I just finished up most of the hardware install so I thought I would share some pictures and information for any interested. My current setup is:
Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop + docking station
Carnetix P1900 plus the CNX-P5V
mp3car MTSVO-SC touchscreen
Magellan Sportrak Map GPS
slimline dvd/cdrw combo drive in an external firewire enclosure
Audiovox FM modulator
I chose a laptop because I could take it out and use it at a hotel or something if I went on a long trip. Because of this, I did not want to modify the laptop in any way. My docking station however has undergone several modifications. The docking station is under the driver's seat, so I had to trim the sides down to get it to fit easily under the seat. I rewired the Power switch, Power LED, and hard drive LED from the docking station to my dash using some cat 5 cable and standard RJ45 connectors (for ease of running wire, and so I could lengthen the run easily if i decided to move the location of laptop later)
The external dvd drive was mounted inside my glovebox so it couldn't be seen. I wanted to hide everything that I possibly could so potential thieves wouldn't know it was there.
One other note is the usb port I mounted in the dash. As you can see in the pictures, I put it just to the left so it is still accessable when the screen is out. I keep a tiny mouse and joystick in the glovebox and they can be plugged into that port. The port is also good for when I just have a couple of files that I want to copy to or from the laptop, and i don't feel like going through the wireless network to do it.
The last thing I did was I put a kill switch (valet switch) mounted out of sight in the top of the glovebox. That kills the ignition signal going to the P1900. That way i can kill the power, throw all the goodies in the glovebox and lock it.
looking good. where did you get the usb part that you mounted up front. i have been looking for one and haven't found one.
"I'm going back to Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), I'm going back to Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), Cali(Iraq), I know so!!!!" Now I'm here!!
In response to both posts above, lets just say the dremel is my friend. I do not have any pictures of the process unfortunately, but I will say that all I did was cut the sides off of the docking station so it was roughly the same width as the laptop itself. The power button, led's and such from the docking station are just on a little circuit board. When I cut that portion from the side of the docking station, I was careful that I didn't cut into that area. The buttons and lights are still enclosed in a plastic box that was just cut from the rest. That box is just taped and glued to the side of the docking station. It isn't pretty, but that didn't matter to me since you can't see it.
As far as the usb port goes, I took a regular usb extention cable and soldered it to a different end. I took the end off of a usb port that is designed to mount on one of the back plates in your computer, and plugs directly into the motherboard. I took the plate off and used it as a template to cut that portion of my dash. Then I just screwed it in, and ran the cable to underneath my seat.
I stole this picture off of an ebay auction to show you what the docking station looked like before. I just trimmed off the sides. With the exception of the power button circuit board I mentioned earlier, it is nothing but plastic.
And this is the usb part I cut and soldered. (not post whoring I swear, just trying to be helpful)
Actually, i got mine from work. The docking station was going in the trash because it didn't work. I took it home and got it working (loose wire) The inspiron 8000, 8100, and 8200 all can use the same docking station. As far as power, I have a Carnetix P1900 running at 20V, and I just cut the cable off of a broken laptop 90W power supply and wired it directly to the Carnetix
Originally Posted by wittless
any pix of that? i would love to see it. thanks.