(Sorry, long post follows!)...

Catfish -

My company has been developing an in-car PC for over 2 years now, and I must say that this isn't something where you can just throw a bunch of parts together and sell. Believe me, it takes much more work than you might think...

You will need professional PCB's made for the power supply, a custom enclosure (if you want to go that route like we did!) which involves having a sheetmetal shop cut, bend, and machine the metal for the I/O ports, etc.

You need to consider hard disk mounting (for a commercial product, a piece of foam or rubber bands won't cut it).

Also, what will you do if your box catches fire and burns down someone's expensive vehicle, or worse, their house? You need to invest some money to have your box tested to make sure it is safe. Also, as a commercial product, your box may need FCC or similar approval. This requires more money and more testing at an FCC-approved facility.

Plus you will need to do extensive research on how your unit handles hot and cold extremes... you don't want to get lots of angry phone calls from people who live in areas where subzero temperatures caused the hard disk not to spin up. You need to think about things like this.

It's no easy task to go from a hobbiest-type system to a commercial unit. It takes a lot of time and money to accomplish. If you want to go commercial with your project, you need to get out of the "desktop PC in the trunk" mind-set and actually engineer a PC that runs in the car.

Take it from me, if you want to go commercial with this you will need to consider a lot more factors than you would if it were just a side-project for yourself. You are dealing with other people and your unit must perform as promised.

I suggest since this is a commercial hardware topic, that you post any other comments in that board. Above all, have fun with your project and I wish you the best.


Jason Johnson
President/CEO
Johnson Interface Solutions
Mobile Computing Division

http://www.m2pc.com

[This message has been edited by jjohnson (edited 01-15-2001).]