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 Post subject: Car PC info
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:48 pm 
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I have an old desktop computer sitting around, it's a Pentium 2 333mhz, around 160mb ram, 8G hard drive, got sound card + video card...i also have keyboard + mouse sitting around somewhere.

anyways... it's pretty much not doing anything, and i want to put it to good use inside my car, e.g. for playing VCD movies, watching MTVs....

now, questions:

Power:
* The power supply in the computer takes 240V, and the car only pumps out 12V. Is there a transformer or something i can buy to up the power?

* Also, i have a 500W 2 channel AMP powering a 12" sub, a 10 disc cd stacker... if i do draw power from the car battery, is there going to be enough?


Display:
* it would have to be an LCD display in the car, my first thought is to get a cheapo LCD from ebay, those $300 ones... would they work? how are the $300 ones compared to the $1k ones? i.e. are they 3 times better?

Practicality:
* Is it really practical to have PC in the car? i.e. those who've had it done, is it worth the effort?

Cost:
I want this to be as cheap as possible, how much do you think it would cost me at the end of the day?


thanks guys!
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Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:15 pm 
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well, my mate bought a tv off ebay, cost about 350, inbuilt tv tuner, it transmits sound to headunit via fm transmitter

we hooked his xbox upto it, so yeh, can play xbox, watch movies and play music in car.

so screen was about 350ish, it works fine, had it a month, no issues.
inverter, we got 1 for about 80
longer wiring, audio and video cables 20 bucks?
cant remember what else..

doesnt take that long

 

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Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:30 pm 
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I built a car PC. http://fordmods.datamine.tk/carpc/

Didn't last all that long as I decided to get a MP3 head unit - it does 99% of what I want and is fool proof. Setting up the car PC hardware was easy, being able to control it and have it reliable is difficult (I went ot the trouble of programming a custom user interface, using the IR remote from the TV tuner card it had, and well - it was a whole heap of trouble).

As for power, I got a true 12V-ATX powersupply (they ain't cheap) but can be found here: http://www.zantech.com.au/zantech/power ... tx-12v-dc/

Or you could to what most others do, and get an 'inverter' it takes 12V jacks it up to 240V AC then use your normal power supply. (lots of wastage and inefficiency), cheap to real expensive depending on what size you get.

 

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Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:34 pm 
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yeh its practical.. with many many applications.. if your screen shopping and can justify it but a vga screen the clarity is far better, and text will be far more readable ( sat nav, icons etc).. the easiest powerr source is a simple inverter.. however you8 may have the problem i have hit when the car power drops below 11.6 volts the inverter output dips below 240v ac.. computers dont like this... so if you can turn everything on.. stereo up, indicators brakes etc etc and have 12v or more then you wont have an issue.. break out the multimeter and check it out..



-mitch

 

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Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:19 pm 
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use a VGA screen dude, from www.digitalww.com otherwise you'll get crap resolution... makes things a lot easier and better looking

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:54 am 
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If you really want a car PC don't bother with a desktop unit. Get a MiniITX computer. They are small and some can be powered directly from 12V.

Use a laptop HDD and DVD-ROM as they can take the vibration better than desktop units.

www.miniITX.com

 

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EF Fairmont, 5.0Lt, Pacemaker Headers, Sports cats, Redback muff, T5 manual, 16" Tickford rims, Tickford "Body Styling", DBA Gold Rotors, Heritage Green, JVC MP3
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Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:00 am 
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Whoops, www.mini-itx.com

 

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Adrian
EF Fairmont, 5.0Lt, Pacemaker Headers, Sports cats, Redback muff, T5 manual, 16" Tickford rims, Tickford "Body Styling", DBA Gold Rotors, Heritage Green, JVC MP3
XB Coupe, 351C, twin system, C4 shift kitted auto, 9" LSD, Eccose Blue, very loud !!!!

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Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:56 am 
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mostly mentioned above. I have done this in a mates falcon and will be undertaking shortly in my own baby.

Either a true power 12v unit or a standard PSU 240volt with an inverter. dont run without car on.

Screen, vga, lcd el'chepo whatever. note the non-vga versions don't display very well. there is ways around it but if you can get a 15"lcd panal, its easier.

Cables, vga/composte and an audio cable.

Keybord and mouse, few options, wireless is our best friend in this application, alternatively a trackball is also much easier to use

Mounting. where to put it is always hard, the least amount of vibration as possible on that HDD, and plenty of cooling for every component is a must.

Hope this helps. if you need any help with it PM me.
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Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:49 pm 
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Cool... sounds like something for me to do during the easter break!

I am leaning towards a display such as this...

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... 60415&rd=1

the main reason is that i can put it in the car well as at home [if i get bored of it] also, the price is significantly cheaper than those in dash ones...

now, if i had that display connected to it, as well as a PC do you think my battery would support it?

or would i have to change an alternator (which i really don't want to do)
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Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:10 pm 
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battery/altenator will support it, just don't expect to be able to start the car, after using it for 30 mins.

 

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1998 DL LTD in Sparkling Burgundy, daily, 302W, stereo, slow - 97.5rwkw
2006 BF GT-P in Ego, mods. 293rwkw - 12.427@109 - 0-1000m 24.838@221

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