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Installed Garmin Carputer and Touch Screen Overlay in Non-Nav Model

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Old 08-09-2010, 04:08 PM
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Installed Garmin Carputer and Touch Screen Overlay in Non-Nav Model

so if anyone has been following my posts lately you'll know that i've been working on hacking a garmin to display on the stock screen and came to the conclusion it couldn't be done, so i decided to go the carputer route.

i ended up buying a small netbox with a 1GHz atom processor since it's super small and powerful. i installed a 32GB SSD and loaded windows XP SP1 onto it with Garmin Mobile PC (GMPC). boot times when i start the car are about 25-30 seconds from dead to having the garmin program up and running (GMPC automatically starts in full screen mode when windows starts). so basically by the time i buckle up and get myself situated the program is ready to accept my destination.

i interfaced the video output using the PAC VCI-NIS2, which i had already purchased for my backup camera. due to the type of Nvidia chipset in the netbox i had to use a video converter to change the signal from DVI to RCA. i found a USB powered converter to go from VGA to RCA and just attached the DVI to VGA dongle that came with the netbox. the PAC VCI has a toggle switch to allow me to swap from the stock screen to the computer output. i'll mount the switch on the radio eventually.

for power i'm doing it crude and rude right now. i'm using a cigarette lighter adapter to power the netbox. the BIOS is set to reboot the computer whenever there is a power loss so it automatically comes on whenever i start the car. i'll move to installing a wake on LAN device later in the summer when i have time.

after this i decided to go one step further and install a touch screen overlay on the stock base model LCD. it interfaces via USB to the netbox and works GREAT. it took very little to get it all up and running in reality. right now the only drawback is lack of an on-screen keyboard (OSK), but i think i found a free solution for that online today. for now i'm using an RF mini keyboard that i keep in the door pocket. surprisingly, i don't miss the OSK at all yet. i find that typing on a real keyboard is a more satisfying experience than when i would use the OSK on my window mounted garmin. i'll still try the free one out but i will definitely keep a wireless mouse and keyboard on hand (small ones LOL).

right now i'm getting the voice prompts off the computer's small speaker, and they are OK i suppose but i want to either integrate it into my stereo sound system through my parrot bluetooth system or buy a small USB powered sound bar to place by my seat on the floor somewhere, that way i'll hear the prompts clearly.

right now i am running nothing else off of this computer. my intent wasn't to use it for entertainment but maybe in the future i will. i will likely install a more user friendly front end like roadrunner since its tough to use windows on a small screen LOL, plus roadrunner had a nice integration plug-in for the GMPC software.

i purchased the software and the garmin 10X receiver from garmin.com and they work great. the receiver locks onto the satellites within seconds (huge improvement over my now 4-5 year old garmin c320!!). the only issue is that the software is tied to one computer only (one allowable install), so if i ever decide to swap computers ill be in a world of hurt. i don't know why they did that but i suppose thats something to discuss another time.

for now i have the computer sitting on the floor. i need a few extra 2ft USB cables and i'll put it under the passenger seat. it has a fan so i'm not worried about cooling really.

right now thats about it. i'll upload pics tonight since i'm at work, consider this a teaser

Bob
Old 08-09-2010, 04:48 PM
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Looking forward to the pics.
Old 08-09-2010, 10:21 PM
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Finally PICS!!

the touch screen overlay



touchscreen against the stock LCD, just a size reference....i was very happy it was the perfect fit!



i only mounted it with electrical tape for now. i was going to use double sided tape also but its holding well for now. i suspect that once it gets cold the electrical tape will give out so ill think of something else then.



just a photo of the PAC VCI interface wedged into the dash



the screen reinstalled, note the touchscreen 4-pin harness on the lower left



the carputer, its not pretty now, i just have it sitting on the floor covered by the floor mat for a little while...



windows XP booting



garmin up and running!



a night shot of the maps



just the toggle switch for swapping inputs on the PAC VCI from the stock screen to the carputer. i will eventually mount the switch on the dash.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:07 PM
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^ nice!
Old 08-10-2010, 01:22 PM
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^ nice!
thanks man! it's not nearly as sophisticated as some of the other ones on this and other sites but in reality i didn't need it to be. i just wanted it to look stock!
Old 08-10-2010, 01:30 PM
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i know they r a pain in the *** for the 2nd gens
Old 08-10-2010, 01:50 PM
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yeah i really would have loved to do a full integration but i really didn't want to lose my climate control indications. maybe there's some way to join the two. i dunno....plus since im not using the computer for music and radio id have to work on that too....
Old 08-10-2010, 02:03 PM
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so this is strictly just for nav huh
Old 08-10-2010, 03:28 PM
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yeah because honestly i'm happy with the stereo. i have my backup cam, xm, ipod and bluetooth interfaced already and i wasn't really sure how to integrate everything else (climate control, info center, etc) into the nav computer. maybe in the future ill use it as an all in one, but honestly i really just wanted my nav!!!
Old 08-10-2010, 05:53 PM
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enjoy!
Old 08-11-2010, 04:25 PM
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Nice job so far.
What touch screen overlay to you get and where did you get it?
Old 08-11-2010, 04:31 PM
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rpm - thanks! ill improve upon it as time goes by im sure. for now i just wanted it up and running.

i purchased a generic 8" wide screen USB overlay from "dealextreme.com". took like two weeks to arrive since it was coming from hong kong though. there are probably higher quality ones out there and honestly i don't know how this one will fare in the winter so we shall see.
Old 08-11-2010, 04:35 PM
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awesome, now do mine. lol
Old 08-11-2010, 04:38 PM
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awesome, now do mine. lol
lol, if you lived closer i'd be happy to!

in reality though it really wasn't that difficult. honestly, getting windows XP installed on that little computer without a dvd drive was the hardest part lol.
Old 08-11-2010, 04:41 PM
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one day I get mine setup with navi...

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12, carputer, converter, g35, garmin, hong, infiniti, kong, models, overlay, screen, touch, touchscreen, touchscreens, vga
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