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CarPC Build Log: Discussion Thread


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LMAO, nice front license plate :)

 

Gee, I wonder why the Sr. Applications Specialist's vehicle was used, ehehe. I believe a great man once said, "It's good to be the king".

 

May want to clarify the legal warranty stuff as well as the dangers of messing with your car's electrical system. Also, may want to mention the USB GPS Antenna in the parts area of the build log. Is the GPS unit rated for 24/7 weather?

 

Also, did you look into voice interfaces for anything, e.g. that TomTom stuff?

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I found that to be most entertaining and quite an interesting read. Although I don't think I'd have the nerves to actually do that to my car, maybe sometime in the future I will try to rig it up with the assistance of some friends which know cars well. Great project though.
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Fantasticly detailed and well-written! I really like that software you chose, it looks a lot better than other options I've seen. One question: why did you choose to go with a direct DC connection? In contemplating my CarPC build, I'm thinking I'd prefer to go with a standard power supply/case/motherboard setup. I'd then hook in an inverter, but put a UPS between the 'puter and inverter.

 

This setup gives a couple of benefits. First, you let the UPS softwarehandle power ups and downs. It can wake the computer when power's re-applied and shut it down gracefully when the car's shutoff. Or, you can let the computer run for a short time after shutdown so that you can transfer files wirelessly when you go in the house. I think the biggest benefit, though, is clean power. Automotive electrical systems aren't "stable" enough to provide proper continuous power. By letting the UPS smooth out the dips and highs, you don't have to worry about it. Granted, it's a lot more hardware and connections, but I think it's worth it.

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  • Corsair Employees
Fantasticly detailed and well-written! I really like that software you chose, it looks a lot better than other options I've seen. One question: why did you choose to go with a direct DC connection? First, you let the UPS softwarehandle power ups and downs. It can wake the computer when power's re-applied and shut it down gracefully when the car's shutoff. Or, you can let the computer run for a short time after shutdown so that you can transfer files wirelessly when you go in the house. I think the biggest benefit, though, is clean power. Automotive electrical systems aren't "stable" enough to provide proper continuous power. By letting the UPS smooth out the dips and highs, you don't have to worry about it. Granted, it's a lot more hardware and connections, but I think it's worth it.

 

We did it because of ease of use and because the Opus power supply/case combo has a built-in startup/shutdown controller. The computer gets a shutdown signal when the car is turned off. Or in our case, we have it get a "sleep" signal so it goes into hibernate mode. Then when you turn the car back on, it sends a "wake" signal and the system is back at the Windows desktop within minutes.

 

Your way would work as well, and the UPS might be providing clean power, but it would take longer to get into windows every time you started the car, which would be a bit annoying to some people.

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Guys... You obviouslly know a lot about PCs, but on page six you tell everyone to remove the positive battery terminal first. :!: DON'T TOUCH THE POSITIVE TERMINAL UNTIL YOU'VE REMOVED THE NEGATIVE SIDE!!!! :!:

 

Why? Becasue if you're working on the positive terminal and drop your wrench, it may short against the frame of the car and possiblly even weld itself in place. But if you remove the negitive side first you won't have to worry about shorting out the battery. here's one description of how to disconnect a battery

 

I suggest you guys change that section of the article before a reader hurts themselves.

 

Other then that, it was a great read. Thanks....

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I suggest you guys change that section of the article before a reader hurts themselves.

 

Other then that, it was a great read. Thanks....

 

The change was made, thanks! I doubt anybody could seriously injure themselves but it's a good safety tip to provide, so I've changed it.

 

 

As for a price list, Apps Lab says almost everything we bought can be found on MP3CAR.com, so you can shop the prices yourself if you'd like. I will try and throw a price list up soon.

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This is a great read. I've been looking to do this for about a year now and I have the instructions to do this now.

 

My only concern is heat. I live in Oklahoma and the temperature in my car can get up to 120. How will this effect the computer?

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About the GPS, like someone said earlier, how does the antenna hold up against weather? Also, does it automatically pick up a signal or is there some sort of subscription service needed to use it. If so, is the fee monthly and how much is it? Help appreciated.
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This is a great read. I've been looking to do this for about a year now and I have the instructions to do this now.

 

My only concern is heat. I live in Oklahoma and the temperature in my car can get up to 120. How will this effect the computer?

 

 

It shouldn't affect it really, considering that 120F is only 49C or so, and internal components on computers are rated up to 65 or 85C a lot of the time.

 

 

About the GPS, like someone said earlier, how does the antenna hold up against weather? Also, does it automatically pick up a signal or is there some sort of subscription service needed to use it. If so, is the fee monthly and how much is it? Help appreciated.

 

 

The Antenna has held up fairly well in the summer heat in California. We'll let you know more after the rainy season. It does not require a subscription or anything, all it requires is some software (MS Streets & Trips, Centrafuse, etc) that can read GPS signals from it. Centrafuse works perfectly with it, and even has audible directions. Which is kind of annoying, honestly. "Turn left in 300 feet!" from a loud yet friendly female voice is suspiciously like driving around with your mother in the car nagging you the entire time.

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Few thoughts.

 

First, how could you put all the work into this and not add cellular data connectivity, either via bluetooth to a data-enabled phone, or with a PCMCIA card?

 

Second, it might make sense to wire to speakers through a bluetooth handsfree unit, that buys you things like turning down the radio when you want to use the speakers.

 

Third, I'm interested in what people find useful to do in the car. Yes, directions and traffic, duh. But what else?

 

--Bruce

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  • 2 months later...

Third, I'm interested in what people find useful to do in the car. Yes, directions and traffic, duh. But what else?

 

--Bruce

 

Engine monitoring and tuning.

 

I have two loves. Computers and cars. When I'm not tuning my PC, I'm tuning my car. And its a pain in the a$$ to haul around the ltop and awkardly try to use it while driving.

 

With the PC in the car, I can monitor ECM activity easily. On the CentraFuse website, they support OBD-II, although I'm working with OBD-I. Two days ago I thought about building a Carputer specifically for tuning, music and stuff is secondary ;): .

 

Awesome article. I would never have though to look for a specialized case like that.

 

If someone could figure out a way to make that into a package and simple setup deal, there is definitely a car sport enthusiast market out there who'd love this... hint hint :D: .

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  • 1 year later...
I was looking through these well written plans and came across a few questions. I'll be using these plans in the near future for my own passport. I was wondering how you connected the car antenna to the pc for radio. Also, I was wondering how you connected the pc to the amplifier considering I couldn't see any rca outputs on the motherboard pic. Other than these few questions, I would like to say that you guys did a great job on writing up this procedure. Hopefully I'll be putting it to the test soon.
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