In Car PC for GU :) this is fantastic.

Submitted: Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 23:52
ThreadID: 34027 Views:2745 Replies:8 FollowUps:30
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www.happyg.mine.nu/carpc/index.html



everything he has done is sweet!
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:11

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:11
or this one

Site Link
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Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:36

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:36
Is that in yours Truckie?
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:41

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:41
Na, part of the Roach Airlines Fleet
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:49

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:49
I should have known LOL Verrry good job. Definitely got me thinking, but I don't like hard drives spinning whilst vehicle is in motion.
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Follow Up By: Grinner - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 10:53

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 10:53
One trick I've heard of is to mout the hard drive on its side, rather than horizontal, that way if there are any bumps, the heads will move across the surface of the platter rather than crash into the platter.

Don't know how you'd go offroad when the vehicle is bouncing in all directions!

Grinner
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Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:19

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:19
A fellow in WA who has biuilt a caputer for his 4b uses a standard computer harddrive and beleives it to be the most reliable part of his computer. Has had no problems to date. Others that I have heard of use compact flash, which is the option I will pusuing in the construction of mine.
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:29

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:29
No, not in my stock-standard GU....... I wouldn't be able to operate something THAT sophisticated!!!!!!!!! (I couldn't even work out how to use the eTrex....so it had to GO....GONE....never to be replaced!!!! hahaha)
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:43

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:43
Gramps, flash memory hard drives are coming soon, already can buy a 30gb flash drive.
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 12:47

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 12:47
Thanks for the info guys. Much appreciated. Typical of the people on this site, always ready to lend a hand or provide information.

Roachie, Roachie, Roachie tch tch tch. Methinks you protesteth too much LOLOL
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Follow Up By: Rokkitt - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:32

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:32
Hi,

I have been running an in-car pc for the last eight months managing everything from in car entertainment, wearther updates and voice guided navigation, Oziexcploer too, tidal upodates, speed camera warnings, speed warnings, broadband internet access......the list and functional benefits are endless.

There has not been one hard disc crash and I do some severe four wheel driving - the only obstacle that can cause issues - Water (those big bog holes) which can be worked around with a high fitting within a roof console. As long as some simple rules are followed regarding shock absorbtion. Some drives are specifically designed with this kind of abuse in mind, I am an IT support person and I often cannot believe how badly people treat there laptops and they still continue to go.....

Control is not a problem - voice control takes care of that but it takes some months to perfect, patience pays off.

These systems are awesome - with large manufacturers making systems available including microsoft with the TBOX. They will become more popular in the future once they have taken over the home. Once the house is smart wired we can run the house from the car, even water the garden ....let the cat out....etc....

In case you hadn't noticed I am a huge advocate of the CarPC!

Rod
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Follow Up By: happpyg - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:58

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:58
Rod, couldn't agree more, I couldn't imagine not having a carpc (mine is the one in the pic at the top of this thread)

Over the 18 months I have had it in there it has gotten at least a fortnightly treatment to offroad tracks & corrugations, I show it no mercy and have had no problems at all. There is much debate but I think mounting vertically is the key and I have a little bit of foam to help with the major shocks.

The only thing I would have done differently is go for the bigger/brighter screen straight away, the lilliput is good but not quite bright enough. It is manageable if you get it angled right & tinting your windows helps too.

For anyone considering setting one up - go for it! There is heaps more info over at www.mp3car.com
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:43

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:43
Happyg,
I checked out your web site some time ago and it is what inspired me to build a car pc. Although I didn't go to the lengths that you have gone to, I'm still very happy with the results. I hope you don't mind that I have used some of your ideas and I would love to get a copy of your Mediacar desktop. I'm using a similar one by Roadrunner, but it has too many features for my liking.
You have done an amazing job of it, so keep coming up with the innovative ideas.
Chaz
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Follow Up By: happpyg - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 15:19

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 15:19
Chaz, I too use Roadrunner & think it is pretty much the best & most configurable front end out there. I will zip up the brushed metal skin I was using & post it on my website tonight when I get home from work. This one is good because it is mainly black & white making good contrast for viewing in the car. I have since started using a skin called Triton from the mp3car site (a little more colorful) that I have chopped up & modified for myself & am in the process now of making flash based speedo guages/compass etc for the main menu. It has a matching skin for MapMonkey which I use for onroad navigation. If you download http://www.happyg.mine.nu/carpc/ozisuff.rar it contains the main menu files for the brushed metal skin & the folder to put in the launch folder under Road runner so you can run OziExplorer embedded in RoadRunner (note - this is configured for roadrunner to be installed in c:\roadrunner & ozi to be in c:\oziexplorer)
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Follow Up By: happpyg - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 12:33

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 12:33
Chaz, sorry for the delay, some small diffuculties prevented me from posting the link sooner.

The link is the same as above but replace ozistuff.rar with brushed_metal_nissan.rar - note it is (16mb) & may take a little while uploading from my home 1.5/256k account. The skin I am using now (called triton) is still a work in progress.

Enjoy!

Aaron
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 18:39

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 18:39
Thanks Aaron, you're a legend!
Downloading as we type.

Regards,
Chaz
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Reply By: Jugs - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 01:12

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 01:12
Saw a 1gig solid state hard drive the other day. Realy nice job very impressed. is the key board IR so you can get it done for the more key stroke intensive stuff ?
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 01:27

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 01:27
What were the $$$s for the drive?
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Follow Up By: Jugs - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:02

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:02
Gramps

The drive was on the AUSPC market on line ( I have used thes Guys and been to there premises in Sydney they are not fly by night and I recoment them (don't own or work)) the web address is to drives go to SATA at the bottom.

I had a chat to micheal on there help line and the down side is that they have an onboard battery but it only lasts ~16h and then you lose the lot.

I told his about the application and he put me on the the hard drive manafactures site where you can look up the drive specs We checked a 400G seagate SATA drive it will take 68G running and 300G shock shut down so unless you have a lot more installed power in you rig that I think the drives should be fine.
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Follow Up By: Jugs - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:05

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:05
Second go at web address AusPCMarket

Jugs
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:09

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:09
Thanks Jugs, I'll check them out
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Reply By: brian - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 04:00

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 04:00
looks great.howmuch in total and where can you get it done?????????
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Follow Up By: Rokkitt - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:41

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:41
Heres One: Car Computer
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Reply By: Groove - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:41

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:41
There are some amazing Car PC installations happening at the moment.
check out this site

Site Link
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Reply By: Chaz - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:09

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:09
Hi Guy’s
Anyone interested in a car PC should consider one of the Lilliput systems that are available from Extreme Audio Electronics Ltd on ebay. Site Link
These systems are excellent and come in at around AU$1000 and when combined with an LCD 7” in dash touch screen, could be had for around $1500. Still a considerable amount of cash, but when you consider the capabilities, they are incredible.
I built my system on the cheap, as a project to see if it was practical and possible to run a PC in a car off an inverter, because I was told it wouldn’t work. Well it’s been working every day now for a couple of months.
A few issues to consider are hard drives and their mounting, so I used a 30Gb laptop drive and mounted it on it’s side, no problems so far, but I haven’t done the Gibb River Road yet. Be interesting to see how it goes crossing the Simpson in July!
Also power supply’s can be an issue. I’m using a Micro ATX 70watt PSU with a 150Watt inverter as mentioned before, but I may consider one of the 250Watt 12 Volt DC/DC PC power supplies that Jaycar are now offering.
Running a PC in the car gives you endless music, video’s and navigation possibilities, and now I’ve found free internet all over the place with a wireless network adaptor.
No time to drive anymore!

Chaz
Thanks Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Rokkitt - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:36

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 13:36
Hi,

Get the DC/DC power supply - you will never look back. The PC's handle corrugated roads and other tough knocks faultlessly - make sure all components are very secure ioncluding the RAM module - they shake loose on the corrugated surfaces.

Rod
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:52

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:52
Thanks Rod,
When I get the power supply, I'll try to squeeze the lot into a smaller case as well, because I'll be able to do away with the inverter and the battery. To my knowledge they arn't available yet, although they are in the Jaycar 2006 catalogue.
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Follow Up By: pprass - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 15:56

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 15:56
Chaz - a very neat system. I have basically the same, but it is very untidy with leads going all over hte place - especially the GPS and Lillyput leads.

One item I wish I had is the "virtual keyboard" that you mention on your page. My Lillyput 10" screen is a touch screen, but there are times when I actually need to type stuff in. How do you get a hold of this keyboard?

Peter
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Follow Up By: Rokkitt - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 16:23

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 16:23
The DC/DC power supply is available now in Australia and New Zealand, I will look up the supplier I used tonight on my home computer. This device even goes so far as to monitor the voltage in your battery shutting down the PC if it drops too low.

Actually works to warn of a low battery with other accessories that do not have the monitoring ability.

Rod
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Follow Up By: Rokkitt - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 16:31

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 16:31
I have sourced some awesome screens for this purpose; see Seform

High resolution VGA input, 3 A/V inputs (one auto switching for rear camera) and auto on/off with the ignition - in an LCD widescreen unit.

They are also vibration and heat tested for in vehicle use unlike many other units on the market including the lilliput.
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 16:42

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 16:42
Peter,
Windows XP comes with a virtual keyboard, but I found a better one that is free to download called "Click-N-Type"
It makes your touchscreen work much like a PDA.

Chaz
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Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 17:36

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 17:36
Good DC/DC power supplies available from mp3car.com.

Have a look at the MTX 1 and 2 power supply. Full of smart power stuff like voltage sensing, multi power input etc etc. I suppose it would depend on the processor and motherboard demands, but worth a look anyway
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Follow Up By: pprass - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 23:11

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 23:11
Thanks Chaz - I got it and it works well on the desktop. Will check it out on the Lilliput tomorrow. One other question - what does Roadrunner do and is it freeware?

Peter
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 01:42

Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 01:42
Peter,

RoadRunner is simply a front face or desktop that is touchscreen friendly with large virtual buttons and controls. It is very “Skinnable” with its own editing program and it’s used to control other applications like navigation software and mp3, video and even hands free phone software. RoadRunner is free to download, but you should also check out MediaCar.
Chaz
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 17:27

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 17:27
That looks neat.

My solution is to use an NEC T400 tablet PC. The screen is 10.4 inch, the unit weighs 1kg, it has a 20Gig HDD for all the maps and photos, a compact flash card reader built in and 3 USB ports, and its got wireless networking. Theres no need for the keyboard, because the screen is also touchscreen.


Details

Been using it for over a year now in the farm truck - it forms the lid of my console. They don't make them any more, and the processor etc is a bit outdated but theres plenty of tablet PCs out there.

Cheers
phil!MPG:23!
AnswerID: 173567

Reply By: t0me (WA) - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 01:46

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 01:46
I'm also using a laptop as the doner computer, the hdd's can take a real bashing.
The whole thing's really built for travelling. The power supply is easy to sort out without an inverter needed. I run the speaker out into my stereo. The screen is one of those ex-audio 7" touchscreens. A word on that, it works great, but the first one that arrived from HongKong was faulty, I sent it back and had a new one about 2 weeks later.
I'm trying to get hold of some of the plugs it uses so I can have an outlet in the back (my 4x4 is a part time camper - bed and 2 chairs in the back :-)

I had to make the external USB hub power supply, but everything else I bought and put together. I didn't find a front end that was easy to use and did what I wanted (which isn't much) so I've just got a neat standard XP install with the icons I use most on the desktop.

I get all my music, turn by turn navigating as well as moving map, dvd's and other movies, which is about all I want from it for now. If I could get reasonably priced mobile internet for it I'd be chuffed. What do you guys use?
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 18:48

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 18:48
Hi t0me,
I just plugged in a USB wireless dongle and let it search for open networks. There are plenty of hot spots around the city, but it does drop in and out as you move. I just find it handy to download email and check weather or messages while driving through the city, which I do every day to and from work.

Chaz
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Follow Up By: t0me (WA) - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 19:36

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 19:36
Be careful Chaz. I've heard of a case in Australia of a bloke who was busted AND JAILED for stealing bandwidth. He was also attempting to steal credit card details but he didn't get any, they've apparently snuck some pretty nasty laws in quietly that make it a pretty serious offence to access the internet through someone elses connection even if they haven't had the good sense to secure it.

Pretty scary. I'll try to find where I read about it. In the above case its pretty clear he was up to no good. I wonder if a defence of "how am I supposed to know it isn't there for anyone to use, there's no warning sign's on it" would work :-)
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 23:07

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 23:07
of course they would bust him for stealing credit card details!

but for surfing the net/downloading I reckon its open slather if thats all your doing and the dude running the network cant tie his security down.

YMMV
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