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Thread: Xobyte minispark - a review

  1. #1
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    Xobyte minispark - a review

    Okay, this is MY ( agree with it or not ) review of and opinion of the XoByte miniSpark.

    I will edit this post as I go with my setup and testing.

    First, I suppose I should post some background as I have never been much more than a 'lurker on the MP3CAR website.

    I first read about the miniSpark here with JohnWPB's initial review and the subsequent posts by XoByte and Carnetix folks in that thread, and it seemed the perfect item for my needs.

    My CarPC is an early version Acura Embedded ( www.acuraembedded.ca ) "Power Brick" mobile Computer. I got this hardware at a "great" price.

    It came as a system with the "Power Brick" computer itself ( with Nano 9452 MoBo ), a Planar LX1200TR 12" Touch Screen and a Solidtek ACK-540U Keyboard.

    http://www.acuraembedded.com/powerbrick.html
    http://www.tri-m.com/products/iei/nano9452.html
    http://www.planarembedded.com/produc...icle/lx1200tr/
    http://reviews.cnet.com/keyboards/ac...-31325128.html

    What it didn't come with ( as its an early version ) is a functioning Ignition Input Circuit to control the On-Off of the computer. The newer versions do have the circuit included. And this is what drove me to look for a controller in the first place.

    Part 1 - The Purchase

    Easy online purchase on May 6th and the package arrives May 10th.

    Placed in a small padded envelope the miniSpark and cable harness arrived intact with no damage. It did not come with a copy of the invoice or any other paperwork or manual, although all of these are possible to print out from my online purchase confirmation email or the website.

    Part 2 - First Impressions

    The miniSpark box is a small box approximately 3" long, 2" wide and about 1.25" inches thick.It did not come with any mounting device or method. My first thought is if this is being marketed towards a mobile vehicle market, it should have at least come with some double sided tape or some kind of flanges on the box to allow the box to be mounted or secured in a vehicle.

    Since this item is very light in weight, I will be using Industrial Grade Velcro to hold it down to a plate that will also be holding the computer under the seat in my truck.

    Part 3 - Initial testing

    MORE TO COME FOLLOWING ANOTHER EDIT>>>>>>>>>>>

  2. #2
    Mo' Programming Mo' Problems
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    Sonicxtacy02's Avatar
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    looking forward to your review. I've completed my review of the mini spark. Should be posted on the home page in the next few days
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  3. #3
    VENDOR - XoByte M3Sharif's Avatar
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    Hi stokjeep,

    We're pleased you received the package and hope all goes well with your installation and use of miniSpark™. If you have any questions or need any help please feel free to contact us at our website, PM me on MP3Car, or post on this forum.

    We look forward to hearing your opinion of our product and welcome any suggestions you have on improvements, new feature requests, or a better customer experience. I've already noted your comments about including an invoice and mounting options and will work to address them.

    Thanks


    Quote Originally Posted by stokjeep View Post
    Okay, this is MY ( agree with it or not ) review of and opinion of the XoByte miniSpark.

    I will edit this post as I go with my setup and testing.

    First, I suppose I should post some background as I have never been much more than a 'lurker on the MP3CAR website.

    I first read about the miniSpark here with JohnWPB's initial review and the subsequent posts by XoByte and Carnetix folks in that thread, and it seemed the perfect item for my needs.

    My CarPC is an early version Acura Embedded ( www.acuraembedded.ca ) "Power Brick" mobile Computer. I got this hardware at a "great" price.

    It came as a system with the "Power Brick" computer itself ( with Nano 9452 MoBo ), a Planar LX1200TR 12" Touch Screen and a Solidtek ACK-540U Keyboard.

    http://www.acuraembedded.com/powerbrick.html
    http://www.tri-m.com/products/iei/nano9452.html
    http://www.planarembedded.com/produc...icle/lx1200tr/
    http://reviews.cnet.com/keyboards/ac...-31325128.html

    What it didn't come with ( as its an early version ) is a functioning Ignition Input Circuit to control the On-Off of the computer. The newer versions do have the circuit included. And this is what drove me to look for a controller in the first place.

    Part 1 - The Purchase

    Easy online purchase on May 6th and the package arrives May 10th.

    Placed in a small padded envelope the miniSpark and cable harness arrived intact with no damage. It did not come with a copy of the invoice or any other paperwork or manual, although all of these are possible to print out from my online purchase confirmation email or the website.

    Part 2 - First Impressions

    The miniSpark box is a small box approximately 3" long, 2" wide and about 1.25" inches thick.It did not come with any mounting device or method. My first thought is if this is being marketed towards a mobile vehicle market, it should have at least come with some double sided tape or some kind of flanges on the box to allow the box to be mounted or secured in a vehicle.

    Since this item is very light in weight, I will be using Industrial Grade Velcro to hold it down to a plate that will also be holding the computer under the seat in my truck.

    Part 3 - Initial testing

    MORE TO COME FOLLOWING ANOTHER EDIT>>>>>>>>>>>

  4. #4
    VENDOR - XoByte M3Sharif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
    looking forward to your review. I've completed my review of the mini spark. Should be posted on the home page in the next few days
    and we're looking forward to both your reviews :-) I hope our product can fill a need in the CarPC arena. We are always looking for ways to improve and enhance miniSpark™ so all suggestions and comments are very welcome.

  5. #5
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    M3Sharif,

    Thx

    Could you have whomever checks your "contact us" mail to look for my email I sent you guys last nite ?

    I have a configuration question that I hope you can help with as my network adapter doesnt appear to have the "magic frame" option that I need to check.

  6. #6
    VENDOR - XoByte M3Sharif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokjeep View Post
    M3Sharif,

    Thx

    Could you have whomever checks your "contact us" mail to look for my email I sent you guys last nite ?

    I have a configuration question that I hope you can help with as my network adapter doesnt appear to have the "magic frame" option that I need to check.
    Hi Stokjeep,

    I got in touch with him and he should be contacting you very shortly.

    As a general note every NIC card will have different configuration options. We suggest using "Magic Frames" when available based on the testing we've done. It seems to be the best option for allowing a PC to respond to a WOL packet when it's Hibernating, Shut-Down, or in Stand-By.

    If your NIC card doesn't have the "Magic Frame" option it may very well fully support WOL from all modes using the standard "Magic Packets". Sometimes it's a matter of trial and error before finding the perfect NIC settings that'll get you PC to do exactly what you want. Also make sure that the BIOS has WOL enabled.

    Thanks and let me know if you need any further assistance.

  7. #7
    VENDOR - XoByte M3Sharif's Avatar
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    miniSPark Demo Video

    Last edited by M3Sharif; 07-20-2011 at 12:21 PM.

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