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Thread: Newbie, begining research for possible install

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Newbie, begining research for possible install

    I had looked into setting up a carputer a couple of years ago, but was turned off by the cost of touch screens. Now the fancy expensive head unit in my '96 Ford Thunderbird V8 that is about 2 years old has already crapped out on me, so I started researching new decks. Once again I came across the idea of a carputer.

    Of course price is a factor, but I do have up to about $300+/- that I would be willing to invest to make this happen. I see that I have a couple of options here. I have a HP Pavillion dx6650 laptop that I use daily, and I also have an old AMD Athlon 2100+ PC tower, complete minus a power supply. I built a newer PC box for at home so this is not being used currently. Preferablly I would use the desktop, as I wouldnt want to take the laptop in/out, and I wouldn't be in trouble if the desktop was stolen whereas I would be screwed if my laptop was. Space isn't really an issue, my trunk is pretty big, and empty except for a strut tower brace that is about 2" from floor, about 4" back from front of trunk.

    I had previously considered just buying a laptop stand for in my car and using the HP laptop. But, I think the laptop stand would look terrible in my car.

    The most exciting thing about setting up a carputer for me would be for realtime OBD2 information. I did an engine swap and other mods on my car including a SCT tuner. With the tuner I purchased a computer program that allows for highly detailed datalogging and tuning. I used this software before with my brother holding my laptop and it worked famously on the fly.

    I also have a GPSMap 60csx Handheld GPS unit with City Navigator. I got the handheld instead of a dash mount because I am into hiking and camping and needed something I could take with me.

    I don't want to step on toes asking a bunch of newbie questions; I am still in the beginning stage of research, so I am really just looking for a little direction more than anything. I am not entirely sure this is something I will actually do, but if I can set up a carputer around my budget of $300 with the equipment I already have, this would be the preferred route if it would be reliable.

    What I want out of my carputer:

    Music Playback/control of course
    AM/FM play???? - not sure how this will work
    Sirius Satellite playback - I have an old Sirius Starmate receiver
    OBD2/Street Tuner software datalogging on the fly, viewable on screen
    GPS use via MapSource software - connect to handheld GPS unit
    Potential WiFi connectivity for internet browsing (in future)

    The screen I am currently looking at:

    This is cheapest one I found so far (still looking around) and will soak up a lot of my budget. Any input on alternatives would be appreciated. Also wondering how the hell to mount it in the dash, I supposed getting a second console fascia and modding it to fit would be the only way, unless there are screens that will fit in a single DIN slot around my budget...

    What I know I need so far:
    USB ports - extend to cabin (PC Case in trunk)
    Power supply if using desktop
    Way to supply power???

    Thanks for any input guys!

  2. #2
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    justchat_1's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Boston, Ma or NY,NY

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