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  • Basic Carputer question(s)

    I apologize for being such a noob at this but my range of expertise is lighting and wiring, not carputers, but anyways.

    I like the idea of having a carputer in your dash, its very nice, is there any precursor that you car needs to have besises a battery that would make it OK for a carputer.

    Secondly, What is the minium requiremnts (sys specs) for a carputer, and what would be ideal? I can get computer parts, and build them eaisly, I just dont want to get parts that wont work with a carputer interface.

    Thanks in advance.
    Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
    Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
    Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
    CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
    NINe.2X, NINe.2

  • #2
    Anything that will work with the software you wish to run. People here are running as little as 133mhz and I have heard of people trying to run 2.5+ghz....its what you want to run more than what you need. A high power system will require more power...more power supply...and will produce more heat. A lot of us run the Mini-Itx boards due to the small size and low power. I would consider them mainstream...less than that and you may not be able to efficiently run programs and more than that and you may not like the pricing of the components (like power supplies)
    2005 Ford Focus ST

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    • #3
      Take a look at the "Show off your projects" forum and see what people are listing as their components. Click my signature link and you can find a list of the components in my system.
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Where would be a good place to shop for computer parts? Would like newegg be ok, and just buy a small mobo, like a micro form? Or is there some sites that cater directly to carputers?
        Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
        Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
        Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
        CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
        NINe.2X, NINe.2

        Comment


        • #5
          newegg is great!

          competitive prices, good selection
          Though they don't cater to the CarPC enthusiast.. plenty of good stuff to get.
          •Micke

          Comment


          • #6
            Newegg ROCKS! And they ship fast! (I always get it before I should, but I bribe my Fedex Guy too! A gift certificate to Applebees to my UPS and Fedex Driver as Christmas did absolute wonders for me! hehe)

            Anyways, you can pick up CHEAP pc's at ECOST.com as well, I pick up Celeron class PC's there all the time for work for under $400, they have some starting at $300! But they are full tower cases.

            As for performance, IMHO, I'd stay away from VIA processors, I think they are underpowered. Especially considering I'm a programmer and I know how much bloat the programs out there have! Personally, I am going to run a Pentium 4 2.8ghz w/512M RAM, basically because I don't want speed to be an issue and I had the parts.

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            • #7
              Idea, what about this, how about using a Mac? http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html

              then hooking up the touchscreen to this? Would safe much space, would this be suffice? I'm looking to run media programs (videos, music). Thoughts?
              Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
              Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
              Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
              CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
              NINe.2X, NINe.2

              Comment


              • #8
                For more info on using the Mac Mini, check out the Mac Car forum.
                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

                Comment


                • #9

                  The mac mini is perfect for a carputer, if you dont mind the few limitations:
                  -Fewer progs for mac (like GPS and Frontends (the graphical user interfaces specifically for touchscreen users))
                  -New OS may be unfamiliar at first.
                  -Everyone will be jealous of you.

                  Other than that, I love my MM! The 8" touchscreen lilliput is a perfect match, it worked plug n' play without installing the drivers! I moved an a$$load of music and videos to it from my pc, and only a certain codec that isnt widely used isnt working. (Im guessing WMV files??? anyone???)

                  Originally posted by HHdesign
                  I like the idea of having a carputer in your dash, its very nice, is there any precursor that you car needs to have besises a battery that would make it OK for a carputer.
                  All you need to do to power a mac mini is buy a simple inverter for a cig lighter, or check this out if youre good at wiring!!! Good idea:
                  http://www.kennettnet.co.uk/astramac/power/
                  With that you could easily take your mac mini in and out of the car whenever. The other best option is the micro boards mentioned.
                  Carputer status: [-*---------]
                  Im thinking laptop...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think I'm going to go with the Mini-Mac, It could eiasly fit just about anywhere in my car, and while I do enjoy building a computer, this seems much more afffordale. The wiring shouldn't be to much of an Issue, thats something I think I can manage, Now I just need to find a spot for the screen. Ok. all my questions have been solved. Thanks guys, I appricated it.

                    Wait one more... If I wanted to have my minimac also play music on my cars stero system, how would I go about doing that? If this has already been asked I apologize.
                    Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
                    Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
                    Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
                    CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
                    NINe.2X, NINe.2

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah there are lots of threads on that one. The BEST way (arguably) is to lose the head unit (stereo) and wire the audio straight to an amp and then into the speakers, but this is tedious if you werent already going to install a system. The next best option (what I am doing) is to use a head unit with auxilary input. I got one for 140 bucks, and then it requires a special adapter called an IP-BUS (var. I/P Bus) adapter that plugs into the molex plug in the back of the stereo. The same adapter can work (they are specific to brand of head unit) for a HU with a cd changer plug, its molex too. Crutchfield's website has the adapters. Easier but less quality options are the FM modulators like for an ipod, or the classic tape adapter!
                      the input forum i would think for more info, its covered extinsively. But the noob forum is def. the best place for n00b ?'s, and even still sometimes people get ****y. Just show some initiative and everything you need is here, you just might need further explanations!
                      Carputer status: [-*---------]
                      Im thinking laptop...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So If I'm using a stock head unit (standard issue in Jeeps, Dodge year 2000) and it doesnt have the option of an Aux input, will I have to completly replace the head unit? Get a whole new deck?
                        Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
                        Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
                        Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
                        CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
                        NINe.2X, NINe.2

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HHdesign
                          So If I'm using a stock head unit (standard issue in Jeeps, Dodge year 2000) and it doesnt have the option of an Aux input, will I have to completly replace the head unit? Get a whole new deck?
                          No, you can install a wired FM Modulator, that's what I have in the Mazda and it works OK.

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                          • #14
                            using an FM modulator can make the sound not as clear, highs are muted lows seem subdued, mids are ok, and there is a volume drop and this is with the best FM modulator i could find on a stock GM radio

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hcomplyr
                              using an FM modulator can make the sound not as clear, highs are muted lows seem subdued, mids are ok, and there is a volume drop and this is with the best FM modulator i could find on a stock GM radio

                              Some of that is the stock radio too. FM Modulation is not the best option, but it is an option. I think it tends to be acceptable if you are running the factory radio still.

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