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10" netbook into molded carpc, 1995 Mazda b2300

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  • 10" netbook into molded carpc, 1995 Mazda b2300

    Howdy do all, late last week my neat little MSI wind 10" netbook decided to finally crap out on me after a few drops and awkward maneuvers so being quite discouraged i figured at why not make it into something useful.

    If anyone could give me some insight since im not really the greatest when it comes to altering pc parts or really fully understand how everything works but, i no longer have a heatsink attached it decided to come off during the strip down but is it necessary to have? it will be in a fairly open space with plenty of airflow from a 4" cooling fan.

    Also, these netbooks have an annoying feature that if they totally lose power, you need to press Fn+F11 to re enable the wireless adapter, will any keyboard with an Fn key be able to do this?

    So here is the progress iv made since late friday night, iv gotten the lcd case molded in and still have some light sanding/shaping and some build up to flush the front screen bezel in, iv relocated the radios stock location to the space of the ac controls ( the ac doesnt work currently, saving for a new compressor and condensor ) ill post the progress of the new cover panel for it once the pc is running smoothly.

    Heres the truck, it might not look like much but its a great runner with a little paint it will look like new here one day.

    The bezel, sorry but not before pictures but can be found easily on google and is the same as the ford ranger.

    The lcd case, front and back held together by a series of clips and 4 screws.

    With a good helping of epoxy, epoxy putty and ca glue iv managed to secure the back of the screen case into the bezel and are now one, i did have to sacrifice my center air vents, and relocate the radio to the ac vent space, this shot i was testing fitment and getting mounting ideas for the ac controls.

    This is where i plan to mount the motherboard, its a plastic support piece thats perfect.

    This is how the power connectors from the battery and motherboard meet, they dont interlock just make contact...yet

    I decided to remove the battery cells from the case and extend the power harness out and glue the connectors together to let me mount the battery cells somewhere secure.

    Once i got everything sorted out with fitment i started working on relocating the radio, i used pieces of the dash kits din opening for my template.

    For now thats all iv got so far, and im actually uploading everything from this mess right now

  • #2
    Cool beans man. I'm hoping to do something similar with a 10.1" netbook as well so its great to see a similar project.

    How are you planning on handling inputs?

    Good luck on getting the book back up and running.


    • #3
      As far as the audio inputs, im going to diode isolate each one to prevent any possible voltage feedback that may not agree with the other but im still undecided whether to have a 3 position switch to toggle between either input, or just to use common sense to play one input at a time.

      For the time being, im going to us a small-ish wireless keyboard/trackball combo and may eventually upgrade to a touch screen overlay, but for now since this wasn't planned and was only conceived due to Chinese plastic part failure, who knows what else may get added =).


      • #4
        UPDATE, most of my shaping/sanding is out of the way now, just a few super small spaces to take care of around the edges, im pretty anal about it being as perfect as possible, but taking an extra day or so will make this thing come out as close to perfect as i can get.

        Pics pretty much say it all, and still posting with my laptop in pieces, batteries charging juuust fine, wifi working like a champ, still downloading off usenet ... im pretty stoked to get this finished by the weekend, along with new interior speakers all around.

        The front screen bezel is still completely removable, i flushed in around all the edges and still need to fill in the gaps where the plastic hinges were, im waiting to do that last to keep anything from possible breakage since its such a thin piece.

        On my lunch break, i cracked open the sony deck, why? because i have the front aux 3.5mm input on the face BUT id like to keep that for an ipod or whatever other electronic device may arise ya know? so obviously the pins in the faceplate carry over the main connector going into the radio, a quick continuity test will give me the pins i need to solder on a female 3.5mm jack and run the wire out the case of the radio into a 3 position switch so i can switch between pc audio and the front input quickly and easily.

        As you can see, theres the little aux jack right on the front, which is great but would be even better to have 2 to keep from constantly switching a cable around for the pc or whatever else.

        I traced the connections through here, into the radio.

        Theres only 2 screws in the front of the deck here that hold the front side of the cd drive down and keep the cover on and 4 clips to relase the cover.

        Only a single scew and a few tabs hold the top cover down.

        With that off, the 2 blue marks point to the last 2 screws holding the cd drive down

        Theres a small connector to unplug to release the drive to get access to the main board.

        Tracing the aux pins through the other side of the faceplate connector, theres 10 or so screws holding the board and backside of the radio together which all had to be removed to get to the underside.

        Heres the 3 pins i need, drawn out for my terrible memory.

        A little component hook up wire to make my leads.

        Braided the wires with a drill on the outside of the radio case, the 3 braided had to much height underneath the main board and could short out so i kept them seperate to prevent that.

        Little reassembly magic

        This is where i realized... i had no female jack, so in my panic and dedication to not spending any money on buying one, i robbed one from the pc speakers.

        There were 2 in this instance, i just pick one.
        With a little desoldering action i removed it from the board.
        Traced out the connections with my multi meter

        And soldered to the connector pins.

        Tested it with my ipod shuffle a little while ago, works just like its supposed to :biggrin:

        I did some more sanding and i have my bezel at a point where im happy with how it looks, i have a few imperfections i still need to touch up on the underside but i got a little carried away with the primer so its all gooey and ill have to wait until tomorrow.

        I did manage to get some primer and paint on the front bezel, this paint is weird, i dont really like rattle can jobs ever but it seemed like it would do the job nicely, but i may end up just going with a satin black.

        Touching up small things with body filler now.

        Finished filling in the gaps where the hinges used to be.

        What i did to fill them, since the panel is so thin and flimsy, i took my retired under 21 license plate i found in the closet, flattened out a corner and cut out some small squares for fillers that would give me some strength as well, glued them in place behind the holes and filled in over with some fiberglass filler.

        Just look at that clean edge

        Heres the paint i picked up, believe it or not this has been the most expensive part of this build at about 14 bucks.

        The pictures of the paint is before clear, i have to wait 48 hours before i can hit them with some rubbing compound and try and shine em up.

        What you guys think on the color?


        • #5
          Update folks!!!

          Iv got some paint on my bezel now, after coats i stopped spraying and havent put any clear on, i noticed i have some blatent imperfections i somehow missed lol, sadly ill have to wait until after the holiday festivities to go back and touch them up, it will be worth it to me.

          Anywho, iv manage to secure my mobo, the thing that's supposed to be a heat sink, hard drive and battery pack down snugly, i picked up some high efficiency thermal paste for the processor and what i believe is the gpu.

          Heres my bezel after some paint, no clear coat.

          Everything looks to be working, i had an issue with the pc audio only on one channel, i know its not a problem with the female jack i extended since it still works with my ipod. i may have to solder directly to the motherboard for audio, duno yet havent had a chance to diagnose really.

          I need to trim the backside of the faceplate trim ring, it hits on the top corners a little and is going to chip paint if i dont tend to it before final paint and clear.

          Little quarks expected as always,, they will all get worked out here soon enough.

          Heres a fancy video even to check it out in action, still using spare usb keyboard and mouse for testing, no narration as im terrible as commentary.

          What do you guys think, overall im happy on the outcome :biggrin:


          • #6
            Awesome job yo! Looks great...


            • #7
              It looks like you built a all-in-one pc ...!!!
              Sweet work on the electronics and fabrication!

              Why a 13?


              • #8
                Didnt think id ever get any comments on this considering how many iv gotten on a few other forums and none so far here lol.

                A 13? Not sure i follow, if you're referring to the screen size its actually a 10" Netbook, it just got to the point where (as a regular computer) the screen wouldn't stay up, id drop wireless constantly, and it would shut off due to the broken clips for the battery and other case plastics, better then throwing it away eh?

                I havent made to much progress since the last post, but iv started to work a little on a panel to relocate the hvac controls and iv also finally gotten Centrafuse, Garmin Mobile PC along with a gps antenna and also DashCommand and the obd2 usb adapter for a digital dashboard and live diagnostics.

                More updates soon hopefully =)!


                • #9
                  looks really good man, I can see you have a ton of work into this, you've got a lot of patience. I've done a few laptop screens grafted into dashboard bezels but I've never seen one done like yours, you grafted in the rear of the screen housing to the bezel & then made the front of the bezel removable, can I ask why you didn't graft the front of the bezel in & then load the screen in from behind? would have probably been a lot easier... I'm guessing its because you wanted to use the original screws to hold it all together? either way bro, awesome job, best of luck finishing it up
                  MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                  first windows carpc liquid cooled LVDS screen :D


                  • #10
                    Really the only reason i chose to mount the screens cover the way i did was the front cover was so thin and flimsy i wasnt confident in myself being able to keep it perfectly straight and even, its the first time iv mounted one like that, my first carpc i did the way you mentioned but im actually very happy with how both of them came out and enjoyed the learning process on each project.


                    • #11
                      This is how the job should be done
                      2004 Holden WL Caprice Auto GENIII
                      Base System = Raspberry Pi
                      Everything else is pending for now as switched from a Mini-ITX setup