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  • Nubie advice for nubies

    OK so I have been here reading for a while but lately have been seeing a lot of posts asking for help on what I ( even being a newbie ) find to be easy questions. I was, and in parts still am overwhelmed by all this new info but I will start in newbie terms ( because that's all I know ) to explain what I have learned already. Therefore the vets who I'm sure get annoyed with the same repetetive questions all the time wont hopefully get as many of them. I will do this as follows.

    I am a newbie to in car PC, I hav enever done this before and this is what I am doing and what I have figured out.

    I will be using a refurbed PIII laptop, 20GB, hopefully close to 1Ghz
    I am installing a docking station under the seat ( that way I can reach it to turn it on and off etc until I learn more about startup and shutdown controllers, I can also take it out and plug it into my DSL at home to download content into it ) $300
    Video will be running to an 8" touch screen in the dash from ebay $250
    A slimline DVD drive ( that hooks to the docking station USB hub will go in the dash.
    The system will be powered by an opus 150. I know there are cheaper less powerful ones out there but why ? it is only $200 and it is such a huge part of the system why skimp here ?
    wireless mouse, keyboard etc allready purchased
    I want to run GPS so the GPS mouse plugs into another USB port and install the software ( already have this also )
    I have all of my cables and connections allready and yes they can get pricey when you add these things up.

    This is I would consider a BASIC setup so for starters being newbies you are looking at around $1000.00 there are guys here that have made systems for $200-$300 but this is not realistic for us as we don't know nearly enough to do the things they do to achieve this yet.

    I am still reading big time on front ends ( programs that run your car pc in a visually easy to navigate format ) and their skins and such. This is very confusing to me but I'm workin on it so don't exect it to come easy. I am an auto install guy pretending to be a computer guy. So having these problems, if you are the other way around you will hav ea whole different set of issues.

    Big thing here. Tools and knowledge. I have been doing fiberglass work for years now and have all the tools and know how on fabricating pods and enclosures, dash work etc. I hav ealso been installing video and gaming setups in cars for a while too. This is a big deal because if you are planning on paying for custom fab and installation work you can double the cost of your system.

    I hope this helps some of the newbies like myself. Also, I am not that good at searching either so when I first got here I just went through 100s of pages reading everything and anything interesting, you will learn a lot by accident.

  • #2
    sorry I forgot audio. I am keeping my HU because honestly well I just like it and I will be running the audio out of the computer to my aux input on my HU

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by hotboy
      OK so I have been here reading for a while but lately have been seeing a lot of posts asking for help on what I ( even being a newbie ) find to be easy questions. I was, and in parts still am overwhelmed by all this new info but I will start in newbie terms ( because that's all I know ) to explain what I have learned already. Therefore the vets who I'm sure get annoyed with the same repetetive questions all the time wont hopefully get as many of them. I will do this as follows.

      I am a newbie to in car PC, I hav enever done this before and this is what I am doing and what I have figured out.

      I will be using a refurbed PIII laptop, 20GB, hopefully close to 1Ghz
      I am installing a docking station under the seat ( that way I can reach it to turn it on and off etc until I learn more about startup and shutdown controllers, I can also take it out and plug it into my DSL at home to download content into it ) $300
      Video will be running to an 8" touch screen in the dash from ebay $250
      A slimline DVD drive ( that hooks to the docking station USB hub will go in the dash.
      The system will be powered by an opus 150. I know there are cheaper less powerful ones out there but why ? it is only $200 and it is such a huge part of the system why skimp here ?
      wireless mouse, keyboard etc allready purchased
      I want to run GPS so the GPS mouse plugs into another USB port and install the software ( already have this also )
      I have all of my cables and connections allready and yes they can get pricey when you add these things up.

      This is I would consider a BASIC setup so for starters being newbies you are looking at around $1000.00 there are guys here that have made systems for $200-$300 but this is not realistic for us as we don't know nearly enough to do the things they do to achieve this yet.

      I am still reading big time on front ends ( programs that run your car pc in a visually easy to navigate format ) and their skins and such. This is very confusing to me but I'm workin on it so don't exect it to come easy. I am an auto install guy pretending to be a computer guy. So having these problems, if you are the other way around you will hav ea whole different set of issues.

      Big thing here. Tools and knowledge. I have been doing fiberglass work for years now and have all the tools and know how on fabricating pods and enclosures, dash work etc. I hav ealso been installing video and gaming setups in cars for a while too. This is a big deal because if you are planning on paying for custom fab and installation work you can double the cost of your system.

      I hope this helps some of the newbies like myself. Also, I am not that good at searching either so when I first got here I just went through 100s of pages reading everything and anything interesting, you will learn a lot by accident.
      I think it is great of you to write this. I too am fairly new to this. I thought about writing something like this too. In fact I have tried to break it down like this in some of my posts to people who have no idea how to begin.

      I spent hours and hours reading everything on this site and reading hundreds of pages of posts before I really got started on anything.

      The FAQ and searching is great - it is true that there is an amazing amount of knowledge. However, I think some of the more experienced members may not realize that it can be confusing and overwhelming especially for someone without computer or car installation experience. I have some experience in both and it still took a lot to sort how what I could and should do.

      I think it is like someone asking an engineer how to drive a car - the engineer starts to explain the G-forces involved - but all the person needed to know was where to put the key and about stepping on the gas.

      When someone asks: "how much will this car computer cost?" the correct answer is "it depends" but I think as you did it is good to give people an idea of what their options are.

      If you would be interested in trying to put together a little more comprehensive but still very basic like a "FAQ:Where to start if you know absolutely nothing" I would be glad to help.

      Comment


      • #4
        yeah that is sort of where I was going with this but it did come out pretty disjointed. I see the point of the veterans and mods here that they must hear the same newbie q's over and over and I can see how it would get aggrivating. Plus in the lamens terms I used I figured it would be a little easier to understand.
        Keep in touch as I am still learning about startup and shutdown controllers and frontends ad when I can include those we should do the newbiie easy language where to start FAQ
        And thanks for the compliment, I am trying to give a litle something back to this board as it is helping me so much.

        Comment


        • #5
          I almost forgot. I wanted to make a couple of points about your setup - takeee it for what it is worth:

          The Opus is great but they are generaly used to easily replace the atx power supply on a desktop because they have all the right connectors and voltages - 12v, 5v, etc.

          I am using a laptop in my setup also. You may want to consider a 12vdc power adapter (just like your ac unit that plugs in the back of your laptop but designrd to be plugged into a cars 12v supply liike a cigarette lighter). You can get these for $40.00 or less.

          As far as startup/shutdown: Your laptop should do shutdown itself - in the power settings you can just set it go to standby, hibernate or shutdown when it loses external power.

          I personally like the idea wiring into the power switch. You can then go to an on/off switch in dash(this is what i did) or to a relay and to ACC power. However, you can certainly look into all the Wake on options - wake on ring, LAN, USB.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah man I was going to do an in dash switch but didn't get into that in my post.
            Also I was just going wit th eopus 150 as I heard it was the best at the moment and would be more than enough because I really don't feel like dealing with power supply issues.
            However what you are suggesting does sound like a good idea. So are you saying I can but on eof those power adapters that plugs into a cigarette lighter and just cut off the lighter adapter and hardwire it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by hotboy
              So are you saying I can but on eof those power adapters that plugs into a cigarette lighter and just cut off the lighter adapter and hardwire it.
              Correct! But I would put a fuse in between just to be safe.

              The power adapter for a laptop will usually power the port replicator also afaik. So the car adapter for the laptop should work on your port replicator.(I would double check the power requirements for your laptop/replicator before buying just to be safe)

              This is what most people doing laptop installs have done. Cheaper solution than the Opus.

              Comment


              • #8
                yeah no lie bro that is awesome because I had budgeted for the opus. Is that power adapter usually enough even with all the external devices ? slimline DVD is actually about all I would be running I guess because my screen will be powered on its own.

                Comment


                • #9
                  there is no easy way to hook up an opus to a laptop .
                  As for shutdown thats easy as gbh said.

                  Startup might be difficult. Depending on your laptop and docking station this might help you
                  http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...03&postcount=4
                  especial the wake on ring, that is easy as all hell to do.

                  Welcome to the forums and good luck

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hotboy
                    yeah no lie bro that is awesome because I had budgeted for the opus. Is that power adapter usually enough even with all the external devices ? slimline DVD is actually about all I would be running I guess because my screen will be powered on its own.
                    I guess it depends on what and how many external devices you are adding. If your external dvd is usb you may want to use a powered usb hub.

                    I can't say positively but the power adapter should handle anything that the laptop can normally have connected to it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great news bro, I checked and the usb hub I have is a powered one apparently

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