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Thread: building a carputer?

  1. #1
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    May 2007
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    Question building a carputer?

    im new to the whole carputer thing but loving the idea i ws wondering what would be the simplest carputer i could build for my 1996 chevy caprice i have a kenwood kdc228 model in no amp yet but will go with all kicker components mostly going to use the pc for mp3 maybe gps in internet but i will use it for dvds

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    "Simplest" can mean so many things

    If you mean simple to build, then they all are if you've built a PC before. They're really just PC's... plain and simple.

    If you mean simple as in low cost, then your best bet is probably to get an older desktop case (mini) and as small an ATX motherboard as you can get. Some pre-built mini-desktops make great car PC's, and some people have had great luck with Mac Minis.

    If you mean simple to install... well, that's a different kettle of fish entirely. Every car PC is different, by definition as they all have different missions. But bear in mind that the car PC itself is just part of the equation; there's the whole interfacing with the sound system you have to take into account. You might have a head unit you can hook a pair of RCA feeds to, in which case your simplest setup might be a used laptop on a mount in the front of the car. Howerver, it's going to be a theft magnet... better to do some integration work.

    Me, I'm going a little more complex... but not beyond my abilities. Mine's going to be "simple" in that the machine itself is not going to be very powerful. Where I'm going to spend money is on a good screen (integrated into the dash), a nice sound system (pair of amps, good speakers, sub) and I'm going to try to have my initial setup with no moving parts... or maybe just one; the CPU fan. It remains to be seen how successful I'll be as I'm still at the advanced planning / procurement process stage.

    Let us know what you're looking for in terms of simple and we'll all try to help, I'm sure

  4. #4
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    simple as in less money possible i also want to invest more in my screen in car sounds my stereo does have rca outputs. what would be the best steps in hooking it up to my stereo? in to power it up? i have heard anything from hooking the computer to your amp or right to your headunit also i have heard getting power straight from the battery in also using the car lighter what would be the best. more difintion of what i want would be carputer that i dont waste to much money to build but if i wanted leave more options for it to be upgraded right now i basically want to play mp3s and movies

  5. #5
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    St. Louis, MO, USA
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    Well, if your head unit has RCA in, that simplifies things. You can just run an audio cable from your PC's speaker out to the RCA in, let the existing hardware do all the "heavy lifting".

    As far as power... check out the FAQs. There's so many options depending on what you want to do. But be aware that for most Car PC applications, go with lower end components; you don't need a heat-blasting multi-core monster in your car. My Car PC's going to do a lot more than yours and is already running on a bench on an 800Mhz Epia board quite well. I'm still getting the prep-work done and deciding how best to replace my existing head unit entirely with a double-din screen.

    Your options, and your results will vary dramatically

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