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Thread: New to the CarPC, but not the PC

  1. #1
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    New to the CarPC, but not the PC

    Hey guys, I'm new to this whole Car PC thing but am in no way new to the computer building scene. I built my first computer when I was in 4th grade and am now in school for Computer Engineering. I've run across these forums a couple times interested in other people's projects but never thinking I'd be able to do it, but I've got a spare computer and a job so I figure I can probably make this happen.

    For the details, I've got a 2000 V6 Mustang that I'm modding, got a good amount of money already put into the car and will be keeping it for a while and decided I'd combine my two favorite things, my car and my computer! I'm on most of the Mustang Forums around with the same screen name so if any of you are Mustang owners you may have seen me around before.

    Anyways, the PC setup I have is an AMD 3500+ with 2Gb DDR and an X800XT PE. I've got the complete setup and from my basic skimming I've seen that it looks like I'm going to need either an inverter or a DC-DC power supply to power this and a screen for sure. As for the software I'm a little unsure of that. It looks like either XP or Linux, but I'd probably want to go custom here, so I'd probably lean more towards Linux depending on the rest of the software/hardware support for it, but I'm sure I could customize XP as well. So what else will I need? I'd look forward to looking how to do some fiberglass work and get in there. I've done basic audio work setting up my stereo and installing a head unit/bass system. Let me know what you guys think! Looking forward to this!

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate brucedog's Avatar
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    Hey cmpfreak88,

    How's it going? since you have been involved with pc's and some electronics since you were knee high to a grasshopper, you have a distinct advantage.

    I tell new guys that i did a LOT of reading and searching these forum posts for abt three mos before beginning to buy eqpt. See my specs and pictures - see other's specs and pictures for some good ideas and inspirations...

    I kept it simple with an inverter and desktop pc. I've got lots of room in cargo cmpt of my wagon. There WERE a couple of inverter noise issues, but re-routing cabling and a couple of other fixes cured it all.

    The in-dash screen DOES sound better and better. If you have a double DIN opening for stock Hu, that makes things easier. I figure if I disassemble my Lilliput 7" touchscreen monitor (was $245 mp3 car store), it will probably fit perfectly where stock stereo was. Of course, buttons from monitor would maybe need to be relocated, but that's all not really hard. Just takes some planning, and look at what other guys have done.

    This carpc thing is a lot of fun, and the guys here are suprisingly friendly and helpful (you may have observed how knowledgeable electron geeks can sometimes be a bit ****y...) This is definitely a community.

    Lookin' fwd to hearing from you.

    Happy carpc'ing!


  3. #3
    Newbie rezme's Avatar
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    Hi guys, I'm also just getting into the CarPC thing, and I can't wait to start. I'm like you cmpfreak, I've got the core components, I'm just lacking power regulator, and touchscreen. I've probably got a bit of experience on you with PCs, and the car audio thing, but combining the two is a first for me. I'm being a bit ambitious, looking to connect 7.1 channel surround, with center channel and all. I'm curious as to what you guys have done to address the mounting of your CDRoms, I've got a dodge stealth, and it's got virtually no room in the dash for such a thing. I'm toying with the idea of fabricating an extension to my overhead dome light, as it's a larger setup, with individual spot lights, and a main lamp. If I could extend it toward the rear of the car far enough to accomodate a slot load CD drive, it would be ideal. Look forward to hearing from you!
    "640K ought to be enough for anybody"
    -Bill Gates

  4. #4
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    Hmm... well after reading through the FAQ's I see there are some problems with inverters but it doesn't look like a DC-DC power supply will be able to support the computer... What did you do to reduce/eliminate the noise in the system brucedog? From what I've seen it looks like I got the Mustang year right before they opened up to a double din so I've got two singles that I'll have to hack through, Doh! As for now I'll be doing more reading/researching and saving up the funds but this seems like an awesome project with sooooooo many possibilities!

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate brucedog's Avatar
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    At the serious risk of causing some of my carpc buds to cringe, here's a short outline of what I did (see my pictures):

    >bought $500 Compaq desktop from Best Buy -ripped 200+ cd's "lossless" .wav format and installed, tested programs and apps in my workshop

    >installed Lilli 629 (mp3car store $245) on gooseneck mt
    http://mobilevideo4less.com

    >ran cabling the best and neatest way I could...

    >played with carpc in driveway on shore 120vac

    >ordered Vector 1kw modified sine inverter
    http://invertersrus.com
    mounted said inverter per pics, grnd cable 2' long to shiny clean body ground, 12v+ directly to batt - had some hum in pc audio, so ran inverter 120vac cabling under car and up thru spare tire well in cargo cmpt - rubberized 10 ga cord...(3 cond)

    >installed better sound card: Creative PCI sound blaster - had a hiss from rear amp - installed Radio Shack ground loop isolator with no loss in audio quality - hiss gone.

    Right now, when I start pc, amps, there is a slight buzz in spkrs 'till carpc is fully booted - then there's not an evil sound one. Period. Inverter has a cooling fan - does make sound, but I don't hear it anymore...

    happy carpc'ing


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