Skip to main content
Topic: Car pc (Read 361 times) previous topic - next topic

Car pc

Starting my car pc project. Gonna just mount it in the trunk, mount a small 3.5" rasberry pie screen where the stock clock goes and go from there. I have a old i-5 6500 mini computer I got cheap used. Hooked it up to a watt meter, and it pulls a grand total of 40 watts under full load, and as low as 5w at idle.

been a long time coming, and im excited to do it, even though its pretty pointless with android devices and stereos now a days.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

Re: Car pc

Reply #1
Will this just be for music or anything else?
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger 3" single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Schneider roller cam, Walbro 255 lph,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

 

Re: Car pc

Reply #2
This is going to sound dumb, but it's mainly for music.

In about 2005 I was super big into computers. I saved up some money and bought the first commercially available mini-itx form factor motherboard. It was a 533mhz fanless computer with a built in dvd-decoder.

I was saving up $600 for a pop out single din vga screen, but the runs were limited and you often had to wait a few months between batches. When I had the money they were always out of them, and I sucked at saving money as a 18 year old kid.

I never got around to building it, and the place that built the screen got bought out and went under.

Fast forward 10 years, and my kids wanted a computer to get into Minecraft. My work was throwing out some old Lenovo servers and told me I could bring them home. I hadn't even touched a computer since I bought my first Android, it did everything I really needed at the time.

But I always had that itch, and now that you can get a raspberry pi screen for $25 on Amazon, I decided to go for it.

I also travel quit a bit for work, and often were running fiber optics for cell towers in places with no cell service. I'm dealing with court stuff from ex #2 now, and there are times you just need a desktop and a printer. I bought a laptop to bring with me, but it's really inconvenient to set it all up and carry it in and out of a hotel room and keep it safe in a trunk full of tools.

How I've got it setup right now, I have think client mounted in the trunk with a battery box and a cheap power inverter with a laptop power supply. Eventually I was to just put a 12v laptop power supply in there, but trying to find one that is reliable and quality but not too expensive is sorta annoying. The power supply I am using is rated for 95w and running stress tests, it maxes out at 40w. In general use, it pulls about 10w, about the same as a 2amp cell phone charger.

I am working on mounting the 3.5" screen where the clock went. I had to Dremel it out slightly, but it fits good there. I am running two full sized HDMI cables from the trunk tucked under the rear seat and under the center console with a single 3.0 USB.

Behind the screen where the clock would go, I am going to mount a powered 3.0 USB hub. I have wired in a power supply that turns on and off with the key to power the hub, then I am going to add a small USB 2.0 hub with powered switches for the screens and touch screen.

The basic idea is to use one screen and the HDMI for Pandora/audio. Then I have a larger 5" screen that I was hoping to use where the clock was, but it's a bit large and I want to keep both center dash vents.

But with that small touch screen I can play/skip songs more like a modern car stereo, then I am also going to use Bluetooth with a USB microphone to give me hands free calling through the stereo.

Then If I want to do something more task heavy, I have a USB touch pad and that larger screen that I think I am going to mount to the sun visor. The switched USB 2.0 hub will be so that I can turn the screens off when not in use without a blank white screen illuminating at night.

Definitely not a power house gaming setup, but if I wanted to, I could take my multimedia backlit keyboard and play Minecraft with my kids while I'm out of town, and even do voice chats with them.

Like I said, it's kinda pointless, I could do almost all the same things on my Android phone, but it's a life saver for emails, pdf, and if I wanted to, I could even type up and print legal documents if I get surprised with something.

All and all, it's kinda dumb but I love it. When I get finished with mounting everything the way I want it, I'll post some pictures, maybe a short video of it in action.

Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com