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Thread: Carputer confusion- n00b needing help

  1. #1
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    Carputer confusion- n00b needing help

    I have thought about putting a carputer in my Landcrusier, well I started reading about them and that is where the confusion began. My main concern is that I will buy the incompatible items or that they will not do what I want them to do. I have done some research and even tried to call the few places out there that sell the items and no one has returned the calls or emails. One problem is that I am in Australia and all the car and audio installation people are asking for wiring diagrams. I would do this myself but I have NO IDEA how to wire things to my car, I prefer to have a professional do it. As far as building the computer I have no problems as I built my home computer myself, so that is not an issue it's just connecting it CORRECTLY to my SUV.

    Now for the main issues: I want Sat Nav, Wireless internet connection (@hotspots), possibly to start my carputer when I turn the alarm off and turn it off when I turn the alarm on (I have read that if you don't get complete power disconnection you can have a dead battery). I would like to play my iTunes through the carputer and dvd's along with some other programs possibly.

    Now as far as the carputer itself I am totally open to all possibilities but I have been told the power supply is very important. The screen I have been looking at is a Lilliput double din touch screen ( as this would replace my standard radio )

    I am concerned because I am not able to get a reply from any retailers that if I order online I may not receive my order than I lose that money and I can't talk to them so I have no recourse. I would also like ot know if it is possible to run bluetooth through a carputer for my phone.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate Jfive96's Avatar
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    - -I am in the same boat. Any help on this one?- -

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
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    Easy question first - bluetooth through phone - yes, very easy, just get a bluetooth dongle. Just make sure it's a v2 one.

    Now, on to the other issues. Search this forum for other people with LandCruiser installs. You're bound to find some. Since you don't have any of the hardware and have some specific software ideas (itunes and play dvs) go look at the frontends. You can download them and run them on your home pc. You'll get an idea quickly of the frontend (and skin) you like, and then you'll spend another 3 months perfecting it while you're assembling the pieces and wiring up your car (or getting someone to do it).

    As for the wiring, I'd say to pick a location for your computer and have a stereo shop run a big wire (4ga, direct from battery with a fuse about a foot from the battery) to where you want to put the computer, and a small wire from either the acc (accessory) of the car or the acc of the head unit (if you're going to keep it). Depending on your specific needs, you might want to get them to run a lower gauge (8ga maybe?) wire from the battery (fused in the same manner) to where you want the touchscreen. Lastly run an acc connection to the touchscreen. Also have them run grounds from close by too. Now you've got power where you need it.

    After than, audio is all about running the correct cable from your PC to the head unit.

    The biggest part of most projects in the dash mod to mold the screen into it, trying to make it look as factory and unobtrusive as possible. Good luck!

  4. #4
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    This is where I start to get lost what is a "frontend"? One of the reasons I chose the Lilliput screen is because it will fit perfectly into where my factory stereo is.

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate LagunaICE's Avatar
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    how about start reading some FAQs firts?
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/the-faq-emporium/

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate SAScooby's Avatar
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    a front end is exactly that a front end view into your carputers capabilities
    its touch screen friendly
    easy to use (well most are)
    fairly simple to setup
    controls most of your peripheral hardware and software - gps for satnav / dvd playing / mame emulation / obd integration and more

    as to wiring, you really need worry about three wires
    negative / ground / earth

    then

    permanent positive - must be fused near the battery

    then

    ign controlled positive - ideally fused properly as well

    get that sorted and you are away
    Nano ITX / 512 MB / 60 GB / Panasonic slot load / M1-ATX / Bu303 / Sound blaster 24 / PPi amps / rockford sub

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
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    A frontend is the software you run on the carpc. Typically people put the largest touchscreen they can in the dash somewhere to control it. Others put a regular small lcd panel and control it with a mouse or keyboard or their phone. If you are prepared to go "whole hog," then by all means you can remove the head unit, replacing it completely with a touchscreen. The one thing you won't be able to replace it AM radio (at least at this point), but you can compensate for everything else with the computer and amplifiers.

  8. #8
    tja
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    TM, where abouts in aus are u, im in sydney.

    u say u want it starting up when u turn the alarm off and vice versa, but id just keep it simple to start with. just get the basics going and then add more in depth functionality later - especially if its ur first car pc.

    so far as powering the carpc, u have 2 options... 1) dedicated dc-dc power supply, such as Opus150 or M2ATX. these also control the starting up and shutting down of ur pc.

    option 2) is a DC-AC inverter then running an normal ATX powersupply. u also need to add a startup/shutdown controller.

    WIFI/SAT NAV is pretty straighforward. just purchase the hardware and choose ur software.

    do A LOT of reading around here.

    Tim.
    2005 Nissan Xtrail
    DFI 855GME-MGF - Celeron M 1.4GHz - 256Mb RAM - 200Gb SATA HDD - OPUS 150w - Xenarc 700TSV

    worklog

  9. #9
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    I in Melbourne, as far as keeping it simple that's fine, but the main issue I am afraid of is that I will keep it simple then find out I have bought the wrong stuff to do what I want to do. As far as reading in here I do that but the confusion is still there so the reading isn't helping. I think it would just be better for me to ask the questions and hopefully someone will answer it. Someone gave me a basic run through which is great but if you don't know where to look you will never find it.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate
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    if you start your reading in the FAQ section, hopefully you will understand most of it. the problem you will have with asking lots of questions is that many are asked on nearly a daily basis, and people get sick of answering the same thing over and over. doing a couple of searches will find the same questions you have asked, and hopefully the answeres there too!

    as for front ends, go to the software section and then front ends, download a couple and have a play on your home computer, I found they give a great idea of how things will work in your car.

    you really do have to do a lot of reading on these forums before you jump straight in there!

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