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Thread: Help selecting Carputer and accessories

  1. #1
    Newbie KnightMare's Avatar
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    Help selecting Carputer and accessories

    I was looking in the mp3car.com store and seen different carputers they sell and see no reviews for them. What I would like is some help deciding on which carputer and which accessories to get for what I am planning to do.

    I am installing this in my Avalanche and it will be out-of-site. I would like to have a decent boot-up time since I usually remote start my vehicle a few minutes before I get into it anyway. I decided on getting a touch screen monitor and is going to fiberglass it in my dash. Also am going to get at the most 4 more non-touch screen monitors to place in my vehicle. I was wondering what program I could use to have independent visualizations from where I want my touchscreen to have all the controls displayed and the other screen to show whatever I choose. I would like to have some USB inputs so I can dock things like my PSP or MP3 jukebox. I've been looking around the forum and is thinking of going with the frodo player for a front end player.

    I currently have a 4-channel amplifier for my speakers, a mono amplifier for my subs and a kenwood head unit. If I can get rid of my kenwood, that would be more money for me to spend.

    All input is welcomed.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    you won't need the head unit as your computer can output audio signals straight to your amps (with the right cables)

    p.s. those avalanches are NICE!
    i was in a test drive of one in LA last year

  3. #3
    Newbie ScubaX's Avatar
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    To get rid of you head unit and if you still want am/fm your going to need a card in you PC for that. Pluse if you want individual displays for each monitor - 5 total your going to need a Quad display card plus the onboard video. And they may not work as well together as getting two cards or one 8 output video card. These multidisplay cards are very expensive too at $500 for a quad and $800 for an 8 output. Those prices I found on a quick google search so YPMV.

    So, to put three PCI cards in your system, 2 mulit head display and 1 radio card your not going to get away with a standard car PC. You will need a PC with 3 pci slots (two if you go with an 8 output card) plus all the power your going to need to run these will probably put you into using an inverter system.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate FociMan's Avatar
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    Have a look on ebay for quad display cards. You can pick them up for very little dosh. I picked up a quad S3 card for 15 a couple of months ago, it's not up to much in terms of high end graphics, but it would easily cope with 4 x 800x600 displays. It is rather huge though, so as ScubaX pointed out, you're not going to be able to get away with a normal carputer in a small case.
    FociMan

    Ford Focus Collection
    EPIA M10K / 512Kb / Creative Audigy NX USB
    8" touchscreen
    D-Link USB Radio
    USB GPS Mouse
    Bluetooth GPRS Web Connection
    Centrafuse Beta2 / MapMonkey

  5. #5
    Newbie KnightMare's Avatar
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    I just wanted on my screen to have the controlls and the other screens to have the visualization on them; like if I was using the frodo player, the other monitors will display visualization box where you view video and such.

  6. #6
    Newbie techboj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightMare
    I was looking in the mp3car.com store and seen different carputers they sell and see no reviews for them. What I would like is some help deciding on which carputer and which accessories to get for what I am planning to do.

    I am installing this in my Avalanche and it will be out-of-site. I would like to have a decent boot-up time since I usually remote start my vehicle a few minutes before I get into it anyway. I decided on getting a touch screen monitor and is going to fiberglass it in my dash. Also am going to get at the most 4 more non-touch screen monitors to place in my vehicle. I was wondering what program I could use to have independent visualizations from where I want my touchscreen to have all the controls displayed and the other screen to show whatever I choose. I would like to have some USB inputs so I can dock things like my PSP or MP3 jukebox. I've been looking around the forum and is thinking of going with the frodo player for a front end player.

    I currently have a 4-channel amplifier for my speakers, a mono amplifier for my subs and a kenwood head unit. If I can get rid of my kenwood, that would be more money for me to spend.

    All input is welcomed.

    It will probably depend on what kind of monitor you would want for the other displays. If you are going hi-res, hence vga screens then you have a couple of options. One method is that described already by other posters; Nvidia and ATi-based display cards have different ways of "cloning" video. Nvidia cards can usually send different displays to different screens. ATi cards would usually be capable of duplicating and displaying same content on different monitors. I have an old Ti4200 on a pc with vga+dvi+rca out and I have it setup so I have 3 separate displays on 4 monitors and a tv. (Why only 3? = one for main screen, I have the dvi on a splitter and I have the display spanned on two lcd screens. This means I have a desktop stretched between 2 monitors and a 4th monitor which is actually a tv screen displaying video). On another computer, I have a ATi all in wonder and it can do multiple vga monitor + 1 tv out all running at the same time. Since you mentioned non-ts screens and are intending on just using them for other inputs - then why not just get composite screens? (I do not really advise using low-res composites but it depends on your application).

    VGa splitters for multiple monitors are also available. See http://www.kvm-switches-online.com/vs134.html. But this would only give you cloned images on all screens simultaneously.

    Similar splitters are available for composite/rca out. If you are getting either, I would suggest getting a unit with a video booster. One problem though is that you have to provide external power to these splitters for them to work. (possibly an inverter)

    As for USB docking, wouldn't this be a function of the computer itself? PSP does have USB but I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) nobody has cracked the psp and enabled it to display video out yet.

    For audio, I would say dump the head unit and get good clean output from your existing soundcard or a separate add-on card like SB audigy and feed it to the amps. For radio tuning, an AIW card should provide you FM capabilities too (although it's mono only and really subpar compared to real car tuners).

    Bottomline, it depends on how you want it done, any compromises that you are willing to take, and what your budget is. good luck
    Carputer revision !! (arghh - getting costlier than originally expected )
    Vehicle 1: P4-2.4/PM800-M2/512MB/160GB/WLan/dual battery/Xantrex400/700IDT
    Vehicle 2: AMD-XP2500/A7V400 MX/512/120GB//WLan/Xantrex400/700TS

  7. #7
    Newbie ScubaX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightMare
    I just wanted on my screen to have the controlls and the other screens to have the visualization on them; like if I was using the frodo player, the other monitors will display visualization box where you view video and such.
    Then one dual head card from either ATI or nVidia would POSSIBLY do it. You would set up a stretched display from display 1 to display 2. Then split display 2 to three displays. The Frodoplayer on display 1. Now here is the tricky part because I have not used these front ends and don't know how they display. When I use visualizations from my PC player Musicmatch I can move it to display 2 and it does not show on display 1. But when I do a screen saver, it mirrors it onto both displays. So if you can move the visualization to display 2, then the other 3 would see it but not display 1. If you can mirror the visualization and not the TC, you would see it on all 4.

    Did this make sense?

  8. #8
    Newbie KnightMare's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. I'll look up some dual head video cards tomorrow.

  9. #9
    Newbie KnightMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaX
    Then one dual head card from either ATI or nVidia would POSSIBLY do it. You would set up a stretched display from display 1 to display 2. Then split display 2 to three displays. The Frodoplayer on display 1. Now here is the tricky part because I have not used these front ends and don't know how they display. When I use visualizations from my PC player Musicmatch I can move it to display 2 and it does not show on display 1. But when I do a screen saver, it mirrors it onto both displays. So if you can move the visualization to display 2, then the other 3 would see it but not display 1. If you can mirror the visualization and not the TC, you would see it on all 4.

    Did this make sense?
    Do you know which ATI card does that?

  10. #10
    Newbie techboj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightMare
    Do you know which ATI card does that?
    Most current ATI cards would be capable of doing that. It's usually a function of the driver. Even an entry level ATI or "powered by ATI" (powercolor, connect 3d, visiontek, etc) video card should work -- possibly based on a 9250 and up would be dualhead - depending on the manufacturer.

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