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Thread: Questions before buying a complete car pc system

  1. #1
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    Questions before buying a complete car pc system

    Hi all

    I have kept one eye on the carpc scene for a while and i am probably going to commit to buying a few componants soon. I would like to ask a few questions before I buy.

    Q1. How easy is it to modify a desktop pc to be used in the car ?
    Q2. If so could this be modified :- http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/edi...io-hybrid-4037 ?
    Q3. Could this be modified to use an M2 atx psu ?
    Q4 display's I would like an Indash motorised solution i quite like the idea of the xenarc 700idt but it is not motorised . What is the most popular used screen in this catagory?
    Q5 obviously in order to get this to work . Speakers, Monitor input/output power for amp and power for pc will be have to be reruited to the boot which i am capable of, I take it that the pc power would need to have a seperate fuse on it or is it onboard one of the M2 units?
    Q6 I was toying with the idea of using cat5 for the audio output for the pc has anyone done this if so how?

    Q7 I am sure I have left out quite a few bits and pieces that i might need for the setup to work could you list a few of the things that I have overlooked

    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
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    I'm not sure, but I believe I ran across an entire thread on the Dell Studio Hybrid here. Do a search on that particular model. I think most of your questions can be answered there.
    My opinion is my own.

  3. #3
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    A1 - That depends on how much effort you want to put into it. You can put a desktop PC in your trunk along with an inverter and there are no modifications needed. However, there are a number of desirable features such as a startup/shutdown controller to turn the PC on/off with the vehicle's ignition anbd the efficiency of a DC-DC power supply that require a bit of modification.
    For the most part, the easiest installs are comprised of desktop PC hardware designed for small enclosures (miniITX or microATX) and low power consumption.

    A2 - Can't tell you because the site is currently down for maintenance.
    Daniel stated the Dell Studio Hybrid, so I'm going to assume that's what you linked to. It is likely that the PC could be used with very little modification.

    A3 - If the motherboard is truly ATX compliant, then the M2 would work, so long as the power draw of the PC doesn't exceed the max output of the M2.

    A4 - I couldn't tell you the most popular. As far as I'm concerned none of them are of good enough quality. If you do some reading on the forums, you'll see users having issues with just about every make/model of motorized in-dash VGA touchscreen.

    A5 - The M2 has an onboard fuse, but you should fuse every line at the battery or wherever there is a change in wire gage, such as at a distribution block.

    A6 - Cat5 would be a poor choice for audio output IMHO.

    A7 - Start with the FAQs here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/advfaq.php
    Them move to the FAQ Emporium here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/the-faq-emporium/
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  4. #4
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
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    My opinion is my own.

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Based on the photos alone, I'd say the M2ATX is not the ideal for this unit.
    It may work, but since it uses an external AC-DC converter (aka "power brick"), it's very likely that a Carnetix P2140 or even P1900 would be a better fit.
    It all depends on the DC output voltage of the power brick for this unit.

    From this thread, it uses 19.5vDC. That's a perfect fit for a Carnetx P2140. I don't know if the P1900 has enough power. It might. It might not.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies guys , Theres alot of good info here

    Cat 5 poor choice for audio !??, I was under the impression that this gives the lowest signal to noise ratio (virtually none ) The only difficulty is to try to get the pc to output through cat 5. Whats your reasoning for it being a poor choice as I am intreaged ?

    Screen quality poor on motorised dash , I shall have a read on the link that was posted , I was never expecting an amazing quality in the first place, As long as it can display a none grainy desktop and some sort of touch screen overlay then i would be happy. I imagine it would be poor for tv and films but I would very rarely be using those abilities. Camera quality isnt amazing as its quite low res so I am guessing that this should also be ok.
    Thanks for the heads up though.

  7. #7
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    I've used cat5 cable as a patch cable before. I soldered the proper connectors on the ends. It works reasonably well. The sound was a little on the bright side, but was otherwise fine. A little adjustment with the EQ will get it sounding decent.

  8. #8
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    Isn't the problem that Cat 5 is quite thin gauge and unshielded?
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate bemenaker's Avatar
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    cat 5 makes excellent speaker wire, if you use it correctly. You have to use all the solids in parallel and all the striped in parallel and then the EM fields from the + and - of the signal cancel each other out. This is becoming quite common in home theater setups.

  10. #10
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    Well as speaker cable, the wires are usually braided together. I made a set a few years back, very nice sounding set of speaker cables.

    Check out the audioasylum.com "cable" forum if you want all the info you can handle on making your own speaker and interconnect cables.

    -- Kevin

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