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PC install: dash vs trunk

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  • PC install: dash vs trunk


    I tried searching for the question I'm going to ask but I can't find the right query for that...

    Anyway, I have a Civic 98 and I have plenty of room behind the dash where my Xenarc 7" is going to be installed... I'm using a micro-atx with 3 pci cards (audigy2, tv/fm, wifi), 3.5" hd, opus 150w and I'm going to check if it fits in dash. Also, I managed to move my spare (I want to keep) a bit to the front and I've been able to fit a small pc case also and still be able to close the "lid" on the floor. I'm going to have a optima, 2 amps with a sub in the trunk. I'm going headunit less.

    So my dillema, try to install the PC in the dash or keep it in the pc case in the floor with the spare? What are the differences?

    The only thing I found:
    - Trunk install: need long cable for vga (interference?), usb, firewire (dvd-rw), power for Xenarc from opus... but short audio cable from sound card to amps... Also easy install...
    - Dash install: direct cable for vga, dvd-rw, usb, power for Xenarc... but long cable for audio, well like a regular headunit install

    Please help me...

  • #2
    I've done both in a couple of different cars. Both work really well. I suggest pic the final solution you like.
    The installation will be a pain in the *** regardless.
    I find the box in the trunk is generally less of a hassle. Running wires isn't that hard and you won't have to worry about fitting everything out of sight.
    On the other hand, keep in mind. Your trunk gets pretty hot. Its basically a sealed box.
    Hope those are some decent tips for you.


    • #3
      I have a truck so the dash is all i got. Or under the seat. But my amp is under the seat. Dash makes more sense, your dvd or cd drive could be right there. Usb has a cable length limit, I think 15 feet (not a big deal i guess). Mostly less wires to run under the carpet. You only need rca to amp and power.

      If you have the room in the dash for it.

      Although on the other end if your not big on cutting up cases and modding your dash the trunk would be quick and easy. Maybe.

      I always type before i read. Hard drive + subs probably dont mix well. most hard drives will shutdown or fail with the force of 1 or more G's. Your choice, no right or wrong answer.

      Wait install two, one in the front and one in the back. second one can be server.
      Um, I guess this is where you put something witty.WITTY

      My Web site, in the design stage.

      Modified RRSkinEditor


      • #4
        I have a 02 Civic and I mounted my board behind the screen. It worked really well for me. Ran one RCA back to the amps and used the line out to go to the other amp.


        • #5
          Or you could go the improvised method, install it on the outside in a water-proofed box and pass it off as a satelite antenna that came with the car
          2008 Civic... Sound system... then carputer install...

          If you look at my avatar closely, you can see a chick with two big knockers....


          • #6
            I wouldnt mind the dash location..

            but waht about fan noise
            2k3 Max SE 6spd
            Temp setup:
            7" indash screen/Xbox running XBMC
            Carputer coming soon
            My 2003 Maxima


            • #7
              nano-ITX board in-dash
              2008 350z GT Installed since April 22nd 2011 - Worklog
              2000 Protege Installed Since April 2, 2005 - Intel D201GLY|Fusion Brain|ODBPros ODBII|Engenius|GPS Rikaline|Powermate|Motorized Lilli
              Sound Stage


              • #8
                Originally posted by -zip-
                nano-ITX board in-dash
                And where can you buy these? Last I heard they weren't out yet.

                EDIT: I stand corrected. Just noticed that 2 minutes after this post. I've been looking forward to the Nano release for some time now and am glad it's finally here. Hopefully I'll be able to pick one up in the near future.


                • #9

                  2005 Range Rover 4.4
                  Any ideas for putting a PC in this? :)


                  • #10
                    had the same kind of dilemma, here are a couple other things to consider when making a decision.

                    the pc can generate a lot of electrical noise itself, and 150 watts is not an insignificant amount of power. I dont like the idea of running it and its power next to all the ECM (car's computer) wiring. probably going to be a non-issue, depending on how your factory wires are run, but you could cause all sorts of interference that you'd never know about and would only make the car run slightly worse. and I also dont like the idea of the pc/esp. sound card picking up noise from all the under-dash circuits. just seems like not the right place to have a pc. I also feel that most of the advantages of dash mounting (e.g. ports, cd drive, etc.) can be done in the dash area other ways if needed ($15 26-in-1 usb hub and card reader, remote mounted dvd-rom)

                    what kind of processor and case are you using? good fans are pretty cheap and you can go with the highest cfm you can find 'cause you probably won't hear them back in the trunk anyway. and you should have plenty of room for 120 mm. heat generation will depend on what kind of processor.

                    and what about the center console? seems like it would be the best of both worlds, but you may need to do a little fabrication or modding of your factory trim.


                    • #11
                      Apparently no windows application is taking advantage of the CN400 chipset.

                      Only LInux does. Therefore you are utilzing 60-80% CPU Load on DVD playback..
                      2k3 Max SE 6spd
                      Temp setup:
                      7" indash screen/Xbox running XBMC
                      Carputer coming soon
                      My 2003 Maxima


                      • #12
                        one tip... especially if the pc is in dash... it's always best to keep the audio leads as short as possible.... the sound card can be mounted in the trunk next to the amps & then connect usb which won't pick up rfi.. short rca's = less introduced noise...
                        MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                        first windows carpc liquid cooled LVDS screen :D


                        • #13
                          Mine is in the trunk. No heat problems whatesoever, but you might have a bit more heat in the tire well. I personally preferred the trunk install. For one, it's much easier to work on. If you keep pulling the dash cluster out of your civic, you'll wear it out. Plus, I don't like the idea of having a psu and a lot of electrical devices like mobo etc, behind the dash mixed up in all the wire-speghetti that's back there in the first place. Makes me nervous.

                          Its not the cards you're dealt, its how you play the hand!

                          Originally posted by ryuandwings
                          Where can I get a roll of tin foil?
                          I been looking for that all over the net, but I can't find it.
                          Please help.


                          • #14
                            I've installed in both the trunk and the dash. Neither has presented a problem. I can hear the fan when it runs in the dash, but its a Mac Mini so its not always on. If its an Epia, it will be on but still, it won't be too loud and I doubt you'll hear it when the car is running.
                            Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                            I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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