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  • Seeking Advice from the Pros!

    With my friend (on the forums) talking about his plans for his "carputer", I find myself wanting to join the gang and have my own set-up.
    I currently have a Sony XAV-7W w/ Playstation for Media Center in my car... now I'm looking to upgrade to something a LOT more advanced.
    I'm not gonna act like a regular newbie because I've been doing my research on the side... What I want is simple, Touchscreen + Computer = Unlimited access to music/videos etc. Maybe keep my Playstation on top?
    Here's a set-up I think i could "roll" with, please give me any input:

    Computer - Iwill ZPC-GX Barebone: Acrylic case, Supports Socket 478 P-4 and DIMM, 400MHz, Up to 2.53GHz, 120W = 249.99

    Hard Drive - Fujitsu: 40GB/4200RPM/2MB/2.5" notebook size = 79.99

    Processor - Pentium 4: 2.4GHz, 1MB, 533MHz, Fan = 139.99

    Memory - Kingston: 256MB, PC2100 DDR, 266MHz = 44.99

    Optical Drive (Slim Drive- CD/RW/DVD) - Any suggestions?

    Monitor - Xenarc 700TSV Best Out There I'd understand from what I've read so far....

    As for Power Supply... I still have to research, cuz' I'm confused and I need to grasp the basic understandings... I already have a 150W Inverter in my car... But I need to know about the other units and what their purposes are... I keep seeing some "Opus 150W DC-DC", and it's pretty expensive... any alternatives?
    Any comment, please feel free to chime in.. I need to learn as much as possible before I jump into this with both feet!
    Thanks guys and girls...

    Regards!
    VER. 3.0- Check out below:
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    車コンピュータ 3.0
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Fraychild
    With my friend (on the forums) talking about his plans for his "carputer", I find myself wanting to join the gang and have my own set-up.
    I currently have a Sony XAV-7W w/ Playstation for Media Center in my car... now I'm looking to upgrade to something a LOT more advanced.
    I'm not gonna act like a regular newbie because I've been doing my research on the side... What I want is simple, Touchscreen + Computer = Unlimited access to music/videos etc. Maybe keep my Playstation on top?
    Here's a set-up I think i could "roll" with, please give me any input:

    Computer - Iwill ZPC-GX Barebone: Acrylic case, Supports Socket 478 P-4 and DIMM, 400MHz, Up to 2.53GHz, 120W = 249.99

    Hard Drive - Fujitsu: 40GB/4200RPM/2MB/2.5" notebook size = 79.99

    Processor - Pentium 4: 2.4GHz, 1MB, 533MHz, Fan = 139.99

    Memory - Kingston: 256MB, PC2100 DDR, 266MHz = 44.99

    Optical Drive (Slim Drive- CD/RW/DVD) - Any suggestions?

    Monitor - Xenarc 700TSV Best Out There I'd understand from what I've read so far.... Price? Depends on Ebay mood -

    As for Power Supply... I still have to research, cuz' I'm confused and I need to grasp the basic understandings... I already have a 150W Inverter in my car... But I need to know about the other units and what their purposes are... I keep seeing some "Opus 150W DC-DC", and it's pretty expensive... any alternatives?
    Any comment, please feel free to chime in.. I need to learn as much as possible before I jump into this with both feet!
    Thanks guys and girls...

    Regards!
    Well I'm not a Pro but IMO this seems like overkill:"Iwill ZPC-GX Barebone: Acrylic case, Supports Socket 478 P-4 and DIMM, 400MHz, Up to 2.53GHz, 120W" No need for all that. (IMO)
    The Opus 150W is a DC to DC (volts) converter, it takes the cars 9-16 volt system and regulates it to a steady or "clean" 12 volts. (which is what the computer needs)
    Yes, they're kind of high dollar, but it's the best and easiest way to power your system. Inverters work and are cheaper but are much less efficient.
    Your 150W inverter will most likely not power a system and this P-4,2.53Ghz would be alot for the Opus to handle too (if at all), but I'll let the experts answer that...
    Do yourself a favor and reduce the "size" of that MB, and use an Opus PSU.
    AtmosUSA.biz, E-Cig Mods
    "A great smoking alternative"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Fraychild
      As for Power Supply... I still have to research, cuz' I'm confused and I need to grasp the basic understandings... I already have a 150W Inverter in my car... But I need to know about the other units and what their purposes are... I keep seeing some "Opus 150W DC-DC", and it's pretty expensive... any alternatives?
      For a table of a few of the most popular alternatives for power, check this link: http://www.dellabarba.com/ibug/News.htm

      Scroll down to the post on 12/26/2004. Hope it helps and good luck!
      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
      Want to:
      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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      • #4
        The ZPC uses a 19V laptop type converter, so an Opus isn't really very useful. It will come with a 90W AC adapter which can power the PC and lots of USB devices so you could start off with that. The DC-DC 19V adapters are pretty hard to find with the right connector but it's better to go that route.

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        • #5
          Thank you SO much for the replies guys, really appreciate it.
          Curiosity, I see you're using a pretty similar set-up... how do you like it? And basically, what you did was use the adapter that came with the ZPC with an Inverter? Or are you also using some startup/shutdown device? Please keep any suggestions coming guys... Thanks again!
          VER. 3.0- Check out below:
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          • #6
            I think a processor of that speed will be overkill. Not to mention that with any DC-DC psu's, you run the risk of not having enough wattage. Might I suggest underclocking? It would make it run cooler and lower the amount of power required.
            Quick! To the Popemobile!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Fraychild
              Thank you SO much for the replies guys, really appreciate it.
              Curiosity, I see you're using a pretty similar set-up... how do you like it? And basically, what you did was use the adapter that came with the ZPC with an Inverter? Or are you also using some startup/shutdown device? Please keep any suggestions coming guys... Thanks again!
              I'm using a DC-DC, but figured since you already have an inverter why not use it. I ordered the PC with the adapter, but I don't think anyone sells it like that anymore. The SDC I'm using is home-made. It's sort of a collection of different ideas including the "ghetto SDC" if you do a search.

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              • #8
                .

                Possibly even spend the money on an EPIA system board & processer...
                Progress [I will seriously never be done!]
                Via EPIA MII
                512MB RAM
                OEM GPS (embedded)
                nLite WinXP pro on
                1GB Extreme III CF card
                Carnetix 1260 startup/ DC-DC regulator
                Software: Still, re-Writing my existing front end in .Net

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                • #9
                  Okay, so I take it going with the "IWill ZPC" would be too much (especially for a newbie like myself)... I've noticed a common set-up here with the VIA EPIA...
                  Would using this (see link): http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT
                  (comes with both the case and the motherboard already installed) work with the Opus DC-DC or Carnetix PSU and be a good base? I'd have to add my own Memory (256MB seems fair to me), my own Slim-Type HDD (40G still seems enough to me), and my own Slim-Type disk drive...
                  VER. 3.0- Check out below:
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                  車コンピュータ 3.0
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                  • #10
                    Fraychild,

                    As mentioned by others, the IWill needs a +19V input and has a screwy connector. We're developing the CarNetix P1900 which is made for this type of application. Currently in beta test.
                    MikeH

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                    • #11
                      Cool... thanks for the update Mike... maybe I shouldn't give up on it so quickly afterall
                      VER. 3.0- Check out below:
                      .
                      車コンピュータ 3.0
                      .

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                      • #12
                        If I may interject my thoughts on your harddrive...
                        I see people here talking about the relative durability of 2.5" harddrives and 3.5" drives and there's no true victor. Before you shell out 80 bucks on a 40 gig 4200 rpm 2MB laptop drive, consider this. Is there ANYTHING that you will be keeping on there that you dont have somewhere else? I'll backup all my mp3s somewhere else and my movies as well.
                        That's IF the laptop drive is even actually longer-lasting. But it's DEFINITELY more expensive, smaller, and slower than desktop drives.
                        I just bought a 120 gig 7200 rpm 8MB Western Digital HD for $50 from Bestbuy (in-store rebates included). Honestly, even if it *only* lasts a few years in the car environment and then dies, I'll buy another just like it. I'll take the bigger size and (noticeably) faster access-speeds over the notion of longer life.

                        Just something for you to consider.
                        A car without turbo is a car with perpetual lag.

                        My Ride
                        My New Page

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                        • #13
                          Mark out slower. Hitachi makes a 60 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB cache drive now for only $175 I'd like to know the difference in power consumption. I always thought higher RPMs required more power.

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                          • #14
                            Alright, lets assume you get the Hitachi 60GB, 7200RPM 8MB cache [I'm assuming it's a 2.5"] drive for $175. The Western Digital 3.5" I mentioned before is twice as big, and only needs to last 1/3 as long. I can go through three harddrives and still hang on to $25 (not to mention the time-value of money)
                            And that's STILL under the unproven and often-argued assumption that 2.5" drives last longer in cars than 3.5".
                            As for power... To be blatantly honest, I dont know. But the man is talking about running a 2.4ghz P4, and if I'm not mistaken, his motherboard draws 120W. In all likelihood he's already outside the scope of an Opus and once you've entered the world of inverters, the sky is the limit.
                            A car without turbo is a car with perpetual lag.

                            My Ride
                            My New Page

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                            • #15
                              well....

                              Uuuh... guys?... I beg you to please keep in mind that I'm a newbie here... he he he *nervous grin* ... learning ...
                              In all honesty, I had NO idea that the 2.4ghz ZPC was THAT much powerful for a carputer application... Which is why I posted the above set-up LINK --> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW as a possible option... That should go well with the Opus right?
                              As for the memory and the size of the HDD, you have a very good point Maxxell, dumpin' all that money into all that memory may not be that necessary... shoot my PC at home is about 20Gig and it's more than I can handle (barely use my pc). I just figured I'd give myself enough room for songs/videos/movies/images that I may need to load up on the system over time... and as for size, I wouldn't even give myself the right to argue over the 2.5" and the 3.5" ... My PC at home has one type and my girl's laptop has the other... They both seem to work equally well to me, although, I figured the idea of keeping things compact is a bit more fitting for a car application... right?...

                              BTW, did I mention this seems rather tempting? LINK --> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT
                              VER. 3.0- Check out below:
                              .
                              車コンピュータ 3.0
                              .

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