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Thread: 2008 Saturn VUE CarPC

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate KaiTech's Avatar
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    2008 Saturn VUE CarPC

    I've been planning to put a CarPC in our car for a long time. Always had a reason why not to do it... well I just ran out of reasons

    We just got a 2008 Saturn VUE XR which is going to be our primary long trip car.
    This is the car we will be spending many hours in when traveling, hence the decision to finally put a CarPC in.

    Here's the plan...

    Phase 1:

    - Replace current double DIN stereo with 7" or 8" touchscreen LCD (largest that will fit)
    - Install USB HUB somewhere in the front dash
    - Install slot load DVD drive in front dash
    - Install CarPC under passenger seat



    Phase 2: (when I get to it)

    - Install rear camera
    - Install rear seat LCD screens





    Components Needed:
    - Xenarc LCD (haven't decided which as of yet)
    - Intel D201GLY2 Mini-ITX Motherboard with Processor
    - 2.5" HDD 160-250 GB
    - 2GB RAM
    - FM Radio Tuner (preferably HD)
    - TV Tuner
    - USB Slot Load DVD
    - Bluetooth Input Device

    Componnents On Hand:
    - Opus PC case (hope it fits under seat)
    - Radeon 9800 PCI video card
    - NetGear PCI WiFi
    - Opus 120W DC-DC
    - Opus 80W DC-DC
    - Bluetooth USB dongle
    - Holux Bluetooth GPS


    I will start by taking measurements and pictures, and I'll post everything as I go along. Wish me luck, and any input is welcome.
    I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiTech View Post
    I've been planning to put a CarPC in our car for a long time. Always had a reason why not to do it... well I just ran out of reasons

    We just got a 2008 Saturn VUE XR which is going to be our primary long trip car.
    This is the car we will be spending many hours in when traveling, hence the decision to finally put a CarPC in.

    Here's the plan...

    Phase 1:

    - Replace current double DIN stereo with 7" or 8" touchscreen LCD (largest that will fit)
    - Install USB HUB somewhere in the front dash
    - Install slot load DVD drive in front dash
    - Install CarPC under passenger seat



    Phase 2: (when I get to it)

    - Install rear camera
    - Install rear seat LCD screens





    Components Needed:
    - Xenarc LCD (haven't decided which as of yet)
    - Intel D201GLY2 Mini-ITX Motherboard with Processor
    - 2.5" HDD 160-250 GB
    - 2GB RAM
    - FM Radio Tuner (preferably HD)
    - TV Tuner
    - USB Slot Load DVD
    - Bluetooth Input Device

    Componnents On Hand:
    - Opus PC case (hope it fits under seat)
    - Radeon 9800 PCI video card
    - NetGear WiFi
    - Opus 120W DC-DC
    - Opus 80W DC-DC
    - Bluetooth USB dongle
    - Holux Bluetooth GPS


    I will start by taking measurements and pictures, and I'll post everything as I go along. Wish me luck, and any input is welcome.
    Thoughts and Suggestions -

    7" Screen fits fine in most Double DIN opening, 8" however do not, they are taller than a 8" screen and will require customization. If your after the OEM look (less chances of thief), then get a good screen (Xenarc is fine) and get a fascia from Bybyte, Double DIN kit

    That should set you up for your primary monitor

    The video card you won't need, but you need to ask yourself just what you'll be watching.

    I'm not sure about these Atom powered boards ability to do OTA HD content (720p/1080i) and the switch over is in less than 90 days. I opted from my HTPC experience to go with a proven setup I know will accelerated any video codec out there.

    You might want to look deeper into that.

    Otherwise sounds like a good setup...

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate KaiTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djfourmoney View Post
    Thoughts and Suggestions -

    7" Screen fits fine in most Double DIN opening, 8" however do not, they are taller than a 8" screen and will require customization. If your after the OEM look (less chances of thief), then get a good screen (Xenarc is fine) and get a fascia from Bybyte, Double DIN kit

    That should set you up for your primary monitor

    The video card you won't need, but you need to ask yourself just what you'll be watching.

    I'm not sure about these Atom powered boards ability to do OTA HD content (720p/1080i) and the switch over is in less than 90 days. I opted from my HTPC experience to go with a proven setup I know will accelerated any video codec out there.

    You might want to look deeper into that.

    Otherwise sounds like a good setup...
    Thanks for your input.

    The video card I already have, so the way I look at it, any way to reduce the load on the CPU is worth looking into.

    As for the LCD I'll probably go with the 7" and the kit like you mentioned, but before I make the decision I'll check my options. Until I take the measurements I won't know what I can play with.

    The primary use for this PC is going to be DVD/MP3 playback and navigation.
    I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end.
    Ridicule anyone who disagrees with me,
    and generally foster divisiveness,
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  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate VmtSquad's Avatar
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    GREAT!!! Seems like you did your homework! A good plan always prevent you from bad mistakes ....

    Suggestions:
    As dj suggested, you video card won't be necessary, it will only cost you more for nothing, unless you wanna play DOOM 3 in your car. Even there, your CPU will not be able to run it, correct me if Im wrong.

    Just be sure to choose the right PowerSupply for you need and Frontend/Skin. If you intend to use some flash base skin and animated stuff your gonna need a good PowerSupply to help out your CPU reech is full capacity.

    I tested a 90W on my workbench and it was not what I wanted so I went with a 150w intelligent OPUS and it does the job (should have got the 250w for upgrade reasons).

    Keep in mind that every single parts are important and need to be tested and REtested!!!

    Besides thoses small suggestions, I think you're on the right path!! Keep going!!

    Oh and do you mind showing some pics of what/where you want to place that screen in you SUV ??

    Vmt
    VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
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    CarPC progress: 95%

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate KaiTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VmtSquad View Post
    GREAT!!! Seems like you did your homework! A good plan always prevent you from bad mistakes ....

    Suggestions:
    As dj suggested, you video card won't be necessary, it will only cost you more for nothing, unless you wanna play DOOM 3 in your car. Even there, your CPU will not be able to run it, correct me if Im wrong.

    Just be sure to choose the right PowerSupply for you need and Frontend/Skin. If you intend to use some flash base skin and animated stuff your gonna need a good PowerSupply to help out your CPU reech is full capacity.

    I tested a 90W on my workbench and it was not what I wanted so I went with a 150w intelligent OPUS and it does the job (should have got the 250w for upgrade reasons).

    Keep in mind that every single parts are important and need to be tested and REtested!!!

    Besides thoses small suggestions, I think you're on the right path!! Keep going!!

    Oh and do you mind showing some pics of what/where you want to place that screen in you SUV ??

    Vmt
    I'm planning to use a 120W that I already have. The LCD and all the In-Dash peripherals will be powered by a separate power supply, so I think I should be fine in regards to power.

    Since I'm not going to load all the USB ports on the motherboard the peak 5V should not exceed that of the 120W DC-DC. Instead I'll use the externally powered USB Hub in the dash.

    Here's a Load Chart for the Motherboard with the Celeron CPU
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end.
    Ridicule anyone who disagrees with me,
    and generally foster divisiveness,
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  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate KaiTech's Avatar
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    Here's the first photos and measurements.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end.
    Ridicule anyone who disagrees with me,
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  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate KaiTech's Avatar
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    Now I'm reconsidering if maybe I should go with the
    JetWay JNC62K AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard or J&W mini-ITX 780G with an Athlon 64 2000+ or a Sempron LE-1300.

    It seems that I can push allot more while still keeping the system under 120W. It is a bit more expensive, but it offers DVI output as well as high quality sound, and a built in quality graphics chipset.
    I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end.
    Ridicule anyone who disagrees with me,
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  8. #8
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    Would you be able to take advantage of the DVI out? Only reason I ask is because of resolution capabilities of the small LCD screens.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate KaiTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sil180sx View Post
    Would you be able to take advantage of the DVI out? Only reason I ask is because of resolution capabilities of the small LCD screens.
    Probably not if I go with a Lilliput, but it saves me a PCI slot for the video card and the sound card is much better. I will need a secondary output once I get to phase 2. So it may be worth it.

    Has anyone seen that Athlon 64 2000+ for sale anywhere? I looked and can't seem to find it.
    I'll spout simplistic opinions for hours on end.
    Ridicule anyone who disagrees with me,
    and generally foster divisiveness,
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  10. #10
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    As a multi screen user, research very carefully. People say you wont need a highend graphics card, they are dead wrong. Depending on the screens you get, some require different refresh rates which only highend cards can support. Say for example my front screen, runs at 60mhz, but the rear 15" has to be at 56mhz or it will look cr@ppy. Thankfully the other 3 screens acept 56mhz also. Another thing is, the rear screens have to be VGA otherwise the font will look $h!tty. What I did was avoid headrest screens and opted for one 15" inch for the rear. There is also a 7" inch in the 3rd row but that is strictly so they have touch control. Then 2 more screens are being installed in the front dash and are also touch. VGA starts to get cr@ppy and cr@ppy the more you split it, so you have to use a powered VGA splitter. I use a 4 port Aluratek powered splitter. Also, to avoid having to use a PCI graphics card, I simply bought a MoBo that had excellent embeded graphics. Mine has a VGA, DVI-D, composite and HDMI port. This left my PCI slot open for a PCI soundcard since the onboard sound sucks. Do alot of research, getting all mine powered and set up was a mission. Also cabling is a nightmare. In the end though it will be worth it.
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