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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New computer system, Core2Duo dell laptop with removed LCD ( ebay CHEAP ) new amplifier for door speakers, rear tweeters, Automatic Standby/power on with ignition. Very fast, very factory/stock feeling to the whole system. All still installed under the passenger seat. Very stable. Still standard hard drive but hasn't had any issues at all on our off-road adventures.

Rebuilding. :)


finished. just kidding.


Installed the computer nice up INSIDE the passenger seat.
Now wrapping all wires/cables in protective plastic housing.
Making all wires disappear and making it more of a solid, permanent, fool-proof installation.

Front End software: RoadRunner project
Skin Interface: DigitalFX by JohnRPB

First Glance Shot


Up close shot of the home screen menu. Made the transparent logo in photoshop.

Music Player Main Menu

GPS in 2D mode, powered by iGuidance software

Under vehicle camera (i move it from time to time) currently directed toward the front viewing the front left tire.

Subwoofer. 400Watt RMS 10" DP Audio with an isuzu sticker lol.

Very quick removal setup by using a 6 Pin trailer harness for folding down the seats for quick camping trips. Also installed a LED light on the back of the subwoofer box to make quick adjustments when needed in the dark.

Rear tweeters, were too loud at first, a lot louder then the front stock tweeters so I soldered on some resistors, sounds very level, doesn't make the eyes twitch or bring on a headache anymore for rear passengers.

another full view dash shot, dash mat appears purple though it is black.

Center console area.

A different angle view of the carbon fiber dash kit.

Loading screen I made in photoshop, never see it though as its rare I have to restart the system.

Oscar climbed on the window a little curious as to what I was doing...

Still more to come :)

The system sounds very rich and great even with the stock door speakers, I'll admit that I am quite impressed in them though they are lacking bass, but thats what the subwoofer is there for. Installation was pretty flaky at first, but I'm getting to the point that it just about appears and operated entirely like it is a stock/factory system if this were offered through isuzu.

thanks for viewing :) any questions are entirely welcome. It's taken me 4 or 5 months now of experimenting, trial and error getting it to the point that the system is now.

Some more pictures:

































 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
heh :) thanks guys... the cost was around $150 for the damaged laptop (broken screen, didnt need the screen)... $10 for 12v power supply $200 for the touch screen 800x600 VGA 12v touch screen, $40 for a 200 Watt amp for the door speakers.

Other than that, it was a whole lot of Running wires, some soldering, some drilling here and there.

All it in all, i paid a hell of a lot less for what you would have a lame featureless touch screen media center in today's 2007-2008 vehicles (up to like a $2200 option when ordering your vehicle.

The system I have is also entirely wireless when it comes to uploading new albums and video to the hard drive. From inside the house, on my mac, On the wireless (airport) I select to connect to the "rodeo" access point. From there I have a shortcut to the media folder on the system. From there I can drag my videos and music of any file type to that folder and they are added to the database in the music/video player.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RodeoRed said:
thats absolutely crazy.

i want more info!!!!!

coolest audio set up in a rodeo i have ever seen!!!
Ask all the questions you want and ill answer in as much detail as you'd like!

Heh! okay guys you're makin me feel pretty great about myself and my rodeo right now.

It's funny because all of my friend's friends who get in my rodeo compliment on the nice system in my rodeo, when I tell them i custom built the system into my rodeo, it takes me quite a while for me to convince to them that it's really true lol.
 

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wow thats really cool
 

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stevey500 said:
Ask all the questions you want and ill answer in as much detail as you'd like!
Software program costs and difficulty of integration?
What maps are you using?
GPS receiver, SIRFIII, mounting location?
How does the system power on, and does it take a long time to boot up and acquire the signal?

Oh, I'll have more questions. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
mr_spicoli said:
stevey500 said:
Ask all the questions you want and ill answer in as much detail as you'd like!
Software program costs and difficulty of integration?
What maps are you using?
GPS receiver, SIRFIII, mounting location?
How does the system power on, and does it take a long time to boot up and acquire the signal?

Oh, I'll have more questions. :D
Software cost: NOTHING... (besides windows) I used an old XP disc, upgraded it to the latest service pack. I then stripped all of the part of the OS out that I was not going to be needing. There's a lot of tutorials for that if you hit up google. There's quite a few freeware apps you can find to strip down windows with your copy of windows you have.

EDIT: iGuidance is not free (GPS mapping software that ties in with RoadRunner)

The software running on top of windows is called RoadRunner (check out the www.mp3car.com forums to find out more about these programs)
The interface skin running on top of RoadRunner was made by MarkBPR(his username).
The base audio/video player running entirely hidden is the latest copy of winamp.

The GPS software is iGuidance 4.0 Running the whole US map(probably around a gig of data or so). I have a generic SIRFIII USB waterproof GPS mounted on top of the rodeo with a built in magnet, Ran the usb cable under the trim and out to the top by the passenger door. The receiver is very small and self powered.

RoadRunner(the interface touch based Graphic interface) controls Winamp and iGuidance. RoadRunner has many other features also, such as external XM/Serius sattelite controls along with TV Tuners.

My phone(motorola Z6m on Alltel) is also intergrated through Bluetooth and can pause music playback and display who is calling upon receiving a call or Text message, very customizable. Calls may also be placed and contact list can be read on the touch screen.. This is a plugin inside of RoadRunner called freefone(flash based).

The system powers on when it received 12 volts from the iginition into a specific pin in the serial port(just like a computer would work if it was hooked up to a UPS battery backup). If that 12 volts is lost ( key turned off) the system goes to standby. From the point of turning the ignition on to the point that the computer is resumed back to the point of where it was shut off is maybe 2-5 seconds. It varies. The GPS will hold its sattelite connection for around an hour. If the computer is off (standby) for more than an hour, on a resume, the GPS will take roughly 30 seconds to be reconnected to the satellites and accurate.

The computer running with the very very stripped down version of XP is very stable. I haven't had any issues so far. I am a mac user, I despise windows anymore. Use to be a big fan for years. But this XP installation runs great. IF there is to be crash (bluescreen) or lockup, the system takes maybe 7 seconds to boot and automatically lunch roadrunner, iguidance, and winamp 8 seconds later and roadrunner resumes to exactly what it was doing before, even same part of the song I was at. Not bad. I replaced the boot loader screens with the isuzu graphic shown above.

I do have a manual power button that I installed near the lower left of the LCD screen in the dash. I cut a hole out of the dash with my dremel, got a button at radio Shack, I ran the wires from the button and soldered them to the power button contacts on the laptop. This button is set to tell the computer to standby or resume.

I have a 4 gauge wire running under the trim and carpet to the subwoofer in the rear, the power supply to the laptop computer is tapped into the 4 gauge wire so the laptop constantly has power. Having left my rodeo for a week straight without shutting down the laptop completely (just left it in standby), the rodeo started perfectly without hardly any notice at all of any low voltages. The computer and 12v power supply converter hardly pulls any current at all when the computer is in standby.

Sometime here soon I may install a slot-loading Optical reading drive in the dash.

So here is the software in layers:

from bottom to top

Windows:
Winamp:
iGuidance:

Xport
(shares the USB port of the GPS to RoadRUnner and iGuidance, RoadRunner has built in GPS "Gauges" for altitude, the Compass[shown above-below the isuzu logo] and other things.)
A few helper applications to make all of the functions work in roadrunner with the skin I have installed.
Roadrunner. = the controlling interface of all of the software underneath.

Sounds like a mess. But it looks clean, all the software talks to each other very well. Runs clean, very fast, and without a glitch. What's even real cool, is that when iGuidance is reading me GPS directions such as "Exit 233 on the right in 500 feet, merge right" it will tell winamp to reduce the music volume really low and resume to original volume when it's done telling me its' comand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tomorrow I could possibly make a video of the interface in how easy it is to navigate and use and youtube it.
 

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So where do you live and when you putting mine in. This is the coolest thing i have ever seen im my life. Sounds really complex at first.
 

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Love the led on the box and the trailer wire I think the wire would be too small to power my set up but i really like this idea Were did you get the leds and do they have the resistor on them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rodeokid said:
So where do you live and when you putting mine in. This is the coolest thing i have ever seen im my life. Sounds really complex at first.
heh! Emery county, utah. right smack dab in the middle of the mountains and san rafel desert. I've been considering installing systems like this for Xtreem Automotives over here in price utah. I mean, why not? It's a fun project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rodeokid said:
Love the led on the box and the trailer wire I think the wire would be too small to power my set up but i really like this idea Were did you get the leds and do they have the resistor on them?
I bet you could modify a trailer harness with some larger wire that can handle your system. The LED is a very bright white led with a tiny resistor built in. I got a pack of 20 of them for cheap on ebay. I have a few installed behind my grill. At night a soft white glows behind the upper and lower grill, looks neat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Funny for you to ask... I'm currently a senior in highschool. I don't exactly have a job, I sort of work on my own doing computer repair services in my small county. I also do some photography for Senior photos, family photos and other things in that category.

I never really did anything for training when it comes to computers and technology, I've just always had this interest I was born with and have always broken/fixed computers and destroyed/fixed software
(started with MS DOS, then to windows... eventually all versions, hacked windows up entirely making it to things it wasnt intended to, etc.. whatever you wanna call it, i figured out windows down to the bone) I got into macintosh computers in 8th grade or so after looking down on apple for so long. I came to find out I'll never use a windows pc powered machine as my main computer ever again. I may seem like this hardcore computer nerd, but I'm a little into everything on top of that, I was in motocross for a few years, now I'm into mostly 4-wheelin around with many buddies and many girls i've gotten into motorsports too. Lately having my rodeo I've been having fun going out on cross-country trails around the county just out to have fun.

Sometime soon after graduating ill get into a little school, I want to go into photography as a business and I'll keep my freelance computer services I offer running for whenever someone needs me for help.

As well as I work with computers and media technology, I'm not entirely sure if I want to make a business out of it. Because if I were to make a business out of it, it would be the same basic thing every day. Photography would be very adventurous, always some place and something new to look forward to... along with the ability to meet many people.

Everything I do I haven't had training for... I just enjoy making things do what they weren't indented for. I try to make the most out of the little things. Like what I did with my rodeo, took a broken laptop and turned it into a vehicle Music/video/Nav system that does a hell of a lot more than the factory ones do from Ford (sync) and other motor companies.

Although it wouldn't have been entirely possible without those who spend HOURS and hours in development of the front end software used to make all this happen in my rodeo entertainment center project. If RoadRunner didn't exist out there, it would have taken me a lot long in building a GUI (graphic interface) to make it all happen.
 

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Thanks for the detailed writeup and answering my questions. I'm going to seriously look into this as I need a new system for the Rodeo.

Another question...Has anyone ever linked this system to the engine diagnostics?
 
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