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  • Hey everybody...

    Hey guys, new here(obviously)...

    Was wondering if anyone can see a problem with this planned setup I have, and if so, any recommendations yall might have?

    - ECS GeForce6100SM-M motherboard, it has the geforce 6100s chipset and uses an AM2 cpu
    - AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (combo deal with the motherboard)
    - Seagate Barracuda 400GB sata2 hard drive(3.5" desktop drive, see notes below)
    - Panasonic laptop DVD/CDRW slot load drive(will be custom mounted below screen)
    - OPUS 250W/320W power supply
    - 1GB (2x512, dual channel) Corsair memory
    - Lilliput 8" touchscreen
    - Silverstone front panel card reader/USB/Firewire/Audio ports(also will be custom mounted)
    - Creative Labs X-Fi fatal1ty sound card(for better sound and added features)

    if needed: (see reasoning below)
    - DC-AC power inverter
    - secondary standard ATX power supply

    I wont be using a case, and the components wont be anywhere NEAR a magnet. To explain the setup better, a little more explination of what its going in...

    I'll be molding the screen into the dash, with status led's for power, hard drive, dvd, and the IR remote eye for the sound card mounted above the screen

    I have an 04 neon, and the inside of the dash, like every other car out there, had a large metal support core inside of it. I will be bolting a metal plate to this for mounting all of the components to(that require it). The motherboard, hard drive cage, and power supply will be attached to this metal plate with shock/vibration dampers that you can find over at McMaster-Carr...6 for the motherboard, 4 for teh hard drive cage, and 4 for the power supply. The inside of a neon dash, behind the radio, has about 2ft x 2ft of space after you remove some of the unneeded plastic. I'm going to leave the stock HVAC controls in their stock location, but the radio and lower defroster/cig lighter panel will be removed and I will mold the 8" screen into the panel there.

    The vibration dampers will also isolate the grounds for the system since they're rubber...wont have to worry about the car's electrical system causing problems for the system.

    If all of the devices planned will pull more than the OPUS can power...here's the plan i've divised. Using a relay on one of the OPUS's 12V lines. The relay would turn on the 2nd power supply and that would be used for power devices as well.

    The DVD drive willbe molded into the lower panel near the floor. There's a stock 5disc changer in this location, so i know there's going to be MORE than plenty of room for the drive down there.

    The sound card wont be mounted on the motherboard itself, but mounted to the main plate and i'll use a 7cm PCI extender cable so that the card cant be shaken loose. The sound card also has a remote with volume controls, among several others... The eye for the remote is on the front panel that comes with it. I'll be removing the eye from the front panel, and mounting it right above the screen.

    Everything will be in short distance of the motherboard, so cable lengths wont be an issue, and since there will be no magnets, i also wont have to worry about noise or data loss due to that.

    That's about everything i can think of at the moment...I will be adding GPS down the road, and other enhancements as well of course...

    The whole setup should cost no more than say $700, and will have more than enough power and capacity to last a while.

    Ok... Suggestions, Comments, Questions?

    Thanks! Matt
    Planning: [|||||||||-] 90%
    Purchased: [|||||||||/] 99%
    Installation: [|||||||||-] 90% (when is anyone's project ever REALLY done...)

  • #2
    power inverters can't survive the car starting, so when you stop to get gas, you'll have to shut down the computer... boot times can be a ******, so you'll want to minimize this... I would avoid the power hungy desktop system and build a true car system from one of the lower wattage motherboards... why would you need an AM2 processor?? I am perfectly happy with my 1.3GHz 30watt VIA SP13000 board... I have a tiny dc to dc power supply... additionally you'll have to hit a power button to boot your system, you don't have any way to control your startup/shutdown - which is an additional feature of all the DC to DC power supplies... if you add the expense of the DC to AC box and the power supply you'll far exceed the cost of a true DC to DC setup.

    you don't mention what you are doing for audio, you don't have a gps, all the cost and trouble of the second power supply is strictly due to your choice of motherboard/processor... if you need to keep a short budget, then look in the used forums on this message board...
    EPIA SP13000, 512 DDR400, Seagate 300GB, Belkin PCI 802.11g w/external antenna, Holux GM-210 GPS, XM Direct w/ serial, Dlink FM, Opus 120 p\s, Rockford P4004 amp, Xenarc 7" VGA touchscreen custom mounted in double din spot -- see pics and write up here!!

    Comment


    • #3
      also, you'll probably want to ditch the LEDs, they will irritate you beyond belief... if you do run with them you'll need to dim them down as much as possible, cause at night they'll seem like flashlights...
      EPIA SP13000, 512 DDR400, Seagate 300GB, Belkin PCI 802.11g w/external antenna, Holux GM-210 GPS, XM Direct w/ serial, Dlink FM, Opus 120 p\s, Rockford P4004 amp, Xenarc 7" VGA touchscreen custom mounted in double din spot -- see pics and write up here!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Why the AM2? Probably because the motherboard/cpu combo is only like $70...also, it's only a 62W processor. I will look into something that uses less power, but i make no guarantees...

        The secondary may not even be necessary...and i wouldn't have to have a power button to startup/shutdown the computer since the OPUS will control a relay which will switch on the 2nd power supply.....in other words...when teh opus kicks on, so will the other one.....

        And who says i really have to us an AC-DC inverter and AC power supply...whats stopping me from using 2 DC-DC power supply's and doing them side by side...the opus for the cpu, motherboard and hard drive, the 2nd unnamed dc-dc for the dvd, sound card, etc...(yeah i just thought of this as i was typing this reply...)

        I have access to many kinds of led's ranging from superflux and luxeon led's, to very very dim led's like on older AT computer cases...they wont be overbearing at night, trust me

        little confused what you meant by i didnt mention what i'm doing about audio... i know i listed the X-Fi in the post, and explained how/where itll be mounted....unless you're reffering to actual speakers and such, in which case, I'm a dealer for a couple car audio names that you probably havnt heard of.....great stuff though.....i've got speakers and subs well taken care of for this...

        as for any other question of why i'de do such a setup....i like to be differant......it may not be as efficient, or cost effective...but its differant
        Planning: [|||||||||-] 90%
        Purchased: [|||||||||/] 99%
        Installation: [|||||||||-] 90% (when is anyone's project ever REALLY done...)

        Comment


        • #5
          62watt processor!! my whole motherboard is less than 30watts, you'll spend 5 watts per fan and you'll need plenty... I mentioned the ac inverter cause it was on your list, I missed the Opus... the Opus will cost more than your motherboard...

          I mentioned sound cause you have no amps or head units listed, aux input, etc... basically just pointing out some big holes in the design...

          I also said to skip the LEDs, cause they'd be annoying and in the day the dim ones would be useless and at night the bright ones would be overbearing... at most you could have a power light, but in truth the screen will be up and runnind and that is all the status you need... :-) my Mac has NO leds on it (at home)...

          keep in mind that this is a LOT of work, it is not just a simple buy it, put it together and it works... you will be spending MANY hours tweaking, testing, swearing... by going with the "different" route you are guaranteeing to see new issues and you will be hard pressed to find solutions from other users... the vast majority of people are using the low power, 1 to 1.3GHz setups. The Via boards handle GPS, video, mp3s with ease - so going with a dual core 100watt motherboard will just be a bit of an uphill struggle.

          I have been through many iterations of my setup and believe me - simple is best. Wifi is just frustrating - skip it, bluetooth phone - seems cool - end product is crappy... the list goes on.
          EPIA SP13000, 512 DDR400, Seagate 300GB, Belkin PCI 802.11g w/external antenna, Holux GM-210 GPS, XM Direct w/ serial, Dlink FM, Opus 120 p\s, Rockford P4004 amp, Xenarc 7" VGA touchscreen custom mounted in double din spot -- see pics and write up here!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sxtnitehawk View Post
            Why the AM2? Probably because the motherboard/cpu combo is only like $70...also, it's only a 62W processor. I will look into something that uses less power, but i make no guarantees...
            yeah - why a 62 watt processor? That's entirely overkill for a CarPC.

            And who says i really have to us an AC-DC inverter and AC power supply...whats stopping me from using 2 DC-DC power supply's and doing them side by side...the opus for the cpu, motherboard and hard drive, the 2nd unnamed dc-dc for the dvd, sound card, etc...(yeah i just thought of this as i was typing this reply...)
            Have you researched this yet? Before you start dreaming about pies in the sky I'd research this before thinking you're just going to do it.

            I have access to many kinds of led's ranging from superflux and luxeon led's, to very very dim led's like on older AT computer cases...they wont be overbearing at night, trust me
            I know about the different LEDs avaliable and I don't trust you...but this is one of those things where you're just going to have to figure it out on your own.

            little confused what you meant by i didnt mention what i'm doing about audio... i know i listed the X-Fi in the post, and explained how/where itll be mounted....unless you're reffering to actual speakers and such, in which case, I'm a dealer for a couple car audio names that you probably havnt heard of.....great stuff though.....i've got speakers and subs well taken care of for this...
            He's probably referring to how you're actually going to make the CONNECTIONS. How are you going to connect the computer to the audio system? Have you researched that yet?

            as for any other question of why i'de do such a setup....i like to be differant......it may not be as efficient, or cost effective...but its differant
            We're all putting PCs in our cars because we want to be different. I wanted to be different and prove that PCs could and would sound just as good as a HU....and I did that....see, I did it because I wanted to be different. However, there's a difference between being different from everyone else just for the sake of being different and then being different in a smart way. Loading your car down with an extreme PC isn't exactly smart as there are a TON of issues that arise from this.
            Jan Bennett
            FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

            Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

            Comment


            • #7
              ok...so dont trust me then.

              I know how to use relays, and i more than understand how ATX power supplies work...piggy-backing 2 together is a cake walk...

              i've done some projects with car audio products and PC power supplies...like using a PS to power an old alpine headunit i have down in my game room for audio, and led lights, and an electronic crossover...just gotta know how to play with things

              i manufacture led lights btw...i'm sure i have the knowledge of how to make an led bearable at night nothing a rotary switch and resistors cant fit
              Planning: [|||||||||-] 90%
              Purchased: [|||||||||/] 99%
              Installation: [|||||||||-] 90% (when is anyone's project ever REALLY done...)

              Comment


              • #8
                wow, I forsee a lot of extra work for you sxt... keep in mind that you are already in for a lot of work to get a pc stable in your ride, out points are valid and I only have about $2500 invested in my car computer... as compared to redgti, he probably has $20,000 all told over the years... (note his 11,000 posts, my 500 and your 5...)

                you are getting some GREAT advice in this thread, you can choose not to follow it, but remember we are trying to say "i recommend" instead of "i told ya so"...

                the leds have been done to death, if you want a hard drive activity light flashing in your face, then by all means go for it... out point is it just isn't necessary, start with the system, get the audio straight... get the interface straight... get it stable, get it to boot quick... there will be many more important things in getting this to be a quality system before you will truly find time to put all the glitzy leds in.
                EPIA SP13000, 512 DDR400, Seagate 300GB, Belkin PCI 802.11g w/external antenna, Holux GM-210 GPS, XM Direct w/ serial, Dlink FM, Opus 120 p\s, Rockford P4004 amp, Xenarc 7" VGA touchscreen custom mounted in double din spot -- see pics and write up here!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  you know red is a woman right?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    actually, now that you say it, I remember that from a few years back realizing that... funny... burble, burble...
                    EPIA SP13000, 512 DDR400, Seagate 300GB, Belkin PCI 802.11g w/external antenna, Holux GM-210 GPS, XM Direct w/ serial, Dlink FM, Opus 120 p\s, Rockford P4004 amp, Xenarc 7" VGA touchscreen custom mounted in double din spot -- see pics and write up here!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      post count doesnt indicate technical, mechanical, or electrical experience... try not to use that as a basis on judging if someone is compitent or patient enough to take on such a task... we all started with 0 posts afterall.

                      i dont know everything about car computers, there will be things i will have to learn i'm sure...but i'm a very fast learner and i can quickly find my own solutions.

                      i respect your suggestions and they are duly noted...both of you. I did not realise at first that the original idea would consume that much power...so i'm looking at itx solutions instead...if i dont find something to my liking, then i will still go with a microatx base and adjust the needed components from there. If extra power is needed, I'll make it.

                      As it is, i'm not going to ditch the wifi because i'de much rather just download music from my in house server...than to burn it to a CD/DVD or copy to a thumb drive...i'm not a poor man, i can afford the gas for my car to idle for a few minutes. I'm definatly going to do GPS since I like to take road trips and i HATE paper maps...that and mapquest is wrong 9 time out of 10, for me at least lol.

                      I'll be using the X-Fi card since its all around better than anything onboard you can get. That will be hooked up to the amps in my car by rca cables and phono to rca y cables...there's rca's and cables out there that are made with twisted pairs, so I'll be using those to make sure I dont pick up any noise. I currently have a 1/0 power wire running from my battery back to the trunk...overkill for sure, but I also have my RCA's close to it.....they pick up no noise what so ever.

                      I'm no stranger to "over-the-top" work when it comes to my car. I have no problem with the idea of totally ripping stuff apart just to customize it the way I see fit.....that is afterall why we're all doing this, isnt it?

                      I'm going to start peicing everything together soon here, probably starting this week. first thing i'm going to do is get the motherboard and processor. I'll spend whatever it takes to get what I want and make it work. I'll test everything here before it ever see's installation in my car, just to make sure I've got everything setup the way I want it, including the software, peripherals, hardware, even the little extras like the Fusion Brain.

                      It's going to take a lot of work, but I'm going to see what I can do to turn my manual AC/heater setup into an automatic system including fan speed using temperature dependent differences, thats easily accomplished(assuming the software for the brain allows for such a setup), vent selection, hot/cool mixer, and outside vent selection(fresh air or recirculate)...I'll likely need a brain for that alone. I'll research the brain and how it works better after I order it. If it's a possible setup, I'll make it happen. Going to be interesting none the less since the vents and temp are cable controlled and the outside vent is vacuum controlled(can anyone say servo?)...but we'll see.

                      I've also decided that I AM going to ditch the use of a startup/shutdown controller...nothing better than a password protected starter kill. If this means the Opus is out, then oh well. Sure I know that if the computer crashes I'll be screwed...but that's what a back door is for. I've been looking for a way to make my car more secure, be it electrical or mechanical, and so far, a few things I can definatly think of is no handles, no key locks, and no ignition cylinder, and the use of at least 1 code or password protection... I'll have a Fusion Brain set aside just for all of those functions which I will inevitably replace and/or remove from the car.

                      I'm all about going the extra mile to get what I want, the way I want it
                      Planning: [|||||||||-] 90%
                      Purchased: [|||||||||/] 99%
                      Installation: [|||||||||-] 90% (when is anyone's project ever REALLY done...)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As has been said before, most of what you want to do is wholly impractical, but that's not really the point, is it? I have to admit myself, that part of me is jealous about this - I'd love to have a car with so much integrated technology, for the "wow" factor. No locks, no handles, no ignition - this is the sort of stuff my 1980s childhood promised me and I never got, so if you can do it, go for it; you'll get a big thumbs up from me!

                        I just hope the donor vehicle isn't your daily driver
                        http://sticksout.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes actually, it is. Installing a hidden back door is pretty easy to making sure that even if something fails, you can still start your car like a pull cable for door popper, hidden switch for starter, etc...

                          Sure, it would be an inconvinience to use those backdoors in the event of a failure, but they'de only be meant as temporary controls until the computer could be brought back up. Plus like i said, nothing will go in the car before its been fully tested first, and I wont remove the most important part of the car(ignition cylinder) without fully testing out the system IN CAR first for at least 1 month...
                          Planning: [|||||||||-] 90%
                          Purchased: [|||||||||/] 99%
                          Installation: [|||||||||-] 90% (when is anyone's project ever REALLY done...)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Heh - make sure you have EVERYTHING you need and a long weekend to get it installed then. Im on here instead of in my garage all for the sake of a ring terminal, which I can't buy on a Sunday...
                            http://sticksout.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              as far as the controls/functions I plan on putting into the computer:

                              ACC(1 relay controlled by PSU)
                              Ignition(1 relay controled by PSU)
                              Start(1 relay control by brain)
                              Door Locks(2 outputs lock/unlock)
                              Door Poppers(7 outputs...4 doors, front pop, rear pop, all pop)
                              Windows up/down (neons are cursed with power front, manual rear.....this will have to be changed)(12 outputs...4 doors up/down, front only up/down, rear only up/down)
                              Trunk Release(1)
                              Audio on/off(use power supply to turn on relay...no need for the brain here)
                              AC on/off(total 8 outputs here, 4 ac fan speeds, 4 non ac fan speeds)
                              GPS
                              WiFi
                              FM Tuner

                              there's more, but i have to run...i'll post up more later
                              Planning: [|||||||||-] 90%
                              Purchased: [|||||||||/] 99%
                              Installation: [|||||||||-] 90% (when is anyone's project ever REALLY done...)

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