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I had the wrong message in here.... this one I put in the group buy section, but would be usefull for anyone making decisions about a CarPC...

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vegasvw has put together a miniITX machine that is installed and working. We road tested it from Vegas to the ND show this last weekend (7-8 hours each way if you are hauling ass). It was one of the coolest things I have seen in car for a very long time. It's still in prototype, but we have it working and almost completed.

We did ours differently though. We are using a stereo head unit with an Aux input to put the sound through the the car. This saved us a lot of BS when it came to making the sound work right. This way, whatever you have installed for speakers and amps, will work for the PC. We opted not to mount the monitor in the dash too. Even though it looks cleaner, we found that it's actually easier to view and use the screen when it's higher up in the dash. Turned out pretty damn sweet, and saved us a lot of headache getting the audio working as it should.

We also encountered another reason to keep a regular head unit in the dash with your car pc. We stopped off at a store on our road trip to the ND show and picked up some new CDs. We didnt have time to rip them to MP3, so we just popped them in the deck. It may seem trivial to have to wait to rip a CD, but it was cool not having to. After all, the system in your car should be about convenience. You don't want your Car PC to start creating limitations.

Something else you need to be aware of, in case you didn't notice it in the picture above, is that you have to cut your dash to make the Lilliput screen fit. It's taller than a DD. Be aware of that before you opt install a CarPC. I didnt notice it at first glance a couple weeks ago. We saw it after we bought the monitor and it didnt fit right in the DD.

This is truly a kick ass mod. Tons of people are running around with $1200 DVD systems in their car, but they certainly don't have a full Windows XP Pro machine running in there. Try watching a DivX, AVI, RealMedia, XviD, video on one of those. Ask them if they have 50gigs of MP3's, WMA's, OOG's AAC's, etc at the touch of their fingers! It rocks.

One last warning....... about the touch screen. Even when running a GUI like MediaCar, you will find that many times your fingers are too fat to properly navigate the screens. If you end up needing to actually tweak Windows XP or the MediaCar config program, it can be nearly impossible to use your fingers for stuff. Make sure you AT LEAST have a few styluses in your console or glove box in case you need them (they cose like $4 for 3-4 of them). Wireless KB or Mouse are a good idea if you wish, but we found the stylus was fine for most things, and you don't have to find a place to put the KB and Mouse. The stylus was a MUST for using MapPoint as well.

Having said all that, I think it's the coolest mod you can make to the media system in your car. Having a full CarPC really gives you the freedom with media that you can normally only experience at home. Want to download a porn off Kazaa and watch it in your car? Yup, you can do that too LOL!
 

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Do you happen to have a photo of this set up? I ended up placing the VGA T/S on the center vent so I could see it better and so that I could keep my stereo and use my aux input for sound. Saved me from having to purchase a 4-channel amp and a double-DIN.



But, I like to see other options... Some info about my install: CarPuter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I read your info before. Nice work!




VegasVw's is similar to yours. He made a bracket that sits in the top Din spot so that the monitor doesn't intrude into the passenger space, or block the vents. Vegasvw's monitor only blocks about an inch of the vent where it sits, and its up high enough to be useable. I personally prefer mine mounted like yours and vegasvw's are because I think they sit too low when you have them in the dash. In-dash is cleaner looking, but I'll take useability over that every time.

Sorry the picture quality sucks. It's a video frame. I'll get some better stuff later.

The monitor is out from the dash further than its supposed to be because he has to modify his bracket. This was a quick job to get the PC working for the trip.

All in all it's about what is easiest for YOU to use in your own car. If you like yours where it is, leave it there. Lyle's is set up like yours is, using the head unit Aux for sound. Works awesome and was easier than hell to set up.
 

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Cool. Looks like we have similar screens. Great for viewing DVDs. Thanks for the pic and write-up :thumbup:
 

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:bow: Hokay. I like what you have done, and i would like to do the same. I just purchased my 1.8t 5 spd 99 B5, and i would like to do a similar install. I must have missed some of the story, because i do not know what mobile pc is, I am assuming that the system uses a laptop, and this screen must plug in to it some how? Please explain. I also would like to know where you put the laptop, how the screen plugs in to it, and the an approx price to install it all (minus the price of the laptop). Thanks
 

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B5_4_Lyfe said:
:bow: Hokay. I like what you have done, and i would like to do the same. I just purchased my 1.8t 5 spd 99 B5, and i would like to do a similar install. I must have missed some of the story, because i do not know what mobile pc is, I am assuming that the system uses a laptop, and this screen must plug in to it some how? Please explain. I also would like to know where you put the laptop, how the screen plugs in to it, and the an approx price to install it all (minus the price of the laptop). Thanks
What I have done is:

I'm using an EPIA Mini-ITX motherboard installed in a small case mounted in the trunk.



  • Specs & cost:

    $248
    EPIA Mini-ITX M- Series 1GHz
    2 FireWire ports
    4 USB ports
    Car Power Sequencer and Dropout Regulator [ITPS]
    Mini-ITX dc-dc power board

    $110
    512MB RAM

    $80
    60GB 7,200RPM IBM Hard Drive

    $159
    Slim-line slot loading DVD/CD-RW

    $124
    USB GPS

    $190
    Casetronic C138 mini-ITX case Black 90W [C138B]

    $49
    USB Wireless 802.11B

    $299
    Windows XP Pro

    $FREE
    Media Car Interface

    $70
    Pro-Fit Video Mount

    $300
    7" VGA TS

You could use a laptop and plug the TS VGA into it - which would work fine, but it's more fun to have a system that turns on when you start the car and is integrated into the stereo. You could save some money by using other components, but I wanted the slim-line slot DVD/CD-RW since I didn't want a tray and to make the system more stealth. One of the things I wanted to do is to have the controls and LEDs in the front - I was going to wire them in to the front when I get the time to do so. Also, I want to add some additional USB ports to the front [maybe in the ashtray area].

Most of all is the "wow factor" and having a computer that is integrated. Does a lot more than most ICE systems, for less money.

Here's the link to my install: Carputer

HTH,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There are quite a few threads about this subject on the boards. You can get to them using the search feature for the board. Also, if you google "Carputer" "CarPC", etc you will find quite a bit of info.
 

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One minus IMO, is if done right, you can use the PC and make a DVD Audio / 5.1 Dolby/DTS system. Besides all the cool movies....tons of DVD-Audio is being released every week. All are remixed, and some are steller.(some not) And a properly setup car is about the coolest 5.1 environment there is!

But very cool none the less. Nice work!
 

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The Mini-ITX board that I'm using has the capability for 6-channel 5.1 output :) Just haven't tried it... yet.
 

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When you do, get a Radio Shack SPL meter ($40) and have some fun setting it up. Know that the meter has known errors in the Sub ranges. There are correction numbers at the www.svsubwoofers.com site. (I have a SVS in my HT...over 100+db at 16hz ...a foundation shaker...and no booming! A real sub! :D )
 
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