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Thread: New to the site, help me organize my carputer project!

  1. #1
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    New to the site, help me organize my carputer project!

    Thanks in advance to whoever helps!

    For the past month I have been researching on how to install a computer in my car. I drive a 1997 civic and I plan on doing all the work myself over the course of a couple weeks during winter break.

    Since I'm sort of new to this stuff instead of listing what I was planning on buying, I will list what I need and what I want from the computer.

    I plan to spend as little money as possible, but dont want anything cheesy whatsoever.

    1) These are the features I would demand
    -Something fast, effictive, small
    -Mp3 playback, and lots of storage
    -DVD playback
    -anything cool, lol
    -USB input

    2) These are features I would like, or would like possiblity of upgrading later to when more money is avail.
    -GPS navigation
    -Cellphone modem?
    -gaming? either on comp, or by hooking up ps2
    -Wireless sync with home computer for transferring files
    -Others Im forgetting?

    3) I want a nice touch screen display.
    -Has to be quality
    -I would like something that isnt useless when the sun is out, so if there are screens that accept glare better than others Id like to hear about it.
    -I heard that lilliput arent as good as the xenarc?

    4) A small cpu would be best so it isnt lunking around and so it is lightweight.

    Some things I dont know enough about, or am hazy on...
    -How do I set it up so that it doesnt turn off when I turn the key from on postition to crank up the motor? (basically Im worried about the computer starting to F*** up because of being turned off without using shutdown
    -How do I make sure that when cranking the motor, the computer wont get messed with?
    -What should I do for power? I read that most people here arent fans of power inverters?
    -Im sure there is more, but for now this will do.


    What I have to work with already.

    -I have a JVC headunit with a headphone style plug for aux. input already installed in the car
    -I have a sony pcg xg29 laptop that I no longer use, it has DVD, 18 gig HD, P3, etc.


    Some products that I am currently entertaining as options

    Modified Xbox combined with xenarc screen
    -pros- good price, get gaming, mp3playback, etc
    -cons- limited because not exactly a regular computer?

    1Ghz EPIA MII/3688 Vehicle Bundle from mini-itx.com
    -pros- looks like they did all the work, lots of options for upgrade in future
    -cons- expensive, overseas, and I have no idea what else I would need in order to make it work



    Please help me organize my project.

    Thanks guys,

    Boltz

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltz
    Please help me organize my project.
    1) Kudos to a well-formatted and clear post.
    2) You sound like one of the kids telling Xzibit 'Please MTV, pimp my ride!'

    Seriously, everything you've mentioned has been rehashed here over and over again.


    3) I want a nice touch screen display.
    -Has to be quality
    -I would like something that isnt useless when the sun is out, so if there are screens that accept glare better than others Id like to hear about it.
    -I heard that lilliput arent as good as the xenarc?
    Any monitor you get is going to have some issues in direct sunlight. Build an anti-glare screen and/or tint your windows.

    4) A small cpu would be best so it isnt lunking around and so it is lightweight.
    The smaller motherboard is more important.
    EPIA-series motherboards are good for small spaces.


    Some things I dont know enough about, or am hazy on...
    -How do I set it up so that it doesnt turn off when I turn the key from on postition to crank up the motor? (basically Im worried about the computer starting to F*** up because of being turned off without using shutdown
    -How do I make sure that when cranking the motor, the computer wont get messed with?
    -What should I do for power? I read that most people here arent fans of power inverters?
    You know you asked for it.

    There are various schemes that people use to allow the computer to survive cranking and to shutdown properly.
    The Opus DC-DC power supply is the favored option. It simply turns on the PC by shorting the motherboard pins (same one your desktop power switch is conencted to) 5sec after crank. This doesn't allow you to use the PC with the car off, however.
    People have build tank circuits and all sorts of stuff.

    Inverters work, but they aren't efficient. The Opus (and equivilants) are DC-DC. Simple. An inverter must convert the car's DC to AC, then the computer power supply converts it back to DC for the computer.
    They also generate heat. There's also a lot of them that aren't as good quality, causing problems for some.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
    Newbie Joe_Collectible's Avatar
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    ps2? Man you kids these days... You have a computer! who needs ps2?!?!

    Seriously tho, do you know how to use an emulator? Google that too! - you will freak if you don't know what I am talking about. (you can even use your fav console's controller)
    Ghetto Sleds Turn Heads

    PimpED OutneSS ProGress O' MetER
    --22%--------!
    (still noobin')

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate
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    Welcome to the board. You'll get a better response if you make specific questions in the approprate forum sections (ie power questions in the power section). What type of car do you have. I'm in a good mood and wanted to see how fast I could answer the most repeated questions on the site
    Here we go.



    1) These are the features I would demand[/B]
    -Something fast, effictive, small
    -Mp3 playback, and lots of storage
    -DVD playback
    -anything cool, lol
    -USB input

    Search for Epia 10000 mainboard DVD works on Pentium 400 and above. If you want dvd in the front and the case is the trunk, you need usb2.0 or firewire to extend it. I use a 500mhz bookpc that I got for nothing but the limitations were no pci slots/no usb2.0[/B]

    2) These are features I would like, or would like possiblity of upgrading later to when more money is avail.
    -GPS navigation
    -Cellphone modem?
    -gaming? either on comp, or by hooking up ps2
    -Wireless sync with home computer for transferring files
    -Others Im forgetting?

    Search for Ebay GPS mouse, Use iGuidance v.2.0 natigation software (otherwise known as Routis), search for Sprint Vision (for cellphone) and look under the wireless section for wifi solutions,. Search for emulators. Search for Phone Control for controlling the cell phone

    3) I want a nice touch screen display.
    -Has to be quality
    -I would like something that isnt useless when the sun is out, so if there are screens that accept glare better than others Id like to hear about it.
    -I heard that lilliput arent as good as the xenarc?

    BUY IT HERE AT THE MP3CAR.COM STORE. NOT EBAY. YOU NEED THE WARRANTY. Look in the lcd section. I personally like the lilliput but people have problems with them when they open them up (shoddier quality) Sun glare depends on angle, window tint, mounting, etc. There are 10000 threads on this.

    4) A small cpu would be best so it isnt lunking around and so it is lightweight.

    Again, the epia is highly recommended. Make sure the motherboard has enough pci slots (if you want multiple video cards, etc)...you can find a micro-atx mainboard with integrated sound/graphics for cheaper if you look around.

    Some things I dont know enough about, or am hazy on..
    -How do I set it up so that it doesnt turn off when I turn the key from on postition to crank up the motor? (basically Im worried about the computer starting to F*** up because of being turned off without using shutdown
    -How do I make sure that when cranking the motor, the computer wont get messed with?
    -What should I do for power? I read that most people here arent fans of power inverters?
    -Im sure there is more, but for now this will do.

    Search in the power supplies section. Opus will solve all problems, but I used a $15 inverter and hardwired it to my battery with an on/off switch and I'm happy. No shutdown controller, but I don't care about hitting the hibernation button.

    The one thing you didn't mention was software.

    I currently use Windows XP (for hibernation)/MediaCar/Brushed Alluminum Skin/FrodoDVD/iGuidancev2.0 (Routis)/Diagnose(for OBDII engine diagnostics). THis is one set of options. However we all look forward to the upcoming Frodoplayer and A.I.M.E.E.

    (Search in Software section)

  5. #5
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    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    I had to expect some greif for posting questions that Im sure have been answered many times. Thats why I posted in the newbie section. I frequent a honda tuning website where subjects can be beaten to death by newbies.

    Thanks for the replies.

    Just on a side note, not looking to go crazy here with all sorts of rediculous crap, just exploring my options. Modifying my car is a big part of my life and its just come to the point where I have the exterior and the motor the way I like, so I want to explore this carputer thing.


    Mykoljay - Its a 1.6 liter civic ex, custom turbo, built motor, hondata engine managment, sparco seats, candy paint job, and some clean looking Volk te-37 knockoffs.

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate
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    boltz... check out this guys site http://www.thisstrife.com/carproject/
    It may help you collect your thoughts and then you can ask more specific questions.
    -LekanB

  7. #7
    Newbie
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    Thanks Lekan

  8. #8
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    Michigan
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    like everyone said, these things have been covered, so i won't rehash. but one thing might help in the long run... when i started i wanted to save money, so i skimped on parts... bought a regular NTSC TFT... no touchscreen - bought a wireless trackball instead... etc .. etc ..

    inevitably once you get your carputer installed you're gonna get increasingly annoyed with the functionality problems... and end up spending more money in the long run.. so i'd recommend sucking it up at the beginning and going for the parts that will allow you to add stuff later.

    basically i'm saying buy the OPUS and a lilli/xenarc VGA TS.
    VIA EPIA 533 MHz
    256 MB RAM
    7" Lilliput VGA Touchscreen
    20 gig HD
    Media Engine 2.1.4
    GPS - Earthmate/SA2004
    802.11b Connectivity

  9. #9
    Newbie
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    Sep 2004
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    I've never built my own computer before so I'm not sure if I want to get the EPIA 10000 mainboard along with other components of my choice or just get the 1Ghz EPIA MII/3688 Vehicle Bundle from mini-itx.com


    Thats what I really am trying to decide on now.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate
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    Central NY
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    Hey LekanB,

    That's a great link, eventho I got most of my parts together, I got some useful information out of it.

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