Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Using a laptop as carputer

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Using a laptop as carputer

    I have an old laptop, it has pentium 2 and a 5 gig hard drive, 32 ram.. im just wondering if i can use it in the car, what im thinking of doing is upgrading the ram memory to about 128 and buying an external hard drive of about 100 gig.. and buying a touchscreen i dont know if this is a good idea at all im just looking to save up some money.. so any opinions would be really good.. thanx!

  • #2
    yes you can use a laptop in the car, it has been done before, do a search. "laptop" would be a good search term to start with.

    as far as your hardware spec being powerful enough to do what you want it to, it all depends on what you expect from your system. since you already have the hardware, test a couple of frontends on it and see how it works out for you.

    try the faq emporium for answers to frequently asked questions: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=106
    Dr. Ron Paul for President 2008

    Hope for America - http://www.ronpaul2008.com

    Who is Ron Paul? - Why do we need Ron Paul?

    __________________
    CarPC Newbs Start Here: All your questions answered, as if by E.S.P.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it's a great idea. I'm personally going to be doing the same except with a little bit more CPU power. I just installed Fedora Core 4 on my wife's old IBM Thinkpad R30. I'm using a port replicator to make things easier to upgrade in the future. Just pull it off the docking station upgrade/fix drop back in and boom! Done.

      Also, I think laptops might be a bit more durable for the shock of the road. Even so I plan on making a bit of a suspension for the laptop setup to hang from. Add in the native lower power requirements and it seems like a no brainer to use a laptop, also with the built in battery power auto shutdown/hibernate/standby should be a breeze. If you are using some form of Windows you may even get speedy quick start ups if you bounce between standby, etc.

      Not sure how fast you P2 is, but I would be concerned if it's less than 333mhz. Also, I think you would be best off running an older windows like windows 98, but you are going to run into troubles finding drivers for newer hardware. However, you should be able to get decent support of most hardware out of a slim downed Redhat 7.3, of which I've even been able to get a linux 2.6 kernel running under it.

      Anyway, right now with my project.

      - I've got 4x 8pin mini din connectors (3 extra in case I screw up, plus the supplier had a minimum order and I had to buy something) on the way to help me make an xmd1000 serial interface cable.

      - 2x 12vdc 4" box fans. One for intake and one for exhaust. The little R30 burns it up when the CPU starts getting taxed and needs a little help.

      - Another center console piece so I can mount/fabricate the xenarc display (yet to be purchased) into it.

      - Audio components still completely undecided. Debating whether or not to go usb for the Audigy sound blaster or pcmcia. Need an amp, and the trunk space has two side pockets on either side after the wheel well screaming to have dueling subs.

      - Interface....definitely going with the Xenarc 700tvs. Contemplating using a "twiddler" for my keyboard/mouse interface. dvd+-rw in the dash or a real head unit fabricated into the cigarette/cd cubby space for disc input. As for the touchscreen interface I'm thinking X windows if I can get it working on the Xenarc display, the touchscreen, and twiddler. I'll most likely code my GUI interface in Perl GTK.

      - Networking...well it has built in 802.11b and I think that means it can also wake on lan (but not sure about that). If it can, I'll be using that to push periodic updates to the car for weather and traffic.

      I've been cruising these forums for a week or two now. Lots of great ideas. Just surf the forums and look at the various technologies and think about if you want them or not.
      Bob. Yes, that's me.
      ----------------------------------------------
      [=|=======] Hardware Aquisition
      [|========] Fabrication
      [|========] Software Development

      Comment


      • #4
        We were in the same boat as you, why spend more money when you have a laptop just laying around >:} Plus, the battery ability does come in handy, and already designed low power draw.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm planning my car system using the same concept... slap an older laptop (Athlon 1 GHz, if I remember right, which has a malfunctioning screen) into a '97 Subaru Legacy Outback (assuming I actually buy the car, which should be set in motion next Thursday or Friday).

          I'll be using Linux, simply 'cause I'm a lot more capable in it than I am in Windows. I plan on building it slowly, planning things out, and coming up with ideas as I go along. All I want right away is the ability to play mp3s, preferably through the stock stereo system (gotta find out if the stock am/fm/weather band radio/cassette player has inputs, probably not... if not, maybe I'll figure out some alternative speaker system). Gonna slap a few buttons together using this tutorial, just using them to control the mp3 playback first. Then maybe a small LCD display, just large enough to display track names.

          Later on, I might slap an LCD panel in there, big enough to make an BMP/XMMS list viewable. Wouldn't mind pulling some info from the OBDII system, or maps... just haven't figured out where I'm gonna put a larger screen .

          Anyway, I've ranted enough for you to get the point... there's more than just you considering this

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by theluckyone
            I'm planning my car system using the same concept... slap an older laptop (Athlon 1 GHz, if I remember right, which has a malfunctioning screen) into a '97 Subaru Legacy Outback (assuming I actually buy the car, which should be set in motion next Thursday or Friday).

            I'll be using Linux, simply 'cause I'm a lot more capable in it than I am in Windows. I plan on building it slowly, planning things out, and coming up with ideas as I go along. All I want right away is the ability to play mp3s, preferably through the stock stereo system (gotta find out if the stock am/fm/weather band radio/cassette player has inputs, probably not... if not, maybe I'll figure out some alternative speaker system). Gonna slap a few buttons together using this tutorial, just using them to control the mp3 playback first. Then maybe a small LCD display, just large enough to display track names.

            Later on, I might slap an LCD panel in there, big enough to make an BMP/XMMS list viewable. Wouldn't mind pulling some info from the OBDII system, or maps... just haven't figured out where I'm gonna put a larger screen .

            Anyway, I've ranted enough for you to get the point... there's more than just you considering this
            if all you want to do is get mp3 check this out in www.omnifimedia.com its a great little thing, i would explain it but the explanation of what it is is much better on the website, i´ve got one, got it from cructhfield for 200 bucks.. its on sale! haha..

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanx a lot everyone i feel better about my idea now .. hehe. i though it wasnt possible because i didnt find much on it.. i guess im not looking that good.. as for the power, ive got one of thouse power converters that i got form best buy to charge and use the laptop in the car, i was wondering if i can use that and just add on the startup/shutdown controller.. and wich one would be good for the laptop ??? thanx guys!

              oh yeah and i forgot.. does anyone know if it´s possible to use the external hard drive i want to get.. as the main one ?? and just like.. install windows xp on it so when it powers up it uses that driver directly ??..

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by assereto
                if all you want to do is get mp3...
                Nah... I want to do *more* than just mp3's, but I haven't decided 'xactly what yet .

                Not to hijack the thread, but what I figure I really want to do is play with it... second to listening to my mp3's. I'm tempted to set something up temporarily, just to play mp3's... get a DC/DC power adapter for the laptop, or get an inverter for the AC/DC power adapter I already have, figure out some way to rig it up to the stock radio so I don't lose the weather band capability. Run a USB gamepad off it to convient location near the driver's seat, and I've got the basic set up (no viewing track names, but hey... it's cheap *grin*).

                Later on, I could add the display, then figure out whatever else I want to set up. I figure I'll have plenty of time to play... I want to take this new-to-me Subaru as far as I can, assuming I can get all the kinks out of actually buying it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I too have a laptop carputer, the biggest chanllenge that I had was remotely bootup the machine. How's your plan to turn on the machine?
                  my carputer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are several ways on how to do this:

                    WOL (wake-on-LAN) or WOR (wake-on-ring) but it depends on if your computer supports it. Search for it, I forget if anyone got it working.

                    UPS support goes through your serial port, uses something like the RTS or DTS lines. You enable a service through windows, and it turns on the computer when it sees some sort of input to these pins. Again, search the forums, somebody has step by step instructions if I remember correctly.

                    And if you are not skiddish about soldering inside your laptop, you could always do what I did. Solder a button serially to the power button on your laptop. A small headphone jack on the outside of the case, and you can run a cable to the dash.
                    2000 Subaru OBS

                    Dell P3 @ 900 Mhz
                    7" Lilliput TS w/DigitalWW in-dash mount
                    80GB External HD

                    I am Zero Bitrate....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I read everything so far and I have to say a laptop is the best way to go. You do have a good setup except for two things, the hard drive should be at least a 20 gig and try to upgrade the ram to 256 if possible. Go to the website and find your model of laptop and see if these upgrades are ok. If it is, Windows 2000 running light should work well. I didnt say speed demon but Win2k playing MP3's will work really well. Movies is another story, I prefer P3's for that job. Also if movies are a big thing, the video should be at least 8 meg. HTH
                      Dont tell me to shut up, I'm Rick James ******!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        if you have the computer already go for it, at least it is a cheap way to get started. I would recommend only buying stuff that you could transfer over to a more powerful computer later on if you do decide that it is not enough for you.

                        WOL only works on my laptop if it has power continuously, so I soldered some wires on the board and hooked that up to a relay and an external (stealth) switch.

                        |V1 Virtual Display|

                        Hard work often pays off over time, laziness always pays off right now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You might to look on ebay and find a faster laptop. I picked up a Compaq Pressari0 with 700mhz 128mb or ram and 20GB drive for $107
                          *Laptop $107
                          *Hauppauge WinTv-USB FM $36.02
                          *USB Drive Enclosure $24.95
                          *USB 2.0 PCMCIA Card $19.85
                          *Crossover Cable $25.97
                          *Earthmate GPS LT-20 $97.60
                          *2.5 adapter 16.24
                          Total - $327.63
                          Current Budget - $322.37
                          Aug 25. Deadline

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a laptop (PM 1.7, 60GB HD, 2GB ram) and I want to hook it up to my car. My stock head unit has an AUX out (it has a 6 disc in dash cd changer that plays mp3's). I can get a harness that uses this AUX function, but I don't know how to plug it into the laptop.


                            Also I was wondering how to connect it to the car's CPU. Is this done thru the OBDII port? Any help would be appreciated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by f1-cobra
                              I have a laptop (PM 1.7, 60GB HD, 2GB ram) and I want to hook it up to my car. My stock head unit has an AUX out (it has a 6 disc in dash cd changer that plays mp3's). I can get a harness that uses this AUX function, but I don't know how to plug it into the laptop.

                              Also I was wondering how to connect it to the car's CPU. Is this done thru the OBDII port? Any help would be appreciated.
                              Two words:
                              FAQ Emporium
                              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                              How about the Wiki?



                              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X