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Thread: Hello, some questions by a newbie...

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate GibsonLP's Avatar
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    Hello, some questions by a newbie...

    Hi there,

    I would like to start planning my carpc, I know what I want, I have some idea how to do that (mostly on the software side, being a unix sysadmin for almost 10 years now... yes, of course it would run Linux ) and I know my car's limitations (hu must fit into the regular dash slot)

    So here it goes:

    My needs/wishes:

    A semi-powerful X86 computer (something comparable to pentium 4 2Ghz and up), with half a gig of RAM, I was thinking to boot off a CF card, but after reading a little bit here I saw that a laptop drive should survive...

    It would run Linux and hopfully would have the following features:
    1. MP3 player (easy)
    2. GPS (should be easy, never done that on Linux)
    3. DVD player (mplayer rocks)
    4. (hopfully) OBDII connection (no idea how to do that, yet) so I can see my Audi's diagnostics on the fly...
    5. (hopfully) cellphone integration via bluetooth (no idea how to do that)
    6. (maybe, if the hardware supports it) wardriving (although I am not in this "scene" anymore - this option could be nice )

    I currently have my own audio system and I plan to use the existing amps.

    My problems/questions:

    1. Since I don't have enough space in the dashboard (just a regular CD slot space...), where would you recommend to put the pc itself? I thought about getting an indash LCD/touchscreen and put the PC under the passanger's seat.
    2. Is there an indash LCD + DVD combo? - I know that IDE would have problems travelling all the way from under the seat to the dash, maybe there is a USB DVD+indash VGA? - Couldn't find either on google.
    3. What about cooling requirements? is the "under the seat" location suitable cooling-wise?
    4. How much noise does the OPUS unit for example produce?

    I don't have enough experiance with welding stuff, so I guess I'd buy everything and just assamble the stuff myself, what would you say about the OPUS system?
    The only problem I see with it right now is that it is a bit under-spec'ed, however - for the list of things I would like to do with this machine it should suffice (I am a power-holic )

    What do you say about http://www.cartft.com/carpc/catalog/il/480 ?

    Oh yeah... budget - well, actually there is no actual limit right now, I would love to stay around the $1000-$1300 though.

  2. #2
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GibsonLP
    1. Since I don't have enough space in the dashboard (just a regular CD slot space...), where would you recommend to put the pc itself? I thought about getting an indash LCD/touchscreen and put the PC under the passanger's seat.
    Ditch the CD player. Put a slimline drive in it's place.

    2. Is there an indash LCD + DVD combo? - I know that IDE would have problems travelling all the way from under the seat to the dash, maybe there is a USB DVD+indash VGA? - Couldn't find either on google.
    Several people have extended their IDE cables quite far with no ill effects. Search on "IDE cable length" or "IDE extension" or some variation to find posts on the topic.

    3. What about cooling requirements? is the "under the seat" location suitable cooling-wise?
    It should be, as long as the vents aren't covered up.

    4. How much noise does the OPUS unit for example produce?
    Don't have one. Don't know.

    I don't have enough experiance with welding stuff, so I guess I'd buy everything and just assamble the stuff myself, what would you say about the OPUS system?
    I don't know much about the OPUS systems.

    The only problem I see with it right now is that it is a bit under-spec'ed, however - for the list of things I would like to do with this machine it should suffice (I am a power-holic )
    Right. You just don't need that much power for what you want to do.

    You are planning on turning it on and off...how?

    Oh yeah... budget - well, actually there is no actual limit right now, I would love to stay around the $1000-$1300 though.
    That's do-able.

    One thing you might consider is setting the system up as dual boot Windows/Linux. There are tons of programs that will do everything on your list for Windows with very little difficulty. Linux will be a different story and while you're working on getting all of the apps to run, you can have the Windows install and all of the working program.

    By the way, an odd idea might be to get a mac mini if you're experienced with Unix. The case you linked to is practically the cost of a mini before adding the processore and memory. Some people will recoil in horror at this suggestion. I'm just throwing it out for your info.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  3. #3
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Desktop drives are fine for incar use as well. the amount of storage per dollar is better than laptops.
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  4. #4
    Raw Wave wizardPC's Avatar
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    [shameless plug]
    I have a system for sale that will do everything you want it to do. It comes with a slimline USB DVD/CDRW so extending the IDE cable wouldnt be an issue. Check out the link in my signature

    Don't know how much shipping it to Israel would be though...
    [/shameless plug]
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  5. #5
    Low Bitrate GibsonLP's Avatar
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    Hi there and sorry for not replying sooner...

    Thanks for the answers, I have decided to get a used laptop with a damaged screen (+-$300, free in my case...) as the computer and simply put it under the seat, I need it to be stealthy and laptop would be great size-wize (and also cheaper than any other combination).

    WizardPC - sorry, but I won't buy your computer, as tempting as it sounds - I already have a laptop I can use for it, thanks for the kind offer anyway!

    A few new questions:

    I'll need to buy an external sound card as I don't like the 1/8" PLs...

    I want to be able to have the same controlability as I have now in my audio system - L-R balance and F-R balance + Subwoofer control, that means that I can't live with a normal stereo sound card, even though I can get the creative MP3+ VERY, very cheap, I thought about using the computer as a stereo input device to a regular audio system that can control the speakers indevedually like I have now - but I need the 1 DIN space on the dash for the in-dash VGA... so if you have any suggestions - shoot...
    Does the live! 24 external capable of controlling the outputs for each indevedual channels? can it work as 4.1? as well (instead of 5.1).

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate GibsonLP's Avatar
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    Anyone?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    I'll preface this by saying I know JACK about car audio. I do, however, know that a lot of people use the audigy sound card for higher end applications. It will probably do what you're asking.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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