After 2 months of shipping delays, getting held up in Slovak customs, and then costing me €108 in import taxes, my car’s media centre has finally arrived!
I wasted no time in getting the unit installed. I put the car in the garage, rigged up some extra lighting, made a cup of tea and started taking the dash apart.
As you can see from the picture above, the unit has everything you could imagine. It has a TV receiver, a very fast and intelligent GPS system (those are actually quite rare!), a reversing camera input – with a function that activates the reversing camera the instant I put the car in reverse, and so much more.
The TV/DVD/GPS unit is specially designed for this model of Suzuki Swift, so it should be a matter of simply plug & play. I was hoping this was the case as I wasn’t really in the mood to start troubleshooting after this much waiting.
As many of you will know, I already installed a Raspberry Pi computer in my car, and it has been sitting under the dashboard waiting for this car monitor to be purchased for many months. Finally it’s time to put it to work.
Believe it or not, the installation was an absolute piece of cake. I was expecting at least a couple of problems, but everything just plugged in and worked. It was almost surreal.
The unit even has two video in points. One for my reversing camera, and another for an auxiliary video – the Raspberry Pi in this case. It also has auxiliary audio inputs, so the audio from the Raspberry Pi can go straight into the car.
It works! It really works! I have to be honest: this is by far the coolest car gadget I’ve ever purchased. It has so many functions, and so much room for learning and improvement.
The first improvement that springs to mind? Let’s connect the Raspberry Pi. 😀
Woohoo! My geek gland is tingling! There’s something so cool about a Raspberry Pi booting up on your car’s dashboard.
The system works, the audio quality is superb, and the Raspberry Pi is ready for programming. I’m pretty happy at the moment as you can imagine.
So you can see and hear it in action, I made a simple video showing the unit, including the Raspberry Pi operating in the dashboard:
From here on things get interesting. I’ve brought the book “Raspberry Pi for Dummies” which should arrive any day now, and I plan on learning how to get the Raspberry Pi computer to do all kinds of cool stuff.
From turning on interior lights with voice commands, to reading my email to me as I drive, there’s a massive amount of things you can do with these versatile little computers. If you have any ideas that might work in my car, write it in the comments below!
Check back soon! 😀
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