This is how the car evolved to a higher form...

March 2020
Idea was to add a smart rear view mirror with an Arduino computer in it.
The tests were very successfull, but the mirror is to big and takes too much of the forwards sight.
So this project is scrapped.

The picture left shows the acutal extensions. No further extensions are planned.

November 2018
Overhead console added. Following features are included:
Monitor for ultrasonic parking sensors
Reading lights
Holder for garage door remote
Box for sunglasses
Microphone for handfree spreaking
Temperature sensor

30. September 2018
A minor gadget is added, which is not visible in the cockpit,
but gives more comfort.
The windows has now an automatic function.
If the window button is pressed for more than 700ms, the windows automatically goes up or down the full way.
The end position is detected by the motor current.

18. May 2018
ODYS mini computer is fully installed and working fine.

7. August 2017
Rework of the website. The project is still going on.
Next the ODYS winbox is installed instead of the Mini-ITX computer.
It needs less power and fits into the 7" slot of the touch monitor.

26. Decemer 2016
A hybrid dashboard is created with Intellitronix Create-A-Dash components.

5. November 2015
Another upgrades to the car.
I added some rear parking sensors.
Also an update of the LabVIEW softwre is done.

20. June 2013
During winter month some of the electronics are changed. The Becker radio is changed with an Alpine INE-925R. As this is a dual Din naviceiver, the center console had to be changed too.

24. June 2012
After installing MPGuino for measuring fuel consumption, no further enhancement is planned in the near future.

12. July 2011
The flip up display is not readable during sunlight. So I changed it with a fix mounted, sunlight readable display.

24. March 2011
New mainboard installed, with Intel Atom CPU, more RAM and Solid State HD. Now it boots much faster.

12. December 2008
CarPC Software is changed from Roadrunner to cPos. It works better for my needs. Also included some new equipment, see feature list.

22. August 2007
Computer is installed. Behind passenger seat and first software tests are done. A few minor changes in software are necessary to give it a final touch. Also some rest of wiring must be proper stowed under and behind carpets. This is the next step after the software is running fine. Pictures will follow.

29. May 2007
Sunvisor monitor mounted and wired to the video switch.

23. May 2007
New web space layout done. the old one had some undefined errors, sorry.

21. May 2007
The old system is removed for built in the new one with Mini-ITX and 7" motorized indash flip up VGA-Touchscreen.

09. December 2006
The progress of my own CarPC software is due to other business very slow. So I use Roadrunner for the functions.

For a longer time I am testing another system to build into the car. It's a Mini-ITX system with a Via CPU with 1GHz clock together with a 8" touchscreen.

20. October 2005
I started a new controller based on C-Control V2 from Conrad Electronic for acquiring car data. The data are sent to the PC by RS-232 an there visualized. For this I implemented my own CarPC Software based on C# and .Net

31. January 2005
miniLAB 1008 integrated for acquiring car data. 
Unfortunately my car is too old and does not have a OBD-II interface for getting any data. With the miniLAB I measure several signals and display it with an own written software. The miniLAB is installed and the software is in an early stage, but for first tests its enough. the software will be integrated in my own SW-platform for in car entertainment.

16. October 2004
Tests are running fine, except the audio connection, which is not made yet. All audio signals perform through the laptop's built in speakers, which are not the best. In a next step this will be solved. Some ideas are introducing the audio signal as a new radio station.

Also the IR keyboard is changed to a RF wireless keyboard. It was too hard to point with the IR-keyboard towards the receiver. Now I can have the keyboard elsewhere and send the characters.

Another point, where I must get a better solution is the brightness of the touch screen. During the day it is no problem, but during the night it is too bright and disturb the driving a little bit.

09. September 2004
The test with the tablet PC are also not satisfying, so I switched back to my laptop solution. 
The touchscreen case is painted an installed in the car also the laptop is placed behind the rear seats and protected by a wooden case (see pictures).

13. July 2004
Several further tests were made with different power supplies and still no satisfying results. So I swept to a new direction and bought a Tablet PC. Several new tests were made and this time it gets quite good results. But there are a few drawbacks of the Tablet PC:

  • Inside there is a Pentium 266MHz working and this is too slow for some major applications (Moving Map, sometime music).
  • There is no CD or DVD drive
  • Only one USB 1.1 connector
The good sides are:
  • Display resolution is 1024x768 on 10.4"!
  • All components runs between 8 and 30 volts!
  • GPS is included on the board
  • Extension with mobile phone possible
  • Separate batteries, which can bridge between engine start
  • All components are sold separately too

A separate 700MHz CPU can be bought, which should be much better (but needs more work to do for cooling). The next steps are to get some of the separate sold components and do some more tests.

22. May 2004
The new power supply for the touch screen is built, but still got spikes and a crazy cursor.

07. April 2004
The first step is done and all components are placed in the car. For powering the laptop computer I got a small DC/DC Converter. For powering the display and other stuff I made a power circuit to stabilize the battery to 12V.
At the first tests everything worked fine except the touchscreen. After further investigation I find the mistake. The laptop DC/DC converter produces spikes at the 12V powerline and these spikes produces errors in the touchscreen circuit. So next step is to build a new power supply unit, which filters the spikes.

23. October 2003
Due to other projects and the death of a family member. The project did not get any further. I hope to continue in the next few weeks.
The goal is to build in a laptop together with its docking station. This will be placed in the trunk. With this configuration I always have a mobile computer also mobile outside the car.

10. September 2003
From 22. August until 30. August 2003, I made a big tour with my car around Germany. The idea behind is to test the newly built in computer. Unfortunately some parts did not arrive on time and so I could not test the whole equipment. The tests are restricted to looking only how good both navigation software can be handled. 
The result of these tests from my side, I prefer AutoRoute. It is more handy, while driving.
The GPS mouse delivered in every situation enough information for both systems.
Now I'm waiting for the rest of the parts and then the computer finds its new home in my car.
BTW; Also without having enough equipment to run through all test, the tour was a great success.

2. August 2003
I received a stronger power converter and made today the next tests and went into the next problems. The converter only has enough power, when the motor runs. If the motor is stopped, the converter signals under voltage and cuts the power output lines (That's not what I am exactly looking for).
I made also other tests with an old laptop computer. With this unit it works even with the smaller power converter. So I think to make a turn over to a laptop computer. Another benefit is during starting the motor. With the normal computer, the power is not enough until the motor runs. With the laptop its internal battery powers the computer during this time.
So I am thinking of two way:
1) A fixed installed computer which needs less power than the Shuttle barebone.
2) A mobile computer (laptop) using a docking station, which can be fix installed into the car.
Unfortunately both types of computer are too big to be installed under the front seats, so they must be installed into the back of the car. There I have to find a place where they are easily accessible and do not disturb any items loaded.

20. July 2003
Today I took the whole equipment and built it into the car for testing purposes. It looks really great, but needs power from the wall at the moment. My 12/220 power converter is not strong enough and everytime I switch on the computer, the protection circuit cuts off the line. So I have to order a stronger one. Another problem I discovered is, that some of the application are not readable enough. This because of the viewing angle of the LCD. Here I have to find a better angle.

2. May 2003
The new frame is now finished and adjusted to the car's center console. Next step is to cover the new frame with glass and epoxy.

18. April 2003
Today I started to build up the new LCD frame. As it is made of several layers of plywood, which are clued together, I come very slowly forward.

15. March 2003
I found the time to make new drawings for the LCD frame housing. The original alu frame is too big for placing it in the middle console. The new frame will be made out of plywood and after fitting it, it will be covered by class clothes and epoxy.

14. March 2003
Today my USB GPS-Mouse has arrived. First tests I run into problems, but after reinstall the USB driver everything worked fine. On the first installation the USB serial was enumerated to COM2. This kept the problem even if the testing laptop computer has only one serial port (COM1). After reinstall the driver and rename it to COM3 everything works fine. The GPS-Mouse is a 12 channel GPS receiver from TRAPP Navtronic. Mainly made for using it on ships and boats.

5. Feb. 2003
Touch screen drivers were out of date (DOS based) and could not used with W2K and Caroll Touch is not existing anymore. But I found some drivers on the Inet and hence the test with PC and touch screen run successful.
Next step is to find the right place in the car for PC and touch screen (Alu frame is a too big for placing in the middle console.

23. Jan. 2003
Today got my Shuttle Barebone PC. First tests will start with W2k.

23. Nov. 2002
Today got the chance to buy an old VGA touch screen from my company.
Technical spec:

  • 10.4" screen size
  • 640x480 resolution
  • guided wave touch screen from Caroll Touch
  • All housed in an aluminum frame