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(Post Link) post #1 of 15 Old 14-04-11 Thread Starter
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Boost Gauge with rgb or vga out

Got video in on my Connect Nav+ unit, want to fit a boost gauge and have the readout on this.

Googled it, but cant find anything.

Anyone got any suggestions as to how I might do it?
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An ARM based Single Board Computer (SBC) such as TI's Beagleboard could
probably be adapted for this.
 
(Post Link) post #3 of 15 Old 14-04-11 Thread Starter
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Interesting, although a 1ghz procesor seems a bit like overkill for such a simple task !
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You can get older ones based on ARM7 or ARM9 I would think...
 
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Look at the arduino prototyping boards, you can get a can bus odbc-ii interface for it as well as video out interfaces. You would have to code it up yourself but it's not rocket science.


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(Post Link) post #6 of 15 Old 15-08-11 Thread Starter
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Nah, I m gonna get one of these:

NorhTec - Products

and use it as a car pc for media playing, boost gauge and data logging via OBD, saves messing about building stuff.
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interesting unit, but a bit bulky for my tastes . If your determined to take an embedded approach, try one of these options instead:

SAM9G45 low cost board, pico-ITX form factor
or
Gumstix® Open Source Products

Personally, I still think, an Arduino + CANBUS Interface + Video Out is going to give you a cheaper, smaller, more robust solution than any embedded options.
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Thanks for the links, but the first has only 400mhz cpu, the Norhtec one has 1Ghz, couldnt find info for the Arduino one.
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To do it with the Arduino you would need these parts:

Arduino Uno - Arduino - UNO - Proto-PIC.co.uk - UK Suppliers of Electonics - Robotics - SparkFun - LilyPad - Arduino
CAN-BUS Shield - SparkFun - DEV-10039 - Proto-PIC.co.uk - UK Suppliers of Electonics - Robotics - SparkFun - LilyPad - Arduino
Video Game Shield Kit - AdaFruit - ADA311 - Proto-PIC.co.uk - UK Suppliers of Electonics - Robotics - SparkFun - LilyPad - Arduino

Although I am sure you would be able to find a much better video out shield for it. With the Can Bus interface, you could put whatever you wanted out the video out with your own custom displays

That said, if your going to put an embedded solution in your car, use a beagleboard or picoITX and put android on it, then just use a bluetooth ELM327 interface and the "Torque" or "Revs" apps as it will simplify what your planning significantly


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The norhtec is fanless and comes with puppylinux-puppylinux is a develpoment of ubuntu which I use on my desktop, I d much rather have that than android. I would just output it to my Connect Nav+ unit which has video in, using VGA. Going to add a obd2 lead, usb dvb-t (cant find a diversity usb tuner though!), a 320gb hard drive with my entire music collection on it (in uncompressed OGG/FLAC format-none of those cr*ppy quality mp3s, mp4s or aacs for me-theyre like going back 30 years sound quality wise) and an some sort of usb or rs232 infrared controller/keyboard/mouse. Probably use SMplayer as a media player, not sure which app for obd yet.

What advantages do the stuff youre suggesting give ?
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From the sounds of it you definatley want to go down the "carputer" route, and if thats the case you have hundreds of options!

One the one hand, you can homebrew something in linux using one of many embedded platforms, but tbh, I wouldnt recommend it unless your up for some serious work When you think about it, what you actually want from a device in your dash when your @ crusing speed is something responsive, easy to navigate that does not need you to take your eyes of the road. None of these factors sit well with any *nix distribution out of the box, even ubunto derivitives :P That said, its not impossible, so feel free to give it a whirl and let me know how you get on, as I am also looking into these options.

Next off, you can go the "pay cash for something good" route. On one end of the scale you have the £1000+ Pioneer and Alpine offerngs, so many other AO'ers on here like, or, if like me your a cheapskate, or as I prefer to put it "bargain hunter" check out whats on offer from China. I always use Lightinthebox.com for my chineese hardware as its straight from the hookie manufactrers and typically a perfect clone of the £1000+ option for £200-400 instead They have plenty of options in the carputer realm that will do the job nicely!

Plan C however, is to use an embedded platform + touchscren + a decent opperating system that is easy to navigate and has plenty of applications ready to go, such as Android. As Android is infact yet another *nix deriviative, its not a million miles from Plan A, but shortcuts the amount of development work you would have to do to make it usable at speed. Another option for Plan C is to use one of the many already written carputer opperating systems (just google it to find plenty of options).

In any respect, it does sound like you want more than a noce GUI with some ODB data flashing up, so carputers would be the best way to go. As I only got my alfa a few weeks ago, I am still likling the Blue & Me (i feel it will wear off soon though) so for now, all of my embedded projects are out of the car. Incidenatlly I am building a system based on one of those PicoITX boards with the 4.8" OLED touchscreen this weekend to support another project, so if your interested, i'll let you know how they fair as a bit of kit.
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I deffo like a bargain as well, so no £1000 jobs for me ! And I have used cheapy Chinese stuff in the past and been impressed.

I ve already thought about and ruled out a carputer in the past, the only reason I m only getting a one now is cos the only decent audio solution there is, Dension Gateway300, dosent give track info on the dash readout between the dials (essential if youve got 250cds on a hard drive and want to navigate through them), it could be made to, but Dension are lazy arrogant w*nkers and wont bother, the next best thing, the Paser Maestro, only plays cr*ppy mp3s. I came across the Norhtec by accident and it was similar price to the Dension (which I sent back), plus I remembered this thread and thought I d add a boost gauge using an obd connection.

Like the look of the Connect Nav+ and got Bose so it sounds ok, dont want aftermarket double DIN stereos or car pcs. The Norhtec also appealed cos of its compactness compared to all the other car pcs I ve seen (it should fit in the centre console cubby behind the gearlever on 147s/GTs). I ll only be using a media player and boost gauge on the move, so I dont think the interface will be a problem-you can get universal learning steering wheel mounted controllers (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT its ugly, mind, but can be mounted behind a spoke), so as long as I can go up, down, back, forward, "ok" and theres a button to show the boost gauge, then I think I should be ok interface wise.

I know Android is Linux based, but Google has ruined it as far as I m concerned !

Still be interested on how your project goes though
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From the sounds of it you definatley want to go down the "carputer" route, and if thats the case you have hundreds of options!
You mean like this ...
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Where have you been 156Chris, not seen you post for ages ?
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Where have you been 156Chris, not seen you post for ages ?
Mainly just work and stuff ... also though I've kind of lost interest in Alfa as a brand they don't seem to have made any progress in the last 10 years, by which I mean there is nothing in there current line up that is significantly quicker than my 156
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