Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 19, 2014

Car Computer Build

at 6:58 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks

Car Computer Build


Even the most modern cars (except possibly ones made by Tesla) don’t provide much computing power that the user can harness. EEVBlog user Ptodorov wanted to have the power of a mini computer in his car. Only thing is a computer doesn’t interface with real world things like door switches and turn signals very well. To interface with the car hardware an Arduino and a relay module was used. Things haven’t been all smooth sailing though since the system has gone haywire while driving and the system does draw a bit too much current when off but it is a great start and inspiration.

“For the last 5-6 months everything ran fairly smoothly with a few glitches and bugs. But a few weeks ago all hell broke loose
while I was driving. Suddenly left and right blinkers started flashing, the headlights started blinking and doors kept locking and unlocking.
This kept happening for a good 30 seconds. Fortunately there were no other cars around me. Also when the winter came the arduino started draining the battery more noticeably, after leaving the car for several days it didn’t start with the first turn of the key even trough I’m putting the MCU in sleep and waking it on an interrupt from the remote control. The battery drain was 250mA and after I disconnected everything I’ve done from the car it drop down to 120mA.”



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4 Responses to “Car Computer Build”

  1. Stan Says:

    I love the “LCARS” interface!

  2. d3v14n7 Says:

    Looks like a great build, minus the issues he was having… Reminds me a lot of my old CarPuter setup from last year, which I ditched in favor of a Nexus 7 (even though it’s far less functional than a true CarPuter) when I bought a new car a few months back…

    The problem with CarPuters is the lack of decent, 7″ to 8″ high resolution capacitive touchscreen displays available… There is always something missing from them, either they’re not bright enough for daylight viewing, they have a very low native resolutions, they only come with resistive touchscreens (or no touchscreen at all), they have poor viewing angles or very poor image quality/color reproduction…

    What I wouldn’t give to have a 10+ bit, 7″ to 8″, native 1080P (or higher) resolution IPS capacitive touchscreen with 178 degrees viewing angles (both vertical and horizontal), true high contrast ratio of 3000+:1 (not that dynamic 50,000:1 nonsense) and 1500+ nits brightness with HDMI, DVI, RCA (for backup camera) and DisplayPort video inputs… If there was a display like that available right now, I’d rebuild and install my CarPuter in a heartbeat…

  3. George Johnson Says:

    Probably have to have a simple micro-controller interface to the main system to monitor it when it’s powered down. The PIC (or what ever) simply monitors for a wake up signal, then wakes the main system up. SSHD or something and hibernate, and it’ll pop right up.
    But you’d think you should be able to do this.
    I’d take easy system (power supply, CPU board etc…) and leave it turned off, then measure the current draw to see who the hog is. Then IF there’s anything you could do about it. Sometimes, you can’t.

  4. Martin Says:

    Could have wired the Arduino up to the Accessory 12V so it drew power only when the key is in.

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