The RadPC - CarPC that never made it to the car
Started this a loooong time ago but by the time I was truly finished I bought a new car and my plans went out the window. The main goal was a system that could go from my home, to the car, then to work without much hassle. Yeah, I know, buy a laptop. But I wanted something different, something with a little style.
Previously I had used some old Civil Defense CDV-715 Radiation Meter cases to build USB 2.0 and firewire hard drive enclosures. Worked great for ferrying data and music back and forth to work. Couple pics.
At one point I found an Advantech PCM-5820, an embedded board using a Geode 233MHz CPU that's the size of a 3.5" drive. Since I had spare radiation meter cases, I got an idea to build a PC in one of those.
Well, that took forever to get started. First thing I found was that the Geode just didn't cut it for what I wanted. Next up was a Commell LE-370, a 3.5" board for Pentium-M CPUs. Plenty of power, but at first I just couldn't make my design work. Then I found a 3.5" PIII board, which was ditched to go back to the LE-370. Then I broke my arm, which set things way back.
Anyway, when I got it all done I had this.
Has a 2GHz Pentium-M, 512MB DDR, 80GB drive, 802.11b/g wireless, and a hell of a lot of character.
The original plan was for a homebuilt console for the original vehicle. There would be a "dock" of sorts the PC would fit into. The dock would also hold a USB DVD drive as well as a 15" touchscreen LCD. I actually have the touchscreen yet, painted to match the RadPC. Once that vehicle was gone, there wasn't much reason to build the console anymore.
Right now the RadPC is on my desk doing nothing. It does get used, but has never actually been run in a car. Eh, I tried, someday I'll keep a vehicle long enough to get a CarPC installed.
More pics of the RadPC here, www.widefault.com/pmrm/p-msff.htm
And yes, the guages work on all the cases. They can be pretty easily hooked to the HD activity LED header. Whenever the drive is accessed, the needle will twitch. I also backlight all the guages with LEDs, most have been blue so far.