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Thread: Carpc for 500.00? possible?

  1. #1
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    Carpc for 500.00? possible?

    okay my first post and I've been really interested in making a carpc for my car. I've read FAQ's now a couple times and am starting to understand carpc's better.

    now I am asking if it's possible to make a car pc for around 500 buxs as that's my budget. i would mainly would want to use the carpc for music, internet, movies, and if I have enough left, GPS

    now I'm expecting to by a lilliput touchscreen which will problaby be around 160-200 buxs and another hundred for wiring, fabricating, any other parts i may need.

    now I'm wanting to do this cheap, but reliable so I am looking at the hp e-pc 42. this small pc looks like it will suffice for now. I've read that I could run it of an inverter and if I don't want to use an inverter would the carnetix p1900 be compatible with the e-pc 42.

    also besides the e-pc what other small computers could be used for a carpc.

    or what would you guys recommend.

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate TimmyM's Avatar
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    if your spending $300 on the monitor and wiring, $200 isn't much but you could get Intel® Desktop Board D201GLY for $60 here, cheaper if you search. M2-ATX for $90, that Leaves $50 for a HD and RAM. Maybe eBay for a used laptop HD or ask around I'm sure a friend should have an old desktop HD you could have. That would do you with the exception of internet. Hopefully you have a cell phone and plan you can use. In which case it wouldn't cost you anything.

    An inverter isn't a bad way to go, I used one for years, but a DC-DC PSU is a lot nicer. Specially with a shutdown controller. I have the M2-ATX and it works pretty good. They are $90 and if you figure out how much an inverter, wiring, some kind of shut down controller, etc you'd probably be pretty close to that $90.

  3. #3
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    if you look on ebay a guy sells a barebones system for about 250-ish or so, you can pick up a 100gb 2.5" laptop HD for about 70, screens are around 200, an operating system will run you around 80 unless you get linux. cables and misc install will probably run you around 50-70. Its definetly do-able. If possible you can find a busted laptop on ebay and take out the hd and dvd player for cheaper. I used an old laptop HD in mine and it works great.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1bandit View Post
    if you look on ebay a guy sells a barebones system for about 250-ish or so, you can pick up a 100gb 2.5" laptop HD for about 70, screens are around 200, an operating system will run you around 80 unless you get linux. cables and misc install will probably run you around 50-70. Its definetly do-able. If possible you can find a busted laptop on ebay and take out the hd and dvd player for cheaper. I used an old laptop HD in mine and it works great.

    ....... lolz at "buying" OSs.......

  5. #5
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    I'll can get my software for "free"

    I'm looking at this setup:

    1. HP e-pc 42 ( probably 70.00 can't find any cheaper, what other SFF computers could be used that aren't too expensive and big)

    2. Power inverter (I have no idea, what's a good one that I could get that isn't expensive and would work with the e-pc?) (price for now 100.00)

    3. USB hub (20.00 would I just be able to pulg the hub into one of the usb ports on the back of the e-pc and start plugging things in)

    4. USB wifi (20.00 is this just plug and play)

    6. mini wireless keyboard w/ track ball (60.00)

    7. lilliput touchscreen (probably used from ebay 150.00)

    8. fabrication, cables, wires, etc. (100.00)


    total- 520.00

    Would this setup work well together and would I have any problems getting it up and running. Is this all that I would need or did I miss something.


    hopefully later I'll add bluetooth and gps to the system

  6. #6
    Newbie NATISFYNEST's Avatar
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    i just bought mine off ebay i got a hp e-vectra for 30 shipped to my door

  7. #7
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    Well, I am sitting around $450 total spent right now, with touchscreen, wifi, usb mini-keyboard (for PS2) with a powered usb hub and m4-atx power supply.
    AND water cooling.

    But a whole of the stuff I used is recycled parts that were laying around:
    1.6Ghz P4 computer
    1gb ram
    80gb hard drive
    water cooling

    And while it mostly works, and works well....
    The p4 is the weak point, and has a few glitches.
    Of course I DO plan to replace it once the new Via Nano stuff is available.....

    One thing I have constantly considered in my project is how serious I am about it yet, and even I don't know, although as I use it I become more and more convinced it is worthwhile.

    But upgrade-ability of pieces is something I always keep in mind.

  8. #8
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    Those e-vectras are pretty cheap. A few on ebay with no bids, ending in the next few hours, for $10-$35 each (plus shipping), then a dc-dc power supply like an M2 or M3, etc. = $50-80 depending on where you get it, new or used, etc., then screen ($80-300 depending on which one). If you can live without touchscreen you can save some money right there, and it sounds like you plan to use a keyboard and mouse, so you could probably make do without touch for now... Wireless kb and mouse combos can be had for $20-100 depending on what you get as well. Of course the cheaper ones are usually big and hideous...

    I bought an Epia M10000 board for $56 shipped to my door, with 256mb ram but I bought a 1gb stick for $19 shipped to my door, I already have a few drives from laptops but I might get a bootable CF adapter instead, so I have fewer moving parts.. The adapter is about $5. I have a bunch of 7" or larger mobile screens, non-touch, all of which I paid less than $50 each for over the past 6 years, I already have a couple slim dvd-rom drives from broken laptops (free, abandoned at apartments and given to me by the maintenance supervisor), and I have a few touchpad mice (Cirque glidepoint, etc.) which I intend to dismantle and mount the pad and buttons into my console, or on the underside of my armrest so when my hand is "resting" I can easily manipulate it even while driving (if I want). I don't care that it's wired, I can hide the wiring quite easily, and route it to the computer in the console or under seat or wherever I end up putting it.

    I'd say that with careful planning - budgeting - buying, you can easily keep within your target. Like others have said, the biggest cost is usually the touchscreen. I think I'm just going to try and get a 7" touchscreen overlay kit for an Asus Eee pc and use it over one of my 7" non-touch lcd's, and I'll have a 7" touch for less than $100 (7" lcd mobile monitor for sub $50, plus $40 for the asus touch overlay). Software is cheap or free (I own about 50 legit cd-keys for Windows OS's if I go that route, and Linux is free already).

    Ok, I'll quit my rambling now!

    Good Luck with your project, and keep us posted as things progress.

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate john05srt4's Avatar
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    1. HP e-pc 42 ( probably 70.00 can't find any cheaper, what other SFF computers could be used that aren't too expensive and big)
    I would just buy a good mini-atx board
    2. Power inverter (I have no idea, what's a good one that I could get that isn't expensive and would work with the e-pc?) (price for now 100.00)
    Get an M3-atx DC-dc for $80
    3. USB hub (20.00 would I just be able to pulg the hub into one of the usb ports on the back of the e-pc and start plugging things in)
    Many of the USb devies do NOT work well unless it is a POWERED usb hub
    4. USB wifi (20.00 is this just plug and play)

    6. mini wireless keyboard w/ track ball (60.00)
    get the playstaion qwerty keyboard there great $30
    7. lilliput touchscreen (probably used from ebay 150.00)

    8. fabrication, cables, wires, etc. (100.00)
    total- 520.00
    Get USB header cables that go directly off the motherboard for your extra USb devices
    hopefully later I'll add bluetooth and gps to the system

    I bought all my stuff from Logic Supply. Fair prices but they carried everything in stock and were very helpful by phone.

    bu-353 gps $60

    Now remember you will need some type of case to mount it all.
    10 acura TL tech
    10 BMW S1000RR

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate billmee's Avatar
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    The epc is a good way to go, but you have to get them cheap

    Here is a quick estimate of my several year old setup.

    $35 Hp E-PC 40 ( bought 2 for $70 no hd no psu )
    $33 Hp E-PC 40 Winxp restore cd from HP
    $100 Carnetix Cn1900 12v psu with start/shutdown control
    $26 Sunny 19v car/laptop adapter (ebay)
    $6 Bosch relay
    $250 Liliput 7" ts
    $60 Gps receiver and software ( ms streets and trips )

    FREEBIES
    Crappy keyboard and mouse for setup
    Ide hard drive
    Road Runner front end

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