Newbie Questions for a 2nd Time!
Probably the standard newbie questions here, but I've
searched through the forums and seen a lot of
different answers, but I know that new products come
out all the time so I'm not sure how dated some of the
advice may be. I was around way back when the mp3car
thing was first taking off (Cobra 1.0, etc... back
when half the people you talked to didnt know what an
mp3 was), but I never constructed anything and have
been out of the loop for a long time. Here's the
random questions I have:
Case -- I own a Tahoe SUV, so I've got plenty and
plenty of space in the way back for a dedicated PC,
but is something small and "industrial" needed for the automobile? Have most found just going with a smaller case is not good/safe enough?
Hard drive -- 2.5" notebook drives are hella
expensive, but have most people found that the 3.5"
drives are just not cutting it?
Wireless NIC -- hard to rig something up that I could
pull the car into the garage and transfer via wireless
Display -- I'm looking for a touchscreen, probably
around 7"... have most people had good experiences
with the lilliput? Easily legible text when looking at
GPS -- my father has some mapping software, but what
kind of hardware would I need? any suggestions?
expensive? What sofware do most people use?
Amp -- I currently have no amplifier, and am
admittedly a newb when it comes to car audio (or audio
hardware in general). Will I need an amp? What's a
good price for an entry-level amp?
Power Supply/Startup -- I remember back in the day
someone designed a car startup switch but it was in
the very basic stages... Seems like there's a lot of
stuff out there now... What is my best option if I
want the computer to not have a problem quickly starting/shutting-off based on the car's status?
Operating System: Is there a standard setup most
people use now where the CarPC can quickly boot up? Is
there an additional piece of sofware that most use as
the frontend nowadays?
Satellite radio: I read a few posts about some
integrated XM with some hardware... I currently have a
Sirius satellite radio -- will it need to be
completely separate from my PC setup, or can I
integrate it easily somehow?
Car dash modifications: Almost above everything else,
I want this to look sharp. I've kept my Tahoe in good
looking condition, and don't want to "junk it out"
with hardware going every which way. If I am in a
major city (Dallas/Fort Worth), how hard will it be to
find a reputable guy that will mod my dash based on
what i'm looking for, so that it looks sharp and
almost factory-like? These wouldn't be huge
modifications, but the dash would have to be modified.
These guys hard to find? What is the going rate for
work like this? If I can pay $300-$400 (not counting
the hardware costs) to have an installation that looks
damn sharp, I certainly don't mind paying it. In
addition to that, will these guys likely know how to
connect the PC to the car battery in the way it needs
to be? My lack of knowledge on audio hardware also
applies to automobiles.... Computers I can do :)
I appreciate all the help I can get :)