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What are the basic supplies needed for a complete car PC?

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  • What are the basic supplies needed for a complete car PC?

    Halllllllo everyone, first post. I've been looking at carputers for about a week now and I decided after a few days that I too want a carputer like many of you drivers out there. I have no experience in making my own PC or audio installations. I don't know what to do to install a car PC into my car, but I do know that a main PC system and a monitor (preferably in-dash/lcd) is needed, but thats about all I know. I have an 04 Accord Coupe and about $425 to spend...

    Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks for the time to read this.
    Thanks. Okay. Bye.

  • #2
    I am mainly going to use the Car PC for Mp3 and Navigation.. does navigation require to purchase one of those GPS receivers?
    Thanks. Okay. Bye.


    • #3
      I'm sure there are some more experienced people here who can fill you in on all the details regarding what is necessary to run a computer from your car. I'm still in the early stages of my first job.

      I can answer the navigation question for you: yes you need to buy a GPS receiver to find the satelites (sp?).

      Progress Bar
      <|---------> 5%

      [See my Worklog] (project on hold...)



      • #4
        thanx, what gps receiver is good, or at least decent?
        Thanks. Okay. Bye.


        • #5
          if you are new to audio installations and PC's you have a lot of research ahead of you before attempting something like this, i browsed the forums for a couple of months before i went ahead, and that is with a decent knowledge of computers and car stereo installations. $425 isnt enough add up all the prices for youself, power supply, motherboard, RAM, (CPU if you dont buy a via epia mini) HDD, cdrom/dvd, LCD, GPS dongle, then you have to work out which approach you are taking to play the music through your speakers.
          Signature: [==||========] 20% complete


          • #6
            if you already have a few of the major parts then 425 is enough to at least get you started.

            but from scratch, no.
            you will need at least a grand.

            i was lucky and i almost had everything needed to build my setup. all i needed was a screen and wires. i had a laptop and powersupply etc.

            do a lot of research. just plan everything out carefully.


            • #7
              well... i already have my own sound system installed.. also a stronger car battery put in.. does that help in any way?
              Thanks. Okay. Bye.


              • #8
                yes it does.

                you need at least a screen and a cpu to get started.


                • #9
                  okay, ill get back to this thread after i buy an lcd screen + thin cpu that fits under my seat.
                  Thanks. Okay. Bye.


                  • #10
                    Maybe you could look into some palm solutions or so.
                    But if you are planning on taking this seriously, you will probably need a bigger budget. Unless you already have a lot of computerparts laying around.

                    So if you are going to take it seriously, plan the whole build and do a lot of reading first. Otherwise you might regret having made some purchases. And eventually the project will cost you even more.

                    for a basic install you need:

                    Power source:
                    - special DC-DC power solutions for in the car (most power efficient)
                    like an OPUS, Carnetix or PW + ITPS combo

                    - or power inverter + regular PSU

                    You will need a complete PC.
                    Best would be if it is low-power (easier on your battery)
                    This is one of the main reasons why a lot of people on this forum use VIA EPIA mobo.


                    Keyboards and mouse are no good in a car, so you'll need something else, one of these things:
                    - touchpad
                    - touchscreen
                    - keypad
                    - remote
                    - ...



                    Audio setup
                    - you can hook up your PC straight to an AMP

                    - or you can hook it up to your HU
                    - directly via an AUX on your HU
                    - if you have no AUX, you can use a FM modulator

                    So if you add it all up, you'll be over that $425 very quickly.
                    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


                    • #11
                      yup money wll fly out of your walet while your on the project, youll be buying lil bits you never of thought you would buy just to get soething looking/ working right. Good fun though
                      CarPC status: iPod, 3,456,217 songs so **** you


                      • #12
                        ok so here is my input ( i am a student and am always after doing things on the cheap where possible, this has caused me to learn skills that i didnt previously have)

                        the truth be told you could build an entire computer system up for under £30 without problems ( including a crt monitor) if you stick to old parts and less fassionable brands if you stick to 'off the shelf parts' and dont go micro like a lot of people on here suggest

                        what you have to look at is what is your MAIN priority is it keeping the price down, keeping small or indeed having many gadgets?

                        i have an mp3 playing system that works ( boots within 1min) and plays mp3s happily it runs of all standard pc parts that cost me a total of £15 in fact it boots xp! admitadly it doesnt have a screen but i have a tft screen that i have lying arround ( so if i ever get the urge it is there)

                        ok, ok so i have to have mains to run it ( not ideal) but it cost me a LOT less than ppl here look at!!!

                        tho it is bigger than a number that you see ( has a simple but effective home made case)

                        if u r looking at quality/size go with fancy psu's and stuff but b4 you do look into cheap or free parts ( a good place to start is a local university, they throw out all sorts of stuff usually!!!)

                        hope i have been of some use

                        amd k6-2 450
                        64 meg ram
                        5 gig hdd
                        all in an old bit of metal
                        all for under £20

                        and now a 500watt inverter for £20
                        thats £40 in total
                        not too bad for a noob


                        • #13
                          podcake, are you using a laptop or you put pc parts in a case, if so, what kind of case you're using and what p/s?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jimbuh10
                            Halllllllo everyone, first post. I've been looking at carputers for about a week now and I decided after a few days that I too want a carputer like many of you drivers out there. I have no experience in making my own PC or audio installations.
                            Well, the first thing I would do is try to learn as much as possible about a desktop system. If you do not know how to do any thing to the internals of a computer, you need to learn. A good way to learn is to go to a local small time computer shop and ask them if you can work for free, tell them you know nothing but you want to learn, they might teach you - they might not.
                            CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
                            Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows


                            • #15
                              does it help to let you guys know that i have 3 desktop PC's,(2 of them 1.7 GHZ 512 RAM) that I don't use, will that save me money? They're mid-tower sized cases though and they wont fit under my accord seats.
                              Thanks. Okay. Bye.