Don’t stop toll you get enough

With a trip to La Rochelle in France next month I thought it might make the travelling a little easier if we don’t have to stop and pay at tolls. Having to pay with card or cash is quite a faff what with the number of tolls we’ll potentially be passing through.

So thankfully Sanef in France have an automated toll system that uses a transponder stuck inside the windscreen, so all you have to do is roll up slowly to the toll, the device will beep and the barrier/lights will let you on your way. You get an invoice some time later and the fees are automatically taken from your account.

Sounds really simple and aside from a set-up fee the toll charges are the same. Happy days!

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…Midnight gets closer…

Yes that title does come from Pinball Dreams on the Amiga from waaay back in 1992 but feels kind of apt right now.  It’s under two days now until the bus arrives at Southampton, and from then there’s 2-3 weeks to wait while it’s MOT’d/cleaned/tidied up/registered before I can drive it home.

I’ve been excited for the past two+ months but it’s getting worse now and it suddenly feels very close. Roll on May!


All I know about the current ICE is that it’s still got the original CD/MD/Radio it came from the factory with:

Stock single DIN head unit
Stock single DIN head unit

It doesn’t have the Bose option, so no tasty sub-woofer in the rear floor. As a consolation prize though it does have a plastic floor protector.


My plan as it stands now will be to add the ability to play DVDs on the roof mounted screen in the back by swapping out the head unit for a nice new Android powered double DIN unit. This will also allow audio to be played from phones over Bluetooth or from USB/SD. Of course, this is only a plan and it might have to change once I can physically look at the setup when I get the car. I’ve got no plans to change the speakers unless they’re starting to fall apart.

The head unit I’m thinking about getting is this Pumpkin 6.95 inch touchscreen unit running Android 4.4.

Pumpkin touchscreen unitPumpkin touchscreen unit
Pumpkin touchscreen unit For the price it seems to be almost perfect (the only drawbacks I see so far is that only DVD can be output to Video Out, not a video being played from USB/SD/Internet, and that it doesn’t have DAB radio).

I’m interested to see what’s possible with the built-in OBD functionality.

Amazon listing (images above taken from):
Pumpkin 6.95 inch Headunit Android 4.4 Double Din In Dash Capacitive HD Multi-touch Screen Car DVD Player Stereo GPS Navigation Multimedia system AM/FM Radio Support Steering Wheel Control / Bluetooth/ SD / USB / ipod / AV-IN / OBD2 / 3G / Wifi / DVR / 1080P (Car Stereo with GPS)