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  • laptop motherboards?

    I've been bored and ebaying alot recently and I've noticed that you can pick up reasonably well powered motherboard componentes (500mhz - 1ghz) for the 100-300 range. I was wondering if anyone else has tried using one and just buying a car adaptor for that particular laptop.
    -- WireSix, Inc. --
    MP3Car Lives Here!

  • #2
    Biggest problem you would have is building extension cables to the screen and Keyboard to put them where you could reach them, and then hide the mobo.

    Depending on the model, it may be possible to have the motherboard folded behind the screen (like a tablet PC),if you seperated it from the plastics, but quite often you would have to replicate the original chassis, at least partially, because a lot of the time, Laptops use quite large Magnesium or aluminium partial skeletons to support the internals, and the motherboard will bolt to that.

    Don't know if you have ever had one apart down to all the individual boards, and bits, but there is normally a hell of a lot squeezed into that tight space, with the most incredibly tightly fitted, wafer thin brittle copper ribbon cables and direct connections connecting everything together.

    Then there is the Keyboard problem. Not sure if it would be able to boot without the laptop cable connected, and again it is the short very thin brittle kind normally. And a laptop Bios doesn't normally have enough options to boot without keyboard like a normal PC, unless you coudl boot it with an external keyboard in.

    Siemens-Nixdorf used to do a range of Laptops which had detachable screens (on spiral type cables) that could be used on projectors. That would be absolutley perfect, except they were only first gen pentiums ISTR, unless they kept it going with later ones. they tend to have a lot of cennections with Fujitsu now, with the min and sub mini life books with Touch screens, but Fujitsus don't have the detatchable screens.

    TheMobile Scenic 800 has a removeable keyboard, but the processor spec isn't best. although as it uses a P2, you could be able to get it upto 300, or unofficially maybe more.

    The 700 was a very basic spec even worse than you could imagine (and at the time that was a high end executive laptop).
    Scroll down about 2/3 of the way down (google translation).

    Don't know of any more modern PC with removable wired screens of keyboards, but there is bound to be something out there.
    4x4 in a turbo stylee.

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    • #3
      I am thinking of using a second hand laptop and connecting a touchscreen 12v lcd display to it (e.g. xenarc).

      Touchscreen removes the problem of needing a keyboard extension - just use the w2k or xp on screen keyboard.

      The only cable you would need to run from the back of the car to the front would be the vga and a serial cable to carry screen input to the back with.

      However - it seems this solution might be more expensive then building your own with EPIA M etc... so I may ditch the idea yet.

      phoTToniq

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      • #4
        Originally posted by phoTToniq
        I am thinking of using a second hand laptop and connecting a touchscreen 12v lcd display to it (e.g. xenarc).

        Touchscreen removes the problem of needing a keyboard extension - just use the w2k or xp on screen keyboard.

        The only cable you would need to run from the back of the car to the front would be the vga and a serial cable to carry screen input to the back with.

        However - it seems this solution might be more expensive then building your own with EPIA M etc... so I may ditch the idea yet.

        phoTToniq
        Thats a good idea, if you can score a real Ebay Bargain (or know a tech head who is selling something cheap because he needs the next big thing) , and get a good price on the Xenarc.

        But like you say, the Epia solution may actually be more cost effective, and Mini-ITX could actually be build small than everything except the smallest laptops if you built it with Laptop components and USB addons. Somehting that might be worth looking at is the Commell mini-FlexATX board that fits the same mounts as the Mini-ITX boards, so you can use the same cases, but have a choice of P4 processor, including the P4M, so you could have good performance across the board, and possibly passive cooling. Plus going Mini-ITX, and building yourself, you don't have addition hardware redundancy costs, like if you were to buy a laptop, there is a trackpad, keyboard, screen all paid for, but not being used.
        4x4 in a turbo stylee.

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        • #5
          I fully agree - building your own is THE way to go - no question.

          The only reason I am thinking of using a lap top is that I do actually have a spare one around that has a dodgy keyboard. I was thinking of using that as a proof of concept before I roll my own.

          Incidentally - is 300 quid too much to pay for the xenarc touch screen vga?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by phoTToniq
            I fully agree - building your own is THE way to go - no question.

            The only reason I am thinking of using a lap top is that I do actually have a spare one around that has a dodgy keyboard. I was thinking of using that as a proof of concept before I roll my own.

            Incidentally - is 300 quid too much to pay for the xenarc touch screen vga?
            Don't think so, that sounds about right. Especially if you are having to import.

            however, I found This Screen

            Brighness is a little dim, but we live in the UK, not the Nevada desert, and with Factory tints I reckon it should work OK, especially at night.

            I've contacted them.
            Yes they will ship to UK.
            They need a major credit card number.
            You need to fax card authorisation details to them.
            $190 is correct for the complete kit.
            They will sort shipping price for you before confirming and shipping order.
            They are out of stock of the controllers so there is a 3 week delay at present.

            Even if you add 60-100GBP for the cost of touch screen, that will come out just over the 300GBP, you get an 800x600 262k colour 8.4" LCD with touch that you don;t have to cut to build in.

            I'm seriously tempted, and have an idea for the housing already.

            BTW, about the brightness issue, I'm going to post a thread in the LCD board, that might be complete crap, but I want some of the electrical bods there to give it the ones over as a theory.

            My mind went into overdrive last night while lieing in the bath.
            4x4 in a turbo stylee.

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            • #7
              well I can tell you at 100 nits is pretty damn dull.... I had a 8.4" 18bit colour that was 200 nits and it still wasn't bright enough and I've got some decent tint on my windows.

              anyway back to my question


              for instance something like this

              http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ategory=315520

              buy that for $300-400, throw in a car adaptor and an in dash LCD be it a xenarc or one of digital vw's new in dash units and you've got a truely modible system that can handle the abuse of being in a car and would also be easily removeable.

              just a thought
              -- WireSix, Inc. --
              MP3Car Lives Here!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by techm3
                well I can tell you at 100 nits is pretty damn dull.... I had a 8.4" 18bit colour that was 200 nits and it still wasn't bright enough and I've got some decent tint on my windows.
                You really haven't experienced the UK have you?

                It isn't a normal day unless it rains once in Manchester.

                We can have snow in the summer.
                70-75 degrees is a normal hot summer, if we get into the 80's it is a freak.

                The only time that glare gets to be an issue in the the early morning or evening.

                BTW, did you have a look at the thread I posted about a supplimental EL backlight? I know it could have contrast issues, but I really think there is some legs in it?
                4x4 in a turbo stylee.

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