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Finally going to actually do a CarPC build :)

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  • Finally going to actually do a CarPC build :)

    Ok, now that I have some idea's about where I'm going with my build I've decided to edit my first post to sort of make a list and gather thoughts and eventually come to a complete shopping list. I will list 2 different sections which will be Audio and CarPC.

    1) Samsung Transflective (not really) Capacitive Multi-Touch 7" HDMI LCD with double din bracket.
    2) qty 2 Mini Touch 700 LCD's with headrest shroud -

    On the Audio side here is what I'm planning currently on the shopping list.

    Right now I'm torn between 2 amps they are as follows.

    1) Zuki Hybrid 5ch amp. This has 4 channels of Class A/B and a Class D sub channel.
    2) Alpine SPX-17PRO for the front speakers. -Purchased
    3) Alpine SPX-13PRO for the rear speakers.
    4) DIY TwistedPearAudio Opus DAC. I have 2 of these and I have to figure out if I can use them the way I'd want to as 4 separate channels? They would likely need to be USB I'd imagine although by default the accept SPDIF and I2s. I could possible be tempted to just go with a Buffalo III DAC as it can do up to 8 channels although I'm not sure if it can do 8 over USB?
    5) Alpine SWR-1223D 12" Subwoofer - (this could change but I'm liking the idea right now and you can get them for pretty cheap)

    On the CarPC side of things this is what I'm currently planning.

    1) Asus MA78LT-M LE motherboard (Purchased)
    2) Kingston Hyper-X DDR3 1600 8GB 2 channel kit (Purchased)
    3) AMD Athlon II X4 610e Propus 2.4GHz Socket AM3 45W Quad-Core -
    4) HIS H667F1GD Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 Eyefinity - Can do 3 displays off one card -
    5) M4-ATX 250W PSU (300w max) -
    6) OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-90G 2.5" 90GB SATA III -
    7) Rooftop GPS/Cellular/PCS/WiFi antenna GPS 2400 Antenna -
    8) MicroUSB Bluetooth Dongle -
    9) Parking Distance Control Kit -
    10) CMOS Infrared, Night Vision, Waterproof, High Resolution Backup Camera, works with 1" Mounting Hole - (this could change)
    11) RXM-SG GPS Module w/Ext Antenna -
    12) Rosewill 802.11 b/g/n USB 2.0 adapter -

    Security System -

    Right now I'm still sort of figuring this out. There are 3 different models I'm considering currently.
    1) Viper 5902 OLED 2 way paging system -
    2) Compustar
    RF-P2W901-SS 2 way paging PRO system -
    3) Autopage C3-RS1100 OLED 2 way paging system -

    I like Viper because I've been using them a while, but a lot of people say these other brands are a lot better? The Compustar I like because they have some nice key-code pads you can use through glass and what not. I love the Autopage remotes and what not and have also heard good things about them. So I'm not sure which route I want to go. The main thing I want out of any of these is remote start because it's cold and I have to put my kids in the car when it's freezing. I like to wake up and start it so it's toasty when I get out there.

    Power and Wiring accessories
    1) StreetWires BC4PF Battery terminal -
    2) StreetWires 4AWG power wire -
    3) StreetWires 4AWG ground wire -
    4) Whatever generic wire I have around for the remote turn on wires.
    5) StreetWires ZeroNoise 9 Series 4-channel Patch Cables - (brand and length can change depending on installation location of CarPC and so on)

    Sound deadening and isolation
    1) 1lb/sq ft Mass loaded vinyl -
    2) Vibration isolation butyl material that I already have a big roll of.

    There are quite a few things in there that could change, especially on the audio side. I may decide I want to go active 3 way speakers up front and remove my passive crossovers and throw in a smallish mid to go with my drivers I have now (I love the SPX tweeter and the midbass isn't bad either!). In the case I'd use the 6 channel for the fronts and grab some sort of mono amp for the sub or something of the sorts. I probably should add a couple more sections, one being screens, the other being power. But I continue to appreciate constructive criticism as well as guidance. This is not a completed list at all, the PC side may get many more things added to it. But it's a start for now.
    Last edited by Hdale85; 01-27-2012, 12:20 AM.

  • #2
    Is it possible to even do a 3 zone setup off one PC?


    • #3
      Well looks as though I likely won't get much input here. So I'm going to put together a list of components and you guys let me know what you think I guess?

      I've got an Asus M4A78LT-M Micro-ATX motherboard already that's brand new, along with 8gb's of DDR-3. I originally was planning to use this for a desktop upgrade but I think I may now use it for the CarPC. It has 4 back panel USB and headers for 6 more, so I can have 10 USB ports total onboard but I also have 2 PCI slots.

      Now I'd like to run at least 3 LCD's that can display their own video feeds or game feeds off this one PC. So I'm thinking of going with an ATI Radeon series video card that supports eyefinity so I can run all 3 of the displays off this one card. Here's the one I'm thinking of.

      HIS H667F1GD Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express

      The CPU, in plan to keep power requirements low this is one of the lowest TDP CPU's on newegg for socket AM3.

      AMD Athlon II X4 610e Propus 2.4GHz Socket AM3 45W Quad-Core

      On top of this I figure I should get as many USB ports as I can so I'd throw in a couple PCI cards. So now I'd have 20 total USB ports (might be enough? haha if not there is still a PCI-E slot)

      Rosewill NEC 4+1 Port USB2.0 PCI CARD Model RC-101

      The PSU I'm not sure yet, I'm not sure what kind of power this would all require? I'd probably go with an SSD just for shock impact resistence? Or I have a couple laptop drives around here I could use as well.

      As for sound? I'm not entirely sure yet, I do have a DIY DAC that I built from It's a dual mono opus so if I wanted I could separate it and have 4 channels. Also might end up going with a mini-DSP to go active. Some of these paths I haven't fully decided on yet.


      • #4
        Hardware sounds decent, be sure to plan where you mount your hardware, especially all USB devices you plan to connect, and where they will reside. I run a powered USB hub in my dash(es) to connect the dash cam, dash touchscreen, ipod adapter, thumbdrive port, steering wheel adapter (or powermate).

        Others to think about:
        OBDII adapter
        FusionBrain (don't forget input/output wiring)
        BMW adapter (i-bus I think)
        radio (I use Visteon HD)
        satellite radio
        optical drive
        power supply

        Also consider that you may need to run additional wires to and from where your PC is mounted, especially if the trunk. Between the dash and my PC I run the following.

        USB - 2 (one for audio, one for peripherals)
        +13.8 from car battery
        Ignition from car
        +12 from PC
        +5 from PC
        ground (especially important in the boat)
        antennae extension
        video (VGA or whatever)
        video (composite for backup cam to monitor)
        audio (I run a couple of 3.5mm extension cables for flexibility)

        you can pare this down with careful planning of where your peripherals reside.
        Last edited by DaveDog; 01-18-2012, 05:06 PM.
        TruckPC - gutted, being used for test setup
        BoatPC - All in 1 in cuddy, N7 using VNC on dash, RR
        BlazerPC - Nexus 7 with Timur's USBROM


        • #5
          You have good taste in cars, is the Impreza on your list? Since you will have so many USB ports I would suggest looking into some USB graphics cards, they will be much easier to power then a PCI card. As for hard drives, definitely go for a SSD. Remember, you want to power as little as you can from the PSU, so if something has an external power supply, that = good.

          If you want to know about multi zone PC's look at Hijack's build thread, I think he is running a 7 zone setup. Its a bit of a long read but it is also pretty cool what he has done.

          One more thing, how much room are you willing to sacrifice for your computer, will you put it in the trunk?
          Enter the LOTUS...
          (more info here)

          Pre-build thread

          Planning: ::::::::::::
          Parts: ::::::::::::
          Build: ::::::::::::
          Test: ::::::::::::
          Install: ::::::::::::

          Oh, yeah, and build the car... ::::::::::::


          • #6
            First of all! Thanks for the advice it's much appreciated.

            As for where it will be located, that depends on where I can fit it. If it's not a wagon or SUV pretty good chance it'll go in the trunk. If I do go with the Audi wagon I know there is quite a bit of cubby hole space in the back where the changer normally is and a tool kit and such. One of those will have a sub in it of course (fiberglass).

            As for the Impreza, they are nice yes but my main reason for sticking to the German cars is because I got so used to the interior of German cars. The Impreza is certainly a nice and capable (fast) car but I'm not sure I'd be happy with the interior. I haven't been in many Japanese cars that were as nice as German cars in the interior department. I'd be willing to look at one though so we'll have to see.

            On the cable front, I'll probably pull the center console and stuff out and carpet and run wiring there, I'm going to try and run extra wiring for future upgrades so that I don't have to run more wiring later.

            I don't think the video card I listed would really require that much power, I think I remember seeing a 300ish watt car PSU somewhere? The Opus? I think what I have listed should be fine off that? My worry about the USB displays is that the video card will then basically be a tax on the CPU and also I'm worried about performance of HD video and games and what not.

            It's nice to hear someones done 7 zones! My 3 zone setup should be cake then lol. I'll give that thread a look over.


            • #7
              Yes there is a 360w OPUS PSU out there but they are on the expensive side as I remember (just under $200). I personally haven't played with the USB graphics yet, but they can support HD video fairly well from what I have heard. There are some power supply calculators on the web that can be helpful with the power issues, remember that 20 USB ports can sink a lot of power.
              Enter the LOTUS...
              (more info here)

              Pre-build thread

              Planning: ::::::::::::
              Parts: ::::::::::::
              Build: ::::::::::::
              Test: ::::::::::::
              Install: ::::::::::::

              Oh, yeah, and build the car... ::::::::::::


              • #8
                Yeah I may rethink my USB a bit and use powered hubs or something, I could always use a second PSU even, I'll have to calculate power requirements out. A lot of the USB devices will likely have their own power as well though.


                • #9
                  Ok I found a PSU calculator. It actually allows you to select your specific CPU and Video Card, I put in 15 USB devices and 1 SSD, 1 Blu-Ray drive, 2 extra PCI devices and so on. It recommends a minimum of 200W PSU, but recommended a size of 250W.


                  • #10
                    So with that said, especially if I'm going to power some of my devices separately then I should be able to use something like this for 90 bucks?

                    Last edited by Hdale85; 01-18-2012, 10:15 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BoyRacer0013 View Post
                      If you want to know about multi zone PC's look at Hijack's build thread, I think he is running a 7 zone setup. Its a bit of a long read but it is also pretty cool what he has done.
                      Well I've read the first few pages so far, that rear system is HUGE! I think you could accomplish similar results now days with a single PC (micr-atx) and a nice CPU and one of the eyefinity cards. There are eyefinity models that can do 6 displays. Also he used 6 separate sound cards? If you have one of the PLUG capable sound cards couldn't you do 4 or so 2 channel zones with each separate output? Seems logical as windows see's these as different ports now?

                      Edit: Hah just read the next page and someone mentioned the Eyefinity setup, but he didn't seem to sure that you could run 6 displays off of it and just thought it was for panoramic modes. But you can run 6 displays separately rather then in eyefinity mode.
                      Last edited by Hdale85; 01-19-2012, 02:28 AM.


                      • #12

                        You helped me, I will try to help you. For multi-zone, the best choice IMO is NComputing/. It leverages your processor to "thin clients". Each zone will have its own keyboard, monitor and mouse. The user will think they have their "own" PC though it really is only one FULL PC.

                        Check it out.

                        Vehicle: [100%] 1995 C 1500 ECLB
                        Gear: [90%]
                        Build: [80%] PC & Chassis, Worklog


                        • #13
                          Isn't Centrafuse able to do 3 zones without all the virtual PC crap?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hdale85 View Post
                            Isn't Centrafuse able to do 3 zones without all the virtual PC crap?
                            I do not think so, but then again I do not use CF. Also, it is one thing to be able to display three seperate things on three monitors from one machine where one individual is in control; it is something totally different to have three independent controls on one machine. VPC is the easiest, most neatly packed, and cheapest way to do it I know of.

                            Vehicle: [100%] 1995 C 1500 ECLB
                            Gear: [90%]
                            Build: [80%] PC & Chassis, Worklog


                            • #15
                              Well, from videos I gathered that Centrafuse can do multi zones and you can even control what the other screens have control over which lead me to believe that you could have different control inputs. I may have to make a thread in the Centrafuse section and inquire into this. Is RR able to do any multizone stuff by default? I'm not sure I need controls in the back really. If I were going to run them like they were separate PC's I'd probably just use XBMC or something in the rear since it would be all for media for the most part. Hmm......