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Thread: Opus Solutions "Vehicle PC" Mini-ITX system including Power Supply, case (NY USA)

  1. #1
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    Opus Solutions "Vehicle PC" Mini-ITX system including Power Supply, case (NY USA)

    4/24/14 NOTE: I HAVE FOUND THAT THE POWER SUPPLIES IN THESE UNITS ARE 24-VOLT INPUT, NOT 12-VOLT! KEEP THIS IN MIND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ONE OF THESE UNITS!

    Greetings!
    I have several (nine actually) of these systems that were removed from equipment. They got very light use. I didn't want to scrap them, but didn't know who would be interested in them until I found mp3Car.com! I'm hoping there are a few people out there who would like to have a nicely built system for $40. (Just the case with PS is listed online for lots more!)

    We got them from a developer who was trying to create a combination entertainment/security system for bus travel. The developer went belly-up, and we were left with the units installed in our buses. Hope you'll pardon me for not having intimate knowledge of the systems, but we bought them as an installed package, so this week is the first time I looked under the hood of one. I do know that they are Windows XP systems, set up to run headless (the video entertainment system in the bus was the only display connection under normal operation).

    You can check out the specs at the Opus Solutions website at http://www.opussolutions.com/product...specifications

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    INSIDE:
    The motherboard is an VIA EPIA-MII6000E with Eden processor (which is apparently a proprietary VIA low-power processor designed to run fanless). You can check the specs out at http://www.viaembedded.com/en/produc...ard_(EOL).html

    Power supply is Opus DCX3.120P.

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    Plugged into the PCI riser card is a KGuard DVR1X-7134B 8-input DVR card. This was used for security camera inputs. (That was part of the developers strategy - to provide live video feeds. Since this was the pre-3G days, that effectively killed their bandwidth, and thus their business)

    Also inside the case is a microcontroller card (ETT CP-jrZ8F02, with companion opto-relay card ET-OPTO RELAY 4) that was supposed to control the power-up and power-down of the PC and some other ancillary stuff. If you're interested, it's a Zilog Z8Encore processor based card. The developer added some circuitry to the card, I believe to convert the 24v feed from the bus batteries to 12v for the system (there's a prototype grid area provided on the card for just such purposes). Doesn't look like any permanent mods, so if you're into microcontrollers these could be cool.

    I can remove the add-an cards if you're not interested in them, leaving you with the stock Opus unit.

    The case is really solid, built specifically for mini-ITX, and has internal space for 2 full size PCI cards, or one card and a full size HDD or optical drive (or, in this case, the microcontroller card ). It's so nice, mp3Cars.com sells them!

    If you're interested in one or all of them, PM or email me, and we'll figure out the details.
    Last edited by shaferbus; 04-24-2014 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Specifications Changed!

  2. #2
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    I would be interested in one or maybe two of them. I'll pm you in the morning


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    I think im interested..shipping could be a killer for me..will you be happy to ship it to australia?

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    CarPC Progress: 60%+ Starting from scratch with old laptop. Trying to figure out how to get all the programs I want/need for RideRunner!
    My Build/Install Thread

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    PM and email sent.

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    Wow, that was quick! Maybe I should have priced them higher

    I guess I'd better round up some boxes for shipping! I'll post weights and measures as soon as I can get the info together, and I'll respond to your respective PM's as well.

    Just for the record, right now we're looking at:
    camo.b - 1, if shipping can be worked out
    PhilG - 2
    firefighter484 - 1
    redheadedrod - 1

    One thing I think might be a good idea is to hold on to the last unit until the first 8 reach their destination, just in case something unexpected happens. They're AS-IS, but I don't want anyone to get truly boned. If they all get to you OK, I'll sell the ninth. Does that sound reasonable?

    To answer a few questions...

    Yes, PayPal is fine (what did we do before PayPal???). I'd prefer it.

    Yes, I'm willing to try shipping internationally, but I don't really know what that entails besides extra postage (customs paperwork??), so you'll have to work with me.

    Price (each) is $40.00 US + whatever (actual!) shipping charges are involved. I may have to hit you for the cost of materials (box and such) - I've only got so much of that stuff lying around! I'll itemize whatever the costs are before payment.

    All systems were working when we pulled them, but they've been sitting on a shelf for a couple of years. Unfortunately, the guys in the shop just chucked the wiring harnesses inside the bus, and therefore I don't have the plug to plug into the Opus PS, so it's a bit problematic to test them. I know that I can plug a regular ATX PS into the ITX mobo, but the nifty case design makes this quite a PITA! (I think I can hack up the molex plug from a scrap PS to make it work). I hope to make sure they at least boot to BIOS, but it's not going to be today. If untested works for you, I'll get it shipped as soon as I can find a box. If you want me to verify that it boots, be patient while I come up with a way to power it. Let me know.

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    OK folks, I've got the power!
    I booted one up, and it goes right into the display mode the developer intended - which means you can't do much with it! It's meant to operate automatically, after all. Shows (old) news, (old) weather, (old) advertisements, and (old) other content.
    I booted into Safe Mode, and it still plays the same stuff, albeit in a window on the desktop instead of full-screen, but always-on-top. However, they've modified how the display is configured, so it only shows like the upper-right 3/4 of the desktop - which means you can't see the taskbar or start menu. I screwed with it a bit, got task manager running and such. Killed the video, but it starts right back up (they DID do a good job with failure recovery!). It also creates a virtual drive, which probably runs a lot of these processes they've built in and such.

    Upshot is, you're gonna want to do a fresh install of your favorite flavor of OS. I'm assuming that isn't going to be a stretch for anyone in these forums, and you were probably already planning to do that anyway LOL.

    The drivers are still available from VIA here: http://www.viaembedded.com/en/produc...ard_(EOL).html
    The mobo user manual is also available there.

    Opus MPC-ITX Quick Guide.pdf is a nice little guide to all of the connectors.

    Oh, and the two I've taken apart - one has a 20GB 1.8" HDD, and the other has a 30GB 2.5" HDD, so that neighborhood is what to expect.

    To recap:
    3 are spoken for, with another 2 in "maybe" status. That leaves at least 4 more available! (Assuming they all still power up LOL)

    If you're interested in one, let me know if you want
    • The video card pulled (it's like 15 screws to get the cover off!)
    • The camera connector for the video card (I don't have one for every unit)
    • The microcontroller pulled
    • power-up tested


    Near as I can tell, USPS Medium Flat-Rate Box is the best way to ship all around. The box fits nicely, and it seems to be a good price (by far the cheapest if shipping outside the US). Go to USPS.com and you can see the rates.

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    ******** UPDATE ********

    Bad news campers

    It was just luck that the first unit I tried fired right up.

    It appears that the DCX3-120P Power Supplies in these boxes are 24 VOLT models!

    Turns out the (very old) 12v power supply I was using to power the units was in fact putting out about 16.5v. A couple of the units would power up from this supply, but box after box just sat there and blinked their LED. I dug around for some other DC supplies, and found that once voltage got up over 20v, they would fire up.

    I did some more online research, and found that the later versions of this board (Rev E?) have a jumper to select 12v or 24v input, but the -120P does not. Apparently you special-ordered if you wanted 24v, but I couldn't find any marking on the board that indicates that. (See pic below)
    (Ref http://www.opussolutions.com/support...ck%20Guide.pdf versus http://www.opussolutions.com/support...ck%20Guide.pdf )

    I emailed Opus Solutions tech support to see if there was an easy way to convert these (hardwire a jumper or something), but apparently not. They DID offer to convert the boards for $12 each plus shipping, which I thought was pretty reasonable. However, I don't know if I want to get into all that - I was just looking to clear out some shelf space and put some discretionary dollars into the department budget (well, and make some fellow techno-geeks happy too!). On the other hand, it would sure be cheaper and easier for all involved to have them converted in a batch than to have each of you try to get it done (especially from another country!). I'm not so worried about the upfront money to get the boards converted - I'm sure they're worth $12 just as DC-DC supplies - but it's a lot of work! A boatload of screws to unscrew when you're talking about 9 units (over 200!).

    So, I'm not sure what to do next...

    I apologize to those who offered to buy one of these boxes. Fortunately, we hadn't reached the payment stage yet, so I'll contact each of you to see what you want to do.

    Tim

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  9. #9
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    As I mentioned in the PM I am willing to pick one up still. For the additional price of the upgrade I am not going to cancel. Not even sure what I would use it for yet but I am fine with it. Just as long as it boots up and I can get the video cables I am good with it. My benchtop tester is a 19volt supply.

  10. #10
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    Sorry for asking but all you have are nine units? If not what number are we talking about ? and the price is up to 52 now ?

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