|Written by Terran Brown|
|Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:32|
Having started out with just a humble PC in the boot and a basic input screen this version was designed from the ground up including the choice of car. I also wanted to go all out to create an totally OEM expirence to the point that you could not tell it was a PC. First off was the choice of the car and to ensure that the main CPU was hidden I went for a Vectra C. The massive boot and hidden compartments was just right although this did mean fitting was more than tight and a few grazed hands were had.
The screen was next and having decided I wanted to get TMR a go I bought one from Cartft.com. The biggest problem here was that until I had the unit in my hands and in bits I could not work out how it was to be fitted. Further more I wanted to make sure the controls still worked and again where also hidden to look OEM. That in its self took a number of replacement blanking plates from the local Vauxhall dealer who thought I was mad.... although the effect was worth it. In the the end I fitted the whole lot in to a WRX double din case and then finnished that off using a proper double din bezzle with some slight mods.... when off it looked specatular and totally stock and therefore less likely to be stolen.
The skins for my Centrafuse app ( which has an excellent sound engine ) where also designed with an OEM feel in mind, first of all like the Satnav system that came with it and then eventually the second set where more in line with the dash highlights which was especially effective at night. An while we are on the subject of the savnav because this was the first car I had which had one fitted at the factory I had a roof mounted arial which gave me virtually spot on co-ordinates but with out the need for a CANBUS pulse connection.
Unfortunately it was not the CarPC that brought this version to a horrible end but the car its self. For those that read my blog you will know that the gear box failed ( actually it was the timing chain that had slipped and the ECUs having a fit ) and that the best people from Vauxhall spent 3 months trying to fix it. By the end my confidence in the car was totally shot especially as it came back and did the same thing with in a few 100 miles. In the end I traded in for a SAAB 93. OK its the same car under the body work which I like as its a really good one but the autobox and engine are far better and you kit more kit for you money. I am still sore that its costing me more how ever if I hadnt done this I'd have been wondering about the car for the rest of its life and potentially been stuck with it.
I still believe that CarPCs are the way to go how ever my case showed that the OEMs dont like or understand them ( I had to remove mine to prove it ) and can cause you a headache not because of the technology ....
That been said I do believe I will be back but probably using more soild state kit and more than likely an OS like Google Chrome or Android which are freely available, built for exactly this kind of demanding environment by running on solid state but also touch screen friendly and have loads of software out there.
Terran ( 21/08/08 )
|Last Updated on Monday, 07 December 2009 11:56|