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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:38 PM   #181
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clawhammer View Post
Hi,
I'm very interested with what you did, it sounds promising to me
My BM54 module is broken (I think), don't want to spend $1000 for that old stuff, nor $800 for cheap china car radio, so I'm looking for a carPC, and how to do it.
I know a lot about PC, a little about iBus (I had an intravee), but nothing on electronics. I started reading this topic and I really want to do like you !


Currently I think about some questions :
1) Where did you exactly connect the Power supply (positive and mass) on the car, I don't see this on the photos ?
On the battery directly or inside the black box ?

I have a distribution block near the battery where it feeds the carpc and the amplifier.Doesn't show in the DIY, I'll snap some pics when I do the new LCD install

2) page 4 : "Distribution block"
Is it the black box on the red positive side cable ?

No, that's the BMW "Little fusebox" contains a 150A fuse.

3) page 4 : The tiny red/black cable connected to the battery powers the CarPC ?
Seems to be a little cable no ? (I don't want to burn the car ...)

12AWG, more than enough for the computer's needs, although it has been replaced by an 8AWG wire now, that ends up in a distribution block inside the rear quarter panel that feeds the radio and the car pc - fused always.

4) Where do you take the power for the Alpine head unit ? From the 41pin bmw module in the trunk with iso adapter ?

No, as mentioned above the always on 12v of the Alpine is taken directly from the battery, no need to make loops around the car and introduce more interference. As long it is fused, no problem.

5) To turn on/off the carPC, does it rely on some 12V accessory line ?

Yes, I run a dedicated 12v switched power in a switch below the armrest so I can turn the pc off/on at any given time even if the keys are at the on position.

6) To turn on/off the amplifier, does it rely on some 12V accessory line ?

No, gets signal from the AMP output of the Alpine, since it has the Amp-On/Off feature already, I am using that. The carpc CAN control an amp too if I ever decide to remove the radio completely

7) Is it possible to use the steering wheel buttons to control the car radio AND the PC (Centrafuse for example) ?

I have the Alpine module that controls the radio. There's a USB to i-bus module to control certain features but not sure if you can have both working.

8) Did you have some sound issue (crackling or something ?) and is there a solution ?

No, no issues at all. PROPER GROUNDING IS THE KEY

9)"To make the installation as good as possible, I replaced all wiring from trunk to dash with high quality thick power wires and high quality speaker wires. Since at the trunk I have an ISO plug for the speakers, I connected the amp's high power output speaker wires to the plug, therefore eliminating the need to run new wires to the speaker network."
On the second sentence, I understand you connect the big amplifier outputs to the bmw ISO trunk connector and use the default bmw audio network cable ? So I don't understand the first sentence (sorry, english is not my native language).

I have 2 BMW ISO connectors, the first is the "default" audio/power supply network, in case I want to eliminate the Amp! The second one is the custom connector, where the power supply is from the distribution block and the rear speakers are disconnected, since they are very close to the AMP there is no need to use the BMW cables, I run my own!

Thank you very much !
(I'm going on reading, I'll update my question little by little)
No problem!!!! Glad to see the thread still alive
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Last edited by paraklas; 07-19-2011 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:41 PM   #182
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And the new screen arrived today! Getting ready for more DIY!!


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Old 07-27-2011, 12:38 AM   #183
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Testing...
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:49 PM   #184
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Hi I am thinking of getting this monitor also can you give a review and some more pics please?
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:22 PM   #185
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You, sir, are a mad scientist. Nice work.
+1. Very nice. One day I hope to have this kind of time to play with things.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:27 AM   #186
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that screen is hugh..
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:08 PM   #187
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Went in last night!

The supplied cable is more than enough to reach the carpc in the trunk, so no need for USB & XGA extensions. The relatively thin cable splits at the last 3ft to give 1 DC input jack, 3x RCA Video input, 2 spare wires, 1 x 3.5mm jack for speakers (not that I used that ), VGA and USB. No need for loading touchscreen drivers again, as the existing drivers from the previous screen worked perfectly. The screen has auto-on based on signal.



I will take some pictures by the weekend, in daylight
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:48 AM   #188
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The screen is simply amazing. Pictures in daylight and under direct sunlight:






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Old 09-22-2011, 12:04 AM   #189
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looks good! i'm really jealous of your trim
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:49 PM   #190
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Amazing, if I ever start making some money I will be doing this to my car.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:59 AM   #191
paraklas
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Carpc hardware updates:

Installation of an SD/MicroSD to SATA adapter that will host a 8GB microsd card with Win7 "slimmed version" and Centrafuse 4. I really don't want to go through the trouble to re-install everything if a hard drive crashes (which happened yesterday)


For media I will use a USB removable 2.5" disk 300GB capacity on silicon based bushes to cancel out road vibrations. More pictures to come once parts arrive
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:55 AM   #192
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Wow a truly custom job, nice work. What was the total cost in GBP? What made you decide to custom install this set up instead of going with a Dynavin win system or even better a Dynavin Android system?
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:31 AM   #193
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Wow a truly custom job, nice work. What was the total cost in GBP? What made you decide to custom install this set up instead of going with a Dynavin win system or even better a Dynavin Android system?
Dynavin wasn't available when Paraklas and others created their carputers. They continue to do it because Dynavin and the like do not provide the level of customization that you get with a carputer.

With a custom system, you can add whatever off the shelf software and hardware is available with a desktop/laptop; like adding BMW specific diagnostic software. However, you should be very comfortable with hardware and software because custom systems generally require periodic maintenance (such as repairing component failure). Also, unlike Dynavin, you can pay as you go; adding new components as time and money permits.

With integrated systems like Dynavin, you generally get a reliable, no-fuss product. Their capabilities are becoming more like a carputer. However, it is more limited than a carputer and sometimes is just as buggy.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #194
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^
My thoughts exactly
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:19 PM   #195
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Not that I doubt the quality or the nature of the work you have done but honest question:

What do you use this thing for?
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:01 PM   #196
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-OBD2 Live data
-GPS Navigation
-BT paired with my Galaxy S2
-Video clips
-Audio
-Media can be uploaded directly via ethernet or WiFi without taking usb sticks/cd/dvd with me
-Radio over HSDPA/wifi
-Digital TV (coming soon)
-Fingerprint recognition to unlock the car (still working on it)

Everyday I spend around 3 hours in that car traveling, so I want the most the headunit can provide, plus.. i simply like the customization this setup has to offer.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:32 PM   #197
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well done mate love ya work
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:01 PM   #198
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True labor of love!
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:49 AM   #199
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Finally the Raspberry Pi has been launched (and promptly sold out!).

The size and price of this (just $35/22) I think is going to make this the perfect DIYer mod.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/#foundation

I haven't looked at the carputer project in about 3-4 years now... think it's time to get my research hat on!
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:10 AM   #200
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beautiful. though i would personally use a mac mini with osx, and wire nothing but the monitor cable to the front and use a wireless mouse and keyboard through the built in bluetooth. so thats a custom os?
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