Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Running No-Head unit--- possible??

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1

    Running No-Head unit--- possible??

    See I was thinking about putting in a computer in the car for mp3's as my music listening is now basically 100% mp3's (or at least digital music Yay OGG!).

    And here is where we come into a problem; see I had a lazy roommate who borrowed the car and didn't lock the doors one night. And so now I am out a head unit. Obviously a crime of convenience as they left THEIR cd's in my car but stole my stereo. ?? anyway, as I still have a good set of speakers, and 2 so-so amps, I was thinking 'why couldn't I just build a pc/jukebox out of the one of the two older laptops I have and stash the controls in the center console?'.

    I haven't seen any posts that attack this directly but as there is a lot of data here I may just have missed it.

    So in short I have:

    2 - 100w (max) door speakers
    2 - 150w (max) rear speakers (6/9 2 way)
    1 - 250w amp
    2 - pentium II laptops that didn't cost me anything

    software is not an issue, and neither is soldering or dissasembly. The main thing I am having trouble visualizing is the connection of the audio channels from the pc to the amps, and controlling the on/off of the amp. As the laptop can be run off of a car adapter anyway I am not concerned about inverters or anything strange there, and powering an amp is widely documented. Speakers are already wired, so... yeah. I was thinking that I could simply us a basic Y adapter from the headphone/line out on the laptop, strip off the rca connectors (or maybe patch in some on the amp side for modularity). But I wouldn't have any volume control, (unless simply controlling the input from the pc would work) or the ability to turn the amp on or off.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate VBWizz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cleveland , OHIO
    Posts
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by x40sw0n View Post
    See I was thinking about putting in a computer in the car for mp3's as my music listening is now basically 100% mp3's (or at least digital music Yay OGG!).

    And here is where we come into a problem; see I had a lazy roommate who borrowed the car and didn't lock the doors one night. And so now I am out a head unit. Obviously a crime of convenience as they left THEIR cd's in my car but stole my stereo. ?? anyway, as I still have a good set of speakers, and 2 so-so amps, I was thinking 'why couldn't I just build a pc/jukebox out of the one of the two older laptops I have and stash the controls in the center console?'.

    I haven't seen any posts that attack this directly but as there is a lot of data here I may just have missed it.

    So in short I have:

    2 - 100w (max) door speakers
    2 - 150w (max) rear speakers (6/9 2 way)
    1 - 250w amp
    2 - pentium II laptops that didn't cost me anything

    software is not an issue, and neither is soldering or dissasembly. The main thing I am having trouble visualizing is the connection of the audio channels from the pc to the amps, and controlling the on/off of the amp. As the laptop can be run off of a car adapter anyway I am not concerned about inverters or anything strange there, and powering an amp is widely documented. Speakers are already wired, so... yeah. I was thinking that I could simply us a basic Y adapter from the headphone/line out on the laptop, strip off the rca connectors (or maybe patch in some on the amp side for modularity). But I wouldn't have any volume control, (unless simply controlling the input from the pc would work) or the ability to turn the amp on or off.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


    It should be fairly simple to have the amp turn on and off when you start/shutoff your car . I did this by connecting the remote wire of the amp to the switched power line behind the radio. In your case since they ripped out your head unit, I would take a volt meter and look for a wire that has 12vdc with the key in the on position, and no power when the key is in the off position that should take care of the amp turn on off issue, if you are using a laptop then volume has to be controled with your front end what ever it is your going to use. I got a Y addapter at Radio Shack with one end looks like a standard stereo plug and the Y end looks like female RCA Connectors, then you would just plug the RCA cables into that and the other end into the amp.
    LilliPut Housing Complete
    MAP POINT WITH EARTH MATE
    TV/FM/XM
    1.7 GHZ 500MB RAM , 60 GB HD
    SLIM LINE DVD DRIVE
    FRONT END: CUSTOM A.N.D.I. - M.P

  3. #3
    _
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Little Elm, Texas
    Posts
    13,500
    I would say that 90% of the users on this forum have a CarPC without a head unit. There are a number of posts already where people ask about the SQ of a CarPC v. a HU.

    You will need to buy a power supply for your laptop. Don't use the power adapter for it. There are a number of posts on this as well.

    There is a FAQ in the FAQ emporium about how to connect your system to your computer. I'd suggest reading that as well.

    I'd also suggest reading the stickey here at the top of the newbie forum. It covers many of your questions already and was written specifically for people like yourself. People that want to come into the hobby but don't know where to start looking.

    There are products out there that already exist to take care of the concerns you have. All you have to do is take a look at the store here and you'll find some fo those products.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

Similar Threads

  1. Problem with my head unit.
    By Ederfico in forum Car Audio
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-24-2007, 03:51 PM
  2. Seat Ibiza Mk4 Alana Head Unit - need sound in!
    By onlineamiga in forum General Hardware Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-11-2007, 05:02 AM
  3. Head Unit: Sony/Panasonic?
    By OdoyleRules in forum Car Audio
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-25-2006, 06:03 AM
  4. Stock Head Unit
    By Rmk1139 in forum Car Audio
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-16-2005, 03:25 PM
  5. Slot load dvd in a head unit
    By mp3truckstereo in forum General Hardware Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-01-2002, 10:17 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •