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Thread: New To putting in a Carputer

  1. #1
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    New To putting in a Carputer

    First of all I would like to say hello to everyone as this is my first post. I wanted to ask a few questions because I have been searching the fourms and frankly I am little overwhelmed with information so I would like to thank everyone for the help in advance.

    First of all I have a 2001 VW Golf. It is pretty standard, I have a single DIN cassette player (which is what I have been using to play my ipod) and the DIN above it is empty, just used to put some things in there.

    I like my monsoon sounds system but I want to install a carputer. I would like to build on from scratch but I don't want to use a full size PC as I have seen a few of you use in the back of the car. Second, I would like to know how much will this set me back. What are some of the better touch screens out there and what is the difficulty of putting them in. I am looking into spacing this project of the summer (only taking on class over summer at uni gives me plenty of time). Also what type of PC should I put in there, I was thinking more along the lines of a 64 bit PC with 768 megs of ram 80 gigs of hard drive space and a GPS receiver (anyone have an idea of how much a GPS reciever will cost).

    EDIT: One more thing, how would I go about running say windows. Wouldn't everytime I start the car I would have to boot into windows or is there a way away around that.
    Thanks again for all the help and advice, I really can't wait to start so I will kepp you all up to date.

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Everything you want to do has already been done and discussed numerous times.
    Check out the FAQ Emporium. There's lots of useful information there and is an excellent guide. Also search the forums for MONSOON, as there are a number of threads dealing with integrating into that audio hardware.

    Welcome to our money-sucking hobby.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot I am reading the FAQ right now and I want to whip out the debt card right now and start ordering.

  4. #4
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    umm - I'd hold off on that there buckaroo

    wait a bit and read more before purchasing....always



    after reading for only two days, I can promise you don't have it all down pat...lol
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperKK
    First of all I have a 2001 VW Golf. It is pretty standard, I have a single DIN cassette player (which is what I have been using to play my ipod) and the DIN above it is empty, just used to put some things in there.

    I like my monsoon sounds system but I want to install a carputer. I would like to build on from scratch but I don't want to use a full size PC as I have seen a few of you use in the back of the car. Second, I would like to know how much will this set me back. What are some of the better touch screens out there and what is the difficulty of putting them in. I am looking into spacing this project of the summer (only taking on class over summer at uni gives me plenty of time). Also what type of PC should I put in there, I was thinking more along the lines of a 64 bit PC with 768 megs of ram 80 gigs of hard drive space and a GPS receiver (anyone have an idea of how much a GPS reciever will cost).

    EDIT: One more thing, how would I go about running say windows. Wouldn't everytime I start the car I would have to boot into windows or is there a way away around that.
    Thanks again for all the help and advice, I really can't wait to start so I will kepp you all up to date.
    Welcome to the club. As the others have said, everything you need to know to do what you've mentioned is in the FAQ section. Since I'm bored I thought I might help you out a little bit.

    The main issue I can foresee with your idea is powering the thing. There are 2 main ways people have powered carputers. Inverters and DC-DC power supplies. I'll let the FAQ's fill in the details, but for the most part, inverters require a more complicated arrangement (usually requiring a separate shutdown controller), create more heat (because you're converting the car's DC electricity to AC, then using the computer's power regulator to switch back to and regulate in DC), and are less efficient. DC-DC supplies such as the famous OPUS line avoid converting into and out of AC and often have shutdown controllers built in, but have power limitations which may or may not be a factor for a faster motherboard and as your system grows with various peripherals.

    You also asked about how boot-up works. This is also an area of much debate, but I will give you an overview of your options.
    1. The first is to have the carputer go into standby instead of doing a full shutdown. The obvious advantage being that you can get the system running pretty quickly once you turn the key to start the car. This is how I run my system. What you should know is that leaving a computer in standby WILL put a drain on your battery. How much, and for how long you can leave it before being unable to crank the engine is a heavily-debated issue. All I will say is that I have personally left my carputer on for about a week and still started the car. I noticed a little sluggishness to the crank, but that went away by the next time I started her up. In combination with using standby, I will also recommend you do a full shut-down when leaving for longer periods of time. For me, this seemed a simple way of addressing the problem. But you should take the time to explore options and carve your own path.
    2. The second option is going into hibernation. This is obviously a bit slower, but retains your state of things for when you get going again. I believe the theory is that it draws less power than standby, but as I have no firsthand knowledge of this, I'll leave it to the FAQ for you if you're interested.
    3. Full shutdown. A lot of people fear leaving their carputer trickle-draining their car's battery. Their solution is a full shutdown (and a few other tricks to prevent USB devices from suckling at the power teet as well). The obvious drawback is that a standard windows boot-up sequence is painfully slow compared to a typical car audio solution. Again, I dont know much about it, but I hear people talking about nlite-ing their windows to remove unncessary components, and hence speeding things up. Also, people talk about installing their windows to a solid-state memory device such as a flash drive or a compact flash card. These options seemed too complicated for me, so you'll have to get more info elsewhere.

    As for monitors, I will personally say you should stay the hell away from lilliput. I got one and it was constantly blanking out on me at random times. The Xenarc I bought to replace has yet to have any issues. You're fortunate to have a double-din space. Getting the monitor in there clean is always a trick. I dont know whether anyone makes a standard mount for a VW, but I doubt it. You'll have to search for that on your own. I've heard mixed reviews of the single-din retractable models, so venture warily.

    Other than that, you asked about prices, the mp3car store has been good to me. Their prices are good, delivery is quick, and they obviously have the best support group out there (these forums).

    Best of luck to you, keep posting in this thread and others will help you. You'll probably get some people who yell at you to search your *** off, and it's good advice. Red is absolutely right in saying that everything you could ever think of has been tried, scrutinized, and posted about.
    A car without turbo is a car with perpetual lag.

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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice so far, I spent a good part of yesterday reading these forums and I am planing to spend the rest of this month reading as much as I can and making a list of things I need to buy and get then and then after I return home in July I will start working on it.

  7. #7
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    sweeet!

    finally, a n00b that is smart!

    welcome to the board, I'm sure you will enjoy your stay...

    muahahahahaha

    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  8. #8
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    Thanks, so far I am looking into computers, I have built many in the past before, but the main thing that I am trying to figure out now I am going to wire it up, I saw plenty of wiring diagrams but actually running through the car I seem to be a little lost of how I am going from the battery and finally end up in the trunk.

  9. #9
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    You just need a wire long enough to reach. Make certain the AWG is enough to provide the necessary amperage.
    There's been a number of posts on AWG (American Wire Gauge) and resistance. over long runs. I'd look into that to make certain you get cable that won't drop the available power below the level needed for your setup over the length of the run. For most vehicles, it's probably 10-15ft, and probably a non-issue.
    Better safe than sorry, I think.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  10. #10
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    IMO - find out what size you need, and go one bigger...that way, in the furture, when you add more, you won't have to worry about it.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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