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Thread: Newbie here! CarPC checklist help

  1. #1
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    Newbie here! CarPC checklist help

    Hey everyone! I'm a little green around the gills when it comes to building computers/fiberglassing/etc. but I want to try my hand at a CarPC. I've been perusing the forums for a few weeks, and I think I've got the basics down. From what I've seen, I think I'll be trying this set-up:

    M10000 mini-ITX motherboard
    512MB PC2700 RAM
    OPUS 120W shutdown controller
    XENARC 7" touchscreen
    Panasonic Slot-load slim DVD/CDRW drive

    Will this be a good set-up? Are there any vital pieces that I'm missing? The OPUS acts as a power supply, right? I'm going to be using this (eventually) for MP3, DVD, GPS, and bluetooth connectivity, possibly with OBDII interface later on down the road.

    My truck is a 2001 Ford Ranger with a manual transmission, so I'm trying to think of a good place to put a headunit. I know it's possible to run without a headunit, but what would I need to do that? What are the pros and cons? I don't have any upgraded stereo equipment, so everything is stock.

    Thanks in advance for all your help! I'm really looking forward to getting this CarPC started!

  2. #2
    FLAC edrex's Avatar
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    That looks like a good start to your setup. You are missing a GPS antenna/software, Bluetooth dongle, and wiring. You'll probably need a USB case for the slotload DVD player also. I think they have them in the MP3Car store. And you'll need an OS.

    Headunit vs. No Headunit:
    You need to decide if you can handle everything through the PC, or if you want the ease of still having a headunit to play CD's and listen to the radio and have the PC for when you want MP3's and movies.
    To keep running with your headunit you will need to check and see if it has some sort of aux in that you can run music too. If not, you would need to either buy an aftermarket one that has this, or use an FM modulator (not reccomended).
    To get rid of you headunit, you would need to buy an amp. Once you get an amp you may as well get some aftermarket speakers because stock ones tend to run off such low wattage that they won't sound good running off an amp. Once you have an amp and speakers, you just run a line from the Sound output of the PC setup to the input on the amp.
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    CarPC Progress[!!!!!!!!!!!!!!].....Installation[---------+].....Pastrami Progress[!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
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  3. #3
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    Oh yes the GPS and bluetooth stuff I was planning on getting later. This is I guess my "rough draft" PC, just to get it up and functioning. I've got a copy of XP professional, and then I guess I get a "frontend" program also? Which program do y'all use? I guess I'm just trying to gather opinions on those.

    I hadn't thought about radio, even though I listen to it so much! I guess I will have to try and find a good place to put the headunit then (or try a remote faceplate? This is getting complicated! = P ).

    And you had mentioned a USB case for the dvd drive... is that just like a little adapter that allows the drive to work through a USB cable instead of an IDE/serial cable? (Not sure which it's called, but that flat ribbon cable).

    Also, I guess I forgot a hard drive too. Anyone have a personal favorite? I think probably about 40-60gigs will work pretty well for me.

    EDIT: And from what I understand, the M1000 mobo runs pretty cool also. Will I need anything more in the way of fans/etc? It gets pretty hot here in Texas, I don't want any of my stuff to fry!

  4. #4
    FLAC edrex's Avatar
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    Frontends: Go through the software section and download a few. Play with them on your home PC and see which one has a good feel for you. I use Roadrunner, and sometimes Frodoplayer.

    Going without a headunit doesn't mean you'll be without FM... you can buy a card that will pick up FM signals and play through the PC. Most of the frontends support them too. You also have the option of adding XM. I did this and I'm very pleased with it. Lots of stations, and when you look at the list of stations it tells you what song is playing so you don't have to scan every station for songs you like. Well worth $11/month in my opinion.

    USB enclosure is something like this: http://www.meritline.com/ultra-slim-...cessories.html. Thats just the first one google popped up, there are a few options out there. Search on this forum for USB enclosure and you'll find lots of info.
    Hard Drive: My logic says go big and you won't have to upgrade for a long time... I had 40GB of music and 120GB of movies on my home computer already. So I got a Seagate 200GB hard drive for my carPC. I transferred a ton of files to it already and have plenty of room to add more. And it was only $109 from Newegg. Probably cheaper now too.
    Spent so far: $1,755
    Check Out My Work Log for Specs/Pics
    CarPC Progress[!!!!!!!!!!!!!!].....Installation[---------+].....Pastrami Progress[!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
    Don't mess with Texas.
    It's not nice to pick on retards!

  5. #5
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    You'll need a USB hub for connecting all your stuff unless you plan on plugging it all in back on the mobo itself. The M10000 comes with 2 USB ports and a header that allows you to plug in 2 more and firewire. My kit came with the actual cords and mounts for the additional ports.

    Now, add up the cost of your kit so far and add another $100 for cables, wire, connectors, heat shrink tubing and the like. You're all set!
    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

  6. #6
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    Bugbyte what exactly is this header you're talking about? Do you have any pictures of it? I guess it's similar to like a PCI slot where I can plug in extra ports?

  7. #7
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    It's in the online manual, chapter 2.
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    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

  8. #8
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    Oh ok I think I understand it now. Thanks a ton! Hopefully I can start ordering parts soon! = D

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