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Thread: MobileVu Universal PC/Ford Econoline E350

  1. #1
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    MobileVu Universal PC/Ford Econoline E350

    Not sure if this is the right forum. But I am a new member of the forums. I own a 1991 Ford Econoline E350 (15 passenger van). I have just purchased a MobileVu computer system with 10 inch touch panel/P3 500 w/ 256 MB ram. I will be doing what I can to upgrade the computer as much as possible. If I can't get enough power out of the machine without swapping the motherboard, I will change the board out and replace the guts. I am most excited about the MobileVu panel and all the mounting equipment that came with the unit.

    My plans for this are to add a second dual head video card for 2 additional video screens on headrests along with the front screen (for a total of 3 screens). I also have an M-Audio 7.1 as well as a soundblaster card that comes with the machine.

    The machine is currently running Windows 2000 and I have iGuidance 4 and Road Runner to be installed.

    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions for parts? What is the best GPS reciever to use for this particular setup?

    Does anyone have any experience using the original MobileVu systems? How are they on power?

    Thanks.

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Question: will the screens be showing the same thing? If yes the setup is simple. Just buy a powered VGA splitter (if it isnt powered the quality will look bad). You can buy it from Provantage.com. The unit I bought is this one http://www.provantage.com/aluratek-avs04~7ALUT001.htm Its the smallest you can buy. Its about the size of a old school beeper. If you plan on running diffrent things, like I am doing (I have 5 screens in my setup), I think you will need more processor power if you plan on running video like I am. For music and GPS your setup will work. My setup uses heavy video. The first screen which is connected to the VGA port is strictly for the headunit screen that controls everything and displays GPS, engine diagnostic, and important stuff that the passengers dont care to see, this screen cannot see video and media stuff (I try to follow the law as much as possible). Screens 2,3 and 4 are connected to a powered VGA splitter then connect to the DVI port on my PC. These screens show all multimedia stuff. Screen 5 is strictly for rear monitoring. Originally I bought a 1.5 ghz VIA M10000 board, but it could not handle video at all. So I went ballistic and bought a 1.8 dual core AMD turion, a Kino-690s1 Mobo, and 2 gigs of ram. This system is over kill, but I wont have any doubts of it doing what I want it to do.

    When it comes to GPS I guess it depends on preference. I went with a bluetooth cigarette lighter unit, but I have to assume most people go USB because you dont have to worry about the pairing mess. I just didnt want the PC to have to power it, and I didnt want to worry about batteries.
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    Good Info!

    Hijack, thanks so much for the great info. yes, I want the 2 rear screens (which I think will be headrest units) to display the same things but different from the front. It'll be interesting to see how much CPU and ram I can get away with on the motherboard. But if what you are saying is true, I'll need to pitch the motherboard and start over. What do you have for power? Do you run one of those low drain power supplys? I am not as knowledgeable about automotive power as I would like to be, so I want to be careful I don't put strain on the vehicle. It is old, but it's also a beast, so it's going to be able to handle more.

    Having said that, I would like to put a medium-sized box in the back for speakers.

    I would like to go with as little Cigarette lighter stuff as possible. I would put in a second battery if I thought that I could eliminate all the clutter. Currently, my dreams are lofty, but I just want it to be as minimal as possible. We'll see what happens, I'm building a parts list as we speak, but I will really need to see the system (it's shipping as we speak) before I make any executive decisions.

    What do you have running for a Front End? Centrafuse looks nice but I have to assume it's too robust for the current processor.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Jeff.

  4. #4
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmccann View Post
    Hijack, thanks so much for the great info. yes, I want the 2 rear screens (which I think will be headrest units) to display the same things but different from the front. It'll be interesting to see how much CPU and ram I can get away with on the motherboard. But if what you are saying is true, I'll need to pitch the motherboard and start over. What do you have for power? Do you run one of those low drain power supplys? I am not as knowledgeable about automotive power as I would like to be, so I want to be careful I don't put strain on the vehicle. It is old, but it's also a beast, so it's going to be able to handle more.

    Having said that, I would like to put a medium-sized box in the back for speakers.

    I would like to go with as little Cigarette lighter stuff as possible. I would put in a second battery if I thought that I could eliminate all the clutter. Currently, my dreams are lofty, but I just want it to be as minimal as possible. We'll see what happens, I'm building a parts list as we speak, but I will really need to see the system (it's shipping as we speak) before I make any executive decisions.

    What do you have running for a Front End? Centrafuse looks nice but I have to assume it's too robust for the current processor.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Jeff.
    My car has alot of components, so I have heavy electrical wiring. I went with a 320 watt PSU, a OPUS 320 to be exact. If your driving a econo, the alternator should be fine. I drive a Dodge Durango with a V8. I havent even taped half way into the PSU's power because in the end I decided to run most of the components of the 12V+ directly since almost all of them are fused and have their own regulators. Only thing powered by the PC is the PC itself, Two 7 port USB hubs, XM adapter, and thats it. So I think if your screens have regulators and fuses you can avoid adding them to the PSU. So you could actually go with a M2-ATX. I use Centrafuse, even on my slow PC, CF ran just fine. It did have issues with Visualzations, which I simply turned off. I had only one screen at the time and I had to pay attention to driving. If your going to display 2 diffrent things, your going to have to install a second video card, unless the PC has a second VGA port.
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    Car PC Pics

    So I am just in the midst of getting things sorted out and am wondering about the best way to go about setting this up. I need power cables to the touch panel and computer. These are two prong standard power cables? I have included pics of the back of the flat panel and computer for anyone interested. I will post more if there is interest.

    1. Here is the 10.4 inch touch panel. I am also including the back of the panel for those interested in the connectivity options.

    2. This is the back of the flat panel. Any thoughts or insights?

    3. This is the back of the computer, you'll notice the motherboard is located in the middle of the tower. The soundcard is a bit weird. The faceplate is beside the motherboard, but the actual card is located in the empty space on the end beside the printer port. I think I am stuck with the music card, but I would like to get some more space. Luckily the front has 2 pcmcia ports (1 type 1 and one type 2) so there is some expandability there. Any thoughts?

    4. And finally the rubberized keyboard with mouse etc. Very nice.




  6. #6
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Is the screen a touch panel, maybe a universal driver will work. How fast is that PC?
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    Is the screen a touch panel, maybe a universal driver will work. How fast is that PC?
    Yea, it's a touch panel. Made by L3, which I am assuming was likely Litton at one point? They both look exactly the same. The description said the machine was a P3 500 and included the touch screen drivers, so I can only assume they are installed. But I don't have the power cables to get it running yet. Do you know where to find those power cables? A few people have told me that's an odd connection.

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