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Thread: New member, new project

  1. #1
    Newbie drwprtcht's Avatar
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    New member, new project

    Hey everyone

    I'm new here (first post!) so I thought I would let you guys know what I'm trying to accomplish here. I know how to build a home PC but I am totally new to the car PC scene...so if you would like to correct me anywhere I make wrong assumptions or anything then please be my guest!

    So first thing is first I guess, I have a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited that I plan on installing a carputer in.


    For the touchscreen part of the PC, I would like to do pretty much exactly what this guy did. I like what he did because he did minimal dash cutting (something I'm trying to avoid) and because it looks good, also.

    As for the actual carputer components, I have some computer parts that I am planning on taking out of my home computer and using for the carputer.

    So far I have:

    A 7,200 RPM 40GB desktop computer HD
    1GB of DDR RAM
    Some OLD generic Nvidia graphics card
    An Intel (I think) 800Mhz processor

    So I have a few questions:

    - I have read that it is best to use a notebook HD in a vehicle due to the excessive bumpiness (?) of a car. What if I used a regular 7,200 RPM 40GB HD in the carputer instead of a smaller notebook HD?
    - My Jeep has an Infinity Gold sound system in it...will I need to replace ANY part of the sound system? I would like to keep the sound system as stock as possible (for now, until after I finish the computer project).

    So if you have any ideas, suggestions, answers, or anything...then please be my guest and share!

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    I use a 7200rpm 3.5" HD because they are cheaper and faster. There is a huge thread that goes back and forth between "Use 2.5"", "No, use 3.5"", "No use 2.5"", "No, use...", and then the same thing with vertical vs. horizontal mounting. So basically nobody knows. Obviously laptop HD are more resilliant, but the chance of them failing is about equal in my experience. Laptop use less power, but are slower and more expensive. Desktops are power hungry, but cost effective and fast.

    As for the sound system, basically behind your stock HU, should be either wires to your speakers, or wires to your stock amp (if there is one). That's what I am unsure of. Basically, the signal that comes from your computer is very low. You need to amplify it. If you have no stock amp, then you must purchase one. You can get a real cheap like 200w amp, and it will work. Make sure it is 4channel if you want front/rear and right/left. That will be the only thing you need to add. My amp cost me $35 shipped from eBay. It's not going to win any sound competitions, but it sounds beautiful to me! If you do have a stock amp, then just direct wire the PC to the sound wires going to the amp.

    Good Luck!
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    Hey Im as much of a noob as you are, so Ill be keeping watch on your project..

    I think the 7,200 RPM Desktop HDD will need too much power and you might have to get a stronger PSU..you should definately read up on thar..

    Also I dont think you need a video card, I think most mobos suitable for this come with on-board video..again..correct me if I am wrong.

    As far as the sound system, you will somehow want your computer to link up to the sound system ..to listen to mp3s or watch movies..right?? so im sure there will be need to do some rewiring..

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MastaShake View Post
    I think the 7,200 RPM Desktop HDD will need too much power and you might have to get a stronger PSU..you should definately read up on that
    7200's don't take too much power. A M2-ATX with epia boards works just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by MastaShake View Post
    Also I dont think you need a video card, I think most mobos suitable for this come with on-board video..again..correct me if I am wrong.
    That is correct that onboard video is just fine for a CarPC. But not all boards have it, so it may be neccessary depending on his setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by MastaShake View Post
    As far as the sound system, you will somehow want your computer to link up to the sound system ..to listen to mp3s or watch movies..right?? so im sure there will be need to do some rewiring..
    A sound card outputs an analog sound signal. Only thing is that it is "low-level" and through an 1/8" stereo jack. So 1 jack carries 2 channels of audio. So for 4 channel sound, you need 2 jacks, ie the green and blue out. And most motherboards have this on board. If you wish to add a sub, then most boards have the ability to software convert the microphone, to a mono-out. So a 5th channel for your sub.

    Just get some 1/8" jack to RCA converters (can get at radioshack for like $2 each, and you will need 2 for 4 channels) and then you have sound coming out of 4 RCA jacks. A front left, front right, rear left, and rear right. Plug that into your amp, and from your amp to your speakers.

    Re-read what I posted earlier about whether or not you have a stock amp. I don't know much about what sound system you have.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  5. #5
    Newbie drwprtcht's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    A sound card outputs an analog sound signal. Only thing is that it is "low-level" and through an 1/8" stereo jack. So 1 jack carries 2 channels of audio. So for 4 channel sound, you need 2 jacks, ie the green and blue out. And most motherboards have this on board. If you wish to add a sub, then most boards have the ability to software convert the microphone, to a mono-out. So a 5th channel for your sub.

    Just get some 1/8" jack to RCA converters (can get at radioshack for like $2 each, and you will need 2 for 4 channels) and then you have sound coming out of 4 RCA jacks. A front left, front right, rear left, and rear right. Plug that into your amp, and from your amp to your speakers.

    Re-read what I posted earlier about whether or not you have a stock amp. I don't know much about what sound system you have.
    Thanks for the help here...apparently I have ALOT of reading and learning to do because I don't understand half of what you just said. But I'll definately be referring to this.

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Here's some resources (if you haven't located them already) to get you started and point you in the direction of the information you need:

    Newbie FAQ

    FAQ to the FAQs

    FAQ Emporium (A forum of nothing but informational threads)
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  7. #7
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwprtcht View Post
    Thanks for the help here...apparently I have ALOT of reading and learning to do because I don't understand half of what you just said. But I'll definately be referring to this.

    Thanks again
    No problem for the help. As for more reading DP has steered you in the right direction.

    I'll try to explain a bit better though...

    Ok look at the picture below:


    Do you see the ports on the far right? one column, three rows. Red, Blue, Green, which are microphone, line-out 2, and line-out 1 respectively. The red one is 1 channel a.k.a. "mono". It is usually a line-in, such as for a microphone. However, there is usually software that comes with the motherboard that will allow you to convert it into a third line-out, however it will only be mono. So useful for a sub. Both the blue and green have 2 channels so "stereo" sound. So these usually give the main audio signals.

    Now those ports are 1/8" stereo jacks. Like what you plug headphones into. The sound that comes out of them is very small. Good for headphones, bad for speakers. Even desktop speakers have a built in amplifier to them, and that's why they sound louder. So they must be plugged into not only the sound output, but also the wall or to a USB port to gather power.

    With the car, audio signals are usually transmitted through RCA's. There are higher end solutions such as optical, but those are only for audiophiles. So basically you have a dillema. How do you get that headphone jack, into a RCA jack? Well, you may have noticed that on your TV, there are usually 3 jacks. White, red, and yellow usually. We are only interested in the audio. You may be familiar with the concept that RCA's only carry 1 channel through each connector. So you need an adapter that plugs into one 1/8" jack, and gives you 2 RCA jacks to plug cables into. Something like the following picture will do, and it is really cheap from radio shack.



    Now your sound is still really low, but in the correct connector. So, now you need to make that signal louder, as to be played through your speakers. You standard radio has an amplifier built in usually, so that is why you can hear it through your speakers. You will need to buy an amplifier. There are many to choose from $30 to $3000! There are many different to choose from as well. Remeber that you now have 4 channels. That is because the 2 channels from each of the 2 stereo line-out ports on the motherboard (blue and green ports). Amps vary from 1 channel (to power subs), or 2 channels (stereo -- basically only left and right or only front and rear), or what you want 4 channels (alows you to control each of your 4 speakers indipendantly of each other).

    How much you want to spend is up to you, and if you want premium sound. Like I said earlier my $35 eBay amp is a dream to me and my friends think it sounds awesome. I can't tell the difference between my audio, and the audio in my friend's "awesome system" (a.k.a. expensive!). So you decide.

    After you install your 4 channel amp, it will have 4 RCA jacks on it. One for each channel that you will be feeding into it. It will also have 8 little clasps on it usually 4 red and 4 black. Those power your speakers. Each speaker has 2 wires, a power and a ground. Truthfully, it is just a loop so the circuit flows and makes sound, but we'll call them positive and negative. So each speaker's wires goes into the corresponding clasp.

    Then you just connect the output from the computer to the input of the amp, and you're done!

    So basically at the end, it will go: MP3 --> Computer Motherboard --> 1/8" to RCA adapter --> RCA cables between adapter and amp --> Amplifier --> Speakers --> Sound.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate jschrauwen's Avatar
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    To assist my Cheyene Mt. friend;
    HOW TO: Get sound from PC to Car Stereo / Amp
    http://gickr.com/results4/anim_5055e...a2b3b197c9.gif
    1990 RHD JDM 300ZX TT 2+2 5sp T-Top
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  9. #9
    Unregistered User ODYSSEY's Avatar
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    Sup and welcome to the forum.
    ODYSSEY

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidder View Post
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    All information expressed in this post is my opinion, and should not be regarded as a statement of fact.
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  10. #10
    Newbie drwprtcht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    No problem for the help. As for more reading DP has steered you in the right direction.

    I'll try to explain a bit better though...

    Ok look at the picture below:


    Do you see the ports on the far right? one column, three rows. Red, Blue, Green, which are microphone, line-out 2, and line-out 1 respectively. The red one is 1 channel a.k.a. "mono". It is usually a line-in, such as for a microphone. However, there is usually software that comes with the motherboard that will allow you to convert it into a third line-out, however it will only be mono. So useful for a sub. Both the blue and green have 2 channels so "stereo" sound. So these usually give the main audio signals.

    Now those ports are 1/8" stereo jacks. Like what you plug headphones into. The sound that comes out of them is very small. Good for headphones, bad for speakers. Even desktop speakers have a built in amplifier to them, and that's why they sound louder. So they must be plugged into not only the sound output, but also the wall or to a USB port to gather power.

    With the car, audio signals are usually transmitted through RCA's. There are higher end solutions such as optical, but those are only for audiophiles. So basically you have a dillema. How do you get that headphone jack, into a RCA jack? Well, you may have noticed that on your TV, there are usually 3 jacks. White, red, and yellow usually. We are only interested in the audio. You may be familiar with the concept that RCA's only carry 1 channel through each connector. So you need an adapter that plugs into one 1/8" jack, and gives you 2 RCA jacks to plug cables into. Something like the following picture will do, and it is really cheap from radio shack.



    Now your sound is still really low, but in the correct connector. So, now you need to make that signal louder, as to be played through your speakers. You standard radio has an amplifier built in usually, so that is why you can hear it through your speakers. You will need to buy an amplifier. There are many to choose from $30 to $3000! There are many different to choose from as well. Remeber that you now have 4 channels. That is because the 2 channels from each of the 2 stereo line-out ports on the motherboard (blue and green ports). Amps vary from 1 channel (to power subs), or 2 channels (stereo -- basically only left and right or only front and rear), or what you want 4 channels (alows you to control each of your 4 speakers indipendantly of each other).

    How much you want to spend is up to you, and if you want premium sound. Like I said earlier my $35 eBay amp is a dream to me and my friends think it sounds awesome. I can't tell the difference between my audio, and the audio in my friend's "awesome system" (a.k.a. expensive!). So you decide.

    After you install your 4 channel amp, it will have 4 RCA jacks on it. One for each channel that you will be feeding into it. It will also have 8 little clasps on it usually 4 red and 4 black. Those power your speakers. Each speaker has 2 wires, a power and a ground. Truthfully, it is just a loop so the circuit flows and makes sound, but we'll call them positive and negative. So each speaker's wires goes into the corresponding clasp.

    Then you just connect the output from the computer to the input of the amp, and you're done!

    So basically at the end, it will go: MP3 --> Computer Motherboard --> 1/8" to RCA adapter --> RCA cables between adapter and amp --> Amplifier --> Speakers --> Sound.
    Quote Originally Posted by jschrauwen View Post
    To assist my Cheyene Mt. friend;
    HOW TO: Get sound from PC to Car Stereo / Amp
    This helped to explain it very well...thank you very much you two.

    And thanks to DarquePervert for the FAQ listings.
    1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
    Custom Carputer Project
    0% Done

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