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Newbie here! Setup CarPC with Riderunner!

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  • Newbie here! Setup CarPC with Riderunner!


    My name is Porto and I live in Holland.

    I have registered to a few days ago to gather info about the how and why's of Carputers/CarPC's.

    Currently I have in my car a ready-to-run system based on Windows CE, but because most important files are written in ROM you can't do anything else with it, actually.

    Because of this I'm currently planning in installing a CarPC based on the following components:

    - 7" Touchscreen on-dash monitor with VGA/USB

    Ordered in Ebay, here in Holland those screens are quite expensive, 200+ euro's ($350) is no exception; that's why I ordered one in Germany for half that money.
    I hope the quality is good but there's only one way to find out, no?

    I want to make some kind of railingsystem so the screen can be fold down and slide into the radio DIN slot, out of sight. Also in Holland there are losers destroying window and half your dashboard for a 100 euro screen or radio.

    - Mac Mini 2.0ghz core 2 duo cpu, 2GB RAM, DVD drive, Windows 7 or Windows XP (lite)

    De Mac Mini will function as the main computer but also as the so called 'detachable front'; it will not sleep in my car at night. I'm going to fabricate some kind of docking station where the Mac will slide into the necessary slots.
    Because it's detachable, thus mobile, I can use the Mac in-house for media center purposes or easy tweak the software/hardware instead of walking constantly to my car to try another setting.

    - Roadrunner/Riderunner as frontend programm

    I want to use Riderunner because it's free, it got many plugins, quite alot of support on the forums and recognize many hardware. Also custom build skins are quite easy to implant.

    - Silabs USB stick *** FM/AM tuner with RDS

    Normally this radiostick doesn't have good reception while on the move but there exist a little antenna tweak which consist of far better coax cable and a better grounding.

    Also notice that the Brando USB radio stick ($20) uses the same board but with an external antenna. This stick is some $15 cheaper.

    Because HD Radio is not present in Holland I have to use a normal FM/AM tuner.

    - USB hub

    To minimize the amount of plugs going into the docking station, I'll use an usb hub for all usb components like radio, gps, keyboard/touchpad.

    - External input

    For a quick(er) input an all-in-one wireless RF keyboard/touchpad/mouse solution

    - Power

    As Power Supply I have to use the original Mac supply because of the MagSafe plug.
    Just have to find a good convertor for using the 12 - 13.8v current with this Mac supply.
    I need something which can delay the shutdown when turning the ignition off to give the Mini the time to shutdown.

    If someone got any info/suggestions about this matter, very grateful!

    - Amplifier

    Need to think about this one. I won't need a heavy one because I don't play my music very loud and got no Subwoofer (anymore), so a simple 4 channel one with 120-160W power is sufficient.

    - Navigation/GPS

    Because you can use multiple programs under Windows, I'm thinking about using IgO or Tomtom but also Sygic is a very good program to use (using it now in my car).

    Just bought a GPS receiver over USB, the Globalsat BU-353 with Sirfstar III.
    Very known for its good reception and overall quality.

    Bluetooth / Mobile Phone support

    Bluetooth module is build-in the Mac Mini. Just need to figure out yet how-to setup Roadrunner to connect to my phone (and keep the connection!).
    I know of PhoCo and Mobile but which one is better / reliable to use?

    - OBD (2) Onboard diagnostics

    There are special cables to USB for OBD reading with a computer. Intergration in Roadrunner can be done but I don't know yet WHAT can be read from the OBD of my 14 years old Alfa Romeo 164.
    But this is not a necessary item, just for fun and it's quite cool to have.

    Already ordered items:

    - 7" touchscreen
    - Mac Mini
    - USB hub
    - GPS stick
    - Radio stick
    - External keyboard/touchpad/mouse input device

    I already use a Vodafone USB stick for mobile Internet so I can use that also on-the-go!

    Doe you have comments, suggestions, tips, how-to's etc... I want to hear them!