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View Full Version : My latest carPC - finally some photos



vincentvega
30th October 2005, 07:12 PM
Craig has been hassling me for ages for some photos, so i thought i better put some up here. This is my second carPC, and so far i am absolutely loving it. My previous system was built about 6 years ago, and was mp3 only. This one is a huge improvement.

I started with a stainless steel instrument enclosure i had lying around, and machined out air vents, and holes for the wiring. Being stainless, it was an absolute ***** to work on (give me aluminium any day!) but its dimensions were perfect so i persisted.

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/DSCF0001.JPG

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/DSCF0002.JPG

You can also see the various sized standoffs that mont the power supplies, shutdown controller and motherboard.

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 07:27 PM
I am not the kind of person who likes to buy off the shelf, and for the project i designed my own power supply, shutdown controller, GPS, and USB sound card.

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/DSCF0015.JPG

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/DSCF0020.JPG

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/DSCF0021.JPG

The 2 large boards are 5V, 5A switchmode supplies based around the Maxim MAX787. I run these in parallel to give me a 5V, 10A supply. At presesnt i only pull about 2.4A from each regulator, so theres lots of room left for future expansion.

The small board is a 12V 1.5A linear regulator, which is only used to power the case and cpu fan.

The GPS board is basically just a power supply and serial interface for the Epson GPS module. It has an external antenna which sits on the corner of my dash.

The shutdown controller senses when the car ignition comes on, and starts the PC. If the ignition goes off it delays 15 minutes. If i come back to the car and turn the ignition back on in this time (ie run into the shop for a sec) the computer keeps on running. If however after 15 minutes the ignition is still off, it shuts down windows, delays 1 minute to give windows time to shut down properly, and then turns off the main supply to the regulators.

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 07:32 PM
I havn't got around to doing up a PCB for the USB sound card yet, but the prototype is working fine for now and sounds brilliant. Its based around the TI PCM2900 USB DAC. The finished product should sound even better once i add a seperate power supply for the ****og section, and some more filtering.

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20026.jpg

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20030.jpg

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 07:34 PM
Power supplies and shutdown controller mounted in the case:

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/mp3car2%20007.jpg

The loose wires are for the GPS module.

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 07:50 PM
The motherboard is an advantech industrial biscuit PC, and is perfect for this type of use. It only requires a 5V supply to run, so there is no problem surviving crank. Specs:

AMD K6-2 366mhz, 128MB of ram, 6GB laptop drive for OS and maps
onboard video, 4 serial ports, parallel port, 100mbit network, USB, laptop IDE etc
PC104 PCMCIA cradle with avaya wireless card
20GB portable USB drive for music / maps
USB hub in the glovebox for keyboard / USB key etc as needed

I also made a metal air deflector that directs half the airflow over the power supplies, and the other half across the CPU. This was done in aluminium as i was SO over stainless by this stage ;)

Motherboard and air deflector in case:

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/mp3car2%20021.jpg

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/mp3car2%20022.jpg

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 07:56 PM
GPS module mounted to side of case:

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20006.jpg

All wired up:

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20001.jpg

The beauty of a board like this is that the motherboard has headers for every connection. meaning you can customise the wiring and connectors to suit your application. For example, the wireless card means i dont really need the onbaord ethernet, so i ended up leaving out the loom i made for it.

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 08:00 PM
The lid for the case was cut out of 3mm perspex. The hard disk is mounted to the underside of it.

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20013.jpg

During testing:

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20024.jpg

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 08:07 PM
The car is a 1991 subaru liberty 4x4 wagon, set up for offroading with a 4" lift and larger A/T tyres. The computer is mounted under the drivers seat, and the intake fan sits right behind one of the air con vents. In the middle of summer i can have icy cold air flowing through the PC.

The wiring ready to go:

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20035.jpg

PC installed:

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20040.jpg

You can see that i havn't got around to machining the end plate where all the connectors are to be mounted, for now they just hang out the hole. I have made the plate, i just need to jump on the mill and route all the holes. Its on the list....

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 08:23 PM
Finally the screen install. The screen is a 2005 model 7" lilliput the same as craig has. For now it is mounted in front of the dash, but the plan is to remove the panel from the case and flush mount it between the AC controls and the CD player. I want to see out my 12month warranty first, as the lilliputs are not the most reliable of screens. Another job for the list...

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20047.jpg

The software im running:

cut down winXP install (180MB)
Freedrive
Map Monkey
OziExplorer
RoadRunner (zdgrey skin with freedrive embedded)
netstumbler
winc
firefox

Around town RoadRunner with freedrive embedded works brilliantly. I have turn by turn GPS routing and access to my mp3's all in the one app.

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20061.jpg

And when i head offroad, OziExplorer can't be beat.

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/staff/dane/carpc/carpc%20065.jpg

vincentvega
30th October 2005, 08:33 PM
Years ago i modified my Pioneer head unit to have line in, so the audio out of the USB sound card feeds into this. This way i can select between the carPC, CD's and AM/FM radio.

The sound system consists of a 4ch jaycar amp, 6" pioneer splits up front, kicker 6" rear fill, and a 12" JL sub. Good quality mp3's sound brilliant, but with a good sound system, you really notice when a bad quality mp3 is playing.

I figure i am about 60% done with this thing, future plans are:

Machine the end plate and mount all the connectors
Wire up battery backup to the GPS for faster locks
Install my WIFI antenna for better range
do up a PCB for the USB audio
source a compact USB keyboard for the odd occasions you need a keyboard
Modify my roadrunner skin, and embed ozi, winc, firefox etc (no more windows..)
do up a 4ch temperature sensor board
write an interface to display data from my ECU

etc etc. projects like this are never finished, they go on and on ;)

Craigus
31st October 2005, 04:50 AM
WOW! This looks awesome man.. :eek: Very nice install. :cool:

HappyJacky
31st October 2005, 07:40 AM
:eek: :eek: AWESOME!!! Yet another brilliant setup. I'd love to be able to things like that, but when it comes to electronics and soldering, I'm a ludite.

any plans for a kit???? So when does it go into mass production???

great job Vincent

hangover
17th July 2006, 08:42 PM
That is one amazing setup you have there! now would it be possible to put the internals of a damaged laptop into a new custom built case for for a budget version ? I have an ipaq and bluetooth gps but a lappy with 7" lcd touch screen would be nice.

arthurking83
17th July 2006, 08:58 PM
.... now would it be possible to put the internals of a damaged laptop into a new custom built case for for a budget version ? I have an ipaq and bluetooth gps but a lappy with 7" lcd touch screen would be nice.

I can't see why not??
Not that I've ever tried it, but the lappy case is just that...a case.

making sure the pc boards are mounted correctly to the custom case....

I've pulled apart a few laptops (all have gone together again.....and still worked! :eek: :laughing- )....I've never seen any reason why you couldn't do that!

vincentvega
18th July 2006, 09:55 AM
definately no reason why you couldnt do that.

I am doing a system for a mate at the moment, using one of my old laptops that has broken screen hinges. I have just removed the screen all together, and left the rest of the laptop as it is.

have a quick search for "laptop" on mp3car.com you will find heaps of info.

hangover
18th July 2006, 06:36 PM
Now if i could just connect a 2.5" hdd to my ipaq and a vga output for a 7"lcd screen !

aljohno
6th September 2006, 06:00 AM
Is it posssible to get the diagram of the delay circuit.

I have installed a Hp e-vectra computer but my biggest bug bear is turning the thing on/off every time the car is used.

This would be a very useful kit, with all the interest in car computers these days.

Alan

seaeagle
4th October 2006, 06:58 PM
that is awsome......what would a set up like that cost ?

poundy
5th October 2006, 01:30 PM
i have no idea how much it would cost - but I'd hazzard a guess, if you need to ask you shouldn't !

simonsurf
27th December 2006, 08:11 PM
Fantastic stuff. Top job that :party-smi

mlenser
6th February 2007, 04:43 PM
Amazing job there. What resolution is the screen and is it VGA input or video input?

vincentvega
13th February 2007, 06:33 AM
VGA input. im running 800x600

took some updated pics last night of the screen mounted properly, will post them soon

Mbike23
13th February 2007, 04:10 PM
Now if i could just connect a 2.5" hdd to my ipaq and a vga output for a 7"lcd screen !
Most laptops I've used do have a vga output on them for connecting to projectors and the like. It is also used when the laptop is put into a docking port to connect a normal monitor. The laptop will configure it's self when inserted into the docking port so then it's just a matter of connecting the peripherals.

As to the hdd an external will work via the usb.

hangover
13th February 2007, 08:07 PM
Most laptops I've used do have a vga output on them for connecting to projectors and the like. It is also used when the laptop is put into a docking port to connect a normal monitor. The laptop will configure it's self when inserted into the docking port so then it's just a matter of connecting the peripherals.

As to the hdd an external will work via the usb.

Ipaq pda's dont have a dock or vga outputs.

Mbike23
14th February 2007, 02:53 PM
Ipaq pda's dont have a dock or vga outputs.
No but if you link it to the laptop you referred to earlier it would, which is where I was coming from. Maybe I should have referred to the earlier post.

I'm sorry if I miss understood the meaning of your post :sick3

Having been told I'll now go off and be quiet in the corner and try and get the foot out of my mouth.
:crutches

vincentvega
16th February 2007, 06:35 PM
as promised some pics of my new screen install. Once i ditched my CD player, fitting the screen in the dash became VERY easy ;)

1. steal some sewing elastic out of my mrs sewing box.
http://users.alphadimensions.net/~dane/carPC/screen1.jpg

2. sit screen in place without modifying anything.
http://users.alphadimensions.net/~dane/carPC/screen2.jpg

3. machine flat 3 edges of the stereo surround so the screen can sit flush against it. I left the bottom lip so the screen sits on it.
http://users.alphadimensions.net/~dane/carPC/screen3.jpg

4. screw stereo surround back in place
http://users.alphadimensions.net/~dane/carPC/screen4.jpg


As always the flash shows every little imperfecction, but in reality it looks brilliant. the colour difference is way exagerated by the flash.

Next update will be a whole new system based around a P4 laptop ;)

Nicko
16th February 2007, 07:46 PM
Imperfection? You mean that tiny dust speck on the screen??!! :mighty The Guru has become whole!

hangover
16th February 2007, 07:52 PM
No but if you link it to the laptop you referred to earlier it would, which is where I was coming from. Maybe I should have referred to the earlier post.

I'm sorry if I miss understood the meaning of your post :sick3

Having been told I'll now go off and be quiet in the corner and try and get the foot out of my mouth.
:crutches

That would sort of negate the whole purpose, a damaged lappy or carputer would be the best solution but for now my ipaq does what i need . No doubt it wont take long before i want bigger and better !

vincentvega
17th February 2007, 07:46 AM
cheers Nicko. im glad you like ;)

festy
17th February 2007, 08:09 AM
Certainly a lot neater than my screen install - a steel arm bolted to the jesus bar mount :) but then again my car doesn't actually have a dash to put one in like yours - they were not designed to even take a radio...

Corry
20th February 2007, 08:24 PM
Next update will be a whole new system based around a P4 laptop ;)

And what is happening with this setup? Up for grabs maybe??

Corry

Nicko
21st February 2007, 12:54 PM
I think Vincent is giving it away to me :)

Mbike23
21st February 2007, 05:11 PM
I agree with Nicko, I can't see anything wrong with it. Apart from the car it's installed in.

No it's a first class job :hatoff

michael_sa
6th May 2007, 09:37 PM
that looks awesome. good job

micktojomillard
12th May 2007, 09:47 AM
Nice job !

michaeld
2nd September 2007, 02:19 PM
this seems to be a carputer http://www.tradingpost.com.au/iteminfo/adnumber_W9457370425_off_67_sect_Computers%2c+Phon es+%26+Business_sort_otRZSQ1BJDZfdRZSQSearchDispla yPriorityIndAVSCotRZSQ1BJDZfdRZSQFirstPublished_sq t_2_srch_hdd_state_2_stpg_1_subs_Computers_