No announcement yet.

My Ideas (Very Detailed)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • My Ideas (Very Detailed)

    First off I want to say how excited I am to finally be building a "carputer" I have been in computers most of my life,

    I am even more excited to know this forum will be an INVALUABLE resource during my project

    I have some "crazy ideas" donít we all, about what I want to do, but I am sure this forum can bring me down to reality, or help me realize these visions

    My proposed setup (remember I know NOTHING about carpcs)

    I have decided to use a TOSHIBA laptop (I think itís a satellite) as the carputer, I am torn on deciding whether it should be mounted under the passenger seat, which would minimize wire runs, or in the back trunk cubby (see photos)

    I donít know if I have to take it off of its chassis, or can leave it as is, the laptop has NO screen as it was destroyed, and currently runs as a headless machine, and the DVD drive was also destroyed so I would need to go external on that.

    Specs are

    1.6 Pentium centrino (mobile core)
    1 gb ram (has 512 but will upgrade)
    100 gb hdd
    Available USB ports for expansion drive and touch screen controls

    (Any advice on any parts of this setup that are not feasible is highly welcome)

    The purpose of this carpc is standard in most respects, gps,nav, music, wifi, general programming, maybe some fancier stuff like reverse cameras, night vision camera on front, not sure, I also would like to create a starter button(see pics) where the "traction control" was left out)

    My plan for the dash is as follows (see pics) I want to put a 7" screen into the front, plenty of room for wiring in this dash so I am hoping I can learn some "fabrication tricks" to avoid destroying this nice dash)

    There is a DIC "driver information center" (see pics)

    which basically tells you your mileage and silly warnings, I want to RELOCATE that to the top of the shifter(will need fabrication for that to look nice)

    and in the DIC place I want to put a 2 1\2" by 1 1\2 " screen (maybe for photos or something) also there is a HUGE vent in the center of the dash which I would like to remove and put a FLOATING compass in, I can remove the duct assembly behind it as well and plug it, there is so many vents on this thing it wont hurt anything

    lastly the cigarette ashtray springs back and I want to run a 4 port USB hub up into this, so all I have to do is pop a switch and plug my USB drive in it, however this will also need some fabrication to look really good,

    For the screen I have chosen something simple and cheap, and am not at all quite sure if it will work, but here is the link, as an IT guy it looks like it should work, but I will leave that to the experts,

    SCREEN (proposed)|294%3A50

    every so often I have stopped to tell you that there are conflictions, when I remove the FACTORY deck from the car it eliminated the time and date in the DIC, this did not bother me, also as for the mp3/usb deck in the car now I donít know if I should keep it (do I have to) or can I run everything out of the pc)

    I am very knowledgeable in wiring and electronics, as well as pc gear and theory, but putting it in a car, well lol, I plan to use a 350 w inverter hard wired to the battery to power the carpc, or is that a bad plan,

    lastly not pictured is an installation of a touchpad in the armrest, and a mini keyboard maybe mounted or not somewhere, I am sure this will result in some more fabrication steps but we will cross that bridge when we come to it (I am not sure we can even integrate a touchpad with a laptops circuitry outside of its motherboard, maybe I can relocate the one already on it?)

    I know there is a lot to digest here, but I am in the BEGINNING stages, I hope everyone can give me pointers, and that the photos describe what I am attempting to do well enough

  • #2
    That touch screen is only the overlay for a EEEpc, so it won't work very well. you might be able to use this or something similar with a 7" vga non-touch screen, but that is alot of work for not much cost savings.

    look here for touch screens:

    you might also be able to find one for cheap on ebay, just make sure that it has a vga input, and has a touch screen that will connect to the laptop(in case doesn't have a serial port) most are either serial or usb.

    I can't be positive(someone else might know better), but it looks like that is a double din opening for the radio.
    if it is, there are a couple of sources for DD dash kits that would allow you to install a 7" monitor without cutting up your dash, and give it more of a oem look.
    both mp3car, and have good ones, I have been using the bybyte frame, with a 7" lilliput I got from mp3car.

    under the seat is really dependant on how think that laptop is(great pics, but it is still hard to tell)

    the fabrication is possible, but really depends on how confident you are cutting up parts of your dash.

    there are a couple of threads on push button start-- wagun(i think thats right spelling) has a very nice push start, so keep an eye out for that.

    I think i covered the major issues,
    most importantly, Have Fun!
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided


    • #3
      soundman thanks for the reply

      Yeah i dont want to destroy the dash, as for the laptop thickness it is very thin, but would i have to take it out of its chassis?

      pic of laptop as is under desk

      and now pic of under seat

      as u can see there is a HUMP under the seat, but i think its UNDER the carpet, maybe if i removed seat and there must be something under that carpet, i might be able to remove it, but under the seat will need to be done in a way that the seat can still slide back and no damge comes to the pc or enclosures

      i dont know maybe trunk is the way, but like i said beginning stages

      thanks for the compliments on the pics btw (i am a photographer for the media in my spare time)

      this touchscreen should work i would think?


      • #4
        anyone with ANY knowledge or advice is free to offer it to me, i came here looking for some help, so if thoughts are valid feel free to give me any pointers or ideas on my project!


        • #5
          some random thoughts

          would the TOSHIBA MOBO fit inside a voompc enclosure, or would i be better off making one myself, and where might i get the materials, a bit of a heads up is great,

          FYI: i know this is going to sound dumb, but what is ABS, i see it mentioned all over the forum, is it ABS plastic, or is it something carpc only, some sort of codename?

          lol newb as always and proud of it, we were all new at one time!


          • #6
            Is this posted in the WRONG spot, or is it the "laptop" idea thats frightening people away, i saw a post awhile back about a HUGE fight with laptop VS desktops, im open to other suggestions of course but,

            any advice or input would be great actually


            • #7
              Just give it time, people do work during the day.

              Try RevFE
              The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


              • #8
                sorry about that tidder

                Ill try to be more patient, FYI as a note to ALL PONTIAC owners, i just got off the phone with a guy at the specs factory, turns out ALL PONTIAC (base models) were made the same, but stuff was not hooked up)

                I guess an example of this is the fact that the 06 does not have a fuel readout in the DIC, no button either, however the signal is being sent to the DIC, if one were to hack that and make the button, well you get the idea,

                Guy was very helpful in the specs department,


                • #9
                  Something you should probably mention is what model and year car you have. It's also worth spending some time and see if anyone has done a project on that vehicle even if it's a different model year. You can get a lot of good ideas looking at other people's projects.


                  • #10
                    I personally don't like the idea of using laptop for a install, but that is my opinion. many have done it though, most have built some sort of docking station so that they can still take the laptop out whenever they want.

                    the screen that you posted is the screen and housing, so to mount it in your dash, would require some fabrication.

                    this is what i am using-- as long as the location will fit a 2 din radio, it will fit the display, without any modifiaction to the screen or dash:

                    I am not so sure that the voom pc case is the best way to go--laptop manufacturers really don't have a universal set standard for board mounting locations, and the board was never designed to fit anything but the case it came in..

                    all the posts about ABS are talking about the plastic-- becasue it is relatively cheap, easy to form, and readily available.
                    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

                    next project? subaru brz
                    carpc undecided


                    • #11
                      sorry about the vehicle details missing (im guessing no one checks profiles anymore hehe)

                      its an 2006 pontiac grand prix BASE model(got it from an auction for 6000 CASH) i just checked the pontiac specs with the factory, the dash changed in 2004 to the new one, so i found an 05 and i am hoping to get a dash bezel from that as a "project dash"

                      Quick question to soundman, are you saying that that touchscreen WOULD work, i am aware it is just a screen and not a full enclosure, someone i think told me it was just a controller, so i am a bit confused.

                      as for the laptop it would be PERMANENT (no docking required) as it has NO screen, there is not even on the hardware, all that's left are the rails it sat on for support when open, the dvd rom is gone with just a cable laying there, and the wifi (which was mounted INSIDE the screen, i think it was a truebrite LCD, is also just wires and a gold reflector for signal, all still works, just not as a laptop anymore

                      (Just so everyone knows this laptop was fatally injured when on a road trip to florida all the techs in the car were using laptops, when we switched to get out at a rest area and get back in, i sort of left this one on the roof, we heard it crash, and once on an external monitor was able to recover the data, but it has been headless ever since i took the screen unit out (which was smashed) and the keyboard is also missing a few keys as well)

                      As for another case i guess i could make one, though i am not sure about that

                      hope this helps a bit


                      • #12
                        Touchscreen-- yes the touch screen that in your second post will work, the one in your first post was only the touch interface. I was unsure on how much fabrication you wanted to do, so i was recomending a simple(plug-and-play) touch screen monitor solution, in case you decided against cutting up your dash bezel.

                        the other day, I was looking at a build log for a mini cooper that the member had the same idea(bad laptop screen-great carputer). look around in the build log areas just to get some ideas on what other laptop users are using to mount theirs in their cars and mounting locations.

                        the ultimate choice for mounting location is yours. it definatly looks like it would fit under the seat, the good part is that it is a location that is heated and cooled, the bad part of that is it is susceptable to messy kids, and spilled drinks, and tollboth change, and you have to unbolt the seat to service it. the trunk is also great, as there is enough room, the good side is space, and it would be easier to sevice, the bad side is that the space is not heated or cooled, and all wires would need to be extended to work properly.

                        wheigh your options and go with the best install location that works for you. just remember that you are the one that will need to maintain and service it, so for me or anyone else to tell you what is the BEST mounting location, could end up costing you later (or just cursing the idea of ever listening to some moron on a online forum).

                        there is tons of info here, so look around, and enjoy building your project.
                        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

                        next project? subaru brz
                        carpc undecided


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by soundman98 View Post

                          the other day, I was looking at a build log for a mini cooper that the member had the same idea
                          So you would not have a link for that post would you, as for the touchscreen i am still learning what will work, im a bit confused between a "controller" and the screen, i thought it was all one piece, most pc monitors i have worked with in the past are all one board.

                          As for the laptop and the "susceptable to messy kids, and spilled drinks, and tollboth change" i use EZ PASS transponders in my license plates, no kids, and well the drinks part might be tough,

                          Oh one other thing, i have created a mount on my passenger seat that allows me to pull two pins (much like the pins you see in locking devices) and then the seat will raise up off the floor on hinges sideways, allows for better access to the carputer if needed, the seat is still bolted in its frame in certain places for safety though

                          So i am still trying to figure out if i can build a touchscreen and get a screen and then shape the dash (FYI i bought a spare dash bezel for this project, if something goes wrong i can restore it in a few minutes) or an all included kit, biggest differences are pricing and ease of install, but i read somewhere that its not fun unless we build it, so if the first screen i saw on ebay would work let me know!

                          thanks for the tips and ideas, and i live up in maine, so the trunk is probably definitely out, as sometimes even in a good car we get frost INSIDE the trunk when we get into winter!


                          • #14
                            Anyone have anymore thoughts on my project, all are welcome?


                            • #15
                              guess not, must have dried up the info flow over the holiday?