KITT electronics functionality

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JJohnson
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KITT electronics functionality

Post by JJohnson » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:17 am

I read a long time ago of people putting some actual computers (actual hard drives, Pentiums, the works) into their Trans Ams to let them do voice activation and listen to mp3s from within their replicas.

I was wondering what kinds of customizations do people do nowadays for their KITT replica cars?

Do you have the 1-tv dash dispaly GPS while driving? MP3s on an solid-state drive within the car? Bluetooth phone?

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by Knight Racer » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:13 pm

Kitt convertible talking with smartphone: http://youtu.be/UO_syIaGXSM

People use bluetooth on their phones to run mp3s on their replica.

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by RafaelLOJ » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:50 pm

I custom built a car PC,Asus motherboard, Intel i5 (35watt 2 core), 8GB Ram, 256 GB Solid State Drive, etc...
Windows 8.1 with 4th season dash, 8.4inch touch screen...

There are no really good options for GPS with Windows 8.1, since their mobile stuff is different than their PC stuff...
I do have an older ALK CoPilot which as great, but when it comes time to set it up in the car, I may either do it, some other software, or just plug my phone into the monitor...

I will have voice recognition / phrases playing... plus I have Bo's DVD's and various other KR things right on the touch screen for quick / easy access...

The PC is extremely fast... the Windows 8 barely does a complete loop and it's on the desktop...
I can do Bluetooth through the phone too...

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by 2knight » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:37 am

I have a Knight 3000 replica with a computer built in. There are some companies online that sell computers specifically for cars that you can wire directly into a 12 volt system. I got mine through mp3car.com. I also got a touchscreen monitor through them so I don't have to worry about using a mouse or keyboard (though I still have a wireless mouse and keyboard available when doing off the road updates or adding software or files). I have a GPS, a couple of web cams, and a couple of other USB accessories. I have a software package called Centrafuse (www.centrafuse.com) that includes mp3 player, GPS, and bluetooth phone among other things. You can buy or sometimes find free apps for it for things like gas mileage, car maintenance, and so forth. Centrafuse also has voice commands built in. There are also some free "front ends" similar to Centrafuse, but they take a little more technical knowledge to get them to work correctly.

I also have a few other software packages on the computer. There's software called e-speaking (http://www.e-speaking.com/) that allows voice commands in windows, and can also be used to play back audio, video, and graphics, or open programs using voice commands. There are a couple of AI and personal assistant programs out there too that might be of interest. I use Ultrahal (http://www.zabaware.com/). I've seen another called Guile3d, but do not have that one. (https://guile3d.com/en/). They do have a Knight Rider skin / plugin for this.

One thing that I haven't tried, but plan to at some point is to get something from the mp3car site called the Fusion Brain. This would allow for working car functions like "popping the trunk" and other things through the computer, as well as automating some functions based on sensor inputs. I've not tried this, but expect it would require better than average computer and electronic skills to get it to work well in a KITT replica.

I hope this helps.

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by JJohnson » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:32 pm

That does, yes. I have a few ideas, but want to make sure they're feasible/doable, so that's a good direction.

-MP3 playback for music, podcasts, and audiobooks, either from in-car SSD or SD card.
-voicebox used for: car voice responses / KITT, podcast audio, audiobook audio, phone call audio. Question here is - do I have a speaker near the voicebox for it or just play through the car audio system?
-voice commands - "play me some country music" tells the computer to play mp3s with the genre 'country' in a randomized playlist; "lock the doors" - the car locks the doors; "pop the hood" - the hood releases; "call my girlfriend" - the bluetooth connection engages my phone to call my girlfriend, which displays call information on the LCD screen, etc. I may just use Windows 9, since Cortana will be integrated into it.
-SD card and USB inputs
-video game ROMs and emulator program - Michael played Atari games on KITT, so playing some Pac-Man or even Super Mario World shouldn't be too out of the realm of possibilities, and include a USB or wireless game controller, and I'm set.
-SSD - one or more SSD, over 200 GB in size should be enough.
-Bluetooth phone integration - call information on the LCD screen. Not sure yet of having the other end of the phone visualized through the KITT voicebox
-computer voice response through the KITT voicebox - especially for having the William Daniels TomTom voice pack. I'm sure there has to be a way to hack that into a car - it's only sound files after all.
-scanner lights&sounds - variable control from within the car
-center console with functional abilities; overhead console with functional abilities - garage door opening/learning, radar scanner, etc. Just not sure of what kinds of real functional abilities I can put in.
-LCD touchscreen GPS - no idea who to use - TomTom, Nokia HERE, etc. Maybe using Windows 8 with a custom app for in-car use that can access Cortana when she comes to W9.
-compass - I really want this to work like a real compass. If I'm heading due north, the N bar will be completely full. If I'm heading straight northwest, the west and north will be half full each, etc.
-other electronics - I need an odometer, tripmeter, fuel economy estimator, and range estimator (how far I can go on the remaining gas in the tank). Even better if this ties in to the GPS unit and tells me where the nearest gas stations are.

These are just ideas I had. But yeah, if I commit to doing a KITT replica, I want to make sure it's as functional as possible, and as screen-accurate as possible (aside from the touchscreen LCD :) ).

Random side question - how do you handle air conditioning? That's a big thing living in FL.

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by 2knight » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:43 am

I took my stock radio out and replaced it with the LCD touch screen. I have the sound out on my computer running to an amplifier that is connected to the car speakers. You could run the sound through your existing sound system if you keep it and if it has audio input, run the computer to an amplifier, or have a dedicated speaker specifically for KITT's voice and sound effects. It all depends on how you want to do things.

I have been concerned about keeping the car cool to protect the electronics. I did initially have an LCD screen go bad. It was on a very hot summer day when the car had been closed up. When I bought the next one I added a couple of computer fans that come on when I turn the electronics on. On very hot days when the car has been sitting out and it's hot inside, I usually wait a short while for the AC to to cool things down inside the car before I turn on the computer. I also had my windows tinted slightly and I have a sun shade for both the windshield and rear window. I usually leave the windows cracked a little bit in the summer, and I try to park in the shade or in parking garages whenever possible. I've also added some extra insulation to some areas of the car - some under carpet insulation and some radiant barrier insulation (looks like the stuff windshield sun shields are made of, kind of like silver bubble wrap. As some point I'm considering hacking a mini-fridge and using the parts to make a cooling system that would be hooked into a thermostat and powered by a deep cycle marine battery.

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by JJohnson » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:55 am

2knight, good info there. That's another concern I had is when you've got all these electronics in the car, what happens on a hot day? I get 90°-105° from maybe June to August, so it's something to think about.

How much did you tint your windows?

And what's the carpet insulation / radiant barrier insulation? I've never heard of it before. Does it affect the aesthetics of the car's interior?

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by 2knight » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:42 am

JJohnson wrote:2knight, good info there. That's another concern I had is when you've got all these electronics in the car, what happens on a hot day? I get 90°-105° from maybe June to August, so it's something to think about.

How much did you tint your windows?

And what's the carpet insulation / radiant barrier insulation? I've never heard of it before. Does it affect the aesthetics of the car's interior?


I believe my windows have a 30% tint. If I were to do it again, I'd probably want to go a little bit more than that, but check local laws for what's allowed in your area.

I bought the carpet insulation at Pep Boys, but couldn't find it on their website. Here's a link to something similar on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Sound- ... insulation

I have this in my ceiling between the ceiling upholstery and the bare metal of the exterior. It might not work as well if you have t-tops. I'm planning to put it in my floorboards too under the carpet, and probably other places where I can get away with a heavier and thicker insulation.

I also have radiant barrier in some of the places where I need something thinner, lighter, and easier to cut. I'm putting this in side body panels and up in the dash board - again between upholstery and trim panels and the exterior metal of the car. I'm putting it around sensitive electronics making sure to leave space and openings for ventilation. I bought mine at Lowe's in the insulation section, but here's another Amazon link.

http://www.amazon.com/Reflectix-BP24025 ... nt+barrier

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by JJohnson » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:24 pm

Another thing that would be good on KITT - backup camera, backup radar sensors, and maybe even blind-spot cameras (especially for the two-TV dash). That would be amazingly useful in a car. My parents' van has cameras in the side-view mirrors, that when you turn on the turn signal, there's a display that activates the camera with an overlay to show you two-car-length's worth of space to make sure you have enough room. It's great.

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Re: KITT electronics functionality

Post by JJohnson » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:45 pm

I'm looking at the season 1 dash, comparing to season 3/4, and what's the propagationdelay for? I'm not sure how the definition of 'propagation delay' helps relate it to a car...it's the length of time it takes for a signal to reach the destination.

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