car puter in car pc

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car puter in car pc

anthonytutton

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Ive been thinking about installing a pc in my car for ages. So im going to do it.
I bought an in car pc on friday off ebay, so i just need to buy an 8" touchscreen to control it all. Im hoping the pc will fit behind the screen, which will be in place of where the connect nav+ is now.

I will post photos and progress as and when i get nearer to completion. So as im about to start it, i thought i'd ask everyone for their input and advice. Has anybody else installed a pc in their car?

I currently have 2x 10" alpine D drive subs in a sealed box, and an 840 watt caliber amp. I also have the Bose upgrade speakers all round (By the way - its a stilo abarth). I will be buying an obd2 interface which will be permanently connected to the pc.

I dont know if i should buy a good, but basic head unit to run the sounds through the aux input and use the standard iso connector block, or if i should connect the on board pc sound card to a 3-way equaliser/splitter, and buy another 2 channel amp to power the standard speakers, what you think?

All input and advice is greatly recieved (y)
 
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sounds good, luke did one in his, im doing one in mine, they rock, i just cant afford all the bits atm :eek: chose the worst time of the year realy lol, ahh well, bits at a time it shall be.

whats the pc like? got a link? was it £70 BIN by any chance? :chin:

keep us posted with pics :D
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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jug

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a small laptop would be my first choice, with a mount made by myself.
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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A laptop would work well, with minimum fuss and installation hassle. What im after is a built in OEM looking system. With a laptop you would have to take it with you each time you get in and out of the car, to stop the thieving buggers from pinching it.

Anyway, heres a screenshot of what i'll have driving my in car pc. Let me know what you think
 

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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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Cheers for that! Looks like what i'll be doing. Ive been out in the car all morning, trying to find a good location for pc. looks like its going in the lower glove box now! Just have to wait a few weeks now for the touchscreen, then its all going in!
 

j0nny

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i love this idea, ive been looking for something a lot more sufficent than a headunit to provide a much better in car entertainment system
rite i deal with ice quite a bit but i havent done a PC yet so im just asking 2 c if this wrkn, if it does it will be done!
rite, so essentially all you need is a touch screen and its operable, tho i dont like the idea of a touch screen keypad, so i would probably create a space for a PDA keyboard
but wat about inputs to the computer? obviously i would need a DVD drive to play movies and cd's etc. so im just wonderin if this set up would wrk?
i would make a hole in my upper glove box and flush the Car PC in there, then run it off a double din touchscreen headunit as its display
would there be a way to make the headunit for visual purposes and run all the CD's thru the computer to the sound system
also one other thing i was really interested in, i am looking to buy a portable external hard drive with a usb plug and play abaility so i dont need a plug, can the Car PC take tht and wud i be able 2 browse through files and folders etc
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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In my boot i already have an EQ/ Splitter system, with an amp powering 2 subs (Alpine 10"). I was thinking about buying a sony HU with aux input, to put in my upper glovebox, and have the sound running from the pc to the HU. This was my first plan as i wanted to use my steering controls through the HU for volume, and phone etc, but the wirning harness for this costs around £250, so i scrapped that idea, im now going to buy a 4Ch amp to power the standard speakers via a USB sound card and split the signal using my existing EQ / splitter . I have found a way to still use the steering controls by connecting them to the joystick port on the pc ( with 1 or 2 resistors), and a custom program, which ive got already.

I know you can buy double din touchscreen head unit systems, but i dont think you can interface the touchscreen with a pc? and i dont think you will be able to get a decent picture from the pc, as the input would be via a video lead, not a vga?

Im going to buy an 8" touchscreen, mount it to a fascia panel with a bit of trimming and fillering, and put a laptop slot in-dvd drive under the screen, and a usb socket. The connection possibilities are nearly endless, with usb. the pc can control your phone via bluetooth, be a sat nav with a usb sat recciever, watch dvd's, connect more screens with the video out. have 7.1 channel audio, by adding a centre speaker, and the best of all, is to connnect the pc to the OBd 2 socket and interface with the cars ecu.
 

j0nny

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nice idea! credit due
well i dont have steering wheel controls so im not too worried about that tho i would like to control everything by the touch screen, i doubt a 8" will fit in a double din slot would it?
rite i was originally going to go 4 a double din touchscreen media player with bluetooth but i love this idea so i think i am going to put the work into this
so i need a car pc, EQ/splitter, 4 channel amp and a decent usb sound card (then a 2 channel for a pair of subs wen i get the money :D)
just wondering is there no way to create an equaliser in the car PC? can u get a external dvd drive to run of 12V without having to get a convertor?
when your connecting the OBD2 connector, is there a program to translate the codes or what?
o and the bluetooth, how'd u get tht, just a usb bluetooth dongle and a program or something else? cheers
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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nice idea! credit due
well i dont have steering wheel controls so im not too worried about that tho i would like to control everything by the touch screen, i doubt a 8" will fit in a double din slot would it?
My touchscreen is slim, so im going to graft it on to a fascia panel. Standard double din screens are 7" (corner to corner)

just wondering is there no way to create an equaliser in the car PC?
Yes u can with a 5.1 soundcard, and some simple codecs for media player or winamp.

can u get a external dvd drive to run of 12V without having to get a convertor?
There are loads of 12v dvd players out there try http://stores.ebay.co.uk/easttowestonline

when your connecting the OBD2 connector, is there a program to translate the codes or what?
o and the bluetooth, how'd u get tht, just a usb bluetooth dongle and a program or something else? cheers
Yes, you will ussually get software when buying an OBD interface, which translates the codes in to plain english faults. And yes the bluetooth will be a dongle, just like a USB mass storage device
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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I recieved the PC from ebay, and im very happy with it. it boots to desktop in around 25 seconds. all with customised boot screens with the abarth logo. One concern i do have however is the power consumption. i powered it up in the car using via the cigarette socket and 19" desktop flat panel (mains powered of course), as i dont have the correct touchscreen yet.

I was playing with it for about 40 mins, and when i started the car after that it was slower to turn than normal. So i may have to rig up a voltmeter and ammeter in there somehow to test it, and monitor it.

Ive ordered the touchscreen, so all i need now is a fascia panel. anybody have one spare?
I will post up some pics when i get started :cool:
 

j0nny

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good luck with it, im gona start pricing up all the parts and hopefuly get a start on it soon myself :)
 
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good luck with it mate....

if i left my HU on with my suub then the car battery woudl drain fast, the car puter isnt made to be used while the car is off realy, its a car on thing ...
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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Ok, im now in the process of installation


Hi all, after nearly 12 months of reading and learning, im just about to do my own install.

Firstly about my car:

Make and model: Fiat Silo Abarth
Engine: 2.4cc injection
Year: 2003
Tuning mods:Remapped and induction kit fitted
Standard Bhp: 170bhp
Current Bhp: 205bhp
Colour: Bright Yellow

Headunit: Standard connect Nav+. cd/mp3
Speakers: Uprated Bose Speakers in place of Fiats originals
Extras: 2 x 10" alpine D-Drive subs, powered by a Caliber Ca-460 4-ch amp, and an active crossover.

PC: Not yet installed but will consist of...
Asrock motherboard
2.7 mhz amd athlon processor
780 kb of ram
and a 8" Touchscreen monitor which has been moulded into a fascia adaptor and then sprayed matt black.

Photos:

My car on Dyno
my stilo on dyno.jpg

Standard head unit (not mine- but same one)
ae_Fiat_Stilo_670_04.jpg

My pc installed in to my sub box on left side. Subs face the back of the rear seats.
DSC00188.JPG

View of sub box as seen when boot is opened
DSC00191.JPG

Close up of pc installed in box
DSC00189.JPG

More pics to follow
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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Picture of my touchscreen moulded in to bezel
DSC00197.JPG

Rear of touchscreen, not pretty but functional
DSC00198.JPG

Overall view of pc and sub amp box
DSC00196.JPG

Weather depending, i will be putting it together in my car tommorow. I will then post more pics once installed

Any questions or opinions much appreciated
 
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Looking good so far. One comment I'd have is having the PC in the subbox right behind the woofers...

A.) There is a lot of vibration. This coupled with bumps from the road may and probably will shake things loose.

B.) Subwoofers use very strong magnets its not advisable to have them so close the the PC's components it can cause a range of funky problems such as graphics artifacts, random blue screens (caused by magnetic interfearence).

I would consider shielding the Motherboard etc with something that stops magnetic radiation. Also maybe use a glue gun to 'Tack' the main components in place to reduce the risk of them shaking loose. Mainly slot in cards to worry about, Ram should be ok as it has locking lugs.
 
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anthonytutton

anthonytutton

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Some of the components i.e Hard drive, are stuck down with velcro tabs, this should help with the vibration etc.

The motherboard is solidly in place, and the whole box gets bolted down to the cars chassis. So i think that'll be ok.

I did think about using some fine meshing around the motherboard to dissipate interference etc, but havent really thought about any issues from the subs magnets. The magnet on the sub is roughly about 16" away. If i do get any issues, i will line the inside of the sub box with fine mesh, to keep the interference down.
 
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