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Thread: SBC with 3D for Topo USA?

  1. #1
    Newbie radmanrugg's Avatar
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    Question SBC with 3D for Topo USA?

    Hi all.

    Anyone run Topo USA http://www.delorme.com/topousa/ on their setup?

    I am looking for a SBC (Single Board Computer) that would allow me to run Topo USA with its 3D mapping (OpenGL) at a 15 fps or more frame rate.

    I do a lot of 4x4 trails here in Colorado and having a 3D map of the terain would help me navigate. The rough trails have me looking at a SBC. Hence so I have fewer items pluged in that can get bumped loose (add on graphics card etc).

    I am looking for a cool running setup hence probably the slowest system that could do this.

    I plan on installing Alcohol 120% so it can run 100% off the hard drive.

    Anyone mess with Wine http://www.winehq.com/ in Linux with Topo USA? What is your boot time compared to WinXP?

    My 4x4 is 24V but I have found some 24V DC to ATX power supplies. That should work out ok if the SBC has a ATX connector.

    Attached picture is my 1974 Steyr Puch Pinzgauer with my father on top of Lions Back / Moab Utah As you can see I am trying to make it dust / water tight as possible hence the need for cool system. I may end up running a foam filter in front of a fan blowing into a small box of some type. Mabie even a small surplus ammo can. Kinda fits the decor. ha

    Thanks
    Scott
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  2. #2
    Raw Wave Confused's Avatar
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    You might be best off with an Epia board. They're nice and small (17x17cm), low power, but still reasonably fast for what you might need.

    For display, if you are going to be having any kind of text, then you will want a VGA display. Such displays would be from DSCustoms, DigitalWW, Xenarc etc. The cheap LCD's you find on Ebay and the like (such as for $100) will not be VGA, and will only have composite in, which will be very bad for any type of text, and are normally STN (which means low viewing angle, dim, washed out colours).

    Having touchscreen might solve any input issues you might have, however if you will not need any input, then just get one without touchscreen, which will save you a few $$.

    For power, you should be able to find a dc-dc psu which will take 24Vin, otherwise, you may wish to use a voltage regulator, and a dc-dc psu that takes 12Vin. The Epia motherboard is ATX, so what you say you've found should be OK.

    As you will be offroad, I seriously recommend you look for a laptop (2.5") hard drive, as they will be much more shock resiliant than the standard desktop (3.5") hard drives, and will also consume less power, and put out less heat.

    As for casing, I would not recommend a totally sealed enclosure, as even though things will be low power/heat, they will still put out some heat, and if there's no way for the heat to escape, then you will fry your components reasonably quickly. Even just a small 40mm fan on both ends of the case to move some air through (doesn't have to be that much air, no need for a tornado!) will allow the heat to be dispersed

    Good luck with the project, and if you need any more specific help, chances are someone has done something similar or identical with similar/same components, the search button up the top will be your friend

    Welcome to the forum, also


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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    when i was in colorado i could barely keep my carputer running on even a 3 or 4 rated trail, i ended up using my laptop more as it didn't have hard drive crashes left and right.

    it is nice to have the 3D Topo up, however I found myself not using it a whole heck of a lot, I just looked at the trail before i left the hotel and then used a handheld gps to track and uploaded my track to my computer afterwards.

    Also, for the screens, make sure you have it mounted VERY securely, my old one was only mounted on the bottom with a bolt and well it vibrated so much that it cracked the housing all up to hell

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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    radmanrugg:

    Nice Pinzgauer! My brother wants one really bad

    For your power supply needs, I just thought that I'd note that OPUS solutions that a lot of people (including myself) are using ery happily has a 24V model as well as the 12V version. I know they have the 24V in 150W but I dont know if they have it in the 90W.

    If you are using two or four regular 12V cells instead of a real 24V battery (I think most Pinzgauer people are running two Optima Red/Yellow's in series now) .. then you can use a regular 12V supply by coming off of only the first battery in line. Still, to simplify things, running a 24V PSU would be better.

    If I were you, i'd probably go with a MiniITX system.. It can take the heat better than most other systems and has fewer parts/peices to vibrate off. You'll probably want to use a laptop HDD and shock mount every single thing inside your enclosure very well. Freestyler seems pretty pessimistic about running while on-trails, but I think it would not be that hard to get whatever you wanted to run able to stand the heat/vibration in the most extreme conditions...
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  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    it's not "vibrations" as you put it

    imagine your potholes in tx (if u have them) and then multiply the bump by like 100 sometimes, personally I would suggest against running a full desktop drive at least, u might get away with a laptop drive, my laptop was in my mom's lap if we had it on

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  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    I have ridden offroad before on some pretty brutal trails.. I said 'vibrations' but i guess I should have said 'shock' or something similar. It's doubtful that even on pretty extreme trails you are experiencing more than 5 or 6 g's of force sitting in your seat. It still should be pretty easy to construct an enclosure that would allow a computer to continue to operate uninterrupted and without any problems even in situations where you would lose your axle before your HDD

    Anyway, laptop drives should be able to take 3 or 4 g's while operating, so with a few inches of travel and some big rubberband suspensions, (think egg-drop contest) i'd imagine you could ruggedize a unit for offroad use fairly easily.. You could build a shock-cage like this:



    Where the black stuff is just some metal rod and the orange things are big heavy elastics.. a little experimenting would let you know how strong the elastic bands would have to be and how much distance you'd have to have to the outer edges of your box. You could use this kind of thing to suspend the hard drive or the entire computer chassis if you wanted...
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  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    yea that would work, some kind of custom fab'd shock system

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  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate nzKAOSnz's Avatar
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    would u have a prob with resonance? like as in having undamped
    movement?

  9. #9
    Raw Wave
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    You can use the shock absorber units as found in model cars. They come with springs as well as dampers filled with fluid just like in a real car

    I thought about doing this on the whole PC, perhaps with 6 shock absorbers enough to hold the whole unit in place...dont have time to do it yet. My setup should only be about 1Kg or so.

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