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Where do i start???

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  • Where do i start???

    I'm wanting to build an in-car mp3player using old computer parts. Can anyone direct me to an in-depth step-by-step set of instructions on what i need and how to build/install/maintain it?


  • #2
    There really are no indepth step by step instructions because everbodies install is different. The best advice anyof us here can give you is to read. Read ALOT, there is lots of info here for you but you just have to give it time. Welcome to the community!
    2003 Subaru Impreza TS
    Staus: Done.. too lazy to make pictures lol.


    • #3
      thanx - have you - or anyone else, got any diagrams how to build the actual unit?


      • #4
        There are a few diagrams out. Look for guilliano's thread about his WRX. Most people build custom plexi cases or just throw it all in the space behind the dash. Depending on your level of ability with computers and how comfortable you are with doing this you may or may not want to put the computer behind the dash and op to go with a computer in the trunk, which is in no way a bad option.
        2003 Subaru Impreza TS
        Staus: Done.. too lazy to make pictures lol.


        • #5

          I'm guessing here, so bear with me. Since you said you wanted to build out of old PC parts, I'm assuming that you don't want to spend much money. If that's the case, here's some tips:

          First off: you need a working PC. Yup, the whole bloody thing. The only parts that aren't going in the car are the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and surge strip. The easiest/least expensive method for putting a PC in a car is to take a normal PC in it's normal PC case and bolt that sucker down in your trunk.

          Second you've got to figure out how you're going to power it. I STRONGLY recommend buying an Opus Solutions power supply (the 150 watt version). That's gonna cost you about $200. It can be done cheaper, but you won't be happy with how it works. Suffice to say that the Opus power supply solves all the common power problems involved in putting a PC that normally goes in your living room into an automobile.

          Next you've got to figure out how you're getting the sound out of the PC and into your car stereo. The cheapest way is simply running a patch cable from the speaker jack on your PC to the AUX in's on your car stereo. If your car stereo doesn't have AUX in's then you're gonna have to spend some money. Buying an FM modulator is inexpensive, but the sound quality sucks. From there you're looking at some more expensive options, like a new head unit (with AUX in's) for your car. There's a million other options, but I'm trying to keep it simple.

          Next you've got to figure out how you're gonna control the PC while driving. Most people here are using an LCD panel for a display, and applying a touch screen kit to it. That way your finger acts like the mouse - right there on the screen. That's gonna cost you a few bucks ($300+), and is potentially the most expensive part of the whole carPC (they can cost a lot more than $300 depending on what you get). Be careful when looking at screens. Most are not VGA. Most are just NTSC/PAL (that's a TV screen to you and me). So the PC's resolution will look crappy on an NTSC/PAL screen. The NTSC/PAL screens are much cheaper than the VGA screens, though.

          Another option is no screen at all - if you only plan to do MP3's that's do-able. You just buy one of those USB keypads (made for laptops) and program the keys to do the normal MP3 player functions, like pause, play, etc. This is a real cheap solution, since you can get a keypad for about $8.

          After that, everything else is gravy. You can add DVD playback, GPS navigation, CDRW, OBDII engine management, games, wireless internet, exterior cameras... ...the sky's the limit. Of course, it's all controlled by your wallet.

          Good luck, and I hope this helps. The best advice was given above. Read these forums. There's a lot of knowledge in here.

          So far:
          M10000 Nehemiah, 1Gb RAM, Opus 90w PS, Buffalo Tech WLI2-USB2-G54, 160 Gb HDD, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS, iGuidance, Zippy EL-610, Panasonic CW8123B Slim Slot CDRW/DVD, 10" Lilliput, Sony XA-300, Sony CDX-MP30 Head, OBD-II