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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings to you all!
I already have an HD-Link IW03GF (from DigiWorks) installed and working in my 2013 volt, but I could never get the APCAST component (also sold to me by DigiWorks) to work. I also did not like the idea of having to change my phone's wifi to use only that device's private network in order to connect. There were other difficulties in trying to use the APCAST, but I won't bore you with them here.
I am able to mirror my Samsung Galaxy S20, but in both portrait and landscape mirroring, the controls are much too small to see AND I really want to integrate the Volt's touch screen with what is mirrored. Lastly about this phone, it has something cool called Dex which allows it to display a Windows-looking desktop through HDMI, which can serve as a full WIndows PC replacement, if desired. Unfortunately, at the time I write this, Dex can't display anything below 1920x1080 resolution, and there is no way for users to set the size.
So, long story\short, I have been on the lookout for a reasonable in-car computer (android or SBC) for quite a while now.
I stumbled across this article: DIY: Apple CarPlay installation for Chevy Volt Gen1, and because if it, I was just abut ready to pull the trigger on a Raspberry Pi 4 8gb model (and accessories) when I suddenly remember that I might already have most if what I need to install a full computer!
I already have this itx motherboard: Q87T/CSM (Q87T/CSM | Motherboards | ASUS USA), with an Intel 4790s (Intel® Core™ i7-4790S Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.00 GHz) Product Specifications, along with 16 GB of DDR3-1600 ram and a 512GB on-mothertboard SSD.
My current itx case is way too big, so I just ordered these, in the hopes that it will fit in the small space in the console (accessible when the side panels are unclipped: RGEEK Top Cover with Holes, Aluminum Mini ITX Computer Case PC Case HTPC (Amazon.com: RGEEK Top Cover with Holes, Aluminum Mini ITX Computer Case PC Case HTPC: Computers & Accessories) and this: Noctua NH-L9i, Premium Low-Profile CPU Cooler for Intel LGA115x (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009VCAJ7W?ref=ppx_pt2_dt_b_prod_image).
here are the questions I would like to ask, especially to those who have already been through the process of attaching another device, through an IW03GF, to your Volt's edutainment system:
  • Does the solution I am planning make sense?
  • Will the same touch-screen multiplexer that seems to work for Raspberry Pi ALSO work such that the PC I have can also use the Volt's touch-screen as input?
  • Should I install (on the PC) Windows 10? Android OS? Some flavor of Linux (hoping to get max driver compatibility with the devices that will be included)?
** My initial thinking is that if I install an Android OS, if I then purchase a Car Play\Android Auto wireless dongle, I can use that to connect my phone to the PC if I want to.
I plan on allowing the pc to connect to my phone's 5G connection for downloading updates, if\when it needs them - not sure if USB, wifi, or bluetooth will be best for that.
  • Do you think I will be able to power the mobo from a source already inside my Volt?
  • Anything else that, in my ignorance SHOULD ask you all, but don't yet know enough to ask?

Thanks in advance, and if I get it all working, I absolutely will publish a step-by-step how-to for others who might want to give this a try.
 

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I just want to ask you...Full computer (or even a Raspberry). Why? Something like APCAST I can see why. Being able to link infotainment with mobile device sure sounds great. But beyond that...?
 

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Carputers offer more freedom than most purchasable hardware does. If it can be installed cleanly, it can be a media center with more geebees of audio than a phone can hold. The software is generally more robust too. In the current era of inexpensive multimedia stereos it's not necessarily the best option, back in 2006 when I was looking into a similar project there was nothing out of a box that could touch a carputer in functionality.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i replied to uchal's questions when they came in the form of an e-mail.
I thought it would have been posted here as a reply. Odd.

Well, here was my reply:

A number of reasons – and MAYBE these are false assumptions in my part – if so, please tell me why they are false.
There are more reasons than just those below, but these are what I can think of off the top of my head:
  • I already have the parts (mobo, low-power CPU still with 4 cores and 8 threads, memory, and storage. I will spend less on the USFF case and cooler than I would on an RPi, and I KNOW Windows (and could learn Android) much more easily and quickly than I could learn l\unix that runs under RPi.
  • Not counting Raspberry Pi 4, most Pi’s with which I have worked seems to lag or slow down when needing to do compute-intensive things like re-route GPS when turns are missed.
  • I don’t like being limited to only those apps an appliance allows – for example, from what I understand, using an Android Auto device only allows SOME of Android apps to be used.
  • I’m an experienced C# programmer, and the idea of being able to write my own auto-related apps appeals to me, for example, if I link my ODB2 blue-tooth device to this PC, I can write my own code to determine WHAT to display, and HOW and WHERE to display it.
  • Even if it is overkill, I like the idea that I can expand (functionality, not physical space) or upgrade this kind of device whenever I want to. Example, if I need a new family of blue-tooth transceiver, I can use a USB device or even find a low-profile PCIe x4 card to use.
  • The particular motherboard I plan to use was MADE specifically to be used in low-power, portable devices – it has built-in edP\LVDS display outputs, etc. Please take a look at the link I posted and you will see what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Carputers offer more freedom than most purchasable hardware does. If it can be installed cleanly, it can be a media center with more geebees of audio than a phone can hold. The software is generally more robust too. In the current era of inexpensive multimedia stereos it's not necessarily the best option, back in 2006 when I was looking into a similar project there was nothing out of a box that could touch a carputer in functionality.
Thanks, ASCI Blue. uchal's e-mail was starting to make me think that considering using an actual computer was odd or atypical or something. These days, both in the U.S. (and elsewhere, from what I read and see) small computers are being considered for use in all kinds of places where before it would have been impossible.
Truth-be-told, I would PREFER to use a smaller, more compact computer like a Raspberry Pi, but the li\u-nix aspect of that (I think) would really hamper me and make this project take more time than I want.

what I need to focus on now, is how to integrate PC inputs and outputs either through my IW03GF or, if I have to, directly to my Volt's infotainment system.

I made contact with a person from the original article I posted about purchasing the 4-wire touch control multiplexer he makes (it's a pass-through that connects to the Volt's touch-screen) because it ends in a USB (type A) connection. As long as there is some kind of driver that will let me use that in my computer as an output, it SHOULD work fine. I need to investigate more.
 

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To each their own...I wasn't trying to put you down or anything like that, BTW. Just curious as for the reason...It seems that you have quite a list of them, so there, my curiosity is satisfied. Good luck with your project!
 

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There used to be an entire website dedicated to carputers, iirc it was carpc.com but it's been a decade or so since I last looked at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Status update:
I purchased Open Auto Pro (it was ~$28 usd) and have it installed on a Raspberry Pi 4b. I am still trying to learn how to connect my phone to it. I can pair both devices to each other via Bluetooth, but so far, no luck getting Open Auto Pro to see the phone and allow calls and mirroring...
Also, because I don't want to have to use an external mouse with the Pi, I reached out to the Ukrainian gentleman mentioned in the article I referenced, and received a device from him that purports to send input from my stock touch-screen to and device that can accept a 4-pin\wire output.
I have not yet reached to him asking for help configuring it, but I will when I get the chance.
Please wish me luck! :)
 
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