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  • Planning my first Carpc - will appreciate any suggestions and help

    Greetings all,


    I am planning to build my first car PC for my Camry 2009 and would appreciate any help or suggestions.



    1. I already have :



    I already have a small PC of size 6.7 inch x 1.6 inch x 7.3 inch with AMD G series Qualcore 1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM , 500 GB SSD, one display port and one DVI-I port, 4 x USB 2.0 2x USB 3.0. It takes 19 V DC input and is running windows 8 64bit. The cold boot up time is around 20 sec.




    2. What all the other components would I need to go with it?



    I would need a display: preferably 7 inch capacitive with multi-touch, please recommend.
    +USB GPS

    If possible, please help me list down all the components I will need and also if possible approx price.


    3. Where to buy the components? I am also looking for a store, where I can go and verify if the product will work for me before buying, and can also get it fixed from the store. I am in bay area and best location for the store would be with in Union City/Fremont/Milpitas/ San Jose / Santa Clara / Sunnyvale and or other close by areas.


    4. Where to get the setup done? Could you please recommend me a place where I can get everything fit in the car professionally? Again I have a Camry 2009.


    Any other suggestion or comments are welcome.



    Thanks a lot for your help!
    pkaush

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum! For starters you will need to power that computer this is my recommendation http://store.mp3car.com/Carnetix_CNX..._p/pwr-010.htm if you get the 5v adapter you will be covered for a powered hub as well as 12v for your monitor. GPS you could go the standard route and get the bu-353-s4 also available at the store (I have this model and the older bu-353) but my recommendation is a development board from sure electronics , it has external antenna and works excellent. here is the link http://www.sureelectronics.net/goods.php?id=99 AM/FM/HD radio go with either the directed hd or visteon they are the same unit and get the usb cable by mitch on the store to control the radio from your computer in one of the frontends. Monitor I would go with the high brightness 5 wire resistive liliput http://store.mp3car.com/Lilliput_669..._p/mon-123.htm The 5 wire makes a big difference. You should be able to order the monitor in a bezel to fit your car already send an email to the store with your request I am sure they will help. All these products are already proven in this forum so no need to verify in store as I really don't think you will find a store selling these parts. Front end software of choice to put it all together would be Driveline, it is very stable and works with most popular hardware on this forum/recommendations. You might also want to get a OBD2 dongle to read info from your vehicle. Don't scrimp on this one and get the scantool MX it is bluetooth and is fast also works perfect in Driveline. Hope this helps and are only my personal recommendations. Good luck and make a worklog so we can follow your progress! SNO

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks SNOtwistR for your response!

      For touchscreen, I am more inclined towards capacitive, and after reading some of the reviews on this forum, I think people liked using it.

      I know few folks have already started using windows 8 on there Carpc, do you guys see any problem because of the lower resolution. Windows 8 metro apps have a minimum resolution requirement.

      What would be the best navigation software for windows 8, given Garmin has pulled out the support for PC. (or should I think about dual boot it with android)?

      Even if I buy all the components online, I might still need help to set it all up in my car. And I am not sure if I go to a car workshop, where people haven't done it before would be able to do it right. Could someone from bay area please suggest me a car workshop, where you (or someone you know) got the car pc setup done and liked the work. The areas closer to me are Union City/Fremont/Milpitas/ San Jose / Santa Clara / Sunnyvale.

      What would be the preferred place to set up the PC - should I try to get it in car boot, or car glove box, or may be inside dashboard, any recommendations ?

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        i ran my monitor @ 1024X768 after I installed Windows 8, the resolution looked OK but the thing that bothered me is that you can't go out of the Metro without a keyboard or a mouse.

        For navigation probably Garmin is still the best, yes they pulled out of the PC version but newer maps are still compatible AFAIK.

        I prefer the boot for installing the PC.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Alawadhi for your suggestions and please pardon the delay!

          I totally agree with having the PC in the boot would look nice, but how about the length of the wires to the dash, could there be a signal drop or other similar issues. I think the HDMI signals can travel through a long cable, but would DVI work in the same manner. Has anyone faced a problem because of the long length of cable.

          Also, what about the power button. I could set my PC to start while starting the car, but how about if I have shut it down for some reason and want to start it again while driving. I have five buttons on my steering wheel I guess I could use one of them to start the PC. Has anyone tried this or something similar?

          And what about the power connections, do we connect the entire setup to battery or only use it when the engine is started - the PC I have takes 15 Watt and Display 8 Watt.

          Alawadhi – In your response – “you can't go out of the Metro without a keyboard or a mouse” – Do you mean that the desktop icon on the Metro start menu doesn’t work, or do you mean we cannot swipe the metro app out of the display.

          Hi SNO – In your response –“ if you get the 5v adapter you will be covered for a powered hub as well as 12v for your monitor” – what adaptor were you talking about?

          I am soon planning to begin building my CarPc and would appreciate if someone could point out a good car mechanic or workshop, who could set it up in Car. I am not yet comfortable in fixing stuff in the car, and yeah I know I need to learn that. SO please if anyone has got his carpc setup done in a workshop or through a mechanic in bay area, please recommend.

          Appreciate your help!

          Comment


          • #6
            There is a 5v adapter for that carnetix power supply I pointed you to in my post http://store.mp3car.com/Carnetix_CNX..._p/pwr-016.htm using that carnetix power supply you would get 19v and 12v for monitor and this little addon card gives you 5v all from the 1 unit. SNO

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks again SNO - this looks like a addon and I could power my USB hub with this.

              Yesterday I went through a lot of information on this forum and now I have a better understanding of what I need. Thanks to everyone on this forum for such a valuable info.

              I still have some question:

              It looks like I should not use the power from stereo harness and should get the power directly from battery. Please suggest if it would be ok to use power from the harness.

              The Camry armrest compartment looks like a nice place to setup my PC, but I didn't find a way to get the wires in there. Has anyone used the armrest compartment for carpc? Is there a better way of wiring then drilling holes in it?

              Please forgive me for my stupid questions and Thanks again!

              Comment


              • #8
                I would recommend at least running 10 gauge wire from battery to your power supply positive and negative, maybe use the ignition on wire in your harness for the ignition turn on to the power supply. You most likely will have to drill some holes in that compartment for wires and also think about cooling. If you are worried about destroying that compartment, phone around to wreaking yards and pick up a spare. Hope this helps SNO

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pkaush View Post
                  Thanks Alawadhi for your suggestions and please pardon the delay!

                  I totally agree with having the PC in the boot would look nice, but how about the length of the wires to the dash, could there be a signal drop or other similar issues. I think the HDMI signals can travel through a long cable, but would DVI work in the same manner. Has anyone faced a problem because of the long length of cable.
                  HDMI will be fine for the length of your car. I can't speak for DVI, though.

                  Also, what about the power button. I could set my PC to start while starting the car, but how about if I have shut it down for some reason and want to start it again while driving. I have five buttons on my steering wheel I guess I could use one of them to start the PC. Has anyone tried this or something similar?
                  It's pretty simple to wire a "valet switch" inline with the remote signal line. If you want to power the PC off manually, you can use that power button.
                  Also, you can use the Windows SHUTDOWN.EXE command to shut down or restart from within Windoze.


                  And what about the power connections, do we connect the entire setup to battery or only use it when the engine is started - the PC I have takes 15 Watt and Display 8 Watt.
                  The PSU has the capability to allow ignition to trigger bootup. That's the best scenario.
                  Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                  How about the Wiki?



                  Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks SNO & DP!

                    The main reason I am think about armrest compartment, over setting it up in the trunk, is because of
                    1. Length of the wires (will everything work fine if the length of wires is around 10 feet (including all the devices connected on USB hub))
                    2. The PC I have doesn't have ACPI pins to auto power on.

                    I think for reason 2, soldering the wires to power switch could do the trick. Should I keep the P1900 close to PC or to Display?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just to add here, I've successfully ran DVI signals over 30 feet. Just make sure to buy a high quality cable. HDMI and DVI are very similar in terms of length limit and signal type.
                      Tidder

                      Try RevFE
                      The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


                      I Wish I could ban people

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Tidder, that solves it.

                        I checked few worklogs and found many people are using USB hub in dash with PC installed in trunk, so I guess USB would also work. But still if anyone has faced a problem with extending USB or IGN or power or any other cables in between dash and trunk, please point out.

                        For valet switch, would it be possible to use steering wheel control switch, or should I install an on/off switch. Also would it make sense to have a switch between Battery and PSU (Carnetix P1900), this could be the ultimate cutoff switch.

                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I almost missed it. Another Camry CarPC. Yay!!!

                          First up, Welcome!!

                          Let’s see, where to begin:

                          1. Your PC specs are great!
                          2. (And #3) @SNOtwistR was spot on about the recommendations for accessories, especially the regulator, GPS dongle, and display. MP3Car is the best bet to get your main items. For all other small stuff (wiring, electrical knick-knacks and what not) a Radio Shack, a hobby store, and/or auto store are some places to check out.
                          3. Okay, there is another product(s) I recommend: this OR that. If you plan to put the Lilliput display on yourself, "that" is your best bet. If you want “the easy way out,” give "this" a try.
                          4. For the most part, these CarPCs are generally do-it-yourself (DIY); so that means you may have to get down and dirty in disassembling car parts to get the result you want. Not familiar with the west coast, so I can’t help you there. But I can tell you that most places will sell you the idea of using a 7” tablet in place of a PC, and overcharge you IMO so you can end up taking that route. If you end up finding a spot that will do it, that’s awesome. But if not, don’t be afraid to take a risk; you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor.
                          5. I’ve been using Garmin Mobile PC for years. I have other apps that could do the job. But GMPC is the one I currently trust. And I’m on a Mac.
                          6. CarPC setup – I never heard of the car boot before (show me where that’s at!), so I cannot recommend there. You can do the armrest for the computer; that’s something I initially considered with my mac mini. The only issue is how your PC will get proper ventilation, and moreover, how will it connect to the regulator. Once you get past ventilation, you’re good. I recommend removing the armrest itself (get past the carpeting, there are two (2) bolts holding it in place), and seeing if you would drill holes through the side that goes to the shift column. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then I’m not sure where else to go.
                          Where you put the regulator will also determine where everything else goes. One possible location is that compartment underneath your display where the DC output and aux port would normally be. If you have no plans for this area, start there. If you look at my worklog, you notice that I finally placed my mac mini in the trunk area. The reason I ended up putting the PC in the trunk was because the secondary battery that powers the PC, and the regulator, are also located in the trunk. The only long cables I have are 2 15ft USB cables, a 15ft HDMI cable (heavily shielded) connected to the display, and 2 wires from the mac to the power button that turns it on. No flaws whatsoever exist with this setup. As a matter of fact, the only problem I seem to have is with the display itself; but the remedy cannot be that far away.
                          7. Ooh! Using the buttons on the steering wheel as the power button – I’m mad I didn’t think of that! If you find the right wiring, then it is very possible. Keep us posted on this!
                          For what I did, I have two (2) separate buttons on the front (where the AUX Port used to be) so the regulator, and the PC, can come on at command. There are options, so do some research before you get started!
                          8. You can use the harness for the power supply’s remote start. For actually powering the regulator, and therefore, the PC, go for direct connection to the battery.
                          9. I return to my #2: do you want to keep the stock stereo? If not, then use #2. If so, then get the external version to the 7” display. And whatever you do…
                          GET AN AMPLIFIER!!
                          Do not get anything fancy or huge; but just get one that will provide better sound to your PC.
                          10. Returning to #6, I reiterate that the long cables I have running to the front have given me no issues. So if you’re afraid of the PC being in the trunk for that reason, don’t be. It’s fair game for the P1900 either way, but to safe, I’d keep the PC close to it. You can always extend the power cable for the display. Messing with the PC power… I dunno.

                          Not sure what you’re planning to do with a PC in your car, but I’m sure you’ll be fine. As already stated, keep a worklog, and best of luck to you!!

                          Last edited by Project07MACry; 11-18-2013, 04:23 PM. Reason: grammatics!
                          All systems are a go...
                          Currently in "tweaking" mode.

                          The Worklog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Pkaush, welcome to MP3car.com!

                            I live in Fremont too! Good to hear there is another local MP3car.com member in the area. I would love to look over your car and help come up with a plan for install.

                            There is some stuff you can have a local stereo shop do, but most you have to do yourself because the shops do not know much about carPC's. I just started 1 year ago building my first carPC, and I got a new car this summer, so am working on my second carPC.

                            I built an in dash unit the first time, but went with a trunk mount this time, because there was just too much to fit in the dash, and access is hard. I have already taken mine out of the trunk 5 times to work on it, and it's real easy now. I also went with Windows 7 this time, but had Windows 8 on the last carPC. Why? Windows 8 eats up resolution, and the Metra interface is a waste of resolution, with the meat of the content in the center of the screen with pretty border colors. My screen could do the resolution, but I could not read it.

                            I went from a 7" screen to an 8" screen and from Windows 8 to Windows 7. Big improvement in accessability if you ask me. If you can do HDMI, that's the best, just choose 720p resolution.

                            Where to buy stuff? Online. There are no carPC supplies out here. Maybe a few connectors and cables, but mostly it's buy online.

                            Mechanic to help install? I could help you with your install and advice since you live close by. Some stuff can be installed by a stereo shop. I used Capital Stereo on Fremont Blvd. to install my Speakers, Backup Battery, and Amps.

                            I found out how to take everything apart in my car by joining the Camaro5.com forum, and reading the how to's for stuff like dash removal, speaker wires on which connectors, etc. You will have to find the forum for your car to find the how-to's. I also have all the plastic pry tools if you need to use them to safely get things apart, but it's surprisingly easy to take cars apart these days.

                            If your battery is in the trunk, things go even faster, but if not, you might want to get an amp installed in your trunk, and have the stereo shop run 4 AWG wire back to a fused power distribution block that you can use to power the carPC, 2 powered USB hubs (one for up front and one for the back, and audio amplifier. It will make it easy to expand with more devices later on.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think, yesterday was a great day for my Carpc :-)!! I got great advice from Project07MACry, and found a local MP3car member, Rray, who is willing to help me - yay!!

                              Thanks Project07MACry! I appreciate your time & effort and great suggestions. I went through your worklogs and I really like your display - 10.1 inch, and would definitely try to get something bigger than 7 inch (if not 10.1 ;-)). I am more inclined towards capacitive touch screen display. But I would be glad if you could give me some suggestions about where to find 10.1 touch screen display within the frame for Camry.

                              The only major thing that is blocking me from doing it myself is drilling holes. Did you have to drill through the firewall to pull wires from battery to dash/trunk? Or is there an easy way out.

                              Rray – Thanks for offering to help! I was really hoping that I would find a carpc enthusiast in bay area, and he will be able to point me to a mechanic. Well it turned out better - I would love to do it myself, given I can get my blueprints approved from you before getting to the implementation phase.

                              I haven’t yet figured out the benefits of the second battery, so I will try to find some posts on that and try to understand it.

                              I am glad, I will have help if I mess up my setup or my car.

                              Thanks Again!!
                              pkaush

                              PS: I am sure I am going to have lot more questions later - so please keep an eye on this thread :-)

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