In dash GPS

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by chuckknight, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    No, this isn't a retread of the "retrofit it in" thread. I already read that one, and wasn't pleased with the conclusions. Instead, I've got what might prove to be a workable idea.

    There exists in the GenII Prius a single DIN slot below the radio. Since the radio unit is mostly useless space on the dashboard, since it's easily controlled by the MFD, I figure a solution like this might just work.

    Mount a "flip out" GPS unit in the bottom slot, and let it flip up over the radio when in use. This would not impair the radio functions, since they're on the steering wheel and MFD, but would give me that wonderful giant touch screen that we all seem to want.

    The problem is, I can't find a flip out GPS unit. I've found lots that are amazingly integrated (read super-expensive)...but none that are just GPS, and I have a major problem paying $900 or more for what will end up being just a GPS unit.

    I certainly don't need the extra functionality, beyond the stock system...I listen to AM talk radio!

    First...has anyone done something like this? And, second, does anyone know of "just a GPS" in this form factor?

    Thanks!

    Chuck
    [​IMG]

     
  2. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Who makes that unit? That would work well in my GF's motorhome.
     
  3. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    I found it on Google images...it's a generic Chinese one, I think. Good looking, though.

    My thought was that it could easily fit in the DIN slot below the radio.

    WalMart has a similar one for $400...but would I really want to "upgrade" to a WalMart unit?

    Chuck
     
  4. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    That could be the first time ever that "upgrade" and WalMart have appeared in the same sentence. :madgrin:
     
  5. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    Hence, the quotation marks.

    Clarion or Kenwood would be one thing...Dual (WM store brand) is quite another.

    Chuck
     
  6. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Looks great but I just fear that this fancy gadget would invite thieves to break in. :(
     
  7. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    Single DIN slot...it would retract behind the translucent door. (Any way to make that door more opaque?) And, besides, I live in a small country town...not much crime.

    Does this seem a logical approach to the problem of "integrating" GPS into the dash, without the Toyota NAV system?

    Chuck
     
  8. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I think if you can find a GPS only unit, it might work better than the factory GPS unit. I don't know of any though. It seems like most of the stand alone GPS units are just a simple touch screen like the nuvi, Tom-Tom, etc.
     
  9. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Wow! I hadn't realized that. I would be interested in a in-dash PC to record data (in addition to GPS & MP3 etc.) if there is such a thing.
     
  10. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Mac Prius
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    The Prius MAC was one of my inspirations...in fact, I talked to a MAC guru friend, today, who actually *has* an old MAC mini just lying around. :) After he was done calling me a rich spoiled tree hugger, we got down to business.

    I'd prefer Windows, though...or maybe LINUX. Yeah...there are some super-low-power LINUX boxes on the market. That could be a great approach.

    Or, I could just pick up a netbook on Black Friday. The passenger seat is usually empty. It could probably even fit in the glove box, if I used a shoehorn.

    I know, also, of an OBDII interface that outputs data via bluetooth, to anything including Windows Mobile and even something as primitive as an iPhone. The bluetooth interface might be ideal, since it would output data for a logging project. Lots of phones, etc, have GPS these days, anyway.

    Hmmm...too many ideas.

    Boy, this just got way more complicated. ;) And way more fun! Never thought I'd be hacking my car!

    Chuck
     
  12. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    If it is a PowerPC based MacMini, then:

    Debian -- PowerPC Port


    If it is a Intel based MacMini, then you can run Windows or Linux or MacOS. I have XP and Ubuntu and Win2k installed on my MacBookPro.
     
  13. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    Look what I found! It's an inexpensive ($200) Windows Mini. Gee, I wonder if it'd fit in that slot?

    Chuck

    [​IMG]
     
  14. AFPrius

    AFPrius New Member

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    Just one question....can we get back to the notion of an in-dash GPS unit?? Please.

    I do think the Mac is sweet tho
     
  15. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    Well, I'm going to be looking for one of those flip out units next Friday...Black Friday. It's one of the most heavily discounted sale days of the calendar year, in the USA.

    Long term, I definitely want an auto-PC, but short term I'd prefer the nicely integrated in-dash unit.

    Who knows? I may find something on sale so cheaply that I won't be able to resist.

    Chuck
     
  16. AFPrius

    AFPrius New Member

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    Perhaps you can enlighten us on what you're setting your eye on btwn now and next friday???

    I at least, sure would like to know.:rockon:
     
  17. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    Check the original post...the motorized flip-out stereo with the integrated GPS unit.

    I'd prefer one that was only GPS...but I'll see if a friend can wire it to the AUX input on the existing stereo, and that way I maintain MFD and steering wheel control (at least of volume and basic functions) while still getting the more sophisticated head unit.

    It's a compromise, and if I find an inexpensive netbook I may choose to go another direction, like a docking cradle in the armrest or upper glove compartment...but for now, the in-dash unit seems the preferable solution. I'd prefer not to do hardware hacking on my car, if I can avoid it...at least within my first month of ownership! :)

    Chuck
     
  18. AFPrius

    AFPrius New Member

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    Right ON Chuck. Let us know what you end up doing. I myself am still trying to find a way to mount even a handheld unit, neatly somewhere near the center MFD, or radio unit. I've seen that aftermarket "shelf" that is sold I think by one of the Prius only accessory sites, but it seems so clunky.
     
  19. ilusnforc

    ilusnforc Member

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    Before you go busting your bucks on black friday deals you might look at installs others have done and the problems encountered, you'll find posts from users squirrelal and Presto.

    Because of the curvature of the dash, the lower positioning of the DIN slot below the radio in the Prius and the tilting angle of the fold out screens they tend to hit the dash before they can get into an upward facing position so that you can actually see the screen when you look down at it. Carefully consider dash clearance before buying, it seems most if not all motorized models do not come out far enough to clear the dash where few manual pull-out screens come out significantly further to clear the dash and be able to angle the screen to a normal upward facing angle.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-audio-electronics/15246-another-prius-carpc.html

    You can see how squirrelal had to make modifications to the metal mounting area in order to get the unit to fit at all, then he couldn't secure it in place because he had first open the door that conceals the slot, then pull the entire unit out, then he could open the screen to the proper viewing angle. There have been some challenges with these screens and although the few that are using them have been able to cope with them, I'd hardly consider it a permanent solution. It would just be stolen way too easily if it weren't for the door that conceals it.

    I once considered installing a screen for a car pc, I thought of doing something similar but wanted something in the back of the unit that clicked to lock onto the unit when not in use and when you push the unit in and release it would have a spring behind it that would allow it to come out, kind of like how you click the end of a pen to retract the tip, the button goes in and out clicking into position when you press it and it's spring loaded with a stopping point. It just seemed to complicated though and with the small amount of time I spend driving I couldn't justify a car pc and abandoned the idea alltogether.

    Food for thought... Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  20. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    I, on the other hand, operate a business that makes house calls...I'm in my car a LOT, so I'm not averse to some high tech hijinks.

    And, thank you for that link...it's quite informative, especially about the 1.5" required offset for the screen. Definitely something to watch for.

    I'm thinking, especially as cheap as netbooks are, that a docking cradle in the armrest, connected to a GPS dongle and displayed through the video on the MFD, might be the preferred method. Something similar to the MAC, but with standard (and inexpensive) hardware. I could even make a custom docking cradle from something as universal as LEGO bricks. And, as for software, the Dell and Acer come with Windows, but if I felt like it they even have Mac OS/X86 ports made specifically for them.

    Wonder if the aftermarket USB touchscreens for the netbooks would work with the MFD, as well? An interesting idea, and definitely cost effective.

    Heck, I could just sit it, open, on the passenger seat...but then I wouldn't get to do any hardware hacking! :)

    3 hours till the first Black Friday sales!!!

    Chuck
     
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