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Thread: First Attempt At My Own Carputer

  1. #1
    Newbie nflava's Avatar
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    First Attempt At My Own Carputer

    Well i figured i am real serious about putting a puter in my car, considering i have the space and i can make the time...I have a 1992 Dodge caravan, so space/size is really not an issue, my question is, i have an old P3 533mhz that i am thinkin about using as my first attempt, besides the opus power supply i will need is there anything else i should consider doing, also if anyone has any ideas they would be greatly appreicated, thanks
    NFLAVA

  2. #2
    Newbie nflava's Avatar
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    ill will be sure to take some before pictures so you can see how it goes....even though i am thinkin about just getting a mini atx mobo instead of what i have now, to save on power consumption

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate KyleYankan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nflava
    Well i figured i am real serious about putting a puter in my car, considering i have the space and i can make the time...I have a 1992 Dodge caravan, so space/size is really not an issue, my question is, i have an old P3 533mhz that i am thinkin about using as my first attempt, besides the opus power supply i will need is there anything else i should consider doing, also if anyone has any ideas they would be greatly appreicated, thanks
    NFLAVA
    I'm about to start on my 1995 dodge caravan. Don't forget your monitor. PC is barely any good without some sort of display. Consider trying a flip-up monitor right above the radio, as part of the dash. Someone here did it with there VW bug, and it looked schweet.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    Problems I ran into on my first attempt.

    Get a decent soundcard if the board doesn't already have a good one.
    My personal choice is a SoundBlaster Audigy. Great price/performance. You can spend more money on a Audigy 2 if you wish.

    Gonna need a "pop-blocker"/amp turn-on delay. I dont know if this is for every one, however I know that personaly with my Audigy card, when i turn on the computer, if the amps are on you will a horrible horrible and hard hititng *if u got subs* pop sound. It will scare you to death if you hear it. I personaly ordered this part from some David Navone guy online. I'm sure you can find a post about it if you do a search here. It worked wonders for me.

    I suggest a wireless keyboard
    Wireless network and NIC to upload and download media *unelss u plan to take it out time to time* Its great being able to be in the house and remote login to the carputer and upload media to it.

    Thats about all I can think of.

  5. #5
    Newbie nflava's Avatar
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    Well, Thanks for your ideas i know that they will defitinly be in my mind as i start to plan this project...

    I do know so far that i do want to include some sort of small wireless/bluetooth keyboard that can be housed in the glovebox, with a little modding im sure. Most defitinly i will be including a wireless adapter so i can remote to the pc in the car to transfer files and whatnot...the idea of the gps navagation looks really appealing to me by far...


    I think for now its time to go and take some pictures of my little "project" of a minivan...i have all this empty space in it why not put it to good use.....ill post some before-starter- pics very soon.

  6. #6
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    I am the one with the flip up monitor. You can check it out by clicking on the link in my sig.

    Search the "Show off your project" forum for installs in minvans like yours. If there aren't any, check out some of the other minivan installs. You'll get some good ideas. There is one person who has a slide down cover, similar to a rolltop desk, that goes over their monitor. I think he has a minivan. From a security standpoint, hiding the screen makes it less obvious to thieves that you've got all that stuff in the car. There are several folks who have reported their screens and computers stolen.
    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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    Talking

    Hey Flava,
    For your first carputer, how expensive are you looking to go?
    If you are looking to get something working, relatively cheap, I'd recommend not going with an Opus, but rather a power inverter. An inverter would be nice to have in a van as well cause u could run other household stuff off of it. Depending on what size inverter you could run a mini fridge off it, or a microwave, or ????

    Overall, inverters are a lot cheaper than an Opus. Also, someone mentioned getting a good sound card. For my first carputer, I didn't have a nice aftermarket head unit with AUX in....so I used an FM modulator. To get sound from the carputer to the FM modulator, I just ran a headphone cable from the headphone onboard sound jack on the computer. The sound honestly wasn't bad at all.

    Just thought I'd give you a few ideas. Your initial carputer sounds like mine. I started out with an 800 MHz eMachine with stock head unit and FM modulator($20), inverter($30), and non-motorized in-dash 7" screen($120). The complete setup was cheap. From there I slowly upgraded all my stuff to where it is now - 2 years later.

    First thing I did was upgrade the machine.....it was too old and slow for Windows XP. The machine kept crashing on me too. After upgrading the machine I upgraded the screen by adding my own touchscreen kit to it. I was sick of using an IRman to control everything. From there I added many small things.....and just recently I got a nice motorized aftermarket Sony headunit with AUX in (eliminating the FM modulator).

    As I'm sure you've found out.....carputing is a passion, and once you start - you'll be adding/tweaking things for a long time. It all comes down to how much money you want to spend, and what you are looking for.

    If you have any questions about my setup or anything at all, PM me. I have a wiring diagram up at www.mobile-effects.com in the gallery for my Ford Aspire. It's always best to plan out your wiring ahead of time, because that is the most time-consuming part.
    www.mobile-effects.com

    Free file hosting, picture gallery hosting for installs, PM me.

    Internet's first Front End Skin browser, featured installs, downloads, links, informative articles - all free to registered users.

  8. #8
    Newbie nflava's Avatar
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    Sorry to take so long on the replys, buzy with work and all, i wanna take some pics of the inside of the dash so i can maybe start a little diary of the whole process as i get into it.

    SnyperBob it just so happens that i already have a power inverter and i suppose i shall give it a try i have read that it can be a little of a power loss i think because of the swiching from DC to AC then back to DC..if i am right on that lol....so i will try that and if all goes well i will work from there. My scetchy starting plan is to just remove the headunuit and put in a 7 or 8" touchscreen cause im sure it will fit nice with a little cutting and molding....

    Im not even sure what i am going to to about the soundsystem but i might go all out with a fairly decent card, not sure which one, but im hoping to setup a nice surround sound package to just add to the whole experence...anyway tim*e to run.....till next time

  9. #9
    Newbie nflava's Avatar
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    Well as you can see i am really slow at getting to things...Im a slight procastinator...But what i have been thinking lately, is a touchscreen worth the extra money if i have a TV out card that has an IR remote. I was thinking that i could just use the remote as my secondary mouse, for like jumping to the next song track, etc. I just put a bid on Ebay for a 7" Lilliput and if i win im gunna go from there, well its sunday so maybe i can go out and take some pics of my interior..A tv will defitinly fit in my dash super nice and i am sure that you will agree once you see my pics

  10. #10
    Newbie nflava's Avatar
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    Well I just won a Ebay aution for a new 2005 model Lilliput 7" TV, now its not touchscreen as i had originally hoped for but i will work around that for now, start fairly simple and then work from there....

    Well i will be back in a little, i will go and finally take some pics of my dash

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