , my ITR still waiting :)

      http://hpics.li/5351a8c

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    4. Is that an Italian licence plate? Mine used to have one lol, and I belive that Miloš's ITR also did (not sure)

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    5. Yep, my ITR was originaly sold on Italy, and I imported it to Slovakia in 2010.

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    6. Mine was imported from German to France . Only white championchip was sold in France.

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  15. Mine was also sold in Italy and imported back in 2007 to Portugal ;) ITR#1536

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    Replies
    1. So our ITR's share similar history :)

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    2. indeed, but ended up in opposite sides of Europe ;)

      PS just noticed now that I replied on the wrong place...

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  16. Replies
    1. Sorry for the delay, I'm still working on it though, there was so much things that I had to re-code, but I'm getting very close to finish, just a few days and the first v1.0.0 version will be done, then I will create a developer blog with all information about the app and communication interfaces.
      I really targeted the 30th July release date but currently I think it won't be released sooner than 30th August. So hold on a bit longer, it's coming for sure ;-)

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    2. I will not be at home until the 2 september , take your time ^^. Thanks for all.

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  17. Thanks for the update, please take your time no rush :)

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    1. I underestimated the amount of work that had to be done. Anyway right now I just have to finish some coding of the settings menu, hunt some bugs down and create a developer blog. I hope I will finish it until the end of this week.

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    2. Encoding is never easy thats something i learnd when designing and building webshops :P

      Hope the blog is online soon because alot of people could take work of your hands so you can concentrate on new stuff ;)

      Thisblog makes my feel like santa is coming early this year :P

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  18. Really nice project, I love it, I have a CarPC isntalled in my car (Fiat Stilo JTD).
    What you do with the sound? Carpc direct to amp or you have a radio?

    Greetz

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  19. Hi, the CarPC audio output is connected via 3.5 jack directly to a radio aux input. No extra amp hooked up. The radio is rated at 2x40 + 2x60 watt.

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  20. Hi, very interesting project. I think a lot of Teg owners will be interested by your soft and communication interfaces.
    Any update ?
    BTW, the main page of the blog is not updated since a while, and visitors can't know you are developping and will release this project if they don't dig the CAR PC subject from 2013 ;-).

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi,
    you're right, there hasn't been update for a while, because I've been very busy not just with the app development but also with a CarPC version 3 prototype. Alright, I'll make a new post about developing progress, to keep everyone up to date. Anyway the windows app is like 98% done now.

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  22. Again, it's a very nice project, and thanks to you to work hard on it ;-) .
    You will be the only one who made a "Sexy" interface for ITR monitoring, adding the genious possibility to run it on Android devices !
    So, i'm really excited to try it :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it, and to make it more clear, this app will work on any Honda OBD1 and OBD2A ECU, not just the ITR :). The Android version has a very high priority on my checklist, though I suppose It won't be released until the end of this year.

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    2. Yes, android is important nowadays :).
      I posted the blog url on team-integra.net , to share your project , sure it will interest lot of owners ;-).

      Cheers,
      Varde

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    3. Thank you. I appreciate that. I hope to get the android version working as soon as possible.

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  23. Just another 0.5% to go ...... Hope it will be ready for under the Christmas tree :-)
    I am very curious about the hardware; Can you tell more about it ?
    Peter

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    Replies
    1. now, I don't know if you talk about the carpc, or communication interface, anyway the interface is a small piece of hardware, that plugs into the 3pin DLC connector and establishes wirelesses communication between the car ECU and computer/smart phone, which is able to run the communication application. The windows app will be finished the next week.

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  24. Hondash is available now!
    http://hondashapp.blogspot.com/

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  25. I'll keep on hold till the android version. (or if I give up and install a carPC, the newer PC sticks don't look bad)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah the Android version will be definitely the flagship of the entire Hondash project.

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