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Thread: New CarPuter Project: Need Input!

  1. #1
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    Post New CarPuter Project: Need Input!

    Hey all. While I've been paying attention to mp3car.com for a couple years or so now I've not posted to the boards up until this. That said, my obsession for the past couple years has been building an Mp3-car type system when I had the money to do so. Life is shaping up that I'm finding myself with discretionary income, so the parts-gathering has started.

    What I want to do is build a regular PC in a case that sits in the trunk of my '88 Acura Legend coupe, and have it interfaced with a car stereo system through a soundcard that outputs 5.1 audio and a 10.4" TFT VGA LCD up front with a touchscreen overlay. A rough draft of sorts that I made earlier this month:



    I'm intending to put the PC in this case:



    Anyway... There's a few parts of this that I've barely begun to flesh out, that being power requirements and whether or not a PC soundcard will have problems acting as a preamp.

    Any suggestions, clarifications, or criticisms at this point would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate Meatballman's Avatar
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    Looks like a nice setup if done correctly. You'll have trouble getting an AT or ATX board to fit right in that classic mac case. It will require some modification. I personally would go with a smaller case, but I can understand the coolness factor of the antique macII case.

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    Yea, the Dremel is going to be my friend with this badboy. I also have a can of vinyl dye to make it black once I'm done hacking it up. The coolest thing about the Mac case is that the top of it hinges open (with the hinge being at the "front" of the case) and the latches are those two tabs on the top rear of the case. Very, very easy access to the innards and no screws, I like the concept.

    In terms of the PC for it, it looks like the vague rundown will be:

    Duron 600 & heatsink/fan
    KT7-RAID mobo (after a current mobo upgrade)
    256 MB PC133 ram
    GTS-V video card
    Hercules Game Theater XP sound card
    Hauppage WinTV-FM tv card
    Firewire card
    10.4" TFT LCD w/ touch overlay (not a datalux)
    VGA to TFT controller
    Pioneer 10x Slot-load DVD-ROM for the dash connected by a firewire-to-IDE bridge
    20-40gb HD, 7200 rpm

    - Now, the issue I'm running into here I think will be power. What are my options; regular ATX supply with an inverter, or a DC to DC PS? What are the pros & cons? Also, with the DVD - is there a better way to connect it to the computer in the trunk than firewire? Thanks.

    [ 01-30-2002: Message edited by: Tremek ]

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    Maximum Bitrate Meatballman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Tremek:
    <STRONG> What are my options; regular ATX supply with an inverter, or a DC to DC PS? What are the pros & cons? Also, with the DVD - is there a better way to connect it to the computer in the trunk than firewire?
    </STRONG>
    While I would urge you to search for more detailed info, you are more or less correct that those are your power options. With the amount of information and options floating around about DC-DC supplies these days, I wouldn't even consider an inverter except as a temporary thing until everything is setup. For not that much more than a good inverter, they are better for so many reasons that I'm not prepared to go into at 2am. I would make it a priority to keep an eye out for a good group buy or get one of Jeff's coveted supplies.

    The firewire with the DVD will be the easiest and most easily guaranteed successful. There have been methods discussed of extending IDE cables with varying degrees of success. I would venture to say that by the time you rewired both ends of a 40 or 44 pin IDE cable, you would have spent far more time than it costs to buy an IDE to Firewire converter.

    [ 01-30-2002: Message edited by: Meatballman ]

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    Okay, a DC power supply's a good thing. However - what about my car's electrical? I'm not only talking about dumping a computer with a 250w power supply in there, but a 450w amp & speakers. Will I need to look at a new alternator, or a second battery?

  6. #6
    j3
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    You should be fine with that kind of setup. I believe anything under 2000 watts can be handled by a stock alternator & battery.

    -j3

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    Do it the more simple you can. I first instal my audio system first with my stock radio(i want my car to look as same as i buy it at the dealer) then i will instal the pc on the trunk of the car and i will hide the 5 inch monitor. and i think thats it. Since my car is standar i must have a UPS so when start my engine again the pc dont suffer a voltage change. If i am wrong in any way correct me i am on my way to do my mp3car and those are my plans.
    carputer:
    P2- 266 mmx
    94 ram
    WD 9 Gigas
    ATI AIW
    on SUBARU IMPREZA 2000

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    [ 01-30-2002: Message edited by: kris3 ]
    carputer:
    P2- 266 mmx
    94 ram
    WD 9 Gigas
    ATI AIW
    on SUBARU IMPREZA 2000

  9. #9
    Rob
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    Originally posted by Tremek:
    <STRONG>Okay, a DC power supply's a good thing. However - what about my car's electrical? I'm not only talking about dumping a computer with a 250w power supply in there, but a 450w amp & speakers. Will I need to look at a new alternator, or a second battery?</STRONG>
    I would seriously consider adding in a second battery and a big capacitor 1F or something like that, most good car audio shops will sell them. I have heard of a simular setup where the lights dimmed in time with the bass

    Looks very cool but I'm not sure what the cops have to say about it. From a financial view try without first and see if it is enough.

    Rob
    And you say people actually pay money for M$ Windows?
    www.mp3mini.co.uk (Does what it says on the URL) www.openclassic.co.uk (The new car, with zero rust!) www.rob-web.co.uk (My other site)
    Total re-design underway: on the whole progress is very slow as the car is taking up too much time :)

  10. #10
    FLAC LESLIEx317537's Avatar
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    Arrow

    Just curious on your Firewire to IDE bridge.
    Does anyone know what voltage they accept.

    I've looked around and saw a couple of them, does anyone know a link to a specific good one I can buy?

    Thanks.
    SP13000|M2-ATX|512MB DDR400|2.5" 7200RPM S-ATA|Trans-7"|Slim SL DVD-CDRW|KEH 5.1 DSP|SB L!ve Ext|Gyration PowerMate|BT|WiFi|GPS|WinXP|VoomPC
    GPSing - Digital Speedo
    Relocating headunit and extending faceplate
    Button app to Alt-Tab between two programs

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