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First Car PC Questions - Pretty Long Post Sorry :D [56k death]

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  • First Car PC Questions - Pretty Long Post Sorry :D [56k death]

    Hello People,

    This is my first time for everything (posting, carpc, custom pc etc). And i have some questions and thoughts to run across you kind people. Ok first i am a total noob at stuff like this, im not a car guy so i dont know how cars work. Im not a BIG computer guy so i don't know about programming or circuit stuff. I work at Heweltt Packard where i assemble pc's, but this is my first pc that i put together from the case/ground up with my money. Which is kinda twist since im using an mini-itx board and case. OK first ill tell you what i have and what im thinking about putting in my car (setup and everything).

    I currently have....

    Case: DreamStar Mini-itx/flex type ck1010 120watt (will be in trunk.)
    info: Dream Star CK - 1010

    MotherBoard: Via Epia - V Mini-ITX (no s-video)
    (currently considering upgrading to epia-m processor and new motherboard but im short on cash currently this mother board is 800mhz which is all i need but has only usb 1.1 and a small pci card slot and may not work for what i want to use it for.) Info and Pics for Motherboard (go to download section and and bottom for hi-res pics of motherboard.)

    Drive 1: Philips CD-r/rw 32x 8x 4x (in case)

    Memory (Ram): 256mb pc133 Sdram (1)


    What im going to get ...

    Harddrive (HDD): 40GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 8 Hard Drive 3.5in

    Drive 2: (yes a second drive, i plan on installing the drive in the dash to the front of my car so i can easily play cd/dvd's if needed to). Panasonic Slotload Slimline Combo CDRW/DVD Info: Info and Pics (of course ill have ot buy the slimline CD to Desktop IDE Adapter, and an usb to ide cable adapter [if i can find one that works, suggestions?] and long usb cable to run it to front of car, most likely through hub.)

    Power Inverter: Im thinking of one that would range around 300 watts which should be ok. (will be running neons and fans also possibly).

    Monitor/Screen: XENARC 700TS 7in TFT touch screen VGA (most expensive thing thing so far). Im not really sure how im going to mount it. I was thinking about mounting it where my arm rest would be (its so small) and have it flip out but removable. Some one on the forums here mentioned a cup holder mount for PDA's that i could use so i may do that since my cup holders slide in and out of the dash. I want the screen and computer removable for security reasons and to work as an alternate computer if i go some place where i need a computer (I.E friends house,school,library and such).

    Amp: Audiobahn 2-Channel 100-Watt Amplifier Info and Pics. At first i was thinking about using an fm tuner we sell at Walgreens (i also work there) that plugs right into the headphone jack of pc but i already have an fm tuner for my 10 disc mp3, cd changer and it sucks (walmart had it on So i heard people saying wiring it through amp is best and i plan on getting one for a sub i also plan on putting in the car so it kinda fit. But im lazy so i don't know.

    Software: Media Engine, GPS program, and maybe voice control program.

    Camera (USB): This is for when i back up/ and security purposes not to mention cool factor.

    Other Stuff...

    GPS USB -for navagation
    Data Cable -for T616 mobile internet (don't know about this yet)
    Water Resistant Foldable Keyboard - Pics and Info (just an idea has anybody every tried putting an rolling keyboard so it can tuck away under/or into the dash when not in use? just an idea).
    Mini Mouse -
    Wireless Network USB - So i can upload/download info/media from my main home computer to the one in my car without actually doing anything.


    Ok there is what i want to do with my car computer. Here are the problems i will see in the future...since my mother board is only usb 1.1 finding a pci card to fit my case to turn it to usb 2.0 will be crazy hard,unless i just deal with everything going super slow. I know i might have some power issues since my power supply is only 120 watts, and i want to install two drives (one on case and second in dash). I really need to two drives also because the one in my dash of my car will not be removed. The one in the case will have to be there so when i remove the computer ill have an way to install/burn/view things. The mounting of the screen/monitor may be a problem but its not bothering me that much because if all else fails ill just mount it (excuse the expression) "ghetto" and shove it some where. I heard about the problems with the USB to IDE adapter so it may give me some troubles. I just wanted to know if my idea can happen. Is it possible or worth it? Im trying to stay cheap but functional.

    The Car (forgot)

    Hyundai Elantra 1998 GLS
    Info: Its my first car (told ya its my first everything!) and its kinda cheap so after watching to many hours of "Pimp My Ride" on MTV and glorifing The Fast and the Furious and Need For Speed: Underground. I decided to work on my car. The only problem is i dont know anything about cars. I dont want my car to be all fast and nitro kitted (whats the point if you can only legally drive 70mph?) So i was gonna get a bodykit and trick out the outside (im also and artist) with custom paint or decals that i can draw. But that seemed way to expensive and gawdy. So i decided ill just trick out the inside so that my passengers would feel cool about riding in an hyundai. I wanted to put Neons in inside and trunk...and ambient lighting through out the car. My car computer would be just a nice touch, but i dont want to kill my dash and radio installing the screen even thought it would look cool but hyundais dont have great space to work with specially since i have an airbag and in case of an accident i dont want my 7in screen exploding into my face with the airbag. The only real customization of the dash im putting in is the switches...Installing switches for car pc, amplifier, inverter, lights, and maybe a neat killswitch that cuts off everything for emergancies. I would also like to create an custom skin for my software interface and incorporate custom sounds with windows startup (and program start up maybe?). I want the program to start up with an womans voice (my cars name is Holli its bad luck not to name your car).

    Here are pics of what my car make/model look like (This is NOT my car just this is the only site that shows interior and exterior of my car). Everything looks the same except for that his dash has an cd player and bigger radio system. Mine is an am/fm cassette (which donest work right now).

    Pics: Interior and Exterior Hyundai Elantra

    The color of my car is Magenta Red and the interior color are the same as in the pics you guys know of an good color to accient the car interior? (for the neons) AND NO BLUE! [eveything is always blue im tired of seeing blue].


    P.S. Ill be posting more pics when i get/take them off my car and computer.

  • #2
    i bought one of those 'indestructable' keyboards.

    mini version pretty cool but it takes getting used to typing on it and you have to have it on a flat surface or buttons will push themselves.
    2001 Acura CL traded for a 2006 Subaru Legacy GT
    7" Lilliput Touchscreen
    512 DDRsodimm
    60g SATA Laptop HD
    4x Apple DVDslot
    digimoto OBDii
    mS GPS
    mini BT keyboard
    relocated HU faceplate


    • #3
      Thats cool, cuz im only gonna use it when i really have to since im getting a touchscreen monitor, also i was wondering how long does the screen itself (touchscreeen and nontouch) last? i heard people here having at least 3 car computers, so is it worth paying 300-400$ for a screen for a limited time or do they last for a long time?


      • #4
        they last as long as they plan on...

        instead of taking out the "2nd" drive just pop up a WiFi or just a basic wireless network and transfer crap over like that...

        and where the hell are you questions???
        Originally posted by menudude
        thank you all for your help minus the useless post by sjlucky...


        • #5
          Originally posted by SjLucky
          they last as long as they plan on...

          instead of taking out the "2nd" drive just pop up a WiFi or just a basic wireless network and transfer crap over like that...

          and where the hell are you questions???

          I think what he means by "2nd drive" is the DVD slot load drive.

          And that will only work if the computer is within 18"or les (preferably less) of the drive. If I understand you correctly, You want to mount the DVD drive in the front dash area, and the computer somewhere else. is that correct? Just make sure you can conect them fairly easily.


          • #6
            All sounds OK, apart from the case/inverter.

            You really don't want to be using an Inverter for power, for many reasons.

            As that case contains a small-footprint standard AC power supply, it will be difficult to put a DC-DC power supply in, which is what you want. I suggest one of two options:

            1) Get a case with a Morex 55W power supply in it, and get the Carnetix CNX-P1260 power supply, or

            2) Get an Opus power supply.

            If you're using desktop hard drives, then I suggest the Opus, as the power output is greater, and the desktop drives will really suck the power

            Good choice on the Xenarc screen, in my experience it is much better than the Lilliput

            Co-Developer of A.I.M.E.E


            • #7
              Confused, seems like I'm following you around today.


              Go look at my setup. Lots of install pics. DVD in dash with touch screen. PC in the back. A lot of what you are talking about I have done and documented with the pics.

              My pc starts up with Teri. She has an english accent, Auburn hair, etc.... Wife was a little worried at first, but she got over it..... It is from a voice recognition program call Ultra Hal Assistant. Can be used for general conversation (yes that sounds weird, but when the computer asks you questions like "Do you smoke after sex?" it definately lightens up the long rides when you don't want to listen to the radio / mp3's). It can also be used for things like controlling parallel board relays to open doors, windows, etc..., for dictating documents / email in Word or Outlook. Can also open and close programs and windows when set up right. People look forward to getting in the car and listening to the conversations. If I ask Teri what the weather is like, she automatically opens IE to the Weather Channel and show me the forcast. Same thing with news except she opens It's a cool little program, but with all voice recognition software, you have to take the time to train it so that it understands the tone and influctions of the way you pronounce words.

              [email protected]


              • #8
                Ok i've been away for a bit...(difficult times in my life)...and now im back on my project.

                The plan is to have it done before spring (yes that means building it in the winter time.)

                Ok i changed it around a bit (not much)...everyone says i should use the opus power supply...but i dont know if i can afford it...or even wait for it to ship (i heard it takes forever). So is an power inverter REALLY that bad? Also...i wanted to know about the backup battery packs that you can buy at stores. like this, how long do they last? how often do i have to recharge? On and OFF switch or standby? Just wondering about that...I want to know where people are buying a slot fed dvd/crw drive? or maybe just a slot fed dvd-rom drive? Also I think i figured out a way to RIG my computer to use usb 2.0, how fast are the speeds for a dvd/cd-rw external using usb? if i use my carputer in the trunk with one sub will this effect my computer in any way? so far thats the only place i learned i can install it. Oh and should i buy an headunit (new) or can i use the headunit (factory) i already have to hook the amp to, in order to run my carputer through the speakers...thanks!


                • #9
                  got car!! haha

                  honda civics rule the streets i have one and so do mazda's in the streets of toronto. but i wonta trade my car in but i have no idea of what i should get i was thinking of geting a subaru impreza or a volswagin jetta i can aford it but its just im not shure if ill like it and i dont no what other cars i should consider if you have any idas of what car i should get right some thing cuzz i need to no what car is cheap and fast and looks sexy but i hate pick ups (****Y *** CARS ) ok if you no what other car i should get right me now right me so i can make a choise fast ................................... what car should i get ?????


                  • #10
                    1 - Check the dates, man. The last activity in this thread was nearly two years ago!!!!

                    2 - If you're not going to contribute to the conversation of a thread, start your own.

                    3 - Please make use of some capitalization, punctuation and grammar. Your single run-on sentence is difficult to read.
                    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                    How about the Wiki?

                    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.