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Thread: '02 Chevy Tracker: Trying a plan for once

  1. #1
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    '02 Chevy Tracker: Trying a plan for once

    Well, after some 6 long months of headscratching, reading forums, and trial and error, I've come to a conclusion...

    I will be re-doing my whole install (just computer stuff).

    I started with a headunit, 1 amp, subs, and stock speakers. Ran this setup for the longest time. Then 6 months I put a laptop in the trunk with a power inverter, and a usb powered touchscreen up front. I ran into so many problems with this.

    1. Took the headunit out, hooked touchscreen/laptop up and laptop sound wouldn't go through the amp with lpf on or off. Tried amp in another car, nothing. Taking the headunit out killed the amp!? (maybe it was it's time, had it for 6+ years).
    2. Put headunit back in for now till I got a new amp, head unit wouldn't turn on. Replaced the fuse and headunit turns on. Back to original setup but no amp so no subs at this time.
    3. Found a cheap pair of subs that came with an amp from someone who used them in a truck. Barely fit in my trunk width-wise but they are shallow and larger size, so more room in trunk plus bigger/better bass .
    4. Hooked the new amp/subs up and they sounded much better than the oversized box/small subs I used to have.

    At this point, my headunit is lost!? Lost!? How do you lose a headunit? (Found out after a while my fiance gave it to her mom since she thought we didn't use it)....
    So, before I knew it was given away, I purchased a cheap replacement headunit, and turned out to have better eq controls, rca outs, aux in, etc than the old headunit. So it turned out ok I guess.

    5. Now, I hooked the laptop up again and ran the sound through the headunit, success! It worked, I didn't think I would get to this point.
    6. The excitement didn't last long as I tried to setup sleep/hibernate abilites to notice the tabs weren't there in power configs. Huh, how does something not have a hibernate option (oh well, I'll figure it out later, at least it's up and running so I can turn it on/off for now).
    7. Made some small modifications and got touchscreen drivers/functionality to work. Rebooted the laptop and nothing on the touchscreen (Oh great!).
    8. I guess the usb driving power/video/data wasn't a good idea but I'll get it to work. The usb needed an active extension cable and a powered hub to boot (it's working ok now).
    9. Finally figured out the hibernate options, needed Lenovo proprietary software. Set all options needed in that, and couldn't hit the ok button (it was off the bottom of the screen and not enough screen area to move the window up to hit ok). Tried enter, but it cancelled the changes. Tried tabbing different amounts with enter, nothing.
    10. Power options were driving me insane not staying how I wanted, power inverter was causing problems running laptop and usb hub, touchscreen was finicky even with powered hub, graphic problems and driver problems as well, problems I didn't want to deal with anymore...


    So here we are today!

    Already took the laptop, hub, and power inverter out of the trunk.
    Spent today thinking abut system hardware.

    1. Monitor: 7" vga/usb touchscreen (avg $150). Replaces the usb driven touchscreen which I could sell to offset some cost.
    2. Mobo/CPU: AMD Dual Core, 3.0GHz, GeForce 6100 integrated video chipset for graphics. I think 6100, while outdated nowadays, will run pretty much anything I need to in the car. Rated at 65w. Mobo/cpu/heatsink/graphics for about $120ish, don't think it's too bad. http://www.cpusolutions.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2027&idcategory=210
    -Ordered
    3. HDD: 2.5" sata drive ($39.99).
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...d=ITD&body=QA#. Shouldn't take more than 25 watts on average.
    4. DVD: slimline external dvd drive. Average 25w.
    5. RAM: 2x2GB ($48.99) http://www.cpusolutions.com/store/pc...1&idcategory=0. Shouldn't take more than 5 watts from what I've read.
    6. Power: 250W M4 ($88). Should be enough to power usb devices as well as pc and monitor. http://store.mp3car.com/M4_ATX_HV_25..._p/pwr-042.htm
    -Ordered
    7. Extra:
    *Dual blue sound activated cold cathodes ($16). http://www.crazypc.com/products/PV1-8240B.html. I figured shouldn't be more than 10 watts max (still seems high).
    -Received
    *Blue led 80mm fans x2 ($6x2). http://www.crazypc.com/products/5870B.html. Accounting for 2 watts each.
    -Received

    2 sheets of plexiglass for case ($16). Local Lowe's hardware store.

    At about 145ish watts and between $324 and $389 so far...

    I left out quite a bit of stuff: OBDII, GPS, Wi-Fi, etc... At this point I am only planning to get up and running and add the other stuff later.

    Word of caution I'm not a fabricator or anything even close to that, so I did what I could for a temp solution at the time on mounting a touchscreen...

    Any comments/suggestions on hardware would be awesome. I won't be ordering anything for another couple weeks so I got a while to determine hardware. But once I get the money I want to be set to order .

    Edit: Updated some hardware/prices/links/etc...
    Last edited by detlion1643; 02-18-2011 at 08:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    1. good

    2 & 3. most of the component processors are at least 65watt tdp. there is this celeron 35watt one though.. i use a 65w pentium dual core with a dstax..

    other then hijacks 6-7 zone system, i have not seen a true need for a graphics card. onboard is usually plenty even for playing back HD movies.. if it is really a concern, look for a board with something better then 'intel' graphics..(my zotac has nvidia geforce 9300 integrated)

    4. in order of power consumption--most to least: 3.5"-->--2.5"-->--ssd. i would always prefer to use either 2.5's, or ssd's in car mostly because of their small size and lower power consumption

    6. if you decide to use win7, it would be best to use at least 1.5gb of ram. i found that any less tends to slow the pc down.. but if you are using hibernate, then 1gb is better for faster hibernate/resume times..

    7. some have run m2/m3's with i3 boards, but i am just not comfortable recommending them-- i would say to get at least a dstax, or m4. if not a opus 360...

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    Thanks for the suggestions soundman... I reconsidered some options. I've never had good experiences with onboard graphics in the past. I replaced the mobo/cpu/graphics with a geforce 6100. I think a 9300 is overkill and too pricey for myself personally.

    I had good experiences with win7 on a geforce4 mx 440 and 1gb of ram just a year ago. Ran that mx 440 card with 1gb ram and p4 2.4GHz for 6-7 years before it died. Went through win2000,xp,7. Never bothered with vista, but had no hiccups on any of the 3 os's with 1gb of ram. I def. did more than just web browsing so it got a workout but performed well.

    I'll probably use an M4 so I won't have to worry about anything, plus I would have some breathing room as well.

  4. #4
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    for your new memory question: standard ddr memory will not work in a board that needs ddr2 speed ram-- but some sticks are backwards compatible(ddr2 in a ddr slot)..

    though, the ddr2 800mhz ram that the board needs is currently pretty common, so it shouldn't be too much of a issue to find cheaper ram.

  5. #5
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    Love waking up to this in the morning...
    [IMG]

    Temporary mounting of the usb driven touchscreen. Industrial velcro and a block of wood!


    New headunit with GLI inserted.


    Amp/Subs/Misc wires...


    I'm thinking on building a clear case for the pc and mounting it in the open spot between the subs. The small amp used to be there, but the already ran cords didn't reach the amp. Put in an led with the clear case and I think it would look pretty cool/flashy. I still need to carpet the wooden box, or paint it at least. The new touchscreen would obviously get mounted better than velcro and wood.

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    I've been doing some thinking monitors. Is 800x600 a useful resolution in the car, is the 800x480 pretty standard in that regard? I know 800x600 is supported as a standard 4:3 resolution and found an 8" touchscreen on ebay that supports natively 800x600 for about $140ish. Doesn't seems like a bad deal for me.

    I think I will also have to purchase a cheap cd/dvd sata drive, as even the external usb optical drives I don't think register when trying to install windows?

    I have a bunch of old laptop hdd's, but they are not sata. Is it possible to convert the ide type to sata instead of buying new hdd's? that would save some time and money.

    Looks like I'll be averaging about $400ish on a mobo/cpu/graphics combo, vga/usb touchscreen, and power supply. About $100 left for hdd, dvd, ram, but I can probably go cheap/used on hdd and dvd to save some. Ram is normally pretty cheap on it's own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detlion1643 View Post
    I've been doing some thinking monitors. Is 800x600 a useful resolution in the car, is the 800x480 pretty standard in that regard? I know 800x600 is supported as a standard 4:3 resolution and found an 8" touchscreen on ebay that supports natively 800x600 for about $140ish. Doesn't seems like a bad deal for me.

    I think I will also have to purchase a cheap cd/dvd sata drive, as even the external usb optical drives I don't think register when trying to install windows?

    I have a bunch of old laptop hdd's, but they are not sata. Is it possible to convert the ide type to sata instead of buying new hdd's? that would save some time and money.

    Looks like I'll be averaging about $400ish on a mobo/cpu/graphics combo, vga/usb touchscreen, and power supply. About $100 left for hdd, dvd, ram, but I can probably go cheap/used on hdd and dvd to save some. Ram is normally pretty cheap on it's own.
    Im running a Lilliput at 800x600 in my Truckputer. Yes you can load windows (XP, VISTA, 7) from a USB flash drive or external USB Hard Drive. I personally loaded my Truckputer with an external USB Hard Drive. Yes there are IDE to SATA gender changers. the one i would buy is here....http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product

    Let me know if you have any other questions ill be here all day...(at work ) Im a network engineer for the Army and own my own PC shop, so i have lots of info to give!!
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    houndazs, is it possible to install an OS from an external optical drive? Or are the external drives not registered until the OS boots, meaning I will need to install from a sata/ide dvd drive?

    I'm planning on just creating a 10gb partition for OS and updates/drivers/etc, then another partition for everything else, on a standard sata hdd. I might use the adapter and rig a laptop hdd for sata in the meantime, saving a good chunk of money, so thanks for that link!

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    Quote Originally Posted by detlion1643 View Post
    houndazs, is it possible to install an OS from an external optical drive? Or are the external drives not registered until the OS boots, meaning I will need to install from a sata/ide dvd drive?

    I'm planning on just creating a 10gb partition for OS and updates/drivers/etc, then another partition for everything else, on a standard sata hdd. I might use the adapter and rig a laptop hdd for sata in the meantime, saving a good chunk of money, so thanks for that link!
    yes you can also install an OS from en external CD/DVD drive that is USB. I wouldnt bother with a partition on your hard drive, because you are probably never going to get a virus or anything else that corrupts your hard drive on your carputer.
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  10. #10
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    if you use win7 you will need at least a 15gb partition. win7 itself-- unslimmed, is around 12gb after installation...(my company used to setup xp using 10gb partitions, and attempted to do the same with win7-- it didn't work out..)

    yes, it should be fine to install it from a external optical drive. just be sure to have the driver disk handy in case windows setup doesn't locate the correct one..

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