Yep, it's been almost a month. My semi-completed carPC is along for the ride, right now. It mostly just needs a bezel, but I've been putting that off 'til we get our new workspace organized.
Originally Posted by ZX1Cruizer
On the carPC, there are a few things I've noticed that will probably get changed when I get back into them:
(1) There is no switch to simply leave the carPC off. That was an intentional omission; I thought I'd run it all the time. But I miss that feature; if I just want to move the car, I have to wait for the entire boot cycle and then tell it to do a shutdown.
(2) The cooling fans are way too powerful for the amount of heat generated. I think I'll return them to being controlled by the mainboard, and drop them from 12V to 3.3V so they turn at a much more leisurely pace. They sound like small turbines, right now, and the air coming from them rarely gets above ambient.
(3) The auxiliary battery system takes far longer to recharge than I had expected, and longer than my initial tests indicated. I've said I didn't need a larger alternator, but the small stock one works hard to keep up if I leave the carPC running for a while. I suspect the monster cooling fans are an issue, here, and using lower and intermittent power on them may help this situation, too.
(4) I think I'd like remote access from the house network, so I can work on the carPC -- for such things as updating Centrafuse Auto -- from my desk, rather than sitting in the car. I think a Wake-On-LAN feature would be good, so I can start the PC when I want to do that without going out to start it in the car, but maybe that's just pure laziness, eh?
(5) The DVD player/burner I installed has never been used, and I doubt that any future installations will include one.
Overall the carPC has been very useful, primarily for the NAV capability when I need to find some place I've never been, or need to route around a traffic snarl. It's also been very nice on trips.
I'm getting a little itchy to put the bezel in, but I want to finish the new workspace first. All the construction work is complete, and we've moved some of our stuff from the garage to the shop. I need to finish building the shelving, and get it sanded and painted. Once we can actually finish moving in and get our tools and supplies and parts sorted out, it'll be a the best shop either of us have ever owned. We'll be able to pull the car in, work in comfort with plenty of space, with the tools right where we need them. The girls will have their own garage (the original one) that they can actually park in, too, instead of having their space eaten up by our "stuff". Everybody wins.