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Thread: Laptop "In n' Out" Project

  1. #1
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    Laptop "In n' Out" Project

    Ok, not sure how many of these are done, but I didn't see any. I'm building a carputer system that totally works off a laptop docking station. I'll be taking pictures and linking up to all the stuff if anyone wants to see it done.

    The basic theory is - all cables will hook up to the docking station (xm radio, navigation, power, etc) - Thus allowing the laptop to easily be docked and undocked from the car, with no cables. The carputer will still be seemless and professional like any other well done setup.

    The carputer will have gps navigation, xm radio, and music, running through Road Runner.

    To resume standby, the power button on the docking station will be jumped with a pulse relay through the ignition, and to go into standby, will use a simple program to start standby when power is cutoff.

    Power will come from a simple DC adapter straight from the battery, through a relay with the ignition, to the docking station.

    So to start, I purchased a Dell Latitude C600 -
    http://cgi.ebay.com/FAST-DELL-C600-P...QQcmdZViewItem
    Mine has a 30 gig hard drive.

    This will go into a C Port II docking station -
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN%3AIT&rd=1

    The setup will be under the seat.

    Docking station will get power from a Dell compatible DC adapter, which will be cut and modified to run from the battery through an ignition relay -
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN%3AIT&rd=1

    Xm Radio will be from an XMD-1000 setup with Jerry's serial cable hack.

    Still unsure about which GPS i'll use.

    The screen will be a panasonic NON-motorized (less chance of breaking) in dash 7" touch screen -
    http://www.digitalww.com/DWW-700H.htm

    Now, I will be running a seperate head unit for TV, DVD, CD, and AM-FM for a couple reasons, for one, no seperate cards to deal with, and no pc performance issues with tv tuners, dvd, etc... Also, I won't have to reach under the seat to insert a dvd or CD if i need it. Plus, you remove the need for a second amplifier, and retain better sound quality.

    Another reason for a secondary head unit, the whole purpose of this setup is to be "in n' out" with my laptop, I would like a stereo in the car when the carputer isn't.....

    I'll be using a Boss DVD-4400T which I can pick up for $110 new -
    http://www.bossaudio.com/home/catalo...product_id=124

    And obviously a system (amp, speakers, subs) but thats not what I'll go into.

    This is going into my 2000 Elantra - I have a double din setup in my consol - so it will all fit nicely.

    I currently have the laptop (using it now actually) and all items except the screen are on order.... I'll be taking pictures and keeping up to date as this progresses probably over the next month or so.

    Many thanks to JCDillan, Jerry, tons of help man.

    Hope this will help anyone else looking to have an easily removable laptop carputer.

  2. #2
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    I used to have an in and out setup with my laptop, but it got annoying, so I ripped apart an old computer and put it in my trunk, lol. I used a cooling pad instead of a docking station, I dun think they make a docking station for my laptop.... my laptop took a ****load of abuse from being in there... eventually the mobo died from widtstanding all the vibration and abuse, luckily I got it replaced under waranty. imo its better to do a proper setup after that experiance.

    then again I didn't have any alternative stereo... just the laptop.... maybe a dual type system isn't a bad idea, but my car doesn't have room for it.

  3. #3
    FLA gospeed.racer's Avatar
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    I use a C610 with the dock and a Codi dc adaptor. Works great! The dock I have lets you use 2 pci cards and a bay drive. Mine is far from complete but great. Good luck!
    2005 Ford Focus ST

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate Hark's Avatar
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    Good to see another laptop/docking station install. Let me know if you have any questions. I'd suggest using a shutdown controller - way easier.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate anik321's Avatar
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    i had a c600 setup. For some reason it kept restarting every 20-30 min and I would have some serious USB issues. So i moved on to a shuttle/AMD setup.

    hopefully you guys will have better luck. Post how it goes!

    I think I have pictures of how to solder wires to the power switch on the laptop - let me know if you guys want it.
    99' V6 Solara SE.
    '05 CBR600RR
    Baltimore MD.
    Shuttle XPC| 512MB | 120GB 3.5" Seagate
    Opus 150W PS | Rikaline 6010 GPS
    7" Lilliput 619 | Centrafuse | IGuidance 3

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gospeed.racer
    I use a C610 with the dock and a Codi dc adaptor. Works great! The dock I have lets you use 2 pci cards and a bay drive. Mine is far from complete but great. Good luck!
    Good, glad to see others have a similar setup--

    Yeah, you probably have C Dock II - thats the one I'm installing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaPCWiz
    I used to have an in and out setup with my laptop, but it got annoying, so I ripped apart an old computer and put it in my trunk, lol. I used a cooling pad instead of a docking station, I dun think they make a docking station for my laptop.... my laptop took a ****load of abuse from being in there... eventually the mobo died from widtstanding all the vibration and abuse, luckily I got it replaced under waranty. imo its better to do a proper setup after that experiance.

    then again I didn't have any alternative stereo... just the laptop.... maybe a dual type system isn't a bad idea, but my car doesn't have room for it.
    Thats why I'm doing a dual system, and I don't think using a laptop is not "proper" at all actually.... There are many advantages to it actually, for one, the 1ghz is faster than the VIA, also, you have instant access to a laptop computer with full keyboard, bigger than 7" monitor, etc... I can easily take it into a restraunt during lunch, then pop it back into the car when I'm done, I can easily take the laptop out to use at home and add songs, work on the computer, etc....

    I don't know, the list goes on and on why I would prefer a laptop....

    On this model, the HDD is easily removable, and I was thinking about using a 2nd drive for all my car stuff, and a main drive for normal crap... that way, when all the settings are done (hdd and windows wouldn't be overloaded with my personal stuff), and everything is working smoothly, I don't have to worry ab out ******* it up drivers, etc.

    Anyways.....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaPCWiz
    I used to have an in and out setup with my laptop, but it got annoying, so I ripped apart an old computer and put it in my trunk, lol. I used a cooling pad instead of a docking station, I dun think they make a docking station for my laptop.... my laptop took a ****load of abuse from being in there... eventually the mobo died from widtstanding all the vibration and abuse, luckily I got it replaced under waranty. imo its better to do a proper setup after that experiance.

    then again I didn't have any alternative stereo... just the laptop.... maybe a dual type system isn't a bad idea, but my car doesn't have room for it.
    Thats why I'm doing a dual system, and I don't think using a laptop is not "proper" at all actually.... There are many advantages to it actually, for one, the 1ghz is faster than the VIA, also, you have instant access to a laptop computer with full keyboard, bigger than 7" monitor, etc... I can easily take it into a restraunt during lunch, then pop it back into the car when I'm done, I can easily take the laptop out to use at home and add songs, work on the computer, etc....

    I don't know, the list goes on and on why I would prefer a laptop....

    On this model, the HDD is easily removable, and I was thinking about using a 2nd drive for all my car stuff, and a main drive for normal crap... that way, when all the settings are done (hdd and windows wouldn't be overloaded with my personal stuff), and everything is working smoothly, I don't have to worry ab out ******* it up drivers, etc.

    Anyways.....

  9. #9
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    a good thing to do (what I did) - have two user names, carputer and then your normal. Carputer will be set to a lower res, to load your front end, etc etc, while your normal would be for normal usage.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    having the ability to easily remove it if necissary is really convienient.... but anything more than once in a while will get annoying.... to have to swap out a hard drive to take it into a resturant will be a great idea, but a hassle at the same time..... if you have an often need for a laptop you would probably be best served with having another for daily use though I would think.....

    I always have my laptop with me in a bag.... but the carputer laptop is permanently installed.... they ad hoc if I need transfer, .... now adays it's easy enough to transfer data that you really don't need to bring the pc in often at all... a usb drive would do it all, if you can't just transfer wirelessly that is

    of course being able to just bring it in & play with it is cool, but the novelty wears off & the different hardware configs could make this a pain....... it winds up being in the car almost always anyway


    I'm not knocking your setup at all, just sharing what I've learned from my last docked install...... your experience may be different..... cool project, I like it

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