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Plans for PC in the truck

Discussion in 'Audio' started by Strahan, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. Strahan

    Strahan 1/2 ton status

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    I want a nice PC setup in my Blazer. I put together this outline with some ballpark pricing to give myself a list of what I need to get together and I figured I'd post in case anyone is curious/has ideas. Once it would be all installed, the system would provide a decent (P3-1ghz, 512mb, 80gb hdd) system platform controlled by a 12.1" touch screen LCD. It'd run a WinXP OS with custom control software tailed for touch screen. The Nextel would provide an internet connection and the webcam on the dash will update an image on my website, BlazerCam :) It will use a DeLorme Earthmate GPS receiver with StreetAtlas map software to provide navigation, play DVD video through a slot loading Pioneer player, have Windows based control of the power accessories (windows, neon, etc) through a parallel port relay interface I wrote & it will have the ability to keep running while the truck is off if I have to run in a store or something to prevent wait on boot times (though XP does boot quite fast anyway). Oh yea, and to maintain the system it will have dual LAN connections.. one hardwire for when I'm parked in my garage and one wireless for when I'm not. The system can then be accessed like any other node on a LAN through the network and direct controlled with terminal services.
    That's basically it.

    My estimate runs the total at about $3600. Here is the part list/install checklist:
    ---------------------------------------------
    Parts Required:

    PC/Video Hardware:

    $161 Enlight EN-2400P4R 4U rack mount server case /w dual power supply
    $114 Tyan Tomcat S2420AG4N motherboard (integrated video/audio/nic)
    $132 Intel Pentium III 1Ghz processor
    $72 512MB PC133 DIMM
    $119 Seagate ST380021A 80.0GB 7200rpm Barracuda EIDE drive
    $3 Generic 1.44MB 3.5" floppy drive
    $94 Pioneer DVD-305S SCSI-2 slot loading DVD-ROM drive
    $850 Mass Media LCDSA121 12.1" touch screen LCD SVGA Monitor
    $263 * Linksys WDT11 & WPC11 PCMCIA Wireless NIC and adaptor
    $78 Adaptec SCSI Card 2930 Ultra

    $1886 SUBTOTAL


    Accessory hardware:
    $190 Delorme Earthmate GPS receiver
    $100 Logitech QuickCam Pro 3000

    $290 SUBTOTAL


    Accessory software:
    $0 Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    $--- Delorme StreetAtlas Deluxe map software
    $0 Logitech Webcam Server software


    Cables/Connectivity:
    $5 Remote PS2 keyboard & mouse connector plate
    $13 PS2 keyboard/mouse extention cable (2 15')
    $40 SVGA extention cable (1 15')
    $12 USB Cable (1 15')
    $50 SCSI2 cable (15' micro DB50M -> micro DB50M)
    $--- Delorme Earthmate connection cable (USB)
    $3 1/8" Stereo Microphone to RCA converter
    $1 RCA Audio Connection cable (1 3')
    $5 MobileSpec 14 gauge speaker cable (30')
    $10 MobileSpec 8 gauge power cable (15')
    $5 Generic 18 gauge primary wire (15')
    $40 ** Nextel PC and Windows CE Connectivity Kit for i1000plus
    $170 ** Nextel Automobile Hardwiring Kit
    $10 MobileSpec AGU inline fuse holder (2)
    $1 MobileSpec 3/8" gold ring terminal (1)
    $1 MobileSpec gold .250 female quick connects (4)
    $1 MobileSpec gold spade connectors (4)
    $4 Cat 5 ethernet cable (4')
    $1 PC Power Cables (2)
    $5 8 gauge two way power splitter
    $3 3' Parallel Cable

    $380 SUBTOTAL


    Support Hardware:
    $115 Statpower Prowatt 600 DC-AC Power Inverter
    $375 APC Smart-UPS 700 RM (rack mount, 2U)
    $1 Switch for PC power
    $1 AC Outlet plate with RJ45 jack
    $20 Material to construct custom PC/UPS rack
    $20 Material to construct hinged floor & side pockets
    $15 Materials to construct relay control box

    $547 SUBTOTAL


    Audio Hardware:
    $138 Profile 640SX Amplifier (4x75)
    $300 Cerwin Vega VEGA65 6.5" Seperates (2 pair)
    $20 Dynamat sound deadening material as needed

    $458 SUBTOTAL


    $3561 GRAND TOTAL
    $2084 GRAND TOTAL W/O FRILLS (No cam, no audio components, no UPS, no Nextel)


    * = Optional accessory
    **= Only if you are using a Nextel phone


    INSTALLATION/SETUP:

    Remove interior to ease routing of cables
    While the interior is out, apply Dynamat to surfaces
    Install Cerwin Vega 6.5" seperates in front doors
    Install Cerwin Vega 6.5" seperates in rear package shelf
    Remove stock stereo components
    Fabricate quick-release DIN mount for Mass Media SVGA monitor.
    Install quick-release mount in stock stereo location
    Install Pioneer DVD player in storage compartment beneath climate controls
    Route SCSI2 cable from dash to trunk
    Route SVGA extention cable from dash to trunk
    Mount QuickCam Pro on dash
    Route cam USB behind dash and to trunk
    Connect 14 gauge signal cable to speakers with .250 gold quick connects
    Route 14 gauge signal cable from door speakers to trunk and connect gold spade to trunk ends
    Run 6" of 8 gauge power from battery + terminal to AGU fuse holder
    Run 8 gauge power from AGU fuse holder to trunk AGU fuse holder
    Mount PC power switch in a convienant location
    Install Nextel hard wiring kit and route PC connectivity cable to PC
    Run 18 gauge wire from switch to trunk
    Remove ashtray and mount PS2 keyboard/mouse plate in it
    Route PS2 mouse & keyboard extention cables to trunk
    Install Earthmate GPS module on rear deck
    Attach Mass Media LCD touch screen to quick disconnect in dash
    Fabricate rack mount for PC/UPS (needs to be at least 28" x 14" x 20")
    Test fit to trunk. Fabricate filler panels as required
    Build trunk floor to accomodate hinged spare access
    Build pocket on left for Statpower inverter
    Build pocket on right for Profile amplifier
    Install Profile amplifier in right pocket
    Install Statpower inverter in left pocket
    Install rack and PC/UPS
    Route 8 gauge power from trunk AGU fuse to 2 way splitter
    Route 8 gauge power to Profile amplifier
    Route 8 gauge power to Statpower inverter
    Connect 6" 8 gauge ground cable from amp to floor with gold 3/8" ring terminal
    Connect 6" 8 gauge ground cable from inverter to floor with gold 3/8" ring terminal
    Connect APC SmartUPS to Statpower inverter
    Connect PC primary power supply to APC SmartUPS battery output with one of the PC power cords
    Connect SVGA from dash LCD to PC SVGA output
    Connect cam USB to USB port 1
    Connect GPS USB to USB port 2
    Connect DVD SCSI2 to Adaptec SCSI2 interface
    Connect PS2 keyboard/mouse extention cables to PC
    Connect 14 gauge speaker cables to amplifier
    Connect 1/8" mic-RCA adaptor to PC line out, then run RCA cable from convertor to amp input
    Connect remote power switch to PC power pin
    Connect AC/RJ45 outlet in a safe, easy to access spot
    Connect 1/8" stereo mic convertor from PC line out to RCA 3' cable
    Connect RCA 3' cable from convertor to Profile amplifier
    Route cat5 from outlet to NIC
    Cut the male end of one of the PC power cords off and solder it to the AC outlet
    Connect female end of PC power cord to aux power supply
    If using WAP, connect PC Card adaptor and PC Card wireless NIC


    <P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by Strahan on 01/10/02 03:57 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  2. Alaskan85K5

    Alaskan85K5 Registered Member

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    Ditch Winblows and run a decent OS (ie Linux, OpenBSD...) and you've got something :-)

    Check out my K5 &lt;a href="http://www.jeremias.net/photoalbum/?path=The%20Family%2FJasons%20K5%20Blazer"&gt; Here! &lt;/a&gt;
     
  3. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    My only question is "WHY"? [​IMG]


    Is it like why dog's lick themselves......because they can?


    I dunno man, that's a lot of money just to have a computer in your car. Do you spend a LOT of time on the road for work? The 'cool factor' would definitely be there once you got it all done, but I'm just not sure I understand the compelling reason for all that effort and expense.

    Of course.....I probably shouldn't talk....I spent 200 hours installing the stereo in my K5. Most people would wonder "WHY" about that too!!! [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  4. Strahan

    Strahan 1/2 ton status

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    Hehe.. maybe if I can port my relay control app to work on the linux platform :)
     
  5. Strahan

    Strahan 1/2 ton status

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    I just think it'd be nifty. It's totally impractical of course, but being a hardcore computer enthusiast makes it seem worthwhile to me. I work as a systems engineer for the Baltimore city government. I was setting up a Cisco wireless network solution for some of their buildings when it hit me how cool it'd be to have a PC in the car with wireless that I can park in the garage and see the car on the network hehe. It doesn't have to be as elaborate as above, but I figure if I'm gonna do it why not go full out. :)
     
  6. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    As a person who's done his share of Disk Drive Engineering &amp; Qualification work, I can tell you that you'd be better off with a 2-1/2" Mobile drive in a car application than a standard 3.5" Desktop/Enterprise class drive. The shock &amp; vibe specs are MUCH better and it has a better chance of surviving in that environment. The rotational speeds and throughput won't be as good, but the drive will probably last longer.

    Also, I'm not sure where you live, but most disk drives only have an operational temperature spec of 5C to 55C. If your setup gets below that temperature (You said Maryland area?) all bets are off as to whether those drives will be able to properly servo and find your data first thing in the morning. By the way, warming up the vehicle too fast will cause condensation to form inside the disk, and those water droplets on the media will be catastrophic! The temperature &amp; humidity gradients are important too....

    A vehicle is a harsh environment....so might be surprised at how many problems the vibrations and temperature extremes will cause you.

    Just something ELSE to think about! [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  7. Strahan

    Strahan 1/2 ton status

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    Yea, the drive is the Achille's heel in the plan. But I figure drives are cheap so if they die, I'll just have to swap em. Maybe, if I feel like the extra hassle, I can mount the drives in a removable configuration and just take em in at night. Prolly get to be a pain in the butt and I'd stop doing it though, hehe..
     
  8. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I'd say you're also going to have some "fun" with that 15 foot SCSI cable too (excessive retries, data corruption, data miscompares, timeouts)... I haven't looked at the SCSI-2 spec in a while, but I'm willing to bet 15' is over spec.



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  9. 91K5

    91K5 1/2 ton status

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    Why not just use a laptop? They're much better suited for life on the road than a desktop type PC is all that vibration is sure to kill the hard drives quickly. Plus you could take the laptop with you when your not in the car so other people dont borrow your equipment when your not around...
     
  10. 69K5

    69K5 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with greg. Its a seriously cool idea , but why?? I dont know how easy it is to break into your 83, but my 69 is really easy. Are you never gonna go topless. I dont know anything about vibration and hard drives, but I do know that rain doesnt play well. Do you go offroad?? Better tie it down good. But hey if you do it. like I said it'll be really cool. Keep us posted on what you decide.
    69K5
     
  11. BlueKnight

    BlueKnight 1/2 ton status

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    I actually have a PC in my truck. It allows me to connect to the internet via my 5 watt cell phone and I can even send Cam images to a website with me on the trail from my dash. It also allows me to connect to my GPS and track my location and or locate my vehicle. it works really well for navigation to.

    <font color=purple>79' K-5 396cid 600hp, TH350, NP203</font color=purple>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://blueknight.alloffroad.com>http://blueknight.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  12. Strahan

    Strahan 1/2 ton status

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    Yea, you're right.. I got my SCSIs mixed up. I thought Ultra was 6 meter, but thats actually original. Ultra SCSI is listed as 3 meters max. I suppose I could do away with the rack case idea and get a slimline and mount it behind the seat or up behind the dash. -shrug-

    I'm willing to take my chances with theft.. the worse thing is the LCD and that I can take in at night. The cam will prolly be mounted up at the top of the windshield so it won't be too visible. Maybe a second one in the rear for a backup cam, that'd be nice.

    A laptop would be cool if I could get one that's touch screen, has all the inputs I need &amp; has line out. I know this project sounds dumb, but I have almost all the items sitting around so I figure I may as well put em to use. I always thought it'd be cool to have a pc in the truck, especially when it's tied into the electrical system. Touch the button on the screen and have the doors lock, headlights come on, rear window roll down, etc.
     
  13. Strahan

    Strahan 1/2 ton status

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    I love your door pods, they're great :) I'd like to do the same, Cerwin Vega speakers and lots of em hehe. I'm not very good at making nice looking door panels myself though! :)
    <P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by Strahan on 01/13/02 05:32 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  14. Nonesuch

    Nonesuch 1/2 ton status

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    Im using a laptop in my truck to monitor my fuel injection system. Its nice to have and the prog I use (winaldl) lets me know what RPM I am running without having a tach in the truck. My Blazer is super easy to break into and as a matter of fact I caught a guy in the act a couples weeks ago. Thats were the laptop comes in handy because I can remove it easily when I get out. I would love to be able to control all of my power accessories (elec.fan, elec. fuel pump, windows, locks, interior lights, radio, etc.) via a touch screen LCD. That would be very trick.

    I say if you have the time, money, and equipment go for it. You would have the coolest and most sophisticated Blazer that I have ever heard of!

    Austin, Texas K5'er
     

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