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Building and Buying Stage: Do these components work together? What am I missing?

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  • Building and Buying Stage: Do these components work together? What am I missing?

    I am very excited about my upcoming project. I have made the decision to install a computer into my truck. However, this is my first computer install, so Im not sure if Ive selected the right components. Ive spent the last two days sifting through websites and forums trying to understand this new world of car pcs. Nevertheless, I still dont know that much and I need help from the people who know.

    I have some spare parts Id like to use such as a 3.5 400GB SATA hard drive, an Athlon 2800 Barton chip, (2) 512 SDRAM, and also a PCI wireless card. All of this must fit in a very small space. In fact, the dimensions are 8W X 11.5 L X 6 D. I will be doing some custom fab to take care of the depth issue. I will be running the signal into a factory head unit. I need to be able to run just one 400GB hard drive, but the drive is 3.5. The drive size is fixed, as it is essential for toting around all of my media.

    I intend to purchase the 8 Lilliput touch screen for visuals and the OPUS 150W PS to make the power. Do I need another separate power supply for the monitor? If so, how big? Next up, I was thinking of just using this little Shuttle as the base of the system. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856101461 Please let me know if there are some obvious (or not so obvious) pitfalls to the system as I have described it. The only things I am absolutely set on (I think) are the 8 screen and the 400GB SATA hard drive. Let me know what you think. Thanks for the help.

    [EDIT] The truck is a 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 4X4. I currently have the U-Connect cellular interface, steering wheel controls, RB4 nav unit (still deciding on keeping), Infinity 7 speaker, and I am building the sub box at the moment.

  • #2
    (power calculator - http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/)Your going to have a really hard time running that fast a system on a PSU of 150 Watts. Looking at the power comsumption of just the CPU, basic AGP video, 1 hard drive, and 1 stick of RAM, I see that computer already pulling 160 watts. And that isn't even including your wireless card, or even a CDROM. Even is you underclock the CPU to like 1600, and add the wireless card, you'll still be pushing the limits of any 150 watt PSU.

    99 Ford Ranger - Bagged and laying frame

    Current Carputer project:
    Done:
    Custom mounted 7" LCD w/ TSK in radio bezel
    Custom center console for relocated headunit
    Via Epia M10000
    GPS
    MP3
    OPUS PSU
    DVD

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    • #3
      Is your truck a ram or a dakota? What year? It's easier to help when we know what vehicle you have.
      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

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      • #4
        RE: Type of truck

        The truck is a 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 4X4. I currently have the U-Connect cellular interface, steering wheel controls, RB4 nav unit (still deciding on keeping), Infinity 7 speaker, and I am building the sub box at the moment.

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=DodgeMan]

          I have some spare parts Id like to use such as a 3.5 400GB SATA hard drive, an Athlon 2800 Barton chip, (2) 512 SDRAM, and also a PCI wireless card. All of this must fit in a very small space. In fact, the dimensions are 8W X 11.5 L X 6 D. I will be doing some custom fab to take care of the depth issue. I will be running the signal into a factory head unit. I need to be able to run just one 400GB hard drive, but the drive is 3.5. The drive size is fixed, as it is essential for toting around all of my media.

          I intend to purchase the 8 Lilliput touch screen for visuals and the OPUS 150W PS to make the power. Do I need another separate power supply for the monitor?

          Where were you thinking of putting the motherboard that you only have an 8 inch wide space? That really limits your choice of boards.You could buy a shuttle as you were thinking,but,since it sounds like you're going to make a custom mount,you can just buy the motherboard seperately and save some money.
          As far as the power supply goes,I'm with Pepe.....that opus might work,then again,it might not have enough juice.I think the power supply I use would work just fine in your application.However,it is the size of a standard atx ps,and you might or might not be able to make room for it.
          Look on orbitmicro.com for the kpdx250h.
          Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

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          • #6
            Great Ideas

            As far as power supplies go, I really like the idea of a DC unit that regulates the power and also has the ability to auto-start and shutdown at the touch of the ignition. (Thus the Opus 150) I do have the space (I think) for a standard ATX PS but I was afraid I'd have to run some big bulky power inverter and I would loose the functionality of the auto features and power regulation. If there is a halfway efficient method of throwing in the ATX, I'm all ears.

            As far as motherboards go, I totally agree with you on that. 8" isn't much space, and I am not used to searching for small motherboards. To be honest with you, Mini-ITX was a new concept to me until about 2 nights ago. I am really new, really anxious, and as of this moment, the dash of my truck is now a really big mess. I am beginning with a mold to drop the HVAC controls down below along with the 4X4 and heated seats switches. Starting on the mold won't hurt anything.

            You brought about a good point...I am going to look into building a custom case. I might free up some extra space where I REALLY need it. I am mounting the computer under my center seat in the front of the truck. I plan to cut a hole in the front of the seat so that the cd tray is accessible without opening the seat top. I have contemplated putting some spacers under the seat for added clearance if worst comes to worse.

            All the input from these forums helps A BUNCH! Thanks to those who point us (others) in the right direction.

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            • #7
              Seanshine:

              You mentioned that power supply, and I did check it out. Does it make a lot of heat? Is it loud? How does it stack up against the Opus 150. As I skimmed through different posts, people would talk about how Brand X power supply claims 250 Watts, but really only pushs 100 or something. Then a lot of people made it sound like the Opus pushed "true" power. Can I add the functions of auto start and shutdown to the kpdx250h? Thanks

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DodgeMan
                Can I add the functions of auto start and shutdown to the kpdx250h? Thanks
                you can add those functions to any power supply, you just need a shutdown controller... the opus just happens to have one built-in. check the mp3car store.
                But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
                Originally posted by Viscouse
                I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
                eegeek.net

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DodgeMan
                  Seanshine:

                  You mentioned that power supply, and I did check it out. Does it make a lot of heat? Is it loud? How does it stack up against the Opus 150. As I skimmed through different posts, people would talk about how Brand X power supply claims 250 Watts, but really only pushs 100 or something. Then a lot of people made it sound like the Opus pushed "true" power. Can I add the functions of auto start and shutdown to the kpdx250h? Thanks
                  If you check the specs on the rails,you'll see it has enough power for a p4 or the barton you want to run.....lots of juice on the 12v rail,which will also help with your full size drive....and it regulates the power as well as the ps in my home setup.You'll need a startup/shutdown controller,there are many different ones out there,however,I suggest staying away from the uSDC.Thankfully there are more to choose from at the mp3car store.
                  It runs as cool as any other ps I've had.The fan is a little louder than I'd like,but not really annoying considering it's a 60mm.
                  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DodgeMan
                    As far as power supplies go, I really like the idea of a DC unit that regulates the power and also has the ability to auto-start and shutdown at the touch of the ignition. (Thus the Opus 150)

                    As far as motherboards go, I totally agree with you on that. 8" isn't much space, and I am not used to searching for small motherboards. To be honest with you, Mini-ITX was a new concept to me until about 2 nights ago. I am really new, really anxious, and as of this moment, the dash of my truck is now a really big mess.

                    You brought about a good point...I am going to look into building a custom case. I might free up some extra space where I REALLY need it.
                    If you want a via processor based mini-itx board,the opus is perfect......if you want a slow truckputer,lol.Most folks run it simply because of space constraints,and low power consumption.If you want dvd-a,fast visualizations,and a quick boot time,well,you'll need a matx board which is 9x9 inches,or a full atx which is 12x9,running either an athlon or a p4.
                    I run a full atx board,I like having lots of pci slots,and the ability to change my video card as well.
                    My setup is behind my seats,in a standard cab dakota.I have a 4 channel amp,an 8 inch sub,full size atx mb,3.5 hard drive,ps,and speaker cross overs.
                    All on an mdf wedge I built that is 48"w x 16"h x 6.5d on the bottom and 4" deep at the top.
                    My truck was a mess for 4 months,I was afraid the cops would pull me over because it looked like a theft recovery
                    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

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                    • #11
                      Dude! You are missing a flux capacitor ... n00b

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                      • #12
                        Thanks a bunch for bringing the controllers to my attention. A standard ATX power supply is starting to look good... I was afraid I would be stuck with the tiny 150 and strain the whole setup. I'd really much rather use computer parts from around the house, than buy even more parts.

                        If I use the standard ATX PS, then the 8" lilliput could probably be powered off of that as well, right?

                        On that note, I might throw out another question. If I cannot find space in the center console, would mounting the power supply under the dash cause considerable or noticeable interference? (as far as noise on the radio...if that makes sense) There is already one amp under there, but I figured I could possible extend the leads on the power supply and mount it where the cup holder used to be. I have already gutted the ash tray, 12V receptacle, and the cupholder, and I have begun work on a mold for a lower cover plate. Once I make a solid decision on the lilliput, I will have to begin hacking into the upper dash... for now, the Dodge is a big mess, and stinks like resin and sawdust (MDF sub box).

                        Thanks again for all the help. I feeling a lot better about this little PC project.

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                        • #13
                          The noise in the radio is called 'alternator whine' is a draw on the system, hook up to the battery like you would an amp (fuse, wire, etc.) to avoid it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DodgeMan
                            If I use the standard ATX PS, then the 8" lilliput could probably be powered off of that as well, right?

                            On that note, I might throw out another question. If I cannot find space in the center console, would mounting the power supply under the dash cause considerable or noticeable interference? (as far as noise on the radio...if that makes sense)

                            Thanks again for all the help. I feeling a lot better about this little PC project.
                            I power my monitor off my keypower ps,no problem.
                            You'll need an 20 pin atx extension.....but,there may be too much voltage drop from the power supply to the mb.I'd find the space,and mount it next to the mb.
                            Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

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                            • #15
                              Hey DodgeMan, I am in AZ too and have the same truck (2003), I would be very interested in some pics of the bezel you are molding. I was thinking of doing something similar, but have not been able to locate a donor center bezel to work on (mine is the burl wood and I don't wanna mess it up).

                              I was also thinking the best way to go would be to build a custom box for the system and put it under the center front seat with a couple fans blowing into the compartment. Could even use some low profile slot fans to pull air in between the base of the compartment and the floor.

                              However you do this, I would recommend that the computer can be removed for maintenance and upgrades, if you build it in too much, it becomes a big PIA to remove.

                              BTW, are you doing any better than 11mpg (lucky this ain't my daily driver )?
                              "Protecting Privacy and Free Speech Online"
                              http://www.eff.org/

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