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Thread: Request for advice

  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Jul 2006
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    Request for advice

    Hello everyone..

    I have a small favor to ask regarding the carputer. I have absolutely no knowledge of cars or their electrical systems. I am just a layman when it comes to computers..

    I would like a carputer for following daily requirements..

    1) To use as hands-free for my cell phone. I would like to hear people who call me over the car speakers and I would like to respond to them using a microphone. (I do not know how to accomplish this)

    2) I would like to play mp3 songs

    3) I would like GPS on the carputer..

    4) I would a radar detector display on the carputer

    5) I would like for the above mentioned things to run in unison and take respective order or precedence automatically as and when needed. What I mean by this is that : I could be listening to music in background -- music haults temporarily -- GPS prompts me with an up-coming turn -- then the music resumes -- music haults again -- this time it is the phone -- music resumes automatically -- and same with the radar detector -- basically the services play in unison as and when needed..

    Could you guys please guide me on how to accomplish this. My questions are:

    1) What kinda harware/configuration do I require (in details)
    2) What software do I requires?
    3) Also, where does the carputer get it's power from? -- I mean I sure it gets it from the car but I do you accomplish that..? it is a simple task or do you ahve to take it to the mechanic?
    4) I have a 2001 BMW 525i -- is it good to get a in-dash LCD for an external LCD? -- it is too costly to have an in-dash LCD installed? What is a better option?

    Please guide me...

    Thanks again for all your help..

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
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    OOOOH I GET TO BE FIRST!!! Here is your first official advice and I'm sure many is to come. There are many well-written FAQs that cover the majority of your questions. Trust me, most of the things you will encounter along the way of building your carpc have something written up about them. Just take a look at the FAQS section. Welcome to a great hobby, now try to learn from other's experiences and (in some cases) mistakes, including my own. Now hop to it!!
    Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/worklogs/85490-project-2003-dodge-dakota.html


    IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate KennyKen's Avatar
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    dude try checking out the Newb section or the FAQ, im pretty sure every one of those questions has been made a sticky, except for the BMW screen one.

    with regards to that i think most people get a new touch screen and besel to replace whats already there and the besels can be bought from a forum member on here but not sure which one.

    I hope this helps and dont forget that you can learn sooo much from spending a couple of days just reading the site.

    Goodluck with the install.
    ------
    Prepping for Trax in september
    Re-Building the whole CarPC to upgrade all the software
    Whole new boot build and moulding my screen into the dash...Again

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zypher
    Could you guys please guide me on how to accomplish this.
    Done, done and done... This post here:New to CarPCs? Don't know where to start?

    and specifically, this post answers hardware: New to CarPCs? Don't know where to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by zypher
    My questions are:

    1) What kinda harware/configuration do I require (in details)
    You can get all this from the FAQ Red wrote, but here is a summary. Plz be a smart newb, and actually read the FAQ's at some point...
    Ok. All the stuff you want to do is really low CPU power stuff. My guess ism you have a home PC (how else you write this?!?). Well, open up WinAMP, ir Windows Media and play an MP3. Look at your CPU usage. Close to nothing. That is why people can get away with 800Mhz Celerons or the ever popular (and what I use) M10000 C3 board. It is a mini-itx factor meaning 170mm (7") square. Also has a really low power draw. Pentiums (P4's to P4 EE HT's) draw 70W-200W. This draws peak of under 15 or 20 I believe. Also has an embedded (soldered on -- included) 1Ghz processor similar to a pentium or celeron but made by via. 512Mb RAM is reccommended. More RAM better for smoothness, worse for hibernation times. Harddrive: You choose. Any. 2.5's are more expensive but supposedly robust. I have a 3.5" and it works just fine. There is a big thread regarding this and whether a myth or not. Do a search.

    As for the phone, what you want is a bluetooth capable phone and reciever. Then do a search for phoco. That will control your phone (make and receive calls/mms/sms through the computer.

    For GPS, get a reciever with SurfIII (I believe), Newest 1Hz technology, and works well for a lock. Just plug and chug.

    Quote Originally Posted by zypher
    2) What software do I requires?
    Usually just a front end (browse that section and see all the many wonders). I use RoadRunner. Many prefer other like Centrafuge or the StreetDeck bundle. All but the last are free. RoadRunner and other require WinAMP to work. For GPS, you need dedicated software that can be integrated into the front end. SSuch as Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006, or IGuidance, or Map Monkey, or Destinator, and the list goes on. Some are better for different front ends integration wise. I use S&T06, with no porblems. People dislike it due to the small checkboxes and not TS friendly, but I have no problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by zypher
    3) Also, where does the carputer get it's power from? -- I mean I sure it gets it from the car but I do you accomplish that..? it is a simple task or do you ahve to take it to the mechanic?
    If you look at a desktop PSU, you will notice all the rails are DC voltage. What a miracle that the car has DC voltage too. And 12 volts you see? Well then, so does the car! (sorta) Get a DC-DC PSU such as an Opus or a M1-ATX or M2-ATX. When you connect 3 wires to them (constant 12v, switched 12 volts, and ground) you get a standard PSU, with a startup/shutdown controller (when car starts, the PC does too. When it turns off, the PC does too after a user selectable amount of time). The 12v constant is reccommended to be run off a dedicated good thick fused wire directly to the battery's positive terminal. The 12v switched is the line that goes active when the car is on or in ACC position. Usually under the dash. Ground is a big mystery to everyone. Some say all to the same point. Some say as short as possible. Some say back to the terminal, however everyone says scrape off the paint and find a good spot to locate the ground or you get a ground loop. Whining sound due to different electric potentials...

    Quote Originally Posted by zypher
    4) I have a 2001 BMW 525i -- is it good to get a in-dash LCD for an external LCD? -- it is too costly to have an in-dash LCD installed? What is a better option?
    huh? I dont get it. Maybe it is because I am canadian. But are you referring to either an LCD that sits on top, or in the dash somehow? If so then as follows:

    In-dash is great. If you can that is. Many people don't like chopping the dash of their car up though. I know the store sells a BMW trim kit if you have that. Also a Subaru and Infinity something. I have none so I don't care. I made my own. A 7" widescreen LCD fits very well into a double din slot.

    On dash is cheesy (opinion). Easy to steal, looks crappy and non-OEM. Can come loose and fly out window while driving. Well maybe not, but still. If no other choice then go for it. Temporary solution at best though in my opinion.

    There is also an option that allows you to not modify your dash, not as noticeable for theives, but is more expensive. A motorized single din screen. Flips out of the dash. Many also consider these cheesy, but no cuttin of dash required. Also if you are no good at fabrication, then easy and not messy.

    I put mine in dash (permanent) by getting a spare center console dash piece. That way, I can just pop out the whole thing and put back the original with no worries. Best of both worlds in my opinion.

    [QUOTE=zypher]
    Please guide me.../QUOTE]

    I hope to god I did...
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
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  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Oh yes. What kind of badger would I be without the obligatory:



    It has all been answered, and yes you will be flamed and laughed at when posting something like this. Please search first. When all the angry mods wake up, you'll be in for a treat. Good Luck...
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    My apology

    Hello all,

    first of all I would like to thank everyone for their advice. I sincerely respect it. Many thanks to 2K1Toaster for guiding me in the right direction. You have been very kind to answer my questions and lead me in the right direction -- thank for taking time to guide me..

    Moderators and everyone else, I apologize for not having gone through the seach or FAQ. I will not do this mistake again.

    oh and by the way, I would like to go for a motorized single din screen.

    Thanks again..

  7. #7
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Hey, as long as you're learning from your mistakes, that's the important thing...
    Welcome to our money-sucking hobby.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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