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Car pc system ?s

Last response: in Systems
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December 17, 2012 12:22:20 AM

I am definitely new to this (carpcs) but I've been thinking about putting like a media center in my car. So I'm trying to put together a general idea of what I'm even doing at the moment haha.
So here's what I think I need:
-I'm gonna need a USB OBD2 engine ECU interface for engine stats feedback
-USB GPS (found one with good reviews on amazon for 25$)
-power supply from battery to computer power supply lol?
-7" touch screen display for front dash
-~18-20" back seat media screen
-cd/dvd-rom player
-sound card (maybe) (planning on 5.1 or 7.1 surround in car with PC as input)

And here's the components I have on hand for the actual pc:
MOBO: ASUS P8H61-M Pro
MOBO: ASRock Z75 Pro3
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K
CPU: Intel Pentium G860
RAM: 12GB 1600MHz G.SKILL (3x4gb)
SSD: Intel Maple 330 Series 60 gig (maybe 80 idk)
PSU: 450Watt Antec
GPU: Gigabyte HD 7950
GPU: EVGA GTX 550 Ti SuperClocked
GPU: ASUS HD 3870
And various other fans/cables, old HDDs, cases...etc.

And what I want to do with the rig:
1: Play music
2: Get feedback from engine ECU
3: GPS Navigation
4: Phone charger lol
5: Play movies on back seat display
6: Play games on back seat display (I have a PC 360 controller for this purpose)


Closing thoughts:
So I'm thinking get a small form factor rig and mount it in the trunk. Have audio wiring to an amp somewhere and then to speakers. Very long power and SATA cable to cd-rom at dashboard, some USB extenders up to dash also, power switches and leds wired up to dash (I can handle that), and of course the display wired up to the dash and to back seat. (Do I need a keyboard even with touch screen or will one popup?) sorry no exp with touch screen pcs.

So I think I'll have to buy a new case and a small PSU as I don't want to draw alot of power of the car battery. And I'm thinking no GPU, I will just use the 3570Ks Intel HD 4000. That should be able to play Skyrim fine especially at low rez. Is it possible to have dual video outputs to two different displays on integrated? I've never expiremented with it. And I'll probably use that SSD maybe with a HDD also. And the 12 gig ram.

Phew, haha, any thoughts...advice...?
Thanks for any help I understand it's an unusual situation.

More about : car system

December 17, 2012 12:36:45 AM

Yeah that looks good my boss actually has a carputer he built in his car it runs pretty awesome too. If you were looking for something where you don't need a bigger alternator or battery you should look along the lines of the AMD APU's or the Intel Atoms for power consumption under 40w
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December 17, 2012 1:32:01 AM

Interesting, yeah with a little more research I am seeing rigs more along the lines of;
Core 2 Duo or Pentium 4
256mb RAM
Windows XP

Really low power draw. But also I cant help but think with all these 1000+ watt cig lighter inverters, whats wrong with getting like a 600 watt inverter and running this;
-i5 3570K
-GTX 550 Ti
-3x4GB G.SKILL
-SSD+HDD
-All on a ~400-500 Watt PSU

??
btw I do not plan on running any of this with the engine off..
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December 17, 2012 1:52:00 AM

Really nothing but it adds wear and tear to the alternator and battery for having to run harder. It depends on what you are doing w/ it though, for you who wants to play games I would say go for it but just add another battery or a bigger alternator and you should be fine. Oh and btw don't use a cig lighter inverter for this, you are going to want something more permanent
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December 17, 2012 1:59:24 AM

mightymaxio said:
Really nothing but it adds wear and tear to the alternator and battery for having to run harder. It depends on what you are doing w/ it though, for you who wants to play games I would say go for it but just add another battery or a bigger alternator and you should be fine. Oh and btw don't use a cig lighter inverter for this, you are going to want something more permanent


Right, haha I'd get an inverter that wires directly into the battery.

And get another battery huh? Would I just wire them both together in parallel?
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December 17, 2012 2:10:29 AM

about 3-4 years ago I went to the effort and put in a custom carputer with 7" VGA touchscreen indash as well as 17" LCD mounted in the boot with 2x 1000w 12" SUBS, 2x 1 farad CAPS, 2x Marine grade semi deep cycle batteries and all the rest of kit.

I Started with a 3-400w modified sign wave inverter but it did not handle the job, went to a 150w Pure sign wave and that was great.

Depending on where you mount the system you may have heat issues. i certainally did and ended up having to have a watercooled CPU. (equiv to a H80)

You will only need a keyboard for advanced functions. e.g games, installing windows. get your self a Media center remote for controlling movies and music as this can be operated alot easier (especially while driving)
also there is a nice logitech media keyboard with intergrated touchpad that works quite nice.

Yes you can run 2 seperate screens from HD4000 so no worries there.

I ran a relay from my car's accessories to the inverter which was hard wired to the dual batteries mounted in the boot. so when the ignition was on the inverter got power. when accesseries was off no power to the inverter, that way you cannot run the batteries flat.

If I was to do it all again i would not bother with a full ATX system with dedicated GPU, i would go something ITX sized with SSD for boot and a 2tb for storage.

I would not bother with games at all as you really dont play them in the car. thats what the big desktop computer is for
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December 17, 2012 2:17:36 AM

^What he said. Good advice hugo
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December 17, 2012 2:20:50 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
about 3-4 years ago I went to the effort and put in a custom carputer with 7" VGA touchscreen indash as well as 17" LCD mounted in the boot with 2x 1000w 12" SUBS, 2x 1 farad CAPS, 2x Marine grade semi deep cycle batteries and all the rest of kit.

I Started with a 3-400w modified sign wave inverter but it did not handle the job, went to a 150w Pure sign wave and that was great.

Depending on where you mount the system you may have heat issues. i certainally did and ended up having to have a watercooled CPU. (equiv to a H80)

You will only need a keyboard for advanced functions. e.g games, installing windows. get your self a Media center remote for controlling movies and music as this can be operated alot easier (especially while driving)
also there is a nice logitech media keyboard with intergrated touchpad that works quite nice.

Yes you can run 2 seperate screens from HD4000 so no worries there.

I ran a relay from my car's accessories to the inverter which was hard wired to the dual batteries mounted in the boot. so when the ignition was on the inverter got power. when accesseries was off no power to the inverter, that way you cannot run the batteries flat.

If I was to do it all again i would not bother with a full ATX system with dedicated GPU, i would go something ITX sized with SSD for boot and a 2tb for storage.

I would not bother with games at all as you really dont play them in the car. thats what the big desktop computer is for


Thanks for the reply.
Yeah I was curious about heat problems. I have an aftermarket air cooler (can't remember the name) but it's got a big heat fin block with two fans for my i5.
As for the games, I have a big sexy gaming desktop (sig) in house haha but I was thinking of having the dual display thing with 7" control/primary screen up front and then a bigger one in back seat with an XBox controller so if I have friends they can play that back there. I mean why not? The HD 4000 is there.. I already have a 360 controller...
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December 17, 2012 2:24:02 AM

also getting feedback from the ECU will be alot harder than you think.

almost all standard ECU's will have diagnostic logging only, not giving you any real usefull info to display on the carputer. not to mention car manufactures do not give out the software to interface with the car's ECU to anyone but authorised service centers.

Aftermarket ECU's may have this option by will be expensive. and unless you have had alot of engine work done, not worth it.
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December 17, 2012 2:27:23 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
also getting feedback from the ECU will be alot harder than you think.

almost all standard ECU's will have diagnostic logging only, not giving you any real usefull info to display on the carputer. not to mention car manufactures do not give out the software to interface with the car's ECU to anyone but authorised service centers.

Aftermarket ECU's may have this option by will be expensive. and unless you have had alot of engine work done, not worth it.


Really? People made it sound pretty easy with these OBD2 USB interfaces.

http://www.scantool.net/obdlink-sx.html

EDIT: Or is that not a legit peice of hardware? (Wouldn't surprise me in the least)
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December 17, 2012 2:29:13 AM

I'm not saying it cant be done. it definatly can be. (gaming)
just from my experience I would not bother with games.

Extra Power Draw from GPU,
Extra Heat from GPU
to much size taken up from large mobo & GPU

i would not even bother with an i5, id go an i3. (again no games)

A nice little touch i added was i put a fingerprint reader in the center console so you had to login (with fingerprint) to use the carputer.

WIfi card so you can sync your car to your main libary when at home.
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December 17, 2012 2:37:43 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
I'm not saying it cant be done. it definatly can be. (gaming)
just from my experience I would not bother with games.

Extra Power Draw from GPU,
Extra Heat from GPU
to much size taken up from large mobo & GPU

i would not even bother with an i5, id go an i3. (again no games)

A nice little touch i added was i put a fingerprint reader in the center console so you had to login (with fingerprint) to use the carputer.

WIfi card so you can sync your car to your main libary when at home.


I know :/  I'd go with an i3 for this as well if I didn't already have an i5.

As for that fingerprint scanner, that's awesome! You used that to login to Windows? Windows 7 knows how to use a fingerprint scanner input instead of a password to login?

Can you recommend a good WiFi card? I have had very bad luck with them. On my main rig I have a P8Z77-V which comes with a built in wifi card and antenna which I was quite skeptical about at the time but it's turned into the fastest and most reliable wifi receiver I've ever owned. Since then I built a second rig for other purposes and bought four different WiFi cards, all PCI or PCIe and were ALL absolutely terrible. I completely gave up on PCI/e wifi cards and tethered from my MacBook with Ethernet crossover cable.
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December 17, 2012 2:43:18 AM

Well then you also pretty much got to think about if this is going to be a "Show" car or just a "Everyday" car. If its a show car you could put anything in there since it won't be used except at shows, if its an everyday car you should think about long-term effects such as: Hot weather/cold weather(Winter?), power requirements(Wires, batteries, alternator(the big 3)), Cost of maintaining the extra wear and tear on car.
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December 17, 2012 2:52:01 AM

i have always have pretty good success with netgear products personally.
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December 17, 2012 3:01:10 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
i have always have pretty good success with netgear products personally.


Great thanks, and do you remember what that fingerprint scanner was called?
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