Audi A6 (mit MMI) - Car-PC Projekt
One year ago I got my brand new A6 Avant 3.0TDI quattro.
It had a pretty complete configuration, but no TV-Reception, which was a mistake, as I found out soon.
I wanted to at least connect a mp3 player to the factory BOSE-Sound System,
but no way!
At that time not even a ipod solution was available.
Even my good connections into the Audi-plant in Neckarsulm said the only way to input something in the factory system was the TV-Tuner, which had two AV-Inputs.
More researching and hours in the internet lead to the address of Kufatec.
They had a solution to add the TV-Tuner and include it into the MOST-Bus in an almost do-it-yourself way.
(and altogether even cheaper then the factory solution - 1400,-€)
So I started tearing apart my almost brand new A6 in October.
I didn't have a too good feeling about it, because I was afraid that one or more little snap-on-conection (like the car manufacturers love them) might break or I wouldn't ever be able to put it all together again...
removing the rear-seat was quite easy still.
The side covering was already much more tricky...
Left Side: 1 - (new) antenna-amplifier
2 - TV-Tuner
3 - AV-Input
4 - clutter of fibre-optic-cables
Right Side here...(black cable lying on the tools is for the additional 2 antenna-modules)
most tricky part was the removal of the trunk-lid. I thought I would never get it all together again...
this small cable was already soldered to the rear-window, it had to be un-isolated und soldered to additional the antenna-cable
after all, I got everything together again
After that I had to run a special video-wire to the front of the car, underneath
the glove box. If you remove the glove box you can reach the so called head-unit.
It had to be exchanged, because the one built in had no video input.
Because you need the Audi authorized workshop to activate the new head-unit (needs to be activated through a Audi-Central-Computer) I let them also put in the new headunit.
And you won't believe it: It worked right away!
At first it wouldn't display TV when driving (kufatec had already preinstalled that feature), but after a restart of the MMI system even that worked.
Now the second part, the PC.
I decided to use a micro-itx, which I found for a good price on the internet:
Via Epia MII 10000.
At first I added a 3,5" Samsung 160GB which I had lying around. Also got a slim-line DVD-Drive (DVD-Recorder was almost same price as DVD-Player, so I took the Recorder). The rest is 1GB RAM and a M2-ATX Power supply (thought the M1 was a little weak, but I think it would have served my purposes...)
I set up the PC with Windows XP and all the needed software in a cardboard-box, because I had'nt found a housing so far.
When it was up and running I found a perfectly fitting case in an old (really
old !!) taylorix-modem.
Of course it had to be changed in many ways, but the overall size was perfect. Only opening is a little uncomfortable, because the two drives are fixed to the lid...
By the time the housing was ready so far, the 3,5" Samsung had crashed...
It had probably not liked the often assembling and disassembling in the case...
So I decided to go for a 2,5" HD, for it's said to be a little more shock-resistent... 80GB was the size I chose, for it had a reasonable price.
2,5" HDD - fixation
Slimline-DVD-Writer built in
assembled, open case
I found out that the whole box became damn hot and would therefore crash (before I installed the vents), that is why I had to install one intake-vent in the front and a second at the back (blows out).
In the meantime the rear-vent is integrated within the box (M2-ATX was moved a little more forward to give enough room)
View of the back
Operating system: Windows XP
Front End: Roadrunner
I wanted the Frontend to look as much like the Original MMI as possible.
So I searched and searched, but found nothing that would fit my needs. The main problem was that most skins around were ment to be used with touchscreens. But I was using the Original Audi screen, which had no touch. That's why I decided to make my own skin and control the whole system via a RF-Remote. I had one lying around for quite some time which I didn't like optically, but would be a good start. It had a USB-receiver and could be controlled via girder ( I had already setup a little htpc some years ago with this remote). Q-Sonic Master Remote (Pearl)
The remote is quite big and some buttons give the same commands to girder, which is quite irritating. But it worked for a beginning.
But I continued searching for a better Input-Device. It
should be a wireless solution, because I didn't want to pull wires to the front
of the car.
And by accident I stumbled across a thread where a guy named "rilot" talked about a very similar installation as mine in a Audi A8, also with MMI. He had found a nice looking and small media remote from Logitech (Logitech Cordless Desktop S510 Media Remote)
It had RF transmission and a scroll wheel. Perfect! So I put this one in, even though it was hard to get it running with girder the way I wanted... But finally I got it.
From the Logitech Set I Only wanted the remote. The keyboard was too big, and a mouse was not handy.
If I should need keyboard / mouse input I use this one:
It fits perfectly in my glove-compartment and has a built
So now about my own skin.
I found some nice graphics in some of the MMI Skins around, which I took as a Basis.
Because the Audi MMI has four Buttons I decided to put those on the remotes 4 Buttons Vol+, Vol-, Zoom+, Zoom-.
They sit in the corresponding place on the remote. (I don't need the volume function of the car-pc, it's always set to 80%, Volume is controlled through the Car Stereo System.)
By this and the scroll wheel the whole thing comes pretty close to the MMI functionality
I stuck it in place with some velcro-tape, so can remove it if I like.
My skin is a very basic one. I only need the mp3, video and dvd-functionality of the car-pc. Phone, Navigation .... are still used through the original functions of the car (TV- by the way, too)
That's some pics of the pc in action. Picture quality on the screen is of course not as good as a vga- or even dvi-connection (I use the TV-Out of the onboard graphics), but it's better than I was afraid. (and it's far better than it looks on some of these pics)
video_player.skin (little error in there... still displaying the last audio...)
If anyone likes to give comments or wants some more information - please do so on