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Opel Astra '93 carPC

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  • Opel Astra '93 carPC

    A old car, but as long as it drives, who carez

    Anyway: I'm building in a carPC...

    Progress at this moment: Getting it into the car.

    I've used an old laptop, IBM Thinkpad T20 (P3 750Mhz / 256Mb). Screen is partially not working anymore, the ribbon between mainboard and screen is almost broken, depending on the movements it sometimes works. So thats the main reason I didnt use the laptop anymore.

    I've mounted it in a aluminium case, custom build, with some sound-absorbing stuff for absorbing shocks.

    I made a powersupply myself: It uses car-battery power to give me 16V (for laptop), and 5 and 12V for molex (hdd/dvd drives). All powerlines are stabilized. Also added a buffer condensator and a small battery, usually used as backup in alarm installs. This prevens the power to drop down and reboot the PC during engine starts. Also made a delay, after removing the key (ignition line), it takes about 3min before the whole setup is powered off automaticly, without getting worried about emty batteries

    Some pics.. I'm just started to mount it all in my car. Display (Liliput) is build-in into dash, instead of the HU and clock display which are usually on that place.
    Both powersupply box and laptop housing will be placed under the seats, so it doesn't cost me space in the trunk. Also I keep the glovebox free for my usual mess

    There is on the Astras a lot of space, you only need to modify the small cable for the chairs to go for- and backward, thats all. I guess there is at least 15cm height available.

    The laptop housing, with the laptop in it. On front: The CDRW drive, 2 USB2 ports and a ethernet port.

    More pics on:
    My Opel Astra 1993 CarPC:

  • #2
    really cool laptop case
    PC Components:
    Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
    My work log


    • #3
      Another Astra carputer

      That's great! Looks pretty complete, has there been any changes since march? Didn't realize f-series was already that old when we bought the car in 97, the interior is pretty identical, except for airbags and some minor details (edit: well the gauges are different but not like I first recalled), but I'm not that much into cars anyways, just computers.. as you said "as long as it drives".

      I've been thinking about doing the carpc-thing ever since getting a 400mhz lifebook b-2130 few years back. It has a 10" touchscreen which I guess would just about fit in the dash. One thing that held me back previously was that I didn't want to break anything while detaching the mid-console panel, since it seems you sometimes have to use some force.
      Last week I started checking out these forums properly for the first time and after reading about your project and couple of others, decided to just go through with it.. now I'm down to the air circulation speed control knob (middle one that is), it just doesn't seem to come off..
      Edit: Ah-ha here's instructions for removing astra f dashboard panel, just what I was looking for (noticed the hole in the knob but didn't realise there was a clip there).

      Btw, just came across a site that not only explains the protocol to the opel dashboard display but also how to effectively reverse-engineer one, nice ..should perhaps try to keep it and place it somewhere else (while also running the microcontroller to the laptop of course).

      Also btw, could you comment some of the pictures on your site, what is the engine room one about and is that the laptop display flat cable or something else?
      And where/for how much you got the second mid-console panel from?



      • #4
        I was amazed to find an Astra car pc here , i thought i was going to tread on uncharted territory. If either of you login here, i am also attempting to build a car pc in my Astra, its a right hand drive. I was wondering how the screen with look before i found this thread. I see your screen is a little slanted, did you do that for a better viewing angle or due to fitting problems ?