Building a computer for music in my car... help

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by MobileSuit, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    I have a setup that works... but I'm looking for ways to improve.

    MS-6378 Micro ATX board
    1.3ghrz AMD Athlon
    128mb SDRAM
    60gb WD Hardrive
    GeForce4 MX 420 vid card

    I want to get a wireless PCI card and an external USB/internal DVD drive.



    1) How to get into the stereo from the computer (right now I have a tape adapter, not the best quality sound)

    2) How to get a switch from Pc in trunk to the cabin for power. (havent solved this yet)

    3) Cooling the computer in summer. Thought not a problem yet, what kind of cooling stuff is out there? And how do you monitor the temperature of the Processor and other parts..

    4) What is the minimum power that I would need to complete this task?



    I want my 13days worth of MP3s in my car!
     
  2. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    Sounds like a good setup. Might actualy be an overkill for just an MP3 player, but oh well.

    As for inputs, you are going to have to find a reciever that allows for AUX inputs. Ask at your local car audio place and explain your situation, they will know what you need. Till then you are stuck with the tape input.

    Power wise, use an invertor that you can get from Radio Shack or cheaper online. You can look at the max output of your power supply and get a pretty good guess at how much power you are going to use. As for the switch, it is up to you to hack something together. Depending on how you control the player you could probably assign a shortcut to shut the computer down, and with an ATX mobo and PS it should completly turn off the system. As for power on that is a little more complex.

    I dun know about your mobo but it should have on board temp sensors. You more than likely aren't going to have a monitor attached to this so you are going to have to do some experimenting with measuring the temperature in your trunk.

    Keep us updated on how this goes. I would like to set up something like this someday.

    BTW, there are tons of resources for this on the web, google is your friend.
     
  3. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    I'm using the dinky 4" LCD in my PSOne for a monitor and running like... 640x480 or something. How do you view the temp?
     
  4. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    There should be some utility that came with your motherboard that displays the readings of the onboard sensors. My mobo has a Via chipset and I use a program called Via Hardware Monitor to get the case and CPU temps.

    There is a program called motherboard monitor that is supposed to work with just about all motherboards. See if that will work.

    I am assuming that you are using Windows as the OS. Correct?
     
  5. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    Yeah, I've got XP Pro.

    But I dont think I got any Software with my Mobo... or its gone now.
     
  6. DatacomGuy

    DatacomGuy is moving to Canada

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    As far as the switch is concerned, most power invertors have switches built on to them. Maybe keep the invertor under your seat, and run an extension cord to wherever the PC is. :dunno:

    How's the resolution working out on the tiny 4"? I've thought of doing this with a laptop with my 7", but I havn't found a cheaper solution to converting the VGA to RCA. How did you do that?
     
  7. Tk

    Tk Well-Known Member

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    i did that, it was fun for about a week then i said screw it.

    anyways, good luck with it all itll be cool, sorry i didnt answer any questions.
     
  8. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    Just out of curiosity, why did you give up on it? Was it more trouble than it was worth?
     
  9. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    You have to hit the power button on the PC case for it to turn on. I guess I'll just have to chop some wires for that...

    The resolution is terrible. Its extremely hard to do anything except play winamp. Double size winamp2 or resize winamp3, maybe adjust the playlist font size, and that will take up your whole screen but its nice and big and easy to see/use.
     
  10. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    Actually some boards will turn on after power is "restored" to the power supply. Check to see if your BIOS allows that setting (the other option is that it doesn't turn on, or returns to previous state). Unfortunately, some boards see a loss of power as an excuse to go into the BIOS setup as well. Experiment!
     
  11. DatacomGuy

    DatacomGuy is moving to Canada

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    What about winamp plugins? Do any of them look halfway decent?
     
  12. inline4

    inline4 turn that frown upside down

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    shit, the car, theres hella scrapes
  13. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    Milkdrop still kicks ass
     
  14. DatacomGuy

    DatacomGuy is moving to Canada

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    Kick ass site! Just joined and have already posted a bunch. What a huge resource of information on the subject.
     
  15. DatacomGuy

    DatacomGuy is moving to Canada

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    Sweet. :bigthumb:

    Well, you've got me interested. I'm about to order a scan converter, and I've got an older laptop I'm going to throw in the car. I've already got an a/v setup in there, so I'm stoked.

    I'll take pics when the converter gets in. :bigthumb:
     
  16. BeanesCivic

    BeanesCivic My Gerbil is faster than yours!!

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    personally, i would get an in dash screen and a ATI all-in-wonder

    all you would have to do is plug in the red white and yello plugs, i dont know the corrct names of them.

    or even better, if it has an S-video plug, you can use that.

    as for the PC, it will probably be a stripped down OS, so the processor you have is overkill, i would go with a 800 MHRZ CPU. the RAM is ok. and as for a mouse and keyboard, you can either get a wireless pair or have an extension to lead into the glove box or something and you can leave the mouse in there.

    i plan on doin it someday, but im still livin off the parents, so im goin to have to wait a while.
     
  17. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    In dash LCDs are $1,000. So my setup is cheaper.

    And the processor I have is the lowest one I could buy at the store. I didnt feel like searching. I have a USB mouse that is like a little trigger setup with a trackball on top... quite nifty.
     
  18. tenchuninja

    tenchuninja Guest

  19. Tk

    Tk Well-Known Member

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    it was fun and all, and everyone loved it. i just didnt do it right the first time.

    i took a 600mhz and just threw the case behind my passenger seat. all wires were hid except the stereo, video, and power wires. i wanted to put it into my trunk but i just didnt have the time or motivation (or money at that point in time either).

    if your going to do it, go all out... check out www.mp3car.com and get some ideas on how to place your shit, what components to buy, etc.

    also, i got a lot of feedback from the powerinverter. it wasnt a bad ground because i tried a few different places and scraped all the paint off the metal and shit too.

    if i get a new car this spring ill *probably* try again, but just do a better job. :sad2:
     
  20. reverse

    reverse hooooooooo

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    What about the Neo Car Jukebox? You can get one w/ 120gb of storage.
     
  21. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Linux Car, now it just doesn't get much cooler than that...
     
  22. Mr. President

    Mr. President New Member

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  23. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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  24. Dommi

    Dommi Guest

    two things

    get an lcd with a touch pad... that is a must of course
    cool your pc with watercooling... that is also a must
    use antifreeze so that in the winter it is fine too...

    oh and watch where you park your car when it is below zero, cpu's dont take well to icing and freezing cold conditions.
     
  25. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    Do you ever run into trouble with the HDD from all the vibrations? A lot of the MDTs were going down with bad HDDs until they started using gel-encased HDDs.
     

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