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  • Volvo s80 2000 Car pc

    Hello everybody. I'm new to this forum and also to the car pc thing. The elementary for this build is my fathers. For over a year (can't remmember) we've used a Asus Eee pc with 11 inch screen. Now we've grown out from that and are going to build a real car pc. The car is a Volvo s80 year 2000. The main purpose will be to use it as a Gps and also monitor by ODB. I'd like to use it to play music too but the built in stereo doesn't feature an aux-connection.


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    We don't like the regular Gps's where you got a like four inch screen or so. As we got this seven inch screen for the right price in surplus we will go with that. I guess you guys out there know that the resistive touch panels are dustmagnets, so apologise for that.

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    The monitor got vga, two composite in for rear or nightcamera use, audio in and USB for the touchpanel. We assumed that the audio in the monitor should suck, but we where wrong. It is ok for Gps use and better than a modern cellphone.

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    The motherboard an Intel DN2800MT with atom N2800 cpu. It's a bit overkill but the eee pc did just make it running Windows xp but now we got enough horsepower for HD video too.

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    The heatsink look small but it will handle the heat from the cpu fine. It has also clearance for the dvd and hdd cradle wich leaves out one ghetto-solution.

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    The wireless card comes from the original chassi we're using. The card is an Atheros something, it'll work for us. Sad there's no bluetooth on it so we're going to use a dongle. The Ram is 2x2gb Kingston 1066MHZ DDR3 SODIMM, as ram is so cheap these days. There are also tons of other connections on the board that I don't even know what they are used for. But I can tell there's integrated 8-19v dc-dc powerinput.

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    May I introduce the chassi. An old Asrock ion 330 or something with broken graphics. So the motherboard was recycled and the chassi and other useful parts where saved. And now the come to good use.

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    The front plasticcover. Behind the ventilation holes there has been an IR-reciver but that doesn't connect to our new motherboard so we'll skip that.

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    Took the freedom and flipped the image, sry it looks weird. The Harddis a Samsung, 160Gb, and spins at 5200rpm. It's from an old laptop with a broken power-connector not worth fixing. Works for this even if and SSD had been the optimal choise, but not for our wallet. The DVD is original from the chassi better use oit here than use shelfspace.

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    The power to the drives comes from the motherboards s-ata powerconnector. But originaly (asrock-style) it used a 4-pin atx (cpu) powerconnector. An easy fix with the soldering iron.

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    The other end of the drve-cables. Perfect length.

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    The other cables used for the "pc-part" of the project. Powerbutton, pwr-led and internal USB for the bluetooth dongle. The wires for the wireless where former mounted at the front of the case. Now the new motherboard got another layot that don't match that cable-lengt so we need to move them. I will hope that it makes the least impact on performance compared to extend them.

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    The with of the chassi is a bit bigger than normal mini-itx, but the depth is to short. So we needed to extend it.

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    We drilled the rivets away and cleaned it up in the milling machine and mounted it back on with soldering, my fathers idea. I didn't know that it worked but it did.

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    The distances for the motherboard where also on non-standard places. So we made new ones.

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    The backplate also got milled. It's not that pretty with the old holes left but it will be ues as ventilation holes. Intel is also niceand includes the regular full height backplates but also the half height that we used.

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    The lid of the chassi. Very clean looking design.

    That's it for today
    /Joakim and Krister
    Last edited by jocke92; 07-14-2012, 04:50 PM. Reason: My bad the car is a model year 2000

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum! Nice start to your project, just a heads up on the obd stuff for your car might not happen if 1. it is not obd compliant 2. it outputs any info as it might not have any data to send since its age is before the mandated obd specs. good luck SNO
    Last edited by SNOtwistR; 07-14-2012, 02:04 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SNOtwistR View Post
      Welcome to the forum! Nice start to your project, just a heads up on the obd stuff for your car might not happen if 1. it is not obd compliant 2. it outputs any info as it might not have any data to send since its age is before the mandated obd specs. good luck SNO
      Thanks for your reply. The car is year 2000, my bad. According to the information we can find on it should work, but thanks for your attention.

      As I'm new here. How do I change the heading/topic of the thread?

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      • #4
        The weekends progress

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        Our first plan was to put the bluetooth receiver inside the chassi. But the chassi would lower the performance of it. So we decided to mount it behind the plastic front cover. Instead.

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        But as it's not much space there we needed to do some modifications. If we've mounted it on the back it wouldn't be fully integrated. I'd got some left-over (from another project) internal USB-connector pieces that I demolished and soldered together. Then we mounted it with cable ties which gives us one or two millimetres space between the bluetooth-board and the metal.

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        We found an power-button on an old circuit board that fitted ok for our use. So daddy milled a plastic piece to mount it with.

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        The button and the leds are soldered.

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        The original mount fot the leds were in and beside the power-button but we changed that and I don't think it looks bad. As there where hollow feed holes for the plastic cover (look at the prev. pic.). We just drilled through them and pushed the leds through. The orange is for power and the green for harddisk activity.

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        The CPU is steady at 60 degrees Celsius and the powerdrain from my wall outlet is 8w idle and 11-12w load. It sounds a bit high to me so we decided to mount a fan inside. It's a noticeable difference in both noice and temperature. But when we mount it in the car the noise won't bother and the fan will do the job. We just need to drill som more holes, cause now the fan is covered to 2/3.

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        The inside. The fan should be mounted as we drill the holes. We will also make a cover for the depth-extend-modification. We need to choose where we are going to mount the pc. Maybe in or under the glove compartment.

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        To the former eee pc daddy had made a nice mount. It mounts where the mesh for the center speaker in the deluxe edition 5.1 system mounts. We got with the cheap alternative. It's a breadboard that is cut and polished.

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        • #5
          Monitor mount, cooling fan and possibilitys

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          Fan is mounted with an old fan grill we've had lying around. The temps are good now.

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          A close up picture on the wooden tray.

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          The long side

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          The short side. The monitor has got a plastic bar that will be used when we mount it in the car.

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          It's mounted in the car.

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          From behind. We've not tested the angle out. The viewing-angles of the monitor isn't all that great.

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          The holes for the cables

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          A possible mount

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          The glove compartment is cast in one piece. So we don't want to break it. Maybe we can get a spare one at second-hand.

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          • #6
            Will the computer just fit in the glove box? That will allow you tuck it away, hide the wires, and have easy access when needed. I was able to fit mine perfectly that way and due to the tight fit, a mount wasn't even required.
            "It's not worth having if you can't customize it"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by duncanator24 View Post
              Will the computer just fit in the glove box? That will allow you tuck it away, hide the wires, and have easy access when needed. I was able to fit mine perfectly that way and due to the tight fit, a mount wasn't even required.
              It will not fit there without modification. And even then it'll be hanging on by a hair. But the will be able to hide the cable with the other option too. Time for an update on our progress.

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              We started the day out put the power-cables from the battery in the trunk to the front of the car. We used 2,5mm2 cable.

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              We found a four amp automatic fuse that will be enough for our project. Don't know where we got it cause we don't have automatic in our house.

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              We are going to mount the switch and fuse back here. Actually where the other fuses mounts. The switch is rated for 10 ampere 220 volt.

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              The fuse where mounted using cable ties and the hole for the switch where cut out. We didn't got enough cable so the colour coding get disrupted.

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              This is what it looks like from the outside. If I disregard from the cable ties it looks like it's part of the original interior design. The left is for the gps-module and the other one for computer and monitor.

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              let's make a U-turn and take a look at gps. They connects through bluetooth. The fourth one is mounted in the car already. But if I'm not completely lost it's a Nokia.

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              We also put the display cables in place. To do that we needed to dismount the monitor and the lid. So three pictures of the hole.

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              The famous mess of cables. After that we tested out the computer in the car and it worked with the touch-screen. But we didn't get any sound. That derives in that it only works when using something connected to the av-connections not the vga-port. When I tried the audio quality I tried both sound and composite. So time for plan B. Another set of speakers maybe, cause the CD-changer adapter is to expensive.

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              • #8
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                We put apart a crappy budget keyboard. The controller board may be used to send keyboard-commands to the computer and then be translated to scripts by ahk (autohotkey)

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                We milled out the panel that will mount below the monitor. I darkened the monitor in gimp so nothing is wrong with it.

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                It's a bit wider to keep the led thats indicating if the main powerbraker is on. It's a bit bright so it needs more dimming. The buttons that we will be using is unavailable. They comes from a broken key set belonging to a cnc-machine, now used for spare keys.

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                There will be six buttons connected to keyboard keys, pwr-button, pwr-led, main-powerled and a USB-port. The picture is not the final design.

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                • #9
                  I see you are using Mapfactor Navigator on the screen. Have you tested it out extensively or is the first time installing/using the software? I have experience with it and found it to be absolutely terrible lol..
                  "It's not worth having if you can't customize it"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by duncanator24 View Post
                    I see you are using Mapfactor Navigator on the screen. Have you tested it out extensively or is the first time installing/using the software? I have experience with it and found it to be absolutely terrible lol..
                    We don't think it's bad, but it's failing at some points. So we might try out some more, I heard someone talk about Odyssey but it didn't manage to finnish the installation. It said that it miss a component but it did not tell what to install (like .net or something I guess).

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                    We mounted and soldered the connector for the panel. I know that we're able to let it start by the ignition and so on but we don't like that. We prefer separate supervision of the computer.
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                    Theres no pictures during the work. But we used an IDE connector from an old motherboard to replicate the powerswitch, hdd- and powerled connectors inside. So we've got the one mounted on the chassi plugged in too.
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                    We also got the antennas for our wifi in the mail. But the signal did actually suck even more and no connection at all. I will guess that it broke during the lightning as other parts of the computer (that we got the card from) did. I was not able to try it in my laptop as HP won't let the laptop to boot with not certified cards.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jocke92 View Post
                      We don't think it's bad, but it's failing at some points. So we might try out some more, I heard someone talk about Odyssey but it didn't manage to finnish the installation. It said that it miss a component but it did not tell what to install (like .net or something I guess).
                      Yeah, Mapfactor doesn't allow you to insert street addresses! This is a major problem if you are trying to punch in the location of somewhere since the only way to do it is with street intersections. Also, I was never able to find an up to date POI package so that function is non-functional. The software that I switched to was iGo8. This fixes those discrepencies that I had with MapFactor and then also adds in features like 'avoiding routes' and 'dynamic zoom' (the map will zoom out for long distances and zoom in for shorter segments).

                      In my opinion, MapFactor looks nicer but it is so much less functional. I am gonna bank on getting iGo8 to look nicer by messing with it a bit. By the way, I like your install, its very neat. I look forward to hearing more about how the build goes!
                      "It's not worth having if you can't customize it"

                      Comment


                      • #12
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                        I've got these rj45 females laying around without wallmount. So why don't use them?
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                        The keyboard controller
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                        Soldered together. Testing to se if it will fit, and the rj45-female fits tightly.
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                        Finished and fastened with hot-glue.
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                        Locked the chest for hopefully the last time.
                        Originally posted by duncanator24 View Post
                        Yeah, Mapfactor doesn't allow you to insert street addresses! This is a major problem if you are trying to punch in the location of somewhere since the only way to do it is with street intersections. Also, I was never able to find an up to date POI package so that function is non-functional. The software that I switched to was iGo8. This fixes those discrepencies that I had with MapFactor and then also adds in features like 'avoiding routes' and 'dynamic zoom' (the map will zoom out for long distances and zoom in for shorter segments).

                        In my opinion, MapFactor looks nicer but it is so much less functional. I am gonna bank on getting iGo8 to look nicer by messing with it a bit. By the way, I like your install, its very neat. I look forward to hearing more about how the build goes!
                        Well the street addresses is not an issue for us, but the poi system is junk. I'll try out IGo 8, thnx.

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                        • #13
                          We finaly started with the panel
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                          We've got seven buttons

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                          I'm testing

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                          anddddd it works

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                          This will be the final placement of the buttons, USB and led. Due to the mounting method of the panel below the screen, we are not able to put anything centred.

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                          The buttons is in place. The button is held in place by a metal dowel.

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                          All holes is finished.

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                          • #14
                            Gloove compartment and autohotkey

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                            The panel is finished. We redid the back of the panel. It looks better and works better too.
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                            A USB-port. This time we completely stripped the connector this time. Don't ask me why I didn't do that on previus builds.
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                            Now it's put in place. Every button is a letter that autohotkey (ahk) binds to a program. It works like a charm, like switch programs on a physical taskbar.
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                            We got a good deal on a second hand glove compartment. Så we cut it up to fit the computer.
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                            Since i took the pictures we've flipped it 90 degrees. There where some cables that was messing with us.

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                            • #15
                              How exactly do the buttons and autohotkey work? It is definitely an interesting concept and one that I would love to incorporate into my build. What hardware is involved with that task? I would imagine you have the buttons going to a usb controller of some sort and then being sent to the PC and hotkeyed with software to perform functions. What are you using for software side and also for the hardware side of it? I didn't really understand the RJ45 bit, was that used to create an extension? I do have a general understanding of what is going on but just some more detail would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
                              "It's not worth having if you can't customize it"

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