Here's some advice from someone who's built 15-20 carputers over last 7 years:
-plan it out
-do not engineer everything yourself; many components exist in off-the-shelf form
-buy quality parts, don't be a cheapass
-be prepared to always be 85% done, and never 100%
-bench test, bench test, bench test
You can save a great deal of money by hacking together a solution. If your goal is to learn how to assemble incompatible parts, then by all means, have at it with whatever junk you have lying around. However, if your goal is to make a successful, usable, reliable carputer, save yourself hours and hours of labor and buy parts that fit nicely together. Know when to spend that extra dollar.
And the best advice of all: if you can buy a device at a store that does everything you want to do with your carputer, go buy it.
2003 supercharged cop car - dual core Atom, Xenarc 705TSV, ampie +M2-ATX - done
I like the carputer idea because it does pretty much what I want it to do. I'm now putting together my final version (test version was laptop based). It should be complete early next year (late winter).
Head units have two limitations that I think they should have:
1. Inability to access my media via my wireless network
2. Inability to be tethered to a cellphone for internet access
These two reasons are why I like carputers. Don't get me wrong, I really like the AVIC series and with they didn't have those two limitations, but if they didn't, I would go that route instead.
Remember, each of us who build these carputers have out own reasons. If you like to tinker, understand automotive power systems, and are computer savy, then this is a great hobby.
Have fun and enjoy
hey all, dont get me wrong. I said "great starter" because he did say something to lure many people and many comments just to protect that carputer is not something plug and play.
I have started my carpc project for more then a year and what i have now is this
provided that i am an IT guy, i am quite ok with DIY skills such as soldering, making customized case... but it still takes me a lot of time and even now i dont know when i can complete
this threat encourages me a lot as i know i am not the only one out there to "struggle" for a carpc.
one more thing, i started with an idea that a carpc could be cheaper than a head unit but it is completely wrong (havent included my personal time spent on this stuff)
so yes, carpc is not for men who wants an overnight project