Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 45

Thread: Plug and Play CarPC??

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    180

    Plug and Play CarPC??

    After building my first carpc (see link in sig), which is based on a Eee PC 701, I've had many people who've seen it ask me how difficult it was and if I could do one for them.

    This got me thinking about what I'd use if I were to build a standard Double-DIN Carputer that could be put into almost any vehicle with little to no setup, hacking or tweaking...

    The basic criteria I'd want from this device are:
    Media, GPS, Internet (through Bluetooth Cellular Modem), Emulator Games, and possibly OBD

    Plus I'd want to keep cost under $400, (which may mean using Linux to save on software costs) and have it be relatively plug and play... Any thoughts??

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    Posts
    5,848
    i tend to agree that this is one area that is seriously lacking.

    last i heard, member justchat(and i thought kev000- not sure of his new name..) is working on it, but hasn't listed a price yet because he is still figuring all the hardware out...

    check this thread for updates:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/gene...ware-have.html

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    i tend to agree that this is one area that is seriously lacking.

    last i heard, member justchat(and i thought kev000- not sure of his new name..) is working on it, but hasn't listed a price yet because he is still figuring all the hardware out...

    check this thread for updates:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/gene...ware-have.html
    Thanks for the head's up on that thread... Looks like a really great product should be out soon..

    However, since we are a DIY community, I was thinking something more along the lines of a general formula that you can follow, which should yield good results for almost anyone across the board...

    Like, buy hardware A + B + C from X, Y, Z suppliers. Combine, following a specific recipe, install like you would most any other car stereo, and voila! You have yourself a carputer for under $400!

    I mean, with today's level of technology and the global marketplace, this should certainly be possible, right?

    I feel like we just have to find that magic combo of low-cost hardware and distributors....

    I'm gonna start throwing some ideas out there:

    Proposed Setup 1 - Eee PC (or other Netbook-Based CarPC):
    This is the route that I went, and I could have easily brought it in under the $400 mark, if I had not opted to buy a Parrot CK3100 Hands-free Bluetooth Calling Kit (which I did because this was a must-have feature for me), and a new head unit (which I did mainly because my factory one was under-powered, and had no Aux input)...

    The original 700 series Eee PC's are widely available on eBay in the sub-$100 range if they don't have any accessories, and come with Linux. OR in the $100-$150 range if they have some upgrades and XP installed.

    There's also a great support community for them over at eeeuser.com and plenty of upgrades and accessories available... The best part was that I was also able to use my original LCD screen by adding a touch-screen overlay, and I also reused the LCD bezel as well...

    The only real problem with this option is that you still need to have something to power your speakers, like a relocated head-unit or just a straight amp to speakers setup... This probably wont put it over budget, but it does defeat the idea of Plug-and-Play...

    Another obstacle with using the Eee PC as a Plug-and-Play CarPC is that the motherboard doesn't quite fit inside a standard Double-DIN opening. For most vehicles, it will be either too long, and have to go in lengthwise at an angle but stick out in the front a bit at the bottom, causing the screen to angle up about 5 degrees or so,

    or it will be Too wide, and make you have to trim some of the inner console brackets and such, which is what i did...

    Therefore the Eee PC would need some kind of custom double-DIN enclosure made to mount it as shown above, and you'd have to add a mini-amp like the AMP9-BASIC from 41Hz.com...

    If the mini-amp runs about US$75 + Shipping, that would leave about $20-$40 to find a suitable double-DIN case to mount everything in... if that exists somewhere out there, or can be custom made for that price, then the Eee-powered Plug-and-Play CarPC option (with some assembly required) may actually be feasible:

    Asus Eee PC 701: 512MB to 1GB RAM, 4GB SSD, Celeron 630MHz (can be overclocked to 900MHz) ~ $100 to $150 (eBay)
    4x35w mini-amp ~$40 (ByByte.com)
    7" Double-DIN CarPC Enclosure ~$58 (ByByte.com)
    7" USB Plug-n-Play Touch Screen Digitizer for Asus Eee PC 701 ~ $33.50 (Deal Extreme)
    G.Mouse Mini USB SiRF Star-III 20-Channel GPS Receiver ~ $38.50 (Deal Extreme)
    USB Digital Radio Receiver Dongle (FM 76~108Mhz) ~$12.50 (Deal Extreme)
    4GB SDHC Card ~$10 (Deal Extreme)
    4 Port USB 2.0 Hub ~$5 (Deal Extreme)
    Car Charger Cigarette Adapter for Asus 7" Eee PC 701 ~ $4.50 (Deal Extreme)
    Super Mini Bluetooth 2.0 Adapter Dongle ~ $2.50 (Deal Extreme)
    Vehicle-Specific Wiring Harness ~$5 to $10 (eBay)
    Ground Loop Isolator ~$6 to $12 (eBay)
    Roll-up Flexible Keyboard ~$5 (local Staples)
    Momentary SPST N.O. Push-button Switch ~$3 (local Radio Shack)
    assorted wiring, connectors & fuses ~$10 to $15 (various local stores)
    ------------------------------------
    Grand total estimate: $335 to $400, plus however much shipping is on the mini-amp and double-DIN enclosure kit

    Still leaves a bit of room for the double-din mounting kit and bezel... Any thoughts??
    EDIT: Double-DIN enclosure and Bezel added to total cost. Found cheaper amp too. See Post below.

  4. #4
    Raw Wave
    Auto Apps:loading...
    justchat_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Boston, Ma or NY,NY
    Posts
    2,359
    Fair warning that radio is crap and a half....the rest looks like a decent plan though. Just keep in mind you may have thermal and/or rf issues from the mounting position.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    Fair warning that radio is crap and a half....
    Hmm... Thanks for the warning, but the reviews seem pretty good on it though...
    You think it would still be no good for a car, even if I beefed up the antenna? or tied it into the car's antenna?

    The only other ones I found from a more reputable brand (for more than twice the price though) were: ADS Tech Instant FM Music Video Device RDX-155-EF and RADIOSHARK2 - Am/fm Radio Recorder
    Which other ones would you recommend instead??

    the rest looks like a decent plan though.
    Thanks for the support! My buddy with a fully-built custom turbo Nissan 240SX really wants to be the guinea pig for this project, so that he can adjust his stand-alone engine management software on the fly... Which means that I may be moving forward on it pretty soon... On a side note, he works at a busy Tires Plus in town, that gets a lot of high end vehicles... So if I do it well, and he shows it off at work, then there should definitely be a market to do more of them...

    Just keep in mind you may have thermal and/or rf issues from the mounting position.
    The Eee's stock fan (which I also left in my own setup) would now blow out the back/top in this setup, so I may need a way to redirect that air if there is something in the way (usually AC vents)... Perhaps reversing the direction of the fan and try to push the heat out underneath? Plus if you don't run them at 900MHz, and add a big heatsink/cooling fan, like from a celeron/P4 or similar, then they usually stay pretty cool (or at least within reason)...

    What kind of RF issues do you think I would run into? And what would they have to do with the mounting position?? In my current setup, the mobo is angled slightly, but its also mounted laterally now, as opposed to longitudinally... I haven't had any RF issues so far, but I don't really know what I'd be looking for either...

    What I really want to find is a good (cheap )double DIN cage with bezel or mounting kit...
    ByByte.com seems to have the best deals @ $30 for the LCD Frame, and I could make my own brackets for the mobo... but they're out of stock now
    They also have full enclosures for $58! Which might be more suited to what I want to do... and the enclosure will just have to get hit with the dremel pretty hard... or maybe I can contact them to see if they're interested in doing something custom?? Perhaps after I make a decent mockup though...

    Looks like they also have $40 4x35w mini-amps, which should save me about $40 compared to the 41Hz.com model...

    What I'd eventually like to have is a set of instructions similar to these: http://www.bybyte.com/ABS-install.htm
    Except have them be for mounting a Eee into an enclosure.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    180
    Proposed Setup 2 - Mini ITX Based CarPC:

    Basically replace the EeePC above with:
    Foxconn 45CS Intel Atom 230 Intel 945GC Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo ~$65 (NewEgg)
    Mini 7" TFT Digital Colour LCD TV Monitor (1140x468 resolution & VGA input) ~$77 (DealExtreme)
    12V 120W DC-DC Mini ITX Power Supply ~$25 (eBay)

    The problem is that after you add RAM and a Hard Drive, even if you take out the 4GB SD Card
    and Eee Car Charger, you're still more expensive than you were before...

    Plus I'd want some other kind of shutdown controller or at least a 12V back-up battery (maybe a motorcycle/scooter lead-acid battery) wired with diodes so that the car can charge it but it couldn't ever drain the car battery... Perhaps this??
    http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-EA2045-S...=pd_sbs_auto_3

    More $$$... Less Plug and Play...

  7. #7
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Colorado, but Canadian!
    Posts
    10,053
    See kev000's new thread on this subject, there are good arguments both ways for exactly this concept. I dont know his new name either, but you'll know its him, it has the word "linux" in the post

    And that radio does suck, it cant lock on well when moving. The eepc is seriously lacking in power and quality. A M10k is faster.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    See kev000's new thread on this subject, there are good arguments both ways for exactly this concept. I dont know his new name either, but you'll know its him, it has the word "linux" in the post
    Ya, links would help here.. Plus, what really good Front ends and Nav software are out for linux??

    And that radio does suck, it cant lock on well when moving.
    Ok, I acknowledged that the radio could be improved in the post above, but have still yet to hear any good suggestions as to which ones DO work, and are still inexpensive.

    The eepc is seriously lacking in power and quality. A M10k is faster.
    I am going to disagree with you about the Eee's quality and power. I use mine in the car daily, and I love it. I've never had any issues with the power or quality. Songs never skip, Nav starts right up, I'm under 90 seconds from a cold boot into the FE, ready to rock (and it could be much faster if I slipstreamed XP).

    The only time I've ever had Centrafuse crash was while I was running iGuidance in the background and playing with the more CPU intensive visualizations... This was likely a software-related issue, though, rather than a hardware-related one. But honestly, who can look at both while driving anyway?

  9. #9
    Admin. Linux loser.
    Auto Apps:loading...
    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Corning, NY
    Posts
    7,364
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    See kev000's new thread on this subject, there are good arguments both ways for exactly this concept. I dont know his new name either, but you'll know its him, it has the word "linux" in the post

    And that radio does suck, it cant lock on well when moving. The eepc is seriously lacking in power and quality. A M10k is faster.
    Kev's new name is Tripzero
    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

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate firstorbit84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Kev's new name is Tripzero
    Thanks, but I searched and haven't found any threads where he mentions something similar to what I'd like to do???

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Plug and play but where
    By AJWatU in forum LCD/Display
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-19-2007, 04:39 PM
  2. Plug n play macbook
    By davhorgan in forum MacCar
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-08-2006, 11:09 PM
  3. Plug & Play carPC removal from car.....
    By camsgs3 in forum General Hardware Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-17-2006, 11:02 AM
  4. Minlogon and now no plug and play
    By egeekial in forum WinNT Based
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-11-2005, 03:26 PM
  5. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 11-19-2002, 06:37 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •