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Display Screen

In many ways the display screen is the most important part of any carputer installation, since this is the way you interact with the computer whilst driving.

For ease of use, you really need to use a touch sensitive screen. A conventional keyboard and mouse are not an option whilst moving. Some computer monitors are supplied with remote controls but again these are not the answer when driving and they are not exactly intuitive.

There are many types of computer display to choose from and where you want to position it will play a part in your choice. Sun visor and roof mounted models are available, but these are more suitable to passenger viewing, or as a dedicated visual display unit for a reversing camera.

Display Screen
A "Liliput" touch screen monitor.

The way of fitting a display in your car which potentially involves the least installation effort, is to leave your car stereo in place and take advantage of the existing amplifier, FM tuner and control knobs.

Mounting your monitor on top of the dashboard is probably the easiest option, but.....

Fitting it in the fascia gives the best appearance. However, this may call for fabrication skills to achieve the factory fitted look.

Once you have decided on the position, you will know the display size you can fit. A 7" monitor gives a very acceptable image, but as with so many things in life, bigger is better. If you have room for an 8" monitor, the image is easier to view.

If you intend to build the display into your console, do have a very clear idea of how you intend to do it before deciding on a particular model. Choose a model which has more than one video input if you wish to also fit a rear-view camera.

If your dashboard layout has no room to fit a display without removing your existing car stereo, you have 4 options.

Motorised Screens

Motorised Screen Extended

Motorised Screen Retracted

One alternative is a motorised screen which fits into a standard single DIN or double DIN slot. The top photograph shows this type of unit with the display fully extended.

The bottom photograph shows a similar unit with the display fully retracted.

The advantages of a motorised screen are:-

  • It needs less customisation effort to fit.
  • It looks very unobtrusive with the display fully retracted.
  • The disadvantages are:-

  • It may obstruct instrument displays or controls when fully extended.
  • When fully extended, it looks "stuck-on" as an afterthought and could never be taken for a factory fitted accessory.
  • It adds another moving part which could go wrong.

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