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Thread: 38 Mpg Pc

  1. #1
    Fresh Paint
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default 38 Mpg Pc

    This is a few photos from my recent crave of making a car pc to put in my saturn. I couldn't find to many car pcs that were put into a single din headunit slot so i decided to see if it was possible. I found out it is possible. I have fit a complete computer (harddrive, slot dvd combo, powersupply, etc) in a single din headunit slot. It has the ablility to be removed and put into other cars with minor cable changes and a new spot to mount the LCD. I made the face out of mirror acrylic to give it that shiny feeling along with a front usb port for those flashdrives and ipods.

    Here's a pic of earlier in the project when i went with a clear front. It was a temporary front while i looked around for the more permanent acrylic.

    And here's a bad looking pic of it torn apart.

    All in all, i've been testing it the past summer and this winter to see how well it works in the 140 degrees in the summer and below freezing in the winter. Never had a problem. So when i become less lazy and decide i can go without music in my car for a bit, i'm going to pull it and make some fine tuning revisions.

  2. #2
    Fresh Paint
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: 38 Mpg Pc

    Putting it together...

    First off i had to measure the din size and see if could put it all in there. I used autocad to draw out the basic design which i later found out was flawed becuase i forgot to account for cable sizes.

    First step was making a basic case that i can bolt most of it to. I grabbed some sheet metal from my local hardware store and cut a piece at about the width of the din slot. I didn't worry about the length of it yet because i plan on bending it to form the back of the case. Resting the ITX board on the peice i measured out the 4 motherboard screw holes and used a sharpy to mark them on the metal. Also i marked along the back of the board to know where to bend the metal up to form the back.

    For this part you need to understand i live in a small apt, no garage or any place to actually WORK on things like these. Since i'm a college student living on my own, i have a very small amount of tools i can use at home. To bend the sheet metal i bought a peice of L shaped bracket. Cut it in 2 and would bend most of the metal on a table corner as much as possible. Then put the peice of bracket on either side of the bend and pounded them together with a screwdriver and hammer. Very crude but worked. (also if anyone else knows a better way of making nice bends in sheet metal, let me know). I kept bending the metal to form the top and bottom of the case as shown.

    You can also see i screwed in motherboard headers and used a dremel to grind off the bottom of the screw to make the bottom flat.

    Before mounted the components, i covered the bottom of the case in liquid electrical tape (also found at the hardware store). Then i got to mounting the motherboard and power supply. The power supply capacitors were higher than i expected and that's why the powersupply is mounted on the "step" on the back of the case.

    Components mounted

    i had to grind down the heatsink a little to fit the dvd drive on top of it.

    The inside of this once the top is on is extremely cramped. I pick the MS10000 board for this project becuase it's the fastest low profile Epia board that is also fanless. Passive motherboard and processor would be nice for heat and noise. As you can see from earlier picks i did put a 30mm fan on the front for some cooling and also a 80mm fan on top later (not in pics) just to be sure.

    I actually ran the computer for the most part of the summer with no 80mm fan and it ran great, but i was kinda paranoid and put the 80mm on.

    The powersupply itself has some jumper settings for startup and shutdown timings. Also has headers for amp remote and power switch. The psu is connected with a cable straight from the battery (with fuse of course), a ground cable, and also a cable that goes to the original head unit's ignition wire. This way it knows when to sent the startup signal to the computer, when to send the shutdown, and also doesn't cut power as soon as you turn the key off.

    As for installation in a car, it's a little different per car. I bought an aftermarket plastic adapter at best buy for my saturn (same thing if you were putting in an aftermarket headunit). I fit everything into that. Once i put some of the faceplate on, it's easier to take the whole plastic adapter off than to slide the computer out. This may be different for different cars.

    That's about it for making it. If you have any other questions i didn't cover, just post and i'll let ya know.

    Today is the day i'm going to pull it and make some revisions. A few i plan on doing is possibly making a new case for it. I've been throwing ideas around on a swapable headunit where you can just unlock and pull the computer out (minus powersupply and possibly dvd drive) and have something i can plug it into in the house for maintainance and possibly a small media center. Don't know if i will or not.

    As for price to sell, i bought all of this (plus supplies) for around $1200 ($1400 w/amp). I wouldn't mind letting it go for around $800 ($900 w/amp) obo.

    Link To Original Thread
    Last edited by jdbnsn; 05-06-2007 at 02:05 AM.

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