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Thread: No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop

    In the age where smaller is better, hidden is better, Small Form Factors and Laptops rule the CarPC world...I am going against the grain here. I wanted a CarPC that had to fill out a certain group of criteria.

    • Dolby Digital Encoding
    • Dolby Digital Decoding
    • TV Capabilities
    • Desktop gaming performance
    • Upgradable
    • Able to power the accessories it has


    The only way I figured I could pull this off was to build a monster of a desktop and retrofit it into the car with enough style that it doesn't look too out of place.


    Chapter 1: Welcome to the Digital Age...Dolby Digital style
    Chapter 2: Your average desktop PC on a desktop
    Chapter 3: Accessing the Accessories
    Chapter 4: Preinstall yeah thats going to take some time
    Chapter 5: Install time is here...and you thought the preinstall sucked
    Chapter 6: Form and Function....hopefully it functions
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

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    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Digital Age...Dolby Digital style

    To be able to pull this off I needed two important components the Dolby Digital Encoder to take all music and convert it to Dolby Digital in realtime.

    Enter NVIDIA Soundstorm

    NVIDIA's Soundstorm webpage




    The motherboard I selected was the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe which has the NFORCE chipset with the integrated Sounstorm ALU. The output from the motherboard is a digital spdif connection. I wanted to not use the analog connection as I would not be using the digital abilities at that time.



    Now the next step was find a way to decode the Dolby Digital signal. I had a few choices I could use an amplifier from a home theater solution but wanted more of the car audio way of life. Thats when I found the Creative's Sound Blaster Extigy. It has the ability to decode Dolby Digital signals and actually had both optical and SPDIF digital inputs. Perfect! If that couldn't be enough of a reason to go this route...12 volt DC input which means I could run it off my computer's power supply. More on that later.




    I finished the set off with a trio of Rockford Fosgate amps and three sets of speakers and two subs




    As you can see from the drawing the speakers near the passenger and driver actually emulate the center channel instead of the front left and right speakers because the majority of the sound comes from the center channel not the left and right front speakers.
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    Your average desktop PC on a desktop

    Stats

    ASUS A7N8X Deluxe nForce2 chipset with Soundstorm ALU
    Athlon XP 2600+ Mobile 45 watt processor
    512MB (2x256MB) Dual Channel PC3200 DDR
    OCZ Modstream 520 watt modular power supply
    Just Cooler RC-168 Computer Remote Control



    The OCZ 520 watt power supply is the heart and soul of this setup. It is not only for powering the computer itself but for lending a hand with its clean 5 volt and 12 volt connections to power the many other accesories.

    The computer has a remote control that easily attaches to a keychain that will power the computer up and also put in standby when needed. It uses Radio Frequency so line of sight is not needed which is great when your in the front seat and your computer is hanging out in the trunk.


    There are two keyboards in use one is a wired USB PlayStation2 Logitech Netplay keyboard and the other is the Auravision Presenter


    Logitech Netplay

    I threw away the PS2 controller part leaving just the small USB keyboard. It will be attached to my sunvisor giving me access to a keyboard at all times.



    Auravision Presenter

    The point of this keyboard is not only to give me a wireless keyboard but with its built in trackball mouse and media buttons it is the whole package without being too large of a keyboard that you can't just throw it in the glovebox. Because it uses RF instead of IR this keyboard will be useful both in the car and out with no need to point it at the wireless receiver.
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    Accessing the Accessories

    Nitemax nightvision cameras
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    Preinstall yeah thats going to take some time

    Reserved estimated time...April 2007
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    Install time is here...and you thought the preinstall sucked

    Reserved estimated time...May 2007
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

  7. #7
    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    Form and Function....hopefully it functions

    Reserved estimated time...June 2007
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Dennis5587's Avatar
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    hahaha, just ******* with you

    2006 Mazda 3
    Behringer DCX-2496
    JL300/4 Focal 6W4311B Focal TN52
    JL500/1 JL10w6v2

  9. #9
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    how're you going to get decent imaging with what looks like your mains beside/behind the driver, and two center channels being so far apart?

    you don't mention what car this is going into, but loads of cars have places where you can stuff a center channel - if it's an older car that had stereo audio as an "option" you can stick it where the mono was. otherwise, get creative.

    the idea of 5.1 in a car is awesome, but without the proper speaker placement it'd be awfully unconvincing.

    otherwise great job, i hope it comes out like you plan

    P.S. if you haven't already bought the stuff and wanna save some cash and amperage, your mobo already has 5.1-decoded analog outputs. put active crossover on orange socket, sub-bass to your sub amp, rest to center channel amp. purple goes to surround amp, green to mains amp. the extigy probably has a nice quality DAC that your mobo can't match though.

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate PCModifiers's Avatar
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    thanks for the input fwaggle. The speaker placement is a big question mark in the picture is the stock locations for the speakers but depending on how things sound I may have to relocate some of the speakers. You are correct I believe about the 5.1 using the analog outputs, but by doing that you bypass the Dolbe Interactive Content Encoder which encodes the audio into Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Guess I better get some updates on this page, I have been slacking off!
    No one ever said this stuff was easy...The Mobile Desktop
    Progress[**********]

    Dolby Digital Real-time Encoding*Desktop Computer*Athlon XP Mobile*ASUS A7N8X Deluxe*Kingston Hyper X*5.25" CDRW and DVD drives*Lilliput 8" LCD*Mag 14" LCD

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