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Thread: Rugged car computer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Rugged car computer

    I'm looking to put together an onboard mapping solution for my '71 Bronco trail truck and am looking for suggestions on equipment. This will need to be able to handle heavy trail use (think driving over 4' rocks, through 4-5 feet of water and significant vibration/impacts-I came close to rolling the truck the last time out). The goal is onboard mapping and audio management in a compact, durable package. Touch screen is preferred, ideally in the 10" range. Suggestions on where to start? I'm thinking a SSD will be pretty much mandatory, as it will not need to be massive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Dartmouth, MA
    Check out:

    I'm basing my current Car PC around it.
    - Low power: 8 watt full load
    - 2.5inch sata slot for SSD/HDD (You slide the drive in, screw it in, close it up. Seals real tight, drive can't move
    - Made out of metal. I can't identify metals well, but I bet you could chuck the thing at a wall if you wanted to
    - For ruggedness: the power barrel connector has a mounting screw on its side to ensure it doesn't fall out
    - For auto-on: Ability to set it to turn on when power is applied, so you should never have to open it
    - You'll want to feed it a regulated 12 volts, so you'll need a power supply.

    Now that I'm using this thing, I would say if you're fine with Atom, it's the best package, but that's an opinion, so of course, let others weigh in.

    Note that it does only have HDMI/DVI output and its HDMI->VGA adapter accessory only works with screens that provide their DDC/EDID information (on windows) so it will show your bios screen loading, the boot screen, and then dissappear at the login screen unless no graphics drivers are installed
    My Nearly Complete Car:

    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet

    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)

  3. #3
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Search criteria = your thread title.... First page has your thread and this one:

    Good place to start and will let you ask better questions.
    D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

    Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

    Read the FAQ!

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate RAWPWR's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Thumbs up

    How about this------>

    And a little demo.......

    Hook a touchscreen to it and your good to go. Also a lot of state troopers have/use these exclusively for the ruggedness.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited by RAWPWR; 09-13-2011 at 07:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2010
    You could get one of these:
    I basically plan to build the same thing with a zacate motherboard either mini itx or nano itx and put it in my dash behind the screen, this way it is up high so that if the car fills with water hopefully it won't reach the computer! Bolt it all down well and use a solid state drive and you should have few issues..

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