J.P. Stewart - A new hobby: putting Windows XP in your car

Play J.P. Stewart - A new hobby: putting Windows XP in your car

The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Alien Venom
    Unfortunately this kind of thing is illegal in California. Any type of screen that has the ability to play video is -- including laptops, mini LCD screens for DVD/VHS -- you name it. Sad So much for wardriving...

    Another use for the computer (even here in CA, just keep the monitor off) is to completely map out (with GPS -- by triangulation) the exact locations of wireless access points. It might involve driving around a block or two but during a long period of time, one could completely map out his/her own neighborhood.
  • User profile image
    Yes, laws around this vary from state to state, and CA does have some strict ones. Here it depends on what is on the screen and what it is used for. For instance, I keep streets and trips running on the screen while driving as that is what the law requires me to do. (Navigation is the specific allowance for having a screen.)

  • User profile image
    Heyho from Germany Smiley
    Over here in good old europe, the so called CarPC or Carputer is becoming more and more famous. For about 1500$ you can have everything you want like GPS, DVD, Games, Internet, WiFi, MP3 and so on. Maybe you like to check out these pages : www.car-pc.info or www.cartft.com. Sorry for both pages beeing in German, but maybe you can use babelfish.
    Cheers from the "old world"

  • User profile image
    Hey JP - as far as OBD-II connections, check out Ross-Tech...but you may have to get a VW.


  • User profile image

    I'm working on a CarPC for a school project. One of my goals is to have a working OBDII interface.

    I'm a member of Saab Turbo Club of Sweden and several members have tried the ElmScan interface from http://www.scantool.net/ 

    It should work with any OBDII capable car on the market, not only Saabs. And it's not that expensive, the cost is less than $100 Smiley

  • User profile image
    Robert, J.P., great video! I admit I was dubious when you first started the project, but it's really come a long way. Fun!
  • User profile image
    Awesome, thanks for the link. Also thanks to the other ODBII links as well. I am sure these will come in handy later on.

  • User profile image
    That's awesome stuff J.P. Really inspiring.
  • User profile image
    What is odbII?
  • User profile image
    Another Idea here.  Probably not a new one but since I didn't see it in the video nor have I seen anyone discuss it here,.. here goes...   

    What about mounting a camera at the rear of the vehicle and running a live feed for Media Player to play back as a replacement to the review mirror.

    also this might wash away the California laws when using it in this mannor.

  • User profile image
    Also I forgot to add that it might help zoom in on people behind you.  Maybe even those cops in L.A. might benefit from a technology like a backward video cam.  It's a little 007 me thinks.  Remember you gotta UseIt.
  • User profile image
    Killer Setup!

    Some random thoughts about XP devices in a car:

    Mobile hardware (laptops, tablets, etc.) seems more useful (despite the slightly higher cost) because of power consumption, battery augmentation, and the ability to remove the computer if needed for security. Some sort of a docking station is a must... People steal things from cars, you know.

    TabletPC would be nice to incorporate since it could utlize touch screen, ink, etc., and most of the devices have WiFi and Bluetooth built in.

    Need a decent auto-light-sensitive transflective touch screen like the Walkabout TabletPC has that looks good in sunlight.

    With all the wireless speaker audio devices available, why couldn't one install a sound system that is WiFi based, and automatically picks up your mobile device.

    There is potential for wired/wireless LCD projector for passengers in the back.

    Is there any way to combine XP TabletPC with MCE 2005? *shivers*

    ...Now I just need to justify the cool automotive geekness to my wife after I spend all of our money. Smiley

  • User profile image
    You should see this guys set up. It has a great level of integration. http://www.mikrobitti.fi/nettijatkot/2003/08/automodaus/ (click the thumbnails to expand)
  • User profile image
    Regarding tuning your car,



    www.ls1edit.com (GM LS1-346ci cars)
  • User profile image
    Man, you're on your way to starting your new company Smiley
  • User profile image
    Thank goodness that there are others like me that are doing Kar Pc's.   J.P. next time go to the next level.  

    In my case I am running a Shuttle XPC w/1800 mhz processor w/250 watt powersupply, Ati Radeon 9800 Pro video card, 512 megs of ram, Gametheatre Xp sound card w/5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS surroundsound, Sumsung 15" LCD monitor.  IBM 40GB Travelstar USB 2.0 HD.  2 Car batteries, a battery Isolitor for the 2 batteries.  Running WinXp Sp2.  All hooked up to a Phoenix Gold 500.2 SUb amp, PPI 5440 5.0 sound, 2 12" Phoenix Gold Subs.  More info to follow, but you are on the right track JP, keep up the good work.
  • User profile image

    I thought you might be interested in these web sites about Car PC's - there is a massive community out there that's been going several years.

    My site:

    UK Magazine article on Car PCs (featuring mine)
    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/custompc/features/65144/kitt-out-your-car.html" target="_blank">http://www.pcpro.co.uk/custompc/features/65144/kitt-out-your-car.html

    and of course the communities..

    UK Car PCs

    Worldwide Car PCs at MP3Car.com
  • User profile image
    NOW I have motivation to finally do it to my car, but I am estimating planning, design and deploy to last me into mid 2005.

    Any thoughts on intergrating a PocketPC into the car?

    Although one would want to use the VGA PPC's and probably needs to brush up on WinCE development to get a bigger secondary touch screen working right.

    Or even go to a WinCE device and hack open the device to make the screen detachable and go from there...
  • User profile image
    GLiNTCH wrote:
    NOW I have motivation to finally do it to my car, but I am estimating planning, design and deploy to last me into mid 2005.

    Any thoughts on intergrating a PocketPC into the car?

    Although one would want to use the VGA PPC's and probably needs to brush up on WinCE development to get a bigger secondary touch screen working right.

    Or even go to a WinCE device and hack open the device to make the screen detachable and go from there...

    You might be interested in looking over at MP3Car.com - Windows CE is something quite a few other are looking at doing themselves..




    And the most common in-car VGA touchscreens (I won't mention any brands here just in case it's not allowed  but you will soon find them on mp3car and other car pc sites) have Windows CE drivers available (this is a link to the driver site, not the manufacturer or reseller of the screens)

    So it's all possible!

  • User profile image
    Downloaded an arseload of videos, but just recently got around to watching this one.  As far as looking for other wifi networks, goto www.wigle.net, they have maps. Netstumbler can connect to most GPS devices (I use a Gharmin).
  • User profile image
    Just a clarification:

    California's law states that as long as the screen is being used as a GPS, mapping device or a couple of other "driver friendly" functions it is legal.

  • User profile image
    I saw the Video and boy was i amazed.

    I want to do that to my Civic, however i don't have the money & my warranty is preventing me to go into my car.

    I have a HP Jornada 540 (Yes, it was used by Adam & Eve), and it doesn't have any connectivity. It's batteries are officially dead. I took out the battery provided by HP and am planning of having it run on AA batteries. It has a CF Card port, and InfraRed port. Is there a way that I can have the CF Card port connect to a USB hub, and have the USB hub connect to a WiFi card & Bluetooth Card to go to the Internet and use a GPS.

    Is there a CF Card that connects to my port that has a USB extension?

    Do you guys know anything on how to transform this old bucket of bolts (my Jornada) into a new bucket of bolts?

    -dg3D -- davy$dany

    Yo J.P., i think if you have a Windows Mobile Device, you can have it load quicker. Just a suggestion. I'm a HS student, you guys are da pro.
  • User profile image
    Just a quick note to check out what I currenly use, which works very well.

    iMobile Executive - www.imobilepc.com
    Xenarc PC - www.xenarc.com
    Power Supply - www.carnetix.com

    I've been down the cheap road with VIA boards and the freeware and it just didn't work right.
  • User profile image
    That is indeed the proof that brains are at work. Looking forward to more such innovative hobbies of MSFTies. Wink
  • User profile image
    Will S
    I have been looking for a more high tech way of doing what your doing.  PLEASE see my web page for details.



    I haven't as yet even come up with a permanent mount 2.4 GHz antenna for the back hatch yet.  Any help would be appreciated.
    I saw a Lexus SUV recently with an LCD flat panel in it's front dash.  Does this mean it can not be driven in California? Wink


    Glendale AZ USA
    It's a dry heat ........

    also on humanclock.com at noon time.......

  • User profile image
    That's really cool. You know I've got a friend up here in Scandinavia (Sweden, that's north Europe boys 'n girls) who is really a fun guy to hang out with. He has his whole car just filled up with cool integration. I took a video shot of his project this summer. It's in swedish but don't let the language scare you off. I'm opening the hatches and showing his monitor and computer and well.. have a look Big Smile

    The movie is located at:

    I will add more content to this site later on at:

    He has changed his setup just recently and I will update my site with some new pictures and videos as I get a chance to. Big Smile

  • User profile image
    What a neat gadget! :O
  • User profile image
    There are a number of sites which are of use for car computer projects including:


    Hope they may be of help and best of luck to stuart.

  • User profile image
    The most inexpensive OBD-II scan tool / performance analysis tool for a CarPC is ProScan @ http://www.MyScanTool.com.  It is a complete OBD-II scan tool with 1/4 mile and dyno features as well.

    You can get a single-protocol kit for your vehicle for less than $100 with free software upgrades for life. If you want a universal kit that works on ALL OBD-II vehicles, its only slightly more.

    Also, very soon there will be custom-tailored software for user's who have a PC mounted permanently in the vehicle. So this is definitely the best route to take for in-vehicle OBD-II.

    David Gore
    Developer of ProScan
  • User profile image
    Plenty of car pc information and other users car computer installs are around over at


    Tongue Out
  • User profile image
    OK, I'm going to try this.. But I have some ?'s Why is a ITX MB better than an mATX? Or is it? Can I use a mATX such as the ASUS A8V-MX with a M2-ATX DC-DC ATX Automotive Computer (car PC) Power Supply? Is there a better suited PSU our there? I am just not sure what all I want to add to this, so I was thinking that more PCI slots would be better.
  • User profile image
    I've been doing this for about 4 years now and is fully documented on my own web site ( v4 to be published soon ) - http://www.letscommunicate.co.uk/carpc/ - where I also have some news feeds & plenty of really good links to other projects on the subject & CarPC stores I use. Further more you can see some elements in the book CarPC Hacks ( link on the home page of my web site ).

    There is also an UK / EU forum too at http://www.digital-car.co.uk/

  • User profile image

    Nice install! For anyone looking for an affordable pre-made in car pc solution, please check out this site:


    We carry in-vehicle LCD displays, car pc's and navigation video interfaces.


    G-NET Inc.
  • User profile image
    Well i was thinking of doing this and done a google search and it bought me to jp s  weblog and  i am now  in the process of searching for parts and i have to  get all the parts shipped to Australia thats fine  BUT! i m trying to get the creative mp3+ and i canot find a retailer that has one that ships to australia can anyone help me please!   and  how dose the via gear work with xp is it 100% stable  or is it worth going for the intel bord with mobile cpu /ram  jp  i  have  a fix  for  the  glare  problem on the screen just make a wrap around visor  that bloks out  the light around the screen 
  • User profile image

    hi J.P

    For obdII you may check this link, it is using Windows CE

    automotive scan tool

  • User profile image

    hi J.P

    You check this link: Auto scan tool

    It uses windows CE

  • User profile image

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