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Thread: 2007 Camry CarPC - Australia

  1. #1
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    2007 Camry CarPC - Australia

    Hey there folks.

    I've been wanting to install a car PC in my car since I was in high school (some years ago now). Now that I actually have my own car, I've had even more impetus to get this project going. It's a base-model 2007 Camry (known here in Australia as the Camry Altise). It's a beautiful car. I intend to keep the factory look for everything if possible.

    So after a few weeks of research and ordering parts, I've finally started my worklog. This is the intended setup:

    - Intel D945GCLF2 mini-ITX motherboard with 1.6GHz Atom CPU (bought) - link
    - 1GB DDR2 RAM (taken from my desktop)
    - 120GB Seagate 2.5" Hard Drive (bought)
    - M2-ATX 160W PSU and startup/shutdown controller (bought) - link
    - Slimline slot-loading DVD drive (bought) - link
    - Lilliput 629GL-70NP 7" Touchscreen LCD with LED Backlight (bought) - link
    - Double-DIN enclosure so it all can fit in the dash (done)
    - Toyota Genuine Double-DIN fascia (bought)
    - Response 4x50W RMS amplifier with remote gain control (bought and installed)
    - one or two 4-port USB 2.0 hubs (bought one and put it in the glovebox)

    I'll post some pics of the car soon. I know it seems like a barebones system, but in time, I will add a USB GPS receiver, USB Bluetooth dongle, and USB Radio (if I can find a decent one with a decent price).

    Below is a brief schedule to manage my installation:

    1. Test LCD (done, works fine)
    2. Connect all PC components to ensure the PC works. (done)
    3. Install Windows XP (might use my XP Home Edition CD for now since I haven't got access to another copy of XP Pro) (done)
    4. Fabricate double-DIN chassis from two single-DIN enclosures (done)
    5. Mount all PC parts inside the chassis, and mount LCD in the front of chassis, ensuring it fits in the double-DIN gap provided by the double-DIN fascia. (done)
    NOTE: may have difficulty finding space for the DVD drive - may have to put it in the glove box or inside armrest for now.
    6. Test car PC using normal ATX PSU inside house. (done)
    7. Upon success of all of the above, pull out factory headunit (done it many times before), and install car PC. Will need to pull out factory headunit a few times to take measurements for new chassis.
    8. Run power cables for car PC and amp (done, amp is installed under passenger seat, car PC power cable is tucked behind passenger footwell)
    9. Connect all cables (ground, audio from PC to amp, USB hubs, etc.) (done)


    By the way, I was going to buy a second-hand 07 Camry headunit so I could gut it and install the car PC inside there. The problem is sourcing one of these units at a reasonable price. I don't want to buy one that is already working - and there's the first problem, every wrecker's yard I've been to/phoned in the past two weeks has said "we hardly have any parts for the current shape Camry, and no, we don't stock any broken headunits". I've checked eBay, but all of the ones listed are working and they're way out of my budget. So I decided to build my own double-DIN chassis.

    So there's still a fair amount of work to do. I'll be trying to finish making the double-DIN chassis today but I have a feeling I won't get it done due to other commitments. Will keep you guys posted.

  2. #2
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Good to see your worklog started. Since you already have over a hundred posts, you don't really qualify as a newbie, but welcome aboard -- again -- anyway.

    I'll be watching . . .
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  3. #3
    Newbie Nosajs's Avatar
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    Nice, I thought you would have had a worklog already. Turns out we are going to have a very similar setup.

    I'll also be watching...
    My Worklog http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...-carputer.html

    Planning 100% Ready to start buying! As soon as the flood waters recede XD
    Purchasing 0%
    Building 0%
    Mounting 0%

  4. #4
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    Ok here are some pics from today's work. So far, I've put the two single-DIN cases together temporarily with some brackets. I've also fitted the motherboard in there temporarily to see how deep the case needs to be. Tomorrow I plan to mount the Lilliput on the front. This will give me an idea of how deep the final chassis will be, and then I'll try to mount it in the car. I'll also have to allow some space at the back for plugs (USB, audio, etc.). I've got a few errands to run tomorrow so the above will probably be the most I'll do tomorrow.

    Here's a pic of the back of the double-DIN chassis with motherboard in place:




    Top view:




    The Genuine Toyota Double-DIN Fascia (actually an inch wider than double-DIN):


  5. #5
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    Good start mate, I'm waiting to see the final view of your project, Good luck,

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate NiSlo's Avatar
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    I've always thought the Camry's were perfect for a carpc. The dash is well laid out for a nice screen in place of the standard radio and there seems to be plenty of room around the car.

    The specs of your machine seem pretty spot on, except 2gb of RAM might be a little over kill. Are you planning on hibernating the machine? If you are, it will take longer to resume with 2gb than it will with 1gb and really, the system won't need anything more than 1gb to run perfectly.
    I installed my carpc into my pet Kangaroo, mate.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NiSlo View Post
    I've always thought the Camry's were perfect for a carpc. The dash is well laid out for a nice screen in place of the standard radio and there seems to be plenty of room around the car.

    The specs of your machine seem pretty spot on, except 2gb of RAM might be a little over kill. Are you planning on hibernating the machine? If you are, it will take longer to resume with 2gb than it will with 1gb and really, the system won't need anything more than 1gb to run perfectly.
    Hi Nislo,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I agree, the Camry seems like a real gem for car PC installations.

    I had initially planned on 1GB RAM, but rdholtz suggested more RAM. I've setup the system in my room with my desktop PSU and it runs fine with XP Pro and 1GB RAM. I guess I'll have to test it under more load like playing a DVD with a couple of apps in the background.

    I didn't know it would take longer to resume from hibernation :S That's a good point though. I'm looking for speed when it comes to turning this thing on and off. In time, I hope to get an SSD in there.

  8. #8
    Newbie Nosajs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeeM View Post
    Hi Nislo,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I agree, the Camry seems like a real gem for car PC installations.

    I had initially planned on 1GB RAM, but rdholtz suggested more RAM. I've setup the system in my room with my desktop PSU and it runs fine with XP Pro and 1GB RAM. I guess I'll have to test it under more load like playing a DVD with s couple of apps in the background.

    I didn't know it would take longer to resume from hibernation :S That's a good point though. I'm looking for speed when it comes to turning this thing on and off. In time, I hope to get an SSD in there.
    Yeah I heard that too about the longer hibernation thing, it sounds reasonable but I'm not really sure. If you going to test the pc with 1GB maybe you could test this hibernation theory with 2GB as well. That would clear it up for all of us. If it takes a couple extra seconds to boot but there are significant performance improvements I would be worth it.
    My Worklog http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...-carputer.html

    Planning 100% Ready to start buying! As soon as the flood waters recede XD
    Purchasing 0%
    Building 0%
    Mounting 0%

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosajs View Post
    Yeah I heard that too about the longer hibernation thing, it sounds reasonable but I'm not really sure. If you going to test the pc with 1GB maybe you could test this hibernation theory with 2GB as well. That would clear it up for all of us. If it takes a couple extra seconds to boot but there are significant performance improvements I would be worth it.
    I've done some brief research on the net and many forums suggest that theoretically, with more RAM, it would take longer to resume from hibernation, but it would only be true if you actually were using most or all of that 2GB of RAM when you put it into hibernation. If you have 2GB of RAM, and you were only using 1GB of it, it should theoretically resume from hibernation at around the same speed as a system with 1GB of RAM. The relationship seems to be more logarithmic than linear.

  10. #10
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    So last night I was up till 2am setting up the system temporarily with my desktop PSU. I basically unplugged the PSU in my tower and plugged it into the mini-ITX, and I also plugged in the power switch. I connected my 120GB laptop HDD, and I pulled out one of the four 1GB sticks of RAM to use in my mini-ITX. After hooking up the Lilliput with the AC adaptor, I plugged in the desktop's DVD drive, inserted my XP Pro CD (yes, I finally found another copy of XP Pro), and voila, it booted from the CD and I installed XP Pro.

    Here's a few pics:

    The system haphazardly setup on my tower. Yes, I know the pic shows the HDD without the power cable plugged in. I found out the hard way when XP installation said "there's no HDD to install to" lol



    And here's the system with XP running. The touchscreen works well too


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