.,~'[ Basics 101 ]'~,.
Hey all, I'm very new to the idea of car computing and think it's a brilliant idea. My questions is very simply and I'm sure somewhere it has been answered, but I haven't found a thread yet pertaining to my particular question. My question is this...
I'm thinking of starting my carputer with a power supply from opus, the 150w dc-dc supply, now the thing I don't understand is how you connect the supply to the car. I under stand it needs to connect to the battery and all, but being the major rookie wannabe that I am, I'm tryin to understand the best option to connect the computer to the car. If someone could help me please......pretty please?...anyone? Bueller?
I'm just tryin to understand if this involves the ignition switch too? or does it connect straight to the battery, and how do I do it because from the pics of the dc-dc supply I don't see how it connects. Again I'm humble myself before thee all knowing carputer pro's.
After my problem is resolved with the power supply I'm thinking I should be ok with everything else. This would basically be just another computer to build to me and adding the correct software. Also I was wondering which screen would be the ideal candidate for me to customize indash for a permanent home instead of having my head unit in the dash, it's a wide area to fill being that I own a GMC sonoma, never could understand GM's facination with big head units.
I also have a question about where the best place is to mount my computer hardware. I was thinking since I'm going to be running the sound through some amps (not sure which ones I'm gonna get yet) and then running straight to speakers and subs why not mount it with the amps and subs in the box i'm going to build. Do I need to worry about vibration or magnetic related problems if I build a shelf inside the box between the subs? It would be fully enclosed with liquid cooling and probably 2 fans for circulation. If anyone has any ideas I'm completely open to them. I'm just worried if I store the computer in the dash it would be harder to access in the event of a problem that needs to be fixed.
Plus I also have an idea of setting up a network in my home so I can run an outlet to the garage and then just run a cable from the wall to the truck in the garage and update software and anything else i need to do. (it's a neat thought n e ways)
One more thing, does anyone have any idea if there's an FM Tuner card out there thats decent since I'm removing the trucks head unit? And if possible any that have the new RDS technology so I can see the names of the stations and songs scroll on the lcd? I know FM Tuner cards aren't very popular but was a thought.
your best bet is to locate the hardware in the trunk in some specially built box that is bolted to the car in lots of places. also, to prevent theft, you should have an onboard alarm system (no stickers on the doors so as to keep the element of surprise)
also, you should probably use bolts with non-standard heads (such as resistorx, Torq-set and Tri-wing, which are used in aerospace).
pluging a computer through standard car amps has, in my experience, been virtually painless, just plug straight in, and adjust the maximum volume to your taste (set the computer volume at 75%, and use the control on the amp till it gets too loud, back up a bit, you're set). I recommend using a sound card with RCA connectors, as this avoids the problem of badly designed mini-jacks that eject themselves with vibrations
there is no magnetic problems that I experienced (my car is small and the subwoofer magnets are pretty close from the HDD). Good speakers will have some sort of magnetic shielding.
as for vibrations, it's easy, mount the HDD with the sticker looking to a side of the car. the heads should be able to travel freely in the vertical direction. (ask me if you want to see a picture of my setup)
I recommand using a Via epia motherboard (M10000 - Neremiah is a good choice). You will not need any cooling besides the small fan that is factory mounted (avoids liquid cooling's potential leaks issues).
the easiest way to update the music on the computer is to use a wireless card and access point in the garage. no wires are better than wires :D
personally, I don't have an FM card, as I don't feel listening to the 20 different channels of clearchannel-broadcasting-like programming...