Project Car
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Thread: Project Car

  1. #1
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    Talking Project Car

    I just got a new car. 99 Honda Civic EX. I want to do some unique stuff to it, and I want to get a computer somehow wired into the car. The hot thing to do around my area is to get a TV installed. They usually mount a small screen to the dash and hook up play station or something. What I want to do is mount a screen to the dash and get a computer hooked up to it. What I want to do is build a small computer and mount it by the feet in the passenger side. I have a few questions that maybe someone could help me out with.

    1) Where can I get extrememly small cases for this computer. I want the case to be as small as possible so there is still foot room for the passenger. I will probably end up going with a micro ATX motherboard.

    2) Does anyone know how I can go about getting electric to the computer? I don't think I can run a wire directly to the battery, I would rather have the computer plugged into the cigarette lighter. Can I pick up an adapter for this, and does anyone know if this would effect the car battery? For example will the computer kill my battery?

    Over all, I think this would be pretty fun to do, and definitely be somehting unique around my area. Some people get a TV mounted and hookup PS2 to it. Screw that, who needs PS2 when you have a full blown PC installed. Not to mention the wireless network card. You could have some fun driving around with that.

    What does everyone think? Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks.
    An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure...
     

  2. #2
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    Check out this review by Via Hardware. This is probably one of the smallest PCs I've ever seen, and it's got tons of stuff in it. Hope this helps.

    http://www.viahardware.com/sss50rev_1.shtm
    Z-Bit

    -It\'s all a game... Play it well...

  3. #3
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    for power i think to protect your components you should look at


    Linksys power2go dc>ac convertor which converts 12vdc to 120vac
    http://pcworld.pricegrabber.com/sear...6c5c192439dce/

    then use a power conditioner like

    http://www.apcc.com/products/line-r/liner600.cfm


    this will protect from surges and keep an even power to your system...

    both of these units are plug in but it would be easy enough to hardwire them behind the scenes to keep your ride lookin sweet...he
    I used to be With IT. But then they changed what IT was. Now what I'm with isn't IT, and what's IT seems scary and weird." - Abe Simpson

  4. #4
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    For the electric, in most liklihood you are going to need a DC to AC converter to switch the cars 12 volt direct current into 110 volt alternating current. The computer itself can reside in the trunk of the car with a cd rom, keyboard, and screen near the dash area. Ive seen a setup similar to what you want in Car Audio and Electronics magazine, and since I used to be a car stereo installer, this is quite feasible. Of course be prepared to spend a little money.

    zigar, for a power conditioner, I would suggest an automotive voltage regulator such as the Accuvolt voltage regulator from Jacob's Electronics
    http://www.jacobselectronics.com/pro...o/caraudio.htm
    Wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
    --Ecclesiastes 10:19

  5. #5
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    Well, palm top computers are pretty small Actually, I would go with a rack mount case. Maximum Linux magazine had an article about making a linux mp3 player for you car. It talked a bit about how to minimize damage to hd and things also. I believe the project was called route 66. If you search around a bit, I am sure it is out there.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  6. #6
    BS, EnCE, ACE, Cellebrite 11001001's Avatar
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    You won't be able to wire the computer directly to the car because the battery is only 12 voltz. IN order to make it run properly, you'll need to buy a step-up converter that plugs into the cigarette lighter, and allows you to plug a normal power cord into it. they can be pretty pricy at around $50. You can get them at R@di0 Sh@ck, W@lm@rt, or most electronics stores. You also might want to check your local laws regarding the placement of mounted screens. Certain US states don't allow you to have a screen that is visible from the driver's seat while it is turned on, due to impeded operation.
    Good luck.
    -201
    That's Officer 11001001 to you...
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    "Relax, Bender; It was just a dream. There's no such thing as two." ~ Fry
    sometimes my computer goes down on me

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the help everyone. This project seems like it will be easier than I thought. The PC that Z-Bit suggests looks perfect for what I want to do. I'm not sure what route I am going to go for the LCD screen. For those of you that know what the inside of a 99 Honda Civic looks like, I think I am going to mount the LCD screen where the cup holders are located in the center console. This really seems a lot easier than expected.

    Purchase the computer shown above
    Purchase the LCD Screen
    Purchase the cigarette lighter adapter for the power
    Mount the LCD Screen
    Plug in the computer, slide it in the passenger side foot area
    Plug the video card TV Out right into the LCD Screen
    Go for wireless keyboard and laser mouse

    That seems about it. Only thing I have to watch out for is not to leave the computer on when the car is off. That would kill the battery pretty quick. Maybe I'll put some kind of auto shutdown program on the PC where it will shutdown if idle for 20 mins or so.

    All these guys think that the girlies like their car because they got PS2 in it. But we all know how the girls like spider solitaire! heh. :-)

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Keep them coming. I've been giving out greenies like crazy for all your help.
    An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure...
     

  8. #8
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    http://www.q-pc.com/product.overview.../realcar.shtml

    I would just like to let you know that the purpose of an automobile is for transporation . It is really annoying to see people trying to turn their honda civics into bmws. a computer in your car is beyond pointless and only makes it more dangerous for others to be on the road.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted here by celfie
    http://www.q-pc.com/product.overview.../realcar.shtml

    I would just like to let you know that the purpose of an automobile is for transporation . It is really annoying to see people trying to turn their honda civics into bmws. a computer in your car is beyond pointless and only makes it more dangerous for others to be on the road.
    Indeed a car is for transportation, but imagine a long car trip with no radio. Or imagine waiting in a car for hours with nothing to do. I often times have passengers in my car, and they enjoy playing my playstation while I drive. If you have kids, entertainment for them is a must on a long trip. It is not dangerous for a passenger to use the computer while the driver is driving, or for the driver to use the computer while parked.
    Wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
    --Ecclesiastes 10:19

  10. #10
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    celfie, I would just like to point out that I won't be driving down the street playing solitaire. It is for the passenger, and it is the whole idea of a fun original project to do. I'm not trying to make my car a BMW, and even if I was it is my car to do it to. I'm just trying to have some fun with my new car. Spare me the lecture.
    An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure...
     

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