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Version 3 - obselete!

Here's a tour round the old version of my Car PC as featured in Custom PC magazine.

"Steve Goodman's car is an 800MHz Ford Focus with 256MB of RAM and a 20GB hard disk. It's driven by a dashboard-mounted touch-screen, comes with satellite navigation, and can provide current traffic and speed camera information. It also has a library of digital music and movies, a wireless LAN connection, integration with Steve's Bluetooth phone, and he plans to add external video cameras and satellite tracking in case of theft too.

It's also a fully functioning 1.8 litre engine hatchback that Steve drives to work down the M6 every day.

While Steve's Focus might sound like it's bristling with technology and has an interior dripping with wires, it's surprisingly plain at first sight. Having grown up with the sparkling looks of Doc Brown's time-travelling DeLorean and Michael Knight's crime-foiling KITT, you expect to sit in the cabin and be surrounded by banks of blinking lights, flip switches and flux-capacitors. However, only the 7in TFT sitting innocuously next to its steering wheel indicates that the car is anything other than normal."

Alex Watson, Custom PC Magazine


The above sums up what I want from the Car PC - I don't want the install to look to like it shouldn't be there and day-to-day I just want it to work, properly!

Here's a guided tour of all the main features - click on each picture below for the full size version...

The Car

Here's the Car that it's in in it's current un-modded form. It's a 2003 Ford Focus MP3 in metropolis blue.

The Cabin

Above is what the Car looks like day to day. The VGA touchscreen is attached next the steering wheel and is solid but adjustable.

Above is a picture of it in use on the move, showing the Navigation software, Destinator in actual use taking me through back roads to get out of bustling Birmingham towards my native Warwickshire!

The System

Above is another picture of it actual being used by myself. As you can see the interface used (MediaCar) is similar to an OEM system, which makes it ideal for using when safe and quick and simple to operate, unlike a stanard PC installation.

Here's the picture of the system installed in the boot. The case is a lot smaller than it looks in the picture, actual size is close to that of a 12 disc CD changer. It comprises of internal Bluetooth receiver for connecting to the mobile phone, connections to the ECU, the Opus Car Power Supply, connections to the GPS receiver and connections into the car stereo.



Version 4 - Complete
Version 3 - obselete
Version 2 - in the MR2

Version 1 - in the MR2

Building The Car PC

Custom PC Article