Car Computer (update)

with No Comments

Well, I got the aluminum cases that I ordered as well as the motherboard. The memory, and some power equipment are on the way, and I’m waiting on the DVD drive and Touchscreen until I get to that phase. I ordered a power converter that didn’t really include the features I wanted so I reordered something a little better. This includes a timer type deal (waits 5 seconds after you start the ignition, waits 45 seconds after ignition is off before it “unplugs” the computer, etc.) I think the total waste of money was $65 which isn’t bad. Also, it gives me a perfectly functional power supply to blow up the first time around when I don’t know what I’m doing. 🙂

Total cost so far:
$158 — Mini-ITX M-10000 motherboard
$25 — Two aluminum cases (7″x7″x2″)
$65 — Morex 80W Car Power Kit (includes power supply and regulator)
$80 — 200W Power Supply and ITPS regulator with time sequencer
Subtotal: $328

Further expenses:
$249 — Lilliput 7″ touchscreen
$76 — Panasonic slot-loading slim CD-RW/DVD drive
Subtotal: $325

Throw in another $40 or so for shipping costs…

Also, go ahead and throw in $20 for odds and ends (front plate, tap connections for power, and wiring stuff)

Total: $713 plus 40+ hours of research and assembly 🙂

Also, I had a 120GB ATA hard drive lying around — I don’t think they’re too expensive and furthermore, it’s a LOT of overkill for what I’ll need in this machine (I bet a 10GB would do the trick and still provide a fair amount of extra storage for applications, music, etc.) Some of the motherboards (not the one I got) include a Compact Flash slot on the back that you can interface with your IDE cable (they sell little convertor hookups dirt cheap). If you’re running a compact operating system like Linux, you can fit everything on a 1GB compact flash card (which is fast, really low on power consumption, and has no moving parts). This could easily allow for a 1 DIN car computer. Mine right now is 2 DIN mainly because of the large hard drive and the fact that I have the space in my current setup.

Not too bad I guess… Considering that raw car computers (with no touch screen — just the box with components) usually cost at least $1000 (for a very basic model) and $3000 for the advanced stuff, this seems like a decent price. I could probably redo this solution for $750 and make it a bit better.

I’ve estimated that for features like GPS, WiFi, bluetooth and more, I could get it for about $250 more. Most of the equipment is cheap and can run via USB (so connecting them is almost trivial. They even sell massive WiFi antennas that you can mount externally.

Leave a Reply