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Car PC Project Series: Centrafuse Part 1

9/25/2009 , Posted by Lok at 2:57 PM

I recently bought Acer Aspire One for my car PC project. My plan is to mount the thing on my dashboard so now I'm still looking for mounting kit or probably have one customized (fabricated) for my dashboard. What I have in mind before engaging in this project are the ff:
  • Set-up a low cost-high value carputer.
  • Real-time monitoring of engine performance.
  • Integrate GPS/Phone/Music/Movies/Internet/Email/Camera/Engine monitoring in one solution.
  • Cool digital gauges.
  • Finish the whole project without actually ruining my dashboard. Hopefully I won't make a single drill on my dashboard before the end of this project
Total Cost of Setup: 
  • Acer NetBook - 20K Php
  • OBDII Bluetooth Dongle - 6K Php
  • Wireless Cam - 2K Php
  • Video Grabber - 1K Php
  • Mounting - 1K Php
  • Does not include phone with GPS support: Nokia E71 or N9x series which I already have
  • Total - 30K Php or ~650USD
Now, the main question is to go with Centrafuse or to go with the set-up the as with my previous post. What I liked about Centrafuse is that it provides all-in-one carputer interface. I will be able to integrate the phone and Garmin GPS, iPod, and OBDII gauge into the system with little effort.

Centrafuse Installation:

1. Installation of Centrafuse to the PC  - Check
Installation of Centrafuse is very straight forward. Just follow the installation instruction. You can download a copy at Fluxmedia.After installation you will configure the location of Music/Videos/Picture so it'd be pretty nifty if you keep those files in one place or one folder each.

Here's the screenshots of my installed Centrafuse.

Music Player

2. Linking my phone to centrafuse via bluetooth - Check
Centrafuse installs it's own stack of bluetooth drivers. To pair the phone, make sure the bluetooth is turned on both the laptop and the phone. Note: I did a restart of centrafuse after configuration to check if bluetooth automatically connects everytime Centrafuse is started.

At Centrafuse screen, go to Centrafuse Settings
Scrolldown and select phone-> click Setup
Enable phone->On
Auto connect phone->On
Click to Search for Phones (It will show all devices found via bluetooth) -> Click Pair
After pairing - click to Select Default Stored Phone and select the paired device
Save the configuration.

After this you should be able to see the Phone Signal, Headset and Battery icon at the top of the screen:

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