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Thread: New beetle Car-puter?

  1. #1
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    New beetle Car-puter?

    I have a laptop i run in may car to help with the fueling and timing and datalogging via Vag-Com and LemmiWinks. I also use this lap top to view AF, temp and EGT gauges. Im sick of having to look down to the passenger seat at WOT just to see what the car is doing. I've decided to get a small 7-8 inch VGA monitor to run ont he dash. I would like to keep the laptop in the trunk and just run an extended VGA cable to it, and run the serial cable for the hex-com all the way back there to. Also sometimes my laptop battery only lasts about 1.5 hours. How can i power it in the trunk?

    I also someitmes listen to MP3's from the lappy VIA an FM modulator. the sound is good half the time sometimes i get a crazy bad hum. The modulator is powerd by a 12 volt source and sometimes i Use a small power inverter that plugs into a 12 volt plug. I belive its just interference from this.
    I small inverter i have now power cycles like crazy and bareley keep the LCD lit on the lappy so i dont use it that often.

    If i get a wireless mouse and keyboard will the signal make it back to the laptop?

    Should i mount the lappy any certain way.

    Any certain inverter size (watts) i shoud look for.

    If the car is off does the inverter still run?

    I can just set the lappy to hibernate after about 20 minutes of inactivity.

    anything else i will need to get this thing running?

    Thanks in advance

    Tris

  2. #2
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    Mmmmmm...Vag-com cable......

    I've got an install in my New Beetle. Check my sig for a link to the web site of the old install. My new install isn't yet on the site, but the sig takes you to the worklog. It's up and running now.

    1. To power your system, there is a cigarette lighter plug in the rear hatch area. Forget an inverter. Get a DC converter for the laptop with a cigarette plug on it and use that.

    2. You'll need to come up with a way to turn the laptop on and off as that plug is powered even when the car is off. You can use a shut down controller (available at the mp3car store) but will have to mod the laptop to accept the input. The FAQ Emporium has discussions on laptop vs. desktop and may be helpful here.

    3. My old install was in the hatch area and had a Gyration wireless keyboard and mouse back there. Reception was spotty with the keyboard usually working but the mouse not. I moved the receiver to the front and it worked fine. Bluetooth may have better range.

    4. Mounting. Consider getting a dock for the laptop and mounting it underneath the rear parcel shelf. That will allow you to slide the laptop in and you can also tap into the dock's power button to signal the laptop to turn off.

    5. Audio. I cut the CD changer cable in the rear hatch area and wired it to the PC. It carries the audio right up to the front where the head unit is. I had to replace the VW Monsoon stereo. However, there is a device that is undergoing beta testing that I think will allow you to plug your PC USB into the CD changer cable and it will respond to command sent from the HU by pretending to be the CD changer. It is here..

    6. The VAG-com circuitry is powered by the OBDII port, I believe. That means if you leave it plugged in, it will draw power even when the car is off and could eventually run your battery down. You can fix this by putting a relay in line to shut off the voltage when the car is off, but you have to be willing to cut one of the lines going to the OBDII port.
    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

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice. I dont use Vag-coms cable that comes with the bundle. I got a Hex-com cable (essantially the same thing, but about 200 dollars cheaper.) Could I run a switch from the rear cig lighter to the front so when i switch it on the cig lighters gets power?

    Where can i score a dc plug for my laptop its an HP pavillion ZE series?

    HOw do you power the monitor?

    The vag com dongle cable doesnt draw any power it self, does it?
    Ive re-routed the obd-ii port so i can run the cable without it hitting my feet when im driving.
    Also i looked over you work, and its awesome, but you shoulda gone with the turbo.

    I've been modding the engine on mine for about 6 months and its just a blast to drive.

    I'm running about 22 psi via a diode mod and a MBC

    Custom downpipe
    custom intake
    custom exhaust
    Lemmiwinks for fuel and timing tuning
    Vag-com to take care of thsoe pesky CEL's
    Vag-com for datalogging
    Bk7re plugs
    hahn race craft FMIC

    Fun stuff so far now to just mess with the inside.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighBoostBug
    Could I run a switch from the rear cig lighter to the front so when i switch it on the cig lighters gets power?
    You can but it won't make your laptop turn on.

    Where can i score a dc plug for my laptop its an HP pavillion ZE series?
    Don't know. Try Ebay or Google.

    HOw do you power the monitor?
    It's 12 volt. You can tap in anywhere. I chose to run mine off of the computer's PSU to keep it safe from voltage spikes.

    The vag com dongle cable doesnt draw any power it self, does it?
    Ive re-routed the obd-ii port so i can run the cable without it hitting my feet when im driving.
    I think it does.

    Also i looked over you work, and its awesome, but you shoulda gone with the turbo.
    I should have bought a 350Z but you take what's available when it's there.
    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

  5. #5
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    well if the Hex-com dongle draws power i havent noticed. Its been hooked up for about a month. If its drawing power then its not drawing much.
    And with the computer as long as its in hibernation mode it does'nt draw any power rite?
    I dont think i want to hack into the harness for the changer. have you ever heard of blitzsafe? It hooks into the cd changer plug and allows you to plug the other end into a MP3 headphone jack and play it thru the OE HU. Wonder if that would be better then running my fm MOD?

  6. #6
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    Yes, blitzsafe would be better. The link I gave you is a similar product.

    Hibernate draws a very, very, very small amount of power to monitor if the power button is pushed. Otherwise, no.
    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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