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Thread: Sub-Box mounted carputer:death by vibration?

  1. #1
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    Sub-Box mounted carputer:death by vibration?

    Hello all, This is my first thread, been reading the forum for a couple weeks.. I do have a couple carputer questions for the forum.

    In my search for a Double Din head unit for my 97 Explorer Sport with DVD and GPS capability, I came to the realization that for half the cost of a budget priced HU, I can turn my laptop into a touch screen carputer. This is timed well since im planning on a new laptop in the near future.

    Unfortunately I cant even measure or reference anything in the Explorer without driving 3 hrs over icy mountainous terrain to my stepfather's shop (transmission work/possible rebuild in progress) The only pic i have (below) is of my sub box shortly after i built it a few mos ago.

    And finally a specific question, concerning vibration. If i, scoot the sub box over for more room on the side, and mount the laptop inside a (fan cooled) enclosure, concept is the red box on the right. Would it be plausible to build a dynamat shielded fan cooled enclosure and keep an external USB HD in my glovebox? i would think the HD if anything is the most sensitive to the vibration and magnetism, but i dont know how sensitive other compenents are.



    If this "red box" enclosure concept is not plausible, what about if it was all mounted on the back of the back seats (between the sub box and the seats), protected by dynamat.

    also a layer of dynamat on the inner rear of the box inside the box behind the sub

    I know i have a lot of blind faith in this dynamat, i have never used it or even seen a good application of it before.

    Would this set up work? theoretically any vibrations and/or magnetism would be negated by the total:
    1 layer of dynamat(inside the box),
    3/4" MDF (rear panel of sub box),
    and another layer of dynamat.(on the carpc hardware itself)


    And so finally i ask, based on the experience of the forum, which location would be less of a hassle and easier to upgrade in the long run? Anything i overlooked? better ideas?

  2. #2
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    i've had many many sub setups and many many car PCs, i've never run into a problem with vibration when mounted on a sub box. The only problem vibration related were PCI cards (unscrewed) wiggling loose.
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  3. #3
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    whatever location that works best for you is the best-- i know it is a poor answer, but there is no perfect carputer installation location in a car--anywhere you have enough room will work..under the seat, behind the seats, in the glovebox, and in the trunk are the most popular, though i have seen a couple of different ones-- like under the hood by the engine .

    for the dynamat, i have used it, and it is similar to rubber sheeting(in fact it usually has a base of butyl rubber, and sometimes asphalt...) so it is not the surdiest material-- it will not support much weight(though i have used it to mount tweeters in the past...), as it was designed to stick to other surfaces to reduce panel vibration/resonance. so don't bank on using it to create any box--due to the flimsy-ness of dampeners by themself, it could actually create vibrations that could be worse than the original sub output...

    as long as you have the pc securely mounted in the car, and the hard drive inside is securly mounted(don't waste your time with trying to dampen the hard drive-- that gets into secondary vibrations--ones that the 'anti-vibration' mount that your using can create...), you should not have any issues...



    sorry, but i feel i need to add this, so that you don't end up feeling ripped off later if the carputer doens't work for you(there are plenty of thread about this...).


    DO NOT INSTALL A CARPUTER ONLY BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER!!

    i started my install with about $600-800, and a couple of bad/fried/miss-ordered/upgraded components later, i estimate the overall cost to be above $2-3 thousand(i really don't want to know the true cost-- it will probably be much higher)...

    this is a hobby, and should be respected as one-- it takes a certain amount of time to setup, stay running, and update as needed (though certain members are working on better all-in-one solutions to correct this). if you don't have the time, it will be wasting money that could be better spent on another better suited unit...

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate Lincolnman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    for the dynamat, i have used it, and it is similar to rubber sheeting(in fact it usually has a base of butyl rubber, and sometimes asphalt...) so it is not the surdiest material-- it will not support much weight(though i have used it to mount tweeters in the past...), as it was designed to stick to other surfaces to reduce panel vibration/resonance. so don't bank on using it to create any box--due to the flimsy-ness of dampeners by themself, it could actually create vibrations that could be worse than the original sub output...
    I do not think that the poster intended the Dynamat as a mounting surface or construction material, but simply as the buffer and resonance reducer that it is intended to be. It would help like that, but it's merits mounted directly to the box would be minimal. On the other hand, it will not hurt.
    As for magnetism, just get a good layer of aluminum (thickness dependent on magnet) between the subs' magnets and the computer, and no worries. May not be (probably not) necessary, but that's how you magnetically sheild stuff.
    Electronics work on magic smoke - don't let it out.

  5. #5
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnman View Post
    I do not think that the poster intended the Dynamat as a mounting surface or construction material, but simply as the buffer and resonance reducer that it is intended to be. It would help like that, but it's merits mounted directly to the box would be minimal. On the other hand, it will not hurt.
    As for magnetism, just get a good layer of aluminum (thickness dependent on magnet) between the subs' magnets and the computer, and no worries. May not be (probably not) necessary, but that's how you magnetically sheild stuff.
    the OP might need to clarify-- i read it as that he was going to build a 'box' out of the sound proofing-- which very likely would cause more noise on the equipment(because sound proofing is barely sturdy enough to support itself).
    if he were to build a box out of something sturdy(mdf), and then use the sound proofing, it should work better.

    with the sub box, i don't see the sub magnet being a issue as long as he doesn't mount the computer on top of the magnet.

    btw, j_eatwell, nice work on the box--it looks like it was factory!

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    Thanks for all the replys, guys. Now to clarify my intent with the Dynamat:

    I must be honest, the idea did cross my mind to build an enclosure out of a heavy foam, but i assumed the Dynamat would be too flimsy and non/structural. I will probably end up building a box out of MDF and lining it with Dynamat, because as Lincolnman said, it would not hurt.

    I do understand the CarPC as being not only a convenient tool for many functions including to show off, but a serious hobby. Once you start something like this there is always something you can make better or change, always a work in progress. This bodes perfect for me actually since i just got layed off, so ive an extra 8 hours a day (until new job in April) for my newfound hobby. I have never been more excited to be jobless.

    And thank you for the compliment on the sub box, the carpet would match a little more if not for the transmission-fluid-soaked rear compartment (before the sub box was put in of course). I will probably re install new carpet when i wire in the car PC, since likely it will be taken out to run wires.

    SO as for enclosure:
    1/2 inch MDF most likely, lined with dynamat and an aluminum barrier on the panel sitting against box
    fans (2-4 fans maybe?)
    one panel on a hinge for easy upgradeablity
    Mounted against the sub box with matching carpet (would carpet hold in heat?)


    Any other ideas?

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    DO NOT INSTALL A CARPUTER ONLY BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER!!

    i started my install with about $600-800, and a couple of bad/fried/miss-ordered/upgraded components later, i estimate the overall cost to be above $2-3 thousand(i really don't want to know the true cost-- it will probably be much higher)...
    Oh how this is soooo true for so many of us! Its a hobby that never ends and every new technology that comes out puts the end even further away... but we love it.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate Lincolnman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Eatwell View Post
    Mounted against the sub box with matching carpet (would carpet hold in heat?)
    Yes. While carpet is not a great insulator, it will hold in heat. With 2-4 fans though, so long as it can breathe you should be fine.
    Electronics work on magic smoke - don't let it out.

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