The Ultimate RX-8 Nav Hood Mod!

Project: RX-8 Sat Nav Hood Upgrade

Primary Resource: OEM RX-8 Satellite Navigation Hood

Parts needed:

Miniature PC (must be powered by no more than 12V, fanless CPU/GPU, operating temperatures commemorate with internal vehicle temperatures, CPU architecture must be X86 (software requirement), built in WiFi, Bluetooth)
Audio Input Card (OEM entertainment system extension card)
7 inch Touch Screen
Temperature Sensors (Bluetooth)
Arduino Tilt Sensor
Arduino CAN BUS adapter (integrate steering wheel entertainment controls)
TMPS (Tire Pressure Management System) Sensors
Software Function
Windows 10 Professional As a Microsoft .Net developer, I can create Apps easier if the device is running Windows 10. The Professional version is needed to leaverage certain system functions.
VLC Player Will form the basis for playing multimedia files. An RX-8 custom themed skin will make VLC blend into the main App.
CAN BUS Interface Reads input from the Arduino CAN BUS interpreter and controls media/audio features, engine data, temperatures, etc
Tilt Sensor Receives Arduino Tilt Sensor input and displays vehicle tilt, G-force and directional (compass) data
TMPS Display Receives the TMPS data from wheel sensors
Voice Attack Voice controlled software interfacing software package that allows for control of various computer controlled features. This software requires an x86 compatible CPU
Fuel Consumption & Stats App Tracks fuel usage, mileage tracker and other trip data. Takes input from CAN BUS Interface.
Embedded Google Maps Navigation app, gets data from a paired mobile phone.
Reverse Camera When in reverse, displays the rear camera.
DVR storage and playback Stores saved CCTV files and presents them for playback



My biggest problem, I have to many hobbies! 😋 I start something, get bored, and start another, and another...

Well....nothing has changed! 😀

When I turned 40, I decided to start me mid-life-crisis early! Time to do something that will really piss-off my wife! 🤣 All of the standard "crisis options" seemed lame. Motorcycle, a boat, become a fitness freak, tattoos out (and on) the many options. Nope.....for me it was cars. Always been a huge car fan, but never had the excess cash to get a real nice or fast one. Now I do, so sports car it is!

Like everything else in my life, a ridiculous amount of research ensued. For the most part, very educating. It's amazing, cars perceived as "sports" or "performance".....aren't. Anyway, after many many moons, narrowed it down to two possibilities.

The criteria was simple: Affordability, maintainability, performance and style.

For me, this was the Hyundai Coupe and the Mazda RX-8. So I started checking them out.

I drove the Hyundai first. I'd only seen it in brochures and pictures. In person, I was very very disappointed. Even more so when I drove it. I'm not overly tall, but at 6 feet, every time we went over a bump, my head hit the head-liner.

When I first test drove the RX-8 it was love at first sight. The test drive was even more epic. Although the color was red (I hate red) everything else about it was perfect. So I tracked down a model in my color and bought it. Grinning the whole way home.

Now I know what your thinking, "...what about the criteria? Maintainability?". Well sometimes you have to compromise! 😍

Almost instantly I started looking at upgrades. While mine didn't come with the Sat Nav Hood, I started seeing a lot of them on eBay. Nobody wanted it. A quick peruse around the net and some folks had already started creating custom hoods.

So this is my project to revamp the OEM Sat Nav Hood! Wish me luck!

My notes, ongoing:

Nav hood display area: 87mm high by 155mm wide

AuxMod module for AUX in to RX-8 stereo (
Note: good thing I bought this first! The company has since gone out of business!



Custom WPF desktop application (Visual Studio 2022, C# v6, deployed with ClickOnce)

The main page will have an animated SVG object (a rotary engine rotor) in the center, with navigation buttons primarily on the left and right sides.

{screen shot}

Each "Page" is dynamically loaded (injected) on demand. Certain functions are globally scoped to retain values (IE: TPMS data, Temp, etc)

For entertainment system, the WPF app will hand over to VLC Player. All entertainment (audio/video/streamed) controlled by VLC. Navigation buttons on the custom VLC skin returns to the (open in background) WPF App.

TPMS (Tire Pressure Management System) data is retrieved over Bluetooth. A desktop service will translate this into information the WPF App can read/display. The app will have a visual display of each tire, their state and overall status

Temperature data is also retrieved from two places. Over Bluetooth sensors around the car, OBD2 connection to the vehicle computer for cockpit and engine temps

Rear camera input via RCA USB dongle displayed in a WPF page.

Navigation will be using the Google Maps API for navigation, current location and trip computing.

Vehicle Status - there will be a page that displays oil/engine temp, oil pressure, water pressure, cockpit and trunk temp, TPMS summary, current MPG and probably some other stuff that hasn't crossed my mind yet.

Coding of all WPF interfaces must contain a special "tag" in order for VoiceAttack to execute voice commands against the interface.

Work in progress.....

Proposed PC:
LattePanda 2G/32GB With Windows 10 Activated (can get un-activated?)

Processor: Intel Cherry Trail Z8350 Quad Core 1.8GHz
Operation System: Pre-installed full edition of Windows 10
Ram: 2GB DDR3L
Storage Capability: 32GB
GPU: Intel HD Graphics, 12 EUs @200-500 Mhz, single-channel memory
One USB3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports
WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
Built-in Arduino Co-processor: ATmega32u4
Video output: HDMI and MIPI-DSI
Onboard touch panel overlay connector
Supports 100Mbps Ethernet
6 GPIOs from Cherry Trail processor
20 GPIOs from Arduino Leonardo
6 Plug and play Gravity sensor connectors
Power: 5v/2A
Dimension of board: 88 * 70 mm/ 3.46 * 2.76 inches
Packing Size: 110 * 94 * 30 mm/4.33 * 3.70 * 1.18 inches
N.W.: 55g
G.W.: 100g

LattePanda 2G/32GB SKU: DFR0418 (£115.13 with W10 licence)
LattePanda Alpha 864s SKU: DFR0547
LattePanda 2G/32GB SKU: DFR0444 (£95.28 without W10 licence)

Proposed Display:
Official Raspberry Pi 7" Touchscreen Display (SKU: SC0025)

Technical Specification:

7” Touchscreen Display.
Screen Dimensions: 194mm x 110mm x 20mm (including standoffs)
Viewable screen size: 155mm x 86mm
Screen Resolution 800 x 480 pixels
10 finger capacitive touch.
Connects to the the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (or Model A+ ) board using a ribbon cable connected to the DSI port.
Adapter board is used to power the display and convert the parallel signals from the display to the serial (DSI) port on the Raspberry Pi.

Alternate: Displaytech DT070ATFT-PTS TFT LCD Colour Display / Touch Screen, 7in, 800 x 480pixels
RS Stock No. 915-6461 Mfr. Part No. DT070ATFT-PTS


Housing Buttons:
RS PRO Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) Momentary Push Button Switch

RS PRO Latching Push Button Switch

RS PRO Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) Latching White LED Push Button Switch

ITW 48 Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) Latching Clear LED Push Button Switch

NKK Switches Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) Latching Push Button Switch


Housing USB connectors:
RS PRO Dual Port Panel Mount

Amphenol MUSBR Series, Dual Port Vertical PCB Mount

Adam Tech USB-C31-A-D-VT-CS1


UI Animation display:


Temperature Sensors:


Hood Tilt

To replicate the current Open/Close and Tilt functions that the hood can do, the OEM mechanism will be replaced with an Arduino and a Motor Controller.

Hood Tilt References:


Battery Isolator:


Quick Release Battery Terminal:


Fuse Box: