View Full Version : Overhead Laptop based GPS install

January 21st, 2007, 12:57 AM
Ok, the first pic is my OLD laptop mount. Yea, it blocked the heater controls, the radio, got crap spilled on it, banged your knee on it, interfeered with shifting to 4x4 and didn't have a touch screen so was hard to use on the trail.


Worked good for GPS for several years though.

Sooooo....more fun with the plasma cam.

Started with a chunk of 1/8 plate aluminium and let one of my students work out the dimentions. She measured for the plate and designed the pattern for the cooling holes and then cut it on the plasma cam.


Then I went and got this stuff for part of the holding part. Some 3/8 nylon webbing, a couple of D rings and needle and thread.


So I started by sewing the D-rings onto the webbing....


I used a turnbuckle to tighten it all up.


The webbing goes accross the front like this...


Then we put a 90 degree bend on the end, it will be used to mount a switch that will turn on a couple of LED dome lights that will be mounted right behind the 90 degree....thus keeping the glare out of my eyes. Industial strength Velcrow will also be used to help hold the laptop and keep it from sliding. This is the same Velcrow I used on my other laptop mount and this stuff is F-ing strong...period. All powdercoated with the black wrikle.


Ok, here it is in the stowed position. Not everything is done yet. There will be a strap to make sure the screen stays up and none of the wireing is done yet.


Here it is in the down position and it really doesn't obstruck front visibility at all. I am also going to use the stowage strap to stabilize the screen against the rear view mirror.


Ok, here is the GUI (graphic user interface) I made for it.

First shot is the day screen. The Jeep logo in the center is a flash application that when you touch it, it switches to a clock.


Here is the clock...can't get the digital part to work yet. :blink: Analog works though. I may switch this to a speedo since I don't have a working speedo in the Jeep.


The music browser...


The GPS interface....


The night screen...it uses the GPS data for sun up and sun down to automaticly switch screens. I can maually over ride this if I want to.


This is a higher res of the screen...this is how it looks on the laptop. This is just a background image...when it's running, at the top it shows what song is playing and the center has the Jeep logo/clock in it.


Creative Fab
January 21st, 2007, 10:12 AM
That is friggin awsome Tim, nice work!

January 21st, 2007, 10:19 AM
so with it upside down how do you make the screen look right when your looking at it?

January 21st, 2007, 12:14 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(nick &#064; Jan 21 2007, 09&#58;19 AM) 21649</div>

so with it upside down how do you make the screen look right when your looking at it?

The toughbook has a software utility that can flip the screen. Many video cards can rotate the screen, you just need to read the documentation to find out what keys to hit to make it happen.

There are also third party programs that can do it on many systems but not all. Worst case is that you have to disassemble the screen, phisically flip it and then put it back together. A little soldering and longer wires in there is needed for this but I have seen it done in several tuner cars.

I borrowed alot of the ideas and technology from the tuner car groups. They are geeks like me. :ahhh:

January 21st, 2007, 06:24 PM
Very impressive.
I hope you don&#39;t mind if some of those ideas show up on mine.

January 21st, 2007, 06:39 PM
Do all of the Toughbooks use touch screens? or which models are?

January 21st, 2007, 06:55 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Nvrenuf &#064; Jan 21 2007, 05&#58;39 PM) 21668</div>

Do all of the Toughbooks use touch screens? or which models are?

I think they all do. I got 2 of them for a great deal....free. One has a bad line of pixles that really doesn&#39;t effect the use and it&#39;s missing 3 keys (left shift, Q and A) but it works fine and the other, the owner said the touchscreen didn&#39;t work but after I reformatted the drive and installed the correct drivers it worked fine. Nothing else is wrong with it. That&#39;s the one going in the Jeep.

Both of these are the CF-37 models.

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(GreyBeard &#064; Jan 21 2007, 05&#58;24 PM) 21667</div>

Very impressive.
I hope you don&#39;t mind if some of those ideas show up on mine.

Bla...that&#39;s why I post...so other people can use the ideas and make other stuff...sometimes better...then I can steal their ideas to make my crap better. :monkeydance:

January 21st, 2007, 11:51 PM
Very Nice&#33; That Panasonic Toughbook seems to fit the bill nicely. I shudder to think what would happen to my Dell Inspiron if I mounted it in a vehicle&#33; :D Hey, what frontend are you using there... homemade or somebody elses? Cheers, Jerry

January 22nd, 2007, 12:15 AM
Yea, my Compaq didn&#39;t like the Jeep setting. I mean it worked well for several years and then the pre-run for Gitchee Gumee hurt it a bit. It was real real dry and dusty. The laptop got dust in it and I figured I would blow it out with compressed air and when I did, I didn&#39;t think about the cooling fan and I spun it too fast with the compressed air and it never worked again. Laptop works fine, just no cooling fan so it sits on my wife&#39;s desk on a cooling pad that has 2 cooling fans in the bottom. Works fine for her to do her work with.

The toughbook has a better cooling system with no moving parts so you don&#39;t have to worry about that and it can get wet and still work.

The frontend is called Road Runner....a skinable front. You can get more info on it here: Road Runner Forum (http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=72)

It&#39;s a ricer site but has good info.

I just built my own skin so it does what I want it to...they have all kinds of stuff like phone integration, contacts, engine sensors and other stuff I will never need. I wanted it to be easy to use, do GPS and MP3, and look cool :lmao: