Hey all. I have one :D

Discussion in 'Automotive PC (Computer)' started by saahild, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. saahild

    saahild Full Member

    I just noticed this section so I thought I might as well post. I have a car computer in my car. It is a 3800 1.9ghz Sepmron processor with 1gb of ram and an 80gb harddisk. With on board 7.1 HD surroung sound card. I have a flip out 7" VGA touchscreen in my dash that controls it all with FreeICE front end. Also it has GPS :D. Will get some pictures up shortly when I get home from work.

    If anyone is thinking about doing it I would say do it because it is amazing. Loads of music all in one place, GPS, Videos and so much more in an all in one package. And they are much much cheaper then headunits that can do anywhere near the same ammount of things.

    If anyone has any questions or needs any help setting up theirs let me know :D.
  2. cccullen

    cccullen Full Member

    how much does something like that cost?
  3. electrolytic

    electrolytic Full Member

    Sounds sweet, can't go wrong with AMD
  4. Ranger SVO

    Ranger SVO Full Member

    I would like to know more.

    Can you post a few pictures?

    How long does the system take to boot up? What do you use for a power supply?
  5. aznboi3644

    aznboi3644 Full Member

    sweet...pictures is a must.

    I've never really seen a carputer before.
  6. saahild

    saahild Full Member

    Hehe too true you can't go wrong with AMD :D.

    The whole complete system from start to finish cost me £400 approx (give or take from random little things and wires) But that includes all the hardware and software. That is around $800. This is really as cheap as you can go with a flipout monitor but if I went for a fiberglassed 7" screen into the dash it would have been closer to $700 or even as low as $650. But it does alot more then the top of the range headunits out there.

    The system takes about 30 seconds to load up from the turn of the key to the music playing. Now this may seem like it is a bit long to wait for music but to put it into perspective. I get comfortable, start the car (the computer starts when the key turns to ignition (like a "normal headunit)), and by the time I am out of the drive or at the very latest by the end of the road the music is on. It could be much faster but my motherboard's sound card does not like the stripped down version of Windows I wanted to us. If I could use that then startup takes me only 15 seconds. That is about as long as some head-units I have had have taken to access 300 tracks off an MP3 cd and I have access to several thousand tracks on the computer.

    You can get dedicated car power supplies that connect to your computer as a normal one would, but they control how the computer switches on and off. Mine starts the computer when ignition is turned, it switches it off with a 5 second delay when the car is switched off. It cuts power if the battery goes below a safe voltage for the car to crank. It is called an m2-Atx and it is what most people use to power their computers. It is conected to the car by a +ve cable to the battery, a cable to the ground and a remote cable. just like an amplifier.

    Below are some pictures of various parts of the computer and one of the actual install itself. It was just after I had put it in so is not quite neat yet but you get the general idea. I have a 4 channel amp in there to run all the speakers as the computers sound output will not be able to run speakers but it does give a very high voltage pre-out which is nice. Nice clear signal for the amp. And as its a 7.1 card I have 4 preouts to play with and customise with the on board graphics equaliser. Even has certain level of phase processing. If there are any more detailed pics requests or just general questions please ask :D.

    A video for you from when the car is started to it playing music and stuff :D.

    My CarPuter

    And lots and lots of pics of it in action :D.

    The settings tab...

    The radio (should you choose to connect it)...

    What full screen looks like...

    What normal video looks like...

    Full screen music playing with weird WMP visuals...

    Normal music playing screen with playlist...

    Sat-Nav screen...

    What it looks like when it starts up...

    What it looks like before the front end loads...

    A pic of the hardware in my boot (Have not had the time to tidy up wires yet though)...
  7. electrolytic

    electrolytic Full Member

    Lol oh man, you threw a whole home computer tower in your trunk haha, i was wondering..I thought you had something factory made for cars. Cool.
  8. electrolytic

    electrolytic Full Member

    How does the data and video go to the deck? USB?
  9. saahild

    saahild Full Member

    It is by far the cheapest and most powerful option. The case is just a bit big so that it will fit in the slot properly instead of having to fabricate a floor for it :p.... If you are good ill show you an inside pic of it. The thing is tiny :p. The smaller ones are hell ov a lot more expensive. Just the motherboards are as expensive as my whole system computer. And they are no where near as powerful either ;)... Version 2 is going to be way faster and as small as that little amplifier you see in the background :p.

    There is a vga cable to the monitor at the front and a usb connection for the touchscreen controls.
  10. pedro quiroga

    pedro quiroga Well-Known Member

    i just saw the vid. wow that is so cool. how big is your storage?

    does it have wireless internet capabilities? now that would be cool.
  11. saahild

    saahild Full Member

    I have 80 gig of hard disk space. About half of that is still empty :D.
    It does have wireless usb dongle but it is dependent on if there is anyone with wireless internet about. I am in the process of negotiating with 3G (A mobile network provider) who offer me mobile 3g internet but I am not happy with their useage limit atm.
  12. pedro quiroga

    pedro quiroga Well-Known Member

    cool. so you can download music from your driveway. that is if you have wireless yourself.

    my laptop works in the car too(in the driveway) so i can demo itunes music in my truck before i buy.
  13. saahild

    saahild Full Member

    Yup I have it connected to my home network. 8mb/s in the car. If you have basic computer skills and can put one together then making a car computer is a breeze. If you have a bit of time on your hands and want to build one then I would be happy to help :D.
  14. pedro quiroga

    pedro quiroga Well-Known Member

    nah i have an i pod and a gps ,and sat radio.
  15. electrolytic

    electrolytic Full Member

    I'll take you up on that offer lol. The tower in your trunk though that is just a regular home pc computer tower right? Does it have a regular operating system like xp pro, also at the front is that just a screen or a dvd player with a flip up screen. Can you post the model number of the screen with the vga port. That's very cool.
  16. electrolytic

    electrolytic Full Member

    lol, your giving me ideas now, why not just bring a 17" flat screen monitor in the car, bolt it to the dash and have the audio from the tower go out to the amps and run xp pro just like at home. And have removable scsi hard drives haha
  17. psycho_maniac

    psycho_maniac Full Member

    ive always wanted one but been too intimidated to do it with all the wireing and stuff like that. also i would take longer then a system install cuz i have to HIDE everything
  18. saahild

    saahild Full Member

    Lol electrolytic... not sure if ur messing or not but the 7" is touchscreen which controls everything. I do not think you can get a 17" touch screen monitor. The reason I am using that case and format is because it is so much cheaper and I did not want to spend thousands on something and not like it. So i created version 1 of this system on a budget to see if I would like it on a day to day basis. And so far I must say I love it. Really easy to use, and fantastic having all that music and movies at your fingertip. It is currently running normal xp but that is because this motherboard was not too happy with the stripped down car version. Basically it is a CASE that is normal. Inside the case is a power efficient processor and motherboard, and a dedicated car power supply which controls how the computer switches on and off as well as actually giving it power.

    @psycho: These things are stupidly easy to wire mate. Everything is clearly marked. There is one connection from power supply to motherboard, one from the processor fan to the motherboard, another for the powersupply to switch the mobo on. one from the power supply to the amplifier to act as a remote. One from the battery to the power supply, one from ignition to the power supply and one from the ground to the power supply. The rest is just normal computer wires. One for the vga, couple for the preouts. A couple USBs and you are sorted. And if you do not mind a slower system (though more then fast enough for normal audio and video use) then you can have a tiny system that will fit in your glovebox or even behind where your headunit normally goes for not too much more money.
  19. cccullen

    cccullen Full Member

    how much would a small system cost? I think that real cool but I can't spend that much money on it.
  20. saahild

    saahild Full Member

    The computer side of the hardware for a small system would be about $400 from www.mp3car.com's store. That is a pre assembeled package that is really rather small. Then you just need to isntall an opearting system, and get a touch screen VGA from ebay (either fiberglassed into the dashboard or a flipout dealy). That is between $150-300 I assume from ebay. The MP3Car.com - Your source for mobile computing solutions! - Home store is very expensive for this so you are better off getting that from ebay. Liliput are the usual brand to use and they are good quality screens.
    Keep in mind though that this system would be a 1.3ghz intel celeron processor with 512mb ram and a 60gb hard disk.