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Discussion Starter #1
Been thinking about this for a while and thought I would toss it out to the group for more ideas, flames, or otherwise constructive or destructive comments.

Here it is in short:
Replace CD changer with compact or laptop computer.
Install approx 8" water resistant touchscreen above the gauges.
Integrate with PCS data phone and WiFi.
Try to do it all for the price of a multipurpose GPS.

Potential Applications:
Mapping & GPS (local or maybe google earth)
Weather and maps (National Weather Service and others)
MP3 player
Is there a USB satellite radio?
Full intercom with priority interrupt, and ducking.
Computer can be taken into hotel, etc.
Download/synchronize routes/music/? from home network.

Potential Problems:
Integration with CD player control.
Heat dissipation from computer.
Finding a cheap water resistant touch screen.
How to handle long term memory.
Keeping costs down.

This is only a sample of some ideas and pitfalls. At this point I have no idea if I will even find it feasible, but I thought I'd see what you folks think or maybe find someone who has tried something similar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yea, you're right, just the computer/monitor/gps part for under $1k may be possible with a used computer.
 

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Well, since you asked for flames...

What ever just happened to taking a ride on a motorcycle, you know - the wind in your hair (helmet) the bugs in your teeth - without taking along the kitchen sink?

Then - I saw that you are into SCUBA and home automation.

Makes perfect sense to me! ;)

I say WHATEVER floats your boat. :)
 

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JeffB said:
At this point I have no idea if I will even find it feasible, but I thought I'd see what you folks think or maybe find someone who has tried something similar.
I can use my iBook laptop to play music via a cassette adapter to my bike's radio, but decided against trying to use it while on the move, for two reasons:

  1. Screen warp concerns, due to heat build-up while using the computer with screen closed (even though a hack exists that allows operation in 'clam-shell' mode).
  2. Hard drive concerns due to bumps etc. while riding. I know some have successfully used GPS's with hard drives, but I'd still be wary.
It was tough enough getting the bike's CD-changer connector to allow simple music playback. Some of our most capable gurus tried and failed before Dension etc. came along. I think you might find it tough getting the desired integration (unless you've an electronics PhD! :)).
 

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JeffB said:
Here it is in short:
Replace CD changer with compact or laptop computer.
Install approx 8" water resistant touchscreen above the gauges.
Integrate with PCS data phone and WiFi.
Try to do it all for the price of a multipurpose GPS.
Great idea. there is few pitalls with it, but if the military can have a laptop that can be run over by a hummer and the lappie still runs, then why cant you do this to your lt.


for a waterproof touch screen i would go looking thru a marine shop for starters.i bet you could find one if you looked in the right place, im sure the boaties already have them for their gps syetms and the likes.


for a small pc, there is a few options. you could mount a notebook in the pannier and use an external screen, but you would perhaps have to disable the switch in the laptop that send it to sleep when the lcd is shut.this way you can mount the lappie in the pannier and keep the lcd screen shut on it and it keeps working.

the other thing to watch would be heat build up in the pannier. you need something that is alows air to circulate and is also water resistant. the only thing that comes to mind is coretex i think its called. there is some motorcycle suits around made of this stuff.infact one of my brothers has a suit made from this stuff and swears by it in rain/hail or shine. when its pouring rain and hes riding, he stays dry but wind still passes thru the jacket.
what you would do with the coretex is cut a hole or tow inside the pannier at the rear of the pannier.cover the hole with coretex and seal it there with my favourite stickem down thing, JB weld. you would want at least one hole about 2 or 3 inches round in the pannier, close to the exhaust fan on the lappie.


i doubt a off the shelf hard drive would survice the vibrations on the lt with out extra vibration dampeining. having said that, about 6 years ago maybe more, i saw a IBM thinkpad (cant remember the model, but it was pretty old, it was a pentium 166 with about a 40 gig hdd) that had fallen off the back of a Telstra 4WD at 100 kilometers an hour and it was inside its carry case and landed in bulldust on a station. it was picked up, dusted off and it still worked, not even the lcd screen was smashed!!! (if i hadnt of seen it with my own eyes, i would never had believed it)


a keyboard for the unit would be fun. i suggest the keyboard out of a sharp ZQ190 electronic organiser. it is a qwerty keyboard and kits nicely in the palm of your hand. of course you will need to find some electronic genius who can wire the keyboard up to a pc cable to plug in to the ps2 or usb keyboard plug in the lappie.



and just remember, anything is possible, if man can walk on the moon and michael jackson is really white, then anything can be done.
 

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You might consider a highend pocket PC mounted in a RAM Mount watertight case. You can get a PC card type wireless phone type connection to get email, etc... and GPS is not a problem. Some have MP3 capability which you could wire into your sound system a few ways. Ram makes a case that you can do touch screen stuff through.
I have a new Dell Pocket PC coming in this week I'll take a look at this issue.
 

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JeffB said:
Potential Applications:
Mapping & GPS (local or maybe google earth)
Weather and maps (National Weather Service and others)
MP3 player
Is there a USB satellite radio?
Full intercom with priority interrupt, and ducking.
Computer can be taken into hotel, etc.
Download/synchronize routes/music/? from home network.
Most of what you want exists today in a far less expensive and far smaller form factor than if you had to do it yourself.

Mapping & GPS & Weather & Maps - Garmin 376c
All of the above + MP3 player - Garmin 2730
Satellie Radio - either the 376c or the 2730
Download/sync routes/music from home network - either the 376c or the 2730

Ok, no intercom on either unit - but each will integrate into your com system. You can certainly take this into the hotel, but you probably would want to surf the net and do email and the like. You can't do that with either Garmin product. Yet. :D

*Could* you build something and integrate it into your bike? Absolutely. But not for the cost of the Garmin units. And since you'd have to buy a laptop either way, I'd suggest you do what many of us have done - get a nice Garmin unit and carry a small laptop. Like everything in life, your options are limited to your imagination and your checkbook.

If you do cobble something together, post pictures!!!!!!!!

:)
 

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PPC Solution

I can do (pretty much) everything you suggested right now with my Sprint PPC-6600 I mounted it on a Trivet from BMR Products with their sat radio mount attached. The phone's holder is from ProClipUSA and is the hardwire versions so the phone is always charging/powered on.

Applications (from your list):
- Mapping & GPS with iNav's iGuidance software and an iTrek GPS "mouse"
- Weather and maps via internet connection on the phone
- MP3 player via MS MediaPlayer through a cassette adapter
- Satellite radio via my Sirius receiver (not pictured) but can also stream Sirius via the internet connection on the PPC - very cool!
- PPC can be taken into hotel, etc. and I have a fold-able keyboard to make typing there MUCH easier
- I can Download/synchronize routes/music/? from home PC

Potential Problems:
- Integration with CD player control - not necessary/doable
- Heat dissipation from computer - not a problem!
- Finding a cheap water resistant touch screen - obviously this isn't and 8" screen and water resistance is only temporarily solved with a a sandwich bag and a velcro tie for the moment
- How to handle long term memory - no issue with the PPC's internal memory and a 2GB SD card
- Keeping costs down - does add up, but other then the mount at least this is all something I already had and use elsewhere

Let me know if anyone would like further details...
 

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Look up (Apple) Mac mini and cars ...

Look up (Apple's) Mac mini and cars and you'll find the current hot solution for bringing multimedia into vehicles. There are quite a few websites showing how the Mac mini fits perfectly in the place that car radios are. People are using 7" to 10" touch screen displays and use Griffin's FM USB receiver. There is a GPS program for Macs called Route 66 or something like that. Garmin just announced last night that they are coming out with a Mac version of Map Source.

Garmin today announced that it will immediately begin to make its line of GPS and mobile electronics devices compatible with Mac OS X 10.4. Garmin intends to have all its popular hardware and software applications Mac OS X compatible by the end of 2006. Beginning in spring 2006, Garmin will offer a Mac version of its Training Center software, used with Garmin's line of Forerunner and Edge series fitness products, which lets users plan and analyze workouts. Users can create their own workouts or use workout templates that can be downloaded into the unit. The software also offers interactive analysis tools that will now allow Mac users to chart their performance information like speed, heart rate, cadence, elevation, and pace.

More at http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/01/10/full.compat ibility.by.2007/
 

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Mini-ITX platform

I actually built one of these for my Avalanche (about 2 years ago). It also had wireless and would sync up with the "mothership" when I got home and download any new music etc.. I had it set so it would stay powered up for about 2 hours after I got home to give it time to sync. Looked at but never got to the touch screen - too expensive.

The Mini-ITX is more powerful than ever and they now have all the cool enclosures and power supplies available so you don't have to Radio Shack it.

Check out mini-ITX.com and the VoomPC Vehicle PC Enclosure

By the way - i don't use it in my truck anymore I went the iPod/Garmin 2610 route. I use the Garmin & iPod on the LT and they both go with me on my business trips.

Dave
 

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OlsonBW said:
There is a GPS program for Macs called Route 66 or something like that.
Route 66 blows the huge monkey dick. It really sucks. Am a huge Mac (and Windows) guy and have been playing with Route 66 for as long as it has been around. It blows blows blows. Streets & Trips 97 is 1000000000000 E+1000000 x better. Yeah, really.

The Garmin thing will be interesting. I see that they say they'll support nView - which is good for remote GPS units like GPS10, etc. It remains to be seen whether they'll create a Mac version of MapSource. That would be cool.

:)
 

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Ask and you shall receive ???

Dan,

From the Garmin site:

"By the end of 2006, Garmin intends to have made all its popular hardware and software applications Mac OS X compatible. This includes the ability to load MapSource map data to Garmin units via a Mac, as well as waypoint and trip planning applications. Additionally, the Garmin nRoute application will allow Powerbook and iBook users to turn their laptop into a powerful street navigation tool with Garmin’s GPS 10 or GPS 18 sensors."

End of 2006 . . .hmmm 11 months and counting!!
 

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It's about time

Yeah.... Finally OS X compatible software from Garmin.... I don't know if I can wait 11 months!!!! :) :) :)
 

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Suggestions

# 1 You guys have way too much time on your hands. #2 With gadgets like that......Seen the commercial "Life comes at you fast" The little boy makes a robot which proceeds to blow up everything in the neighborhood. Now, where does that wire go? #3 What about illuminated switches on handlebars?
It seems like everytime I put my high beam on the windshield goes up instead! :think:
 

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#3 What about illuminated switches on handlebars?

You want buttons, I'll show you buttons...from 05 IBR.
 

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Someone had a PC on the IBR 2005

Install approx 8" water resistant touchscreen above the gauges.
Integrate with PCS data phone and WiFi.
Try to do it all for the price of a multipurpose GPS.


These photos are from the IBRally during the checkpoint in Denver. Never saw and do not know the name of the rider. Had the CPU in a side bag. No report on how it worked, but it looked great!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am always humbled by some of the pictures I see in this forum. But back the this thread.

I appreciate all the feedback. Yes I am a little nuts and will probably just get a garmin 2xxx or x76c, or maybe the PPC route. But, since spring is still a couple months away, I have time to make the decision on which way to go.

I have found a marine remote touchscreen display for $3k, a little pricey (I think it may be the same as the pictures from Pete). For under $100 I have seen one made for an auto but not water resistant.

For memory, run mobile apps from flash, maybe boot from dvd and keep a heavy ram cache.

Heat is a big concern. I don't really like the idea of venting the entire panier but I will check out coretex anyway. Heat dissipation could prevent the use of a laptop in that location, maybe a cranked down pentium-m would work. I like the idea of the waterproof heat-sink box, but don't think the LT has any place big enough to put it and it doesn't allow the laptop to be used other places (like the cage).

The Pocket PC solution is also one I am considering. My bother-in-law just got one for his cage a loves it. I would be interested in hearing about a using one in direct sunlight (with or without visor) and in the rain or mist. If I can find a way to make one truly usable on the LT it fits my criteria of having a device that serves multiple duties on and off the bike.

The Mac mini sure looks like a neat box, I expect we will be seeing more like it. And it's nice to see garmin support Mac.

It was also nice to hear about someone who tried it in a cage, but went the gps/ipod route. That is

As a final note, it did warm up today enough for me to pick up the beast at lunch for a quick ride back to work. I had a slight detour on a few twisties leading down and through the valley on my way home.:D

Again, thanks the the comments. Now if I could only figure out what I'm gonna do. . . .

-jeff
 
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