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Thread: running windows XP? and powering carputers (i'm a n00b)

  1. #1
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    running windows XP? and powering carputers (i'm a n00b)

    i've seen people here talking about running windows XP in thier carputers. My parents have a 2.0Gig P4 with 256meg of ram and XP runs slow as mollasses on thiers. The people on here are talking mini-atx setups with processors no bigger than 1gig celerons. how does that work? Is there some sort of windows CE derived OS specifically for this stuff?

    I want to put media engine in mine, but is mediaengine a program or an operating system? when I boot up, do i go into mediaengine or do i go into windows then click on mediaengine to load it?

    Part 2:

    is a car battery powerful enough to power a fullsized (or a microatx) computer? will it drain the battery because the alternator isn't powerful enough to keep up?

    part 3: can i hook my head unit's remote wire (the ignition lead) into my carputer so it boots up when I turn the car over and shuts down when I turn the car off?

    all the questions I got for now, i got to go to class then work. be plentiful with the replies

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate carabuser's Avatar
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    introduction: many of the people on this board (including me) are using (or going to use as is in my case) VIA EPIA Motherboard with processor speead ranging from 500mhz to 1 ghz. Of course you could use a celeron, P3, P2, P1, AMD, whatever fulfills your needs. Personally i found EPIA M10000 the best one for me (energy efficient, less heat), so my first suggestion

    part 1: any up-to-date OS will do for the setup. ME(MediaEngine) runs on Windows platforms. You could install Win2k lite ( for windows lite) or XP, even 98 will do it. If you know what you're doing you will be able to speed up the computer. Not sure about CE. As I said ME runs on Windows platform so it is NOT a OS. So yes, you WILL need an OS in order to run ME. If you put ME's shortcut to Start Up you won't need to click on it when Windows boots up. It will be run automagically.

    part 2: if you run the computer when the car is on and have a working alternator it is fine. If you just run it off your battery, i dont know how long it'll last (not too long).

    part 3:
    Do a for dc-dc power supplies, opus solutions, etc.
    Visit this first: Frequently Asked Questions
    Opus psu's will let you do that - boot up/down with the car. they are pricey however. Also, you will need to hook it up to the ignition wires.

    Additional readings recommended :
    Do on :ghougle:

    Do on www.mp3car.com

    Do , cuz most of these questions have been answered many times.
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    Newbie NEO_0690's Avatar
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    LoL... Automagically... probably a typo but still funny

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    If yours parents pc runs XP that slow on a P4 2.0, its got some other problems.

    Automagically is not a typo. Check dictionary.com.

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    well when you miss what i was asking (in certain parts) than offer the suggestion to do more research on some questions you thought i asked as opposed to what i did ask really doesn't work.

    Part one wanted to know if XP would be slow/not workable on such a slow setup (ie. 1gig and down) I have no intention of puting in a 3 gig setup, but was rather wondering if there was something slower designed for the small mobo/slow processor

    part 2 was a legit question there currently is no answer on this forum for. hence why i asked. if there is, it REALLY needs to go under the n00b section.

    opuses website dosen't even have a price on it. it also tells you close to nothing.

    that's all for now.

  6. #6
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    1. Benchmarks have shown the XP OS to be faster than Win2k (unless you're running MS Office apps in which case 2k is faster than XP for some reason). You 'rents computer is probably a name brand (Dell, Gateway, etc) in which case it most definitely runs slower than a clean install of XP on good hardware because of all the unnecessary crap vendors like to install. XP will run fine on a 1GHz machine.

    2. Yes, using a DC-DC PSU should keep your machine (and your car) running as long as your alternator is functioning.

    3. Still use the search button. Prices, in depth descriptions and photos of all of Opus' products are on "this site. Try searching for "Opus PCB". If all else fails, email them. They'll give you more info than you know what to do with.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate fluffy2097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTdubbin
    Part one wanted to know if XP would be slow/not workable on such a slow setup (ie. 1gig and down) I have no intention of puting in a 3 gig setup, but was rather wondering if there was something slower designed for the small mobo/slow processor
    Your parents computer is probably is a mass produced peice of crap. I'm willing to bet it piles of system cripping garbage causing problems and slowing the machine down. A properly constructed, 1ghz system with no junk on it, will run XP beautifully. There is very little real world difference in speed between a 1 and 2 ghz P4 considering the kind of applications you would run on a car computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by CTdubbin
    part 2 was a legit question there currently is no answer on this forum for. hence why i asked. if there is, it REALLY needs to go under the n00b section.
    There are all sorts of different types of alternators. Every different type of alternator has a different maximum output. Every battery in every car is different because of it's health and design. There is no way we can tell you how much your alternator can handle without you telling us your make, model, and any modifications you've made. You can, however, STFW and find all this information yourself. This is what everyone else here has done.

    This sort of thing has been discussed till everyone here is blue in the face. and you will find it. Heres a hint. Look at the systems in the "show off your setup" section. Look and find out how many people there had to get a larger alternator.
    A digital mind lost in an analog world.

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    My car PC: The Lost Cause!

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate telekineticfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTdubbin
    part 2 was a legit question there currently is no answer on this forum for. hence why i asked. if there is, it REALLY needs to go under the n00b section.
    Welcome n00b.

    I second the STFW.

    Also. You have been on the forum for 1 day. You do not demonstrate any of the knowledge you would have gained had you actually looked everywhere on 'this forum'. And, HAD you looked everwhere, you would have seen the wide variety of full sized microATX, and miniITX computers running on stock electrical systems.



    Edit:

    After quickly perusing the "show off" forum, here are two Jetta PC's:
    EPIA 800 in a VW Jetta 1.8 TURBO
    1997 VW Jetta GLS Install
    and one in a Golf running a miniITX with an Opus 150watt.
    VW Golf mk3 - carputer project

    This seems to demonstrate that VW electrical systems and alternators are up to the task.
    MP3 MR2 (click here for details)
    Hardware: EPIA M10000, 512Meg Ram, 5.6"TFT, Opus 150watt DC-DC PSU
    Software: Windows 2000, Media Engine 2.0

  9. #9
    FLAC shakes's Avatar
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    carabuse ... ha! normally that search guy ****es me off but well done!

  10. #10
    Unregistered User ODYSSEY's Avatar
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    Get them another stick of 256MB. XP runnings alot better with 512MB+ of memory. XP is a memory hog with standard settings. I recommend at least 384MB for avg people using XP.

    When you get 512MB or more of memory you can turn off the page swapping file. As you can make a ram disk for temp files.

    As for a caputer, just turn off all the services that your system won't be using. XP really has too many features that most avg people never use or really need.

    I ran XP on my P233 with 128MB of memory, with all unnecessary services turned off. It play music fine, video was descent.

    Part 2:
    Yes; No

    Part 3:
    Yes
    ODYSSEY

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