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  • Car PC gives edless possibilities!

    I have a Ford Galaxy with a double-DIN looking headunit. It seems the perfect fit for a built-in 7" screen, but then I will not have a "normal" car stereo any more, so the best solution for me would probably be a 7" touch screen in an in-dash housing line this one: http://www.digitalww.com/DWW-7VGT.htm. Then I need to replace the current head unit with one being only 1 DIN size with AUX input for connecting the car PC.

    The PC itself I plan to build in a custom made case made to fit in a the trunk in an existing "pocket" above the rear right wheel. It must also be possible to remove the car PC and use it in my living room also (see functional req. below for explanation) I'm thinking about using an EPIA MS (brand new) main board without any external slots on-board and use only the necessary cables to and from the connectors on the main board ( http://www.via.com.tw/en/Digital%20L...617EPIA_MS.jsp and here
    http://www.viaembedded.com/product/e...herboardId=281). I have considered the brand new EPIA nanoITX board, but it does not seem to be available in shop anywhere yet and I wonder if the board will be capable of running heavier apps or if the performance is too poor...(http://www.viaembedded.com/product/e...herboardId=221)...any thoughts?

    Using the EPIS MS miniITX with it's 1 GHz fanless processor, 1 GB RAM, large 200-300 GB hard disk, a slim-line slot-in DVD player/CD burner and this power supply: http://www.mini-box.com/pw-80.htm I hope this will be a good starting point. Then I will use a USB based GPS , a USB based sound card (if necessary?) and a USB 2.0 based card reader. In addition I will use a USB based TV card with stereo FM radio (http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/pages/pro...a_pvrusb2.html) to be able to watch TV or listen to radio on the PC (this is mainly a nice-to-have thing :-) and a USB based wireless network for connecting to my home network for downloading MP3s and movies to the harddisk + software updates and internet access.

    For powering the PC at home I'm thinking about this http://store.mini-box.com/ituner/ac12v5aswpoa.html or this: http://store.yahoo.com/ituner/ac12v9aswpoa.html.

    As I say: There are endless possibilities with a car PC and I'm happy to receive suggestions for additional usage!

    But having 3 small kids, time may be a huge constraint for the build process...and possibly put limitations on the purchase process :-)

    So I may end up being only a guy with ideas and no real show-case :-)
    Attached Files

    Plans + status:
    + Ford Galaxy 2001
    + 7" GAIN (Xenarc) screen
    + 2,5" 40 GB Samsung drive
    + slot-load DVD/CDRW
    + USB WiFi
    - mainboard (Epia SP?)
    - housing (home made?)
    - power supply (Opus 90W/150W)
    - USB GPS + USB card-reader

  • #2
    Some nice plans you got there! Would like to see that install when it comes off the drawingboard and into your car

    Think you've covered pretty much of it. But there is something, how are you going to turn on your CarPC? And how are you going to regulate the voltage? On mini-box they say that the pw80 this already does "11v-30v IN" but I can't quite find if the input should be constant (car environments are pretty harsh on electronics and produce nothing near a constant voltage). Anyway the ITPS module should do both. More info on the mini-box site.

    The alternative for the pw80 + ITPS is off course an OPUS. Endlessly discussed on this forum. So if you do a you'll find plenty.

    I myself have a EPIA M10000 + pw70a + ITPS, even got the same power supply for indoor use. Works like a charm.

    PS: Don't you hate it when you run out of USB connectors on your mobo
    Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?

    Currently : Audi A6 - no install

    Second install : VW Passat '97 CarPC
    First install : '87 Audi 80 CarPC

    Comment


    • #3
      I second the recommendation to look at OPUS or the minibox power supply and an ITPS.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting what companies call their vehicles in different countries. A friend of mine in HS had a Ford Galaxie 500, but it sure wasn't any minivan. It was a convertible beast! Man, would that thing fly! We would "wind surf" on it. (climb out on the hood and stand with one foot on the hood and one on the windshield going down the road around 70 mph) We were really bored and stupid.

        It looked like the red one here
        www.bradleyjacobs.com

        There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. -- Frank Zappa

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess Smukkasen opted for this version, because he would rather not see his kids surfing on the hood of his car
          Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?

          Currently : Audi A6 - no install

          Second install : VW Passat '97 CarPC
          First install : '87 Audi 80 CarPC

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by proTONEd
            I myself have a EPIA M10000 + pw70a + ITPS, even got the same power supply for indoor use. Works like a charm.

            PS: Don't you hate it when you run out of USB connectors on your mobo
            Thanks for the comments! I know about the voltage problem - haven't decided how to go on solving that yet. You say you use the same power suply indoor - I guess that means you have a 230V to 12V thing in addition? Do you have any info about that, since this sounds like a great solution!? It would be the simplest thing to not have to have 2 different external power supplies...

            Plans + status:
            + Ford Galaxy 2001
            + 7" GAIN (Xenarc) screen
            + 2,5" 40 GB Samsung drive
            + slot-load DVD/CDRW
            + USB WiFi
            - mainboard (Epia SP?)
            - housing (home made?)
            - power supply (Opus 90W/150W)
            - USB GPS + USB card-reader

            Comment


            • #7
              Pictures to explain building plans in my Galaxy

              Just a few pictures manipulated to show what my building possibilities are. Here is a picture of the dash board of the Galaxy and a manipulated picture of the same showing 2 possible solutions to the 7" screen placement with and without a head unit.

              (Sorry 'bout the picture quality - had to do a lot of cut&paste from small pictures around the Internet...)

              For the children in the rear seats I would love to buy this: http://www.xenarc.com/product/700yr.html (this screen is bigger, but with a bad resolution...: http://www.xenarc.com/product/800VR.html), but it may cost too much adding this to the cost of the PC and touch screen...

              (Because of wanting the possibility to view movies on the rear screen(s), I will duplicate the VGA output from the PC as the simple solution. Being able to connect also a Playstation, I would buy a splitter device with several inputs and one output.)

              BTW: The comments about running out of USB connectors - can't you just use a USB hub :-)
              Attached Files

              Plans + status:
              + Ford Galaxy 2001
              + 7" GAIN (Xenarc) screen
              + 2,5" 40 GB Samsung drive
              + slot-load DVD/CDRW
              + USB WiFi
              - mainboard (Epia SP?)
              - housing (home made?)
              - power supply (Opus 90W/150W)
              - USB GPS + USB card-reader

              Comment


              • #8
                Btw did you fix your power problem?

                Anyways cause in my car, I bought a Normal 12v Inverter you plug on the batterie and it gives you a 120v power source.. just need to be careful on how much Watts, you need in your car.. In mine i use a 300W power inverter, got a laptop and couple other things hooked on to it.. Now a PC, might take a bit more Juice!

                Look at my sig (mp3_car project) if you wanna read more!

                ciaos
                LiFe'S A BiTcH
                BuT yOu MuSt sTiLl LiVe WiTh iT

                Blazarius Alias Mp3_Car

                www.clubneonquebec.com

                Mp3-Car Project Mods! New Paint and Pics!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blazarius
                  Btw did you fix your power problem?
                  ciaos
                  Sorry, is only in the planning stages - I'm the planning kind of guy who needs to know everything about what is the best solution and which equipment is the best etc. etc. In addition car PC building is VERY new in Norway - almost no expertise and no shops anywhere to get the equipment. Having said that, you probably understand that ordering all of the equipment abroad (USA/UK) means that warranty issues apply and the freight cost is considerable. Also, the Norwegian government add 24% tax on all imported items...

                  Well, back to planning - I have to read up on the forum to find out the best possible solution (and cheapest :-).

                  See ya!

                  Plans + status:
                  + Ford Galaxy 2001
                  + 7" GAIN (Xenarc) screen
                  + 2,5" 40 GB Samsung drive
                  + slot-load DVD/CDRW
                  + USB WiFi
                  - mainboard (Epia SP?)
                  - housing (home made?)
                  - power supply (Opus 90W/150W)
                  - USB GPS + USB card-reader

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I find that the prices in the UK are quite expensive for carpc parts.

                    That is why I had to purchase in bulk. I still have some stuff I havent sold out yet to recover my investment. Lemme know if you are looking for something specific.
                    New Lilliput EBY701 For Sale http://www.nusantech.com/index.asp?c...at=TOUCHSCREEN
                    SiRF3 Bluetooth GPS http://www.nusantech.com/index.asp?cat=GPS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know if a desktop hard drive will run from the pw-80.
                      Renault Megane...the OEM look

                      The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I know that a desktop hard drive is a bit more fragile than a laptops one!

                        So if your able to use a laptops hard drive for the hole thing! Its your best option!!!
                        LiFe'S A BiTcH
                        BuT yOu MuSt sTiLl LiVe WiTh iT

                        Blazarius Alias Mp3_Car

                        www.clubneonquebec.com

                        Mp3-Car Project Mods! New Paint and Pics!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Smukkasen
                          For the children in the rear seats I would love to buy this: http://www.xenarc.com/product/700yr.html (this screen is bigger, but with a bad resolution...: http://www.xenarc.com/product/800VR.html), but it may cost too much adding this to the cost of the PC and touch screen...

                          (Because of wanting the possibility to view movies on the rear screen(s), I will duplicate the VGA output from the PC as the simple solution. Being able to connect also a Playstation, I would buy a splitter device with several inputs and one output.)
                          Excellent choice on the new Xenarc 700YR, I myself am looking at the 700TR (touchscreen model of the same design). Both screens should be released for sale at www.xenarcdirect.com in mid-july.

                          I am unfamiliar with the motherboard you are looking at. I am using an AGP graphics card with DVI and TV-out. If your motherboard has an additional video output (either S-VIDEO or COMPOSITE), I would suggest that you purchase the 800VR, as your children will not appreciate the clarity and increased resolution of a VGA screen.

                          If you search the boards here, most people who use composite LCD screens have no problems with clarity in full-screen video and games, but only complain about small text (in programs such as navigation, word processing, etc.) If you are really looking to save some money, I would strongly suggest you place a composite drop down screen in the rear for the kids, such as the 800VR. Additionally, other companies make drop-down composite screens, so you really have the option to comparison shop for the best deal....for example ( http://www.cardomain.com/shoplist~b~...d+LCD+Monitors )

                          Oh, and PS, what is that compartment above your existing head unit, below the analog clock?
                          '03 Acura TL PC FINISHED!!
                          MP3CAR

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smukkasen
                            I guess that means you have a 230V to 12V thing in addition? Do you have any info about that, since this sounds like a great solution!? It would be the simplest thing to not have to have 2 different external power supplies...
                            Sorry for kind of a slow response, but doing night shift this week and didn't really have the time to check in.

                            I have put my pw70a and my ITPS in my case. Actually it's not a case, it used to be a housing of some kind of batterycharger -NO MORE- I've got my ITPS directly hooked up to the pw70a.

                            When I use my pc in the car I've got the wires coming from the ITPS hooked up like discribed in the manual. For indoor use i just take the "ignition ON" and "unswitched 12V +" together on "+" side of the connector to the 230v power supply. So when you plug in your 230v power supply after a few seconds your pc will turn on.

                            It works perfectly for me.
                            Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?

                            Currently : Audi A6 - no install

                            Second install : VW Passat '97 CarPC
                            First install : '87 Audi 80 CarPC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cris
                              I don't know if a desktop hard drive will run from the pw-80.
                              Here is a link to a page on the mini-box.com website. Here you can calculate how much power you need for certain system configurations.

                              http://www.mini-box.com/powersimulator.html
                              Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?

                              Currently : Audi A6 - no install

                              Second install : VW Passat '97 CarPC
                              First install : '87 Audi 80 CarPC

                              Comment

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