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Thread: New to all this and needing some advice trying to do everything on the cheap

  1. #1
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    New to all this and needing some advice trying to do everything on the cheap

    Hi, I have a Chrysler Grand Voyager, the big 7 seater people carrier (minivan if you are American) so lots of space to play with. I have two kids and want an in car entertainment setup that will do the following.

    Play DVDs. For middle row of seats.
    Play music. For whole car or front only.
    Play music from USB device on either middle separately or together
    Play PS2 Games for middle seats.
    Wireless headphones to allow both kids to do separate things.
    If possible I would like all these features to be controlled from the driver seat too.

    Not asking for much eh?

    I have a Notebook computer with internal DVD numerous USB ports and Firwire touchpad windows XP home, memory card reader, remote control, 17" screen which I thought could be mounted in a centre console. I have a PS2, couple of desktop computers and a touch screen HP ipaq running windows mobile 5 and a sony 16 GB MP3 player and a Nav man SAT NAV. Oh and I have two old style PSPs if that is any help.The car has a rear 12volt supply but it has an infinty six speaker system which needs a relay (inside the fuse box) to work all speakers. I have just about figured out how the wires work, the original stereo and connectors were all missing when I got the car.

    I want to do this as a project and hope to build a custom centre console to house the various bits and pieces but I am on a budget and want to use as much as I can and keep my costs down. I have been looking into other projects on this forum (some great stuff on here by the way) but I really don't know where to start and what I can or can not use, or indeed how to go about getting it all to work. Happy to cannibalise every thing that I have listed if it would work.

    How do you go about planning a project like this?

    Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

  2. #2
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    justchat_1's Avatar
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    So 3 independent screens? (1 front, 2 middle)
    touchscreen, remote control or some other control hardware?
    2 ps2's or 1 ps2 split on 2 screens?

    Planning on keeping the stock sound system or something custom?
    Any budget limits?

  3. #3
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    To be honest right now I have no cash whatsoever. I am looking to build on it as I go as money is that tight just now I thought get started with what I had and build on it as more cash becomes available. Bare minimum right now would be DVD in the back and music for the whole car I thought if I took apart my notebook which could have all music stored on it on the hard drive, used the internal DVD layer or bought an external usb one and used the 17 inch screen between the front two seats facing the back. Keeping it separate at the moment is not a problem as long as I can sort of network it later on. Ideally I would like screens in the front headrests that could show movies or show PS2 game and each to have their own wireless headphones if possible. I also thought that I could control most things from the front. I have managed to wire up a Kenwood cd player which works not too bad but think a car PC would be the best way forwards. I have a couple of decent old desktops and thought maybe one in front and one in back and networked it is going to be a wiring nightmare. So Budget...... well as little as possible to get me up and running, but something that I can grow as money becomes more available.

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    How good are your customization/fab skills?
    Any software design experience?
    To be honest -> doing this on a budget is not going to be as easy as you would hope.

    Many people on these forums would recommend against using a desktop pc in a car unless you want to deal with ALOT of headaches. That said there are quite a few members that have working setups and are happy with them. I would recommend browsing around the forums a bit looking for ideas. Feel free to ask questions if you see anything you like.

  5. #5
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    Yeah thanks I will do. I am pretty handy with a soldering iron and have some electronic experience I used to repair PCBs at component level but a long time ago now. I have limited knowledge of software but I have a brother who is handy at that (programmer). I have seen some projects where screens have been ripped out and cables run etc and they are the sort of thing I was looking to do. Having a customised centre console would give me the space needed to hide all the workings, I will keep looking around like you suggest.

    Thanks again for the reply.

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