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Thread: New to the forum, just wanted to say hi!

  1. #1
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    New to the forum, just wanted to say hi!

    Hey all. Thanks for this site. I've been reading enough threads and what not that I figured I should go ahead,join up and get things rolling. I'm having a great time playing around with the whole carputer concept, something that's still pretty new to me and this is what I've got to work with.

    I picked up a small form factor compaq D51 this afternoon from the state surplus for 35 bucks, and then an additional 15 for a 20gig hard drive just to get thing rolling.

    The computer is a 2.4 GHz P4 processor with a single 512 MB stick of DDR ram (one open port). I've got 2 audio input jacks, and 2 outputs, 4 usb ports (non 2.0 i think), and two available PCI slots.

    So, that's what i have for about 50 bucks, so for that price I'll make it work. I'm pretty sure that the 512 mb of ram will be just fine, and the P4 will be more than enough. The system has a power supply that says max output is 175w, but I'll run the numbers and figure out what I'll need in a DC to DC psu. I know there are a few pretty awesome threads about that very thing so i'll dive in to them now that I have some hardware. Worse comes to worse I can alway run an inverter and use the stock power supply... if i have to

    Plans are to use this system for audio, video, navigation, wifi, possibly bluetooth, and some sort of engine management. The vehicle it will eventually go in, and bare with me as this is still the beginning of this project, is a 57 ford f100 that I am in the process of hotrodding. Final plans are to swap in the engine / transmission from a police interceptor Crown Victoria and the suspension as well for a sort of modernized old truck. (automotive work is my forte so this all will fall together as time goes by)

    I want to keep the dash clean so I'm shooting for an overhead install of a touch screen and no head unit, but that will come in to play more when it comes time to plan out my headliner.

    Right now I'm just going to play around with this computer and keep on reading. I think it's time to start playing with some software to get things rolling. I've got ubuntu running on the unit right now, just to see if it was in working order and I'm very pleased. I'll throw XP on it as soon as i figure out where my disk is...

    On a side note, I do realize that this unit will be a little noisy, and probably a big of a power pig but really, for that price can you blame me? If i can find a mobile chip on the cheap (i've read that they use less energy) maybe I'll go that route. it's just something that I'll have to deal with.

    sorry my post is so long.

    tell me what you think, and above all else, thanks for giving people like me a place like this

    hotrod

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate brucedog's Avatar
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    Hey Hot Rod,

    Thanks for your "long" intro post. Actually, yours was one of the best newbie posts that I've seen in awhile; you outlined your carpc hdwe, some hopes and plans, and intro'd your ride to the folks.

    Good for you, it's a lot of fun.

    I came up similarly: read a lot of posts and got some sort of an idea of just what I wanted a carpc for. It's like the old story; a person feels the need to put together a PC, then wonders why they did it (good way to pick up their barely-used PC for cheap!).


    I basically wanted LOTS of music available in my car, so using WMP ripping as .wav files onto a 500 GB HD, I got great-sounding music ripped from my own cd's.

    I have GPS, but basically MapQuest most of my trips and do ok with that; but it's there if I need it.

    I DO use the internet a lot in car for research as I go from town to town, e-mails, etc.
    I use bluetooth for dial-up thru my pocket PC phone, and have wireless card for when I'm in my driveway, or wherever I can find high-speed...

    The "WOW" factor is always fun, too...

    See you around the forums. Best of blessings and success on your (sweet) truck and carpc endeavors.
    Happy CarPC'ing!

  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    and well thought out. I dont like those P4's but if you have the cash to buy a beefy dc-dc go for it.
    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
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    well thank you both very much! I have a ton of information to learn, but that's just going to take some time. I think the first thing I'm going to have to figure out is the software situation, since I have XP up and running now on the pc i can start playing around and getting the basic interface set up. There's a FAQ on frontends and aux programs i think so I'll see if i can find a setup I like. I've seen a lot of people write about RoadRunner so i'm thinking that's where I'll start. See you guys on the boards, and thanks again.

    hotrod

  5. #5
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    so i spent a few hours reading and downloading front ends from here:



    However it's a pretty old post (like 4 years lol) so I'm sure that there are a few major players that aren't listed there. I'll spend tomorrow installing them and playing around to see what I like. It's been wayyyy hot here so sitting by the computer beats the heck out of welding / grinding / metal and body work lol. It's nice to still be semi productive even when I can't do "real" work on the truck. (though this stuff is way more fun than work )

    Any personal favorites with to respect to front ends are more than welcome. I've tried Media engine and liked that a lot. Also tried to install Road Runner but just got really confused. There's a faq for it but it's pretty old, and i'm not familiar enough with these kind of programs to make much progress. (any advice on that front would be appreciated as i've heard lots of good things about it) It would be a shame to not be able to give it a shot.

    That's all for now, keep on keeping on

  6. #6
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    You asked for opinions: RoadRunner is the best no way around it.

    Since you say your thread is 4yrs old, you didnt download the installer did youÉ

    Here is the installer thread: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/road...r-updater.html

    Basically steps:
    1) download winamp. 2.95 is my favourite, but for visualizations you will need one of the new ones.
    2) Make sure winamp has its "classic" skin.
    3) download and install the RR installer.
    4) follow the options in the RRConfig program that pops up and the end of the RR installer. Main ones include winamp path (should already be set), skin path, music type (probably want to include *.mp3), and then music directory, video directory and that should get it to run for you fast.
    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

  7. #7
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    Actually there was information about the installer, i'm guessing the post was edited after the fact. That was pretty straight forward, but I'll check which version I have and grab that version of winamp (i just downloaded the newest version).

    The problem I had was figuring out the config program. It didn't seem like anything was filled in and i had no clue how to start from scratch lol. I tried just clicking done but that was a mistake as i got an error and it quit lol. The winamp part wasn't filled in either, and I was pretty lost from there. I'll give it another shot tomorrow, maybe it has something to do with the version of Winamp i was using.

    I'm trying to find screenshots of the config or something that explains each of the fields but to no avail as of yet.

    Thank you for your opinion!!! It's exactly what I was looking for. I've seen a lot of people praise RoadRunner so i'm just dying to try it out. Some of the skins (well almost all of the skins) look incredible!

    on a side note:

    The only problem I've had with getting this computer for cheap from the state surplus is that they were not kind enough to do two things. First, they took the original 40 gig hard drive out and put it somewhere (maybe that room of boxes from "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost ark???" i don't know) and the largest drive the had there was 20 gig (a whole table of drives, some like 1.4 gig were all the same price lol). The second thing: Not having the compaq driver CD available... I spent a few hours today chasing drivers for a fairly old computer and still couldn't get the NIC working.

    so it isn't online right now. I've been doing everything with a jump drive which is a pain lol. I'll be buying a cheap wifi card or usb adapter hopefully tomorrow to fix that problem and make life easier.

    Thanks again man, hopefully i can get RoadRunner going and start having more fun.

    hotrod

  8. #8
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    The config is an external program made by blue on these forums. The "real" way of doing things is in the actual ini file with Notepad. Now I dont do that, I use the config program. But if you look in ReadMe.txt, it explains a lot.
    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

  9. #9
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    Well, I have no idea what I was doing wrong yesterday lol, but it works now haha. I just have to grab some files to play and put them on that computer. I'm glad it didn't end up being some big problem. Thanks for your help toaster, I helped simplify the whole thing quite a bit!

    Now it's time to play with exciting new skins!!!

    hotrod

  10. #10
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    Well I bought one of the cheap touch screens from gooddeals 18 and so far so good. I've very happy with it. I've been playing around with it since I got it!!! Just started playing with RoadRunner again. I was trying Media Engine but I think I like RoadRunner still. I had abandoned it for a little because every time I launched RoadRunner winamp would jump in front of the window but I read some threads and got that taken care of. I haven't gotten the visualization working but I'm hoping that's an easy fix too.

    Just wanted to give a little update to show that I've made at least some progress!

    thanks,

    hotrod

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