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my first post and my idea

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  • my first post and my idea

    Great Forum, been following it for awhile!

    I've had this wacky idea to put a computer in a car for quite some time now and this has been one of my usual reading stops... I dont actually have anything started on this project yet, just some ideas really. I plan on starting to aquire the pieces this month and put something together!

    I currently drive for a courier company and spend 9.5 hours a day in the company 1/2 tonne. My goal for my system is to have it mounted non-permanently since this isn't my vehicle. I plan on removing it every night after I'm done. (A real pain in the *** I think)...

    I'm on a tight budget and cannot afford to get one of those cool mini-itx motherboards yet, so I'm going with a atx board for now with onboard sound and networking, throw in a 1.3 GHz Duron and a video card I have lying around (TNT2 Ultra). I also cannot afford one of those cool 7" touchscreens either, which probably doesn't bother me much since I'm convinced I want at least a 14" LCD for this beast!

    My local Costco (price club) has a nice 600 watt power inverter with two outlets for $79 Cdn which I figure will work nicely. I already have a ATI remote wonder which I'll want to use for most navigation and I think I'll buy one of those small micro keyboards I've seen (maybe even the rubber folding one)...

    So what do you think? I know having a full size desktop LCD monitor will have some problems to overcome, but I want a big display! Off course my main uses will be GPS navigation, route planning and mp3 playing. Speaking of mp3's the truck I'm driving has a crappy AM radio system in it that doesn't even work so I'm thinking I'll be carrying around a set of speakers (maybe those mini speaker sets that come with a small base box) to connect to the computer while in the truck. At night I'll just remove it from the truck and take it home where I'll use it as a media center or something... imagine that, using this computer all day in the vehicle and then using it at home in the evening...

    Anyways, sorry about the long winded message! I've been wanting to join the forum and start discussing some stuff for awhile now and here I am!! LOL

    Take Care,

    my projects homepage

  • #2
    There might be a problem with running a 600w inverter through a cig ligher socket. usually the big inverters need to have direct connections to the battery.
    Project AutoBoxen: Coming along, almost ready to hook up in the car.
    Celeron 500, 192mb ram, 8gb hdd, other stuff.
    '91 Mazda 626: Its free, so ill use it.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Charliey
      There might be a problem with running a 600w inverter through a cig ligher socket. usually the big inverters need to have direct connections to the battery.
      I think your right, I recall seeing a set of aligator like clips on this inverter I was looking at... It shouldn't be too hard to rig it up to the battery though, even if it's a semi permanent install I'm sure my boss would let me rig up a good 12 volt power connector in the truck...

      I've been thinking that I'm going to put everything including the inverter (except the monitor and input devices) inside a MDF carpeted box with a handle. Also got started thinking of maybe putting a small isolated 12v battery inside there to serve as a kinda backup when starting the truck. So this box might start to weigh a little bit and be about the size of a medium sized piece of luggage... hmmm

      kinda like what this guy did in his awesome setup... Well, at least the box idea...

      With this idea it would be self contained either powered by mains while inside a house or powered by the built in inverter while on the road... The isolated built in battery would get charged by the vehicle when running and prevent it from rebooting when starting the truck (probably?).. Could probably store the keyboard, remote and speakers inside the box for transport (lol)... Would probably require a wheeler!! One thing, it would be funny watching some guy trying to run down the street with it... LOL

      Take Care,


      • #4
        the extra battery thingy you are discussing is a tank circuit, make sure you build it right with a diode and everything.

        And don't run that inverter off the cig plug, find a good way of good quick disconnect to the battery
        [H]4 Life
        My next generation Front End is right on schedule.
        It will be done sometime in the next generation.
        I'm a lesbian too.
        I am for hire!


        • #5
          14 or 15" LCD too big? Am I hoping for too much?

          This project has taken over my life and I haven't even started it yet!! I know I want a big LCD monitor, but what is the reality of it? Am I hoping for too much by wanting to use a desktop LCD? I've worked out a couple different ideas for non-permanent mounting in front of the dash board off to the passenger side somewhat. Maybe I should bite the bullet and just get a standard (non touchscreen) 7" VGA Xenarc or something... But I want BIG and bigger is cheaper for some reason!

          On the other side of the spectrum, I've come a full 360 on the subject of the motherboard.. The more I think about it, the more I think I'll NEED to use a mini-itx for this project (m10000). So there goes the budget! LOL

          I cant stop thinking about this project!! HELP ME!!

          Ah well...

          Take Care,


          • #6
            You can get a 15" for about $150 or so. Take the $ you save from that (over the 7") and get a Nforce(of course the itx would be great too). This should have everything built in. Iv'e seen them around $48-$60 on the hotdeal sites. I'm told they have good sound. And if it doesn't have integrated video get a 90 degree adapter. you could build a case that holds everything in about 6" of depth. As for speakers, check these out:
            Go to:
            get 2x part# 299-495 (@$1268 each) &
            2x part# 264-822 (@$15.12 each) &
            2x part# 260-174 (@$7.80 each)
            Cheap and will sound good put a tweeter/midbass on aech side of the monitor, you could probably find a cheap set of two way speakers for less though. just get the cheapest car amp you can find to power them it should sound alright ( a better amp would be better, but I don't know your budget). You could get one of those brackets made for mounting home surround speakers and make a stand that sits on the transmission tunnel. Later you could make an 8" sub box to use for the stand (0.25 ft 3 would be nice and small)) I would just get a opus dc-dc, you could probably still plug that into the lighter. Pioneer slot dvd would be nice coming out of the top($50 or a little less). Thats all my ideas for now.


            • #7
              just found THIS amp, small but cheap ($10). and it would work find for what your using it for.



              • #8
                I have a desktop LCD in my set up zero problems. Keep in mind that an inverters draw is only as much as the load (+ whatever is lost in the conversion). You MAY get away with the cig socket, but I wouldn't do it anyway. One idea for quick disconnect is the plug used for trolling motors on nicer boats. Those plugs must have a decent capacity. Just something to think about.
                2002 Golf TDI With Phatbox . Blue 87 Supra Needs to go, Grey 89 Targa with stock Radio.


                • #9
                  Suprapc, do you have any pics of your install? Does anyone else have any pics of systems with desktop LCD's being used? I need some mounting ideas...

                  I guess every different LCD monitor will have to be installed differently depending on how the case of the monitor is designed..

                  How much does the average LCD monitor weigh? and what about power consumption?

                  I've come to a road block in my plan... My budget for this project has bottomed out and I have very little funds to pursue it but I want it badly so I've come up with a solution. I'm going to convert my current desktop PC into my project carpc that way I'll only have to buy a LCD monitor and power inverter and a couple other odds and ends and at the end of the day I'll rip it out of the company 1/2 tonne and take it home and use it there...

                  My current pc is a Athlon XP at 1.5 GHz with 649 mb sdram, radeon 9000 pro and about 100 gigs of storage. The motherboard is a ECS K7S5A ATX system.

                  Does anyone see a problem with my idea?

                  Till later...



                  • #10
                    Just curious.. Does putting a computer in a car shorten it's life span any? Would it be wise to use my only computer for this project? -TiTUS