I think option 3 is your best bet if you're using a laptop and external screen.
My current setup
- Lilliput 7" touch screeen that needs the touch layer replaced. It hasn't worked right for a while
- ECS L7VMM3 motherboard with some onboard cpu that Windows sees as an Athlon 3ghz
- 256 megs of ram, just enough for it to not be slow but not too much that it'll slow down hibernation
- All powered by an inverter that's relayed with the ignition
- Running MediaCar for the past 5 years since I built the thing and has worked great
My current situation is this. My touch screen hasn't worked properly for years now and I've been planning to replace the touch kit for a while now but have been holding off on it because I didn't know if I was going to sell my car or not. Just over a month ago, I got rear ended with $5k worth of damage on my '91 MR2. I wanted it written off at that point but the insurance company insisted on fixing it up. Now, I'm pretty much stuck with the car cuz I can't sell a 20 year old car with a $5k claim on it.
I'll be driving it til next Fall when I get myself a new Cadillac CTS but until then, I will be replacing the touch screen and the computer as well with a Dell Latitude D610 that I piece together at work from 3 different laptops. I don't want to spend too much money because I'll only be driving the car for another year as my daily.
The problem I have with using a laptop is how I'm going to be powering the screen. I don't trust the lilliput egg and don't want to buy a regulator specifically to power it. It's currently being powered by the PC power supply which runs off an inverter. The way I see it, I have 4 choices...
1. Stick with the inverter, use the laptop AC adaptor and jimmy a PC ATX power supply to work without a motherboard to power the screen
2. Buy a 12v regulator for the screen and a DC-DC inverter for the laptop
3. Buy a 19.5v DC-DC power supply to power both the screen and laptop
4. Just fix the screen and call it a day. Stick with what I got
What would you do if you knew that you won't be driving the car daily for more than a year. Option 1 is by far the easiest because the wiring is already there. It's pretty much plug and play. 2 and 3 need a wiring overhaul... Opinions?
Yeah, I'm usually an advocate for doing it right. But the car's going into storage when I get the CTS so I want to spend as little as possible.
I would go with 4, you can pick up a touchscreen for about $40
I should also mention that the current PC freezes over the slightest bumps now.
don't go for a "real" pc anymore.
nowadays there are pretty pmp, media tablets, etc such as ipod/iphone. i ordered an archos 5 internet tablet with 500 gb harddisk, gps, wifi, bluetooth, android os, touchscreen. attach it to a holder and remove when you are out of the car. no more issues with electricity (has battery to run 200 hours on standby and 7 hours video playing) and can be charged via cigarette lighter.
the only risk i am taking is that they say firmware/os is not yet stable. but this will change (hopefully) within the next couple of weeks.
'k, I'm probably going to leave the system alone. I've purchased a new touchkit off eBay for $30 and free shipping. I'll see what's causing the lockups, if it's giving me too much trouble, I have the laptop on standby ready to be put in if needed.
That's just great... received the new touch overlay from Hong Kong yesterday after a few weeks. It didn't fit properly because it was made for the EEE PC. I had to file the sides of the posts where the casing screws go in to make it fit but I guess I didn't file them down enough. Everything worked great when I put it back together but when I hit a bump on my drive to work this morning, the thing cracked because of the stress on the sides. It was only $30, just sux that I gotta wait another 3 weeks for another one and another hour to install it. Oh well, live and learn.