Haven't done much to the truck in the past couple days. It's been cold outside and that kinda kills my motivation to be out there working on it. Today I ordered my subwoofer, a 15" Dayton Titanic MkIII.
It should be here on Wednesday. Then I can finally have a complete audio system. I also ordered an AUX input adapter for my Kenwood CD player off Ebay. Hopefully that will be here by the end of the week. I've been playing around with the software on the TruckPC while it's still set up indoors. I figure it's alot easier to do it in here where I have internet access rather than having to configure everything out in the truck thru wifi. Here's a list of the software I'm currently running:
TinyXP Beast Edition
Road Runner 9-5-06
Matrix-ks screen saver
Avast Antivirus 4.7
I still need to install my GPS drivers and figure out some sort of COM port splitter to run, that way I can use Netstumbler and iGuidance at the same time. I'll probably be buying a copy of PhoneControl.net to interface with my phone (Sony-Ericsson S710a) thru bluetooth as well. Hopefully I can figure out a way to automatically pair the phone and the bluetooth adapter when they come into range of each other, because it would be a real pain to have to pair the phone and the PC every time I get into the truck. That's kind of a low priority right now tho, but something to think about for the future. On Tuesday I'll be going back to day shift (I've been working nights for the past 3 1/2 months) so that should give me more free time to work on the truck since I'll have 3-4 hours of daylight left after I get off work. My goal is to have a functional navigation system in the truck by 24 November (that's when I'll be finally leaving Mississippi and going back to Texas.) The only thing that's holding me back right now is the power supply issue, but I have an inverter and an ATX power supply on hand, so that's what I'll probably be using to power the PC for the trip back to Texas. I can work on a DC-DC solution later on. Anyway, enough rambling by me for now.
I AM VICTORIOUS! Today on my first break, I went outside and managed to get the top seatbelt bolt undone. After wrestling around with the trim panel and the seat, I finally got both separated from the truck. I'm on my lunch break right now, and have a test I have to take as soon as I get back. Instead of studying, I'm stripping the upholstery off a jump seat. What the hell is wrong with me lol
Gotta hit the ground @ 0430 in the morning and be @ work by 0600, so I'll keep this kinda short. Aced my test, came back to my room and finished dismantling the jumpseat. I removed all the upholstery, padding, and seatbelts, so its down to a bare seat pan and mounting brackets. I also did some more work to the software side of the house. I got my GPS drivers loaded up and installed Xport3 to split the COM ports up. A big THANK YOU to the guy that coded Xport. Without it I'd have alot of work ahead of me in figuring out a way to make the GPS software work the way I want it to. Tomorrow after work I'll probably swing by the hardware store and pick up all the nuts, bolts, and screws I need to mount everything. I'll also probably drop by the auto shop on base and see if they have a drill press I can use to fabricate some brackets for my hard drive. I'll be setting it up for a 3.5" drive so I can later upgrade (I'm thinking a 250GB WD hard drive will be perfect for storing all my music and movies). I've got a set of adapter brackets to mount the 2.5" drive in the 3.5" bay for the time being. Anyways, I've gotta be up in six hours, so I'll shut up for now.
Made a little bit of progress over the past couple days. My subwoofer arrived Wednesday, and I got it installed and set the gain on my amp (which involved taking the whole amprack apart). The sub sounds okay, but really I was hoping for more output. Don't get me wrong, it is loud, but not as loud as I want. I'll probably build a slot-ported box later on and hopefully get that massive bottom end that I'm looking for. Yesterday I went to Lowe's and bought the machine screws and nuts to mount the motherboard and harddrive. Then I get back and found out that an 8-32 machine screw is just a hair too big to fit thru the holes in the motherboard. Back to Lowe's to buy 6mm screws instead (spent more on gas to drive to the store than I spent on the screws that I needed.) Got back and drilled the seat pan to mount the motherboard. As I'm tightening down the last nut (with a pair of needle nose pliers, since they so thoughtfully put a capacitor right next to the screw hole) I feel a "crunch". Turns out that I knocked two of the surface mount resistors off the board. Fired up the soldering iron and soldered them back into place (alot easier said than done), hooked everything up and powered it up, fearing the worst. To my surprise, it worked fine. The only issue is that the BIOS somehow got reset, so I reconfigured everything and it seems to operate normally now. Tonight I'll fabricate the hard drive brackets and get the hard drive mounted, and hopefully be able to get it in the truck and working over the weekend. Only have a few days left to meet my goal, hopefully there's no surprises that pop up.
Sounds like you dodged a bullet there, good to hear its all working :)
Today has seen alot of progress. Last night I was planning on doing some work but was so tired that I fell asleep at 7pm and didn't wake up till 4:30 this morning. Went to grab a quick breakfast and then got to work on the PC. Fabricated the hard drive brackets (I "borrowed" the 250GB drive out of my external enclosure to mock it up for a 3.5" drive) and got it bolted into the seat pan. I also found out that the rounded IDE cable that I bought will be too short. I ended up using the flat cable that came with the motherboard which worked for a while, and then failed a few hours later. So looks like I have to buy a new cable when I get home. The shorter round cable that I have still works, but I just can't open the seat (I designed the setup to be able to easily open up and access for maintenance). Here's some pics of the progress:
Overall view. Ain't it purdy :D
This shows the clearance of the CPU fan to the HD. Hopefully the CPU still gets enough airflow like this.
Detail of HD mounting. There should be enough room for an M2-ATX or DSATX to the right of the HD.
Also drove all over town looking for a 10ft USB cable to run from the PC to my USB hub in the dash. Ratshack had one for $25, and Circuit ****ty wanted $35 for one. No way I'm paying that much for a damn USB cable. Ended up finding one at Walmart of all places for $13.88. Still more than I'd normally pay, but it wasn't too much of a loss so I went ahead and got it. Right now my interior is a rat's nest of wires going everywhere. Got my USB hub mounted in the dash where the passenger's side dash speaker used to be (I've got components in my doors, so the dash speakers are not being used) and routed the USB cable to the back where the PC will be. Looks like I'll have to mount my wifi card up in the dash above the passenger's footwell, that's about the only place I can find to fit it. I'll be running an RF cable up thru the dash and up the A-pillar to mount a concealed wifi antenna at the top edge of the windshield eventually, so hopefully the wifi card under the dash will work alright untill then. In a little while, I'll be firing up the soldering iron and making the power cable to power my USB hub, DVD drive and screen, I just need to source a Molex connector locally to connect it to. I'm really closing in on this thing, if all goes according to plan, I might be able to boot this thing in the truck for the first time tomorrow.
IT WORKS IT WORKS IT WORKS!!! :nutz:
Ok so last night I finished up the dash wiring (except audio) and made my 5v power cable to go from the PC to the USB hub and DVD drive. I cut the barrel plugs off the original power adapters and used 16 gauge wire to go from the PC to the plugs. Seems to be working well so far. I also mounted the screen on its gooseneck and ran the wires under the seat to where the PC will be (I'll hide these later on when I rewire the USB connection to my screen.) Managed to find a Molex Y-adapter at Radio Shack last night to cut up and use it's connector to connect to my power supply. The Y-adapter used small gauge wire (20 gauge or so) so I used both sets of wires coming from the molex to connect the 16 gauge wire to. I also used the 12v side of the molex to connect my screen. I used crimp-on disconnects on all 4 wires, that way I can pull the wiring back out if I need to without cutting anything. Today I brought the PC and ATX power supply down and put them in place. It's kinda funny how it took me so long to figure out how to get the seat out of there, but took me maybe 5-10 minutes to get it back in. Anyways, I hooked everything up, connected my power inverter, and fired it up. This is about when I smell a burning smell. Check the screen and it gives me a "Disk boot failure" message. I later find out that somehow I smoked a trace on my IDE adapter board. I fire up the soldering yet again (it's been getting quite a bit of use lately) and solder a piece of insulated copper wire in place to replace the burnt trace. I'm hoping that the reason the trace burned is that it grounded out somehow. I wrapped the board in electrical tape so hopefully that doesn't happen again. Anyways, got it back together, booted it up, and took it for a short drive around the base. iGuidance seems to be working great (although the GPS signal is kinda weak) and Netstumbler is still picking up APs even with the wifi card sitting down in the footwell. I still need to run the wiring and mount my DVD drive, and hook up the USB audio card, but for now I can say I've met my goal. Life is good :D
Maybe life isn't so good. Discovered major RFI problems. With the PC running, I receive about 10-14 dB of noise on my CB, essentially jamming all communications. I tried re-routing my antenna coax (real PITA by the way), tried a different antenna in a different location, all with the same result. I pinpointed the power supply as the source of the noise, so hopefully when I get a DC-DC power supply it will fix that problem. The other issue that I found is that when I transmit with the CB with my RF amp on, it will cause the screen to flicker when I modulate (not a big deal) and it will cause the computer to shut off after a few seconds (BIG problem). I'm hoping that the power supply is the problem here as well, since it will be replaced soon. Then there's the issue of my audio amplifiers picking up the RF when I transmit and playing it back thru the speakers, causing really bad feedback. I need to make a set of shorting plugs for the RCA jacks and see if it's coming thru the RCAs or the amps themselves. Either way it will be a pain in the ***. I really need the CB when I'm on the road (I'd take the CB over GPS if I had to choose) so it looks like I may end up using the laptop for navigation on the trip home...this sucks.
Lol such is life, computers and radio has never been a good mix, but I suggest finding a helpful amateur radio freak, one who CONSTRUCT not one of those useless posh communications hobbyists who sit around on their radios and have no idea what a transistor is. (england full of them)(thankfully uk radio in a decline so it should weed them out)
Originally Posted by PSYKO_Inc
Bringing this thread back from the dead. I've had a "functional" PC in my truck for about a month now, but never really used it until now. Last week I finally ordered an M2-ATX, and I took everything apart and installed it today (just in time for a big road trip I'll be starting tomorrow). It works flawlessly! No more RFI issues, transmitting or receiving! My wife was super impressed by how it all worked out. I still have to put all the trim back in place, but aside from that, it's pretty much done for now. I'll have pics up soon. I'll be hitting the road for 10 days, 3700 miles, and 14 states, so I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes :D