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Thread: Suburban - Custom console carputer - W/Pics

  1. #1
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    Suburban - Custom console carputer - W/Pics

    My goal is to build a carputer in my 99 Chevy Suburban 2500 that is totally self contained. I need to be able to take the entire unit out of the Suburban and put it into both my 06 Chevy 1500 and also when I am camping to bring it inside the trailer and use it as my PC.

    After a little thinking I decided I needed to build a center console to hold everything and give me the ability to move the unit from vehicle to vehicle.

    Hardware:

    MB - ECS 761GX-M754 w/Semperon M3000+ 754
    RAM - 2X512 DDR400= 1G total
    PS - INWIN|IW-P240F1-0 240W
    Inverter - 750W
    DVD - DVD_BURN LITE-ON|LH-18A1P-185 BK
    GPS - M.S. S&T 2007 w/supplied GPS
    LCD - Lilliput 7" Touch screen LCD VGA
    HD - 250Gig Seagate IDE
    Sound - Onboard
    TV - WinTV PCI Tuner Card
    RCam - Not sure of brand yet
    Key/Mouse - Mini USB KB and MS Wireless mouse
    Internet - VX6700 USB (EVDO) or Cingualr 3G PCMCIA (I have both not sure what I am going to use yet)

    Software:

    Windows XP Pro SP2
    MS S&T 2007
    RR Front end (Not 100% SURE ON FRT END YET)


    Center console build:



    The vehicle for the proposed install a 1999 Chevy Suburban 2500 - Primary use is as a Tow vehicle for a 34 foor travel trailer. Not a daily driver.



    The old solution was my Laptop on the mount that I bought from Ebay, not a terrible solution just not what I was looking for.



    This is the area that I will be installing my custom console.



    I am using 5/8 MDF for my console construction along with 5/8 Pine for the lid because I was not sure how the MDF would hold up when I routed the edges and screwed in the hinges.



    The basic box is being built. I mocked up the dimensions with cardboard



    I added 3 metal brackets at the bottom of the console to hold a 1/4 piece of plywood that will act as a mother board tray. It will be secured with Velcro strips. I will be able to take the entire board out of the console without removing the actual console. For maint reasons mostly. I also figured that it would be best to get the computer components sitting up higher than the carpet under the console.



    Here it is with the tray installed in the bottom along with the lid hinges installed.



    Here is a view of the front of the console. The smaller area in the front sildes under some HVAC work under the dash. The small piece of wood laying on top of that area will be secured with velcro and will be the area that all connections will enter the console. I will be able to lift the small piece of wood off and make all connections and then just lay it back down to hide all the wires.



    One of my biggest complaints of the truck is the terrible cup holder placement. The cupholder is built just under dash vent and pulls out towards you and does a very poor job of holding cups. I decided that while I was doing this I wanted to make myself some cup holders that work for "ME". I picked up a few different cheapo cup holders at Pep Boys and Walmart. Finally I decided on the $6.00 Walmart "wedge" style cup holders. After a little bit of dremmel work and some cutting I had some cup holders.



    Cup holders and lid installed



    Lid opens and allows access to the system if needed



    Test fit and deciding on carpet color.



    Partially covered in carpet



    100% covered. The area you see in this picture between the carpeted area and non carpeted area is where all my wiring will come into the console. The small top piece of wood there is attached with velcro and pops right off if I need to get to the connections.

    More Pics in next thread - RC

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    Continuation - of previous post.



    Test fit console in truck



    Testing console functionality



    This is where I am at now.



    Quick before look again

    That is it for now, I am currently waiting for all of my parts to come in. I am working on the wiring of the system now.



    Mt proposed wiring setup. The only change I will make to this diagram is to ground the switch to the cig lighter circuit not the distr block. I will also add fuses after the distr block but before each connecting component.

    I will start to make note of my wiring and actual computer build up as the parts come in and time allows.

    I am very new to this and barely touched the surface of this site so if you see something that is not "right" please let me know. Otherwise stay tuned for updated Pics and progress reports.

    Cheers
    Rc

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate CJ8501's Avatar
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    nice job... only problem I see are those cupholders tho. What if you were to spill something.... Wouldnt it leak through right on top of the computer?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ8501 View Post
    nice job... only problem I see are those cupholders tho. What if you were to spill something.... Wouldnt it leak through right on top of the computer?
    Thanks!

    I thought the same thing so before I installed the cup holder I filled them both with water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. No leaks. It is a molded abs type plastic that unless it gets cracked should stay dry....I hope.

    Cheers
    Rc

  5. #5
    xgc
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    Hi Rcracerx, nice console. Very creative to use it in more than one vehicle. I am working on my fourth install(wish I wouldl have thought of that)..lol... and two of the installs has cupholders like yours in it. No problems at all. One install has been in there for over 2 yrs. Looking good on the console.

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    Nice idea. Giving me some ideas to an alternative to my current location under the rear seat.

    What about heat in that enclosed, carpet insulated box?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by klundy View Post
    Nice idea. Giving me some ideas to an alternative to my current location under the rear seat.

    What about heat in that enclosed, carpet insulated box?
    Well as the electronic components arrive I will mount them and I will definitley be cutting some fans into the side to exhaust any hot air. Most likely I will do one vent on each side just to move some air around.

    Thanks for the compliments guys, I am only a beginner at this stuff.

    Rc

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate jeffreyd_tx's Avatar
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    You need to add a picture with your wife tapping her toe as she angily watches from the driveway j/k Looking good so far!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffreyd_tx View Post
    You need to add a picture with your wife tapping her toe as she angily watches from the driveway j/k Looking good so far!
    Hahahaha, we wont go there....just yet.

    Thanks for the compliment.

    Rc

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    I have some updates to post:

    Finally some parts have come in, I have almost everything I need now except the Lilliput that is on a UPS truck somewhere in California right now.

    I realised a small error in my measurements after I mounted the motherboard in the console, I did not all ow myself enough room for the PCI TV card I wanted to use. For a smaller low profile card it would be okay but this card is huge. I am going to ditch the PCI card idea and go with a USB tuner as well as a USB Wifi adapter. I have decided it is not worth changing the placement of everything else just to use the PCI slots especially since there are USB alternatives for the cards I desire available.



    The goods have arrived Obviously I took this picture before I realised the WIN TV card and 54G Wifi card would not fit.

    Okay I decided it was time to start cutting holes into my Console. In hindsight it would have been much easier to make all of the cuts before I carpeted it but at the time I had no idea where I would be mounting most of the stuff.



    DVD Player



    The DVD Player is mounted onto a pice of plywood and provides a very strong base for the player to rest on. The same pice of wood will be used to hold the hard drive on the underside.



    Not a bad fit, very tight.





    I am going to install 2 80MM fans. The one you see here will be exhausting air and I am going to cut one into the opposite side of the case for intake.



    I mounted a grill over the fan and it gave it a finished look IMHO. - Done



    That is as far as I have gotten on the wiring so far but I am woking on it. I mounted the stand offs for the motherboard into the tray and test fitted everything. I was pretty happy with the results but man it is amazing how fast you can fill up space. I probably should have dome more measuring and planning then cutting and grinding.



    Man making a carputer is a messy job - or maybe that is just the way I work. Good thing this is my dungeon in the basement otherwise the wife would be screaming bloddy murder by now.

    More to come - stay tuned.

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