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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Workshop 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012 Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 29th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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Default Carputer in my 9-3, 2005

This started as an experiment to see if I could install a computer with minimum amount of $. I have read different threads where people spent some serious cash to achieve this, so it seemed like a nice challenge to see how...cheap I could achieve this with satisfactory results. I used a EEEPC-701SD and its screen with a touchscreen overlay. The EEE is shoved (literally) behind the screen. It fits exactly. Not a great solution if you want to take it in and out all the time, so some careful planning is needed. The GPS module is connected via USB and sits comfortably underneath the CD holder. I have never had less than 7 satellites while cruising, so all is well with that. The frame around the screen was a temporary solution during testing, (many use fiberglass or custom made enclosures), but I am getting used to it. There are no heat issues as far as I have observed the past 3-4 weeks of testing, which in part it has to do with the fact that the screen frame has openings around it and air can circulate. The carputer turns on with the ignition via a relay/timer. It goes on standby via software in XP after 40 seconds and at night it automatically turns itself on and then shuts down. The battery of the Netbook is included and charges every time the car is on. I am using an inexpensive cigarette lighter charger. All wires are easily threaded underneath or on the sides of the center console. Ride Runner runs the music, Gps, etc. And that is that!! (Oh, I forgot..It cost just under 200!!!)
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Last edited by Baritono; 29th April 2010 at 11:28 AM.
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  #2  
Old 29th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baritono View Post
This started as an experiment to see if I could install a computer with minimum amount of $. I have read different threads where people spent some serious cash to achieve this, so it seemed like a nice challenge to see how...cheap I could achieve this with satisfactory results. I used a EEEPC-701SD and its screen with a touchscreen overlay. The EEE is shoved (literally) behind the screen. It fits exactly. Not a great solution if you want to take it in and out all the time, so some careful planning is needed. The GPS module is connected via USB and sits comfortably underneath the CD holder. I have never had less than 7 satellites while cruising, so all is well with that. The frame around the screen was a temporary solution during testing, (many use fiberglass or custom made enclosures), but I am getting used to it. There are no heat issues as far as I have observed the past 3-4 weeks of testing, which in part it has to do with the fact that the screen frame has openings around it and air can circulate. The carputer turns on with the ignition via a relay/timer. It goes on standby via software in XP after 40 seconds and at night it automatically turns itself on and then shuts down. The battery of the Netbook is included and charges every time the car is on. I am using an inexpensive cigarette lighter charger. All wires are easily threaded underneath or on the sides of the center console. Ride Runner runs the music, Gps, etc. And that is that!! (Oh, I forgot..It cost just under 200!!!)
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DUDE sick lol ive been wanting to do that can u link me to the touch screen for it and the software
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  #3  
Old 29th April 2010
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Awesome. Next time I'm down in NY want to work on my Aero? . On a side note, can you send me the information on where to get the stuff like pacotaco asked as well? Thanks.
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Old 29th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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Thanks for nice comments. The eeepc I bought refurbished for ~115. The 701SD is the way to go as it has removable SSD and RAM. The touchscreen overlay and cigarette lighter charger from Dealextreme-you have to wait for a few weeks for arrival as they are in Japan. Just search eeepc 701 touch screen. The GPS http://www.qstarz.com/Products/GPS%2...BT-Q818X-F.htm It has bluetooth as well as USB, but USb is far more reliable. Screen enclosure from http://www.bybyte.com/ (Darn it! I just saw they are on sale!)
I use a software keyboard http://www.freshnet8.com/

Did I forget anything?
Enjoy!
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Old 29th April 2010
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haha nice man. I was working on a carputer a few months ago with a flip up screen that would go over the stock HU in between the knobs. I gave up because I decided it was too much of my time ha. Looks good where you put it. That was my other idea. Hows it on the eyes? I thought that putting it down there would be a pain while driving to see what you were doing. What kind of options are you running? MP3, CD, NAV, Bluetooth? What Front end?

To the two guys who asked about what he has, you should do some research. Carputers are not just a plug an play setup. Well it kind of is if you drop the money for a pre-assembled setup. But there is a lot of knowledge with front ends and software and yada yada. I would recommend doing some research before thinking you can just throw it in the car. Paco, Lilliput it a commonly used TFT. Can get them for decent price. Not sure thats what the OP used tho.
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Old 29th April 2010
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Hi Baritono, nice work.

What are you using to hold that screen in place?
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  #7  
Old 29th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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Thank you for the compliment. The case is held by the side inserts. Check the picture of the case from a link I posted previously. I have not modified them yet as I wanted to make sure that this thing is going to work in the first place. I have to admit is staying in place without any need for screwing, gluing, etc. I think it is obvious, given the placement of the Netbook, that a solution must be in place for easy removal of the screen. (If the EEE crashes, explodes, etc!) Maybe someone else who is going to try this would have a better solution. Also, if anyone wants to make use of the screen on the EEE, there cannot be more than 3 inches of distance between the screen and the EEE because the LCD cable coming from the case is that short and only a few managed to extend it. (it requires microsurgery!lol) A better way, but a few hundred dollars more expensive is to purchase a Lilliput screen and simply connect it with a VGA cable to the EEE. Then you would not even need to have the EEE behind there rather at the glove compartment. But as I stated in my first post I wanted to break the record of installing the cheapest carputer.
Edit: Here is a better picture so you can see the sides of the case.
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Last edited by Baritono; 29th April 2010 at 06:35 PM.
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  #8  
Old 29th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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Default Emergency switch

I forgot to add to the first post that I have installed a tiny switch, which doubles as an On/Off switch to the EEE. This is kind of a security, if for some reason the relay does not work when I turn on the car.
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Last edited by Baritono; 29th April 2010 at 07:14 PM.
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  #9  
Old 29th April 2010
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Very nice. I have plans to do this also.

Did you just run the audio out of the netbook to the AUX jack for the factory stereo?
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  #10  
Old 29th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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Oh, you are not going to like the answer to this. The EEE fits exactly inside the--well, let's call it--the ash tray area. I tried to simply connect a headphone plug to the Aux out of the EEE, but there was not enough space to fit the extra 1/2 inch of the plug in the back. (There is ONLY one orientation you can insert the EEE)
I had to solder the +/- on the motherboard. I also had to solder two wires on the the power switch of the EEE so that I could use the relay/timer and the extra emergency micro-switch. But once is done it is sweet. The sound is great through the EEE. I am using a 16GB SD card, which holds the maps for the Navigation as well.

My problem is that evey time I turn on the car I have to press the CD button or use the one on the steering wheel to switch to the AUX setting of the Saab--as it is always reverts back to the radio setting. I am not sure if there is a way to have AUX running automatically after I turn on the car.
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Old 29th April 2010
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So do you have a link to this relay, or a drawing?
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Old 29th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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There are schematis out there (mp3car.com), but this seems an easy and innexpensive solution: Search for 528t pulse, timer relay. There are found in many places including ebay. Cheers.
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Old 30th April 2010
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:edit: Sh!t my bad I totally missed it. How is R.R? I was planning on going with that before. Centrafuse or Streetdeck were possible other choices. I think that Road Runner (ride runner, whichever name its called now) was the best choice. There's no way to make AUX stay on each time you turn the car on. Stupid Saab. That was another reason I decided to quit. I didn't feel like having to hit the button every time I got in the car for my cd's or mp3s. Fitment was an issue as well but I'm surprised you got it to fit so nice in the bottom area. Congrats.

Last edited by Gs04aero; 30th April 2010 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 30th April 2010
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Originally Posted by Gs04aero View Post
Still didn't answer my questions ha. What software are you running? What front end?
He said Ride Runner in the original post
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Old 30th April 2010
Omnipanzer Omnipanzer is offline
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This is a very cool do it yourself tech mod. Out of curiosity what did the final tally come to?
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Old 30th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baritono View Post
There are schematis out there (mp3car.com), but this seems an easy and innexpensive solution: Search for 528t pulse, timer relay. There are found in many places including ebay. Cheers.
Found the relay, not to expensive either.

I have a ACER netbook I am going to use. Doesn't have bluetooth, but for $10 I can get a small USB one to use. I have the Microsoft Street and maps with a USB GPS sensor. I was going to try using that for the GPS signal.

Looks like you took the screen off the laptop and turned it to face you?
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  #17  
Old 30th April 2010
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This is a lot less effort than I went to (removing the CD and making a custom bracket to hold the screen) and you get to keep your CD player too. I wish I'd seen those screen frames before .

I would say that as long as you have a remote switch on the power-button circuit you shouldn't need access to the EEE behind. I'd probably bring a USB connector out somewhere though to connect a keyboard, USB drive, etc.

USB screens are fairly cheap now (<$80), and you can always use a USB sound card to get around the space issues - but I get your point about doing it as cheaply as possible.
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  #18  
Old 30th April 2010
Omnipanzer Omnipanzer is offline
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I just stumbled a cross this as well. Not as versatile as a mini PC but it is another option. The directions are clean and concise and the price would be lowish. I found one for 119.95
http://www.wulfers.net/auto/mods/tomtom/index.html
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  #19  
Old 30th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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$196 and change.
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Old 30th April 2010
Baritono Baritono is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigadon View Post
This is a lot less effort than I went to (removing the CD and making a custom bracket to hold the screen) and you get to keep your CD player too. I wish I'd seen those screen frames before .

I would say that as long as you have a remote switch on the power-button circuit you shouldn't need access to the EEE behind. I'd probably bring a USB connector out somewhere though to connect a keyboard, USB drive, etc.
I have a USB hub hidden next to the GPS under the CD plastic holder. I have not used it yet. I have been using very successfully the on screen keyboard i mentioned on the first post. Does everything I need to do and very fast. The screen frame was a chance-taker. I had no idea it would fit. It still needs some trimming in the back sides to have fit perfectly. But for now it is good enough. I am thinking of adding a backup camera s well as a HD radio. Both USB connected.
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