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  • Extreme Newbie !

    I've done a little searching around, and decided to put a computer into my next car. Since I know so little about what I'm getting into, its hard to get good search results.

    This is what I want my carputer to do:

    -Play MP3's from a hard drive
    -Play video files from a hard drive
    -act as a GPS

    So far, I'm pretty sure I need this:

    -Computer (going to use a 500mHz P3 with 128MB of ram w/ CD drive for software install, USB ports for monitor, file transfer, GPS)
    -Power supply (DC to AC)
    -GPS antenna/reciever (good enough ? http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...&category=4668 )
    -Touch screen (good enough ? http://mp3car.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=33 ) (plan on using touch for the mouse, and OS onboard keyboard if needed)
    -GPS, MP3 software, operating system

    Do I need:

    - a sound car that will give RCA outputs so I can run them through a normal car audio amp and speakers
    - anything else ?!?!

    Thanks for the help, I'll continue searching.

  • #2
    well the your computer uses DC so you will be needing a DC-DC power supply, unless you mean an inverter, I use one but most guys on the board will tell you to go with a DC-DC supply which usually costs over $100 as opposed to a $30 Wal-Mart Special.

    I'm sure youre aware that the audio jack on the back of your computer is a 3.5mm headphone jack, all you need is an adapter (wire) that has a headphone plug on one end and RCA's on the other (Radio Shack, Fry's, even Wal-Mart, Etc.

    If you really want this thing to be useful as a gps and be able to read the words without going lo-res and extra large fonts then you should get a VGA screen, and don't go cheap and hold off on the touch screen, that one component makes the system worth having for me. I used a remote, keyboard, and mouse before, I still use them if needed but the touchscreen makes everything much simpler not to mention safer.

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    • #3
      can someone tell me about VGA screens as opposed to the one i posted i was thinkin about using ?

      also, most importantly, i don't want my in dash screen to look like a common windows desktop with toolbar, start menu, etc. i'd like 2 choices, MP3 or GPS ... press which one you want, and go to that function, all full screen to look cleaner. is this possible ?

      Originally posted by StangBoyCIC
      well the your computer uses DC so you will be needing a DC-DC power supply, unless you mean an inverter, I use one but most guys on the board will tell you to go with a DC-DC supply which usually costs over $100 as opposed to a $30 Wal-Mart Special.
      doesn't my computer run off AC power from the house ? and my car produce DC power from the battery ?

      Originally posted by StangBoyCIC
      I'm sure youre aware that the audio jack on the back of your computer is a 3.5mm headphone jack, all you need is an adapter (wire) that has a headphone plug on one end and RCA's on the other (Radio Shack, Fry's, even Wal-Mart, Etc.
      yeah, but i think my onboard sound card on the computer i'm going to use only has 2 channels of output



      Thanks for the help man !

      ok, sorry for posting so much

      but now i've figured out my "Full Screen" dilemma. from what i understand there's a program (media car ???) that you can alter the skins on to link you to your WinAmp and GPS, etc. I suppose I need this program too ?

      Originally posted by Kupop
      Since cars also run on DC, it doesn't make much sence to turn the DC power from the car's battery and alternator into AC by use of power inverter, and then have the PC plug in like normal; only to have it conver this AC power back to DC, which it was originally.
      I didn't know this about computers - that sure wouldn't make sense !

      I don't plan on having a separate HU in the car.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dj_Twin_turbo
        doesn't my computer run off AC power from the house ? and my car produce DC power from the battery ?
        Computers run on DC, houses are wired in AC, the powersupply inside the computer (where the power wire from the wall/surge protector plugs into) converts this AC current to DC.

        Since cars also run on DC, it doesn't make much sence to turn the DC power from the car's battery and alternator into AC by use of power inverter, and then have the PC plug in like normal; only to have it conver this AC power back to DC, which it was originally.

        Originally posted by dj_Twin_turbo
        yeah, but i think my onboard sound card on the computer i'm going to use only has 2 channels of output
        Happen to have any pictures? Most motherboards and cheaper soundcards only have the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, along with 2 others but the headphone jack is the line out that you would use. RadioShack and any other company like this sells adapters that plug into a headphone jack, then have your 2 RCA (red and white circular) connectors on it. Which then would go to the amplifiers in the car.

        If you will still have a headunit in the car, if it has an AUX inpoint I believe (not 100% sure) that you could just run a straight headphone style wire from the PC to this input and no need to convert to RCA.

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        • #5
          well... now i've figured out that through the skin, you actually just use WinAmp or whatever, is this right ? I figured out how to download Mediacar skins... but where can i buy the program ?

          also Kupop, like i said, i think my cheap soundcard is only running 2 channels, by that i meant just the headphone jack

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          • #6
            It seems that converting from DC-AC-DC, although less efficient, is cheaper, and that's probably why I'll go that way for the time being - are there any major disadvantages to doing this ?

            I've decided to use this screen when I have the money to purchase it, anyone have opinions on it ? http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MESSE%3AIT&rd=1

            I've resolved the RCA out problem (easy), but am still looking for answers on the Medicar program, anyone care to help ? I appreciate all the time invested into my questions that probably seem primative.

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            • #7
              Media car is avaliable fome coyote's site http://www.media-car.fr.st/

              all of the details about media car are avaliable in the media car formum in the software section of these boards.

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              • #8
                thanks man

                like i said, its tough to search and get good results when youre not sure what youre looking for. i appreciate the help.

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