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Thread: Lexus IS200 Car PC Advice and Help!

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate Anees's Avatar
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    Lexus IS200 Car PC Advice and Help!

    Newbie here from the UK! Please let me know what you think of my plans for my Carputer. The system is to go in my Lexus IS200.

    My main intention for building the Car PC is for Navigation and Movies. I have been a reader of these forums for almost 1 year just now it seems systems are go for the Carputer!

    I intend to put the screen in the factory Sat Nav housing (if I can get the housing cheap enough!)

    I have been slowly collecting components:

    Already Have:

    7 Xenarc Touch Screen TFT
    Pansonic Slimline slot DVD/CDRW
    150W Opus DC-DC PSU
    Gyration RF Compact Keyboard/Mouse
    P4 2.4Ghz 533FSB CPU
    MSI Bluetooth Dongle

    To get:
    512Mb Crucial DDR400 Ram
    120Gb 3.5 HDD
    Wifi Card
    Old Cheap Mobile for PAYG GPRS
    Digital TV Tuner Card (Radio Maybe) -at a later stage
    USB GPS Receiver
    Micro ATX Motherboard
    Case (may try something out of Plexiglass)
    Sound card maybe integrated sound card is better option?
    FM Modulator (crap I know but the car has no Aux-in)
    Reversing Camera (Can hook up to input-2 on the Xenarc and power from reversing light)

    Software:
    Centra Fuse (Looks Amazing and seems to run the most reliabily for me)
    Map Monkey (Looks Great, but in testing not sure of routing quality)
    Co-Pilot 8 UK (when released)
    Phone Control


    Regarding the sound a few members on the Lexus Owners Club UK are working on a plug-in Aux-in adapter some hopefully the FM Modulator will only be short term.

    Now I know that the CPU is abit overkill - but I pulled it out of an old system of mine where the motherboard screwed up, so I may as well use it if I can.

    I would rather use Micro-ATX then ITX because I can afford the loss in space and that MicroATX parts are cheaper and easier to upgrade.

    I know that the best resolution is 800 x 480 for a carputer. Anybody know of any MicroATX motherboard onboard grapic chip that can do this or would powerstrip be able to do it?

    I am also concerned about power. Maybe a semptron CPU would be better? Seems to run cooler then the P4.

    Thanks in Advance!
    Anees

  2. #2
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    for mATX that can do 800x480 with onbaord grpahics you will most liekly need an nForce 2 IGP board. If you want to stick with the P4 you will need a separate AGP card. i would sll the P4 and get a mobile athlon and an nForce 2 but that is jsut my opinion. There are other options. The sempron would be cheaper and easier to build though unless you get a Biostar mobo (due to CPU settings with the mobile athlon but this wont work with old Opus PSUs so you need to check that). Do some more reading about the mobile chips and mATX setups ont his site.

    Welcome by the way. Boris will be glad to see another Lexus.

  3. #3
    Newbie linuxkoder's Avatar
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    I've been looking into where I should install the screen if I were to do the carputer in my IS. The center console seems like the best option but I would have to relocate some traction control buttons which I'm not sure if I want to do that. I havent seen any sat nav installs as of yet but it would be really convienent if it can be done. Let me know how that turns out.

  4. #4
    Newbie linuxkoder's Avatar
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    An external sound card would sound the best, there's too much interference within the computer to create a clean signal. Something like the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 would be good.

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate Anees's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    Probably THE BEST install in a Lexus IS has to be by Fargo (a fellow UK Lexus Owners Club Member)

    It looks amazing:
    http://www.fargosys.com/html/carputer_project.html

    I don't however have the skills to do it like he has.

    Regarding the CPU - I think your guys are right. I'll stick the chip on eBay (it is 5p listing day tommorow ).

    Anyone know how much cooler the Mobile Athlon's run then the Semprons? Sure I've seen the chart somewhere. At the moment the Sempron coupled with an Nforce 2 board is looking good. The Mobile chips are looking expensive but I'll do some more research.

    Another thing I was going to ask is regarding the GPS unit. I have a Fortuna Bluetooth Xtrac v2 unit that I use with my PDA (along with Tom Tom) that is brilliant. Locks on every morning almost instantly and I get around 8 -10 satellites (in XT mode), I have looked on UK sites and eBay but I don't seem to be able to find a USB Mouse device that is based on Xtracv2.

    I know I could just use the GPS with my carputer - but I'd rather have a wired connection then mess about with bluetooth for the GPS.

    Thanks,
    Anees

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate Anees's Avatar
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    Updated

    An Update:

    After doing some more research I have decided to go the Mobile Athlon route.

    I was going to buy a Mobile Athlon Xp 2500+ for around 60 until I remembered that I still have a 6 month old unused AthlonXp 2200+ (Thoroughbred B I think) CPU spare that I could use. I am going to use the "wire mod" to unlock the multipliers and then join the L5 bridges to convert the CPU into a Mobile Athlon-M 2200+!

    Hopefully it works!

    Now the thing that I am stuck on is the motherboard. The Biostar board that everyone says works fine with mobile chips is hard to find in the UK and seems abit dated:

    http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails...odel=m7ncg+400

    I have never used a Biostar board so cannot comment on the quality either - usually just used Asus. Also I have read about the problems getting the board to turn on when used with an Opus unless the Opus has been specifically modified. I don't think mine will have been modified.

    What are the alternatives?

    Asus A7N8X-VM?? Seen a members with this board in their signature. Does it work well and turn on using Opus?
    ASUS A7S8X-MX?? Don't think video quality is as good.
    Any others?

    Does anyone know if these boards will do 800 x 848? Is the resolution THAT important when used with a Xenarc; I thought it was more important for Lilliputs?

    Also seen these integrated PC Chips boards with onboard AthlonXP 1800+ CPU's - look like they may be good value - but the on-board graphics seem to be poor quality.

    Some input please

  7. #7
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    I am not sure about using the Asus A7N8X-VM board with Opus, but one thing I can tell you is the onboard graphic works extremely well for integrated graphic. 800x480 is available.
    I am not sure all about wire modded regular AMD chip to mobile chip, but you should look into modding it to low power consumption route instead of other option. We pick mobile because of it low power consumption. Low power = less heat.
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    Low Bitrate Anees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixPC
    I am not sure about using the Asus A7N8X-VM board with Opus, but one thing I can tell you is the onboard graphic works extremely well for integrated graphic. 800x480 is available.
    I am not sure all about wire modded regular AMD chip to mobile chip, but you should look into modding it to low power consumption route instead of other option. We pick mobile because of it low power consumption. Low power = less heat.
    Thanks for the reply.

    I read your thread about unlocking the multipliers and it was very usefull.

    Not sure I understand your point about modifying it for low power consumption?? Surely if I modify it to Athlon-M and unlock the multiplier I will be able to reduce the voltage and so use less power anyway?

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