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PSYKO's 97 S-10 Project. Lotsa pics.

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  • PSYKO's 97 S-10 Project. Lotsa pics.

    Well, I've decided that I'm far enough along to start a project thread. My truck is a 1997 Chevy S-10 extended cab 2wd 4.3L with a manual transmission. Here's a couple pics:


    I've been planning for a CarPC setup for about a year now, but just recently started gathering parts and making plans. I'm planning on building the PC inside the rear "jump seat" like this guy did, since the thing serves me no particular purpose, especially with a large subwoofer box back there. Here's the subwoofer box/amp rack:

    (It's in the truck now, pics soon)
    I also started doing a bit of sound deadening in the cab. So far I've only done the back wall and it's made a huge difference. Planning on doing the doors soon, and the floor when I replace the carpet.

    I also recarpeted the back wall and upholstered the rear window trim after deadening the back wall (truck will be getting black carpet in a few months)


    Now for the good stuff...
    I'll be running a Biostar M7VIZ (v8.0) with a Geode NX 1750 CPU (it's mounted in a case right now for testing purposes)

    And then there's this pile o' crap...

    Top to bottom: Lucent Orinoco USB WiFi card, Generic 7 port USB 2.0 hub, Hitachi 30GB 2.5" HDD, Generic Bluetooth dongle, Deluo USB GPS receiver, Toshiba slim DVD-ROM (got a USB enclosure on the way), Gooseneck mount for LCD, USB mini keyboard (fits perfectly in the map pocket of my door panel), and an AOC USB sound card (sounds great, and only $15 from Newegg).

    Here's the things I need:
    LCD touchscreen; I may have a lead on one, I'll post later on if it works out for me.
    Power supply: Thinking probably an M2-ATX, but I may change my mind
    More free time and some warm weather would be nice...
    -Jay

    1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
    CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
    Check out my progress.

  • #2
    I am a l33t Ebay ninja.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=270047415465
    The seller is just on the other side of New Orleans, about 2 hours away from me, so I emailed him to see if I can just pick the monitor up in person sometime in the next couple days. The screen is listed as "new" so apparently he bought the screen for a project vehicle, but never installed it. Looks like I've solved the touchscreen issue, pretty much all I need now is a power supply and a few other misc. items. Also last night I did some work on the truck. Ran all the 1/0 power and ground wiring for the sound system, and included provisions to easily add a battery isolator and second battery to power the sound system, CarPC, and anything else that I might want to add (I have 2 extra 4 gauge power and ground connections on my distro blocks). I'll take some pics later on to post up, but for now it's about 7:40am and I haven't been to bed yet, so I think it's time to get some sleep.
    -Jay

    1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
    CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
    Check out my progress.

    Comment


    • #3
      Looks like you're off to a great start! Nice deal on the screen, TS can be expensive for some reason. Your GPS looks the same as mine (GM-307). If it's anything like the one I have, it can be very slow to get a lock (5 min sometimes!) and doesn't always get the best signal. Still works OK for the most part though. I just ordered a Holux GR213 for $50 so I'll see if that is any better. That sound deadening material looks good, what is it?
      First Integra car PC:
      [XXXXXXXXXX] - 100% done, now removed and sold to be put into a BMW

      Second Integra car PC Worklog:
      [XXXXXXXXX.] - 95% done, PC in the car and running. Fine tuning in progress...

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks! The GPS is a GM-305; I bought it about 3 years ago and I've never had much trouble with it. With the receiver sitting on top of my dash, it usually gets a fix within 60-90 seconds. I'm planning on possibly upgrading later on tho, maybe to a waterproof magnetic mount receiver that I can mount on my roof for a better signal, but for now this one works fine for my needs. The sound deadener is a product called "Peel and Seal." It's actually a roofing material designed to patch leaky roofs, but it's very similar to commercial asphalt-based sound deadeners like BrownBread, FatMat and original Dynamat. It's pretty cheap too; about $7 a roll (I used 5 rolls for two layers of material on the back wall) and works very well IMO.
        -Jay

        1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
        CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
        Check out my progress.

        Comment


        • #5
          No worries! I think my GM-307 might have a dead battery or something, it seems to have to acquire the satellites every time it starts up, which takes ages. Nice find on the sound deadening, sound like a good alternative. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your progress...
          First Integra car PC:
          [XXXXXXXXXX] - 100% done, now removed and sold to be put into a BMW

          Second Integra car PC Worklog:
          [XXXXXXXXX.] - 95% done, PC in the car and running. Fine tuning in progress...

          Comment


          • #6
            Picked up my touchscreen tonight. This thing is sweet! At 800x600 it's perfectly clear, and the brightness seems good. Haven't seen it in direct sunlight yet tho. My only gripe is that it doesn't automatically turn on when power is applied. Ah well, it's not like having to hit one button will kill me. Here's a picture of the screen sitting on top of an ATX case with my USB mini keyboard next to it: (Trust me, the picture does no justice to the clarity of the screen)

            Also, I've been playing around with Yahoo Widget Engine (formerly known as Konfabulator) on my laptop. I think I might incorporate some of the features onto the desktop of my TruckPC once I get it installed. Here's a screenshot from my laptop:

            I have incorporated Widgets for a clock, wifi signal strength, email notification, hard drive space, battery capacity, memory usage, system uptime, and CPU usage, as well as a cool Winamp skin that I found. Obviously I won't be using everything on the TruckPC, but I'll probably be using several of them. I think the color scheme will go well with my truck. Here's a shot of my truck all lit up at night: (I eventually plan on getting a red undercar neon kit as well)
            -Jay

            1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
            CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
            Check out my progress.

            Comment


            • #7
              Too bad about the TS not turning on automatically. If you are handy with electronics you could easily rig up a circuit to turn it on with power up though. Also, what is the obscure antenna on your truck's roof?

              Keep up the good work!
              First Integra car PC:
              [XXXXXXXXXX] - 100% done, now removed and sold to be put into a BMW

              Second Integra car PC Worklog:
              [XXXXXXXXX.] - 95% done, PC in the car and running. Fine tuning in progress...

              Comment


              • #8
                I've been considering designing a cap-resistor circuit to trigger a relay to turn on the screen, but it's kind of a low priority right now. I'd like to get everything else installed and working first. The antenna is a Predator 10K high-power CB antenna. It is in my opinion the best on the market, designed for very high power and maximum omnidirectional gain. You can read more about the antenna at www.predator10k.net. I know it's a bit excessive, and looks pretty strange on top of a small pickup, but this is one case where I'd rather sacrifice looks for performance.
                -Jay

                1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
                CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
                Check out my progress.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've determined something. In mid-summer of 1996, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at GM headquarters there was a meeting. One of the engineers in this meeting said "In about 10 years, there will be a guy named Jay that will own one of the 1997 S-10s we're designing. Lets **** him off." The plan was for me to pull the jumpseat out of the truck and bring it inside so I can dismantle it and turn it into a PC case. Looking down inside the opening, I see two studs coming out of the floor with two nuts to hold down the seat bracket. Easy enough, even tho it was kind of difficult to access them. After about 15 minutes of swearing (every time the wrench slipped and I busted my knuckles) I got the two nuts loose. Seat still firmly planted in place. I start to feel around under the trim and find another bolt way under there, completely out of sight. I spend another 15 minutes trying to get this bolt out. Finally get it out and the seat is still planted firmly in place. WTF?! So I keep searching and finally find yet another bolt under the ******* carpet! I fight with the carpet for several minutes in order to get it pulled back far enough to get to that bolt, and I still can't get the seat out. I find that there's two screws going thru the plastic trim that screw into the metal seat brackets. Take those out and the seat is free to move around finally. Then I realize with all this extra bracketry that they've added to the frame of this thing, there's no way to get it out without taking the whole side panel off. This means that I've gotta take the seatbelts out. Which means that I'll have to deal with GM's threadlocked torx bolts. If you've never dealt with these, consider yourself lucky. The last time I had to remove one, I ended up pulling the carpet out of the car completely so that I could use a gas torch to heat the thing and used an impact gun to get it out. I ended up spending about 4 hours and $30 (3 broken torx bits @ $10 each) on one ******* bolt.

                  Tonight I did manage to get the speaker wires connected from my amp to my components in the doors (no easy task). Had to pull the door panels, underside of the dash, sill panels, and alot of trim to hide all the wires. Then I started the truck to go get some food. I then got greeted by a nice alternator whine thru my amp. WTF?! This was also about the time I found out that the midbass speakers couldn't hold up to the power the amp was putting out (the speakers actually started to make a burning smell...) I ended up eventually dialing the gain way down on the amp so the midbass speakers wouldn't distort so bad. I played around with the EQ settings on my headunit and got it sounding pretty nice. With the gain on the amp backed off the alt whine is barely audible when there is no music. With music playing, it's impossible to hear. Thru expermenting, I found that the noise is only present when the shield of the Right RCA cable makes contact with the outer shield of the jack, which tells me it's a ground loop. Hopefully if I add a chassis ground to my headunit it will take care of that. But for now everything sounds okay, so I'm not gonna mess with it for a while. Still planning on upgrading the midbass drivers and I definitely need to sound deaden the hell out of my doors. But I've pretty much got my sound system completely finished. All I have left to do is buy the sub and bolt it in. Holy crap this turned into a long post....
                  -Jay

                  1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
                  CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
                  Check out my progress.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PSYKO_Inc View Post
                    One of the engineers in this meeting said "In about 10 years, there will be a guy named Jay that will own one of the 1997 S-10s we're designing. Lets **** him off."
                    He was head hunted from Citroen.

                    Designed the centre consoles in the entire range to be just too small for a monitor.


                    Looking good, yeah aerial is a little large, but you dont good results with a small one.........
                    Lez, more widely known as flez1966

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Haven't done much to the truck in the past couple days. It's been cold outside and that kinda kills my motivation to be out there working on it. Today I ordered my subwoofer, a 15" Dayton Titanic MkIII.
                      http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=295-420
                      It should be here on Wednesday. Then I can finally have a complete audio system. I also ordered an AUX input adapter for my Kenwood CD player off Ebay. Hopefully that will be here by the end of the week. I've been playing around with the software on the TruckPC while it's still set up indoors. I figure it's alot easier to do it in here where I have internet access rather than having to configure everything out in the truck thru wifi. Here's a list of the software I'm currently running:

                      TinyXP Beast Edition
                      Road Runner 9-5-06
                      iGuidance 3.0
                      Winamp 2.95
                      BlueSoleil (Bluetooth)
                      Firefox 1.5
                      Thunderbird 1.5
                      Matrix-ks screen saver
                      NetStumbler 0.4.0
                      Avast Antivirus 4.7

                      I still need to install my GPS drivers and figure out some sort of COM port splitter to run, that way I can use Netstumbler and iGuidance at the same time. I'll probably be buying a copy of PhoneControl.net to interface with my phone (Sony-Ericsson S710a) thru bluetooth as well. Hopefully I can figure out a way to automatically pair the phone and the bluetooth adapter when they come into range of each other, because it would be a real pain to have to pair the phone and the PC every time I get into the truck. That's kind of a low priority right now tho, but something to think about for the future. On Tuesday I'll be going back to day shift (I've been working nights for the past 3 1/2 months) so that should give me more free time to work on the truck since I'll have 3-4 hours of daylight left after I get off work. My goal is to have a functional navigation system in the truck by 24 November (that's when I'll be finally leaving Mississippi and going back to Texas.) The only thing that's holding me back right now is the power supply issue, but I have an inverter and an ATX power supply on hand, so that's what I'll probably be using to power the PC for the trip back to Texas. I can work on a DC-DC solution later on. Anyway, enough rambling by me for now.
                      -Jay

                      1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
                      CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
                      Check out my progress.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I AM VICTORIOUS! Today on my first break, I went outside and managed to get the top seatbelt bolt undone. After wrestling around with the trim panel and the seat, I finally got both separated from the truck. I'm on my lunch break right now, and have a test I have to take as soon as I get back. Instead of studying, I'm stripping the upholstery off a jump seat. What the hell is wrong with me lol
                        -Jay

                        1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
                        CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
                        Check out my progress.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Gotta hit the ground @ 0430 in the morning and be @ work by 0600, so I'll keep this kinda short. Aced my test, came back to my room and finished dismantling the jumpseat. I removed all the upholstery, padding, and seatbelts, so its down to a bare seat pan and mounting brackets. I also did some more work to the software side of the house. I got my GPS drivers loaded up and installed Xport3 to split the COM ports up. A big THANK YOU to the guy that coded Xport. Without it I'd have alot of work ahead of me in figuring out a way to make the GPS software work the way I want it to. Tomorrow after work I'll probably swing by the hardware store and pick up all the nuts, bolts, and screws I need to mount everything. I'll also probably drop by the auto shop on base and see if they have a drill press I can use to fabricate some brackets for my hard drive. I'll be setting it up for a 3.5" drive so I can later upgrade (I'm thinking a 250GB WD hard drive will be perfect for storing all my music and movies). I've got a set of adapter brackets to mount the 2.5" drive in the 3.5" bay for the time being. Anyways, I've gotta be up in six hours, so I'll shut up for now.
                          -Jay

                          1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
                          CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
                          Check out my progress.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Made a little bit of progress over the past couple days. My subwoofer arrived Wednesday, and I got it installed and set the gain on my amp (which involved taking the whole amprack apart). The sub sounds okay, but really I was hoping for more output. Don't get me wrong, it is loud, but not as loud as I want. I'll probably build a slot-ported box later on and hopefully get that massive bottom end that I'm looking for. Yesterday I went to Lowe's and bought the machine screws and nuts to mount the motherboard and harddrive. Then I get back and found out that an 8-32 machine screw is just a hair too big to fit thru the holes in the motherboard. Back to Lowe's to buy 6mm screws instead (spent more on gas to drive to the store than I spent on the screws that I needed.) Got back and drilled the seat pan to mount the motherboard. As I'm tightening down the last nut (with a pair of needle nose pliers, since they so thoughtfully put a capacitor right next to the screw hole) I feel a "crunch". Turns out that I knocked two of the surface mount resistors off the board. Fired up the soldering iron and soldered them back into place (alot easier said than done), hooked everything up and powered it up, fearing the worst. To my surprise, it worked fine. The only issue is that the BIOS somehow got reset, so I reconfigured everything and it seems to operate normally now. Tonight I'll fabricate the hard drive brackets and get the hard drive mounted, and hopefully be able to get it in the truck and working over the weekend. Only have a few days left to meet my goal, hopefully there's no surprises that pop up.
                            -Jay

                            1997 Chevy S-10, ext. cab
                            CarPC Progress: 75% - Functional, but not quite finished.
                            Check out my progress.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds like you dodged a bullet there, good to hear its all working

                              Comment

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