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Thread: Newbie: Input on installing dell or compaq desktop into car

  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Newbie: Input on installing dell or compaq desktop into car

    Hello,
    I just came across a dell Dimension XPS B800 desktop for free and would love to take it apart and put it into my car. I also have the choice of using my compaq presario desktop to hack up and put in. I have heard dell uses proprietary parts and such, maybe you could tell me more.

    Concerns:

    1) best way to power it - thinking dc-dc converter but will that put out enough power for the desktop. using dvd drive, 70gb hard drive, possibly wireless card, and what other bare minumum parts.

    2) My car has been lowered and is quite stiff supension on it. Any way to encole the box in shock absorbing material?

    3) anyone done a desktop transplant like this with success?

    Like I said I would like to use this computer becasue its free, I relize ther are more ideal hard drives and mother boards out there. I plan on using lilliput 7" screen.

    Please reccomend the parts I will need to do this successfully, thanks!

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaxin41
    Hello,
    I just came across a dell Dimension XPS B800 desktop for free and would love to take it apart and put it into my car. I also have the choice of using my compaq presario desktop to hack up and put in. I have heard dell uses proprietary parts and such, maybe you could tell me more.
    Both Compaq/HP and Dell use proprietary pieces. Compaq uses more in a given system than Dell would.
    Typically, the Dell is more likely to be compatible with more hardware than the Compaq, although it's likely either would use whatever components you want to add (assuming PCI cards or USB devices).

    Concerns:

    1) best way to power it - thinking dc-dc converter but will that put out enough power for the desktop. using dvd drive, 70gb hard drive, possibly wireless card, and what other bare minumum parts.

    The two methods are:
    - Standard AC power supply in the computer, then plugged into a power inverter (possibly with a tank circuit to survive crank). Pro: readily available and inexpensive. Con: inefficient & bulky
    - Specialized DC power supplies by Carnetix or Opus. Pro: efficient & clean looking. Con: Expensive.

    2) My car has been lowered and is quite stiff supension on it. Any way to encole the box in shock absorbing material?
    A couple people have come up with vibrartion-dampening schemes, namely for hard drives. Laptop drives (2.5" form-factor) are purpoted to be more resilient when it comes to surviving shock. They're made for laptops that are moved around a lot, after all.
    Rubber washers as bushings may help insulate some shock as well. An idea I'm seriously considering for my project.

    3) anyone done a desktop transplant like this with success?
    Again:
    There's lots. The Shuttle small form-factor boxes seem to be pretty popular because of the size.
    Ultimately I'm going to use a hacked-up Shuttle in my project as well.

    Like I said I would like to use this computer becasue its free, I relize ther are more ideal hard drives and mother boards out there. I plan on using lilliput 7" screen.

    Please reccomend the parts I will need to do this successfully, thanks!
    That I won't do.
    If I recommend a part that I think is the proverbial shiznit, and you think it's crap, you're going to blame me for suggesting that part. So I don't go the route of making recomendations.
    Besides, part of the triumph is when you've hand-picked the parts you think are the best for your project, budget, vehicle, etc., and then you put them all together and make the whole thing WORK!

    Besides, you haven't said anything you want your carPC to do. Do you want GPS navigation? Play MP3s through the car stereo? Do you want the PC to replace the trational car stereo? How about interfacing with an alarm system? Reading ODB-II info from the engine? Play DVDs? Burn CDRs? Wardriving? Be a mobile hotspot?
    There's a lot to consider, depending on the functionality you want it to have, as well. Another reason not to recommend anything.

    I'd suggest looking at all the options for whatever component, then checking out experiences other people have had. I have found that anyone here that's even STARTED a project to be helpful.
    Those who've screwed theirs up and re-done it several times over often have the best ideas for installations, since they've 'been there, done that'.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate proTONEd's Avatar
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    DarquePervert is right, it is very hard to recommend hardware. Every piece of hardware has it own pros and cons. It all depends on what YOU want.

    For a basic install most commonly used are:
    - Lilliput/Xenarc touchscreen lcd
    - Epia M10000 mini-itx mobo
    - Opus DC-DC powersupply / Carnetix + Morex powersupply
    - Desktop/Laptop Harddrive

    But be sure to do a lot of reading first, there is a reason why so many people have different installs.
    Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?

    Currently : Audi A6 - no install

    Second install : VW Passat '97 CarPC
    First install : '87 Audi 80 CarPC

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