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Discussion Starter #1
For those with Computers in there cars, how are you getting the audio from the computer to play through your car speakers and also exactly how are you powering the computer? I know you can use the cig lighter in the trunk (thats a easy one) but some are using the car bat. What kind of cables/converters do you need for that. Im seriously about to start buying stuff to put a system together in my car but these 2 things are holding me back. I know TONS about computers but crap about cars.

TIA
 

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Don't have one in the Passat, went with the Phatbox instead.

Audio wise:
1. Get an RF modulator and play your PC audio as a radio station. Most of the el-cheapo $20 units are poor quality. I haven't tried some of the more expensive PLL units which are around $100. Some go in-line with the normal antenna feed. You may be able to canibalize an old "universale" CD changer which used RF modulation for these parts.

2. There's several adapters that get you line-in on your stock head unit. Selection depends on which unit you have. AFAIK these work by faking out the factory headunit that you have a CD changer. THIS MEANS YOU CAN"T HAVE LINE-IN AND A CD-CHANGER AT THE SAME TIME. The exception to that I believe is a unit from PIE which has 3 inputs and retains the CD changer. Most adapters are wired to the CD changer plug in the trunk but I think a few attach at the back of the head-unit. Do a search for 'PIE' on the forum and also 'line in' and you'll find info.

3. If you have an aftermarket radio some of them I believe have an aux-in port. You could run line-out from your trunk up to a cut-out in the dash and then plug it into the head unit.

Power wise:
1. Powering a gutted PC - Power inverted (cheap) or specially made 12v auto/marine PSU for the motherboard and HDDs (expensive).

2. Powering a Laptop - Targus make some slick adapters or you could also use the regular power "brick" and an inverter. Personally I have about 3 of the Targus adapters (around $90 each) and find they very handy on long trips when I'm a passenger.

-m
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the info.

I think im going to go the line in route, dont want to use rf modulate stuff. I dont have a cd changer and dont plan on getting one. I intend on playing all music through the computer. Even thought about getting a FM tuner card for the computer (cheap 50bucks) so i dont have to worry about getting a super fancy new radio.
 

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Liquid_smoke. My computer is powered from the car battery itself. I have it connected to my screen through the RCA wires. IF you are very interested in my setup. I will take it apart and take pictures for you with explainations. Let me know. I can even tell you the pros and cons of my setup. You have probably seen my setup already. If not some randomous pics are found here

http://www.picturetrail.com/carcomp
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks LaZy4zNbOi

yes i have seen your setup :thumbup:
If you could take some pics that would help a lot. I really want to do this mod especially since im probably the biggest computer geek, i just dont know crap about cars. My only concerns are the screen and where to get a good one for cheap. How to mount it good, and Power for the setup.

I was just talking to my co worker about the setup today and im still not sure if I want a mini pc or custom built one to go into the car or not. I was thinking of getting a laptop cause i want a lap top already and its just an excuse to get one :) Put it in the trunk and run all the wires from there, which may be a bad location because of the long wires. And then get a 7in LCD screen to go upfront to control the laptop. That way when i want to or need to i have access to a full computer and bigger screen.

Still not sure yet, but i would love to see how you put yours together in detail. How are you connecting the audio? aux? Right now i have a stock radio and if at all possible i would like to not have to replace that at the same time i get the laptop and lcd screen.

Thanks again
 

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I'm not sure if you seen my setup either but I did the double din mod, & got a 7" touchscreen lcd from digitalww.com, definitely worth checking out. If you don't want an indash they have the regular mountable ones also. As far as getting sound to the car speakers I use an iRock wireless FM Modulator from RadioShack, it cost $30 and is cd quality. A laptop is a good option for a car simply because it's easy to use dc power & they're rather small so you can tuck it under your seat if you wanted. I just preferred having something a little smaller and cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the link, i was going to just mount the screen, until i saw the in dash one and the price on it. :) Think ill go that route, much cleaner. How is the picture quality of the screen running windows? Do you have any pics of it turned on showing the desktop. I dont plan on reading a ton of email on it or anything but the clearer the better. I havent seen your setup though, so do you have pics of that allready online? Linkage.

Im not sure about the FM modulate, i havent actually ever been in a car that was using it, but from what i keep hearing is that the sound quality isnt as good. Maybe i need to ask around and find some one using it and take a listen for myself.

I cant wait to get a full part list completed and start ordering stuff.
 

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well I can post up some more detailed pictures next week I guess. I can also give you the links or information to where I purchased all my parts I think. Well most of them I can or at least give you the product. It was very hard for me to drag wires. The longest I could drag the IDE was 3 feet. So it barely reaches my CD ROM under my steering wheel. Audio/Power for CD ROM are easy to extend. I will take stuff apart soon and take more detailed pictures.
 

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Okay it's not cd quality, but near cd quality. You cannot notice a difference, atleast I can't. As far as text goes, with the right resolution it's very easily readible. I'm running 848x480 on my 7" screen and I can read about anything. I don't know how well a website would display though, I don't have wireless internet. Here are my pics




 

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jwilker said:
LaZy4zNbOi, out of curiosity why under teh steering wheel? Why not under the glove box?

J
Well, I didn't have a space where it would fit and look nice. Plus no one wants to reach into the driver's crotch to change the CD :lol: No one's touching or changing my music! MUAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAA
 

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Wow! Really nice.

Greg:

What's your motherboard and how do you handle video-out as NTSC? I can't tell from the wires what all is going on. I think I see:

No keyboard, no mouse connected to PS2 ports.
Both USB ports used.
Audio out to gray cable running under mobo
1 3.5" ATA hard disk
Green wire going into brick-thing under HDD
(what is the brick thing??)

I'm starting to rethink the VW MFD navi - those screens look like a great
deal. A few more questions:

1. How are you handling power?
2. Any special handling for having to power-up/down so often?
3. How is the touch screen for finger-poking use?
4. Have you tried a stylus?
5. Is there some pop-up virtual keyboard?
 

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It looks like a VIA miniITX MOBO. THey run from $110- $180. These mobos have NTSC outs right on the back. He's using the S-video out thats located next to the RCA Vid out. I've also seen, for 80$, a very small case 10x11.5x2.5" that takes 12VDC that will power your motherboard and hard drive. I've got the same setup. I don't use it for this applicatio, but I would reccomend going that way. You can buy all this stuff at www.Newegg.com.
 

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It's a via m10000 motherboard
it's not a brick it's a second hd, 6gb for the os
160gb for music/movies (got a good deal on it)
for audio I'm using a 10' extension with a irock wireless fm modulator
the 2 usb are:
1)Wireless KB & Mouse
2)Touchscreen LCD Controller

I've had no problem with overheating, no problems at all really.

Answers to your questions

1)300 Watt Power Inverter
2)No
3)Works great
4)No
5)Yes, but I use an interface that I don't really need a kb for
 

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Nice setup Greg...I'd like to do that same thing in my '99. How is the playback on the Via motherboard? Is it pretty smooth? Is the computer pretty stable in the car, or do you have a lot of Blue Screens?
 

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I've had more problems now with my new suspension than I had previously without. I just need to put some cushioning around the harddrives so they don't have any movement to them. As far as blue screens I haven't had any. Really no signficant problems at all.
 

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here's a potential cheaper sol'n than a PC in your car... what about using an iPod (made by Apple) connected to a cassette adaptor that you stuff into a cassette deck? the sound quality is better'n FM, and the dynamic range ain't bad either...
I have a first generation iPod (5GB hard drive) and I have about 960 songs on it... ;o)
 
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