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2005 Tacoma GigaByte GA-G41M-ES2L build

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  • 2005 Tacoma GigaByte GA-G41M-ES2L build

    [UPDATED 03/18/2010]

    What started off as a hobby has now become something of a side business (software development-wise]. Lots of interim variation and pieces in and out of the car, but the current incarnation has been fairly stable for the last few months, so that's where we'll start.

    Hardware Config:

    1. Rosewell mid-tower case with M2-ATX 160watt power
    With the smaller side of my split rear seat folded down, this lies horizontally on the seat back. Velcro keeps it from sliding and it provides easy access to al the cabling and for testing new hardware.
    2. Asus P5Q-E motherboard with Intel E5200 2.5gb dual core
    3 4gb ram
    4. 64gb SSD sata drive
    5. 640gb WD Caviar sata drive
    6. NVidia GT9400 Video Card
    7. 5-port PCI USB card (4 external, 1 internal
    8. 2-port USB header Bracket
    Total of 12 USB ports on rear of box, 1 internal and two on front. 11 in use.
    9. XMPCR XM reciever
    10. Visteon HDZ300 HD am/fm receiver
    11. Mitch's serial control cable for Visteon
    12. Mitch's 4-port USB Audio Selector (UAS)
    13. Clear 4G WiFi dongle
    14. BlueTooth
    15. MoCoSo Lilliput 2din TouchScreen
    16. Generic ELM327 OBDII reader
    17. GlobeSat BU-353 USB GPS reciever
    18. Uniden BCT8 500 channel UHF/VHF scanner
    19. Creative Live HD USB WebCam
    20. 4-port USB hub in front for easy access
    21. Beltronics RX-75 remote Radar/Laser detector and display

    Some observations:
    a. Very cool running system. the 45nm E5200 is a relatively low-power design and with the big case, there really isn't much of an airflow problem. I have a smaller HTPC case which allows me to mount everything behind the rear seat, and this runs cool as well.

    b. This isn't a show car, its a development platform, so hiding everything isn't a priority. On the other hand, I want it all to work since it is my daily driver, and it all does. Really well.

    c. This is NOT a cheap hobby. To get a reliable basic true carPC system is going to cost well over $500. I probably have over $1500 in hardware alone, not counting the stuff that's been in and out of the truck already.

    Software config:

    I'm currently running Centrafuse 3.1. I've been using Centrafuse since I started my very first build and I have been very happy wth it. It's been very stable in the car, and turned out to be a very flexible development platform.

    As luck would have it, it's also turned into an enjoyable side business as I now do development work on assorted projects for Flux media.

    Assorted in-car pictures and screenshots will follow.

    1. Centrafuse 3.1 menu
    2. Live traffic camera plugin
    3. Shoutcast WebRadio plugin
    4. Shoutcast in visualization mode
    5. Pandora Radio plugin (CES2010 Demo)


    Attached Files

  • #2
    A quick follow-up: The Win7 performance index for my Atom330 -based predecessor was 2.1, with the SSD drive posting the top score of 5.9 (pretty zippy).

    The Win7 performance index for this rig is 4.2 without any bios/graphics or general system tweaking of any kind. I'm probably not going to do any overclocking (although its certainly an option), but I could probably improve the score by a couple of more decimals just by optimizing the bios settings.

    I feel happy...


    • #3
      Post some pictures of the setup once you're ready, i'm interested to see how the screen will be mounted.
      Lexus SC400
      Subaru WRX Wagon


      • #4
        [UPDATED 03/18/2010]
        Some more plugin pics:

        1. Google Search plugin - choose categories or enter text. results are for an area within 5 miles of current location. Click to get route.
        2. Routes can be displayed as Google driving direction with moving cursor
        3. Or routes can be passed to Destinator for turn-by-turn directions.
        4. Google Live Traffic plugin shown in hybrid map mode.
        5. MiniCam embedded (just for fun)
        6. SlingBox plugin showing HBO family
        Attached Files


        • #5
          b. Runs VERY hot. I understand that's normal for the Atom processor and the case serves to disappate the heat, but ouch. Very hot. Combined with the normal in-car temps here in Vegas during the summer, and it can't be good for the life of various components.
          Just wanted to point out that the Intel Atom processors have a "catastrophic failure point" of 125C or 257F. I've seen the idle temperatures in the 50C (122F) area and workload temps in the 90C (194F) range (depending on number of cores).

          They also have automatic voltage regulation so if the external thermal sensors get too hot, they'll underclock themselves until they cool off to a safe operating temperature, then automatically bump up the voltage once things cool off. The motherboards also have the usual "cut all power now" mode if heat gets out of control.

          Those babies will get very hot to the touch, but they're engineered to work hot.

          To keep it short: I wouldn't worry about the lifespan of your components.


          • #6
            Yep, when I first saw the temps, I got a little excited and started doing some research. i too saw that the Atom was designed to work at those temperatures. The problem arises when that heat leaves the processor. It has to go somewhere, and in this case, with passive cooling, it sits around inside the case. Even with the little fan on the Gen IV case running full speed, you still wind up with a LOT of heat in the air inside the case and transfered to the case itself.

            My concern was really with my SSD drive and the M2-ATX which have upper thermal boundaries significantly lower than the Atom processor. When you take the heat produced by the system in general and combine it with occasional in-car temps well north of 120, you have an operating environment that is not optimized for general purpose computing products.

            Please don't read this as a slam on the MoCoSo Gen IV case or the ATOM based boards. It's a very nice little setup and if you have sufficient airflow, i think it would work very well over the long term. It just wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.


            • #7
              Please don't read this as a slam on the MoCoSo Gen IV case or the ATOM based boards. It's a very nice little setup and if you have sufficient airflow, i think it would work very well over the long term. It just wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.
              I'm not, just thought I'd chime in with the operating temps in case anyone else came across this post and got worried about the temps of the case.

              Besides, my own computer build is starting off with a quad-core AMD 65W Phenom II processor


              • #8
                Can we get some updated photo locations?


                • #9
                  Oops, looks like I took my website house cleaning a step too far. I'll dig those off a backup somewhere and repost. I'll also try to get some pictures of the current rig.

                  I am doing a bit of consulting for some hardware development projects, so I've altered my rig considerably to make it a little easier to setup testing. I now have this config:

                  Asus P5Q-EM motherboard in a mid-tower CoolerMaster case, set horizontally on the smaller side of my split rear seat. I have removed the lower seat bolster and folded the back down to provide a large, cusioned surface for the case. Velcro keeps everything in place.

                  E5200 2.5 DualCore, stock fan, 4gb Ram, GT9400 video card, 5-port PCI USB card and 2-port USB breakout bracket for a total of 12 USB ports on the back (11 in use), 1 internal and 2 on the front.

                  64GB Corsair SSD for OS, 640GB 3.5 HD for media
                  BU-353 GPS
                  Clear 4G WiMax for full-time in-car internet access
                  Visteon HDZ300 HD AM/FM reciever
                  XMPCR XM Satradio
                  Uniden BCT8 UHF/VHF scanner
                  ELM327 knockoff OBDII reader
                  4-port USB hub up front
                  Lilliput 701 touchscreen in 2DIN dash mount
                  Creative HD WebCam mounted in front of rearview mirror (good for on the road videos)
                  Mitch's USB 4-port audio selector
                  Logitec little bitty tiny RF/Bluetooth keyboard (I don't know the model)

                  Centrafuse 3.1 (beta tester) with a mess of custom plugins (Google traffic and search, ShoutCast, SlingBox, Orb, BCT8 scanner etc)

                  I also have some custom projects involving 8-channel lighting controllers, RS-485 hardware controllers, DMX lighting controllers, Arduino microprocessor controllers and a fusion brain stuck in there somewhere.

                  Finally, to keep myself out of trouble, there is a Beltronic RX-75 remote-mount Radar/Laser detector installed.

                  Pictures to come in a day or so.




                  • #10


                    • #11
                      Updated the first post and one after with newer pictures.


                      • #12
                        how did you get the speed sensor to work with centrafuse , do you have this plugin avalible for download ? -ynks art?


                        • #13
                          Is your software avalible for download , ? Love it - art


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by crazygx470 View Post
                            Is your software avalible for download , ? Love it - art

                            Google Search, Google Traffic, Shoutcast and SlingBox plugins are available for Centrafuse 3.1 only and can be downloaded from the Centrafuse forums. The TrafficCam and Pandora plugins were for the CES 2010 Visteon demo and are not available for distribution (Enforcer has a REALLY nice traffic cam plugin available). The Pandora plugin may come a bit later once the licensing gets approved.

                            There is a TON of new plugin development going on now that CF3.1 has been released. Lots of web integration (SlingBox, Shoutcast, Webradio, Orb, Google etc) , physical computing control (Fusion Brain, Arduino, RelayPros) and more.



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by crazygx470 View Post
                              how did you get the speed sensor to work with centrafuse , do you have this plugin avalible for download ? -ynks art?
                              Most of the plugins shown in the pictures get thier speed data from the GPS. The MiniCam plugin pulls from the GPS as well (my house appears to be doing 3.3mph...hmmm) but has the option to use OBDII speed data.