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Thread: My Custom Built Car PC

  1. #1
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    My Custom Built Car PC

    I've just recently finished re-building my Car PC from the ground up. The case was Custom Built by my-self entirely out of transparent Perspex.

    Iím still using Windows to deal with everything at the moment (Music, DVDís, GPS, and Internet etc) as I havenít fully decided on a front end just yet.


    Here is what my Car PC had to before:

    -ECS Nforce 3 Skt939 ATX Motherboard
    -AMD X2 4600+
    -2x 512 Mb PC3200 DDR (1 GB, Dual Channel)
    -8 GB 133x Compact Flash (Windows XP)
    -Creative X-Fi Xterme Music Sound Card
    -PCI to PCMCI Adapter
    -T-Mobile PCMCIA 3G\GPRS Data Card
    -DVD-RW
    -USB GPS
    -Media Centre Remote Control & Keyboard
    -In Dash Motorised LCD Screen
    -350W ATX Power Supply & 600W Inverter
    -AGP NVIDIA Ti4600 128Mb Graphics Card


    Here is my new configuration:

    -Asus AV8-VM SE Skt939 Micro-ATX Motherboard
    -AMD X2 4600+
    -2x 512 Mb PC3200 DDR (1 GB, Dual Channel)
    -Seagate 160Gb SATA Drive (Windows XP)
    -Creative X-Fi Xterme Music Sound Card
    -PCI to PCMCI Adapter
    -T-Mobile PCMCIA 3G\GPRS Data Card
    -DVD-RW
    -USB GPS
    -Media Centre Remote Control & Keyboard
    -In Dash Motorised LCD Screen
    -220W MPEGBOX DSATX PSU
    -PCI-E NVIDIA 6600 128Mb DDR

    It doesn't look like I've changed much from what you can see above, but Windows now flyís it takes literally a couple of seconds and it's already booted up and has music playing. The compact flash drive was simply too slow, so I had to think of how I could install a fully working 3.5" Hard Drive which can take shocks. I designed a spring board which the hard drive would mount on to and I've tried going down some very bumpy roads and the hard drive doesn't miss a beat. Did a chkdsk and there isn't a single bad sector

    The DSATX PSU now controls when the computer turns on and off via the ignition, making things much easier.

    The case is completely transparent and designed to be as small as it can possibly be, still allowing enough cooling for all the components. I could have made it a lot smaller if all the PCI cards were low-profile and could have made it even smaller still if I had used a slim DVD-RW and 2.5" Hard Drive. But I'm very happy with what I've built so far.

    I'm hoping I can use this as a prototype to build more. I will get some pictures as soon, the case looks very nice in the dark with the multi-coloured LEDís from the chassis fan.

    Any questions, please feel free to ask.

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate
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    Sounds fast. before during after....PICS?

  3. #3
    Newbie
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    I've still got the old case, so I can get some before and after pics and I've got some pics to upload which I took while I was building it (during pics) which I'll have to upload to the computer.

  4. #4
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    Wow, those are some AWESOME pictures!
    "Life doesn't forgive weakness."
    2001 Mitsubishi Galant ES - 5 Speed Conversion/KYB AGX/Tein S-Tech/Addco Rear Swaybar/Injen CAI/Megan Catback Exhaust

    CarPC [----------] 30% Complete

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    OK. We see the project.....

    Where's the showing off?
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2007
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    England
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    I hit a bit of a problem with the DSATX power supply, as it supplys 5v Stand-by power to the motherboard when the car is turned off and it's enough to drain the starter battery, espicially during short journeys. But I've overcome this problem by adding a second battery (110AH 12V Deep Cycle) in the boot which is connected through a split charge relay, isolating the computer from the starter battery when the car ignition is off.

    I will be uploading all the pictures of the install when I get home tonight.

  7. #7
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    England
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    Before Pictures

    The following 3 pictures are of the old black desktop PC I was using with the previous car PC system:





    These next 2 pictures are of the old 12v-240v Power Inverter I was using before to power the car PC system which can drain up to 1500W Peck even though it struggles to supply anything over 350W:



  8. #8
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    England
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    During Pictures

    This is were I was working out what size the case would need to be and were everything should be mounted inside the case. I made a few change to the layout before I made a final decision.

    As you can see it's 370x240(mm's) (Length\Width) and I later decided on 130mm's in height due to the fact I was using full size PCI cards.





  9. #9
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    After Pictures

    These first two pictures are of the in dash LCD Screen:




    Then the rest are of the install it's self in the boot of the car:













  10. #10
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    Opinions would be much appreciated, everyone I've shown it to so far in person seems to want one of these as a desktop PC in their home, although this particular PC I built only for use in the Car.

    Keep in my mind the glue you see on the back is going to be scrapped of, I was in a rush to get it finished at the time as I was going out and needed the computer for Navigation.

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