Monday, October 22, 2012

Car Computer - Overview

So our car got broken into not long after we moved back to the Bay. Yet again our stereo was stolen.

It sucked.


But this afforded me the opportunity to build my dream stereo - a dream I've had since I was but a tender high school junior - a car computer.

The time was ripe. Finally the price of components was reasonable. Plus I'd built up the skills necessary to actually complete the damn thing. In the interest in sharing information (FOSS!), I'm chronicling my project on this blog.

The car computer will be able to do the following things:
  • GPS navigation
  • Play music from hard drive/USB, Pandora, and CDs
  • Connect to devices through Bluetooth (i.e. phone)
  • Connect to home network for updates/sync
  • Read OBD II codes
I started with a stereo head unit that was originally in my sister's car.  It's a CDX-GT520 which has pretty good sound and can play MP3s, AACs, and regular CDs. Of course this was the only freebie I got. Everything else I needed to purchase.

The biggest purchase was a screen. After some research I decided on a Lilliput Touchscreen for the high definition picture and USB touch interface. Though it will yield many rewards, it's been a giant pain in my ass and will continue to be so. This is because of software and mounting issues (which I'll discuss in detail in my upcoming screen posts).

My next acquisition was a Raspberry Pi. I bought an RPI Model B Rev 1. It has HDMI, USB, network and GPIO pins. This particular model revision is no longer available for purchase, however you'd be able to use the newer models the same way in this project.

So far I purchased the following additional components:
  • 7 port 12 volt USB hub
  • HDMI cable
  • USB to micro USB cable
  • 2 12 volt relays
  • Mazda stereo connector
  • 25 ft 18 gauge black speaker wire
  • 3 ft USB extension
  • Automotive switch
  • 160 GB USB external hard drive
  • USB wireless network adaptor with external antennae
I know I'll purchase additional pieces, however because I'm still in the middle of my build I'm not certain what those components will be.

If I don't get this thing to work, my wife said I'll have to sleep with one eye open because of all the stuff I've purchased. So pray for me and wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment