Car computer

Started by Lawrence March 30, 2007
Hello all,
soon this summer will be my birthday and I would like to make my self
a *cool* present.
I'm a computer science student, last year, and I always liked embedded
computers and modding.

I want to buy an x86 computer, to put it in my car and play around
with it.
For sure you know much better than me, so I'm going to ask you what
you think will better fit a car computer.

I've seen around all pico/nano/mini ITX that range from 600mhz to
1400mhz.
I believe that as long as they can play video (even via hardware) it
doesn't matter the power, since to browse the internet, play mp3s,
etc, computing power is not really a big deal.
The prices are all between 100$ and 400$.
I'm not even sure dimension matters as if it doesn't fit in the box
(don't know the name, the one used for documents in front of the
passenger) I could always put it in luggage van.

The car for now is a new beatle cabrio, but if I have to change car I
would like to be able to do that without too much hassle.

I also seen the mac mini and apple tv that are both really small and
probably enough for the type of application I'm forseeing.
The power managment would probably be the problem.

I'm not sure on the OS i'm going to use, but most probably one of the
flavour of *nix, even osx.
The IO will be a screen (not sure but most probably touchscreen, vga
or svideo), a gps, a gprs/umts/whatever for Internet access and WIFI +
bluetooth.
For wifi I would even like to put a bigger antenna than normal.

Do you have any suggestion what-so-ever for the type of project I'm
considering ?
Places to buy, components, anything! :D

Thanks in advance, and sorry for cross-posting but I couldn't find a
group that was only about car computer.

On Mar 30, 4:50 pm, Vladimir Vassilevsky <antispam_bo...@hotmail.com>
wrote:
> Buy a used laptop.
I thought about that too. An old iBookG4 12 inch with broken screen or something like that. I'm still thinking tho, will have a look on ebay or so. But most laptop miss rs232 which would be handy for a bounce of application, including managing the car main board from the computer. For sure I'm going to use some solid state hard drive..:P

Lawrence wrote:

> Hello all, > soon this summer will be my birthday and I would like to make my self > a *cool* present. > I'm a computer science student, last year, and I always liked embedded > computers and modding. > > I want to buy an x86 computer, to put it in my car and play around > with it. > For sure you know much better than me, so I'm going to ask you what > you think will better fit a car computer. >
Buy a used laptop. VLV
"Lawrence" <xmarlawx@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1175265929.112797.130650@b75g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
> Hello all, > soon this summer will be my birthday and I would like to make my self > a *cool* present. > I'm a computer science student, last year, and I always liked embedded > computers and modding. > > I want to buy an x86 computer, to put it in my car and play around > with it. > For sure you know much better than me, so I'm going to ask you what > you think will better fit a car computer. > > I've seen around all pico/nano/mini ITX that range from 600mhz to > 1400mhz. > I believe that as long as they can play video (even via hardware) it > doesn't matter the power, since to browse the internet, play mp3s, > etc, computing power is not really a big deal. > The prices are all between 100$ and 400$. > I'm not even sure dimension matters as if it doesn't fit in the box > (don't know the name, the one used for documents in front of the > passenger) I could always put it in luggage van. > > The car for now is a new beatle cabrio, but if I have to change car I > would like to be able to do that without too much hassle. > > I also seen the mac mini and apple tv that are both really small and > probably enough for the type of application I'm forseeing. > The power managment would probably be the problem. > > I'm not sure on the OS i'm going to use, but most probably one of the > flavour of *nix, even osx. > The IO will be a screen (not sure but most probably touchscreen, vga > or svideo), a gps, a gprs/umts/whatever for Internet access and WIFI + > bluetooth. > For wifi I would even like to put a bigger antenna than normal. > > Do you have any suggestion what-so-ever for the type of project I'm > considering ? > Places to buy, components, anything! :D > > Thanks in advance, and sorry for cross-posting but I couldn't find a > group that was only about car computer. >
No typing while you're driving.
Lawrence wrote:
> Do you have any suggestion what-so-ever for the type of project I'm > considering ? > Places to buy, components, anything! :D
No experience with these vendors, but they have car PCs: http://www.logicsupply.com http://www.mini-box.com I bought a Jetway 1.2 GHz fanless mini-itx motherboard from NewEgg.com. It's small, fast, silent, and uses little power for my robots. Same basic things you need for a car PC. Pete
Lawrence wrote:

> Hello all, > soon this summer will be my birthday and I would like to make my self > a *cool* present. > I'm a computer science student, last year, and I always liked embedded > computers and modding. > > I want to buy an x86 computer, to put it in my car and play around > with it.
[%X] <http://www.cheeplinux.com/index.php?cPath=72&osCsid=979d071f9d9b075edccc607cdfb86727> -- ******************************************************************** Paul E. Bennett ....................<email://peb@amleth.demon.co.uk> Forth based HIDECS Consultancy .....<http://www.amleth.demon.co.uk/> Mob: +44 (0)7811-639972 Tel: +44 (0)1235-811095 Going Forth Safely ..... EBA. www.electric-boat-association.org.uk.. ********************************************************************
On 30 Mar 2007 07:45:29 -0700, "Lawrence" <xmarlawx@gmail.com> wrote:

>I've seen around all pico/nano/mini ITX that range from 600mhz to >1400mhz. >I believe that as long as they can play video (even via hardware) it >doesn't matter the power, since to browse the internet, play mp3s, >etc, computing power is not really a big deal.
Depending on your climate condition you may have to look at the temperature specifications for the computer, if you want to use it immediately when you enter the car. If the car inside temperature is -40 C or +60 C when entering the car, the system might not work reliably until the inside temperature is at a comfortable level after the heater/air conditioner has operated for a while. In cold conditions, there may also be some condensation issues. Keeping the power dissipation at a reasonable level in order is a good idea to avoid any fans forcing air (and dust) around the PCB. An enclosed box with external cooling fins would be a better solution, which could be cooled by forced air (if necessary) without dust problems. Paul
Lawrence wrote:
> Hello all, > soon this summer will be my birthday and I would like to make my self > a *cool* present. > I'm a computer science student, last year, and I always liked embedded > computers and modding. > > I want to buy an x86 computer, to put it in my car and play around > with it. > For sure you know much better than me, so I'm going to ask you what > you think will better fit a car computer.
You would be hard pressed to come up with anything as cool as this: http://www.kusnetz.net/prius/
On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 08:00:51 -0700, Lawrence wrote:

> But most laptop miss rs232 which would be handy for a bounce of > application, including managing the > car main board from the computer.
I hope "managing the car main board from the computer" doesn't mean controlling the Engine Control Module. Any communications with the ECM will probably be via CAN or J1850. The Ford version of J1850 is completely different from the GM version. I don't know what the Chrysler version of J1850 is like. Other manufacturers??? ~Dave~
On Mar 31, 9:54 am, Dave <d...@comteck.com> wrote:
> I hope "managing the car main board from the computer" doesn't mean > controlling the Engine Control Module. Any communications with the ECM > will probably be via CAN or J1850. The Ford version of J1850 is > completely different from the GM version. I don't know what the Chrysler > version of J1850 is like. Other manufacturers??? > > ~Dave~
Well, let me say little. For example, I remember I guy who had an extra EngineControlModule and he would switch from one to the other with a simple switch.The cars which most gain from this things are usually with turbo and I've heard mainly diesel. I would be cool to touch the screen and see all levels of things in the car, even just reading. Or, instead of the switch, touch the screen and plugin the enhanced engine controle module. Anyway,I don't really care about this part, it was just to say. And possibly, if i don't have a rs232, I could always plug a usb-rs232 converter. Anyway I'm going to have a look around for CAN/J1850 to see what you mean, probably standard manufacturer interface ?