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Thread: Cleanup on Aisle 3

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Vchat20's Avatar
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    Talking Cleanup on Aisle 3 (serious discussion)

    my trademark welcome title.


    Hi. Im new. although ive been following the carpc scene for quite sometime. i am a computer geek myself (on it the majority of the day) and already have plans to take a computer related course (CIS to be specific) in college.

    anyways, i am very interested in building my own carpc. although it probably wont go in my car ( "my car" i dont even have one let alone a drivers license), it will probably be fitted in my moms '96 ford windstar. and depending on how things go this income tax season, i may just rebuild this computer im on now (OEM gateway. intel 82845grg mobo, 2ghz celeron, 512mb kingston pc2100 ddr ram, onboard intel graphics w/64mb shared from the system ram, and 6 usb2.0 ports) to save on having to buy everything new.

    but a couple things ive had on my mind which ive been trying to hammer out but with scarce knowledge of carpc's, cant quite figure them out:
    1) Car Power: I already know the basics of this. pretty much all im gonna need to get it started is a dc-dc power supply, regulator (most likely one that automates pc shutdown/turnon with the ignition). but lets say if i wanted to set things up for either use with the engine off or possibly self-bootup for maintenance, downloads, etc.. while the car is sitting in the driveway or something. the battery most likely wont be able to handle it. first idea on my mind was mounting some good sized solar panels on the car and wire them into the power system to charge the batteries. has anyone attempted something like this?

    2) Ghetto-ish Remote Car Starter: This is one odd idea i thought up one day. basic idea is have the computer control the basic car functions like start/stop/locks/etc.. and have a seperate pocketpc wirelessly connected to the computer which will be used as the remote. but one huge problem: being able to somehow turn the computer on with the pocketpc. one thing i thought of was using what is already available through standard NIC's which is the wake on lan feature. but i dont know if its available in wireless adapters. unfortunately, i doubt it. any solutions to this idea are graciously welcomed

    3) Factory Headunit Mod: Nothing Major. basically since all the entertainment functions will be managed by the computer, the headunit wont be needed. so my idea was to mod the current factory headunit (which can be seen here. only difference is ours also has a tape deck which is basically where the big empty spot is on the stereo in that page). Most of the buttons will stay, but the display will be replaced with a small monochrome lcd for more displayability. all of this will most likely be routed to the computer via serial. but not completely related to this, is there a way that the built in amp of the radio can be salvaged and be nothing but an amp for the audio out of the computer? (the master audio control on the computer will simply be that, the master audio control. meaning the salvaged amp will stay at one volume) or would i need to get a new standalone amp to do this? and what would you recommend for a simple application like this? basically no need for those high end 400+watt amps used for those noisy thump mahcines

    4) WiFi: While internet connectivity wont be mission critical here, i would like to atleast try and get a connection here or there. so what im basically asking is does anyone know of some good PCI/USB based wifi cards that either get good range by themselves or are capable of being hooked up to an amp and seperate antennae. and also, what range have you guys seen on incar wifi? couple miles? couple hundred feet? etc?

    phew! i think thats it. if not ill post an addition to this.

    oh, and thanks

  2. #2
    Newbie HitLines's Avatar
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    4) Something like this should work for you: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...748465237&rd=1

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Vchat20's Avatar
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    hmm. looks like a good idea. thank god my mom already has a cb antenna on the roof. should kinda offset the protuding wifi anteanna some

    i also think i have given up on the remote control idea. i have yet to find anything that can remotely turn the computer on and fit this application. plus it was never something i was worried about anyhow :P

    btw, anyone got a general idea on how much wattage this computer uses? (remember that i posted specs above) i havent the slightest clue and it dont help when the power supply is so OEM that there is no sign of wattage anywhere.

    oh, and clarification on the headunit mod idea. the screen im talking about is basically one that has an actual pixel resolution. like 4x32 pixels, etc.. anyone know where these can be found?

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