| Originally posted by jkloese@Apr 27 2005, 09:56 AM |
Thats pretty much exactly the response I was looking for! Ill start doing the research on the power supply and IBUS interface, that sounds pretty awesome. Im very good with computers so Im actually pretty interested in your project also. It would be nice to control more car functions from the PC as well. Ill definetely have to start with the basics though.
I do have a few questions, maybe your experience can help.
Heres what I currently have:
Pioneer 7000CD 7" LCD Head Unit
Pioneer AV-8000 Brain Unit under the passenger carpet
Pioneer TV Tuner Module w/ Antennas under the passenger seat
Microvision 5.6" LCD's mounted BOTH Headrests
Playstation 2 mounted under the glovebox
How can I keep the functionality of the radio/TV/Playstation?
Can I connect the PC to the current system I have, maybe just use an available Video in on the brain unit. (Ill have to pull it out and look at the connections maybe) Actually now that I think about it, I will need a touch screen anyway, so that whole system will most likely need to go, huh?
How deos a PC physically connect to the speakers of the car? especially if you keep a radio in the car at the same time?
Well if you have some ideas on that, let me know.
Thanks for your help!!
Ok ... here's a few quick answers for ya ...
1) About the screen ... a couple of points; 1 - your Pioneer is probably too low res to work really well - at best most of these headunit/videoscreen all-in-one units tend to be 1440x200 pixels... I haven't checked in the last year or so, but that was generally the best you could expect - similar (and sometimes worse) then viewing on a TV screen. They are functional for MP3 playback since you generally have large font, but not great for navigation.
Your standard Lilliput or Xenarc (made by Gain - I bought this one and was very happy with the quality) should give you 800x600 resolution which is very legible! Unfortunately you do run into brightness issues - in the daylight not bright enough, and at night too bright. You can dim down the screen through software (I had my automatically dim at certain times during the day), which helps a bit, but it's tough to brighten it up. This is also worsened when you have a touchscreen film on the front, which adds a mildly hazy and reflective surface. It's not horrible, but you do lose some brightness - in direct sunlight, my screen was sometimes unreadable (If you have a tinted car, however, this shouldn't be a problem - even a slight shadow made my screen light, but legible).
Luckily the prices have dropped dramatically on the screens ... I paid about $500 when they first came out ... should be able to pick one up for about $250 or so now. Check MP3Car.com for impressions on various models.
If possible, ask for an extra "shroud" or face when buying the unit. I literraly molded the face of the unit into the dash to acheive the desired effect. It makes mounting a snap - just screw the body into the new face that you molded to your dash! (and don't forget to buy an extra BMW dash face - pretty cheap from the stealer!).
With the Xenarc unit I also had 1 VGA input (for computer) and 2 RCA inputs, so I could hook up XBOX/TV/etc ... The model was the 700yyv IIRC...
2) Your PC connects to the car via generally via an RCA input - you probably have some line inputs already used via your head unit or the brain unit (in your specific case). If you have optical/spdif inputs, you can also by a specific card (PCI/USB/etc depending on setup) to get the signal out of your computer.
If you have the standard BMW head unit, you can either go directly to the head unit with an RCA adapter from the dealer for more recent BMWs (mid 04+, I think - but check) or go with an aux-in adapter from Blitzsafe or Soundgate - these adapters connect directly to the CD changer pre-wire in your trunk. At least 1 of the Soundgate interfaces let's you connect multiple sources as well as retain the factory CD changer (if you have the changer unit). I actually opted to remove the entire radio from my old car and just use the touchscreen for the interface and a regular amplifier hooked to the PC for sound.
I also purchased a USB TV/Radio unit (Hauppage) so that I'd still have radio (and TV!). Unfortunately I never found the radio to be quite as good as the factory one, but I didn't listen to radio too much at the time, so didn't investigate much further...