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New rig with Fanless BRIX

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  • New rig with Fanless BRIX

    Hi all, I'm getting ready to replace my (unfortunately) aging Dension Mp3 player. It was perfect for my needs with replaceable HDD (currently using 350Gb) and satellite controller. Unfortunately no one makes things like this any more so...

    I'm looking to get into the carPC game. Fortunately I have the power/amps/speakers already. I am thinking of pulling the trigger on this nifty new device -- a tiny fanless PC which happens to run on 12V. I will probably outfit it with a USB DAC and go with Win7 or even XP if possible, then set up Foobar2000 as the music player. Or possibly a media server with remote control (see below)

    I only have 2 major concerns at this point. I've been searching this site and Google but keep going in circles with no real answers. If I could get some pointers I would really appreciate it.

    -- Power regulator. I know the Store sells these. I would need something to filter the car power as well as control the startup, shutdown, hibernation, etc. My question here is -- do these devices depend on a motherboard with typical ATX jumpers? I don't know much about this motherboard but given it's size, I don't know if it has many jumpers or anything other than an on/off switch. I did find a gut shot here.

    -- Front End/Display. My rig is totally stealth -- stock head unit. Any display would be hidden, perhaps in the sunglasses holder (where my satellite is now). Ideally I would like to use an Android device or iSomething. But for simplicity and security I really would like to avoid wi-fi, bluetooth, router, etc. -- perhaps using USB for power and network connectivity. Any suggestions on this? I know Android is probably more likely here than Apple. Certainly this is not too difficult, right?

    I could go with a USB powered touchscreen monitor but these things just seem like huge headaches from what I've read so far. Way less polished than mobile devices.

    These two issues have been driving me nuts, I hope I can get some suggestions. Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by M7CC View Post
    I would need something to filter the car power as well as control the startup, shutdown, hibernation, etc. My question here is -- do these devices depend on a motherboard with typical ATX jumpers?
    Just needs a 12v 2.5A supply, so the Intelligent DC DC Converter would be a good supply for the Brix. When you turn on the ignition, it sends a power up pulse to the Brix (2 pin header that you connect to the Brix mobo where it's power switch is connected), then it runs till you turn off the idgnition, when it sends a shutdown pulse and starts a timer to allow the Brix to shutdown gracefully. After a hard timeout that you can set by jumper, it will kill the power so your battery don't drain.

    If you use the Driveline front end, and have steering wheel controls and a noise canceling microphone, you can use voice commands and steering wheel buttons for most stuff, then have a small screen in your glove box or somewhere for when you want to see the screen. Alternately, you can get a flip down roof mount monitor, or flip up dash mounted monitor. If you are real handy, you might cut your dash and build a motorized slide up monitor like some caddy's have.


    • #3
      Thanks, hopefully I can access the 2pin power header without major hacking. I may just have to order the system and tinker with it.

      Regarding the front end, I don't have steering wheel controls and I personally hate voice control anything. I could go with a standalone monitor but for now want to pursue my original intent. Maybe I should ask the question another way. Is anyone using an Android or Apple device as a front end monitor with wired connectivity? Again I'm trying to avoid wifi or bluetooth if possible.


      • #4
        Timur's ROM on a Nexus 7 works pretty well as a standalone car entertainment system. It was the route I was going to go until I bought a car that swallows a 7" and makes it look teeny.