Automotive PC

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This article describes the integration of a PC into a mobile amateur station.

The Automotive PC is a natural extension of the amateur hobby. Personal Computers have now become commonplace in the HAM shack.<ref name=name8">Welcome to paKet</ref> With today's technology, a modern mobile amateur station could have a full power, internet connected, personal computer available at all times. In addition to the standard Carputer functionality, a personal computer integrated into an automobile can be used to provide a fully featured APRS station, a touchscreen/voice command radio front-end, and a vast platform for amateur experimentation.



An automotive PC is not intended to be used in the same manner as a home PC or a laptop PC. It is designed from the ground up to be used in an automotive environment. This moderately harsh environment places more demands upon the hardware than a home or an office. Most importantly, because your main focus in an automobile is driving, the PC cannot distract from the driving experience.

Some important considerations follow: 1. The PC is the least important part of the equation. It can be easily swapped out should the need arise. 2. The peripherals you use to interact with the PC are the most important part of the equation. They are embedded into the automobile and cannot be easily accessed for upgrades and repairs. Allocate your budget towards getting the best screen and microphone you can afford. A transflective touchscreen display is required to ensure sufficient brightness for daytime operation. An array microphone with an active noise canceling digital signal processor is recommended to ensure speech intelligibility with road noise in the background.

more here later...

Parts Acquisition

  1. 2004-06 TL Service Manual -
  2. CTF700-SHM VGA 7" TFT Touchscreen USB OPEN FRAME (600nits) TRANSFLECTIVE PRO -
  3. DA-350 Andrea Electronics linear multi-element array microphone -
  4. GPS 2400 Hirschmann GPS/Celluar/WLAN car antenna -
  5. CNX-P5USB 4-Port USB Hub -
  6. Adesso SlimTouch Wireless 2.4GHz RF Mini Touchpad Keyboard -
  7. Centrafuse Auto 3.0 -
  8. PIE X3 Triple Input Auxiliary interface - Audio Excellence
  9. PIE X3 HON03 Honda Vehicle Harness - Audio Excellence
  10. AR1600-U910H Acer Aspire Revo -
  11. Intel X25-V Value Solid-State Drive 40GB SATA -
  12. Optima D35 sealed lead acid battery -
  13. Billet Aluminum Rigid Clamp Tray for your D35 Optima Battery -
  14. Car Cigarette Lighter Universal Laptop Power Adapter -
  15. Atheros AR2425 AR5007EG AR5BXB63 Mini pci-e WLAN Card -
  16. BlueSoleil Bluetooth v2.1+EDR BS005 Mini Dongle (Class I 100 Meters) -
  17. U.FL to FME antenna cable reduction 30cm -
  18. ISOpwr - Auxiliary Battery Isolator -
  19. RIGrunner - connect all your 12 VDC equipment to a power source -
  20. Wire Duct, Wide Slot, Gray, Width 1.75 In -
  21. Wire Duct Cover, Gray, Width 1.75 In -
  22. Channel, 35mm Din Rail -
  23. DIN Rail Mounting Clips (DINM01) -
  24. KTC Trim Tool Kit SOJATP2014 -


XP Pro Install

  1. Obtain XP Pro Install CD
  2. Download SP3
  3. Download latest sata_ide drivers from Nvidia
  4. Download latest nlite
  5. Create bootable XP Pro SP3 with slipstreamed Nvidia sata drivers installation CD
  6. Install XP Pro SP3 using boot disc
  7. Install latest Nvidia ION LE drivers
    1. Graphics: 195.62 WHQL
    2. Chipset: 15.46 WHQL
    3. Audio: WHQL

CTF700-SHM Install

  • Launch NVIDIA Control Panel
    • Select Change resolution
    • Select Add Resolutions...
    • Select Create Custom Resolution
    • Accept Terms and Conditions
    • Create Custom Resolution form appears (enter the following:)
Display Mode
Horizontal pixels: 800 Vertical lines: 480
Refresh rate (Hz): 70 Color depth (bpp): 32
Scan type: Progressive
Timing Horizontal Vertical
Standard: Manual
Active Pixels 800 480
Front porch (pixels): 40 20
Sync width (pixels): 80 8
Total pixels: 1040 531
Polarity: Positive (+) Positive (+)
Refresh rate: 37.31 kHz 70.803 Hz
Pixel clock: 39.1003 MHz
  • Click Test
  • Click OK to accept the resolution
  • Click OK to close the add resolution form
  • Close the NVIDIA Control Panel
  • Right Click Desktop
  • Choose Properties
  • The Display Properties form appears
    • Select the Settings tab
    • Click the Advanced button
      • Select the Adapter tab
      • Click the List All Modes... Button
      • Select 800x480, True Color (32bit), 70Hertz near the bottom of the list
      • Click apply
      • Click yes

Wake-On-LAN Configuration

  1. Update BIOS to P01.A3
  2. Update NVIDIA Chipset drivers to 15.46 WHQL
  3. Enter BIOS Setup (Press Del on boot) and select Power Management Setup
  4. Ensure that ACPI Suspend Mode is S3 (STR)
  5. Enable: Power On by Onboard Lan
  6. Enter Windows and select Start -> Control Panel -> Network Connections
  7. Right click on Local Area Connection and select Properties
  8. Click Configure...
  9. Select the Power Management tab
  10. Check all 3 check boxes
    1. Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power
    2. Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby
    3. Only allow management stations to bring the computer out of standby
  11. Click OK
  12. Close Network Connections
  13. Put the PC to sleep
  14. Test sending a Wake-On-LAN Magic Packet using: WOL and Wake-on-LAN Packet sniffer

to be continued...


<references />

External Links

Books about Automotive PCs

  • Car PC Hacks (Tips & Tools for Geeking Your Ride), O'Reilly

Personal tools