All in One Double DIN Navigation Car DVD Players

In initial stage, Double DIN is mainly design for playback device. Later many new technologies are added in to these devices and make life simple and entertained. Some of the functions added in double DIN player are as follow
  1. SatNav/GPS: You can navigate your GPS at the same time with other mode such as playing audio or video file using Dual zone play technology.
  2. Bluetooth: You can connect your mobile phone and the player. Using car speaker or microphone, you can answer the call or do a call, and access phone book through the device. Moreover, playback any file directly from your mobile.
  3. Touch Screen: You can access the DVD player by touching the monitor. This option will provide easy access for drivers.
  4. Backup Camera: You can connect your backup camera to the double DIN monitor to display the rear view while you step back your car safely.
  5. USB Reader: ...

University of southern California scientists show us a more productive use of graphene solar panels
Can you imagine people powering their cellular or music/video device while jogging under the sun?
A University of Southern California team has produced flexible transparent carbon atom films that may have great potential for a brand new breed of solar cells.
In a paper recently published in the journal ACS Nano, researchers stated that organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells have been proposed as a way to get low price energy due to their ease of manufacture, light-weight, and compatibility with flexible substrates.
This work suggests that graphene, a highly conductive and highly transparent kind of carbon consisting of atoms-thick sheets of carbon atoms, has high potential to fill this role.
While graphene's existence has been known for many years, it has only been studied extensively since 2004 due to the impossibility of m ...

Expected Functionalities in a Car PC Software

 After your PC setup is ready with mother board, ram, hard disk, etc...  It is time to install the Car PC Software for your Car Pc. Without this specific Car PC Software it is hard to handle the system while driving. So it is a very important stage in the Car PC Project.

All the built in applications can be used in a desktop or laptop with or without little modifications. But when it comes to Car PC, the changes in existing applications are not enough. So we need software designed and developed specifically for In Car purposes. All the basic behaviours are expected in the Car PC Software are discussed in the later sections.
Though we expect all the following functionalities are available in a single package. Some times it is not possible. In that case the software must be having a front end where you can host other applications. So with in this Front-End you can manage those programs.

In Car En ...

Read more here:   Car PC Software 

Data Storage options in Car PC

Though I built the Car PC and satisfied with the installations, I still feel the entire system is sluggish. The main reason is, I am using a old 800MHZ c3 processor. I am in the process of upgrading the PC hardware including the case. Here I have done few analyses on hard disk part, let’s see how it goes.

From my analysis, there are few options for main storage in a car pc

SSD IDE drives

Even though the Solid State Disks are the best performers the price of this disks are yet be bit costlier. But one thing to note is the prices of SSD are coming down and should be a good choice in the near future. How ever the total setup is very simpler when compared to the rest

PROS: faster boot times
CONS: price

Compact Flash cards

The compact flash cards have the limited write issue.  EWF can be used to avoid frequent writes.
Setting up this with IDE requires additional hardware. And setting up EWF nee ...

Read more here:   Solid State Drives in Car PC 

Setting up a Double Din Car PC

DIN follows International standard ISO for car audio head units (German standard). Head units generally prepared in either single DIN (180 x 50 mm) or Double DIN (180 x 100 mm) size. The depth will be left to the manufactures preference and depends on their requirement.

There are few ways to mount the double din PC. It purely depends on the installers, user’s choice. Apart from desirablity, there are few consideration left to the installers. Such as ease of installation, Interference from alternator, power lines and ventilation of units. The following are few ways to mound the double din Car PC.

Complete Double Din Car PC mounted in dash

This setup is easy to install and neat. The motherboard normally a Mini-ITX or smaller than the Mini ...

Battery Charger from PC Power Supply

A Car battery can be charged using PC PSU. But connecting them should be handled properly. While there is no special requirement for car battery, I have tried with a small Motor Bike battery and it worked well. It should work for a car battery, However this needs to be validated. So try it at your own risk.

Safety Note

Please note that, this article explains the usage of PC PSU to experiment the possibilities of charging a battery. It does not mean that it should work and no guarantee that it will charge all the batteries. Yes I tried it is working but it may not work for you. It is bit of dangerous to play with the power so be extra much careful while dealing with power. If you are unsure don’t follow this.  This is for information purpose only, you may gain knowledge from these article. With this knowledge implementation should be taken care by yourself.

Media Player using WPF MediaElement

Initially I started the Car PC project with WinForms Project. But after some time once the functionalities are almost frozen,I realized WPF will be a good replacement for this. since i can style this with various effects easily. I am now working on WPF based player mediaelement that can take the Songs Play List from my own Microsoft Access based Play List Library and play using MediaElement.

WPF MediaElement to audio player

Play: To play the selected song.If it is already playing pause it,
Pause : To pause the selected song.If it is already paused then resume from the current location,
Stop: To stop the currently playing song,
Previous Song : Stop the current song and Play the previous song
Next Song,: Stop the current song and go to next song
Fast Forward: Fast Forward the current song by setting t ...

Read more here:   WPF MediaElement for Media Player 

Setup Power Supply for testing Car PC at your desktop

Not only the initial setup needs a test PSU, but also we need that at desktop for some maintenance on the Car PC. Since the power requirements can go beyond 160 W. It is advisable to look for some good source of power supply. But as those who are working at the Car PC, Mostly will be having some spare old desktop PC PSU which can accept house hold AC to power up the PC. Then you may find this article is going to help you saving few dollars.

Ensure PSU has enough Power Requirements

Ensure the SMPS has enough current to power your system. A typical 5 amp 12v system can be able to provide 12V X 5A=60 watts. But don’t run any power source at its full load as the electrical appliances at full load won’t run in efficiently and often a surge in power demand may kill the PSU or the PC.
So better try to take some PSU that way be ...

Power Supplies selection for mini-ITX based Car PC

Powering the car PC setup is very difficult step and has to be analyzed well before anything. If you have not planned how many devices you are going to be using and bought a very low power PSU. And later you have added a few USB devices and some HDD, then one day the PSU may not be able to handle the power demand. Eventually it will die, worse it may harm your Car PC as well. While choosing dimension of the PSU is also one criterion. I will leave freely to be chosen by those who setup.

Components of required Car PC PSU

Power Adapter: will be required for testing the PSU at home desktop where you setup and test your Car PC.
Battery: will be required for using in the car.
Cables: Choose power cables with proper gauge, otherwise it may lead to fire accidents.
Connectors: Mostly least bothered item in the Car PC setup. If th ...

DC-DC Vs Special Car PC Power Supplies

Home computer (normally desktops) uses power supplies from AC (Alternating Current). A car battery provides 12 V DC, which can be utilized to power the Car PC by DC-DC power supply.

DC-AC-DC inverter and its usage

An inverter gives AC from the given DC power supply, so that normal low power consuming appliances can be used. However this method is very inefficient as inverter wastes lots of power while converting DC-AC-DC.

The real necessary requirement for Shutdown Controllers

Shutdown Delay

The normal DC-DC converter will not trigger a shutdown pulse and wait rather it will cut the power supply when the Ignition is off. So the Car PC should be shutdown / hibernate / Standby before switching off the ignition. This is troublesome if you are forgetting one day to shutdown and switched off the ignition, chances are the next time when you triggering the ignition the Car PC might be ...

Power Supply Units for Car Computers with Intelligent Shut down Controllers

Why special PSU required for Car PC

Choosing the power supply unit is the most difficult tasks of assembling a Car PC. This has to ensure that the battery is not drained even the Computer is off. Even the computer is OFF, it will still consume about few watts from the Car Battery. It may lead to battery drain.

Selection of Power Supply

We need to find an Intelligent Shutdown Controller for controlling power switch of a motherboard by ignition. Basically these controllers will work well in mini-ITX motherboard with ATX power connector.

Always choose the right gauge/thickness for the cables, too thin cables will lead to severe damage. We took Positive and Negative from the battery directly. And also the ignition line from the Car’s circuit. This ignition line is a main factor fo ...