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carPC II - reverse engineering & aluminum fabbing begun

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  • carPC II - reverse engineering & aluminum fabbing begun

    Aluminum FAB begins on post 22

    New Hardware/Software pics start on post 46

    Original Post______________________________________________ ____________
    Well last night I officially started my second carPC. First one is running perfect and I have not messed with it since I installed it. This has left me with the 'itch' to build more. I am probably going to be installing this one in my fiance's car once I convince her she needs it. (We're taking her car on a long roadtrip in august and i need to be pc'd!) Anyway Im taking a little different approach this time. First off, the PC itself is going to be way more powerful/faster. I will be fabbing another finished .063" aluminum case for this hardware just like my previous models for those who have seen my threads. I got lucky and my dad gave me a complete DELL 1.6Ghz pentium 4, 512 ram, GeForce 2 MX video, He gave it to me because he knows nothing about computers and told me to do with it what I want. The only thing missing was the harddrive. At first it would not boot and BIOS appeared dead but I replaced the BIOS battery and it came to life instant. Installed windows on a drive and gave it a go and It was amazingly fast! So i basically got all that hardware for a $5 battery investment. After it sat around for a few weeks doing nothing I decided to take it apart because I hate DELL cases, so hard to work on anything. Little did I know that you have to reverse engineer the entire computer to extract the meat I wanted. So about 4 hours later I had the OEM case in the Junk and the propritery DELL hardware in front of me. It has 2 seperate boards connected via ribbon cables for USB, power switches, etc. After studying the hardware for a couple weeks I decided im going to make carPC 2. This is going to be a bit of a challenge (my first carPC used ITX board) as this one is a full ATX. First things Ive done is scrapped the heatsink and it was integrated into the case. I bought a low profile heatsink, drilled and tapped 4 holes into the bottom so i can screw it right to the motherboard and dont have to worry about those ridicoulous p4 heatsink clips that look like they would come loose going down a road. The sink is bolted solid now as seen in the first pic. I ordered an AGP riser for the videocard so that I can mount it the same way as the mainboard. I happy that i will finally be able to get 800x480 res!! The finished case complete im looking at somwthing like 10" x 12" x 3.5" Pretty darn small for a full size ATX/P4 combo! I have considered upgrading the M.B.to something better and just using the p4 and the videocard but this works complete so im going to see how far I an get with the DELL hardware. I was surprised how fast DELL hardware really is when you put a clean XP install on it. Ive had great luck so far with my m2-atx so I believe im going to order another one and see if it will push this p4. Ill be updating this thread as I go so stay tuned for some fabricated aluminum hotness.
    Attached Files
    Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

    AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

  • #2
    Nice find!! The only problem I've ever had with Dell hardware is their proprietary (read: PITA) case design, and if you're scrapping that and building your own case, you should be all set. Good luck with the build and be sure to post up pics!

    CarPC v2.5 up and running - all hardware installed, skin configured, and iG tweaked like crazy. Now for OBD-II, and voice control, and camera plugin, and... :nutz: - it never ends!

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    • #3
      Does that MB have one of those black and yellow P4 power plugs on there? It looks like it. Can you get that MB to power off a standard power supply? Might want to test that out before ordering the M2-ATX. If it does need that P4 plug, then I believe the DSATX is your only option. Just a heads up...

      Russ

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      • #4
        True about the p4 it requires an extra 12v line and sometimes can shut down on you with deep engine crank, research that before getting to into and set up for trouble. I own both a dell desktop and laptop and love them. I got my sister a dell for free because this guy is like "the comptuer is too slow so i bought a new one back up the data and you can have it" It was a brand new machine just had TONS of viruses and spyware. I reinstalled windows and Voila a new pc!

        Looks great thus far! Keep it up.
        Brown 2010

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Norrin302
          Does that MB have one of those black and yellow P4 power plugs on there? It looks like it. Can you get that MB to power off a standard power supply? Might want to test that out before ordering the M2-ATX. If it does need that P4 plug, then I believe the DSATX is your only option. Just a heads up...

          Russ
          Wrong! the M2-ATX have the P4 connetion. check the FAQ emporium to see pics and reviews of the M2-ATX.

          Thanatos.
          RexBruMet Skin for FrodoPlayer

          Nissan Aux-in MOD


          Originally posted by bgoodman
          We're an international forum, post in whatever langauge you like.

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          • #6
            LOL.. well thats good to know!

            Does it give a steady 12v even when the engine cranks pull voltage down to say 10v?

            idk but id research before id get farther anyway
            Brown 2010

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            • #7
              Does it still run after you drilled 4 holes in the motherboard? Even though it may seems that there's nothing running where you drilled the holes, I believe that a pc motherboard is multi layered so you might have cut out circuitry.

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              • #8
                he didn't drill through the motherboard, he drilled holes into the heatsink. most motherboards have screw holes for this kind of application.

                you'd have to be an idiot to drill/cut a motherboard

                Comment


                • #9
                  I cut a sound card once......

                  and surprisingly it still worked and fit in the carputer box!
                  Brown 2010

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                  • #10
                    sidewalk, im not suprised that you cut yer soundcard, its something you would do :P
                    2004 Impreza WRX CarPC Install

                    I am willing to host any legal downloads that may benefit the CarPC community - PM for info

                    "When you go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, you don't need a made up character called fast. Thats what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."

                    DG4L

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                    • #11
                      Well to clear a few things up, I did not drill holes into my motherboard, this is the standard P4 478 socket layout. I just removed the plastic garbagge from the holes and tapped a heatsink to accept some 6-32 screws. The M2 has an optional 12v P4 connector and i really dont run that much off of my power supplies besides MB, Harddrive, Touchscreen, and a USB gps. Besides the DSATX is too much money, id rather buy 2, m2-atx power supplies. I just like em because they are small, quiet, powerful, and cheap! Im still waiting for my AGP riser so I can get some final dimensions to start cutting and bending aluminum. Im pretty sure someone threw this out after the BIOS battery died and it would not boot anymore. Also this is a pentium4 1.6ghz so its not going to be quite as power hungry as say a 3.4 Ghz chip. I realized that I spend more time looking at hardware and thinking about how to build it than I do actually building/fabbing. This is good because it minimizes mistakes. Im also wondering if i can find a low profile PCI riser that will fit under the AGP riser? I want this full ATX computer to be small!!
                      Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                      AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

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                      • #12
                        i'm pumped to see your progress.
                        replicant
                        Audi A4 (flickr pics)

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                        • #13
                          Ive been running a keypower dc-dc since 99 and have never looked back, if you find that you are having trouble with power, they are worth a shot, prices are very fair considering power offered vs the other boards offered here and elsewhere

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blk02si
                            Im also wondering if i can find a low profile PCI riser that will fit under the AGP riser? I want this full ATX computer to be small!!
                            Check out this site:

                            http://www.risercards.com/items.asp?...atus=0&Tp=&Bc=

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice find dudes99!! I think I will be ordering a part from this site
                              Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                              AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

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