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98 Mustang Laptop Carputer install set to begin

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  • 98 Mustang Laptop Carputer install set to begin

    Hey all. I am new to this forum, new to car PCs, but not new to audio or computers in general. I have been doing a lot of reading lately and are about ready to start my first project. I want to install a MTS12000 VGA montior in one of the two DIN slots in the dash. I would like to have my laptop mounted to the back of the rear passanger seat. This would allow me access inside the car, if need be, as the seats fold down. I have funding for the project, but would like to learn a little more before I begin the installation process. I am assuming I will need to run a VGA and USB to the monitor, audio to the Mach 460 through the amps in the trunk.

    The system will be used primarily for Mp3s, DVD, and TV, but most likely wireless internet and GPS in the future. I have done a lot of reading throughout the forums. I have also searched for info on Mustang-specific models.

    What is the easiest way to get the DC power to the laptop? Is there anything else I am missing? What are the benefits and downfalls of having a laptop based setup as opposed to a desktop, besides cost. I am most concerned about portability and ease of use. All help is appreciated.


  • #2
    Unsure about your monitor choice! Is it touchscreen capable? How much does it cost?
    I also use a laptop to power my system, and it is a good choice. Why not mount it in the trunk however? As far as DC power goes there is only one way to go in my opinion. Using a DC to DC converter. I went with an I-GO 7500. It plugs into a cigarette lighter, and will convert 12V dc to whatever your laptop needs. There are other similar things available on the market, but you have to get a converter that does dc to dc if you want the sound to be right. It has different tips for the different models of laptop.

    Powering on the laptop from the trunk is a little tricky. The best solution in my opinion requries a little bit of soldering skill. You solder connectors to the power button on the laptop, and connect those wires to the 56K modem points. Then string a phone wire to where you want the power button mounted. This adds a phone wire from the laptop to the power switch as well as the VGA,USB, and sound to the amps. As long as you are running wire you might consider running wire for a microphone so you can use navi-voice or if you have a bluetooth phone you could use the mic for phone control. Even if you don't use it right away at least you only have to tear your car apart once right!

    By portability I assume that you mean you can take it out of your car easily right? If you really want to take it in and out then the laptop is the best choice. PC users have the upper hand because there are power supplies that are built specifically for them that control the startup, and shutdown of the computer without having to press any buttons. This can be done with a laptop, but requires a lot more knowlege like the mod I talked about earlier. Laptop is cheaper if you already own the laptop.


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick reply. The MTS12000 is the new 7" Touchscreen that is on the Mp3Car Store site. Its cost is about $450. I think I would rather hardwire the power from the battery to the trunk (ie. laptop), for a cleaner look. My goal is to minimize the amount of visible wires, but to make the setup very functional. Let me know.

      MTS12000 -


      • #4
        Comp 98 .. There have been a few posts about tapping into the Mach system around the board. From what I remember it should be somewhat easy to do if you know the basics of what this involves. Starting in 01 Ford made it next to impossible to use the mach system for anything. I drive a 01 myself so I know that I am pretty much screwed for hooking up to it.

        As for installing your computer to the back of the rear seats .. It is a good idea and I was going to attempt that myself , just be sure you leave enough slack in those cords to be able to still drop your seat when you want to work on it.