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Old 10-25-2006, 2:40 AM   #1
met152
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IT WORKS!!! Use navi touchscreen on PC via USB!!!

Well it's late and I don't have time for a writeup. But basically I dissected the stock navi screen, created a custom module, and now I can use the stock touchscreen to input coordinates via usb!!
Here's a short video showing how it works.

First I'm using the stock functionality, then I switch over to PC mode (by applying power to my 4PDT relay with a 9V). You can see the mouse cursor moving on the laptop screen. Then I switch back to the stock function.
Obviously, I won't be using it this way. I will input the PC video display on the navigation lcd once my scan converter arrives in the mail.
Enjoy the video for now.

WATCH VIDEO
edit: video is just over 5mb
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Old 10-25-2006, 3:30 AM   #2
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very very cool. I've always thought this was a blocking factor in getting a truly integrated setup. I look forward to reading the write up.
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Old 10-25-2006, 7:52 AM   #3
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met152, that's really cool! Sounds like it might be a lot of work, but it's still very cool. Keep us posted on your progress! Are you planning on using the RCA input to the navi screen from the Dom unit or are you going to tap into the RGB lines?
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Old 10-25-2006, 9:05 AM   #4
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More details and pictures

thanks Zax,
Yeah, it was a decent amount of work. First I had to build a small module that would allow me to switch between the stock function and the usb controller. This required some guesswork as to the right size connectors and cables to order from digikey.

The touchscreen uses a 4-wire resistive panel that goes into the touchscreen display board (board behind the lcd screen). This goes out on a flat flexible cable (FFC). My module takes in that signal in through a FFC conector, and passes it through the NC contacts of a 4PDT relay, and then back out to the stock display board. The NO contacts of the board are fed into a USB touchscreen controller. When the relay is de-energized, the screen acts like it does from the factory. When the relay is energized, the touchscreen coordinates are only sent to the USB controller.

The only physical modification that I made to the stock hardware, was some cutting of the metal cover on the back of the display unit. This allowed the FFC from the touchscreen to reach my module. I can remove this module and return everything to stock, of course minus the cutting. It would be possible to do this without cutting, but you'd need to extend the flat cable to reach the module (I didn't have the ability to do this at the time and I didn't mind cutting)
This shows where I cut.
Click the image to open in full size.

To answer your other question zax, I am going to get video on the screen using a scan converter that will convert VGA to RGBs at the 15kHz frequency required by the navi lcd. I will be doing this using a piece of hardware made by Communications Specialists (I think that's their name). It's the "Scan DO 800"
This conversion should give me the best possible display on the stock screen. It won't be great due to the low resolution of the lcd, but it will be better than using the RCA input on the Dom's unit.

I don't have the PC that I'll be using yet, but it will probably be based on a VIA mini-itx mainboard in an enclosure in the trunk. I already have a usb gps receiver to use with Iguidance or some other pc based navigation software. I might look into feeding data from the Acura gps receiver, but I'm not sure how difficult this would be.

Here are all the pictures I took. Looking back, I should have taken more.
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Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever. If anyone is interested in doing this themself, please let me know if I can help. I can send you a list of all the parts (and the $$ of all) that you'll need.
I thought about making a module to sell, but I doubt many would be comfortable doing this. And if they were comfortable doing this, then they'd be able to make their own just as easy.
You can email me at: mike at mtatko dot com
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:04 AM   #5
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Mike,

I'd email you, but maybe others are interested in this. So far, everything seems straightforward, but kudos to have the guts to do it! My question is, the 4-wire signal from the touchscreen... how do you convert that the a USB signal? Or is it already encoded in a USB signal? I somehow doubt that. How do you convert the signal to USB-level and encode it as a mouse device for the USB subsystem to recognize?

Also, for the screen... do you know the resolution? Do you have a video card that will support that resolution or is there some way to manually create a resolution with an .INF file modification or something?

Your project sounds very interesting indeed... DVD playback should be much sharper using your scan converter...
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:25 AM   #6
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I'm definitely interested as well, although I doubt I'll have the time to do this any time soon.
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for the compliments.
You're right, everything is really straighforward. It's just disassembling the dash and lcd unit and then making sure you don't have any wires crossed or shorted.
Ah, sorry. I forgot to go into details abou the usb controller.
TVI Electronics (LINK) is where I bought the usb controller. It's simple, 4 wires from touchscreen in one side, and usb out the other side. No need for external power, it's provided via usb port.
You can see where I used electrical tape to secure the usb controller.
Click the image to open in full size.

Here is a thread on mp3car, that I used to help get going on this project. http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=60260

Details about screen:
LCD panel is made by Toshiba. The part number is LTA080B172A
Manufacturer Toshiba
Part Number LTA080B170A (slightly different p/n)
Screen Size 8.00
Panel Type TFT
Resolution 480X234
Brightness 400

The video card I will be using puts out a VGA signal. From what I've read, something like 640x480 will probably be the resolution i'll run at. In theory, the scan converter will give me options to zoom and adjust the image a little. We'll see how it turns out in practice.
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:45 AM   #8
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Thanks for the added info. Why aren't you going to try to run the screen at its native resolution?
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:45 AM   #9
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apnar,
To be honest, if you're somewhat electrically capable, it's pretty easy.
I ordered the usb controller last thursday and the parts from digikey on friday. Received digikey parts on monday (wow, quick shipping), and spent a few hours soldering the connectors and relay onto a board.
I received the usb controller yesterday and then proceeded to disassemble my car to get to the lcd. Took a while to get the radio/lcd out of the car, as it was the first time I went this far. I messed around with the relay module and the lcd board for a bit and then tried to test it out. Didn't work because the flat cable was angled and shorting across the 4 wires.

Took it back to the workbench (kitchen table) for some more fitting and securing.
It worked this time, but I didn't solder the wires from the relay module to the usb controller because I didn't know the pinouts. I played a while until the mouse moved in the right directions, rather than up moving the cursor down, and down moving the cursor up.
Took the unti back out of the car to solder all connections and tighten all screws.
Then of course, while putting everything back together, I managed to drop a screw (the last one!!) below the shifter area and had to take the armrest area apart again to get it.
What ended up taking me almost 6 hours, probably could have been done in about 3.
But i wanted to take my time and make sure everything was going to work properly.

Cost of everything:
USB controller $30.50 + $12.85 (shipping, insurance, handling) = $43.35
parts from digikey: $31. But i ordered an extra relay (for video input), and spare connectors incase i broke one.
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apnar
Thanks for the added info. Why aren't you going to try to run the screen at its native resolution?
I don't know if this is a possibility or not. 480x234 isn't exactly a common resolution.
I read on a forum somewhere that 640x480 worked best with this size screen.

Here is what a quick google search turned up about this resolution.
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread/t-45388.html
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:49 AM   #11
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Hey met152, you should probably post the part numbers or links to the stuff you purchased from digikey. Trying to find the right components can be very difficult for someone that doesn't know exactly what they're looking for. Also, does that controller automatically work in Windows without any programming?
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:58 AM   #12
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met 152, impressive work there man!! I cant believe you did all this work! Can I ask what your education is and how your learned this suff??

Hey anyway to watch DVD movies in the TL?
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynite
met 152, impressive work there man!! I cant believe you did all this work! Can I ask what your education is and how your learned this suff??

Hey anyway to watch DVD movies in the TL?
Thanks brooklynite.
I have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Penn State. To be honest, the majority of the stuff I know about this didn't come from my college training. It has been through a longtime interest in electronics and constant tinkering. I'm usually pretty motivated to get something done that I know is possible, even if i'm the first to try it.

There are plenty of ways to watch dvd movies. I'm sure some will yell at you to use the search function (which i would suggest as well).
If all you want is movies, then head over to the black market forum and look for the group buy Dom's nav converter. Price is $125 to get a standard video input.

Masterpoolcat,
I'll have the part numbers up shortly
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterpoolcat
Also, does that controller automatically work in Windows without any programming?
Yes, the controller works just by run a self-installing executable available from tvielectronics.com
Here is the software for win2000/xp
http://shop-on-line.tvielectronics.c...Win2000_XP.zip

you can install it without having the usb controller.
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:28 PM   #15
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Wow, it really is quite straightforward. Very impressive! I'm curious to see how 640x480 looks on the screen. I wonder how it'll downgrade the resolution and how it will look. Keep up the good work, I'm sure you have a lot of admirers!
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:56 PM   #16
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Lightbulb Parts list for project

Parts list to use stock TL navigation system as a human-interface device (via USB) on your PC. All prices are before shipping & handling
Definitions:
FFC – flat flexible connector
4PDT – 4 pole, double throw
LIF – low insertion force (life: about 10 insertions/removals)
ZIF – zero insertion force (life: about 30 insertions/removals)
  • 4-wire resistive touchscreen usb controller. Part SLT-TP05-USB
Available at www.tvielectronics.com. Comes with all necessary cables.
Price: $30.50

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


For the FFC jumper, I was unable to find a 4pin 1mm pitch jumper, so I bought a 6pin and used a razor to cut 2 pins off at each end. You won’t need 2 of each connector type, only 1, but they are delicate so it’s best to have an extra. You probably don’t need 1 of each type, but it worked out best that ordered some of each because of how the connector is oriented. On one, the pins to face up, while the other one they face down. The FFC jumpers are pretty stiff and it wouldn’t have worked out with only one type.

The number of insertions/removals is limited for the connectors. They are meant to be connected and left that way. Not continuous in/out. The ZIF type has a locking mechanism that supposedly has a higher number of insertions/removals over LIF.

You’ll also need a PC board to mount the components on. This can be found at radioshack for a few dollars. Also, a soldering iron, solder, jumper wires, wire strippers, electrical tape, etc are necessary.
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Old 10-25-2006, 1:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by met152
Thanks brooklynite.
I have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Penn State. To be honest, the majority of the stuff I know about this didn't come from my college training. It has been through a longtime interest in electronics and constant tinkering. I'm usually pretty motivated to get something done that I know is possible, even if i'm the first to try it.

There are plenty of ways to watch dvd movies. I'm sure some will yell at you to use the search function (which i would suggest as well).
If all you want is movies, then head over to the black market forum and look for the group buy Dom's nav converter. Price is $125 to get a standard video input.

Masterpoolcat,
I'll have the part numbers up shortly
so what about the non navi people, can they just purchase the lcd do the mod plug it in to the existing radio and watch movies/music videos using a dvd player/ps2 or ps3 or i need to get a mini pc to make it happen?

tia for the info
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Old 10-25-2006, 1:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelfarreClubber
so what about the non navi people, can they just purchase the lcd do the mod plug it in to the existing radio and watch movies/music videos using a dvd player/ps2 or ps3 or i need to get a mini pc to make it happen?

tia for the info

I don't want to turn this thread into a non-navi discussion. Do a search for "carpc" in this forum. Or go to www.mp3car.com and read up on the various methods to get video in your car.
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Old 10-25-2006, 1:47 PM   #19
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met152, I am thoroughly impressed! Good work. I've got a buddy that I might be able to hookup with this...now, let me go check out the mp3car thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by VelfarreClubber
so what about the non navi people, can they just purchase the lcd do the mod plug it in to the existing radio and watch movies/music videos using a dvd player/ps2 or ps3 or i need to get a mini pc to make it happen?

tia for the info
non navi people will be much better off buying an aftermarket screen, as most if not all will provide a much higher resolution.
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Old 10-25-2006, 1:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITL
met152, I am thoroughly impressed! Good work. I've got a buddy that I might be able to hookup with this...now, let me go check out the mp3car thread


non navi people will be much better off buying an aftermarket screen, as most if not all will provide a much higher resolution.
Thanks for the props ITL. I admire your work as well (your carpc). Let me know if you have any specific questions about doing this for your buddy's car.

Have any good suggestions for a carpc setup? I don't have any of that hardware yet. Have any spare parts lying around?

I am looking into one of the VIA mini-itx boards. In your opinion/experience, are these fast enough to support dvd/mp3/web surfing/navigation in winXP?
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Old 10-25-2006, 2:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by met152
Thanks for the props ITL. I admire your work as well (your carpc). Let me know if you have any specific questions about doing this for your buddy's car.

Have any good suggestions for a carpc setup? I don't have any of that hardware yet. Have any spare parts lying around?

I am looking into one of the VIA mini-itx boards. In your opinion/experience, are these fast enough to support dvd/mp3/web surfing/navigation in winXP?
Thanks, man. I'm sure I'll be asking plenty of questions when the time comes.

My carpc has been rock solid for the last year and a half. All the spare parts I have are being used...I had an old M1-ATX PSU laying around, but just last week I replaced an old noisy desktop PSU with it using an old laptop battery brick to feed it the 12V. So now my second old carpc (Epia SP13000) is an always on machine at home that uses VERY little power I have a Penitum M 1.6GHz CPU that I could let go pretty cheap- I'm not doing anything with it and it's never been used- purchased new in box- socket 479.

As far as the VIA boards, I've been through 3 of them. They are great boards. From my experience, they consume very little power and run very cool. Currently, I'm running a mini-itx Pentium M896F board with a 1.7GHz chip and 1GB RAM. It is CONSIDERABLY faster and smoother than the previous Epias I had (from 1GHz - 1.3GHz). Most of the performance gain was realized in the launch of GPS apps, as they are resource hogs. Everything runs much more smoothly, though the setup is quite a bit more expensive. Boot times have increased a bit, too. If you're on a budget, you won't be disappointed with the Epias, but I wouldn't go back now that I've got more hp.

I figured that the faster pc would generate more heat; however, it actually runs a bit cooler than the Epias, but that could be due to the fact that it doesn't strain as much and also has a temp-controlled fan on the proc For example under max CPU, the M10k CPU temps reached around 155F, SP13K reached around 160F, and this Pentium M only gets around 125F. Now I just need to put a potentiometer or something on my fans in the glovebox so that I can turn them down since I don't need them running as hard anymore...
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Old 10-25-2006, 5:20 PM   #22
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Hey ITL! Did you get my PM?? I am definitely interested in getting hooked up from da floor up!
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Old 10-26-2006, 7:02 AM   #23
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got it...just replied.
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:45 PM   #24
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You da man! Thanks for having the ballz and skills to figure this out.

You've resparked my interest in my carpc project. I plan to take a little different approach though, and replace the stock LCD with a xenarc or similar with high res VGA, but keep the stock touchscreen for use with the stock navi and new pc.

Thanks again! If you need any help with the rest of your carpc setup, shoot me a PM. I'm on mp3car too.
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:58 PM   #25
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tejesh,

Are you saying you'll find a way to output the stock navi/audio/setup screens to the new Xenarc screen?
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Old 10-26-2006, 1:29 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tejesh83
You da man! Thanks for having the ballz and skills to figure this out.

You've resparked my interest in my carpc project. I plan to take a little different approach though, and replace the stock LCD with a xenarc or similar with high res VGA, but keep the stock touchscreen for use with the stock navi and new pc.

Thanks again! If you need any help with the rest of your carpc setup, shoot me a PM. I'm on mp3car too.
Thanks tejesh!
Good luck with replacing the stock lcd screen. I thought about this too, as I'm not sure if i'll be satisfied with the quality that the stock lcd is going to provide.

I'm not sure how feasible this idea is though. You're going to have to find room for the xenarc (or another) screen and it's board behind the dash, as well as having a way to convert the output of the navi system (RGBs) into a signal that the monitor accepts (VGA).
The RGBs signal has a sync rate of 15.xx khz, whereas I believe that VGA sync rate is twice that, at 31 khz. I'm sure there are electronics out there that will double this frequency, but I'm not sure of the cost.

I've thought about this as well, but as the time i had the dash apart, I wasn't ready to consider the possibility of replacing the lcd.
Check out this mp3car thread, to see some more detailed images of the disassembly of the lcd screen.
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Old 10-26-2006, 1:43 PM   #27
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Looks like this can upsample the 15khz "CGA" signal to a VGA signal useable on the Xenarc:

http://www.converters.tv/products/co...erters/77.html

That would be a cool project... but then you'd have to figure out what harnesses you'd have to keep on the navi unit back there... big project.
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Old 10-26-2006, 2:44 PM   #28
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met152:

Thanks for the link. I'm actually still subscribed to that thread, check out my post. Great minds think alike

zax123:

I've seen that adapter discussed before on mp3car. I'll send you a link if I can find the thread. Hopefully, someone already tried it out and shared their experience.

But you guys are both right, the 15k signal would have to be upsampled using a scan converter for use with a Xenarc or similar screen. These adapters aren't cheap.

Alternatively, you could also convert the RGBs to composite using something like this: http://www.jrok.com/hardware/RGB.html. Its a pretty simple circuit, so its shouldn't cost too much and you could probably build one yourself. The quality of the composite will not be as good as the original RGBs, but it may be good enough for the stock audio/navi screens. For the price, this might be the best choice. Note, one of the AVElectronics nav/dvd units actually has this feature (i forget what they called it).

The other idea I had was to use a RGB capture card on the carPC, and feed the nav input to it. So basically, when you launch the app on your carpc, it would show the output of the nav in a window (or fullscreen) on your computer. But again, these cards are pretty pricey.

I'm still looking into each approach. I'll let you know if I make any progress.
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Old 10-26-2006, 3:01 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Thanks brooklynite.
I have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Penn State. To be honest, the majority of the stuff I know about this didn't come from my college training. It has been through a longtime interest in electronics and constant tinkering. I'm usually pretty motivated to get something done that I know is possible, even if i'm the first to try it.

There are plenty of ways to watch dvd movies. I'm sure some will yell at you to use the search function (which i would suggest as well).
If all you want is movies, then head over to the black market forum and look for the group buy Dom's nav converter. Price is $125 to get a standard video input.

Masterpoolcat,
I'll have the part numbers up shortly
Thanks for the info. ACURA should hire you man!
And by the way, having a master's degree has tought me that school just gives you the basics and the background so that people will listen when you speak. Specially that in my field (construction) schools are 20 years behind the technology.
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Old 10-26-2006, 3:46 PM   #30
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Nice
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Old 10-26-2006, 7:49 PM   #31
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Congrats.... awesome work!!! I'm just waiting to build up the courage to try something like this on my own.

I'll be following this discussion closely -- please keep us posted as you continue your work.
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Old 10-26-2006, 7:57 PM   #32
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OMFG good sh1t bro, I'd been following AC's thread and couldn't believe to hear u already solved this....
I'd been planning to use salling with my pda for my macmini running xhub but this opens up a new word of possibilities.....:tipmehat2ubro:
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Old 10-27-2006, 10:22 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tejesh83
The other idea I had was to use a RGB capture card on the carPC, and feed the nav input to it. So basically, when you launch the app on your carpc, it would show the output of the nav in a window (or fullscreen) on your computer. But again, these cards are pretty pricey.

I'm still looking into each approach. I'll let you know if I make any progress.
Not only pricey, but then your navi would be dependant on the pc, which I couldn't live with. It would be a cool setup, though- I do have to admit. Hell I'd love to be able to get the non-navi LCD info to display on the carpc...

Though very rare, there are times when I have my PC switched off, or out of the car (building a new case, adding new hardware, testing, etc...). The longest I ever had it out of the car was 3.5 weeks, when I was building a new carpc and took the old one out to fab up a new case and such...it was awful having only the radio and CD changer; however, at least I didn't lose and of the stock functionality. Just my
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Old 10-27-2006, 1:44 PM   #34
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Yeah, that's true. I did consider the dependence, but it doesn't bother me much. In my last setup, I removed the stock system completely in favor of only the carpc. Over the 2yrs I used it, I didn't have any major issues/downtime, and did most of the maint/upgrades in-car.

However, price seems to be a bigger deterrent at this point.
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Old 10-27-2006, 3:43 PM   #35
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Very cool, unfortunatly I won't be ripping my fathers TL apart anytime soon.

Also, I have all their CDs on a DVD-A in the TL. In fact, I was just listening to the same song as I pulled up about 15 minutes ago... Good shit!

Keep up the good work,

Mike
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Old 10-29-2006, 11:15 PM   #36
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Mike, that is awesome. I too have believed that interfacing the nav touch screen to a computer is possible, I just didn’t possess the knowledge (or balls) to mess around with it. I want to build one of these, and actually have a computer already built. I will wait for your final project before I will start. Again, good work!
Chad
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Old 11-13-2006, 7:57 AM   #37
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Have you hooked up a carpc to the monitor yet? I'm curious to see how you fare with the resolution.
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Old 11-13-2006, 8:28 AM   #38
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Yes! I spent a lot of time tweaking the windows xp install on the pc. I wanted to get that stuff straightened out before running all of the wires and hooking things up.
The picture quality is surprisingly good. I'm running at 640x480, and some of the small fonts are difficult to read. I've tried to tweak the appearance settings to make this better and it is now good. I am also running the PowerStrip utility to reposition the image on the screen.
Hardware wise, the install is working flawlessly. I still need to tweak some of the software and get my front end completely customized, but I know that will be a neverending process.

I will try to get some pictures and videos soon. Anything specific you'd like to see? One thing I love is google earth gps tracking. What an AWESOME program, and a huge distraction.

At one point I thought I completely ruined my nav system. I was running wires and splicing into the 12v accessory power while the car was on (not running) and music playing. All of the sudden, the video (didn't have pc hooked up yet) flickered. I decided to turn off the key so I didn't screw anything up. A few minutes later I turned it on again, the screen flickered white and then the boot image came up, and it was in a continuous reboot. I thought, shit, now I've done it. Tried just turning the key like 1/4 of the way, so the screen came on, but not the speedo/tach lights. It booted ok. As soon as I turned it a little further, the screen flickered white and it rebooted. Long story short (about 1 hr of troubleshooting, metering voltages, checking fuses, removing wiring i had added thinking it was short in the accessory wires), turned out to be a REALLY DEAD battery. I measured about 9.5 volts. I had been sitting there for a few hours running wires with the radio, nav lcd, inside light and trunk lights all on. What a relief it was just the battery. I never suspected that was the problem with the white screen/rebooting. There wasn't even enough power to spin up the dvd drive to read the disc.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures during the install. Although it wasn't anything special, just running usb cables and 12v constant and accessory to the trunk. Video is being injected using a 4PDT relay in the trunk at the dvd drive. I put a slim laptop dvd drive in the top storage compartment, perfect fit width-wise.
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Old 11-13-2006, 9:27 AM   #39
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Sounds awesome. I wonder if there are any video cards out there that would run the native resolution of the navi monitor...
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Old 11-13-2006, 9:32 AM   #40
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arcadevga

Quote:
Originally Posted by ITL
Sounds awesome. I wonder if there are any video cards out there that would run the native resolution of the navi monitor...
Yes, there are.. well, only one that I know of. ArcadeVGA by Ultimarc.
http://www.ultimarc.com/avgainf.html

I would have gone that route, but I liked the small size of the voompc enclosure which doesn't have room for a pci or agp card. Price wise, i think it's a good deal. I think its about $80 or $90.
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