Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Noob and carputer

Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:58 pm

Hi there.
I've got a project car at home (currently on deployment though for several weeks, and have a bit of free time in the evenings...), and I've just order the Raspberry Pi model b, my plan is to create an in car 'computer', that will play music, from an external memory card, use as a diagnostic tool, record 1 hour on loop through a dash cam, and also contain a satnav within it, which will all be controlled via a touch screen.
I've been reading into this and the programming side of it seems pretty daunting, as I'm not too clued up on programming etc.

I've also brought a 7inch touch screen;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00G ... UTF8&psc=1
A case and a 'noob' pre installed 16gb sd card;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B ... UTF8&psc=1

Any suggestions on the other items I'd require, what camera etc?

I like the idea of the XMBC, so I can flick to each 'app', diagnostics, music player etc, but have no idea how I will accomplish this!

I've also got a wireless (USB) keyboard and mouse, to set it up, but I'm not sure if it'll work with the Pi straight out of the box?
and I've got limited internet access.....

Sorry for being so vague, as you can probably tell I'm very new to the Raspberry Pi!
Any help is appreciated, and sorry if this is in the wrong section!
Cheers

User avatar
AndrewS
Posts: 3625
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:50 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Noob and carputer

Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:45 pm

Instead of trying to dive in at the deep end and tackling everything at once, I'd advise focussing on each small area one at a time, and get one thing working before moving on to the next.

But to answer your camera question: http://www.raspberrypi.org/product/camera-module/

User avatar
DaveDriesen
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Top of the food chain
Contact: Website

Re: Noob and carputer

Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:15 pm

First things first, get yourself a powered USB hub and a DC-DC converter that can provide the DC volts the hub needs. Some adapters you can regulate with a dial, so if your hub needs 5V, you just turn the dial to 5V and Bob's your uncle. Cheap to get. Then hook everything up to that USB hub, including your pi. This way your pi will boot whenever the car is started. Keep in mind that you do not want to overload the DC-DC converter by exceeding its advised maximum amperage. You can exceed, and you won't do any critical damage if you do, it's just not a very great idea.

Now, this means that every time you start your car, you'll have to wait for the pi to boot. You can get around that by powering your DC-DC adapter directly from your battery. Do not be tempted to do this though, because if you keep your carputer running with the ignition off, your battery will be depleted faster than you think. Probably a few days or a week max. Again you can go down this road if you want to, but it's not a great idea.

Equipment wise you'll also need an OBD-II cable to interface with your car's actual onboard computer. There are wireless bluetooth adapters on the market which make for smooth-sailing compatibility but, since these use power, it's hard (impossible?) to find one which doesn't drain your car battery over time; even with the ignition off. Hence I'd advise a USB OBD-II cable. Every car made since 1996 is equipped with an OBD-II interface, although in the early years the connector used to vary somewhat among manufacturers.

What you'll also want to get is a GPS receiver. There are many posts on the forum on this topic and the receivers are all over ebay, but long story short: get one that receives the most possible contemporary satellites all at once. Use gpsd to read out the positioning data.

There is even a funky little tool called obdgpslogger which logs both OBD-II info and GPS data into an SQL database (or whatever it'll be) which is awesome for recording trips or datamining.

Another really cool thing to get is a mobile internet adapter like a 3G USB stick, or a wireless access point and a Wi-Fi dongle. That way your pi will have an internet connection.

And when you have THAT set up, install a MUD client so you can come play some Discworld MUD while you drive. See you there!

Dave Driesen
Linux Dev and oldskool elite

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:13 pm

Firstly thanks for the replies!
I will be attempting to play with everything individually, rather than all at once.

USB powered hub, is this one ok?;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Pi-Hut-Powe ... ROKL5A1OLE
Obviously once I've set the Pi up off the mains 240v, I'll have to convert it to 12v for the car, that should be ok?

I've come across this Dc to dc converter;
http://www.fasttech.com/reviews/1219200/21982
Produces 3A, which will be adequate? And it's only $2!

Or something like this off amazon?;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enjoydeal-Conve ... nverter+5v

The camera module, I've come across two on amazon, same price but worded differently;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raspberry-Pi-No ... +pi+camera

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raspberry-Pi-10 ... +pi+camera

Is the NOIR module better?

I've already got the USB obd II cable...

GPS receivers- I've come across the 'adafruit' one, claims to be the best?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-GPS-Br ... roduct_top

I tend to use amazon as I get free delivery and sometimes get the vat back :)

Thanks!

User avatar
DaveDriesen
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Top of the food chain
Contact: Website

Re: Noob and carputer

Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:01 pm

That all looks awesome. In fact if your electronics skills are this high, you probably won't even need the powered USB hub (which by the way is indeed good and the dc converter also). But if you do get the hub, then yep you'll be converting 12V to 5V to power it. You can also branch off an existing 5V from something like your car stereo harness if you're confident.

Most of the components you have here are perfect. I'm using all USB devices, simply because the GPS receiver goes into the car ceiling, the cameras go to the grill and rear window, and the OBD-II goes under the dash at the driver side door. AND I'm a slacker more comfortable hacking the code than the electronics. But, the pi can easily pull the weight.

One more thing to consider - don't know if you already have - is that plainly powering off a running pi is almost never without risk. In a car, this is an issue because not only will your pi lose power when the ignition is turned off, it may also lose power briefly when starting the engine. I don't have an easy fix for this aside from solar powered battery backup units, which are cool but a headache of their own..

Dave Driesen
Linux Dev and Oldskool Elite

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:16 pm

Ahhh good! :D

I've seen code where you can 'switch off' the pi from within itself, so without creating a risk?
I may just also add a simple switch into the dash board, for providing power to the pi form the battery, once it's in the car, to save connecting it to the ignition. But we'll see!
Thank you very much for your help.
I'm sure once I start it, I'll have plenty more questions!
Cheers!!

User avatar
AndrewS
Posts: 3625
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:50 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Noob and carputer

Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:53 pm

Jimbo198966 wrote: The camera module, I've come across two on amazon, same price but worded differently;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raspberry-Pi-No ... +pi+camera

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raspberry-Pi-10 ... +pi+camera

Is the NOIR module better?
Depends whether you'll be mainly using the camera during daytime, or if instead you'll be using it at nighttime with IR-illumination
http://www.raspberrypi.org/product/camera-module/
http://www.raspberrypi.org/product/pi-noir-camera/

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:23 am

Cheers dude. I did a bit more research and found that out. Already bought the 'day time' camera module...
I've ordered everything I need (I think!)
Just received the PiHub today, no Pi yet though :(

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:03 pm

Finally all arrived today;
Image

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:32 pm

Ok, so I've failed at the first hurdle!
I have nothing to view anything on. I,m not sure why but I thought the raspberry pi came with a 'd-sub' connector, but it doesn't!
I have with me a computer monitor with a d-sub connector and a 'dvi-d' connector, a touch screen that I've just bought for the pi (this one - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/r.html?R=26W ... 51_TE_dp_1 ), and a laptop, can I use the touch screen straight away as a monitor for the pi? But I guess then I'll need a hdmi cable? Cheers,

Edit I've also noticed the circuit board that came with the touch screen has a 'd-sub' connector on it...

drgeoff
Posts: 11247
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:44 pm

Jimbo198966 wrote:Ok, so I've failed at the first hurdle!
I have nothing to view anything on. I,m not sure why but I thought the raspberry pi came with a 'd-sub' connector, but it doesn't!
I have with me a computer monitor with a d-sub connector and a 'dvi-d' connector, a touch screen that I've just bought for the pi (this one - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/r.html?R=26W ... 51_TE_dp_1 ), and a laptop, can I use the touch screen straight away as a monitor for the pi? But I guess then I'll need a hdmi cable? Cheers,

Edit I've also noticed the circuit board that came with the touch screen has a 'd-sub' connector on it...
While you are getting the HDMI cable, I suggest you also invest a few £s in a HDMI to DVI adaptor. Then you have the option of using the computer monitor with the RPi on occasion.

(PS don't be one of the idiots who buy those £100 HDMI cables in John Lewis. The Poundland ones are perfectly adequate.)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:59 pm

Cheers dude. Yeah I've heard they're pretty much the same...
Well I guess I won't be playing with the Rpi tonight then :(
Will get on to it! Cheers.

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:49 pm

So I've got it set up now, on the 'raspbian' os.
I've also managed to connect the camera and take a photo, through the command, not sure where it stores the image though!
I've also manage to increase the image size on the 7 inch screen, so it fills the whole screen now, as it didn't before.
Next, I want to make the actual touch screen work, but have no idea on how to do this. Any help please!
:D
Thanks

User avatar
AndrewS
Posts: 3625
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:50 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Noob and carputer

Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:06 am

Jimbo198966 wrote:I've also managed to connect the camera and take a photo, through the command, not sure where it stores the image though!
In your home directory '/home/pi'. Sounds like you probably want to have a read of http://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/ :?:
Next, I want to make the actual touch screen work, but have no idea on how to do this. Any help please!
No idea myself, as I don't have one of those screens. I guess you'll either have to search for the information yourself, or ask the seller for setup instructions.

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:12 pm

Cheers.
I've got the driver on a cd, that came with the screen, but not sure how to get the driver onto the Rpi!

The internet here is terrible too, although I can use my phones data....

Need to get an Ethernet cable too, for connecting my laptop to the Rpi, so I can do remote Ssh ( i think!)

User avatar
AndrewS
Posts: 3625
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:50 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Noob and carputer

Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:20 pm

http://www.raspberrypi.org/documentatio ... /README.md :)

IMHO tackling a project like this, is going to be fairly reliant on finding relevant/suitable internet HOWTOs. But the learning is half the fun :)

Jimbo198966
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Noob and carputer

Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:57 pm

Finally got the VNC viewer working, and also, able to copy and paste on my laptop, may sound like nothing but it's taken me ages! Haha

Image

Return to “Beginners”