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Thread: trying to justify adding a computer to mini cooper ice cream vehicle

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate ZEEBEES's Avatar
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    trying to justify adding a computer to mini cooper ice cream vehicle

    Well, I've been converting a 2004 mini cooper R50 into an ice cream truck. So far its going pretty good. I have a roof rack with a skim board mounted with a 2' ice cream cone on top. I have signs on hood and driver door, full door sized signage for passenger door, custom signs everywhere. removed the passenger seat for a 63Qt edgestar ac/dc sub zero freezer. back seat cooler for sandwiches. power inverter (empty). I bought the inverter for a roof mounted bubble machine, but the liability issue of blowing soap everywhere was too dangerous. Have an ice cream music player with external speaker mounted to roof skim board. H/K drive & play for ipod (inside music). Getting some AutoXCooper eyes, maybe roof mounted lights. Its looking pretty good.

    I'm considering using my old mac mini PPC as a carcomputer. Its just sitting there, begging to be used for something.

    I would probably either cram it into glovebox, under dash, or in the boot somewhere. I'd connect a cheap small vga LCD to it. the monitor would either mount on the freezer's side or in driver side window corner. would connect my autoenginuity enhanced ODBII tool to the USB to monitor car's power and any thing else (running XP), I'd like to get a PC USB GPS device to keep track of route and maybe a rear view camera to see if any kids are behind the car. Maybe connecting to a LED scrolling sign for rear passenger window to show sales total or messages (these are available with or without PC connections). I have a bluetooth keyboard and gyro mouse, has airport and bluetooth built in. Have sofa control and some other software to make it pretty user freindly.

    considering what I want to do (GPS, Rear view cam); would it really be justifiable to install the whole computer in the car? Would I really need a carconex power adaptor instead of just using the power inverter? All I would really need is a monitor, GPS dongle, web cam. I think I'm just wanting some justification to the wife for the additional gadgetry.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate heezer7's Avatar
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    If you could track gps location and sales together you would be able to find the most profitable areas for you and be able to hit them more.

  3. #3
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    My thoughts exactly. If you could use sales and location data to improve upon your long term profits it would definitely be a huge value.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate rizaydog's Avatar
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    A power inverter is fine, but it wont turn the pc on automatically. If you don't mind pushing the power button every time you want it to turn on, go that route. You can always change it latter. This is a hobby of evolution. Once you start, your project is never complete.

  5. #5
    Newbie l33t_tj's Avatar
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    pics please?

    A mini cooper ice cream truck sounds awesome.

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate ZEEBEES's Avatar
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    yes, pictures will be coming soon. lately been consumed with remodeling our garage storage space into a workable office workshop for the ice cream business. Have gone through several transformations of the car to get things "right". It is definitely a constant work in progress.
    I think I'll go ahead and install the mini, the cost of a USB gps device, lilliput 7", and some mounting hardware is still less than a good stand alone GPS. and much cooler.
    I'm sure there are lots of folks here with GPS USB devices, haven't found any that work directly with the mac OS, but I am running windows as well. Does the Garmin Mobile PC USB have track logging and voice command? or is there a better alternative to the Garmin? nice thing about the mac is the ability to speak and be spoken to using voiceover.

  7. #7
    Newbie LordRaiden's Avatar
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    What, a mini-cooper what!? o_0 Dude, I'd say that if such a thing exists, do it, if for no other reason than the novelty of it. (no pun intended)

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate crooper's Avatar
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    Please post pics!!

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate kibble's Avatar
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    Your justification for doing it should be: "Because you can!"
    Kids, don't play with too many knives! -Crack Stuntman

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate ZEEBEES's Avatar
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    its coming along. slowly but surely. pictures will come when its cleaner.
    the freezer was the easiest install with shunting off the airbag and removing the seat. bubble machine spit out too much soap-made it dangerous, wasted a lot of time trying to fabricate something that would keep it from spilling. currently mounting a 2' ice cream cone on surfboard on roof rack, Hella offroad lights on roof. lilliput 629 to airvent, macmini in glovebox with globalsat 353 gps, vinyl stripes everywhere-to make it more noticeable. headlight eyes from autoXgraphic (sponsored) are going on today, magnetic signs, ice cream music box to dash, speaker to roof surfboard. Also had to remodel my workshop to pass a health inspection. Things have slowed down on it since my wife broke her elbow and wrist, but I'm still finding a little time to work things out.

    on the carputer side, have been trying out all sorts of software to make it easy to operate. the front ends so far haven't been "perfect". Need track logging GPS, calculator, itunes, video, scanguage in an easy to use thing with big buttons. running tiger on PPC mini with virtual PC, Mac GPS Pro, Scanguage, AMP so far. have road runner and car front end, but thought they were too complicated. Thinking about Qcar, route 66, or route buddy are next.

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