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Thread: making an existing PC into a carPC

  1. #1
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    making an existing PC into a carPC

    Hi guys,

    I am new so please forgive me if I come across uneducated!! :-)

    I am looking to buy a PC (http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/Produ...?ProductID=432) and was wondering if you think it's good to convert into a car pc. I don't exactly know what i'd have to do to make this into a car pc but I do know that I'd like this to turn on and off with the car and also be able to use it as a normal pc for home use. What would I need to change in this machine if I wanted to achieve this?

    I appreciate any help

    kind regards

    Mitesh

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitesh114
    I am new so please forgive me if I come across uneducated!! :-)
    Uneducated isn't bad. Not doing anything about it is!

    I am looking to buy a PC (http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/Produ...?ProductID=432) and was wondering if you think it's good to convert into a car pc. I don't exactly know what i'd have to do to make this into a car pc but I do know that I'd like this to turn on and off with the car and also be able to use it as a normal pc for home use. What would I need to change in this machine if I wanted to achieve this?
    Any PC can be used in a vehicle. Obviously, a desktop PC with a larger monitor would be very inconvenient. The one in your link is more than sufficient.

    To pull off what you want, you need a 12v DC-DC power supply and a shutdown controller. The Opus products do this with an all-in-one unit. The M1ATX will also work and also has the shutdown controller. There are also other DC-DC power options or you could use a cheap inverter, but you'd need to purchase a seperate shutdown controller. Inverters are also inefficient and tend to generate more noise, which sucks for audio quality.
    You'll probably also want a smaller screen that's more suited for the tight confines of a vehicle. The store here sells several models from Xenarc and Lilliput, with or without touchscreens.

    I suggest going to the FAQ Emporium forum here and start reading. It's got most, if not all, of the information about what you want to accomplish.
    Also look at the Show Off Your Project forum. Lots of people post pictures of their installations. It's a great source of ideas.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate neon_eddy's Avatar
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    I would like to point out that the m1-ATX is also an all-in-one solution.. as I have no seperate shutdown controller and mine does so gracefully using the m1-atx.

    must be an opus fanboy :-) (no offense just keeping everyone honest)

    but yeah we welcome you, and good luck.
    Shawn



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  4. #4
    FLAC IntellaWorks's Avatar
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    Sorry to thread jack t but I love the "Opus Fanboy" comment.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    put a pc on your bike...BANG instant bikeputer.... put a pc in your hat...BANG instant hatputer.... put a pc in your car....BANG instant carputer

    the trick is not what you have to change to make it a carputer, just putting it in the car does that.... the trick is what you have to do to SUPPORT the use in the car..... power & user interface has to be determined...along with physical installation of all components....., other than that a desktop IS a carputer, it just may not know it yet

  6. #6
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    thanks for all your comments i really appreciate that. So if I use the opus or the M1ATX psu's, how would I still be able to use the pc for home use...see...i need to buy one which my girlfriend can use and then put it in my car when she isn't using it (to be honest it'll be in the car most the time but does need to be able to be used as a home pc too)!! thanks again guys!!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    if you want to be able to use it the way you say, I'd strongly recomend you reconsider by using a laptop instead..... easy dock in the car config. easy take out & use it home....

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    cheers guys...your help has been tremendously helpful!! one thing I HAVE to ask cos I just don't at all understand it is what's the difference in the different power supplies??

    for eg. Opus do a 90W 12v DC-DC pcb module and an open frame model and also do a 150W 12v dc-dc module. What is the difference? which one would i have to go for? this is where I get a little confused.

    thanks again!

  9. #9
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    TurboCad6! that's what I don't understand though...again sorry for sounding a little dopy! If I install the power supply for the car then does that mean i have to install the normal one back everytime I wnat to take it out of the car?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    if you must have dual usage, again GO LAPTOP!!! it's a no brainer really.... use a laptop with a docking station in the car..... a car adaptor will supply power, then the cord supply for the lappy can be left at home.....

    desktops can work, but you might want to just use an inverter if you need dual capabilitys..... dc/dc supplies are better suited for permanent installs

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