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Alcas P205

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  • Alcas P205

    Project Name: ALCAS: A Linux Car Audio System
    Car: 1990 Peugeot 205
    Engine: 3 cylinder 1.0L

    CPU: Intel Pentium 133
    Memory: 64 MB
    Storage: 8MB Compact Flash for OS, 18 GB HD (in removable bracket) for mp3 files
    Sound: Soundblaster AWE 32 , Radio Aimslab FM radio card.
    Display: Character LCD 20x4 on parallel port
    Case: Wood (MDF)
    Power: Custom built DC-DC (total power consumption from the battery is about 18W)
    Software: Custom linux and “overall program”. Total size is about 5MB
    Networkcard: NE2000 clone, 10Mbit.
    Misc: Servo motor controlled via parallel port to open and clode the display cover.

    Project site:


    See index.php?99

    Current state:
    Yesterday I finally got the software working flawless on the custom OS. The system boots from the CF-card, inits misc stuff. Starts some programs and then music can be played. Boot time is about 50 seconds. So I have some work to do to get is boot faster. Unfortunately the BIOS takes 25 sec, nothing can be done on that….
    As for the hardware, I’m planning to complete the case this month.

    So, what do you all think?

    Free circuit designs at!

  • #2
    Looking good! I love the LCD menus you have. I haven't seen such a clean interface before on a 4 line LCD. 50 second boot time would't really bother me, but good luck lowering it.

    On the wooden case. I certainly hope you are planning to make it as small as posible. You have so little heat I would think that you could make the thing super tight and cut the case apart instead of having the big metal backing. Good luck and keep us updated!


    • #3
      Thanks for the compliments on the user interface . I spent quite a lot of time on thinking how it should be.

      You are totally right about the case. Cooling will be no problem indeed, I measured 18W of power consumption.
      The reason I build the case that way is that I can access it easily for upgrades. There is also room for a relay card that I’m planning to make. This just is the point where the practical side of me overrules my sense of beauty…
      Free circuit designs at!


      • #4

        Yesterday I tested my setup in the car and it all worked ok. And above expectations the computer does not reboot when I start the engine.

        Now knowing that it all works I just have to mount the stuff in the car.
        Free circuit designs at!


        • #5
          Update, the computer is in the car!

          Today I had my first test drive with the computer built in. All works OK. There are still some things to do:
          - Fix a software bug. I get a segmentation fault when a file does not exist, I should check the existance of a files first.
          - Make a long cable to mount the display in the dash, it is now laying on the backseat.
          - Testing, testing and testing.
          Free circuit designs at!