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Thread: Planning a carputer

  1. #1
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    Planning a carputer

    I'm planning to build a carputer for my 95 Altima, and I wanted some opinions on my configuration. First, I'm going to have a 533MHz cpu which I already have, on an ECS motherboard thats on ebay for like $20. It has onboard sound, video, etc. I'll probably use Windows 98 or 2000, and Winamp as the media player. I have a spare 10 gig hard drive to use for this. As for power, I'll use an inverter and power supply I already have. To control this setup, I'll use a Palm3c with an easy to read color display using Palmamp to interface with Winamp. This can do basic things like Play/Pause, Stop, Previous, and Next, as well as displaying detailed tag information. My main problem with this is that a playlist with all of my music on it would be much too large for that small screen, and there isn't a way to change playlists from the Palm itself. So in addition to the Palm, I found another plugin for Winamp that allows you to control it with a gamepad. With the gamepad I could do more advanced things like sorting by artist or album. I think this should yield good results, as the Palm will display all information about the tracks playing, while the gamepad handles most of the controls. I would run this into the 1/8in. aux port on my stereo, which will power my speakers until I get an amp. I think I've planned everything out, but as I have never done this before any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Oh, forgot to mention that this setup will be used in the trunk of my car, and in AZ the trunk gets pretty hot. Will this be a problem for anything as long as I use smartfans(temprature sensitive)? Also I need someway to shut it down when the car is turned off, although if there isn't a cheap and easy solution I can always just hit the power button before the car is turned off.

  3. #3
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    would seriously reconsider using the inverter, I have one currently and it is giving me nothing but grief, sometimes it will switch the PSU on sometimes it won't, it, if the input voltage is too low it doesn't work, the Opus to my knowledge is a little more forgiving when it comes to low voltage.

    I am also convinced, but am testing this theory at the moment, that when my engine is running and a good supply voltage is entering the inverter, that it doesn't like this either, e.g. when my power caps read 14.6v (spirited driving) and I try to switch on the inverter the computer decides not to boot, the LCD comes on but the computer doesn't.

    Like I said I am testing this theory and my actually be something else but thats my experience with inverters, problematic and under scrutiny with an ever growing realisation that I should have listened to everyone else on here and BOUGHT AN OPUS, lol.

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate EBFoxbat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve05042
    Will this be a problem for anything as long as I use smartfans(temprature sensitive)?
    If the trunk is hot, fans will only circulate hot air. While this is better than no circulation at all, it's not really a good cooling plan.

    It could be close as to weather or not its too hot. The HDD might not like 150 degress in a trunk after a long day in the sun.

    I say you mount the entire thing externally and just use the movement of your car to cool it
    ,./(0)3

    '04 Canyon 4x4 pickup

    [---PC on hold----working on external fiberglass "tool" box---]

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate owenjh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBFoxbat
    I say you mount the entire thing externally and just use the movement of your car to cool it
    Thats an idea, roofrack mounted PC
    CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
    Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows

  6. #6
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    I agree about the inverter, most people have bad luck with those it seems. The only reason I'm going to use it is because i have one already, along with a spare PSU. If I really like having the carputer, then I'll definitely buy an Opus.

    By the way, has anyone used a Palm to control theirs before? I thought it would be a good use for an old one that is never really used anymore.

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