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Old 8th May 2007, 17:55   #1
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Default Yay- My Carputer project just got off the ground

Currently in the planning and sourcing stage for setting up a Car PC in my Opel Corsa...
Have already sourced some of the components..in the process of deciding on the rest....planning to get all the parts in the next 1 week at the latest

Front End
Decided on nlited Win 2k or XP srunning roadrunner as the startup shell

Screensot of RR running on my laptop



Display
Option 1- Tried to source a touchscreen locally but no luck.
However, a Bombay based dealer (iride.in) has 7" Lilliput OEM TS LCD available for ~11K...
The advantage of a TS of course is easy access to controls
on the flipside , there is no tactile feedback whihc is almost a necessity if i try to access the controls without taking y eye off the road


Option 2 Regular VGA LCD- A 9.8" LCD with VGA display is available locally for 5.5K

The advantage of course is a bigger screen at a lower price (10" is the max i can accomodate on the dash)
The disadvantage of course is I'll need to figure out a different method to control the PC


Update -> ordered a 7" Touchscreen from iride
I made an online transfer to their account and they shipped it across the same day.
Expecting it to be delivered by tomorrow

BTW here is a thumbs-up for iride and Sheldon...one really helpful and prompt fella

GPS:

Already sourced a Bluetooth GPS receiver which I plan to place behind the backseat under the rear glass...Cost me all of $70
Expecting to receive it by next week

CPU/Mobo:
The obvious constraint with the choice of CPU/mobo is it needs to be as low on power needs as possible and needs to be available ina small form factor

option1a micro ATX socket 370 with a Via C3 - very low on power draw, micro ATX form factor...performance may be a downer though

option2 a mini-ATX 754 pin mobo with an underclocked Sempron

option3 a mini-ATX Socket 370 with a PIII (Coppermine 700/800mhz)

option4 an ITX Via C7 1.3 ghz

Any other options that I should be considering?

I am leaning towards option 3 as it has marginally higher power demand than option 4, and noticeably better performance...Getting hold of a new combo would be impossible however, so I am planning to go hunt around at Ritchie street this weekend

HDD and Optical drive

A 80GB 2.5 " HDD and a slim optical drive...already sourced..

Control Options
AM stumped on this one....
Any advice, appreciated..

A joystick? MCE remote with commands mapped? A touchpad?

On a side note, does anyone know where to get a foldable keyboard which i can keep wrapped in the glove to be used when needed

Power Supply
option 1have a MOSFET based 120 W inverter already



This can be hooked to a regular SMPS

Option2
there are dedicated DC-DC SMPS available for a car PC which take 12 V DC for input..the benefits they offer are the ability to set an auto on and auto hibernate on ignition on/off

iride.in has a 150W DC-DC SMPS for 5.5K or I can source Opus 150W SMPS from the US for ~$100

Cabinet
need advice on where I can find Small form factor cabbies...
Additionally, need advice on how I can fix a 2.5" HDD in a cabby after padding it with silicone grommets or packing it in bubble wrap

Keep the ideas pouring in folks!

Last edited by Rehaan : 9th May 2007 at 01:34. Reason: Please dont use [COLOUR] tags
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Old 8th May 2007, 23:24   #2
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saw your thread on techenclave also....

one thing I wanna say is that the power inverter is of no use....it will not handle the continuous load of the carputer so it is better to get a good power supply..............

and contact ankur he has afull fledged carputer running in his innova
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Old 9th May 2007, 00:23   #3
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abhi, i am very interested in doing the same thing too, i'd love to hook up with you, if you don't mind. Are you basing your setup on the laptop ?
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Old 9th May 2007, 11:15   #4
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Quote:
it will not handle the continuous load of the carputer so it is better to get a good power supply..............
The 120W inverter should be able to handle the load of a Coppermine or a C7..the only peripherals that'll be running are a 2.5" HDD (1-2W), a USB Bluetooth (>1W) (For the Keyboard and GPS receiver) and a wireless Card (1-2W)
A coppermine at peakload won't hit more than 20W ( a C7 even lower) so the total power draw should stay lower than 30W...even disounting the inefficiency of the inverter and SMPS (Let me overestimate the losses as 50% to be on the safe side), it is still 30/0.5 =60W

Having said that, the dedicated DC-DC SMPS helps save on space and inefficiencies..Anyway, this Setup would be an ongoing effort so the Inverter solution should get me off the ground....the DC-DC SMPS can be hooked later

Quote:
abhi, i am very interested in doing the same thing too, i'd love to hook up with you, if you don't mind. Are you basing your setup on the laptop ?

No, The laptop is serving as the testbed to prepare the stripped XP installation and a direct boot into Roadrunner or Centrafuse...
Once the setup is ready in the car, I can get it up & running in no time without spending much time on the software installation

And hey, i of course don't mind if you want to reach out

Last edited by abhi182 : 9th May 2007 at 11:23.
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Old 9th May 2007, 11:29   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi182 View Post
The 120W inverter should be able to handle the load of a Coppermine or a C7..the only peripherals that'll be running are a 2.5" HDD (1-2W), a USB Bluetooth (>1W) (For the Keyboard and GPS receiver) and a wireless Card (1-2W)
A coppermine at peakload won't hit more than 20W ( a C7 even lower) so the total power draw should stay lower than 30W...even disounting the inefficiency of the inverter and SMPS (Let me overestimate the losses as 50% to be on the safe side), it is still 30/0.5 =60W

Having said that, the dedicated DC-DC SMPS helps save on space and inefficiencies..Anyway, this Setup would be an ongoing effort so the Inverter solution should get me off the ground....the DC-DC SMPS can be hooked later
these are very conservative figure for a computer setup....
hdd 1-2w (which model)
wireless card 1-2w (again which model)

also the power supply adapter you showed in the pic cannot give clean continuous power at 60 watts continuously....it will heat up and will get damage....these type of adapter are made for light duty like running for few minutes like car cell phone, electric shaver type of stuff......be sure to check before going that way......
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Old 9th May 2007, 12:10   #6
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Quote:
these are very conservative figure for a computer setup....
hdd 1-2w (which model)
wireless card 1-2w (again which model)

It's a Seagate Momentus 5400.3...from the specs sheet on the Seagate site:
Seek: 2.0 W
Read/Write: 2/1.8W
Idle/Standby: 0.8/0.2 W

Wireless cards on g mode will usually never exceed 3W at peak (search) which drops down to a much lower 0.5-1W during regular connection
Additionally, the wireless card will usually be disabled..the only time I'll use it is when the car is parked at house to transfer data from my home network

Don't compare the figures I have drawn to the PSU specs that people look for on TE...
When you have a 8800GTX with a overclocked C2D/X2 with 3 3.5" drives, you need at least 10 times the power
Quote:
also the power supply adapter you showed in the pic cannot give clean continuous power at 60 watts continuously...
No, the one in the pic isn't the actual one, it was just meant as a pointer..

this is the actual one I am using
Amazon.com: Xantrex Technologies XPower Micro 175-Watt Inverter #851-0178: Home Improvement
It takes up the 85W charger on my laptop for hours on long trips without heating up at the slightest + it has an overload cut off/ discharge cutoff when battery voltage drops low

So it should be adequate to begin with
I plan to measure the power draw at the DC terminal and the DC power draw of the Comp at all the rails to figure out the exact losses I am incurring...and if it's inordinately high, I'll switch to the DC-DC SMPS

Last edited by abhi182 : 9th May 2007 at 12:13.
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Old 9th May 2007, 12:19   #7
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good going then......but keep us updated.....
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Old 9th May 2007, 12:23   #8
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The monitor reaches me tomorrow
The CPU/Mobo will be sourced on Saturday...

By Sunday, I am hoping to have a sembelance of a basic install with wires over the floor on the passenger side....
Freaky, Siyan and Unlucky_devil (TE) plan to come over on Saturday /Sunday to help me out

Next weekend will be when I clean up the mess....

I just hope the timelines pan out the way I have planned...

Gosh!I am getting so impatient now

BTW I saw Ankur's install....It looks so amazingly professional....Best of all was the in-dash LCD mount...It looks pretty much OEM
Being the untidy and lazy b** I really don't think I'll be ever able to even get close to the level of neatness his installation has

Last edited by abhi182 : 9th May 2007 at 12:42.
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Old 10th May 2007, 15:31   #9
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Just received the Monitor from iride
Looks pretty neat, and the mount fits in perfectly in the area just under the stereo on the dash.

From the forums at silentpcreview.com, it turns out that undervolted and underclocked AMD64s can run as low as 10W idle.

I and couple of other folks are planning to testbench the performance per watt for the Coppermine and the undevolted AMD64 this Saturday after which I'll take a call on the final configuration
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Old 11th May 2007, 10:29   #10
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abhi where did you get the rr shell ?
link me to it
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Old 11th May 2007, 18:16   #11
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here you go:
New Road Runner Installer and Updater - MP3Car.com
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Old 13th May 2007, 21:32   #12
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The setup is up & running on the test bench





[/quote]

The final system choice was a thin client PC with a mini-ITX c7 & PSU built inn subsequntly modded to
- accomodate a 2.5" (laptop) HDD mounted over silicone grommets and connected via a IDE-mini IDE converter
- PSU solder outs to attach a molex for the HDD
- hacked power switch that has been hooked to a relay timed 5 seconds after the ignition and another hibernate pulse after switch off

Stuff that remains:
- Hooking the GPS through Bluetooth
- Setting up the Bluetooth Phone control

Looking to do a final install in the car next weeknd
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Old 14th May 2007, 12:34   #13
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here is a Q; U are using a 2.5 inch hdd instead if you use USB thumb drives(4gb) 1 for the OS and apps 1 for the songs etc etc wouldnt that make it a lil more resistant to shock ?
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Old 15th May 2007, 12:34   #14
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Quote:
U are using a 2.5 inch hdd instead if you use USB thumb drives(4gb) 1 for the OS and apps 1 for the songs etc etc wouldnt that make it a lil more resistant to shock ?
Yes, it would, but 4 GB isn't enough for me ...
BTW I did a beta install in the car last night
Will post pics later today

On a side note, the mapking Chennai maps are atrocious...it shows me driving off the road most of the time...it's off chart by at least 200 mtrs or so
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Old 15th May 2007, 12:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi182 View Post
Yes, it would, but 4 GB isn't enough for me ...
BTW I did a beta install in the car last night
Will post pics later today

On a side note, the mapking Chennai maps are atrocious...it shows me driving off the road most of the time...it's off chart by at least 200 mtrs or so
i mean 4 GB for the OS and apps
another 4 for the songs
another 4 for something else
that way it would be more stable more heat / shock resistant and tfring data between home / car would be a breze and the heat out put of the pc woyld go down aswell
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