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Thread: Please review my setup - Let me know if you see any potential problems

  1. #1
    Newbie TallgeeseIV's Avatar
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    Please review my setup - Let me know if you see any potential problems

    Ok, I'm not new to building computers, but I am new to building them into a car, as well as car power and electronics in general. So I've composed all the major parts I'm thinking of buying to build my in car PC. I'd like people to review the parts and let me know if you see something that will/might cause problems down the road.

    It's going in a 2002 Pontiac Trans Am WS6, which has a bit more than a single din space, but not 2. Everyone I've seen put a pc in one of these cars has either put the pc in the trunk or in the h/u space and mounted a 7" touch screen, requiring them to move their ac controls... I find this to be a rather distasteful approach. So, I found a screen the right size that does what I need and I'm going to mount it along with all the inputs I'll need, into a plastic cover. For the case, I'm using the stock h/u (I had a spare one from my brother's car), hollowed out. I'll be drilling holes for all the mounting screws for the parts.

    I've done a 3d model with textures of all the parts for design and measurement purposes. I took the exact dimensions of each part and used them to make this. I overestimated the height of the boards just to make sure I'd have space.



    These are the parts I'm looking at:

    Motherboard: http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/ma...erboard_id=472
    Motherboard comes with a 1Ghz processor onboard already.
    Ram: SODIMM 1GB PC2-4200 DDR2 533 PC4200 DDR 2 laptop memory
    Hard Drive will be an undetermined size laptop 2.5 inch drive, I haven't decided how much space I want yet.
    Hard Drive Adapter: http://store.mp3car.com/Notebook_HD_..._p/adt-001.htm
    Power Supply: http://store.mp3car.com/M1_ATX_90_Wa..._p/pwr-008.htm
    As for a screen that will actually fit this space: http://www.aeicomp.com/Detail.asp?Pr...005_LCD35VGATS

    Things like USB ports, sound card, etc. I can handle myself, I'm not worried about those. And I'm just going to have an external usb dvd drive in my glove box for when I need it.

  2. #2
    FLAC Dougw133's Avatar
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    I think you will be disappointed with a 3" Screen to be honest, but thats me. With most of the front ends to run, I think you are going to get annoyed with the small size. I have a doubble din, and I the 7" screen out of the case is smaller than the opening..So no hacking AC controls etc... for me. My only other opinion is to front the little bit extra cash for a more powerful PSU.

  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Definately go for the M2 over the M1. They are practically the same price, no reason to even make the M1 anymore actually.

    And I also second the motion that a 3" screen will be horrible. And for that price, wowser. Get a $200 screen that is 7" widescreen. Take it out of the frame and put it in your case there.

    The screen is the part you will be interfacing with everyday, so make it enjoyable.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  4. #4
    Newbie TallgeeseIV's Avatar
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    i would... but there's no room to mount a 7" screen in the dash board..... i could mount it away from the dash... but i really hate how that looks. i also don't intend to use a front end.

  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    That's a double din sized casing you have correct? If so, then a 7" widescreen outside of its bezel fits perfectly. If you can get a 6.5" it would be better still.

    And if you are not using a frontend, then you definately need a bigger screen. The frontends were made for a reason. To hide the OS which is horrible for big fingered touching. Smaller the screen, more you "press" everytime with your finger. So a 3.5" screen with no frontend will make this very unenjoyable for you.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  6. #6
    Newbie TallgeeseIV's Avatar
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    i was just going to blow winamp up to full screen... lol I'll put up some pictures to show what i'm talking about with the measurements for this dash, it isn't a double din size, it's slightly less than that. The space i'm working with is 3.25 inches tall by 7.75 inches wide, and i need room left over for usb ports, does anyone know the screen dimensions without the casing on a 7 inch lcd? ok, the smallest 7 inch touchscreen I can find is still 4.25 inches tall, without casing.... which is 1 inch too tall for my car.

  7. #7
    Newbie TallgeeseIV's Avatar
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    here's some pictures to show the sizing i'm talking about:

    This one is taken at eye level sitting in the car, my head is only about a foot and a half from the head unit, it's not as extreme as in a truck or large sedan. benefit of small sports cars.


    The stock head unit itself in it's enclosure (which i am NOT cutting up)


    this is a 5 inch lcd screen without the enclosure. it's 3.75 inches tall. and doesn't fit by about a half an inch...


    so... the 3.5 inch is about the best i can find.... i'm not disagreeing that it might be too small... i just can't really achieve my goal with anything bigger...

  8. #8
    Newbie TallgeeseIV's Avatar
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    Ok, did some tests to see if I could deal with a screen that small. I definitely can. I put my resolution to 640 x 480, took a screen cap of it, then scaled it down in photoshop to the size of the screen in inches and printed it out. It will definitely work. I'm thinking of using 3rd party software that adds a dock as you see in Mac's, for Windows to launch programs. Shouldn't be a problem, and for more complicated things and fixing problems, I'll have a mini usb keyboard and mouse.

    Well back to my parts, you all have sold me on the 160W PSU, I'll be picking up the M2 instead. Any other advice for me?
    2002 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 Collector Edition
    FQuick

  9. #9
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Take that piece of paper, increase the brightness so it is washed out. Then put that behind a piece of glass. Go outside, and have a friend hold it at an angle to you and start moving it up and down and left and right about 2 inches in all directions. Now try and figure out the text of winamp or press the play/pause button or something.

    I never suggest a indash screen, but you may want to consider one.

    Also there are options to relocate your hvac.

    or you could sell your car and buy a better one.

    All I am saying is looking at the screen and seeing everything is very different than driving and glancing at the screen to push the right spot without looking. Last thing you want is to start focusing on the itty bitty screen with your head close to it as you wiz down the interstate.

    Also something you could consider, is to get a bigger screen or use that 5", and put it recessed so it fits in the opening. Then use a program to scale your screen to only the actual visible area of the screen. So you have a wider screen, even though it is the same height.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  10. #10
    Newbie TallgeeseIV's Avatar
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    Hmm... I hear what you're saying. If I got an in-dash screen that flips out i'd have to put the computer somewhere else in the car, which i'm not going to do.

    I'm definitely not relocating my ac, i've seen car pc's in this model car before with 7" screens where they relocated them and they're absolutely hideos. they usually mount them in the glove compartment... it's terrible...

    the 5" screen is a composite only, non touch screen with a resolution of 320 x 240. it's pretty much useless, and I can't find a touch screen bigger than 3.5 but smaller than 7 ANYWHERE.http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/newr...e=1&p=1179980#
    Open

    oh yeah "get a better car"? nice joke, mr. civic "giggle"

    anyway, this is a show car and nothing I do to it can look bad, and moving the ac or mounting an lcd away from the dash... frankly, look bad. great functionality, but zero aesthetics.
    2002 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 Collector Edition
    FQuick

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