KarKompV2 - Beetle Version

This was replaced with an iPod, VWCDPIC and Belkin iPod car adapter.

This should detail my integration of a KarKomp system into my 2000 Beetle TDI.
Goals of this project:
Stage 0 (Hardware) - Acquire bits and pieces. General software configuration.(Mostly Completed)
Stage 1 (Music) - MP3 Player, Stock Dash appearance, KarKomp in Factory CD Changer Location.(Operational!)
Stage 2 (Diagnostics) - LCD Display, OBD-II integration, Statistics gathering, info display.(Eventually, need HW and time.)
Stage 3 (Navigation) - Video Display with Navigation information.(Probably no time soon.)

To Get Stage 1 up and running, Installed a VWCDPIC. The karkomp mini-itx system is mounted in teh factory cd changer location using M6x1.0 12mm bolts.(Took me 4 tries to get the right size!) I'm using the rear power outlet for power, but I'd like to tap it in case I want the plug for something else. I use the 12V signal from the cd changer harness via the VWCDPIC to tell the machine when to turn on and off. This is convenient, since it'll boot whenever the radio is turned on. Currently, the LCD display is mounted on the dash, taped to an Autometer gauge pod. I plan on making a custom gauge/lcd pod for it. I've added a CF card to the machine, and am booting the kernel from that card now, but boot time is still around 45 seconds to operation. I wrote a cajun driver for the serial output from the VWCDPIC. The driver should be included in future releases of CAJUN starting with 4.1. You can download it from my updates section if you want it. My wife still thinks I'm nutty...

LCD Boost Gauge pod concept

This is just a gimp'd up concept drawing of what I hope the gauge pod will look like with the LCD. The sizing is just a guess right now. Once the pod shows up, I'll measure it and order the closest approximation of what I want. The LCD will be used to display not only Song information, but OBD-II statistics as well. There will be a boost gauge in there. I'm undecided on red or blue lighting for the gauge.


Via Epia 800 Mother board, 128MB, 80GB, Linux. (Soon to use LinuxBios)
Custom built power controller
Cubid 26xx Mini-itx case with 12V power supply
VWCDPIC CD Changer interface to Factory Head Unit
Crystalfonts While LED Backlight Blue Negative USB LCD
VDO 30psi Boost Gauge with Blue LED light from 42Draft Designs
Autometer 3 Gauge pod for the New Beetle

Interface Software

I plan on a sort of menu driven system. Cajun may be appropriate for what I have in mind. We'll see.
There should be a few different 'applications' for it.
1) MP3 Player, obviously.
2) Fuel Utilization Tracking. (MPG, Expenses, etc)
3) OBD-II Diagnostics. It'd be handy if I could retrieve and reference codes this way.
4) File system updates over wireless network.
5) Camera Image downloads, display if I ever get a color LCD again.
6) Eventually, video playback, if I ever get a color LCD again.


9/11/03 - I started making the model for the center dash piece last night. I used the cheap gauge pod I picked up as a plaster mold. I just taped up the gauge holes and attached some aluminum foil to cap the front so I can create a complete unit that will replace the center dash section. Maybe tonight I'll start adding plaster to cover the two extra gauge holes and after that, start carving out the actual shape that I'm looking for.
9/10/03 - The CAJUN perl module will be included in the CAJUN 4.1 release, and is supposed to be checked into CVS now.
The box is working great. I need to tweak the power controller so it won't turn the machine right back off when I start the car. Otherwise, It's working great.
9/9/03 - The machine pretty much works. I still need to make the controls work. I did pull a dump from the port for all the buttons. There is some additional cruft that the VWCDPIC pumps out. Maybe I'll even make it work later...
The system is now up and running, with the head unit interface to cajun working beautifully! To use cajun with the VWCDPIC, you'll need this perl module in the same directory as the other input device modules. Just add it, with proper permissions and you'll be able to add a VWCDPIC input device to cajun 4.0.
9/8/03 - Tweaked the cajun stuff a bit more so the nodes would make sense. Several toys, erm parts showed up today. CF drive adapter, boost gauge, and the VWCDPIC! Yesterday I built a mounting bracket for the computer. It came out pretty good, hopefully gshocks won't be too harsh on the system.
GRRRRr. The dash pod that I got is really a POS. I'm dissapointed, but I may be able to use some of it to mod the good dash pod whenever I can actually buy it. Sadly, it may be next month before I can afford that.
I think I'll just make what I want out of fiberglass. Now I just need a bunch of plaster...
.... Success! The box is now booting when the radio is turned on and shutsdown when it's turned off. It was very easy to connect the old shutdown controller to the power pin on the VWCDPIC. One I can borrow the laptop, maybe I can setup the control buttons on the head unit...
9/6/03 - Played with the hardware over the weekend. I found that cajun produced junk characters on the display unless I ran minicom first. Managed to get the nightly build of lcdproc working with the USB display. Currently from power on to the cajun play screen it's 50 seconds. I'm hoping the CF drive will really help get this time down.
9/4/03 - I was thinking about using linuxbios to get boot times faster. I'm doubtful, as it sounds more expensive than I thought. I'm thinking of getting a CF drive for the machine. As soon as I find a decent supplier for it I'll likely order it.
...Found a decent price for a CF adapter with the right power plug and everything. Ordered that for $24.
9/3/03 - Added concept picture for lcd gauge pod. Looks like my VWCDPIC has shipped! Now if that pod will just show up so I can order the LCD...
Interesting idea: Display will be USB, could install USB 802.11b adapter in side the pod, and add a usb port to it for downloading images, etc.
Based on a gauge size of 52mm, I went ahead and ordered the usb LCD from crystalfontz. I'm an impatient person when I get started on a project.
I'm in an ordering sort of mood, so I went ahead and ordered a VDO boost gauge from 42draftdesigns.com They sell a somewhat matched blue LED and include a TDI specific tubing install kit. Next week is gonna be fun! I'll probably fabricate a mounting bracket for the computer this weekend.
...Got an email, my LCD shipped and should be here on friday just in time for weekend testing!
9/2/03 - Created new KarKompV2 page.