Raspberry Pi Car Deck

You can get all sorts of cheap car stereo decks from China, but where’s the fun in that? [Sentcool] is an IT specialist and electrician, and he decided he wanted something a bit more unique for his car — so he built this awesome Raspberry Pi car setup!

He’s using a Raspberry Pi Model B R2, a standard LCD car display (from China), a small 12V audio amplifier and an NF filter. The image above is from the first test of all the components together. He originally wanted to use a touch screen, but thought it might be too expensive for the project, so instead he’s carefully soldered switches onto some ribbon cable for the Pi’s GPIOs. Don’t you just love stripping ribbon cable?

From there it was just a matter of creating a nice wooden face plate and jamming everything into the center console of his car. It looks pretty good although the buttons could use some work — Don’t worry though, [Sentcool] is already thinking about upgrading it.

See more after the break!

25 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Car Deck

  1. Wow! I’ve been wanting to do this for a *VERY* long time. I’ve never mustered up enough effort to actually do it beyond drawing out specs on a piece of paper…It’d fit perfectly in my 96 accord… :D

  2. Unique means one-of-a-kind, so you cannot have something be more one-of-a-kind than another unique thing. It can be really unique or truly unique or quite unique but not more unique.

      1. Indeed. It is never a good idea to have high power devices connected directly to the battery without some sort of “ignition” switch control. The Pi needs to go down when the car is off.

  3. i despise touch screens in cars. you have to take your eyes off the road. I sniffed the canbus in mine to take over steering wheel controlls and other controlls. its only controlling my phone justnow but plan on integrating a carputer of some sort to replace the poverty-spec setup my car came with.

    1. Look at mister “I got wheel controls, everything else is shit.” m(

      I had a regular stereo in my car for a year. Then ditched it and installed a carputer with a touchscreen. No difference at all, provided you were smart enough to get/build a decent, touch screen optimized UI.

      1. no need, everything else is not shit, my car has a big twidly knob thing for controlling the on board computer and stereo (i-drive). this, like the steering buttons allows you to control things by feel alone thus meaning you can keep your eye on the road.

        While you can optimise a touch screen , like on some of the aftermarket units where touching anywhere in one half of the screen goes forward and back a track, you have to look at the screen to select a different source, for example or anything equally or more complicated. Obviously IMHO and everyone will have there own opinion, but a touch screen has no place in a car.

        So to keep this on topic i feel the origional posters solution is better than touch, albeit could me made to look a little nicer :)

        1. Ah, BMW.

          Well, my own experience says that taking a look at the radio to locate the buttons distracts me just as much as taking a look at my instruments to verify my traveling speed.
          But that’s only me as i have a really good interface and am able to memorize the layout.

  4. I make something like this, but with a real PC (atom miniITX + SSD + good sound card), special powersupply + DC/DC isolated, 7″ touchsreen + wireless keybord, USB panel on bord, this go to a Focal ampli and Focal HP for good 4.1 sound and the all integrated like orignal in the car, you only can see the subwoffer on the case.

  5. This setup running XBMC + an Android phone / tablet would be nice. Especially with AllCast (http://www.droid-life.com/tag/allcast/). I was thinking of doing something similar in my car.

    Connect the RCA cable to a 7 inch headrest monitor like what you’d get at walmart, headphone jack from the Pi to the aux input in the car stereo, and an Android tablet for content. Want to watch a movie? *bam* send the movie from the tablet to the Raspberry Pi. Change their mind? No need to worry about switching DVDs or scratched DVDs or anything else like that, just send the Pi a new video.

    Here’s a demo video I made once I got it working:

  6. Please make a car ‘puter that has a no screen mode that allows navigation in the solid state world like a Garmin does on the planet. By voice and command on firm action buttons that can be felt alone by hands. Always a knob for volume.
    I noticed using a Garmin the other day at work that the Speed Limit appeared in the lower corner for the state road I was on. When this data link runs all the way to your insurer or financier look out. Forget the cops.

    1. Factory DVD installations that have touchscreens that are driver accessible lock out video playback on those screens, plus have a way to limit interactivity; and a lot of those systems also have steering wheel controls to compensate. When I get around to doing this, I will build in similar safeguards, and figure out a way to use the steering wheel controls from Linux.

  7. Seems to me that this could be the basis for an interesting car setup but a better option might be to hack a tablet like a rooted Nexus 7 into the dash instead. You’ll get a touchscreen, GPS, media player(s) and wireless connectivity and a fast bootup right off the bat (a Nexus won’t have a SD slot but flash drives can be attached via USB OTG cable).

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