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Thread: Got a sweat deal on a Epia 9000

  1. #1
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    Got a sweet deal on a Epia 9000

    I went to Fry's today (for those of you who haven't heard of Fry's it is like heaven for all computer nerds, the stores are bigger then costco and sell everything electronic. There computer section alone is usually the size of a circuit city and they carry just about every obscure part known to man.)

    Anyway, they were all out of Epia M's except for the display model. They apparantly had a sale on them for 120. Since I was getting the display model they knocked off 20 bucks and also since there was damage to one of the locks that holds the ddr in they knocked off another six bucks. So all told I got a Epia M 9000 for 94 bucks. Of course I still have to test the thing to see if it works.

    I ordered the powersupply from Mini-Box and plan to be a guinie pig of sorts for you guys and hook it right up to my cars electrical system. If it blows it blows, it is in the hands of the computer gods...

    Anyway, I can't wait start to work on revision 2.0 of my system. I plan on moving the whole computer from my trunk to a double din case and have it work like a regular slide in replacement for a stereo.

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate eugenen's Avatar
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    My mini-box supply died when I pulled out of my driveway, but the guy there says it shouldn't have so they are replacing it under warranty.

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    putting your entire computer into a double-din slot the size of a radio will be quite the task... There really isn't a lot of space in a double-din slot to hold everything that you're gonna need for a carputer. How do you plan on accomplishing this?

    And as has been discussed to death already, hooking up the mini-box directly to your car's electrical system is a BAD IDEA no matter if it works for a little while or not, you're gambling and sooner or later it will fry your equipment and cost you $$$$.

    What do you plan on using in this computer?
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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    Originally posted by eugenen
    My mini-box supply died when I pulled out of my driveway, but the guy there says it shouldn't have so they are replacing it under warranty.
    Where did you buy this, what guy said this and did you tell them that you wired it directly to your car's electrical system?
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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    Sorry I haven't responded, I haven't been on line for a while.

    First off the powersupply, yeah you guys are probably right, I could end up smoking all of this. However I read this faq on mini-box's website regarding their 60watt power supply and using it in an automotive setting. Their response (which you can read in the link) was basically that the power supply can handle anything from 10-14 volts without problems.

    http://www.mini-box.com/faqpw60.htm

    As for getting everything into a double din space it was tight but doable. My system only consists of the motherboard, harddrive, and powersupply.

    One thing about the car I have (a 92 Nissan Maxima) the dash was almost designed for a carpc. Everything just worked to be able to put the whole motherboard right in the dash.

    I will take the system out of my car in a couple of days to build up the software (I'm stilling waiting for my power supply to power it) at which time I will take some pictures for you guys.

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    your motherboard is smaller than a radio footprint?

    yeah pictures would be nice to see.

    Long live the Maxima! I've got a '87 in my garage that's rusting to hell because I haven't done anything on it for a while. it needs a lot of work and I just don't have the time

    A lead acid battery doesn't put out 14.4V when fully charged (12.5V maybe), but while the car is running it puts out that much. Their solution is to put a pair of diodes in series to drop the voltage by 1.5V, which isn't a great idea, you might as well just use a linear regulator, that would be a lot better for your system in the long run.
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure about the actual dimensions of a radio, just that I had almost ten and a half inches of depth to work with which is probably more then most people have to work with. I will try to take some pictures of it this afternoon so you guys can get an idea of how I did it, although it isn't anything special really.

    Also, I know it has come up before but where do you pick up the linear regulator?

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    any electronics store or online in a place like www.partsexpress.com or www.digikey.com
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate eugenen's Avatar
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    Putting a mini-itx in a DIN slot is possible. They mini-itx is 6.5" square and a din slot is 7"wide and 2" tall. the mini-box is in a 1U heiht which is 1.75" tall so in a din you get an extra 1/4".

    From the page on the mini-box site it doesn't say anything about having anything on the input (see link above). I stuck a linerat in front of mine for now but want to do something simpler. I'm thinking a 14v zener across the input should be enough.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by eugenen
    Putting a mini-itx in a DIN slot is possible. They mini-itx is 6.5" square and a din slot is 7"wide and 2" tall. the mini-box is in a 1U heiht which is 1.75" tall so in a din you get an extra 1/4".
    Right, but with a hard drive and power supply it'll be really tight, especially if you wanted to put a CDROM in there too.
    From the page on the mini-box site it doesn't say anything about having anything on the input (see link above).
    Sure it does... Here I'll quote it for you:
    Q) Can I use this DC-DC converter with a lead acid battery?
    A) Lead acid batteries can produce 14.4V when fully charged.
    Our DC-DC converter was designed for 12V operation, however, it will work at 14.4V without any problems. You can also put 2 diodes in series with the DC-DC converter to drop the voltage by 1.5V or so.
    Additionally
    Q) Can I use this DC-DC converter in a car?
    A) Cars can be nasty enviroments. If the voltage will be in between 12-14, things will be fine. However, cars can produce anywhere from 5-18V, especially when using a weak battery. Again, few diodes should drop V(in) by 1-2 volts
    I stuck a linerat in front of mine for now but want to do something simpler. I'm thinking a 14v zener across the input should be enough.
    any regulator is much better than a diode, as it will provide a much cleaner and constant voltage to the PSU than a simple diode will. Additionally using a diode or two you won't be able to use the computer with your car turned off at all. If you use 2 diodes to drop the voltage to 13V while running, when the car is turned off you will be at max 11V, and quickly drop to a 9-10V range, which is far below tolerance for any 12V devices. A switching regulator is by far the best choice, second a linear and then a simple diode.
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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