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Offroad dunebuggy carputer? :D

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  • Offroad dunebuggy carputer? :D

    Ok, I've been following this forum for a while and decided to sign up now.
    I want to custom build an absurdly durable solid state PC for use in heavily demanding situations. Right off the bat platter drives are very much out.

    Here's my basic plan:

    Everything and I mean from the motherboard to flash/ddr drive(s) to the dc-dc converter would be mounted on a plate, the entire mass would be coated in thermally conductive epoxy until it's level on top, and on that top I would have a heatsink as wide in each dimension as the top of the motherboard, and around an inch, inch and a half tall. Might have to be custom made. All the sides not touched by the epoxy would be mounted inside a case, (I'll get to the ports later) and the heatsink would be protected by a thick anodized mesh. NO airspace inside. NO internal fans. NOWHERE for vibration, dust, bad things etc to get, The giant heatsink would have a fan (radiator fan size) to mounted directly to it and wired into the same on-off circuit.

    The ports would have some sort of rubber grommet system to ensure 100% water and dust protection. The one thing I'd change is the epoxy idea- I might coat the internals with a thermal friendly jelly that would allow me to remove the epoxy mass when necessary to replace a component, if ever. If you haven't figured it out already, I plan on being able to beat this thing with a baseball bat and not have it skip a beat, ever. If for whatever reason there must be an area that can't be sealed with epoxy, I'd pump it full of pressurized mineral oil / motor oil and seal that mother goooood.

    Ok. Are we crazy enough? No? Let's continue.

    This would be implimented in my ongoing project, an authentic Chenowth FAV (still working on getting the particular chenowth frame that is most similar to the one used for the military FAV, there are some minor differences besides the third seat rollcage and side skirts but nothing that can't be fixed by welding. Chenowth, however, is being very reluctant to give me any information at all. ), and here is a horrible sketch of how I would impliment the system:



    In place of a sun visor, there would be a flip down LCD screen. No touchscreen on this part, not needed. Under the "dash" there would be a slide-down notebook keyboard ripped out of a Gateway Handbook (google image it. ). On the center console, above the shift mechanism, there would be a Palm/postcard sized LCD touchscreen to show GPS info / basic controls of the computer features available at a touch. Underneath it would be a 'numlock group' of keys if I need to enter a sequence of something. These will both have flip-up protectors that lock in place. The car is going to be open enough as it is, being a dunebuggy build, I don't want to encourage thieves.

    I also have a way for a mousepad to fold out and rotate into flat place for further comfortable in-seat use, but it doesn't sketch well. I can make good technical drawings in PSP, this just wasn't the day for it. I'd like to try to get an IR camera (a member on here got one for thirty ish dollars on ebay) and be able to flip down the screen while driving to get a 'heads up' view of the road ahead. Another thought is a passenger seat mounted panning tripod for a can, which would slowly spin and detect available networks to me (and log the vehicle location and distance they are in using GPS).

    Other features that for me are a must have are enhanced GPS logging, audio control and mp3s, system logging (speedometer and other sensors etc), DVD playback, voice controlled commands, satellite radio, fm-am radio with tivo-ish functions, wireless, a pair of mics and headphones with a jackset in front of each seat so a passenger and I can each have full face helmets on and still talk to each other (take THAT, five hundred dollar in-car intercom systems!) and more.

    I figure this is all quiiiiite doable, so here's some tentative part picks for your critique:

    Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813153027

    Processor would be an AMD64 in the 3500+ range. Ram- 2-4gb, most definitely.

    Storage would be compact flash using XPEmbedded OR OR OR if I can find one of these: http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2480 and load it up with obsolete DDR200 1gb modules that would make an even better HD.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Have you looked at power requirements?

    That AMD64 3500+ CPU with 2-4Gb of RAM right there is looking at sucking at least ~80w of juice.

    Comment


    • #3
      So? That just means I get to explore solar panels and battery banks a little further than I expected, a little sooner. Good news!

      Should I be worried about power consumption beyond a certain amount? I don't mind actually putting in a second automotive battery or two rigged up for charging from the alternator. I'd also completely shut off my system when not using it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Iwould recomend a sealed oil filled computer with some kind of agitation system for cooling.
        Causa latet vis est notissima

        VIA SP13000
        1GB DDR400
        Slimline Slot-load DVD-RW
        60GB 2.5 Inch SATA 5400RPM
        Dual Active PCI riser
        PCI TV/FM card
        Logisys FP800
        Thermaltake VFD Media Lab
        M1-ATX

        Comment


        • #5
          That person with the 15 odd USB devices inspired me: I will be adding an ultracompact printer (business purposes, very convenient) and a wireless router so that if I am out and about at a client's house (btw this buggy will have the necessary modifications such as windscreen fenders all wheel brakes lights etc to be street legal) I can log onto my mobile wireless lan and print things right out, also allowing other people I meet to log onto my network. More I think about it, it would be a wireless hub so that I can lock it into wireless networks I find from long distances using the satellite dish + cantenna that I will have stealthmounted in the third passenger seat and have the carputer / additional laptop / anyone elses' PC able to surf the web through my hub. This would only be for wireless networks that I have permission for, of course, but there's more than enough to make looking for ones to 'sneak onto' a moot and pointless waste of time.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think that you, as well as the guy that wants 15 or so USB devices are generating pie-in-the-sky plans that I doubt will every materialize.

            Good luck, and when your project comes to fruition, keep us all in the loop.
            Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
            How about the Wiki?



            Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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            • #7
              I think you forgot the blender incase someone around possibly gets thirsty... better make that a usb blender.
              2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

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              • #8
                liquid cooling would be an option, if it can withstand the abuse you're going to give it. also get that guy that did the custom stainless case, that coudl take a beating
                New System in progress:
                M10k
                Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
                Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
                Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
                Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
                Transflective Xenarc

                My Car Pc Install
                My Boat Pc worklog

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DarquePervert
                  I think that you, as well as the guy that wants 15 or so USB devices are generating pie-in-the-sky plans that I doubt will every materialize.

                  Good luck, and when your project comes to fruition, keep us all in the loop.
                  The guy that wants 15 or so USB devices will post pictures of his install on the morrow.
                  REBUILDING!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DarquePervert
                    I think that you, as well as the guy that wants 15 or so USB devices are generating pie-in-the-sky plans that I doubt will every materialize.

                    Good luck, and when your project comes to fruition, keep us all in the loop.
                    Dude. Look, boobies, ok?

                    Unless I get shouted down for it being a bad choice, I'm ordering that mainboard shortly. We'll see where it goes from there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tostitos
                      So? That just means I get to explore solar panels and battery banks a little further than I expected, a little sooner. Good news!

                      Should I be worried about power consumption beyond a certain amount? I don't mind actually putting in a second automotive battery or two rigged up for charging from the alternator. I'd also completely shut off my system when not using it.
                      What the hell are you talking about?! Why would you use a solar panel to power something that takes a lot of juice? First, if it gets cloudy, your comptuer will shut off; Second, do you have any idea of the cost and square footage required for 80-100watts of solar panels?

                      Not to mention your computer doesn't work at night.

                      My advice is to back up and think very hard about what you actually want to use this computer for. You really don't need a 3ghz machine to do the stuff you are asking about.

                      Also, if it has to be so rugged that it can withstand incredible shocks, I doubt you'll be able to read the screen when driving anyhow. A mouse and keyboard are right out.

                      Where and how do you intend to use this PC and why do you need it for this type of application?
                      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.
                      Want to:
                      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dragonknell911
                        The guy that wants 15 or so USB devices will post pictures of his install on the morrow.
                        I'm not saying there's anything WRONG with 15+ USB devices. You, like myself, are one of the few souls destined to push it to the limit into that wild blue yonder where our safety is not guaranteed.

                        We may have only done this once before, but by god, we'll pay when we're back!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bugbyte
                          What the hell are you talking about?! Why would you use a solar panel to power something that takes a lot of juice? First, if it gets cloudy, your comptuer will shut off; Second, do you have any idea of the cost and square footage required for 80-100watts of solar panels?

                          Not to mention your computer doesn't work at night.

                          My advice is to back up and think very hard about what you actually want to use this computer for. You really don't need a 3ghz machine to do the stuff you are asking about.

                          Also, if it has to be so rugged that it can withstand incredible shocks, I doubt you'll be able to read the screen when driving anyhow. A mouse and keyboard are right out.

                          Where and how do you intend to use this PC and why do you need it for this type of application?
                          I'm not dumb. I'm crazy. Dumb and crazy don't mix good.

                          I never said 80 watts of solar. I'm thinking a 10 watt, maybe 20 watt to provide constant trickle charging to a battery bank. Forget the cost of an 80 watt panel, why would I want to drive around with a 10' long object on my roof?

                          As for 3ghz, what if I want to play games or something? :P

                          Screen #1 would be folded up against the ceiling on rubber mounted shock straps, screen #2 would be useable during 'slowed down' moments.

                          As for environment, ever heard of the Baja 1000? I'm not saying that's in my future, but building something to survive Jurassic Park usually means it never craps out on you in the dunes or on the trail.

                          Edit: I like the idea of having such a powerful chunk of processor and good sized amount of ram in the system, but to show that I CAN listen, here's an altered part choice. Since I have an Athlon 64 1800+ in one of my work machines, it makes more sense to replace it with an upgraded chip and enjoy the performance boost, and put the 1800+ in the carputer. Then instead of 2-4gb of ram, a pair of 512mb sticks of ram.. which I also have in that other work machine, so I'd get the gigabyte sticks anyway and use them where they'd be more appreciated while moving the 512ers out.

                          Sound better?

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                          • #14
                            You're overengineering.

                            no need the the thermal epoxy crap, if your body can handle the temeperture I assure you the computer cal

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                            • #15
                              How 'bout just sealing the case up with epoxy and leaving it at that, the thing is that fans and air circulation is a big no no in a sandy / dusty environment. That's why I think that turning the entire case into a heatsink and blowing a big fan on it is the most effective cooling system possible, whether the gaps inside are filled with compound, oil, or air.

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