Car-PC Project


160 Baud ALDL

Is anyone interested in the idea of a drop-in car computer replacement for the 1.5 DIN BOSE head unit found in 1984-1989 C4's?

I've already gathered some research and materials to start this project.

My foremost priority is to build a unit that looks like it could have been OEM. No dashboard hacks, no chrome trim, just more of the F-14A Tomcat styling already in the car.

My research tells me that there were 206,218 Corvettes built between 1984 and 1989 and of those built, 184,253 (89.35%) had the BOSE system installed in them.

Unfortunately the 1.5 DIN size and the fact that these cars are aging and the BOSE head units are no longer serviceable leads me to conclude that there is a sizable group of owners who could benefit from this project.

Here's a list of items that I believe can be incorporated into this project over time (in no particular order):

  • WiFi for loading MP3/MPEG media from home network
  • Cellular connectivity for internet on the road
  • OBD1 Diagnostic display
  • MP3 Audio player
  • MPEG Video player
  • GPS Navigation
  • Keyfob door and hatch lock/unlock
  • FM Radio
  • Backup Camera
  • Accept a thumb-drive to load or play media
It's an ambitious project but if it is broken down into achievable steps I believe it can be done. The side benefit of having a Linux based computer at its core is that it can customized as needed.

I've begun working on my BOSE head unit replacement project. This video demonstrates using an Adafruit Trinket micro-controller to govern the startup and shutdown of a Raspberry Pi 3. The Raspberry Pi doesn't like to be shut down by having it's power cut (like most computers) so to use a Raspberry Pi in a car, a method for cleanly powering down is needed.

It's a first step, but a necessary one.