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Thread: Trying to get started...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Trying to get started...

    First of all, great site lots of info. I read through a whole bunch of topics and I'm trying to figure out exactly what equipment (and, especially, what software) I'm going to need to make this thing work and make it look "baller".

    I own an 02 Acura RSX Type-S (black if anybody's curious). I've done a handful of mods across the spectrum - performance, vanity, and of course my stereo. Most recently I had my ECU modified for USB programmability (the other Honda guys will know it was Hondata KPro). I won't go into the fine-grained details but this thing lets the user alter just about any ECU setting and monitor any sensor.

    My other purposes will be to play my MP3 library and I'd like to integrate a GPS so I can get rid of the Tomtom that's suction cupped to my windshield. It makes it a pain to keep the windshield clean. I'd like to build a low-power system - minimal specs to run what I want to run without having the system sit there and chug, that way it's not drawing too much off the battery/alternator and ruining my mileage (or my battery).

    That's what spurred me to get this idea into the planning phase. There's another feature that allows you to make a gauge display (with a form designer similar to a Visual Basic or .NET GUI designer), and I don't really like having to look over at my laptop on the passenger seat to see them, I'd rather be able to still see the road out of my peripherals when I glance down for a second.

    I've been trying to put together a list of what exactly I'm going to need for this. I'll have a double DIN space available to me - I've read that the Lilliput 7" screens fit almost perfectly and I saw a couple builds that made them look pretty much perfect with a $24 dashboard mounting kit for the RSX. So I've got that covered.

    Everything else I'm a bit confused on, though. I'm very familiar with computers and building, so I've got a pretty good idea of what I need, specifications-wise - I'll be running XP, so probably half a gig to a gig of memory and a 1.5-1.8GHz processor, and probably a 32gig SATA SSD for quick startup.

    But that leads me to further questions...for my purpose, what would be recommended as far as the actual parts? My first inclination was to use Nano-ITX, but trying to comb through their site and figure out what I need really ended up fruitless.

    I'm also not really sure how to get the speakers hooked up - everybody's said to use amplifiers, but I'd like to avoid having another device drawing power. I've already got an aftermarket head unit, and as a result, a wire harness adapter - would it be possible to use 1/8" -> RCA adapters, and then behead the other end of the RCA wires and solder them to the harness adapter's wires? In addition to computers I do a lot of low-level A/V stuff for work, and in my experience these analog A/V signals are generally all compatible with one another.

    Anyway, sorry for leaving this novel here...extra props to anybody who reads the whole thing >.>

  2. #2
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
    Blog Entries
    1. Take a look at the Intel Atom mini-itx board. It will do what you want. They're available from many places but if you like what you've read here, buy it from the mp3car store and help support the forums. FYI - the budget bundle on the store will probably do all you want and includes an integrated power supply and hard drive (add $235 for the SSD drive). Just wire it to the car, plug in the 1/8 output cable and connect the monitor and you're done.

    2. A gig of memory will likely work just fine.

    3. If your harness accepts regular line inputs like from an mp3 player, it will work as you described. Test it with an mp3 player like an iPod and you'll see.
    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:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    That pretty much looks like what I need. Does it have shared audio jack support, so I can utilize the car's 4.1 setup with it? Or would I be well-suited to switching the motherboard for one with independent jacks?

    Also, the Centrafuse software - the skins all look beautiful and it seems like nice software - but is the front end modifiable? In other words, could I set one of the buttons (Videos for example, I don't plan to use that while driving) to open/switch to KManager (software for my ECU) instead without having to write a plugin for it?

    Also, good idea as far as trying it with my iPod, I'll give that a shot when I get my car back

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