webOS Carputer Project #1
Where to start… well, this all came about from wanting to use my tablet in my car. It made sense as a multi function device, especially as most of my music was in digital format. The current methods didn’t appeal because either they left wires all over the place, made it too obvious that there was possibly tech in the car that people could steal, or just made using the tablet impractical at best. So began this project of installing it in a way that I wanted.
What did I want from a solution? A way to hold the tablet steady, charge it, stream media from it through the car speakers, and be invisible when away from the car so that it doesn’t attract unwanted attention. The most obvious solution to me was to use the space reserved for a CD/radio player because many such units are designed to be nearly invisible, there’s an easy connection to the speakers, and there’s a clear power system in place.
Just to make life interesting, I want to be able to charge my HP TouchPad wirelessly because it makes life easier than plugging cables in and out. Should be fun.
Stage One was to look inside a CD player to see what was what, and how much space was available.
Here’s the unwitting victim, set me back £20. It’s a single DIN sized CD/MP3/radio player from relatively cheap electronics producer Goodmans. Having stripped out the internals of this 4 year old budget unit, I put the frame back together and measured the internal space.
Internal dimensions – Width: 170mm Height: 46mm Depth 145-155mm
Even with the internal components taking away from this space, there’s a decent amount of room to play with. I’ve also come up with estimated size for the dock itself, measured from a stripped down Touchstone.
Dock dimensions – Width 110mm Height (stored): 30mm Depth (stored):120mm
So far it’s looking promising. The next stage is to work on the dock itself, and look at the possible solutions for the mechanism to move it in and out of the unit, as well as powering the charging circuit.