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Thread: First Time CarPC'er need advice...

  1. #1
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    First Time CarPC'er need advice...

    Ok heres the deal...Im in the process now of building a complete show truck and in it will be my first CarPC and I dont know what would be best for what I want to do. I can only tell you what I want and maybe you guys can throw out suggestions for what kinda hardware Im gonna need. The main thing I want is something that will handle a tough environment with 4 15"s hitting hard when Im at shows, next I want alot of automation using a device like this http://www.dashwerks.com/dw_pvic.php, I would also like to have maybe the new Centrafuse version 3.0 with the complete vehicle diagnostic ability. I really want to run Windows 7 as my OS but that parrallel Interface from Dashwerks doesnt seem to be capatible with 7 just xp and linux and some others so what do I do about that? Oh and what about a disk drive? In my case with a whole custom audio package should I run a usb disk drive or can I hook up a double din head unit I have up to the CarPC and if I can how do I? I also was looking in the classifieds at complete systems and if one of them would work for me please let me know!! Thank you for even reading all this and any help is appreciated. Thanks again!! (PS can you tell Im a little lost? lol)

  2. #2
    Newbie eclipse02's Avatar
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    what is the double din head unit you are running? if it has the aux input then you should have no trouble running the audio through it but it would be tough to find an actual headunit that you would be able to manipulate the touch screen through. (although im sure there are a few people here who have tried and maybe suceeded). With windows 7 i dont believe that you would be able to run with a usb hdd, i tried to install it with my experimentation and it gave me a no go. As for hardware it is personal choice, are you going to be doing anything complex with the carputer or basically a media player/ diagnostic? just a quick browse of the classifieds and i got this for a total set up that looks like it has almost everything you are looking for (http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/vbcl...?do=ad&id=2915). good luck and /welcome

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate simplex's Avatar
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    You should use Fusion Brain instead of that parallel interface.

    Check the store, it has many accessories for automation.

    If you don't use any performance-hungry applications, go with an Intel Atom 330 or D510 board:
    ASUS AT5NM10-I - Atom D510, cheap, good performance, reliable
    ASUS AT3IONT-I - Atom 330, but has Ion chipset with Geforce 9400, PCIe
    ZOTAC NM10-ITX with ION Upgrade - Atom D510 with Ion graphics

    You can get a good carpc casing from the mp3car store.

    Or you can use a complete solution: ZOTAC ZBOX HD-ID11, same as the ZOTAC board,
    but with a complete casing, only needs a hard drive and stuff.

    You should use either a notebook hard drive, or a SSD (OCZ or Intel, don't go with cheap ones)

    If the onboard audio is not enough for you, and/or you don't like Jack/RCA converters:
    -Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe - 7.1, 8 RCA outputs, but PCIe
    -ESI Julia - 2 RCA outputs, simple PCI
    -Hippo HiFi Bloat USB DAC - 2 RCA outputs, USB

    There are many more choices, these are only my preferences.

    The setup that eclipse02 mentioned sounds like a good start, you should go with it.

    Good luck!
    Check my worklog:
    Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

    Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

    "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
    because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your help for starters...I am not going to be doing anything intense on the PC it is just an entertainment hub, diagnostic center, and hopefully automation center...other than that just surfing the web on the go with an air card to download any music whenever where ever....what OS is that Fusion Brain compatible with I didnt see where it mentioned that. Windows 7 wasnt a must so I guess XP wpuld work just as well and Im sure it has more products that are compatible with it too...I was wondering what you guys thought of this system in the classifieds.. http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/vbcl...d&id=2012...as far as the monitor goes I got a sweet 22" Planar touchscreen 1080p so the video card needs to be upgraded if I get a used system Im sure?.? This screen is a awsome value...http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...=1449...Thanks Again

  5. #5
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    Oh and as far as the headunit its a panasonic double din CQ-VD6503U but if I can use the Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe - 7.1, 8 RCA outputs, but PCIe as mentioned that would work great for what I need I think...I will be running at least 4 amps for the audio...and what do think would be the ideal enclosure with the bass and rough environment the pc will be exposed too...

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate simplex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoltonsTowing View Post
    Oh and as far as the headunit its a panasonic double din CQ-VD6503U but if I can use the Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe - 7.1, 8 RCA outputs, but PCIe as mentioned that would work great for what I need I think...I will be running at least 4 amps for the audio...and what do think would be the ideal enclosure with the bass and rough environment the pc will be exposed too...
    ZOTAC NM10-ITX WiFi, without the ION expansion is your friend then, it comes with PCIe.
    In this case, you will need a big enclosure because of the expansion card. Custom built from MDF sheets, or ABS plastic.

    Or, you can use ESI Gigaport HD, an USB audio interface, with 7.1 support.
    Then, you can use any decent mainboard, and carPC case, as it's external.

    About the rough environment: It's better to use the above mentioned usb sound card, as
    usb connectors are more resistant to vibration and stuff, than the PCIe connector.
    I recommend an SSD if you got enough money, and you should protect the wires with flexible duct hose (even inside the pc).
    Check my worklog:
    Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

    Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

    "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
    because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

  7. #7
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    CAUTION: i wrote another book...i blame it on having a soft spot for audio guys looking to get started in carputing..

    Quote Originally Posted by simplex View Post
    ZOTAC NM10-ITX WiFi, without the ION expansion is your friend then, it comes with PCIe.
    In this case, you will need a big enclosure because of the expansion card. Custom built from MDF sheets, or ABS plastic.

    Or, you can use ESI Gigaport HD, an USB audio interface, with 7.1 support.
    Then, you can use any decent mainboard, and carPC case, as it's external.

    About the rough environment: It's better to use the above mentioned usb sound card, as
    usb connectors are more resistant to vibration and stuff, than the PCIe connector.
    I recommend an SSD if you got enough money, and you should protect the wires with flexible duct hose (even inside the pc).

    to add to this--just for referance, i run 2 kicker cvr 10's, and an esi gigaport hd.

    the gigaport is pretty much useless without computer audio processing software(search for Audio Mulch, or Console-- the 2 more popular programs) to tell it what to put out on each port--i was never able to get it to put out more than 2 channel audio in windows, and the output voltage is super low-- you will need a preamp. also, the asio driver is worthless on this card--at least i have not found a way to use it...

    i really like the usb solution because it has many less connection, and height restrictions, but the disadvantage is that you are limited by usb bandwidth, which could become a issue running 6-8 channels.

    for audio cards in general, most cards that advertise 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 outputs, that means that those outputs will will usually only work with media encoded with surround sound--so they are useless for car audio(using the software included with the card--software like Console would allow you to change that..).. there are a couple cards here and there that can be setup to use a 2 channel source, and output on more than 1 pair of channels(using the included software), but it is something to keep in mind..

    for the headunit issue-- i believe that some members found a way to hack a alpine unit, but other than that, there really isn't any way to tie into a head unit-- mostly because the video displays on most headunits cannot accept a true computer signal--the signal must be modified, and in the process, some of the clarity is lost..

    and if you decide to go into audio processing-- the atom processor that works so well in normal car computers will be left wheezing when you try to process audio on it-- you will need a bigger processor, and if you are planning on being at shows, with the bigger processor, comes adding secondary batteries..


    onto general carputer info:
    this is a great place to start:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/advfaq.php

    a car computer is not something that you want to completely just jump into on a whim-- your wallet will suffer heavy damages from all the wasted parts..(trust me on this-- i went through 3 audio cards @ $200 ea. because i tried jumping..)

    otherwise, i would recommend to start browsing the rides sections for similar installs, or just generally reading everything to learn what you need for your own install, and why you need those parts.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate simplex's Avatar
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    What about M-audio Delta 1010LT? 8 rca, internal routing, PCI. But it has breakout cables, i hate them.

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    a car computer is not something that you want to completely just jump into on a whim-- your wallet will suffer heavy damages from all the wasted parts..(trust me on this-- i went through 3 audio cards @ $200 ea. because i tried jumping..)
    Tell me about it, i will buy my 3rd mainboard soon
    Check my worklog:
    Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

    Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

    "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
    because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

  9. #9
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    i looked at the m-audio 1010 only briefly-overall, it looks like a good card as long as you have the space for it.

    my computer is under the passenger seat, so it was going to need to be mounted sideways using a pci flex cable-- i had a flex cable from my first sound card, but the flex cable wouldn't always allow the computer to post, and i wasn't all that crazy about re-pulling all my rca's to the passenger seat...

    so i got the gigaport, and mounted it in the trunk, and used 3ft rca's..

  10. #10
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    Ok I looked up the M-audio Delta 1010LT and it looks like a perfect piece for what I am trying to do...with that being said you said that the atom proccessor would be wheezing so what would recomend keeping in mind I will be running quite a bit of audio software?

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