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Thread: Car PC install in my 02 Avalanche

  1. #1
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    Plymouth , MN
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    Car PC install in my 02 Avalanche

    Ok folks so I've been lurking around the forums and looking at ideas to build my Car PC. Due to the fact that I am on a tight budget and still have to make monthly payments it has been a slow start but it is gettting there. This will be the start of my mods and improvements I'll be making to my vehicle in the coming months.

    Hardware:
    The Computer
    Current Setup
    Mo-co-so.com Black Box PCI Mini ITX Case for Carputer Car PC with PCI Slot
    Zotac nforce 610i- ITX motherboard
    Dual Core Intel Pentium Processor E5300
    320 GB Western Digital Hard Drive
    M2 - ATX power supply
    2GB Ram


    Future upgrades :

    4GB Ram (...DONE)
    Quad core Processor
    1TB hard drive
    PCIe 1x graphics card

    Past iterations
    Via M1200 motherboard
    Via M1000 motherboard
    160 Gb hard Drive
    1 Gb of Ram

    Peripherals:

    12.1 Inch VGA touchscreen monitor
    Space Navigator Mouse
    2 4 Port Usb hubs
    BU - 353 GPS receiver
    USB AT&T Aircard
    external DVD-RW drive

    Future Additions:

    3G mobile broadband Router
    TrackPad
    TPMS Sensor Kit
    PDC Sensor Kit
    Relay Kit to control some vehicle functions


    Software:
    Windows 7 Ultimate ............upgraded to Window 8 Pro
    Centrafuse Auto Navigation
    Dash Command
    Garmin Mobile PC


    Audio Setup:

    Alpine IDA-X300 ( for my recently stolen iphone)
    Alpine Type S speakers in all door........... Upgraded to Focal VR6s
    Alpine 12 disc CD changer
    Alpine PDX 1.600 Amp (for the sub-woofers)
    Alpine PDX 4.150 Amp ( for the Doors)
    Pioneer 10 inch shallow mounted Subs
    Kicker Solo Baric Subwoofer in the bed


    Future Additions:

    Alpine amplifier(s) ........... DONE
    Alpine subwoofer(s).......... DONE
    Alpine In Dash DVD monitor

    and the list goes on.........


    All of this is now protected by a Viper Responder alarm that includes a Whelen 6 strobes kit ( 90 watt strobe bulbs) and a 100 watt police siren.



    Thank You

    Before I go much further, I want to say a big thank you to everyone whose posts I've read, Whose ideas I have burrowed freely and whose hard work in the CarPC forums have got me where I am with this project today thanks again



    UPDATES:


    11/15/2010
    I learned the hard way that the BU-353 is not completely waterproof. Mine stopped working after a real heavy rainstorm and a car wash. I cannot say which one affected it but I opened the thing and there was rust inside where water had got in it. I had to order a new one and this time it stays in the car.


    11/21/2010
    I purchased 2GB of ram to add to my current 1GB setup. because I noticed CF has a slight lag after I click on buttons.
    Turns out one of the pins for the 2nd memory slot is damaged so my mobo will not read memory in that slot.

    Also my hard drive is failing. I keep getting errors upon boot up that I need to back up my data before my hard drvice dies. There is a major hardware upgrade in the near future

    12/12/2011
    I can't believe i has been over a year since I last posted an update.
    Over the past couple of months I've been working on the exterior and other stuff so I have not done much to the computer at this time.
    Now I am bout to start

    Last edited by Dluvr22; 05-31-2013 at 10:47 AM.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  2. #2
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Nice start to your project.

    You said "My goal is to have it installed in the dash"

    Will that monitor fit in the dash with mods eventully if you gut it and move HVAC etc? If so that will be great to have a 12.1" screen at your fingertips that looks factory.

    The only comment you made that I don't agree with is:

    "My one fear is that it looks tempting enough so that someone may break my windows but they will get a nasty surprise when they realize it cannot be unscrewed easily. Only caveat is that I'll have a broken window"

    If they break in and even try to take it (Not just kids that run away when they hear the alarm), I guarantee you will have colateral damage before they go. You might want to throw a jacket or something over that monitor when you leave the truck until you get it flushed into the dash.
    You might also consider adding a proximity sensor to the alarm. I have mine set up to chirp if someone is within about 2" of the truck (ie; looking in the windows). It will feed back to your key FOB as well. This may make them think twice.

    Again, great start, I'll be following your build!
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  3. #3
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Plymouth , MN
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    The Truck





    UPDATE: I noticed my worklog is taking too long to load. Reason Being that my individul posts were to large. As a result I am breaking them up into smaller posts.
    Thanks
    Last edited by Dluvr22; 02-18-2013 at 07:28 PM.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  4. #4
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    To start off we go to the screen:

    I didn't have my camera when I was putting it together - In fact I was sitting at work thinking of how I was going to get it mounted in my dash when an idea popped into my head. My goal is to have it installed in the dash but funds are in short supply right now. So I came across a temporary solution and I had to give it a shot so on my lunch hour at work I made a trip to Home Depot, got some black gloss paint a piece of wood, saw and some screws and got to work.

    Basically I pulled apart my factory radio and unscrewed the bottom of the chassis off because the radio mounting brackets was built into it.
    I then cut the piece of wood to size and using the factory holes bolted it to the radio chassis. Afterwards I spay painted a first coat of black paint on the new wood face. This would install into the factory radio location without a hitch. All of this was done during lunch. Later I sneaked out at every opportunity to paint a second and third coat.

    After it dried completely I took the Screen apart and drilled 2 holes in the backplate and through the wood face . I then mounted the backplate of the monitor to the wood with some spacers and added the factor bezel as the monitor was in front of the bezel and the radio behind. I then screwed the monitor together as soon as all was done. It took a lot of finesse to get the factory pieces to clip back in place with the bezel as one unit.

    After all was done , It looked nice enough and it is very sturdy plus the added advantage that it will not be easy to steal. My one fear is that it looks tempting enough so that someone may break my windows but they will get a nasty surprise when they realize it cannot be unscrewed easily. Only caveat is that I'll have a broken window. Between that and the alarm with the police sirens , I don't think it is going anywhere.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  5. #5
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    Here are some shots of the monitor installed:











    To the guys at work, You're all a great sport. There was one day earlier this year that I was seemingly lost for a while. Actually now you know why even if you don't know when. You guys had my back and covered for me without knowing it. Thanks. I owe you and am not making this a habit. LOL
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate locs4dayz's Avatar
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    Can you right and left click with the 3D mouse?
    Linux(Learning the curve...Like when driving!!!)
    Worklog!!!http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/fabr...l-worklog.html

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate locs4dayz's Avatar
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    Can you right and left click with that 3D mouse?
    Linux(Learning the curve...Like when driving!!!)
    Worklog!!!http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/fabr...l-worklog.html

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by locs4dayz View Post
    Can you right and left click with that 3D mouse?
    Yes you can. There are left and right mouse buttons on both side of the mouse. You can't see them in any of my previous pics but I'll look for one and upload shortly You can also assign mouse buttons to various gestures. I would say the sky is the limit with this mouse.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  9. #9
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    Tunes







    As You can see from my previous pic, I installed my audio head unit below the dash in part of my center console. I choose to go this route rather than have the computer as my only audio source for multiple reasons.
    First I like t have options available to me (you will see more of that in my build)
    I want to be able to play tunes from my PC. I also want to be able to have the capability of other audio sources as well. I wanted to still be able to play radio - although I hardly ever do that, play music off my iphone - all of it on CarPC anyway, Play CDs or DVDs - the CarPC can do both as well as play music from a USB stick. While the PC can do all of this, I did not want to saddle it with everything. Also knowing windows and it penchant for shutting down or freezing at the wrong time, I did not want to burden my CarPC unnecessarily.

    The Alpine IDA-X300 supports my Iphone directly. I just ran a USB cable from my Iphone to the head unit and it plays my music files. It also plays music from a usb stick. In addition , I can stream Pandora from my Iphone directly to my car speakers. Also I have tried a couple of the navigation software out there and they all stream to my head unit from my Iphone. I particularly like the AT&T Navigator for a couple of reasons, It gives me live traffic as well as takes up less space on my Iphone. I should add that I use the Iphone video out feature to output video to my screen. While the video quality by no means compares to an ipad, I still have a larger image.

    My Iphone also has a data only sim from AT&T with the grandfathered unlimited data plan so I use it for nothing else but to play music, video and secondary navigation in my car. The CarPC will be primary. Again as I stated earlier I love to have options so if I can make dual options for everything, I will go that route.

    Lastly I added a 12 disc CD Changer to the mix. This way say I am burning a CD or DVD using the RW drive and doing something else ion the Iphone, I can still listen to a CD. If a friend gets into my car and say hey lets listen to this CD, I can just pop it in the changer and call it a day.
    This also frees up some buttons for me on my front end as I do not need radio or satellite radio on my front end and lastly as a redundancy measure, If I decide to take the CarPC out (I'll be doing a lot of that) for tweaks or upgrades I will still have tunes in my truck.

    I will also upgrade the head unit in the future to another Alpine unit with a flip up screen to get more features. Alas my audio system is not complete as I do not have amps or subwoofers yet. That has been held up due to funds as well as the fact that I want to take my time and get this build done right as space for subwoofers, the computer, CD changer and Amps is hard to find in this vehicle.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  10. #10
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    Plymouth , MN
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    The CPU
    The CPU has been through a number of changes. They way I see it, it will be constantly evolving.
    I originally started off with a VIA M10000 Mini-ITX motherboard. I went through 2 of these and they just stopped working. I have never figured out why. I then upgraded to the Via M12000 motherboard. After I installed it, I decided I wanted to use windows 7 instead of windows XP. I installed Windows 7 and was extremely disappointed with the performance. I had yet to install any programs on the CPU and it was already running slow.

    OLD CPU









    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

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