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My carPC ideas, will it work?

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  • My carPC ideas, will it work?

    Hey guys, i have an old sony laptop that i was going to use for my car pc. The screen doesn't work, so the plan is to mount the screen (7") on the dash. I'm not completely sure on whole list of specs, but here's the list on what i'm planning to do. Let me know if it's possible or worth it.

    Sony XG500 Laptop (no lcd) - i plan to mount it under front seat
    - possible purchase external sound card

    7" Touch Screen - not certain what kind
    GPS Reciever - not sure what kind yet

    OS: Linux - if i can make it do thing that i want it to do, otherwise some Windows, but i really wanna do linux to be cool like the rest of you.

    Laptop will have an output to AUX of my CD Player.
    MP3 Player - i would like to use foobar2000 due to high level of custom stuff you can do to it
    Good Media Player for Videos etc.

    Calendar, To Do list, contacts - I would like to sinchronize them whenever i'm at my driveway with my desktop pc.

    ODBII Diagnostics - this is kind of under construction, because i don't know of any ODBII scanners that would be compatible with linux or that are skinnable

    Two camera's, one for reverse (I might go with audiovox camera, because i already have one of their mirrors that has an lcd display and camera connection. And another camera for security, I don't know if it's possible to do but i would like it to turn on when my alarm is armed, and record information to the hard drive (or better send it over internet to my server at home or something).

    I also have a Motorola Razor V3 phone, and i was wondering if it's possible to implement it into the car pc somehow via bluetooth. If i sign up for a data plan, i know i can get wireless internet, but i was wondering if it's possible to make it so for example i get caller id on the screen (decrease sound temporarely), maybe dialing from my touch screen, or calling contacts would be cool. I don't know if software like this is implemented yet or not, I already have blue tooth adapter or i could hook up my phone via usb.

    Remote tracking of the car would be good also, but I don't really understand how that works yet. Probably something to do with the GPS reciever, and maybe I have to have constant internet for that. Again if i get an unlimited plan i could have one phone sit in my car at all times just for internet.

    My last thing is that i want to make a custom font end for all of this crap that can be accessed from the same home screen. This i think would be the most dificult task, to make it flow together.

    As for usability. Since i want video to be recorded then i would have to maybe leave my laptop on standby all the time so it can wake up and record when alarm goes off. Would i need a second car battery for that?

    Is it possible for example run your computer from a second battery in the trunk that is specific for car audio (not sure what they're called, but the type that recharges/charges fast), and to make it somehow charge of the car battery or alternator when driving and then not touch the main battery once the car is off? So when the second battery dies my laptop would just go to sleep. The laptop battery only lasts about 2.3 hours so it wouldn't be enough to stand through a night.

    Let me know what you guys think about this setup, and how possible is it to get this done. Forgive me the lenght of hte post, it might have gotten out of hand, and my poor english. But any input would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I think you are thinking of a capacitor, they charge and discharge quick but that is for burst energy for woofers and such. In order to put a battery in your trunk you would have to get a larger alternator most likly and hook both batteries to that.


    • #3
      Well i was actually thinking of like a second battery that is used in car audio applications, don't know one right now, but I want it to act like a regular battery, but not to drain my main battery. So when the car is off for a while, the pc would be turned on with like outlet power until that battery runs out, then maybe switch to it's own battery, and then when i start the car next time the secondary battery would recharge. The more i think about it, I think that there might be a way to do this if you hook up the second battery to the alternator directly instead in parallel to the primary battery under the hood. I don't know how car battery charging system works, but i don't think it should be that complicated. I would probably just run a positive cable from alt. to the trunk and ground it somewhere overthere. I've never done this before and would probably need info from somebody with more knowledge, but i think it could be done. A bigger alternator would probably be needed though.