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Thread: Worth building a Carputer?

  1. #1
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    Question Worth building a Carputer?

    First off. I wasn't sure if this could be classed as being related to a newbie section, so i though i'd bang it into the Off-Topic (Sorry if it has to be moved)

    Anyway, to the point
    Awhile back i started to research information in regards to building a carputer. Now being a student (Six Form) with a low budget i've bought nothing. After planning to head off to uni. and not needing my car. I'm studying a 4 year course which i will be leaving my car.

    Now the question comes is it worth building a carputer now and holding all the hardware or Waiting 4 years before even commiting to anything? Or just by things bit my bit, My car is a peugeot 106 (with a very large 192k miles on it (Petrol) ) {Alot of people said the Word right?}

    Anyway i'm expecting to keep my car on the drive way at home. and use it possible weekends and holidays however after 4 years i'd image i'd have a newer car. What do you all think? is it worth not even attempting to buy any parts for a few years or should i just go for it, buy parts as and when and upgrades as required?

    Thanks
    -Johnny

  2. #2
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    Heres the thing, technology changes.

    I bought my stuff piece by piece because Im also at school and my car is at home. I buy what I can find on sale and save them up to work on when I get home. If you're changing cars, you can make a modular system and MAKE SURE you can return the car to factory when you're done. You have to make something that isnt specific to YOUR car.

    With that, if you want to, then you might as well. Just keep in mind that in 4 years, the things that cost $200 now are going to run you $40.

  3. #3
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    I plan on getting a lappy for Uni prehaps i could just use that after Uni as i'm sure i'd get another laptop (or i have my desktop). Prehaps i should be focusing on simple and small things like GPS or do you reckon things like these will also decrease and newer,better and more suitable products will arise?

  4. #4
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    Johnny,

    building a carputer is simple, but testing and putting the system in the boot/glove box etc is the hard part.
    1. work out your budget.
    2. work out what opperating system you want to use
    3. work out what front end you want to use (there are plenty of free ones)
    4. work out how many VGA ports you'll need. (i'ld suggest only two)
    5. usb ports for touch screens and other devices (around four or so)
    6. does your car have steering controls (if so hack them apart and use volmouse or equiv.)

    thats a list of 6 things i would look out for if i were you.

    there are plenty more. but those are the main 6 i can think of

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCustomizer View Post
    Johnny,

    building a carputer is simple, but testing and putting the system in the boot/glove box etc is the hard part.
    1. work out your budget.
    2. work out what opperating system you want to use
    3. work out what front end you want to use (there are plenty of free ones)
    4. work out how many VGA ports you'll need. (i'ld suggest only two)
    5. usb ports for touch screens and other devices (around four or so)
    6. does your car have steering controls (if so hack them apart and use volmouse or equiv.)

    thats a list of 6 things i would look out for if i were you.

    there are plenty more. but those are the main 6 i can think of
    Thanks TheCustomizer,

    1. i don't really have a set budget as of yet due to the move up to edinbrugh, although the project wouldn't start untill i have a clear budget.

    2. Operating system, i would be Using Windows XP as i'm unfamiliar with anything else and have MS Discs.

    3. I'm considering Using RoadRunner for the mean time untill CentraFuse (Providing RoadRunner Doesn't suit my needs.)

    4. I'll probably be using the one VGA Screen, just for the single screen, as it's rare more than two people are in my car, thus having more than one screen seems unsuitable?

    5. I'm sure a USB Hub will be suitable, although i'm aware i'll have to consider power consumption for example. Although i have a rought amount of devices in mind which i believe with be of use.

    6. My current car does not have Steering Controls. Although like i said i'd hope to be getting a new car within 5 years time. Although i've already hacked up a optical mouse which i plan to use as a base. and have plan (During uni) to hack a few more things up to create a OEM (What does OEM acutally mean? i think i have the right understanding if it) look about it. (looks like it's just been rolled out of the factory looking like that) Correct? Or at least a nice embedded controller within the car.

  6. #6
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    OEM - the original manufacturer of a component for a product, which may be resold by another company.

    do some research into frontends find one that you can use

  7. #7
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    Original Equipment Manufacturer. You've got it right.

    As far as GPS and stuff goes, they're pretty standard. There shouldn't be much in terms of upgrades as far as GPS goes -- upgrades that you'd need anyway. Maybe they'll increase the refresh rate or something but no biggie.

    Things like the displays will go down in price drastically. The computers will go down in price too, so if you're going to use your laptop, that would work excellent. I suggest you start buying the little things now, like GPS and OBD scanners until you have a set budget and can afford the big things. The small little $40 dents in your wallet won't hurt too much right now, but when you have to buy them all at once, it adds up quickly.

    Plus, by having a GPS and an OBD scanner and an old laptop with you when you move out, you'll get your heart set on building a carputer and you may follow through with the project!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by colin View Post
    Original Equipment Manufacturer. You've got it right.

    As far as GPS and stuff goes, they're pretty standard. There shouldn't be much in terms of upgrades as far as GPS goes -- upgrades that you'd need anyway. Maybe they'll increase the refresh rate or something but no biggie.

    Things like the displays will go down in price drastically. The computers will go down in price too, so if you're going to use your laptop, that would work excellent. I suggest you start buying the little things now, like GPS and OBD scanners until you have a set budget and can afford the big things. The small little $40 dents in your wallet won't hurt too much right now, but when you have to buy them all at once, it adds up quickly.

    Plus, by having a GPS and an OBD scanner and an old laptop with you when you move out, you'll get your heart set on building a carputer and you may follow through with the project!
    I'm trying to think of a logical way to track my car aswell, Without have internet access, the way i'm think is hide an old phone with a charger plugged in connected to a USB Port to keep the battery topped up and run off the battery while the car's turned off, Only i'd rather not pay for a subscription server. so if theirs any suggestion on this side? or even if theirs something better? i can't remeber wht it's calle dbut i'm sure their was something you can send text messages too to unclock doors, turn on lights? links or names on this?

    OBD Scanner their a few types, now like i say planning on getting a new car, so how would i know which type to get or should i hang fire with that?

    Few ideas in terms of what i could be buying now
    -Blue Tooth Adaptor
    -Few USB 2 Hubs
    -GPS Reciever
    Any suggestions are welcome at all? I'm very keen on this idea, and pretty handy at modding/fitting things i self fitted a Remote Central Locking Kit and my dad Works with Electricals however understands cars (has done a wide range of things such as head gaskets. Fixing ABS Problems)
    i just don't want to spend any more if products are gonig to change in vast amounts

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