AvBrand Exploring Technology
- Part 1 - Installation of the Car PC
- Part 2 - Adding a Rear-View Camera
- Part 3 - Time for some Software!
- Part 4 - An LED message sign
- Part 5 - Voice Commands
- Part 6 - Phone Integration
- Part 7 - XM Radio Integration
- Part 8 - Permanent Internet
- Part 9 - Front Camera
- Part 10 - Digital Dash
- Part 11 - Shuttle Jog Wheel
- Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked QuestionsI seem to get the same questions over and over again. Here, I will try to answer the most common ones.
How much did all of this cost you?If you count everything, the total outlay is probably somewhere around $2,500. Keep in mind, however, that I've done things a certain way -- there's certainly ways to do it cheaper!
Why are you using an inverter? It's so inefficient!I'm not, actually; the inverter has not been in use in some time. It sucked!
Where can I get your Car PC software?You can't, unfortunately. The truth is, my software is at best a proof-of-concept hack job. It works great for me, but it wouldn't be much use to someone else. Many of it's parts are hard-coded to my specific needs. Taking a software package from "proof of concept" to "finished product" is a lot more work than it is to create the proof of concept, and I just don't have that kind of time.
So then why don't you release your software as open-source?Because I'm not really into the idea of just giving my software away. I've done it in the past, and I continue to do it with "discontinued" projects, but I've discovered that most people expect a finished product and will harass you to no end if it doesn't work for them instead of just going in and fixing it.
So, if you won't sell or give away your software, why is this site even here?The site is here to document my projects and to provide inspiration to others. I've had so many people thank me for this site, having inspired them to build their own Car PC. That's what the site is for :)
How good is the video quality on the front camera?It's 640x480 video captured from a 520-line NTSC camera, so it's decent, but certainly not HD-quality.
I'm working on my own Car PC and want to know if you'll give me a code sample of something you have?It's possible. Just ask on the Contact page!
How are you getting the interface data from the car, such as Speed and Temperature?I'm using an ELM-327 ODB-II reader I picked up on eBay for $30, and wrote a quick ELM thingy into my software.
What software are you using for Voice Control?I'm using the Microsoft Speech SDK, which is free and offers excellent voice features, including TTS and Speech-to-text.
What language is your software written in?Most of my software is written in Visual Basic 6. Sometimes Flash is used for a front-end.
But Visual Basic sucks! You suck for writing your software in it!Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all. The reality is, VB6 is super-fast for rapid development, and can do about 95% of what you can do with more "proper" languages like C++. I mean, just look at the stuff documented on this site to see what I've done with it.
Where can I find the LED Sign you used?Please see the LED Sign Tech Specs page.