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Thread: Should I...?

  1. #1
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    Should I...?

    I'm still in the early stages (ordering parts) of building my car pc and I'm looking for opinions.

    I wanted to go with a nice oem looking install, removing my stock 2din radio and setting up 7" touchscreen LCD in its place, and setting up a mini ITX pc setup in the glove box (pipe dreams, right?).

    I ran into a hitch when I found out that a regular USB radio isn't recommended as it would be worthless. I have read about the hqct, and found the idea interesting, but here is where the "Should I...?" question comes in:

    Should I really spend $150+ on a not-so-simple radio device that won't give me 100% the functionality of a regular headunit? (positives being that it's easily concealable, making the whole setup that much more oem/clean looking; negatives being the friggin price, difficulty of setup, less functionality...)

    ...or do I spend 30-60 bucks on an aftermarket 1din HU and install it (if it fits) somewhere on my dash:

    [this is the dash of a GTI, essentially the same setup, close enough - image borrowed from flipkid ]


    There's a semi open space in front of the shifter where I think something would fit, but the opening might be too short.

    Regardless, positives would be: it would be cheaper, I wouldn't have to turn on the pc just to listen to the radio on short trips; negatives would be: a little more complicated installation/mounting, and a not so clean, not so oem looking install.

    Comments/advice?

  2. #2
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    most definately drop the head unit idea. that is what is so great about going with the car pc. you can make it look oem very easily while having endless options and tailoring it to your taste. You're only spending the money once so the $200 saved isn't that big of a deal imho. plus you can add the radio later after you tire of your endless supply of mp3's on hand. Plus a $60 head unit is going to be crappy quality, probably break on you and sound crappy.

    if it were me id look into the hd radio option that is out there. yes it'll be the most expensive option but a great option none the less (and no monthly fees like xm).

    just my $.02
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Thanks scott, I appreciate the input.

    When I said 30-60, I meant used... I saw a few good pioneer/alpine and so on HUs with built in MP3 cd player (my current oem HU plays mp3 cds) for about that range on ebay. Plus I already purchased a good amplifier so I don't really have to rely on the HU for sound (and the radio stations i'd listen to the most are probably talk radio and NPR for news and the occasional traffic update), and you can only listen to mp3's for so long before you want something different.

    Who has used/is currrently using the Hqct and doesn't have problems (that's the other thing that keeps me from wanting to buy the Hqct... all the problems and complications). Plus I don't touch coding/programming, so that's not a selling point for me either.

    Keep that input coming guys (also, pictures of setups including an additional HU for comparison will be much appreciated!)
    2007 VW Rabbit 2.5L

    Carputer (not yet installed):
    7" eonon Touchscreen
    P4m 2.2ghz
    Commell LV-670 Mini-ITX
    512mb DDR ram
    Pioneer DVR-K05
    PSU????

    To be continued...

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Well just to throw an another option out, if you get a detachable face HU, then you can remotely mount the actual unit and just put the faceplate upfront by extending the contacts with some Cat5.

    Personally, I would not do that though. I think unless you are deeply in love with your morning show programmes on radio, I don't even think you need it. I know some people live or die with the radio personalities, but I personally could not stand them and the commercials, so I haven't listened to terrestial radio since June of 2002. I recently (January) got Sirius and I love it. I listen to it every now and then when I have a passenger in the car, or for a short run. But my mp3's keep me company most of the time.

    I think you should try just the PC, and see if you want to listen to any songs you don't have that the radio does. Then if you find yourself getting bored or something, you could just buy the HQCT later as scott said.
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