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