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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

I am a VB developer and I am building some custom software for my carputer when I get round to researching the power and audio wiring and parts for it all.

If anyone would like some custom software for there little screens then let me know and I will build to your needs, I will post my application when I have finshed it a bit more. If anyone knows how I can hook up to the on board computer parts of the car then let me know as I will program onto the screen information like current speed and temp etc.. of the car running.

Email me @ [email protected] or message me here.

This is a FREE service as I am doing it for myself too so don't ask how much this will set me back as it won't (I am just that type of guy that likes to help out)

Cheers
 

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mg_zt
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Hi Richard....

There are a number of different things that you need to do this....
Integrating the Audio is not a big task, all that is needed is an after market amplifier, the sound card from any PC will drive this...
Getting the data from the Car's Databus is something that I've been looking into, the 75/ZT has what's called a CAN-Bus, which adhere's to the EOBD-2 standard and there are usb interfaces out there for that task.
The major thing is the cost of the touchscreens...
Cheers

John
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now I am a software developer and computer geek but I am not into electronics nor under the bonet of a car so where would this box plug into on the car to read information?
 

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Richard - a very generous offer indeed. I'm a web developer, and have thought about deliving into this a few times, but don't know where to start. Here are a few things for you to think about:

Adding temp sensors so people can get temperature readouts for their amps

Multiple (maybe 4 or 8?) fan controllers, for cooling amp racks

Potentially user settable fan speeds, triggered at user selectable amp temperature(s)?

Some kind of interface allowing users to develop what are effectively web sites for controlling/viewing their kit... if you could get a full screen IE/netrape/etc... window, allowing people to design their own websites (potentially in flash) that interface with some unit API you developed yourself, you'd basically enable a user customisable interface

Controls for all non-essential car functions - interior lights, heater/aircon.

I'd suggest that where a function is essential to operation, or legal operation of the car, the car's default controls get the final say as to what state the function/device is in. Don't want to be driving in the rain down the motorway, then not turn your wipers on.

All stuff I'm sure you've thought of :)

If you'd be willing to let me have a gander at the source code when you've finished, that would be very appreciated mate. I'm not a VB developer, but I do plenty of VBS, and have started on VB.NET now.

Cheers

Mark
 

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mg_zt
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The OBD which I beleive only the 75/ZT have, can do all of the things that you require, including actuation of ancilliary equipment...

There are similar systems on the 25/45 range, but I think they are proprietary to MG-R and would need deciphering. One would then have to balance cost and time involved. Given the fact that the new generation cars MUST have OBD systems there will be a certain commonality to the range.

The controling of fans and such like on amp's, coupled with monitoring of temperature is also perfectly possible, as you can use an I/O interface box (£100 or so from Maplins) that is programmable.
I studied Electrical and Electronic engineering at College and that sort of thing is pretty simple for me....
 

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http://www.velleman.be/common/product.Aspx?lan=1&id=9383 ]Here[/URL] is the interface unit that uses the parrallel port on the PC, as you can see it can be programmed using Visual Basic..... ;) Up to 4 of these can be daisy chained, but I doubt you would need more than the 16 connections that the single board has.
Obviously, the card itself cannot be used to drive high current circuits, but can be used to switch relays, or this card can drive circuits up to 5 amps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I don't know about electronics but I am sure you can do something for this. I will just program the stuff needed. My idea at present was a simple system to go over the XP desktop for you to click on buttons that you want straight away i.e. launch apps and that.

I will get more advanced when I see that the basics are covered first.

What does ppl want on there Rover Software. I have seen that Vauxhall have there own why don't we start a RoverSoft?
 

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I'd be very interested in the final version, planning a 10" touchscreen setup mounted vertically linked to a laptop .... when I find a decent mk3 dash to chop up at least!

but MediaEngine is a good guideline to start from, seems to have everything there for basic stuff, but thats very hard to navigate at times.... something like an ipod interface would be PERFECT for Mp3's if you ask me, i love my ipod ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well ok! I will start and I will post from time to time with updates! I hope to complete just after xmas. Busy at work and stuff so I will only get a few hours a night to work on it for a while.

Please post ur ideas on what you would like. I am not going to use Winamp as the plugin for music as I don't like that! I will be using windows media player plugins.

So far I have thought of a customize area for you to add menus at ur request for new applications etc...

Please post your ideas and I will add
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well ok! I will start and I will post from time to time with updates! I hope to complete just after xmas. Busy at work and stuff so I will only get a few hours a night to work on it for a while.

Please post ur ideas on what you would like. I am not going to use Winamp as the plugin for music as I don't like that! I will be using windows media player plugins.

So far I have thought of a customize area for you to add menus at ur request for new applications etc...

Please post your ideas and I will add
 

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Discussion Starter #12
k, I have had a look at media engine and it is a cool piece of software! I will have to do a lot of research on GPRS as I have messed with it a bit but I cannot comment on it at the moment.

Mhy program will be plain windows controls with windows XP icons as I have no graphics talent at all to do skinings for the app. Sorry guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good news guys I did not reliase that MediaEngine was built with VB. So I will be using snippets of code from that as it is Open Source.

This might be up and ready quicker then I thought lol
 

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We did a "proof of concept" last year.

It involved a home computer, connected to the internet, running winamp and shoutcast.

A recompiled wwwinamp was used as a web interface to control the winamp, that was streaming to the shoutcast.

We then got a GPRS bluetooth phone and a bluetooth ipaq. The phone connected to the GPRS network, the ipaq connected to the phone via bluetooth and the ipaq audio out connected to the aux-in on our head unit.

Internet explorer on the ipaq was then used to control the winamp/shoutcast combo, so from the fast lane of the M6, the passenger using the ipaq touch screen could select and queue up tracks, over the internet.

These same tracks were then played through the ipaq and into the headunit and out of the ice.

We effectively had a 3000 song jukebox of our own songs (thats all the guy had ripped), which we could control and listen to from anywhere in the world. Mainly the M6 though :)

Of course it also meant you could listen to any internet based radio station, while driving.

Way ahead of its time when we did it, should have patented the idea really :)

Anyway, all of the above but with a touch screen carputer instead of the ipaq combo would kick ass :D

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update 10/12/2004

Just a quick update! I have been working on this since the first post and all is going well I have the following features added at present.


- Media player with custom user lists.
- Full movie player with full listings of all movies in a certain folder on hdd.
- Full screen movie viewer.
- Lock / unlock screen.
- Multiple profiles for different users.
- Image viewer.


Functions to add still:

- Calendar.
- User settings.
- Visuliations for music. (This will be a while though)
- I will be playing around with some FM receivers in a few weeks time to get the FM radio working too.
- I am working on an FTP addon for you to connect to the Carputer automatically and upload your films and folders.

If anyone has a carputer touch screen at present and would like to test this for me then I would love to hear from you. I am not installing mine till after the new year so I cannot test at present. I can test on normal PC LOL

Also if anyone has some good information about a good piece of GPRS software that I can intergrate into the application then that would be cool.

I will post pictures later of what I have done so far. It is a XP look as I am no good at application skining.
 

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I can try and help with some of the skinning, and I can also help with testing, as I have the touchscreen setup next to me right ( reaches over ) here ;)

Also... Just found myself a Mk3 dash woohoo! - so my install can finally get going ;)

But please matey, consider a iPod control interface on the screen - if you dont know what I mean, the wheel that controls the ipod - look into it, its awesome
 

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Discussion Starter #17
smile said:
I can try and help with some of the skinning, and I can also help with testing, as I have the touchscreen setup next to me right ( reaches over ) here ;)

Also... Just found myself a Mk3 dash woohoo! - so my install can finally get going ;)

But please matey, consider a iPod control interface on the screen - if you dont know what I mean, the wheel that controls the ipod - look into it, its awesome
Can you send me some information on what you mean and I will try and intergrate this for you! But I need to know first what you mean.
 

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Dude, if this software gets anywhere i might be interested in doing some GUI designs etc for it if you wanted...

I intend to do a carputer sometime in the future and would like to help if it gets to the point of being useable :)

Be interesting if Flash could be somehow integrated into the interface, would make for some really cool menu transitions and stuff :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Update 11/12/2004 (ScreenShots)

Hey All,

I have worked on this for about 20hrs now and it is coming together now. I have been working on the images for this at the moment really and done alot of background coding not really stuff for the main functions of the application. I have done the code for the MP3 player but I am now adding in functions. All the black buttons and images that you see will be updated with images so don't worry about them.


Here are some screenshots:


Main screen: Will change in time


This is when you click on the red button: This will give you the choice to Logoff/restart pc/shutdown pc. If you do click an option in 30 secs then it dissapears.



This screen is a image viewer



Here is one with a image (My Daughter)



Here is the MP3 screen. Not finished yet! I have to add the volumn controls, and player functions like Mute/Pause/Stop/Play/Skip etc... I have the main player working playing music at the moment.


Email me if you think of any functions to add.
 

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This looks like a great idea. I'm a VB developer by trade too so if you need a hand with anything give me a shout. I also do some graphic design work if you need anything done in between studying for exams!
 
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