My interveiw with Ian Dixon comes out tomorrow on his podcast. Go check it out at Ian Dixon’s Media Center Podcast.
I previously posted about a small problem I had with the PCI sound card when going over bumps at speed. It went away for a while after changing PCI slots, but I’m afraid it returned. Moving the card helped again, but it still came back.
I was using a Creative SoundBlaster Live! 24bit External on one of my home PC’s. This card rocks because it sounds awesome and doesn’t need any additional power other than what it gets via the USB port. I moved this into my car, and it is now ROCK SOLID! I had no new power requirements, and because it was connected via a USB cable instead of being screwed into a PCI slot, small vibrations and even big jolts have ZERO impact.
I bought a SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS to replace it on my PC, and I am most happy with that card too.
I came across this VERY interesting device. It seems to be an In-Dash Double-DIN Car PC, with slide out screen built in. Now that is COOL! I’ll have to make sure my next car has space for a double-DIN head unit. I don’t read Japanese or Korean or whatever language it is in, but watching all the flash videos certainly make this little baby look like something worth investigating. I hope it will work with XP Media Center.
My Car Media Center is working VERY well now. I had some small stability issues when I hit speedbumps too fast. I think the Sound Card lost contact somewhere in it’s PCI slot, because when it rebooted sometimes, the soundcard wasn’t detected. I moved slots, and it is now working perfectly.
I also had a very strange problem where sometimes when my car lights were on, the screen would switch very rapidly between AV1 and AV2, and although I have both these inputs connected to the Media Center, the clicking as it switched was very annoying. However, sometimes it was very bad, but sometimes it would hardly do it at all. I was stumped. It had nothing to do with the connection to the PC, because it would do it wven when it was completely disconnected.
Last night, I discovered why!! The screen is getting power from the same line as the radio. I suspected it was a power problem, but wasn’t sure how to fix it. My car has a dashboard light dimmer on it. It turned out that this is a simple rheostat and when it was dimmed, the screen would behave very badly, but when it was bright, everything worked fine. I now just leave it on bright, and we’re rocking and rolling!!
I saw today on Tom’s Hardware Guide that he did an article on car PCs. Those are sooo last month!! Only Joking!
I did see that a company in the USA called Blitzsafe makes adapter cables for head units without AUX in by fooling the unit into thinking it has a CD shuttle installed, and giving female RCA leads to plug whatever you like into. That would have saved me some time and stress!! Doesn’t look like they make Opel or Vauxhaul cables, so I wouldn’t have been in luck.
It’s finally finished. I replaced the audio cable in the back, and the sound is now exactly as it was from my CD Shuttle. It Rocks! I have also split the video signal to both AV inputs, so I have no more manual switching if the lights are not on.
It’s the best car radio I’ve ever had!!!!