So I bought the http://www.freedompop.com sleeve for my iPhone. Basically it gives you WiMax coverage with 500Mb data a month for free, and you can do other things to up your data amount. You buy the thing for $99 and always have 500mb for free. So why not buy another, and have it be for the carputer, now I would always have internet on it to stream pandora, slacker, etc for free! It’s just a thought, but could come in handy!
Got my other PI setup in my room tonight, attempting to get easy access to the GPIO pins to see if my Solid State relay will work off of it. If it does, I’ll two at one time and if it still does, watch out Amazon, I’ll be buying a load of em! Currently using this for GPIO access http://trouch.com/2012/08/21/webiopi-control-your-pis-gpio-with-a-browser/ , setting it up now actually! Another thing I may do for the CarPuter is I can set this thing up so when it boots, it reads the bootloader on the sdcard, and bootstraps to a flash drive, this will allow me to put a flash drive in say the glovebox for easy access to the “System Core” 😄
EDIT: Ok, so I got it all setup, it outputs 3.5v with the GPIO lines, however, there doesn’t seem to be enough current through them to toggle the SSR. I will now need a transistor in there to be able to hopefully get the current I need to switch it. However, I seem to be very lacking in skills when it comes to transistors as for the life of me I cannot figure out how to wire the dang circuit!
So I’ve been thinking about a CarPuter for a while now, but now that I have a Raspi, it has really brought it into my mind that it could be done easily with it. All I need really is a WiFi adapter for it. I can put it where the standard Sync module would be in a Microsoft Sync enabled Focus. It has plenty of room and ventilation. I would use the wifi adapter as an AP and setup a small WiFi network that my phone and tablet can connect to, and use vnc or xrdp or something similar as a front-end to the Pi. I could use it to control my music, and if I could figure out how the wired remote for the Sony deck in my car works (besides that it uses a 3.5mm jack) then I could control the whole radio by it, not just the music. Then I could play all the media I want, not just mp3’s from a flash drive or my phone, I could even setup a file share and on road trips everyone could connect and watch movies, TV etc, whatever I put on the hard drive. If I can use the GPIO pins to drive a solid state relay, then I could return the functionality of having the radio play up to ten minutes after i remove the key. In fact, if I could run a solid state relay, I could also set it up for my headlights so I could keep them on as I walk up to my/a house and turn them off through my phone or have an auto-off feature. If I used a WiFi card instead of an old router, I could have it scan for networks periodicly and if it detects mine at home, connect to it, and see if it has new media to download to its hard drive. I have a couple of webcams laying around as well that I could put in my back window and use it as a backup cam, or if I’m in a shady neighborhood let it record while I am away doing whatever. Back to the solid state relays as well, I could make it lock and unlock with my phone instead of the key, so if I run out to the car to get something and forget my keys like I tend to do, just whip out my phone and click unlock, however this would be wayyyy down the line after I make sure it’s damn secure so no one can unlock my car but me. I have a Bluetooth adapter and a Bluetooth OBDII sensor for my car, I could probably hook it up to the Pi and use it as a data logger and to see real time sensor data! Not sure how long it will take me for each step, but I plan on documenting everything on here with pictures!
If you have any tips/opinions/ideas, please leave a comment! Thanks!