While vehicle manufacturers are slowly starting to move away from their archaic in-car operating systems and migrate towards Windows, Android or, sadly, Apple’s iOS, the evolution is slow and cumbersome for many brands. Reddit user RichTatham has done to his Jaguar what many billion dollar manufacturers are struggling to do. Here’s the story of how he fitted a PC to the dashboard of his car for under $300.
The End Result.
This is what I'm starting with. It's an 8.9" Atom netbook with wifi and bluetooth, which I've upgraded to 2Gb RAM, a 64Gb SSD, and a USB 3.0 express card. Not bad for $15.
First thing to do is separate the screen from the netbook. Eventually they'll be 5 meters apart.
Let's rip the rest of the notebook apart and see what we've got. The hard drive uses a ribbon cable (ZIF) and required a PATA-to-mSATA adapter to work.
Soldering extra wires to the power switch means I can turn the netbook on and off from the other end of the car.
Solder on two wires to the netbook motherboard so that I can relocate the power LED.
I added a touchpanel to the screen using an eBay kit ($15). Just stick the panel to the screen, plug in the USB controller board and run the calibration tool. Easy.
The touchscreen works! Here's the netbook running Android x86, which was one of the first test systems.
Now I need to mount the screen to the car. Here's a basic double-din frame, which will be heavily modified to fit my needs.
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