Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Build a Car PC

Build Your Own Car PCAt the library I noticed the book "Build Your Own Car PC" by Gavin D. J. Hooper. As the title suggests, this gives a step by step guide to building a personal computer into a car for entertainment, navigation and car diagnostics. The book takes a purist approach using a VIA SP Mini Itx motherboard which fits in a case the size of a car radio (DIN slot).

Such a tiny PC requires special low height components, for the memory cards and heat sink, a more rugged disk drive. The book discusses peripherals such as tray less DVD drives, radio and TV tuners, small LCD screens.

Car PCBut what is not made entirely clear is why you want to do all this. A car PC would make an excellent entertainment system, able to play movies and music. A GPS antenna will turn it into a navigation system. An On Board Diagnostics (ODB) connector will allow the PC to read diagnostic information from the car's engine management system. But the details of how you would use these is not covered in great detail in the book, just how to put them together.


Unknown said...

I was wondering If you do an OBD reader for a motorcycle I have a Kawasaki ZX9 could you send me some help on this matter It would be very helpfull
thanks very much for your help
A R HICKS (allan)

Tom Worthington said...

allan said...

I was wondering If you do an OBD reader for a motorcycle I have a Kawasaki ZX9 ...

Unfortunately, unlike car makers, motorcycle manufacturers have not installed a standard socket for checking On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) engine codes. According to the Wikipedia, from 2008, new US vehicles are required to implement the Controller-area network (CAN) option on their ODB plug.

Some new motorcycles also use CAN and it may be possible to get an adapter to tap into the CAN.

There are some very expensive general purpose monitors, such as Standard Motor's BDM DIAGNOSTIC MONITOR, which claim to be able to work with some motorcycles. But these will tend to only be for Harley Davidsons.