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Berniebgf
11th July 2005, 07:20 PM
Hello all

Just so you all know, I have been through the process or building a "Carputer" for my landcruiser and am happy to show/talk/recommend bits and pieces for people to put their own together if they like. I have posted my configuration and experiences below.

what is it:
"Carputer" a carputer is a computer build for a car that is usually geared to run off 12Volts.

My configuration:
Via EPX Mini ITX motherboard with Case.
12Volt power module for vehicle configuration
VIA low power cpu, 80gb HDD, 1gB MEMORY, dvd PLAYER
Mini Keyboard and Kingsington mouse
8" liliput touch screen (fantastic!)
XP with FrodoPLayer software for menu system (fantastic!)
Oziexplorer software, Travroute coming!
Over 500 MP3 and many videos to watch!

NOTE: This whole config draws less than 1amp!!!! I have a 3 battery configuration 2 x crank and 1 x deep cycle.

What it can do:
Basically it can do anything a home computer can do
word processing
Movie watching (via file or DVD player in machine)
MP3 Player and so on............
rear camera view
****og or digital TV
Internet
Mobile phone control
see what I mean!

My recommendations:
I have left some Web links in this thread for use. These are the best site around....and I have seen most of them...

Purchasing:
Find what you want via the web and order from Ebay, I got my touch screen from Hong Kong in 5 days! I got my carputer from England in 7-8 days...all ok and all with warranty (but long delays due to return policies) however lots of parts and options are avaliable very cheep via Ebay.

http://www.mp3car.com
http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/index.php (great forum!!!)
htp://frodoplayer.com
http://www.ebay.com

NOTE!!!!!

Do not even think about putting a car computer in your vehicle if you are not a confident PC user, as you will need to know your way around XP or Professional very well to get all the apps working together. But if you like to play around and have time to fine tune, then you will be very happy with the versatility of this type of configuration.

Any E-mail or questions let me know.

Peace out

Bernie

Craigus
11th July 2005, 07:40 PM
This is a fantastic idea. Do you have any photos of the setup/install that we can take a look at?

I thought of doing the same but decided to use my lappy instead. The main reason was so I can play DVD's to keep the little on entertained on the long trips and MP3's for me. :)

Berniebgf
11th July 2005, 07:45 PM
Well the Car computer can run DVD....but also!!

You can have multiple monitors running off the PC!
One for front and one for back!!

NOTE to self, watch road not screen!!

regarding pictures, give me 20minutes!!

Craigus
11th July 2005, 07:50 PM
My lappy has an external monitor out. In the future I will look at running a LCD touch screen myself.

Thanks again for sharing this info. :cool:

Chris
11th July 2005, 08:00 PM
Hi Bernie,
where abouts did you mount your screen, I'm in the middle of a carputer project myself and have just got an 8" screen.

I'm putting mine into a Prado and have been thinking about mounting it on the roof but the roof slopes down and would block a fair bit of visibility.

Currently I have it mounted on the dash (see pic) but it's kinda a bit big, and I think Mr Plod might have something to say about it!

http://www.altologic.com.au/pics/screen.jpg

strider01
11th July 2005, 08:01 PM
Hi guys,

Always interested reading what others have done to have a computer in the car. I have a 7" Lilliput Touch Screen mounted on the dash of my car which is run back to my laptop which I have very technologically occy strapped to the cargo barrier!! Sound is fed back into my stereo system through an FM Transmitter plugged into the speaker socket on the lappy. GPS is also plugged into the laptop for navigation.

One thing people should be aware of - legalities. In NSW, it is illegal to have a screen which is visible to the driver and is playing movies, etc.

However, there is a loop hole!! If the screen is used for navigation purposes then it is allowed.

If you have a DVD playing it is very easy to see the screen if you are behind the car playing it. I followed a 4WD the other week that was playing a DVD and my passenger could tell me all about it. It was pretty distracting for me as a driver because the movie sounded pretty good at the time!!

Anyway, just thought I'd let you all know what to watch out for. ;)

If anyone wants to see my setup goto here: http://www.users.on.net/~fid****/

Berniebgf
11th July 2005, 08:19 PM
Hi all, here are the picture of my carputer setup


rear view of center console with carputer on right side, rear bag for mini keyboard seen.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/berniebgf/above.jpg

view from front, stereo control and MP3 carputer controller
http://members.optusnet.com.au/berniebgf/front.jpg

full view from rear, mini keyboard out.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/berniebgf/full%20setup.jpg

Power controller I made, measures amps and volts for all gear.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/berniebgf/power.jpg

any question give me a buz.

Bernie.

Craigus
11th July 2005, 08:24 PM
DUDE, They're HUGE! :eek:

If you resize them you can upload as an attachment to the forums.

Berniebgf
11th July 2005, 08:26 PM
Chris

Yeah, looks like yu have an 80series like me......

Its hard to find a good spot, I have made a steel bracket that connects to the Sereo unit on both sides, then I have a swivel point to turn the screen...

I have got it setup so it blocks the head unit and the UHF, but with the remote and the fact that we use the Carputer for everthing it ok.


Strider, I like your setup, how do you go with sun glare on the screen?

thanks

Bernie

Berniebgf
11th July 2005, 08:27 PM
Chris,

O.T. If you have a DX 80 Series, the best thing we did was **** the bench seat off and get a single 80series GXL seat for the front then make your own center console!!

Best thing we ever did!

Bernie.

Smocky
11th July 2005, 08:40 PM
Ever heard of a tablet PC?

HP TC1100 sits in my car when I need it.

Fortunately, I use this stuff for work, so I can use it for play as well.

Berniebgf
11th July 2005, 08:42 PM
Pictures resized for Modem dudes.

Berniebgf
11th July 2005, 08:49 PM
Smokey

Yeah, The tablet PC is a good option...+ you can take it with you on the track!

My whole setup cost approx $1,500.00 all up (hardware only)
How much did your tablet cost? and if free for you how much do they go for?

If you had a nice mount for the tablet in the vehicle it would be great!

External DVD or internal?

Bernie

strider01
12th July 2005, 07:08 PM
Thanks Bernie, the screen glare can be a problem. I have only really used the setup on a trip for the first time only recently at Barrington Tops. Other trips had seen some minor bugs creep in to the setup causing problems which meant things didn't operate correctly. The GPS did though at least!!

I am going to make up a removable shroud to fit over the screen for the glare. What I have found out though is the glare is only minimal really as the car is changing in relation to the sun all the time so the glare doesn't last too long anyway.

Do you get glare on yours?

BTW, your setup sure kicks serious *** mate!! :)

Guys, just one thing. I'm looking into changing my LCD screen down the track and replacing the laptop and screen for a thing called a Flybook. You gotta check these things out. Saw it at the last PC show in Sydney and I walked away wanting one. Pricey though but it would serve a multi purpose device for me at home and in car.

Check it out at www.flybook.biz

Apparently there is another version later in the year which will have detachable mobile phone on it and a projector lens, so it can show the screen (or DVD's) about 30 inches in size - from the PC!! Not sure if the web site has this latest model on yet though.

Berniebgf
12th July 2005, 07:57 PM
This is where I would have headed if I was starting all over again......

http://www-604.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=10000036&catalogId=-36&langId=036&categoryId=4611686018425012402

Go to the 3D tour, this is fantastic!!!

I have a new IBM R52 which is great for performance and screen size, but this one has it all!

Bernie

Chris
14th July 2005, 12:20 AM
I got my DC - DC Power Supply yesterday and hooked it up today, but it isn't powerful enough to power the ATX board, so I have decided on getting a VIA EPIA Mini - ITX board and am thinking about mounting it in a custom roof console and having the touch screen fold down.

It should be a nice neat install and accessible for things like dumping pics from the camera CF card and accessing the CD/DVD. I might even get hold of a mini wireless keyboard (if there's such an animal).

Berniebgf
14th July 2005, 04:20 PM
I like the idea of mounting the PC in the roof, but (I think) you may have problems with the following.

1. DVD/CDROM will be hard to get in and out.
2. people behind you will see the screen is on....Cops!
3. the weight of the computer may be an issue.
4. noise of the fan (depending on which VIA CPU you go for....) will suck!
...........
I like the idea of ounting it under the front seat....

regards

Bernie.

CrazyNuts
25th July 2005, 10:13 AM
Hi Bernie,
where abouts did you mount your screen, I'm in the middle of a carputer project myself and have just got an 8" screen.

I'm putting mine into a Prado and have been thinking about mounting it on the roof but the roof slopes down and would block a fair bit of visibility.

Currently I have it mounted on the dash (see pic) but it's kinda a bit big, and I think Mr Plod might have something to say about it!



Hey Chris...where did you get this screen from and how much? Also...what brand is it and model?

AHC
2nd August 2005, 09:52 PM
How do you find the touch screen as a input device? Im trying to decide if the extra for the touch screen is worth it over the plain lcd.Im not sure i would actually use the touch screen or end up using the trackball all the time. And how do you find the 8' as for readability or would you go larger.
And on a last note what size hdd are you fellas using the 2.5 or 3.5 . Not sure if the 3.5 will hold up to the corregations.

festy
3rd August 2005, 09:21 AM
mounting the HD on it's side is meant to help with the bumps - as the heads won't hit the platters (or so the theory goes)

TuffRR
9th August 2005, 03:52 PM
Mine carputer setup is a bit simpler.

IBM laptop in the pocket in the back of the drivers seat hooked up to GPS. I am looking to get a touch LCD screen shortly though.

Most of the ones i have seen have a resolution of 800x600 and have heard that this if often not enough for mapping etc. Any input from others would be appreciated.

BTW, for those looking for LCD screens, you can get them off ebay for around $200-$300 these days.

swaddo
9th August 2005, 05:44 PM
I have a similar setup to you. I have a 1GHz Vaio which sits on the passengers seat. I whack the seatbelt around it so it doesnt fall on the floor when the going gets rough :)

I am in the process of working out requirements for a nice little micro ITX unit. Turns out I can salary sacrifice it :D

Cheers
Blake

Craigus
9th August 2005, 06:05 PM
Mine carputer setup is a bit simpler.

IBM laptop in the pocket in the back of the drivers seat hooked up to GPS. I am looking to get a touch LCD screen shortly though.

Most of the ones i have seen have a resolution of 800x600 and have heard that this if often not enough for mapping etc. Any input from others would be appreciated.

BTW, for those looking for LCD screens, you can get them off ebay for around $200-$300 these days.

I just bought a liliput 7" touch for $350 AUD. Should have it some time this week. I'll be posting the install pics as I get it done.

clewer
10th August 2005, 07:03 AM
I am reading all of this in awe you guys are right into it - I feel a little intimidated - I wanted to just put my laptop on the seat and plug it into the Garmin and the car! My simple question is can I use a power inverter- to provide power to the laptop - I'm assuming that that is what a power inverter does - I know it sounds dumb but if I can get some help. If I am on track then the next Q is what sort of inverter?

That's why I joined this forum you guys are a great help - thanks

Regards John

TuffRR
10th August 2005, 08:20 AM
Clewer - to power my laptop i use a targus DC converter which my last place of employment kindly "donated". :D

It plugs straight into a cigeratte lighter socket and the converter itself is about the size of a credit card. I think for the money that these are though, an actual inverter would probably be a better alternative. With an inverter you also have the option of running other 240v appliances. Just check the specs of the laptop you are planning to use and make sure the inverter you get can meet them.

Craigus - i look fwd to seeing the install. That model is the one they are selling on ebay i think and one i am considering.

Craigus
10th August 2005, 08:21 AM
At the moment I am using a cheep Jaycar 140W Inverter (http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MI5102&CATID=&keywords=inverter&SPECIAL=&form=KEYWORD&ProdCodeOnly=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNumber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=) ($50ish) to power my lappy. Works great, though you do loose power when cranking (My lappy battery is dead) This is only a temp setup though as I don't like the idea of having 240V in my car and 12v ->240v ->16v is a bit over the top.. Festy is on the case making a 12-16V converter as I'm an electronics n00b.

I think the parts for the 12-16V gear is about $30 If you know a little about electronics you should be right to make one yourself.

clewer
10th August 2005, 08:56 AM
Thanks Guys - I knew if I asked someone would have the answers - The Jaycar looks good for me - I would not even attempt to build something as you describe Craigus - I'd buy one but not being a techie...

Thanks Guys!!! :)

Craigus
10th August 2005, 09:05 AM
If you're planning on using the inverter just remember to put it some where it's not going to get WET! It's 240V!!!

swaddo
10th August 2005, 09:24 AM
I have a 600W invertor from Repco and a power board. It supplies heaps of juice :). I have it temporarily mounted under the passengers seat since suitable space is a little hard to find in a dual cab ute. Just gotta be really carful that I dont attempt deep water crossings in case she leaks and I get a bit of a http://www.clicksmilies.com/s0105/sprachlos/speechless-smiley-040.gif

Craig, where you get the touch screen from? damn fine price ;)

Cheers
Blake

HappyJacky
10th August 2005, 09:24 AM
Hey guys,

If you've got a SuperCheap Auto nearby, I've seen a Laptop DC-DC converter being sold for about $50. Don't know how good they are, but most computer stores can get similar ones (I'd say better quality) in for about the $90-$150 depending on their supplier and mark-up.

I've ordered a couple of them for where I work (I'm one of the IT Support guys) and the ones i've got work well, have multiple tips to suit various power sockets. My little lappy that i got from work, just happened to have a Targus adaptor in the bag (sshhh!) which is worth about $190.

cheers,
HappyJacky

Craigus
10th August 2005, 09:40 AM
Is that the same as a little inverter? or is it just 12v to whatever needed (Say 16v) ? I really want to stay away from 240v in car.

HappyJacky
10th August 2005, 11:13 AM
Is that the same as a little inverter? or is it just 12v to whatever needed (Say 16v) ? I really want to stay away from 240v in car.

Plugs into cigarette lighter and ups the voltage/wattage to required levels.

Craigus
10th August 2005, 11:43 AM
That sounds like another gadget I must have :)

clewer
10th August 2005, 11:46 AM
That sounds ideal and staying away from 240v would be good! Do we have a name or a link for this product?
Regards...

TuffRR
10th August 2005, 12:20 PM
http://www.targus.com/AU/product_details.asp?sku=APD10AU

This is similar to the one I'm using.

You are limited to the availability of the powertips but so far i havent had any dramas with either an IBM or Toshiba laptop.

Craigus
10th August 2005, 12:30 PM
Fworrr.... RRP $179.95 :eek:

HappyJacky
10th August 2005, 03:58 PM
Ok folks,

Here's some details about the power adaptors that I have access to. I haven't included any pricing (Lets just say they would range from $90 to $140). At this point logistics would prevent me from selling one or two of these as the shipping cost is the killer for small orders.

Craigus, if you'r interested in stocking these as part of the on-line shop, drop me a PM and I'll send you my suppliers details.

Cheers,
HappyJacky

CAR-NB1


5A Laptop Computer 120W Switch mode DC-DC Multi-Voltage In Car Power Supply

Plug this multi voltage car adaptor into your cigarette lighter socket and charge up your laptop computer.

Star Burst: Contains Dell Laptop compatible plug

- Input voltage: 12 -16V DC car battery power
- 7 Selectable output voltage: 15, 16, 18, 19, 20 - 6A and 22/24 - 5A; 120W max.?
- Supplied with 6 changeable output plugs: 2.1 x 5.5mm, 2.5 x 5.5mm x 3.0 x 6.3mm, 1.4 x 6.0mm, 1.7 x 4.75mm, Dell type laptop plug.
- Features overload and short circuit protection to protect it from damage
- Stabilised output, low ripple and low interference
- Adjustable output voltage
- High efficiency and low energy consumption
- Power LED monitor



CAR-NB2


Universal Laptop Car/Aircraft 60 Watt Power Adapter

Not only can you run a laptop from your car cigarette lighter, many modern airliners are also fitted with 12 volt power outlets. Now you will have enough power to work on spreadsheets, finalise your presentation, and still have the power to watch you own movies on your laptop. The power supply is very compact and comes with 12 adaptor plugs that automatically adjust the output voltage of the unit to suit the particular laptop in use. Supplied with a fused car/aircraft plug, 1.1m input cable 500mm output cable. Measures105(L) x 50(W) x 30(D)mm


FSP-NB120

Providing power solution for your mobile computing needs !

Compatible with 19V input notebooks
Up to a current of 6.32A, 120W maximum
6 DC output tips for maximum compatibility
High efficiency with complete circuit protection.
High quality assurance.
Patented input fuse protection.
Specification: Input : 100 ~240 Vac ; For worldwide use.
Output : +19 VDC 120W ; Apply to most of Notebook Computer.

Character: Input : Power Factor Correction circuit can reduce energy loss.
Over Voltage and Current Protection.

Output : Over Voltage and Current Protection.
Output short protection.
Over Temperature Protection.
Ripple Noise reduction circuit.

Product has passed European EMC standard EN55022 & EN55024 .
Product with agency approval from UL(USA), FCC(USA EMI), CUL(Canada), VDE(Germany), EMEC(Europe), CE(Europe), DFT(Australia), C-Tick(Australia EMI), BSMI(Taiwan), 3C(China).


FSP-NB90


Providing power solution for your mobile computing needs

AC input:100-240v,1.6A,50/60Hz
Compatible with 19V input notebooks, up to a current of 4.74A, 90W maximum
6DC output tips for maximum compatibility
High efficiency with complete circuit protection
High quality assurance

HappyJacky
10th August 2005, 04:01 PM
Top Left = NB1
Top Right = NB2
Bottom Left = NB120
Bottom Right = NB90

Craigus
10th August 2005, 08:03 PM
Thanks for the info HappyJacky..

clewer
11th August 2005, 06:36 AM
Yes thanks for the info - I'd certainly be interested if you are looking for an indication of interest... I'd be willing to hang on with buying if the forum were going that way with the online shop - if the price is right I'd rather support you guys than go somewhere else.

Regards...

vincentvega
11th August 2005, 07:43 AM
I have the same touchscreen as Craigus on the way. shipped from Hong Kong this morning.

I am almost finished a fully custom carPC (my second) for my current car and will post up some pics in a few weeks when its all installed.

Craigus: i ended up paying the same money as you. Damn good deal i reckon

TuffRR
11th August 2005, 07:59 AM
I'm keen to see what you guys think of the lilliput. After reading a lot about them on mp3car.com, i am a little hesitant. It does seem that the newer models are more reliable than the older ones though. I only hope for that price you get the new models. I couldn't find anywhere on ebay which actually said which model it was.

If you are looking for info about them, definately go to www.mp3car.com - plenty of troubleshooting/drivers etc for the lilliput.

vincentvega
11th August 2005, 08:06 AM
The 7" lilliput has gone through 5 revisions since it was first released, and general concensus is that they have finally got it right. The earlier models had alot of trouble with touchscreens, but they have now gone wiht a completely different touchscreen board and nobody seems to have trouble anymore.

Having said that my mate has had one of the rev1 lilliputs for over a year now, and he hasnt had a single problem. We have had it apart to do a few mods to it, and it all went back together fine.

The thing you have to remember on mp3car is that the people who have problems are always going to be the most vocal, so you only ever hear about the bad screens. And another thing i think that happens with these screens is that you have complete dumbasses opening them up with no clue about electronics, and then wondering why it doesnt work any more...

joc45
15th August 2005, 11:18 PM
Hi Bernie, was looking at the VIA boards the other day on the net (Aust supplier), and it started me thinking of my next replacement to the old lappy. I know it's oranges and apples, but how does the low quoted clock speed of the VIAs compare to Pentium-IV speeds?
Cheers, Gerry

smee_e_e
16th August 2005, 12:17 AM
How have users of the lilliput screens found the readability of the screen with finer detail on some maps. I've got a non touch screen version but only used it with a DVD player for movies havenít tried hooking it up to a computer.

Craigus
16th August 2005, 07:00 AM
I haven't had my Liliput for that long, so I can only hope it stays reliable!

As for the detail, It's fantastic. I am running mine in 800x600 as my poor old lappy wont run the native res and it still looks great.

vincentvega
16th August 2005, 09:15 AM
How have users of the lilliput screens found the readability of the screen with finer detail on some maps. I've got a non touch screen version but only used it with a DVD player for movies havenít tried hooking it up to a computer.

depends what model of lilliput you are talking about. Some are higher resolution and have a VGA input. These are fine for reading detailed maps.

If you have one of the cheaper ones that only have composite input, then dont waste your time..

CrazyNuts
16th August 2005, 10:09 AM
I just got this screen from ebay for $316 delivered to my door (brand new)

is this any good?

http://www.lilliput.cn/809.htm

Apparently it's high resolution with 15 pin D-SUB interface.

vincentvega
16th August 2005, 10:13 AM
yep not a bad screen. you wont have any troubles with that one.

just take care when your wiring it up! (i won't mention names... :p)

The only downside with that model is its native resolution of 640x480. That means that if you want to run it at any higher resolution you will lose detail.

In paractice though, run it at 800x600 and it should look fine.

CrazyNuts
16th August 2005, 11:03 AM
as long as i can run it at 800x600 with good res then that's all i care about :)

I don't understand how one screen with the same ammount of pixels (921***) can have a native res of 640x480 and another a native res of 1024x768. Just doesn't make any sence to me.

vincentvega
16th August 2005, 11:17 AM
Your screen has 921600 dots in total. That is 1920 horizontal dots by 480 vertical dots. (1920 x 480 = 921600)

In the horizontal plane though, there are red, green and blue dots. The human eye sees each of these groups of three as one pixel. So the viewable native resolution is 640 x 480. (1920 / 3 = 640)

Basically the LCD manufacturers use the dot resolution to make their LCD panels sound better than they really are.

You also have to understand what native resolution is. It is the number of physical pixels in your LCD panel. Your panel has a native re****ion of 640 x 480. It can however support higher resolutions such as 800x600 and 1024x768 but when you use these settings the controller on the LCD is just squishing the larger picture onto the 640 x 480 pixels it has available. This is why you will lose some definition at resolutions higher than 640 x 480

CrazyNuts
16th August 2005, 11:23 AM
ahhhh....now i get ya. So are there any touch screens out there that have a REAL native res of 800x600 or even 1024x768? I suspect not due to the physical size of the screen?

vincentvega
16th August 2005, 11:27 AM
the better 8" touchscreens do 800x600 native. not from lilliput though

the 7" widescreen lilliput craigus and myself have does 800x480 native which looks great at 800x600

CrazyNuts
16th August 2005, 11:36 AM
oh well...for the price I paid for it, I can't complain. $315 delivered for a brand new unit seems like a good deal? Aint it? Or did i get ripped off?

TuffRR
16th August 2005, 04:14 PM
oh well...for the price I paid for it, I can't complain. $315 delivered for a brand new unit seems like a good deal? Aint it? Or did i get ripped off?

Nope $315 delivered for a touch screen is good. You'll find that the touch screens supporting 800x600 native are a lot more expensive and realistically i dont think you would notice that much of a difference.

Berniebgf
18th August 2005, 06:32 PM
Hi Bernie, was looking at the VIA boards the other day on the net (Aust supplier), and it started me thinking of my next replacement to the old lappy. I know it's oranges and apples, but how does the low quoted clock speed of the VIAs compare to Pentium-IV speeds?
Cheers, Gerry

Hi, Joc

Yes, the VIa Chip M1000 does not compair with a current intel. The whole point of the via is low power and low heat. However, the CPU is specifically build, coded for Multimedia, so you will find (as I have) that it runs video's and general browsing very well. Some larger maps take a little longer than usual to load but overall I am very happy with the performance.

regards

Bernie