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Thread: A few questions, and looking for someone to help with install in Toronto or Nashville

  1. #1
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    A few questions, and looking for someone to help with install in Toronto or Nashville

    Hello Everyone,

    as you all see I am new, and obviously I joined this site because I wanted to learn about carputers and I want to have one in my car.

    However there is one major problem - I am not mechanically inclined in any way whatsoever, so undertaking such a grueling task would be extremely risky. It is for this reason that I am wondering if I can ask to enlist someone (who has experience)'s help to build me a carputer (of course they will be compensated).

    If you read this and still feel I should stop before I get ahead of myself, PLEASE say so.

    so with that said, I just wanted to voice some concerns:

    First of all, I have a 1000 dollar budget. Assuming I pay someone around 100 bucks to install the thing, would 900 be enough to cover the rest of the equipment? Please note that there is little to no modification needed of my car to put in a screen as I will be buying a ready made piece from someone.

    Second of all, I plan on using this unit for navi, watching videos and listening to music. If possible I would like to use the internet as well. With this said, I have heard lots of horror stories about the software being crumby for nav compared to a normal navigation system, things going wrong, etc. etc. etc. Now this could be the fault of the installer, but as I said before, I don't have the patience or ability to fix a problem if anything goes wrong, so is this a lost cause?

    I guess that's about it. I know you guys get these questions all the time but if you guys could give me your HONEST opinion I would really appreciate it.

    Also, I am looking for someone in either Toronto or Nashville (I move around a lot) who would be willing to offer their services and is reputable in the mp3car community.

    Thanks in advance everyone. BTW I am living in Japan right now but I will be coming home soon and plan on picking up an 05 Legacy GT.

    -Aaron

  2. #2
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    Okay, if you aren't mechanically inclined and you know little about computers then it isn't impossible for you to have a car PC but you had better really, really want to have one. By that, I mean you'd better be interested in reading these forums a lot and researching the answers to your questions by reading even more.

    If that doesn't sound fun to you, I'd save my money for an all in one unit from a major manufacturer and pay for the install. Fewer headaches and they will do vids, music and nav.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Okay, if you aren't mechanically inclined and you know little about computers then it isn't impossible for you to have a car PC but you had better really, really want to have one. By that, I mean you'd better be interested in reading these forums a lot and researching the answers to your questions by reading even more.

    If that doesn't sound fun to you, I'd save my money for an all in one unit from a major manufacturer and pay for the install. Fewer headaches and they will do vids, music and nav.
    Thanks for the honest response. Of course I am very interested in learning more and troubleshooting various problems (if they occur), but as my daily driver the thought of a car that is constantly under construction scares me.

    I guess unlike nav systems you can assume there will be no problems after a full system is installed?

    Unfortunately a regular nav system isn't as easy as I thought, because the size makes it almost impossible to fit.

    One last thing I forgot, OBDII monitoring is also something I am very interested in.

    AND I WANTED TO ADD 2 MORE CONCERNS

    After installing a car pc -

    Would installing an aftermarket alarm or aftermarket stereo components become a more difficult task than if there was no carputer?

  4. #4
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggy View Post
    Thanks for the honest response. Of course I am very interested in learning more and troubleshooting various problems (if they occur), but as my daily driver the thought of a car that is constantly under construction scares me.

    I guess unlike nav systems you can assume there will be no problems after a full system is installed?
    You can never assume there will be no problems. Assuming is bad, mmmm-kay.
    There are all sorts of problems a PC could have. However, with a PC, you have the ability to troubleshoot and fix those problems. With a standalone navigation unit, you can only do so much before the unit has to be replaced.

    Unfortunately a regular nav system isn't as easy as I thought, because the size makes it almost impossible to fit.
    I guess you're not talking about a little TomTom or something, but an in-dash model.


    One last thing I forgot, OBDII monitoring is also something I am very interested in.

    AND I WANTED TO ADD 2 MORE CONCERNS

    After installing a car pc -

    Would installing an aftermarket alarm or aftermarket stereo components become a more difficult task than if there was no carputer?
    That's only one concern.
    And no, a PC or lack of a PC would make no difference in installing an alarm or aftermarket stereo.
    If the PC is going to provide audio playback, then it would be treated as another audio source for the stereo system.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  5. #5
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
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    I'm not going to suggest that shouldn't go the car PC route, but without a lot of troubleshooting skills, it could be a very frustrating experience for you. I would suggest you look at your budget against some of these "type" computer models. These are high end and more than you want to spend, but sometimes, ease of use is worth A LOT:

    http://www.azentekonline.com/cms/content/view/41/146/

    http://store.mp3car.com/Guru_Double_..._p/ccc-130.htm

    When building a computer, you are going to have headaches, at some point, with drivers, compatibility, and hardware setups. They don't end when the installer walks away. By going with a computer that is already made for automotive applications, it has already been built and tested (and comes with computer specific compatible software) that will minimize your headaches. It is also already made to install in a car, so hardware knowledge is minimal.

    To some, putting a computer in a car is a challenge. They (we) look forward to figuring out how to make things work in this environment. If you just want an extreme entertainment system, then let someone else do the hard work for you.

    You might also look into this. It is in your price range, but you would need the dock to integrate everything into a sound system. The plus is portability. You don't need an alarm because it pulls out.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_020NR1U...k.html?tp=8420

    And here is a video on the ClarionMiND

    http://www.umpcportal.com/2008/08/cl...o-presentation
    My opinion is my own.

  6. #6
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    Maybe it's just me, but my system is under constant construction. The versions of the software get updated, or I add functionality to it, or I install new or replacement components. It's pretty much never-ending. That's why we call it a hobby -there's always something different to do.

    General rule of thumb - if you simply want to replicate the functionality of a stock in-car system, you can build a reliable car PC that requires little to no maintenance, is cheaper, and works better.

    But as soon as you start to want to add stuff to it -like OBDII or voice control, or video recording, or even just customizing the look and feel of the skin, the complexities begin to add up and your troubleshooting time increases. This is when it is very helpful to know something about general PC troubleshooting or basic programming.

    So, I guess I wouldn't discourage you from doing it if you just want a simple system. Heck, try it out right now - go download RoadRunner, install it on your home PC and try it out. Was it easy to do? Did you understand where to find it, how to configure it, how to get music and video into it? If so, you'll be okay for basics.

    If not, download one of the other front ends and try it out or download a commercial trial such as Centrafuse.

    Also, building a PC is dead simple. At least the kind you want to build. Go to the mp3car blog page. They did a 10 minute video on how to build a PC step by step. Watch it. Can you follow it? If so, order the same components as they did and duplicate the process. If it doesn't work, take it to a local computer shop and ask them to fix it.

    As for driving around with a huge hole in your dash while you're building it -get used to it! Everyone here has done that for awhile! To reduce that hassle, you can get duplicate dash pieces at the salvage yard and build the screen in before actually ripping your dash apart.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    In concept installing a computer in a car seems pretty basic - put a computer somewhere, run power to it, hook up audio and put in a touchscreen... but the actually install process is not that basic...

    Not saying that it impossible, but to get someone that has enough knowledge about cars and computer to install a whole CarPC system (even a basic one) for only $100 labor sounds unrealistic to me... unless you have a friend who will do it for you or someone owes you a favor.

    I'm an auto and diesel mechanic by day and a computer geek by night so to me installing even an involved CarPC is simple, and I still wouldn't do an install for someone i don't know for $100... but thats just my opinion.

    Not trying to burst your bubble or anything, but just heads up before you get into this and end up spending way more than you planned (even though we all always do anyway )

  8. #8
    FLAC Machinehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratnetwork View Post
    Not saying that it impossible, but to get someone that has enough knowledge about cars and computer to install a whole CarPC system (even a basic one) for only $100 labor sounds unrealistic to me... unless you have a friend who will do it for you or someone owes you a favor.
    Unless it's a system that's as easy to install as a regular car head unit. Which there are options like that but they tend to be costly. The one offered in the MP3Car store is $3000. I know of one member on here that manufactures his own custom units, no idea what he's charging but I'd assume it's over $1,000.

    This isn't a cheap or easy hobby to say the least.

  9. #9
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    I'm overwhelmed by the amount of support in this thread.

    Let me try to get to everyone's comments, but before I do let me just say thanks for putting it straight so someone like me can understand. I have nothing but respect and admiration for you guys who make this kind of thing possible

    Darquepervert: That is correct about the full 2-din navigation units, There isn't enough space to fit them, which also makes those all in one carputer units impossible for me as well...

    Tomtoms... well, no matter how many of the tom tom like systems I see in Japan I still can't get used to the fact that they pop out so much. I want my system to look integrated, as I'm sure most of you strive for as well.

    Daniel: As I mentioned before, most of those all in one units won't fit unfortunately It really sucks, but maybe this is some kind of sign haha. I was thinking of going with a normal screen and a small computer like the Asus eeebox.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16883220002
    or something similar with a bit more power.

    I assume if I have both of those all I need to buy are the supporting components and install software, etc.

    Bugbyte: Though I do have the modding bug, I think if I can set up a system with nav, music/video playback and OBDII scanning I will not feel the need to do anything else, with the exception of software updates I suppose. Although if my system is working fine I might not even see the need to update my software.

    I have never built a computer but I have friends who could help me for sure with something like that. And as for installing and figuring out how to work software, I'm not too bad with that either. More than anything it is the mechanical and electronic aspects that no matter how hard I try to work I cannot understand

    I don't mind having a hole in my dash sometimes it is after all just a cubby hole!

    Brat: The 100 for labor was just a random number I threw down. Of course I would pay according to how much work was performed. That is something I would discuss with the person doing the install. Sorry if I offended anyone. I was also thinking maybe I could put someone up at my place in Toronto for a few days as payment if they decided to come up to visit

    Machinehead: I will take what you're saying into consideration, thanks!

    I guess in the end the answer is simple... The choice between having this



    and this


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