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Thread: My notebook plan (long read) please advise.

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate mpfjr's Avatar
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    My notebook plan (long read) please advise.

    Frontend: Latest Mediacar version with the brushed aluminum Nissan skin. I have an 05 Nissan Altima 3.5SE.

    I have a dell Inspiron 7000 notebook computer. I have upgraded the memory to 192MB's and the hard drive to 5400RPM 40 GB drive.

    It has an old USB 1.0 port so for usb 2.0 I found this: (Zonet 2 Port USB 2.0 PCMCIA expansion card (creates usb 2.0 ports for notebooks) $24.27 with $10.00 rebate @ buy.com)

    USB 2.0 Hubs are a dime a dozen.

    Now that I have usb 2.0 I'll be using usb 2.0 for most devices.

    For the 7" Touch screen I am of course looking at the Xenarc that this site sells. $429.00 plus shipping.

    For DVD I am not sure how to go and could use your advice. My notebook has a dvd drive so should I just use that or should I get an external usb 2.0 dvd rom? The external would be great cuz I could mount it up front in the glove compartment but I am not sure it is worth it. I could just pull over ever two hours and put a new dvd in the laptop. (mounted in the trunk.)

    MP3 player- winamp with Mediacar.

    Sound: here is another problemo. My laptop has cheazy sound and I am concerned how it will sound through my car head unit. Is there a good external USB soundcard that you recommend? (think cheap).
    The External USB SB Audigy is about $100.00 on ebay (after shipping) and that is more than I want to spend.

    Win-TV Decoder with FM radio USB version. $73.53 at buy.com

    TV antenna?: There are several on e-bay but I don't know what is good. My rear window is tinted plus my rear window has the built in radio antenna. I am not sure what is best. Help?

    GPS NAV: I ordered the combo kit that has the i.trek usb mouse and Iguidance 2.0 for $192.00 tax/shipping incl. I am happy with it so far. Just testing using my notebook on the passenger seat the last few days.

    I bought a docking station/port replicator for my notebook. I'll mount it to the underside of the rear deck in the trunk so I can slide my notebook in and out and take it with me everywhere.

    Power cable for notebook: I don't have one for the 12volt car setup. What do I need? I'll end up cutting off the cigarette lighter style attachment and just hard wiring it to the 12volt system. Does that sound right?

    I have heard that it is going to be a pain to get it to boot up when I start the car and shut down when I turn the car off. I'll have to hack the system most likely? Any ideas how this will work?


    Items like rear view camera are nice but not a concern at the moment. But what other stuff am I missing?

  2. #2
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    so many things I could say something about dont know where to start.. :-)

    I'll start from the bottom.. lol ok how to turn on and off, on some dell docking stations they have a power button and a reset on them, this is ideal to extend into the cabin so you can use them from your seat.. as for auto on/off I did use a laptop for about 5 months.. I wired two relays in such away it auto powered the laptop on.. seemed to work well. The laptop then turned itself off after 10 mins of running on battery. You will not have the pcmcia adapter in the docking station, so you will need to remove this everytime you want to remove your laptop, or unplug the usb cable. I would buy a proper incar charger for your laptop, dont just wire it up to the 12v line.. not a good idea. I know www.battery.co.uk do them.. I'm sure you could source one from the net. If its the I7000, I think they have a round PSU connector, so you might be able to get a generic one.

    As for playing DVD's and having to get out and change these every 2 hours.. nar.. just load divx films up on your harddrive and use mediacar to play em. (make sure correct codec's are installed)

    not much to say about tv, as I havent gone down that road yet.

    As for the sound output.. you might be quite suprised by the quality once its rigged upto your headunit/amp I used a dell.. it it sounded fine. I would be tempted to give it a go first, before spending extra cash which may only give you the same quality unless as you mentioned the nx audigy, but you dont want to spend that much money.

    Also.. if you decided not to go for the usb dvd.. do you really need to go for the usb 2.0 at the moment ?

    If money is to be spent anywhere I would be tempted to further upgrade your memory to at least 256mb if not 512.. I think the I7000 has a 8mb graphics card hasnt it, so doesnt share the memory.

    thats about it really.. hope some of the info helps

    Cheers

    CdR

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate mpfjr's Avatar
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    Thanks! I just updated the bios on this thing and it now has resume on modem ring and I think I read in another post that there may be a way to use that. The laptop would just be in standby mode when I am not driving. It would then run off of the internal battery(laptop battery) and would recharge when the car is back on the road. Plus if I am out of the car for any extended period of time I would just take the notebook out with me.

    I am on e-bay right now looking for upgrades. I have a 128MB memory slot filled and an empty one. 64MB's comes built in. I am also looking to upgrade the cpu on it. This laptop is the same as the inspiron 7500 and there are quite few on ebay that are three times faster than mine so in the future I could just sell this one and get one of those.

    The DVD > DivX idea is a good one and that is what I do for most of my movies (I have an HTPC at home) but I still would like to be able to use regular movies too. I'll just play this by ear.

    I got the adapter for my bose head unit that allows me to have two rca inputs via my SAT button. This is going to work out great but if I want to hear my navigation system while my radio is going I need to have the fm tuner on the system. Hard to explain.

    I hope others have some good ideas or help for me too.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    Well, you got most items covered. I'll also mention that you can easily get a car/air adapter from ebay for the dell inspiron 7000/7500. I have the targus one, which is pretty high quality. You can cut off the cig lighter side and patch directly into the 12V system if your gonna be using it in the trunk. I put my laptop under the passenger seat, so I just use the reg cig lighter part. DO NOT Splice power directly from the 12V car to the laptop without the CAR/AIR adapter, it regulates the voltage.

    As for the winTV/FM radio thing, your wasting your time if you want clear tv like you get at home. If you spend some $$$ you can get a powered antena and get maybe 2-3 channels clear while your stationary. But while your driving nothing will come clear all the time. The guys in europe have some satalite tv system they use that seems to work, but i don't know about that, search for a post on it.

    For dvd's, i would use the divx thing and also just stick with your laptops dvd drive, no need to waste $$ and space with an external dvd player. Plus you would have to run a usb wire all the way to your dash

    As for the ****ty sound, thats cuz your dell speakers are crap, not the soundcard. As mentioned above, you will be surprised with the sound you get when you amplify the laptop signal.

    As for turning the laptop on and off, many previous posts cover that in depth.

    Good luck.....

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