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Thread: Making a Car Computer; Need Your Help!

  1. #11
    Variable Bitrate BiohazrD's Avatar
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    I think that your dash would look really good if you were to make a custom fiberglass touchscreen mount. Recessed into the dash would look awesome, and you have plenty of room. Everything you need is in the fabrication forums. As for the computer, EPIA is pretty cool, because when you use a regular tower (and this issue always comes up) you end up spending quite a bit of money finding a way for a cd drive to be mounted in a easily accessable location. Once you get over so many feet, IDE becomes useless, you can get a IDE to firewire/USB adapter, but then power to the drive becomes an issue. With a EPIA system, you can easily mount everything into the dash, and have a slimeline slot loading drive, which is basically what all head units are.
    Quick! To the Popemobile!

  2. #12
    Low Bitrate megamind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confused
    You'll "need" a 300W home PSU case, which will give you probably about 170W useable power.

    Or, get the 150W Opus, which will provide about 170W of useable power.


    People have been powering 3.2GHz P4 systems from a 150W Opus.

    "Never judge a book by it's cover" = "Never judge a PSU from it's 'output'"


    Garry
    This wouldnt be good for you heat production.. If you get a overrated psu then it wont get that hot
    051°55'30"N 04°34'31"E

  3. #13
    Super Moderator xBrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fear Effect
    I'll need a 300W case. and there is no Opus 300W. So what should I do to avoid voltage drop issues?
    Notice my signature I am running that off of a 150W Opus/
    AMD XP 2600+/512MB RAM/120GB hard drive
    Opus 150W/DVD/GPS/7" Lilliput TS/802.11g/Bluetooth
    Installed.


    -GPSSecure- - GPS Tracking
    -AltTabber2.2.2- - Handy touchscreen utility.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamind
    Use less pci cards :P
    Well, I need the vga card, I need the wireless lan card, I need the audio card... umm.. what else there is the tv card I might not use. But I do want it. And what about the radio? how can I get radio in my car? I need to get a radio card too right?

    So far all those things I mentioned are a must! what can I do?!
    if I get, lets say, a USB sound card will that save power? How? by connecting it to other audio source?

    to be honest with everyone I'm not a fan of USB stuff. especially when the computer is going to be left in the car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Confused
    .

    Or, get the 150W Opus, which will provide about 170W of useable power.
    ok will everyone please stop trying to sell me that opus?? Let me know what I want first then i'll decide what I need to get.
    thanks for the help though

    Quote Originally Posted by BiohazrD
    As for the computer, EPIA is pretty cool, because when you use a regular tower (and this issue always comes up) you end up spending quite a bit of money finding a way for a cd drive to be mounted in a easily accessable location. Once you get over so many feet, IDE becomes useless, you can get a IDE to firewire/USB adapter, but then power to the drive becomes an issue. With a EPIA system, you can easily mount everything into the dash, and have a slimeline slot loading drive, which is basically what all head units are.
    I just checked their site. well, it looks cool. But I need more than one PCI slots


    Last but not least, I have a question that I probably did mention it in this post before. How can I listen to the radio? Do I need a PCI radio card?
    And if I get a motherboard with built in audio and video and wireless network... will that save power??? I didn't want a Mobo with builtin audio cuz I got the SB live soundcard. which has audio output for front speakers and rear. Its much better than those built-in Mobos!

  5. #15
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    I'm not getting any help anymore cuz I said I dont want to buy the Opus?! ;_;

    I still want to buy ur touchscreen though... so keep on the posts!

  6. #16
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    ok guys, I was just looking through my stuff and found a bran new DC- AC power something. is that what I need to make the computer run on car's electricity?

  7. #17
    Maximum Bitrate grepzen's Avatar
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    Yes, it's doable.. the gizmo you're looking at is an inverter. 12vdc in.. 115vac out.
    But that doesn't solve the following related problems:
    1) The pc won't turn on like your stock HU does now.
    2) There are some questions weather or not it will survive a crank. (if the pc is on when the car is off, cranking power may drop voltage on the battery sufficiently to cause an insufficient power condition to the inverter and pass that along to the PC.) which == some rough starts/treatment of the PC.
    3) Every time we convert something. DC to AC for example.. there's some loss due to inefficiency.. the inverter will shed energy in the form of heat. (which is great if you're wintering in Norway) --otherwise, not so much.

    So.. you'll hear some flap 'bout which DC-DC PS is best.. and that will perhaps go on and on.. but one thing for sure.. DC-DC is MUCH better than DC-AC (and back again) Yes.. back again.. your home pc's power supply is also an inverter.. but it inverts ac to dc.. and guess why there's ALWAYS a fan in your PS? If you answered 'heat' then step to the head of the class.
    •Micke

  8. #18
    Raw Wave Confused's Avatar
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    You're coming on here asking for advice, we're telling you to get the best thing possible for powering the computer, and you're moaning at us about it?

    I don't get this...

    If you don't want to be told the best options, then why bother asking?


    You COULD get an inverter, or any number of other power solutions.


    The reason we're recommending the Opus is BECAUSE IT IS THE BEST. I have used almost all the other options, and you know what i've got now? An Opus, because it's the only thing that's worked all the time. I wish I had someone to tell me to get an Opus when I first started, because then I could have better used the money i spent on everything else i tried.


    As for screen, I recommend (FROM EXPERIENCE) getting the Xenarc. Yes, it's more expensive, but it's better than the Lilliput. (Notice a trend here? Recommending the best components?)


    Radio:
    Seth is designing a radio unit which will work (probably) via USB, and will give you Head Unit quality sound. A PCI radio card won't.

    WLAN:
    Either a PCI, or a USB2 one. Either way will be fine.

    Sound:
    PCI/usb, again, doesn't really matter which.


    Once you've decided to listen to us, then maybe we'll be more supportive.

    You may know all there is to know about regular desktop computers, but all that knowledge changes once you start thinking about a harsh environment such as a car. I'm a relative newbie, only been doing this (seriously) for a year and a half, but i've learned that things are VERY different, and it's a difficult thing to do, and get right.


    Garry
    Co-Developer of A.I.M.E.E
    www.aimee.cc

  9. #19
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    building a computer in the car

    you are going to need to look at cooling issues for the cpu video card and sound card and hd and power unit if you put it in the trunk. use your sound card to listen to music though your speakers you may need to go to raido shack to get the connectors to splice in to the speakers for your car mulit vidieo cards may let you have multi monitors in the car one for the dash and 2 for the head rests. you are going to need to figure out how to prevent the cpu from moveing around the car and and the vibrations and bumps for the hard drive so it dont crash on you or mess up the spinng plates in side the drive that is all i can think of right now hope it works for you

  10. #20
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    I think you'd need to go back in time to actually help this guy out...

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