semi-newb, need help planning for carputer in a Mazda3
Sorry in advance for the long post
i'm looking to put a carputer in my new Mazda3 but I'm looking for some suggestions. I mainly just want to be able to play MP3's and DVDs with it, and possibly implement a GPS of some sort, and I'm open to other suggestions for what I can do with it.
I'm pretty set on getting a Via Epia mobo/cpu, but I can't decide between the M, MII, or the CL. I'm probably going to put in in a very small case like this one:
http://www.caseoutlet.com/common/pro...-145-100-s.jpg to fit it in my glovebox.
I'm going to connect the carputer's audio output to my 2 amplifiers through a switch that chooses between the carputer and my stock CD player/radio. 6-channel audio would be nice, but I can live with 2-channel, depending on which mobo I choose. I'm going to use a slimline DVDROM and probably a notebook harddrive, as I doubt a normal one would fit in that case.
My car has an optional flip-up navigation system that I didn't buy, so I'm going to buy the dash piece from the dealership and put a screen in there to give it the stock look. Now, from what I've heard, I should be able to fit a 7" LCD in there. I would like a touchscreen input, but the screen would be a bit too far for touchscreen to be convenient. I could use a remote, but i'm gonna go all out and attempt to put another LCD touchscreen by my shifter for the input.
so here comes my flurry of questions... i've read alot of the posts here in the newbie forum, so hopefully I don't ask something that's asked a million times:
1) Is it possible to use the dual LCD setup I described? I know I'd probably need a video card that can output to 2 monitors, but other than that, would I run into any other problems?
2) I know everyone would recommend the Opus as the best PSU for a carputer, but I was wondering if there were cheaper alternatives. I still don't know how the power-on, power-off works. Is the carputer completely off while the car is off? or is it just hibernating/suspend-to-RAM? I stumbled across these PSUs, http://store.yahoo.com/ituner/posoformi.html
they don't seem to be too expensive and are "made for Via Epia." What would I need to add to those PSUs so it will power on-off the way the Opus does?
3) about those GPS receivers: do you have to subscribe to one of those GPS services to use them or do you just need a receiver and software? If getting navigation is as simple as just buying a USB GPS thing and connecting it to the carputer I'm already buying, I might as well do it.
4) What do most people do with ODB-II data from the engine on their carputers?
5) for shock protection, I'm thinking of surrounding the case with some foam padding, but I'm afraid it may get too hot in the glovebox with the foam adding to the heat. that being said, my glovebox is rather big, and I can "easily fit a small child into it" as the car salesman told me, and maybe if I open a hole and route a small tube from my front vent into it, I can keep is cool. Will that be necessary?
that's all I can think of for now, any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!