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Thread: Do I really want to build a truck PC ?

  1. #1
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    Do I really want to build a truck PC ?

    I've got a 2000 Superduty. Its a great truck. Its got a Pioneer 1.5 DIN CD player and stock speakers. No Nav. No USB or MP3 capabilities. FM reception is OK, AM is a bit weak.

    I'm driving it a lot these days on long trips. I need a nav system. I want MP3 / USB capability. I want a backup camera.

    I'm a linux power user and occassional programmer. I've built lots of computers over the years.

    I want to do something with the audio system in my truck, but what ? I always come on this site all excited about building a truck PC. I always get stuck trying to solve the AM FM radio problem and finding a large touchscreen that won't suck in bright sun. (I can hardly see the display on my Pioneer deck.)

    And then there is the cost... A small laptop which would have everything built into it and run on 12V or so will cost $400 or so. Plus the GPS receiver. Plus the amp. Plus the radio receiver. Plus a bright touchscreen.

    Someone give me some guidance. Should I just buy one of those crappy all in one Nav/CD/radio combos or should I give this truck PC thing a go ?

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    That is more a personal decision that would depend on if you have the time, and the money to create and maintain such a system.

    If you don't have the time to constantly maintain a carpc, or the finances to be buying replacement parts, and would prefer it to "just work every time you jump in", than a nav hu might be a better idea

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerfud View Post
    I always get stuck trying to solve the AM FM radio problem and finding a large touchscreen that won't suck in bright sun. (I can hardly see the display on my Pioneer deck.)
    Actually those two problems are quite easy to solve.

    For radio, get the Directed or Visteon HD Radio unit off eBay for around $60-$80, plus mitchjs's serial cable to control it. It works out of the box with all the popular front ends. The audio loops through your sound card.

    For sunlight readable LCD, get one of the transflective units, either from the mp3car store, or from mo-co-so.com. They are in the $600-$700 price range. I said it was an easy problem to solve, I didn't say it was cheap.

  4. #4
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    Which models of Visteon HD radios work ? (Sorry... I really did search... the amount of information on this site is overwhelming...)

    Can any of the monitors on aftermarket in dash video receivers be hacked to just be a touchscreen LCD for a carputer ?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Visteon HDZ300 or the Directed DMHD1000

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerfud View Post
    Can any of the monitors on aftermarket in dash video receivers be hacked to just be a touchscreen LCD for a carputer ?
    No.

    Word of advice - if it sounds like a lot of effort then don't do it. Buy an all-in-one HU.
    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 DaveDog's Avatar
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    I've put a system in my 2001 Superduty, I have a standard (non transflective) in the dash, which is dim on sunny days, but it does work (I have a transflective in the boat). GPS with Iguidance, Visteon AM/FM, XM radio, backup cam and forward cam, and OBDII. Win7 using Ride Runner as the frontend and DFX4 for the skin (hoping DFX5 comes soon). Using an Acer L1000 mini with a 30G SSD and a Carnetix 2140 for power. Two amplifiers (which I could reduce to a single 5 channel amp) for the 4 speakers and the sub box. I hope to soon have cell phone integration as well as voice control.

    This is a hobby, you must have a lot of spare time, and a fair amount of $$ to get things into a state where ti can be a replacement for a standard head unit. I still can't get everything right and use hibernation to speed boot up times, and must cold boot, so I don't even bother for a trip to the store.

    Research before you leap, there is a lot of helpful info on this forum, but you have to put the time in to get the rewards.

    When showing the system, guys think its too cool, chicks aren't as impressed, and my girlfriend can't believe how much effort I put into it just to play music, she's happy with her CD player and Lady Gaga.

    Good Luck!
    TruckPC - gutted, being used for test setup
    BoatPC - All in 1 in cuddy, N7 using VNC on dash, RR
    BlazerPC - Nexus 7 with Timur's USBROM

  8. #8
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    Car pc's rock for someone who spends a good deal of time in the car, but they require a level of dedication that will lead your friends and loved ones to question your sanity. The general consensus on this board seems to be that if you have to ask than it probably isn't for you.

  9. #9
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    I you are asking if installing a PC in your ride is worth it, then ultimately it is not.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMOS1138 View Post
    Car pc's rock for someone who spends a good deal of time in the car, but they require a level of dedication that will lead your friends and loved ones to question your sanity. The general consensus on this board seems to be that if you have to ask than it probably isn't for you.

    Pretty much.....

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