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Thread: possibility of a commercial carpc...

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2001

    Post possibility of a commercial carpc...

    [this is a long *** message!]
    Hi, I curious about what people would think about a commercial carpc, or if you would consider purchasing such a unit that has the following:

    -Professionally fabricated detachable faceplate (w/ buttons) and steel casing.
    -slot load type CD, with shock resistance, that is compatible with double sided cd's.
    - < 10mb Linux based interface, flash, ie. no harddrives, therefore no worry about shock.
    -Hardware DVD, VCD, Musicvideo CD's, Divx, Mp3 with a good selection of visuals, Playlists etc. It would be touchscreen capable (since it would have large buttons) *if* the customer wanted the touchscreen OPTION.
    -A selection of simple integrated games (tetris, pinball etc, while you play mp3's).
    -about a 10 second load time.
    -DIN size.
    -The radio option would be a USB addon device for a drop in the bucket more.
    -A selection of possible Monitor options... depending on the budget.

    Examples: Entry level economy: 5.6-6.4" NTSC
    High performance : 6.4" Digital Signal(BETTER THAN A VGA!), 7" 16:9 Digital signal (The mother of all screens).
    Business (rear passenger): 10-15" LCD Panels. (Digital signal or VGA)

    -Voice commands is a future free upgrade possibility.
    -IR remote.
    -completely detachable from its slot in the car, so you can take it home, plug in the included DC power adapter, connect the video/audio cables to the back, and you have yourself a portable player.

    There's probably other aspects ive not mentioned. Im also considering a completely HD based unit, that removes the CD slot and adds dual HD's.

    And now for the pricing:

    The basic CD based unit would be around $550-650US.
    Touchscreen would add $150,
    Radio option $50,
    Entry level screens between $150-250
    HP screens: $500-$700
    Business rear passenger screens: $500-900+

    A much more powerful PIII based unit would also be available with a slightly more basic unit price, which would allow the use of your favourite Os, business applications, PC games, etc. It would visible much more "pc-ish".

    I have researched a lot, and built a prototype that was intended as an "idea experiment". I have it installed in my car at the moment, uses windows, my own custom interface for dvd, video etc, pc games. It hasnt had a skip in the 2months ive used it.

    Orders would be placed online directly.

    Im interested in hearing ideas, or if you want to join this project (only if your REALLY SERIOUS AND HAVE TIME, MONEY, SKILLS TO INVEST). Perhaps we can work something out and build something fruitful out of this. At the moment, im the only one on this project, ive done everything myself, and built the prototype in about 8months. The world is lacking a true indash carpc at the moment, I would like to see that void filled.

    Vic Aka. King Snake
    Cobalt Technologies, Vancouver BC.
    Cobalt Car PC

    [ 11-04-2001: Message edited by: King Snake ]

    [ 11-04-2001: Message edited by: King Snake ]
    2001 PT Cruiser "BLK ICE"

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Rockford, IL (home), Southern IL (college)


    there are a few other commercial car pc companies out there, and im sure you are aware of that. the problem with them is that they are VERY expensive. also, im the type of guy who likes to do DIY stuff, like the rest of most everyone in this forum. We can build this stuff which meets and/or exceeds commercial units options, at a much better cost. Note, these units are basically for personal use and we dont intend on making numerous units for profit. I would say if you can make a stable unit with low prices, you can create a market. Even if you just sold some of the parts seperately for a nice price, i would be willing to bet you could even get us homebrew guys to spring a few dollars for an LCD, power supply, etc.
    2004 F-150
    Shuttle XPC, 80gig HD, Wireless Internet, DVD
    "How piMP3d is your ride??"

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Sydney NSW Australia


    King Snake sorry to say but you havnt invented anything new... Only here there are 100 of people who already did that years ago.
    The outside world is not ready to pay $1000s to get something that they only going to use on the way work and back...
    If you can sell whole that unit for $100-$200 I would say there is a future in that but for that price i wouldnt even worry!

    System Comp V3 - In progress.
    Low power MB with C7 CPU, DC-DC PSU, car ECU link, USB TV, GPS, 7" TFT, Wireless, Voice.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    Im guessing your referring to companies like G-Net, and Q-pc when you say "commercial car pc companies"? Yes ive seen their gougingly ridiculous prices, and what they offer for it. And at the end of the day, its still just a bookpc in the trunk, $2500-3k+ for that is ridiculous.

    If there was ever a moderately priced, stable, featureful unit at the time... im sure i would have purchased one. Hey Empeg was slick... but they did one thing wrong... their prices. And i remember a frenzy about them a while back, people were would have lined up from NY to LA if they could afford it. DIY is a great experience, but if your serious about in car entertainment, then i personally believe the final product would be much more important to you than the experience in building it...

    Im sure im not the first, but i also dont see anyone marketing anything whatsoever. The choices right now are needless to say, slim to nonexistent, perhaps those before me didnt have the courage to market their idea.

    My goal is to offer a professionalgrade product. You dont get anything for $100-200, especially car video related. One subwoofer runs for more than that. Perhaps im targetting a different audience...

    And perhaps you missed the part about it being portable... Once you get home, you can take it inside and use it as a home unit.

    [ 11-04-2001: Message edited by: King Snake ]
    2001 PT Cruiser "BLK ICE"

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2000


    FOSGATE - I must disagree , people are sheep and will spend well over $200 for that, just the initial interest will open up there wallets . Once you exceed over $700 then ppl lose interest. As a teenager I kno all of my friends will spend rediculous money for cool stuff that they show off and really never use. A commercial carpc is a good idea if you can do it the right way, dont screw up like that dumb*ss G-Net guy, I wish I could punch him in his head for being so arrogant and backwards.

    ------2000 S-10 Xtreme----------
    BookPC 433 5.6" LCD
    128mb ATI AIW
    18gb Laptop HD DVD
    GPS TV
    Wireless Internet
    Wireless LAN

    AIM: Kinnish0 (Drop me a line)
    KinnishXtreme( IN CAR SN)

    Link To My XtremePC2001 Page
    Pic's of Install Here

  6. #6
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    moahdib's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000


    KingSnake> will you release your software or is it "commercial only" ? I understand it's linux based with a GUI of some sort? to boot in less than 10 sec is there a storage device on the mobo besides the cd-rom?
    04 Acura TL w/ core2duo 2ghz laptop w/ 1gb RAM on a docking station.

    Fast car, fast PC. ;)

    My TL CarPC ver2

    FSR Flash Skin w/ moving weather maps

  7. #7
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    London, Ontario, Canada


    I have considered producing my player in commercial form, but tech support would have driven me crazy. From what I have seen, car computers are just not very reliable. For example, my CMOS spontaniously reset last week. For me, this was a 5 minute fix. For a customer, this means an hour long call to tech support. I hope you consider these issues if you decide to make the carputer commercially available.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate Ashlawn Kemling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Williamsport, PA


    /me looks at the pile of what is now junk lying on the floor at his attempt of a in-dash carputer.

    King Snake, I tried making a carputer for aftermarket sale. My results were a great in-dash carputer with the works, but only about 10 people would even come close to buying it. (Price was about $800.) Here's the thing though, car stereo enthusiants that haven't entered the world of into the dark reaches mp3s (which is suprisingly a lot of people) don't know jack **** about what you're selling. Anyway, I say try it anyway, maybe it will work out for you.

    --Ashlawn Kemling

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate Meatballman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Hartsville, SC


    I say go for it King Snake. If you can get something nice for $500-$700, I think you will find a large market waiting for you. There are scads of rice-boys out there without the skill or knowlege to do something like this, and they are spending mad cash to put stuff like this in their vehicle. I'd love to help, but I program 'bout 60 hours a week on my day job and I just can't work up the motivation to take on any more coding projects.

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    think aaron has a point on this

    i have zillions of friends who i showed my carputer to that drewled out of their mouths with only the worde: wanna have, wanna have.
    these are exacly the same guys that are at your doorstep again and again with every glitch in the software, every failing boot every fault.
    for us carcomputer enthousiasts these are minor quick fixes. but they will come to you EVERY time.
    i think the fun will be long gone in a few weeks.
    time for the sig:

    '00 VW golf TDI upped to 130 HP - 18" RS 6 wheels - liliput 7" tft in indash housing - epia 10K - SB audigy - caliber 1 fahrad CAP - RF punch amp - hollywood 1.6K mono amp - boston acoustics pro - RF 10" DVD sub

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