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Thread: laptop newb

  1. #1
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    laptop newb

    ok so after doing some research and reading up on this stuff i want to put in a carpc...im new at this tho, but i am good with car electronics for the most part and can fab up most any kind of thing i might need for the project...cars are my thing, but the inside of computers isnt something i know too much about. i have a presario 2100 laying around that i would like to use since thats free parts, and all im assuming i would need to buy would be the touchscreen monitor, and maybe other little items...anyway i've been lookin around for people who have taken apart the laptop and used just its internals..couldnt find anything...so if anyone has done this and could hook me up with any advice and help i would really appreciate it

  2. #2
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    you will need a touch screen, cable extension for the touch screen, a belkin air/auto power adapter for it(ebay about 30 bucks) and your best bet is to get an external sound card. You also need to wire up a power switch unless you want to turn it on the laptop every time.

  3. #3
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    take the laptop apart.

    Yea, don't do it... allot of the laptop guts are held together by the plastic case. Its not worth engineering some metal case that is going to hold all the different board in place, not to mention its going to surely be larger than the original case you took it out of. You especially don't want to just put the "guts" under a piece of lexan (or plexi glass) because the inside of a laptop plastic case is sprayed with a metal coating to shield the workings from outside interference and static from destroying the ic's, as well as keep noise in.

    I always hate when people ask me why i want to do something, because someone finds a way to make me look dumb... BUT,, just curious, why do you want to take it out of the laptops original skin?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pir8radio View Post
    Yea, don't do it... allot of the laptop guts are held together by the plastic case. Its not worth engineering some metal case that is going to hold all the different board in place, not to mention its going to surely be larger than the original case you took it out of. You especially don't want to just put the "guts" under a piece of lexan (or plexi glass) because the inside of a laptop plastic case is sprayed with a metal coating to shield the workings from outside interference and static from destroying the ic's, as well as keep noise in.

    I always hate when people ask me why i want to do something, because someone finds a way to make me look dumb... BUT,, just curious, why do you want to take it out of the laptops original skin?
    well i've always wanted to put a computer in my car, but im sittin on a pretty low budget...that laptop is my last laptop and im not using it at all, i figured it would be a fun project and i could actually put it in the car for rather cheap compared to buying everything. it seems easier to me that i could just take it out of the casing...so i wouldnt have a laptop sitting in the car somewhere...and im not even sure how to do it with the case still on

  5. #5
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    if someone would be willing to talk to me one on one about it hit me up on AIM...i would really appreciate it my sn is WLJohnson05

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pir8radio View Post
    Yea, don't do it... allot of the laptop guts are held together by the plastic case. Its not worth engineering some metal case that is going to hold all the different board in place, not to mention its going to surely be larger than the original case you took it out of. You especially don't want to just put the "guts" under a piece of lexan (or plexi glass) because the inside of a laptop plastic case is sprayed with a metal coating to shield the workings from outside interference and static from destroying the ic's, as well as keep noise in.

    I always hate when people ask me why i want to do something, because someone finds a way to make me look dumb... BUT,, just curious, why do you want to take it out of the laptops original skin?
    bc it seems to be that it would be easier to position it somewhere out of that casing...and im not even sure how i would do it with it still in the laptop case...i mean i am new to this so making me look dumb in this prolly aint hard haha

  7. #7
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    If you want to go with a laptop, I would agree with the opinions that say leave it in it's original case.

    It's true that much of a laptops components are held in place by the plastic case. Removing it from the case makes it much less able to deal with the vibration and impacts it will sustain during in car use.

    I would advise you to look for a docking station for your laptop as well. That way, you only have to crack open the docking station to wire in a power button for the car, leaving the laptop intact.

    While taking a laptop apart is entirely possible, it is much easier to muck it up than an atx style case.

    A laptop install can be a good way for someone just starting off in the hobby to get thier feet wet. Everything you need for a basic system is there. You can even do without the external sound card if you wish. Just don't expect stellar graphics (yes, I play games on mine while waiting for the wife at the mall ) or sound out of it.

    My advice on components:

    1. Laptop - your choice
    2. Docking station - for your laptop to hack in a power button
    3. Airline adapter (12v adapter for laptops)
    4. GPS reciever - allows you to run gps navigation and is transferable if you upgrade later (get a usb one)

    5. Touch screen - This one is going to be a little bit longer:

    Select a good one and do this part of the install properly. Your prior auto/stereo fabbing skills come into play here. And if you choose to upgrade to a better system later, this component is already done and you simply plug in the vga cable from the new system. This is the main interface between you and the 'puter, looking at a crappy or washed out monitor all day is just going to get you PO'd. I would recommend saving your pennies, biting the bullet and getting a transflective right from the get go. I didn't, but wish I had. Now I've paid for a regular touchscreen and I'll be spending the additonal cash on a new touchscreen, effectively adding a 2 hundred dollar increase to an already expensive item.
    Regular monitors are nearly useless in full daylight and cold temps only make this worse. Transflectives are expensive, but worth the money if you want to be able to use it all the time without compromises.



    Recommeded Components if you decide to stick with a laptop instead of a dedicated system:

    1. external sound card - for better sound. Something like a USB audigy 2 nx can be had fairly cheaply and does a decent job for an external sound card. if you choose to get in to "tuning", I believe that card will support the KXproject drivers (I could be wrong, check it out if you want).
    2. Laptop shutdown controller- not so much for the shut down, but for the "auto start" features!

    This is the basics of a decent laptop system.

    Keep the laptop battery as well. It will allow you to set the shutdown preferences in xp (IE:shutdown or hibernate after running on battery power for "X" minutes) and will allow your laptop to survive engine starting voltage drops without the need for an elaborate "tank circuit' or some other such scheme.

    Also, if you have any inclination to upgrade to a dedicated, permanently mounted system in the future;
    Try to buy components that can be reused from the laptop install an limit your "laptop only" specific component purchases. It'll save you cash in the long run.

    One other question:
    are you intending to keep your car's Head unit or remove it to mount the monitor and run the laptop sound output to the amps? This changes quite a few things as well......

    There's much more advice about laptops on the forums. Use the search function to find it.

    Good luck
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    If you want to go with a laptop, I would agree with the opinions that say leave it in it's original case.

    It's true that much of a laptops components are held in place by the plastic case. Removing it from the case makes it much less able to deal with the vibration and impacts it will sustain during in car use.

    I would advise you to look for a docking station for your laptop as well. That way, you only have to crack open the docking station to wire in a power button for the car, leaving the laptop intact.

    While taking a laptop apart is entirely possible, it is much easier to muck it up than an atx style case.

    A laptop install can be a good way for someone just starting off in the hobby to get thier feet wet. Everything you need for a basic system is there. You can even do without the external sound card if you wish. Just don't expect stellar graphics (yes, I play games on mine while waiting for the wife at the mall ) or sound out of it.

    My advice on components:

    1. Laptop - your choice
    2. Docking station - for your laptop to hack in a power button
    3. Airline adapter (12v adapter for laptops)
    4. GPS reciever - allows you to run gps navigation and is transferable if you upgrade later (get a usb one)

    5. Touch screen - This one is going to be a little bit longer:

    Select a good one and do this part of the install properly. Your prior auto/stereo fabbing skills come into play here. And if you choose to upgrade to a better system later, this component is already done and you simply plug in the vga cable from the new system. This is the main interface between you and the 'puter, looking at a crappy or washed out monitor all day is just going to get you PO'd. I would recommend saving your pennies, biting the bullet and getting a transflective right from the get go. I didn't, but wish I had. Now I've paid for a regular touchscreen and I'll be spending the additonal cash on a new touchscreen, effectively adding a 2 hundred dollar increase to an already expensive item.
    Regular monitors are nearly useless in full daylight and cold temps only make this worse. Transflectives are expensive, but worth the money if you want to be able to use it all the time without compromises.



    Recommeded Components if you decide to stick with a laptop instead of a dedicated system:

    1. external sound card - for better sound. Something like a USB audigy 2 nx can be had fairly cheaply and does a decent job for an external sound card. if you choose to get in to "tuning", I believe that card will support the KXproject drivers (I could be wrong, check it out if you want).
    2. Laptop shutdown controller- not so much for the shut down, but for the "auto start" features!

    This is the basics of a decent laptop system.

    Keep the laptop battery as well. It will allow you to set the shutdown preferences in xp (IE:shutdown or hibernate after running on battery power for "X" minutes) and will allow your laptop to survive engine starting voltage drops without the need for an elaborate "tank circuit' or some other such scheme.

    Also, if you have any inclination to upgrade to a dedicated, permanently mounted system in the future;
    Try to buy components that can be reused from the laptop install an limit your "laptop only" specific component purchases. It'll save you cash in the long run.

    One other question:
    are you intending to keep your car's Head unit or remove it to mount the monitor and run the laptop sound output to the amps? This changes quite a few things as well......

    There's much more advice about laptops on the forums. Use the search function to find it.

    Good luck
    thanks for the extensive reply. my primary purpose for this is to control my music, a rear backup camera, possibly hooking up my sniper tuner, and internet surfing, im not gonna put gps on it. i really dont want to just get my feet wet i want a system that i wont have to upgrade but it doesnt need to absolutely be top of the line, cuz like i said i aint tryin to dump *** loads of money into it. im keeping my old headunit probably and just running this on the aux channel. what would be my cheapest but best route as far just just buying a setup...is that stage 1 or 2 kit in the mp3car store a good way to go?

  9. #9
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    I have to agree with everyone else here. Keep it in the case. The laptop is assembled in the most efficient way possible and removing it from the case won't save you any room. The cheapest way to do this, as I see it, is to get an auto adapter and plug the laptop into the cigarette lighter. You can store all your music on it and use Wifi to connect to the internet. You could get an EVDO card or the like to get mobile internet but that's going to give you a monthly bill. You can then either mount the laptop in the car somewhere (you mentioned you can fab anything you need so this should be easy) or, purchase an external touchscreen such as a Lilliput. You can get these on this site or from ebay. You'll need to power the touchscreen but, you can solder the connector to the back of the cigarette lighter if need be. That's pretty much it. A car PC can be as simple or complex as you want it. Getting it in is the first step. Then over time you can add whatever you like, tweak the system or leave it as is. Hope that helps.

  10. #10
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    so would buying something like this>>> http://www.outletpc.com/c4017.html be a better idea?

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