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Thread: Newbie here. Introduction and some questions...

  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Newbie here. Introduction and some questions...

    My name is Eric, I'm from Louisiana, and I drive a 96 Ext. cab Tacoma. I love what you guys are doing.

    My current system consists of:
    Premier head unit
    Diamond Audio M6 components
    (4) Pioneer ten inch subwoofers
    MTX 81000d amp
    MTX 8302 amp

    You can see the truck and what I have to work with here:
    http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/440042/2

    I am looking to replace the Premier head unit with some sort of computer and mold an LCD screen into the double din slot that the radio currently resides in. I just think it would be insane to be able to play Mpgs, listen to my entire mp3 collection, or hit up a game or two of hearts when I am waiting to pick someone up.

    Here are my questions. Any help is greatly appreciated. Bear in mine, I am an EXTREME newbie to "Carputers". I know a good bit about PCs and also about 12volt audio, so I was hoping to combine the 2.

    1. After doing a little research on your forums, I think I found a mobo I would like to use. VIA EPIA M10000 The whole 1 PCI slot is throwing me off however. Is the integrated video good enough so that I could scrimp on adding a video card, or should I add a video card and use the mobo integrated sound? Bear in mind, the biggest priority of this thing is music and not video.

    2. If I use that mobo, what kind of case can I put it in? I saw some links to some "micro" cases, but I really don't know if I would have enough room for that. I am replacing the 4 tens with 2 12s, and could probably slide a case in between 2 speaker boxes, but I am afraid the pressure of the woofers firing right beside the case would cause solders to come loose and cause damage to the hd or other components.

    3. What kind of precautions do you guys recommend as far as bracing or shocks for the actual case? This is going in a minitruck, and not a BMW, so it rides fairly rough. If I popped in a DVD on a long trip, would it skip with every little bump in the road? It was suggested to use laptop cd/dvd drives. How difficult are those to find at a decent price?

    I think that is all for now. I have a million questions, but these are the big ones to get me started. The others deal with more technical aspects of the project and I will hold off on those until I have time to do a little bit more of my own research.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    219
    Quote Originally Posted by 3Point4Tacoma
    My name is Eric, I'm from Louisiana, and I drive a 96 Ext. cab Tacoma. I love what you guys are doing.

    My current system consists of:
    Premier head unit
    Diamond Audio M6 components
    (4) Pioneer ten inch subwoofers
    MTX 81000d amp
    MTX 8302 amp

    You can see the truck and what I have to work with here:
    http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/440042/2

    I am looking to replace the Premier head unit with some sort of computer and mold an LCD screen into the double din slot that the radio currently resides in. I just think it would be insane to be able to play Mpgs, listen to my entire mp3 collection, or hit up a game or two of hearts when I am waiting to pick someone up.

    Here are my questions. Any help is greatly appreciated. Bear in mine, I am an EXTREME newbie to "Carputers". I know a good bit about PCs and also about 12volt audio, so I was hoping to combine the 2.

    1. After doing a little research on your forums, I think I found a mobo I would like to use. VIA EPIA M10000 The whole 1 PCI slot is throwing me off however. Is the integrated video good enough so that I could scrimp on adding a video card, or should I add a video card and use the mobo integrated sound? Bear in mind, the biggest priority of this thing is music and not video.

    2. If I use that mobo, what kind of case can I put it in? I saw some links to some "micro" cases, but I really don't know if I would have enough room for that. I am replacing the 4 tens with 2 12s, and could probably slide a case in between 2 speaker boxes, but I am afraid the pressure of the woofers firing right beside the case would cause solders to come loose and cause damage to the hd or other components.

    3. What kind of precautions do you guys recommend as far as bracing or shocks for the actual case? This is going in a minitruck, and not a BMW, so it rides fairly rough. If I popped in a DVD on a long trip, would it skip with every little bump in the road? It was suggested to use laptop cd/dvd drives. How difficult are those to find at a decent price?

    I think that is all for now. I have a million questions, but these are the big ones to get me started. The others deal with more technical aspects of the project and I will hold off on those until I have time to do a little bit more of my own research.

    for, the video, you can use the mb, i have used it to play hearts, watch a movie, and play mp3, also navigation, flawless.

    i have my opus, and computer, by 2 12, in front of it, about 2 inches away, no problem yet

    i have gone over potholes using my dvd drive, it was a laprtop version, it was built for that

  3. #3
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Point4Tacoma
    My name is Eric, I'm from Louisiana, and I drive a 96 Ext. cab Tacoma. I love what you guys are doing.

    My current system consists of:
    Premier head unit
    Diamond Audio M6 components
    (4) Pioneer ten inch subwoofers
    MTX 81000d amp
    MTX 8302 amp

    You can see the truck and what I have to work with here:
    http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/440042/2
    Nice setup. Gives me ideas for what I want to do with my audio & CarPC setup in my '03 Tacoma.


    I am looking to replace the Premier head unit with some sort of computer and mold an LCD screen into the double din slot that the radio currently resides in. I just think it would be insane to be able to play Mpgs, listen to my entire mp3 collection, or hit up a game or two of hearts when I am waiting to pick someone up.
    Rock on. I'm taking my gaming in the truck idea a step further by incorporating a gaming-capable rig in mine so I can roll up to a LAN party, plug into the network (only because WiFi sucks for serious gaming) and have game on!


    Here are my questions. Any help is greatly appreciated. Bear in mine, I am an EXTREME newbie to "Carputers". I know a good bit about PCs and also about 12volt audio, so I was hoping to combine the 2.

    1. After doing a little research on your forums, I think I found a mobo I would like to use. VIA EPIA M10000 The whole 1 PCI slot is throwing me off however. Is the integrated video good enough so that I could scrimp on adding a video card, or should I add a video card and use the mobo integrated sound? Bear in mind, the biggest priority of this thing is music and not video.
    Really, what you're talking about is oprocerssing power. The EPIA mobos are lower power, both in consumption & output. They're not bad units, and if video quality or the ability to see your 3D visualizations at 60fps aren't your main goals, it should be fine for what you need.

    2. If I use that mobo, what kind of case can I put it in? I saw some links to some "micro" cases, but I really don't know if I would have enough room for that. I am replacing the 4 tens with 2 12s, and could probably slide a case in between 2 speaker boxes, but I am afraid the pressure of the woofers firing right beside the case would cause solders to come loose and cause damage to the hd or other components.
    Any mini-ITX case would suffice. However, your limitations are space, primarily.
    brother!
    The Travala seems to be popular with the EPIA crowd.


    3. What kind of precautions do you guys recommend as far as bracing or shocks for the actual case? This is going in a minitruck, and not a BMW, so it rides fairly rough. If I popped in a DVD on a long trip, would it skip with every little bump in the road? It was suggested to use laptop cd/dvd drives. How difficult are those to find at a decent price?
    laptop drives are everywhere. They tend to be more 'spensive than 3/5" drives as a general rule.
    As far as shock-resistance, that's a heated debate. The logic behind using components designed for laptops is that more ruggedness is designed intot he product, since it's going into a unit that's going to be lugged around, dropped, kicked, manhandled, bent, folded, stapled, spindled & otherwise mutilated. That seems odd because the parts are smaller and appear more fragile.
    I'm planning on mounting all my drives with rubber grommets to act as bushings for some shock absorption. I'm not the first to take this route, either. Others have come up with other ideas.

    The general rule: mount your hard drive perpendicular to the road, a bump isn't going to mash the heads into the platters, rendering your drive useless and your data unrecoverable.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    I appreciate the prompt responses. Darque, the Tacoma was definately not designed with the 12volt enthusiast in mind. After adding 4 tens, and then trying to cram a computer in the cab, things just get worse. Good luck with your project, and a cool website you may consider is www.customtacos.com. I am a regular on that forum. Lots of friendly people and together, they can tell you just about anything you need to know about a Tacoma. Back to the topic at hand...

    After looking at a few of the installs in the completed projects forum, I think I have decided to try and squeeze the parts into a custom center console. So, the case question is out of the way.

    As far as reliability, I will try and use as many laptop components as I can. Harddrive, dvd/cdrw drive etc. Hopefully in a month or so, I will have my airbags completed and some of the other external projects on my truck finished and I can concentrate on the interior again and finish it up.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    Jun 2004
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    The motherboard you have chosen seems to be a favourite amongst the people here. It has enough power to decode DivX movies and mpeg2 acceleration which makes DVD playback a snap.
    The onboard video does just about everything you would want, unless you are planning on getting a few rounds of Quake3 in while stuck in traffic. The onboard sound will suffice, but I see you are putting in a nice sound system, so you could optionally get a USB soundcard such as the Audigy2. This still leaves the PCI slot open in case you decide you really do want to put a 3D card in there for gaming. The only problem I have with the OB video is that it does not do the resolutions I would perfer for my widescreen LCD, so I opted for a GeForce card in my PCI slot.
    Remember, dependant upon the case you get, there is also the option to get a dual PCI riser card which turns your single PCI slot into 2 PCI slots.
    About every peripheral you could want also comes with USB or IEE1394 connections as well, so you are not stuck with being forced to use a PCI sound or FM/TV tuner, you could just get its' USB counterpart.
    You could optionally build your own case but there are plenty out there for under $100.00. I plan on putting 2 12" SoloX woofers in my trunk, and at which point I'll cover my carputer with sound deadening material to help keep it from being rattled to death.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2004
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    How much more power would a small "regular" mobo consume compared to the micro-mobos that most of these guys use? Could I still run that DC-DC converter on a regular mobo? Like maybe a mid-tower based mobo?

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate
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    Sub box and amp rack looks great. If I didn't need the space back there I'd probably do something similar. Eventually I'm planning on putting a pair of 8" subs in the factory rear speaker locations of my 98 Tacoma extended cab. Anyway, instead of pulling my head unit (I still occasionally listen to FM) I decided to fabricate a dash extension to fin in under the ashtray for my display. Hopefully I'll be done with it this week and then I'll post pictures in the finished project section. Just figured you might like another idea.

  8. #8
    I'm sorry, and you are....? frodobaggins's Avatar
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    OT: Where you from in Louisiana ?
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    My next generation Front End is right on schedule.
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