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  • i have alot of questions

    i want to put a mac mini in my f150

    but i wanna know
    first.. is it worth it lol

    how do you do audio out?
    and still have bass and good quality

    also how are you guys powering these? inverter?

    also best brand of screen? is a touchscreen worth it?


    thanks all
    id really appreciate some info

  • #2
    Wow, I'm about to give you a lot to go research.

    It's totally worth it when you get it running because it's totally customizable and you can add things to it for pennies. If you buy a flip out DVD player from Futureshop and want to add GPS it's about $400 for the unit. If you want to add GPS to your car computer it's $50 for the USB receiver and $100 for the maps.

    Audio out can be done 1 of 2 ways:
    1. If you keep a traditional CD player in the dash, you can run the audio out cable from your computer to the RCA input on the back of the headunit. If you want to play a CD like normal, just pop it in. If you want to listen to music from the computer, switch your headunit to AUX and voila. The signal is amplified by the headunit so that's all you need to do. The major problem with this is trying to put a headunit and a touchscreen in your dash.
    2. If you don't keep your regular CD player like myself, the audio can come out of the computer and into a regular 2/4 channel amplifier. Then from there out to your speakers, but either way the signal from the computer has to be amplified before hitting the speakers. And some people prefer to pre-amp before hitting the amplifier however that's another issue.

    Most computers I know of are powered by a DC-DC power supply which takes a 12 volt signal straight from the battery. These have many benefits like powering down so they don't drain the battery, startup/shutdown controllers and less install space. You can use an inverter if you want but they don't have startup/shutdown controllers so your computer won't know when your truck turns on/off. You'll have to manually reach down and hit the power button each time you get in/out of your truck and that will suck big time. Or you can use a custom controller but why not just spend the $60 on a DC-DC power supply? If you use an inverter you'll be taking the DC signal from the truck, using the inverter to convert it to AC signal, sending it to the computer power supply where it gets changed back to a DC signal and then powers the computer. Thus you get signal degradation.

    If you don't use a touchscreen.....well.....I pity you. some people prefer the touchpad mouse or thumb mouse, I don't know how they do it. It's just much easier to have the buttons on the screen and you touch what you want. Plus your passenger who wants to choose music knows how to use it instead of trying to figure out your mouse setup.
    Right now there are sunlight readable and non sunlight readable, the difference is about $300 between them. Personally I just bought a Xenarc which has a 1000 NIT and simply tries to outshine the sun instead of using the sunlight readable technology. It's bearable for me. If you don't go sunlight readable, the brands are pretty much Lilliput and Xenarc and from what I see on the forums the Lilliput is kind of a cheaper make which is why it's a cheaper cost. I chose the Xenarc because it still works at -40 degrees celsius here where people say the Lilliputs crap out. It also has automatic backup camera switching and stuff, you really need to research the features of each. MP3CAR has their own line of monitors as well but I can't tell if they're just rebranded Lilliputs or what they are.
    Ampie Case
    2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
    256 MB DDR2 PC5400
    Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
    Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
    M2-ATX-HV

    2005 Honda Civic

    Comment


    • #3
      ^^Thats a nice spoon feeding post
      VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
      Final Install
      CarPC progress: 95%

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Maheriano View Post
        Wow, I'm about to give you a lot to go research.

        It's totally worth it when you get it running because it's totally customizable and you can add things to it for pennies. If you buy a flip out DVD player from Futureshop and want to add GPS it's about $400 for the unit. If you want to add GPS to your car computer it's $50 for the USB receiver and $100 for the maps.

        Audio out can be done 1 of 2 ways:
        1. If you keep a traditional CD player in the dash, you can run the audio out cable from your computer to the RCA input on the back of the headunit. If you want to play a CD like normal, just pop it in. If you want to listen to music from the computer, switch your headunit to AUX and voila. The signal is amplified by the headunit so that's all you need to do. The major problem with this is trying to put a headunit and a touchscreen in your dash.
        2. If you don't keep your regular CD player like myself, the audio can come out of the computer and into a regular 2/4 channel amplifier. Then from there out to your speakers, but either way the signal from the computer has to be amplified before hitting the speakers. And some people prefer to pre-amp before hitting the amplifier however that's another issue.

        Most computers I know of are powered by a DC-DC power supply which takes a 12 volt signal straight from the battery. These have many benefits like powering down so they don't drain the battery, startup/shutdown controllers and less install space. You can use an inverter if you want but they don't have startup/shutdown controllers so your computer won't know when your truck turns on/off. You'll have to manually reach down and hit the power button each time you get in/out of your truck and that will suck big time. Or you can use a custom controller but why not just spend the $60 on a DC-DC power supply? If you use an inverter you'll be taking the DC signal from the truck, using the inverter to convert it to AC signal, sending it to the computer power supply where it gets changed back to a DC signal and then powers the computer. Thus you get signal degradation.

        If you don't use a touchscreen.....well.....I pity you. some people prefer the touchpad mouse or thumb mouse, I don't know how they do it. It's just much easier to have the buttons on the screen and you touch what you want. Plus your passenger who wants to choose music knows how to use it instead of trying to figure out your mouse setup.
        Right now there are sunlight readable and non sunlight readable, the difference is about $300 between them. Personally I just bought a Xenarc which has a 1000 NIT and simply tries to outshine the sun instead of using the sunlight readable technology. It's bearable for me. If you don't go sunlight readable, the brands are pretty much Lilliput and Xenarc and from what I see on the forums the Lilliput is kind of a cheaper make which is why it's a cheaper cost. I chose the Xenarc because it still works at -40 degrees celsius here where people say the Lilliputs crap out. It also has automatic backup camera switching and stuff, you really need to research the features of each. MP3CAR has their own line of monitors as well but I can't tell if they're just rebranded Lilliputs or what they are.



        ... wow
        thankyou so much that is alot of awesome information
        i will deffinately do a touch screen for sure and i think as soon as i get the money i will go out and buy a mac mini! i dont want this to be a "Budget build" i wanna do it all the way

        where can i get a power supply?

        Comment


        • #5
          You can find one on carnetix: http://carnetix.com/
          iC3
          Citroen C3

          progress ##### 50%

          ICE3

          ITALY

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kalealmighty View Post
            first.. is it worth it lol
            That's a really tough question to answer. It depends on a few things but Maheriano had some good thoughts on it. Personally, I'm happy with my CarPC, but I can't say it was always that way. It took a lot of work to get it to that point and a lot of frustration in the process. There are days I wish I went with a headunit, iPod and a garmin GPS unit.

            Originally posted by Kalealmighty View Post
            how do you do audio out?
            and still have bass and good quality
            I'm using an external sound card. There are a few options depending on how crazy you want to go sound quality-wise.

            Originally posted by Kalealmighty View Post
            also how are you guys powering these? inverter?
            greghy90 mentioned Carnetix, which is what I'm running. Other than an inverter they are your only option to power a mac mini,

            Originally posted by Kalealmighty View Post
            also best brand of screen? is a touchscreen worth it?
            A touch screen is definitely worth it, I've had both a Liliput and a Xenarc, I prefer Xenarc, it's much higher quality.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kalealmighty View Post
              i want to put a mac mini in my f150

              but i wanna know
              first.. is it worth it lol
              I am of the general opinion that by asking this question, you will find it is not worth it.

              Let's face facts: Installing a PC in your ride is a never-ending project. There is always something to do with or for the PC in your ride, whether it's replacing hardware with something better, software & OS updates, new features & functionality, or even cleaning up the wiring to look pretty.

              If you want a system that simply "does what you want", then you need to look at headunits with GPS nav capability and any other features/functionality you want.
              A PC-based solution is not as simple as "install it and forget it".
              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
              How about the Wiki?



              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DarquePervert View Post
                A PC-based solution is not as simple as "install it and forget it".
                Too true, one day your CarPC may function perfectly, the next it may not want to boot up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i been wanting to do the same but im hold cause as of right now i have a kenwood dnx 7120 all im missing is bluetooth.

                  i have a mac mini powerpc at home doing nothing & thinking of putting in the car but all i see use for it is for media, & i dont think its worth it for me

                  good luck in what u decide & maybe one day i give in & put my mini in my car

                  btw i still love coming to this site to read up & look @ other peoples project

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    awesome!!! thanks again ,
                    and yes this is a project i want to keep going because in my spare time i get really bored and i know it is probably going to be tuff but i think in the end it is all going to be worth it...

                    a 7" or 8" screen.... does that look big enough? enough room to navigate around?

                    and what about a flip out monitor like this one
                    https://www.xenarcdirect.com/product...cat=253&page=1

                    anybody have any information on these?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DarquePervert View Post
                      I am of the general opinion that by asking this question, you will find it is not worth it.

                      Let's face facts: Installing a PC in your ride is a never-ending project. There is always something to do with or for the PC in your ride, whether it's replacing hardware with something better, software & OS updates, new features & functionality, or even cleaning up the wiring to look pretty.

                      If you want a system that simply "does what you want", then you need to look at headunits with GPS nav capability and any other features/functionality you want.
                      A PC-based solution is not as simple as "install it and forget it".
                      Agreed. I am pretty new to the car pc 'scene' but one thing I have learned is that you have to have a genuine interest in computers and car electronics to have a decent end product. It is more of a hobby or passion than a practical solution

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kalealmighty View Post
                        awesome!!! thanks again ,
                        and yes this is a project i want to keep going because in my spare time i get really bored and i know it is probably going to be tuff but i think in the end it is all going to be worth it...
                        Welcome to the madness, then.

                        a 7" or 8" screen.... does that look big enough? enough room to navigate around?
                        Anything larger won't fit in most dashes.
                        I suggest looking at other users' completed projects to see how a 7" or 8" looks in a typical dash.
                        For most, the size is perfect.

                        and what about a flip out monitor like this one
                        https://www.xenarcdirect.com/product...cat=253&page=1

                        anybody have any information on these?
                        Avoid them like the plague.
                        They all suffer from poor build quality and low-quality mechanicals to some degree or another.
                        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                        How about the Wiki?



                        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kalealmighty View Post
                          awesome!!! thanks again ,
                          and yes this is a project i want to keep going because in my spare time i get really bored and i know it is probably going to be tuff but i think in the end it is all going to be worth it...

                          a 7" or 8" screen.... does that look big enough? enough room to navigate around?

                          and what about a flip out monitor like this one
                          https://www.xenarcdirect.com/product...cat=253&page=1

                          anybody have any information on these?
                          Try to keep the FLIP monitor a side. In my opinion you you should try to keep an OEM look. a flip monitor will ruined your interior orignial design...anyway this is my 2 cents.

                          Look on the forum in the show my project section, you'll find a lot of ideas
                          VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
                          Final Install
                          CarPC progress: 95%

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by craig131 View Post
                            Agreed. I am pretty new to the car pc 'scene' but one thing I have learned is that you have to have a genuine interest in computers and car electronics to have a decent end product. It is more of a hobby or passion than a practical solution
                            you are correct. If you come at this as a hobby first then the carpc is awesome. However, if you want something that you can install and just forget about then there are much better solutions out there.

                            I have had several friends that have seen my setup and get the idea that they want to try it in their car, I always tell them that they better be prepared to spend some time/money because this is a never ending project (mostly i try to discourage them from doing it simply because I know that I am going to end up doing most of it for them).

                            all that being said, i could not imagine giving up the customization and versatility of a carpc for some canned solution from some company like pioneer that is going to charge $200 for every proprietary add-on that they have.
                            Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=natedawgg;1368771

                              all that being said, i could not imagine giving up the customization and versatility of a carpc for some canned solution from some company like pioneer that is going to charge $200 for every proprietary add-on that they have.[/QUOTE]

                              i agree being custom is what it is all about.. and standing out of the crowd

                              Comment

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