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Thread: Starting out - rate my Build Specs - 1995 Volvo 850 - Advice on Screen/CPU/PSU

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    Question Starting out - rate my Build Specs - 1995 Volvo 850 - Advice on Screen/CPU/PSU

    Hi,

    Been reading this site for a few years and getting closer to tackling a CarPC build for my 1995 Volvo 850. Previously, I've done the quick n' dirty Crutchfield HU-install a few times and in '07 started to fab my own brackets n' such to secure an Alpine IVA-W200 in my 850.

    The Alpine interface drove me nuts though, and showed me I need the full control of a CarPC. So...


    I hope to get some input on my build plans and move to ordering most of the components. I'll post progress on this site as I go.

    My plan isn't fully detailed yet, but any advice on my overall approach would be GREATLY appreciated - recommendations on better-suited equipment, placement of components, etc. Wiring isn't my strength, and though I'll need learn more about it to get this done, at the moment I'm very concerned about too much heat around the CPU case and picking the proper PSU.

    Here's my approach:

    TOUCHSCREEN: Lilliput install in stock-HU cavity, replicating Liquid Kernal's LCD placement:




    Concerns: Screen readability in sun-light. Has anyone experienced a brand/model screen that does best in "viewable vs. glare/sun"? Should I consider any other models besides Lilliput's to maximize performance in this area?


    CPU/CASE: Going "package" here, something along the lines of the following:
    VoomPC-2 Car PC Barebone

    or
    BOLDataź Mini PC


    The key point on this is that I hope to mount the unit in the glove box, similar to modnut's approach.


    Concerns: Heat & ventilation in the glovebox - too risky? Do I need to cut some holes? If I want to stay with the glovebox, but can't ventilate enough, do I reduce heat generation by going with a VIA mini-ITX or some lower-heat MOBO/CPU combo?

    PSU: Yeah, this is where I'm looking for some serious advice. I expect to go in the direction of an OPUS DC-DC unit, if only because it seems to be widely used and reliable. Not entirely sure how to match a unit like this to the specifics of my car's electrical system. I'll prob have to search around the forums a bit more to even pose intelligent questions on this one.

    Concerns: Deep-frying my 850.


    There's certainly more to include in the plan, though these (above) are the biggies, I think. I'm also figuring on the following:

    OS: XP (TinyXP?)
    FrontEnd: RoadRunner
    GPS Receiver: ??
    GPS Software: ??
    Wi-Fi: ? (on-board/dongle)
    Bluetooth: ? (dongle, I assume)

    And ultimately I'll look to provide capacity in my system for the following abilties:

    -Wi-fi updating of my music file collection from my driveway
    -GPS Navigation,
    -Rear View Camera
    -Sensor Monitoring/Integration: Digital Gauges (Temperature, Fluid Level, Tire Pressure)
    -Onboard Diagnostic System (OBD-II) Monitoring
    -Voice-Recognition Input
    Not really interested in: Watching movies or gaming


    I'm doing more bottom-up learning, but any thoughts from those who've already gone through this would be greatly appreciated!!

    -VB

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    Thread moved to proposed setup.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    Constant Bitrate Ramb0_Command0's Avatar
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    Ventilation is going to be a major concern in a space that small, you'll definitely need a fan or possibly two for that enclosure. CarPCs don't run nearly as hot as desktop/gaming PCs but they can still easily reach their shutoff temp if there isn't some sort of active cooling in an enclosed space like that one. I wouldn't be extremely concerned about it, possibly cut some holes in it though. My carputer isn't in an enclosed space so I don't have a lot of first hand experience with this.

    PSU: You should be fine with that OPUS, or really any of the automotive DC-DC power supplies (as long as they provide your PC enough power), they accept a wide range of input voltages and have other features useful for in-car computing. The PSU needs a +12V, GND, and Remote Turn On. Thats it, its the same for all cars, not sure what you meant by 'matching it to your cars electrical system'.

    As far as using a stripped down version of XP, there really isn't a big point to that if you are going to be hibernating/resuming. Since everything is persisted from RAM to the HDD every time you shutdown, you don't have to wait for the services and programs to start up after it resumes, you just start off where you left off. Again that only applies if you are going to hibernate/resume.

    For the GPS receiver I would suggest the BU-353 its a very popular and reliable model, tons of people on here use it, including myself.
    For the GPS software I run iGuidance 4.0, its very cleanly integrated into RideRunner and I'm very happy with it. You might want to decide which front end you are going to use before you commit to a GPS program, since I'm not sure which GPS software/Front end combos work well.
    For the Bluetooth I would just get any USB bluetooth adapter you want, they're all about the same from what I've seen. You can get 1 for ~$20 at wal-mart or something.
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