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  • 05 Camry want computer

    Hey,.. new to the site, very interested in getting a computer in the car to be able to run Microsoft Streets and Trips, and iTunes, WMP, and maybe even some emulators.....

    I have a 2005 Toyota Camry, I currently have a Panasonic cq-vd6505u double din stereo/dvdPlayer blah blah

    I can put in two inputs, I currently have a PS2 in there and I really want to put a computer in there


    I want to put a computer and make it connect with those composite/(red,yellow,white) cables . Is that going to work out ok?

    I see cables that are VGA to that one yellow cable(composite)


    here's my CarDomain http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2751201

  • #2
    hooking up a computer to a composite monitor will look like crap. videos might look ok, but the small text of a computer will be unreadable.

    if you want to install a carputer, then you should replace that [composite-input] DVD head unit with a VGA monitor.
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    • #3
      is there any possible way to make the images look OK, any weird type of "antiblurr" converter ? lol

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      • #4
        images will look ok, it's the text that will look awful. no, there is no "antiblurr converter"... its the low resolution of the screen that makes it bad, no software can fix that.

        it will probably be ok for watching videos, gaming, and GPS*, but anything that requires reading small text will be unusable on it. for example, in wmp you would not be able to read the playlist.

        *for GPS it would work ok for good programs like iGuidance [carPC/UMPC version] which use big buttons and big text (optimized for small screens and touchscreen use), but M$ streets&trips will be useless as it's not optimized for smaller screens, you would be able to see the map but wouldn't be able to read anything on it.

        also, the touchscreen on that monitor cannot be hooked up to the computer so you would have to use a separate mouse/trackball/etc. bottom line is... if you want to install a carputer then ditch the composite monitor.

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        • #5
          yea.. i guess I can get another screen and put it below my stereo... and just connect the sound or whatnot.... i know its probably annoying, but is there ANYTHING like making the font on the computer HUGE or anything like that that can be done ?

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          • #6
            Hello paisa3o5,

            I'm a newbie like you, and although I don't have the same issues, I can relate some of my experiences, that might help you in making decisions.

            But first, I need to remind you to really take some time to carefully read and search the forums. There's tons of experience here. It's worth it!

            Even with your desktop pc, you can "personalize" the screen font styles and types from the desktop (right click) to increase size and contrast for better viewing. In ontrol Panel, access "Appearance and Personalization."

            I have a Lilliput 629 7" touchscreen in my car, purchased from mp3car store ($245). I set the fonts and screen as above (screen res 600x800). It looks really nice. I also adjusted the monitor brightness and contrast to my tastes. Even with my eyesight, it looks good.

            I fing that the goosenack mount that I have the monitor on is an advantage; when the sun wants to glare the screen too much, i adjust the tilt to optimize viewing (plus screen can be dismounted and put away, so thieves don't see it...)

            About the carpc; the output can be connected into the input of yr head unit. The pc audio output jacks look just like on yr desktop pc.

            Questions? Read, research, then ask... Welcome!

            Happy CarPC'ing!

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            • #7
              thanks a lot.... now I think what I'm going to do is... i guess, sale that headunit I have and buy a regular stereo like the single din xPlod with an AUX that I used to have and buy the Lilliput 629 7" touchscreen ...

              So I will get the sound to go to my stereo thru the AUX and make a simple VGA thing go to the Lilliput, and I will the have me a NOICE system, so I can use iTunes, GPS, WMP and all that

              and does that screen go connected thru like the cigarette thing? or wha
              (i'm so sorry If this has been answered already)
              good idea? anything I'm missing or I shouldn't do?

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              • #8
                ok, i could've sworn I just posted but it didn't show up

                Um... so I'm thinking I should sell my head unit.. and buy a regular 1 din radio like the xPlod one I used to have that has an AUX port in front.... and getting a Lilliput 7" and put it where I have the panasonic right now....

                So i'll put the sound to the AUX and the VGA from the comp. to the Lilliput..

                Is that a good idea or is there anything I'm missing or I shouldnt do? (thanks)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by paisa3o5 View Post
                  is there ANYTHING like making the font on the computer HUGE or anything like that that can be done ?
                  not really... you could make the font larger, or lower the resolution to one that is usable (if your video card supports ultra-low resolutions). the problem is if you make the text large enough to be readable without squinting, then it would take up so much screen real estate that there would be very little space left for visual/images. the problem with lowering the resolution is that you'll have to "scroll" the screen up/down/left/right just to use it (everything can't fit on the visible section at a time).

                  if you have a laptop computer (or you have access to one from a friend/family/work/etc), then hook that up to your monitor's composite-in and you'll see how it will look. if your home computer/laptop has composite video out then hook that up to any TV and imagine shrinking the image down to a 7" screen. would it be usable?

                  also, without a USB touchscreen you'll have to find another input method to control your carputer. can you use a mouse/trackball/touchpad safely while driving? I sure couldn't, for me a touchscreen is a necessity for a carputer.

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                  • #10
                    ok I think this is the 3rd time me posting this (i dont kno y its not posting what I'm saying) ,.. well I think what I'm going to do now is sale my head unit.. and get a stereo like the one I used to have with an AUX port, so I guess I can play my comp. thru there, and just buy one of those Lulliput touchscreen and connect it VGA and replace it where I have my head unit... also, (sorry if this has been answered).. So does the screen get connected thru a ciggarete socket or something like that...?. ... and should I just use one of those Power converter things to connect the computer (cigarete socket to outlet) ? thnaks

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paisa3o5 View Post
                      ok I think this is the 3rd time me posting this (i dont kno y its not posting what I'm saying)
                      you're still a new member, so all your posts have to be approved by a moderator first before they will show up in the foirum. I'm not sure if the restriction gets lifted automatically after a certain number of posts, or if a moderator has to manually lift the restriction from your account. you may want to PM a mod and ask about it.

                      Originally posted by paisa3o5 View Post
                      well I think what I'm going to do now is sale my head unit.. and get a stereo like the one I used to have with an AUX port, so I guess I can play my comp. thru there, and just buy one of those Lulliput touchscreen and connect it VGA and replace it where I have my head unit...
                      good idea

                      just an FYI, while I personally prefer to keep a head unit, it is not necessary. many carPC users hook their carPCs directly to an amplifier and control all audio functions through software. I don't like this method because I don't always need my carPC on, but many people want their carPC to do everything. if you think you'd rather control everything through the carPC then you should consider an amplifier instead of a head unit. If you are like me and would like to keep the head unit for audio control, where the computer is more of a novelty then a necessity then stick to your plan and get a new head unit with aux-in.

                      Originally posted by paisa3o5 View Post
                      (sorry if this has been answered).. So does the screen get connected thru a ciggarete socket or something like that...?. ... and should I just use one of those Power converter things to connect the computer (cigarete socket to outlet) ? thnaks
                      yes it has been answered... many times before... the MP3car.com FAQ section will answer 90% of the carPC questions you may have.

                      the short answer is; you can power your lilliput monitor from any 12v source. In my setup I use the cig lighter cable hardwired to the back of the car's cig lighter socket. many people power theirs off the PC's power supply or run a dedicated (fused) line from the battery.

                      as for the computer itself, the short answer is; no, you shouldn't use a power inverter. (if you already have one sitting around that is powerful enough to run a computer, then you can use it, but it's not a good solution). generally, you should always use a DC-DC power supply in a permanently installed carPC setup.

                      the type and model you will need will depend on what you're using as your carputer, what features you want, and how much money you're willing to spend. the power supply FAQs explain it very well.

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                      • #12
                        thanks a lot for your reply man,.. really helping me out... really I pretty much only plan on spending money on the screen and the head unit , o and the DCDC thing (which I really have no idea what it is so far) ... (i can get the computer elsewhere for free),.., I'm not the MOST electrical oriented person... so Im not sure what this DC DC thing does

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                        • #13
                          well, your house electricity is AC, your car electricity is DC. all computers run on DC...

                          in a desktop PC, the power supply is an AC > DC converter which changes your house's AC to your computer's required DC. there is a lot of electricity lost as heat during the conversion process. most home PSUs are around 75%-85% efficient, meaning 15%-25% of the electricity it consumes is lost as heat.

                          the same efficiency rule applies in reverse if you use a DC > AC inverter to change your car's DC to your home PC power supply's required AC. (the PSU then has to convert it back to DC again for the computer). if you use an inverter then you're taking your car's DC and changing to AC only to have the PSU change it back to DC. the electricity has to go through a lot more steps than is necessary before it gets to the carputer. and a very significant amount of electricity is lost as heat during the two conversion/inversion processes. that heat buildup has to be removed so it doesn't damage the electronics. heat is not good, especially in a car.

                          a DC > DC PSU simply changes the voltages, it doesn't have to invert the DC > AC or convert the AC > DC, it stays DC the whole time. it has a much shorter path to take, and it doesn't waste as much electricity as heat. this is why it is a much better solution. most DC > DC PSU models do not provide a lot of power but is sufficient for low-power systems common in the carPC world, if you plan on running a power hungry desktop PC in the car then you may have an issue getting enough current to it.

                          also, many DC > DC PSU/regulator models that are built for carPC use feature a startup/shutdown controller to turn the carPC on and off with the car's ignition (if you want that feature)
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                          • #14
                            o maan.. u just sent me back a whole lot... I see what your saying about the power thing now.... but I actually was planning on putting a desktop computer in there..

                            so am I screwed now?

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                            • #15
                              don't know... as I said earlier it depends on what you'll be using as your carputer. simply saying it's a desktop does not give any information about it's power draw.

                              check out this PSU FAQ. it will show you how to calculate your power needs.
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