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Thread: CarPC Setup Advice...

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    48

    CarPC Setup Advice...

    Well I haven't visited here in awhile, but I got some extra money, and was thinking about getting this project started. I have a 93 Pontiac Bonneville

    First I was probably going to build a PC instead of using my extra laptop. I would like to get a 6 channel soundcard, and a bigger hard drive, but the PC isn't my main concern right now. My dash looks like it will fit a 7' LCD (see attached pic), but probably will need a little fiberglass/bondo work. I have no idea how to do this, so any tips or help would be great. The next thing is the sound. Any recommendations on amps I should get? Right now I just want to use the stock speakers, and later replace those, and might put in some subs. I've been reading in the car audio forum, and one thing I don't want to do is have the PC control the volume. Is there an amp that has external controls, or some other kind of control? Another thing I don't understand is how it gets to the speakers. Does it go PC>AMP>Wiring harness adapter?, and how many amps would I need? I'm sorry if these questions have been asked before, but I've been looking around for awhile, and still can't figure out exactly how the sound/amps work. Another thing would be a in-dash cd(or dvd) drive. I've read about USB adapters to get it to the front of the car. Does anyone have any links/info on this? One last thing is where I would run the wires. What would be the easiest way to get them to the dash? Under the carpet? Thank you for your time and help .
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  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Long Island
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    195
    I would like to get a 6 channel soundcard, and a bigger hard drive, but the PC isn't my main concern right now. My dash looks like it will fit a 7' LCD (see attached pic), but probably will need a little fiberglass/bondo work. I have no idea how to do this, so any tips or help would be great.
    SoundBlaster Live or Audigy are good choices for internal sound cards, as long as you have an available PCI slot. They will also provide sufficient signal to your amp, when you purchase it..

    For the LCD bondo work...definately search around here....fabrication forum

    The next thing is the sound. Any recommendations on amps I should get?
    I would personally recommend JL Audio, very clean power, other opinions differ

    Another thing I don't understand is how it gets to the speakers. Does it go PC>AMP>Wiring harness adapter?
    It would go from PC - AMP - SPEAKERS if you are dealing with a 4-channel amp. There is no need for a wiring harness if you plan to gut you OEM head unit for the screen. A 4-channel amp will distribute the sound without a separate head unit...

    Another thing would be a in-dash cd(or dvd) drive. I've read about USB adapters to get it to the front of the car. Does anyone have any links/info on this?
    Depends on what kind of "in-dash" DVD drive you plan to get....are you looking at a slot-loading compact drive, or a full-sized 5.25 drive? Any internal drive will need an IDE to USB converter as well as an ACTIVE USB extension (repeater) cable to connect to the PC if it is in the trunk, or more than 6 feet away. Most drives also have power requirements, but if they're internal, power can be provided (usually) from a 5-pin molex connection. To find reccommended accessories for car use, search the forums here"

    One last thing is where I would run the wires. What would be the easiest way to get them to the dash? Under the carpet?
    As far as running the wires are concerned, and assuming you have your PC installed in the trunk....for a typical car, you would remove the rear seat(s) running the wires towards the driver's side lower rear door (door sills). Remove both front and rear sills on the driver's side, running the wires inside of the sills towards the front of the car. At this point, depending on your car, you may have to remove pieces of your dash to connect the wires to your proposed in-dash screen, as well as appropriate power connections under the hood.


    As a general rule of thumb, search here for PC-CAR related issues, seach audio forums for good components (ie. amp/subs) to complete your setup

    ~FiSKARZ~
    '03 Acura TL PC FINISHED!!
    MP3CAR

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    48
    Thanks for the info! How hard is it to remove the back seat on most cars? I was looking at this LCD at digitalww, and seems like a good deal since I know I wouldn't do too good with the fiberglass/bondo. If I get a 4 chan amp, do I run wire to each speaker, or use the existing wire, and how hard would it be to replace it? And I'm still not sure on volume control. Thanks for the help guys!

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Shirley, NY
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    20
    First of all, that car's an older Pontiac, or other GM car, right? (Just curious, the systems monitor and the radio look familiar.) And as for the 6 channel card, the Audigy, Audigy Platinum, Audigy 2, Audigy 2 Platinum, or the Audigy 2 Platinum ZX. I'm using the ZX myself in my home PC, and the Audigy in my Carputer. Reliable cards, low power consumption, and low heat leave them the best cards for their price in a carputer.

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    Dude! You stole my car!! j/k.. I have a 93 Bonneville also. How is this project turning out for you? I am looking to replace my HU with a LCD for a future Car PC.

    Timmay
    He hates these cans! Stay away from the cans!

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