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1993 Dodge Stealth AMD Based Carputer (my first install!)

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  • 1993 Dodge Stealth AMD Based Carputer (my first install!)

    I totalled my 88 honda civic back before thanksgiving when a school bus tagged the back left corner crumpling it. it was a faithful old car, that had developed some heating issues, and the brakes were failing on it. in the end the insurance company deemed the body damage was greater than the value of the car, so I received a check for 2000$. It happened that a friend of mine at work was selling a 93 dodge stealth for exactly that amount. what luck! I brought it home, and my son immediately told me that we were going to have to go all out on the stereo. he and I both are audiophiles, and although I'm a IT tech by trade, I got my start in the world of electronics in car stereo installations. I spent 7 years building sweet audio systems for other people, never being able to afford my own real killer setup. Then I went into IT and completely forgot about car audio, being swept up into the coolness of the computer world.

    Enter the stealth, and my rediscovery of audio as a hobby. My paradigm has shifted greatly in the 12 years since I was a player in the car audio scene, and the tech has shifted as well. I've known about a couple of experimental carputers for several years, but it always seemed to be too involved of a project to really commit myself to, with power requirements being so exact. I recently saw a commercial for the ford fusion, and heard "powered by microsoft" at the end of it. Then the gears started turning. grabbed the laptop, pulled up google, found, and had it not been 2:30 in the morning, with my wife sleeping next to me, I would have shouted for joy.

    I began rummaging over the next week or so in the various rat's nests of castoff hardware around my house, to make a long story short, I found a functional Asus board with an 1800+ processor in it, a TNT Vanta 16 mb vid card, a SBlive 5.1 surround card, and a 60gb 2.5" laptop drive. I still need the 7" LCD, the power supply/regulater, and the startup/shutdown controller.

    More to come, I'll take some shots of the hardware, and the case fabrication (if you've ever seen a dodge stealth you'll appreciate the specific challenges in this project), location is yet to be determined. If anyone's done a project on a Stealth, I would greatly appreciate any insight you would have to offer. I'm extremely technically proficient, but I always prefer to be familiar with the territory I'm going to navigate.
    "640K ought to be enough for anybody"
    -Bill Gates

  • #2
    Numerous scores from the junkpile at work today. two blade fan enclosures, each containing nine 3 wire 120mm fans.

    cooling shouldn't be much of an issue. also located an IBM workstation case that was getting tossed. haven't done any measurements yet, but I'm hoping it will fit the mount holes so that i can cut off everything but the chassis where the motherboard sits, and the backplane. I tried to go with a low profile case, but I'm going to need a full size slot for the 5.1 soundblaster. sucks cuz the TNT video card I have is a low profile, so I've got to get a larger I/O plate for it.

    The dash is a no-brainer.

    double DIN right from the factory, all I have to do is cut the little crossbar across the bezel, provided the LCD I pick up fits. in any case, all I should have to do is dremel the outside a bit to accomodate the display.

    a friend overheard me discussing the project, and offered the hard disk enclosure out of a Panasonic Toughbook. Apparently this is some super indestructible notebook that is issued to the military. the hard disk enclosure is basically a gelpack. this thrills me because one of my biggest concerns is shockproofing the hard disk and cdrom. more the hard disk though, because I assume a notebook cdrom drive should have a decent amount of shock tolerance. I'll post pics of the toughbook enclosure when I get it.
    "640K ought to be enough for anybody"
    -Bill Gates