Thanks for the posts everyone!
So the consensus is my alternator is going bad? Correct?
If I were to add a dedicated battery for the macmini - are we talking a full size car battery? I really don't want to add a lot of weight. Also, how would I wire it so it came on with my ignition system? Or would I need to tie it into a separate switch I would need to turn on/off?
In regards to shielding, do I need to shield the actual mac mini? What material would I use to do this?
I believe it is an RF issue.
If your alternator is a standard style alternator you should be able to remove it and have it tested. If it is an issue then it is likely too small for your application unless you have a Diode that went bad so its "sort" of working but only at half output. The battery is taking up the slack. One note is that if a diode does go bad I have heard of it causing extra RF issues. But like I said, you can easily have it checked out if you suspect a bad alternator.
My suggestion is to temporarily place a battery in your car to run the mac mini setup on a power system separate from your car. This is only for testing purposes to identify if it indeed is something in your charging system causing the issue. One you try it and find out either way you can remove the battery and go from there.
I am no expert at shielding against RF but if you read the thread about shielding an M4-ATX you will be well on your way. Those power supplies are known to have issues with RF.
I don't know if you will be able to fully filter out the RF easily however if this is the issue. Since you have to have the screen available it can not be shielded...
After talking with a few other car guys - it was confirmed my alternator must be on its way out. Luckily I have a lifetime warranty on it so I just got a new one and installed it. It's late so I didn't start it yet. I will post back if this helps.
As far as the shielding, I am not sure what needs shielded and with what material. :/ That thread did not help - so either I am completely stupid on the subject or that's the wrong link.
I dont know if your issue is solved or not, but I have an idea. Most of the racing cars have a system that disangages the alternator from the battery to save power to the wheels. can it be voltage drop when you pull hard?
Alright guys - new issue! yayyy! :/
Did a hard pull last night - and I didn't get the blue screen of death!
However, I was datalogging and after getting home and looking at the log, noticed that the computer froze for about 5 seconds while recording and then continued recording. I didn't notice while driving because my eyes were on the road.
What the hell?