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1984-1989 1.5 DIN Car Computer project

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Old 02-20-2017, 03:16 AM
  #21  
LWesthaver
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Starting to get the video/audio player subsystem integrated into my touch-screen interface. I've still got a ways to go but it is playing video now!

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Old 02-20-2017, 04:31 AM
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That looks fantastic so far, what resolution is the touch screen ?
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:37 AM
  #23  
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Looking great so far. Nice project. You have some MAD skills.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LWesthaver View Post
I hope to share everything I'm doing. That includes CADD drawings of the chassis, parts lists and suppliers, schematics, and source code.

-Wes
Hello Maker! Bill "Kael" the Fixer here, I'm really terrible at creating but I fix well. Also a gray beard Linux admin.

Project looking good.
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by convas View Post
That looks fantastic so far, what resolution is the touch screen ?
Thanks.

The display is a 800h x 480v resolution, 5" diagonal touch-screen.
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:15 PM
  #26  
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Time to check in again. I've been working more on the integration of the OMXPlayer into my car-puter application. I've got both the MP3 player and the Video player apps working.

The Raspberry Pi comes with a really powerful media player called "OMXPlayer". It's powerful, but it's a command-line application so it needs to run from a terminal window or a background shell process.

I've managed to figure out a way to launch the OMXPlayer as a background process and then control it by sending it D-BUS commands. This has worked out pretty well.

The OMXPlayer does a great job of playing audio and video files and it exploits the powerful video hardware included in the Raspberry Pi.

My MP3 player application is now extracting the album artwork, artist name, album name, and song title from the MP3 file and the OMXPlayer is playing the file.

In the demo video below, it appears that my application is playing a video but what is actually happening is the OMXPlayer is launched and its video portal is positioned over a blank area on my application window. It's a total fake-out. But the overall effect is that it appears that my application is playing the video. This is precisely what I wanted.



More videos/pictures etc. to follow as this project moves forward.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:59 PM
  #27  
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Some minor revisions to the user interface:


I'm trying out a new sound card for the Raspberry Pi. The built-in audio is pretty awful. The new sound card is a lot cleaner and much better clarity. But as always, there are some technical hurdles that I need to address.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:25 AM
  #28  
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I've been moving forward with this project assuming that my Raspberry Pi system could be connected *somehow* to the original BOSE amplified speakers.

Today I finally had a chance to get the Corvette into the garage to disassemble the dashboard, remove the old BOSE head unit and begin experimenting.



Since there's no documentation that I can find that describes what kind of audio signal is provided by the BOSE head unit or what the BOSE amplified speakers are expecting as input, I thought I'd try driving them with a typical "line level" audio signal provided by my iPod Nano.

Surprisingly it worked and worked well. I could vary the volume of the BOSE speakers by adjusting the iPod Nano volume. The sound was actually very good with a good volume range.

So, a question I've had for many years has been answered. The BOSE system uses "line level" audio between the head unit and the speakers.

The video below is a demo of the iPod Nano driving the BOSE amplified speakers:



I did have to provide 12 volts to the BOSE speaker amplifier relay to activate the BOSE speakers. The red wire (coming through the drivers door from the car battery) and clipped to the pink wire is activating the relay. The other connections (clip leads in blue connector) are the audio from the iPod nano to the rear speakers (left, right and common).

I also tried driving the front speakers similarly with success.



And just for fun (now that I have the dash apart) here's a view of what this system might look like when it's installed:


Last edited by LWesthaver; 04-18-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:09 AM
  #29  
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Thanks for sharing those infos.
Saving my time.

Looks good.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:41 AM
  #30  
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I'm so excited to watch this project come together! Very cool Wes! SO VERY COOL!
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:24 PM
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I think that moving the LCD closer to the driver location might be a good idea for ergonomics. I noticed above you had the LCD in the middle. It looks aesthetically pleasing in that loceation, but which is more important?
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Photoguy000 View Post
I'm so excited to watch this project come together! Very cool Wes! SO VERY COOL!
This has been fun but challenging. Lots of little technical problems to work out. I'm pretty excited to see it come together.
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:42 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by bill mcdonald View Post
I think that moving the LCD closer to the driver location might be a good idea for ergonomics. I noticed above you had the LCD in the middle. It looks aesthetically pleasing in that loceation, but which is more important?
Yeah, the design is certainly evolving. I keep trying new layouts to see what will work best for the driver and still be workable from on hardware side of things.

For example, my first touch-panel layout had the mode selection buttons on the left side of the screen. But that meant that the driver's hand was blocking the view of the content portion of the display whenever he reached over to change modes. So, I moved the mode selection buttons to the right side of the screen. Now the driver's hand isn't blocking his view of the screen content when he changes modes.

I just keep experimenting until I get something that works well.

It's a slow process but I think it will turn out pretty good.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:05 AM
  #34  
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Time for another update:

I finally moved the system from my workbench to the car!

The system isn't installed in the dash yet but I have it all hooked up and working. Making the leap from workbench to car was a little nerve-wracking. And there was one casualty... In the confusion and clutter of wires everywhere, I managed to kill my first Raspberry Pi. But after replacing it and finding my wiring error the system came up just fine.

The newest addition is the FM radio module and its touch-screen interface. When the radio is turned ON or OFF the power antenna extends and retracts like it should. And the system manages the power to the BOSE speaker/amp relay.

I even added a yellow rounded-rectangular border around the digital frequency display to mimic the border around the oil pressure/temperature & battery voltage/coolant temperature gauges in the center of the cars instrument cluster. I'm really trying to make this project look like it could have been a creation of the 80's.

It was pretty exciting to see the system starting to come to life in the car!

I apologize in advance for the shaky video. Trying to get a good camera angle and operate a tiny wireless keyboard at the same time was harder than I expected.



I'm now working on getting some preliminary display panel bracketry fabricated. Once I have that done I'll be able to at least put the dash back together and drive the car.

The bulk of the electronics are in the cargo area in the back of the car so that I can continue to enhance and refine the functionality of the system.

If it turns out that there's just too many components to fit in the dash (as some of you predicted), I'll fabricate a cabinet to fit in the cargo area and call it good. Really, the only components that must be in the dash are the touch-screen, the volume control **** and the auxiliary USB jack. Everything else can be stowed somewhere else.

Anyway, let me know what you think. The feedback is always helpful!

Last edited by LWesthaver; 06-20-2017 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:37 AM
  #35  
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I just received the custom parts I ordered. I had Ponoko.com laser cut some 3mm thick Acrylic sheet into mounting brackets to hold the touch screen display, volume potentiometer and USB socket.

Here's a few pics of the Acrylic bracketry assembled and installed in the dash:





The bracketry consists of two pieces. A baseplate that attaches to the dash using the same mounting holes as the original BOSE head unit and a faceplate that holds the touch-screen display, volume control and USB jack.

The baseplate and faceplate are joined together and separated by some spacers. The spacers hold the baseplate and faceplate at the correct distance from each other to allow the faceplate to rest against the back of the dash trim panel opening.

Here's a pic of the mechanical drawing:



This thing is starting to look like it may actually come together!

Last edited by LWesthaver; 07-10-2017 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Added more pictures
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:58 AM
  #36  
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That's looking fantastic so far...
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:16 AM
  #37  
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I installed a tablet in my Armada (running since 2014), several add on USBs for charging/music/video access, Bluetooth vehicle diagnostic adapter, TorquePro Engine Management, has full google maps, turn by turn navi, streaming googlemusic/apple music, tethers to my iPhone for signal and updates only when I pull up to the garage and the home wifi pops up and easily download any app/game out there from the playstore. Powers on and off smoothly using a power management add-on so no battery drain at all.

I thought about using a raspberry before going the tablet route but there were already sooooooo many auto/tablet specific programs and support that I was almost too easy to do the conversion.





Why the raspberry vs a tablet based OS? I thought about making a conversion on the Vette and this is a good thread with some neat ideas

Keep up the good work!
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:54 AM
  #38  
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Awesome project..

Do you have a list of equipment you are using? Also are you willing to share some of your code? I really like a the features you have.. this is very cool
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:10 PM
  #39  
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Cool project...I'll be following this one...
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Old 07-01-2017, 02:16 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by ElisTwoCents View Post
Why the raspberry vs a tablet based OS?
I went with the Raspberry Pi for several reasons:
  • I wanted to integrate the system into the car and make it look like something that is 80's era appropriate.
  • I wanted to use the Raspberry Pi to control several items in the car, namely the electric antenna, the BOSE amplifier control relay and the Sport Seats.
  • I also wanted to build the system out of inexpensive off-the-shelf parts so that it can evolve over time as I add new features.
  • And finally, I wanted total control. There's plenty of pre-built solutions that I could have grafted into my car but you are stuck with someone else's vision. I wanted to express my own.

It is taking a long time to develop but I'm getting exactly what I wanted and hopefully others will benefit from both my discoveries and my mistakes.

-Wes
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