Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Using a PC as a head unit...

Discussion in 'Audio' started by sled_dog, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Here is the thought, compact PC setup in my 1997 C2500. I can build one easily that will require little power and run off an inverter. Drive an amp with the PC soundcard output. Which will power the 4 speakers in my truck. Reason? Every CD I own is on my computer, plus about 500 more... plus random stupid songs like "Tone Loc - Funky Cold Medina", no way I care to buy the CD for that one or waste a CD burning it. Why not have ALL of my songs in one easy to reach place? I was looking and think I could mount a 9" LCD screen in place of the factory head unit and heater controls(relocate those down to the spot where the retarded pocket that just holds change is). Throw a trackball on the seat and a keyboard in the center console(or split bench I want to get). Anyone have thoughts on this setup? Biggest issue is I do not know what sort of power the sound card outputs. The speakers I have in my room have their own power supply but plenty of speakers do not have any power source other then the sound card.
     
  2. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Posts:
    10,453
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Can you not get a sound card with RCA outputs? Use 'em to power an amp. An easier albeit more expensive way would be to run a cheap crappy head unit with an auxilliary input and work it that way. When I drive back and forth to school I plug my laptop into my aux. input on my head unit and run things that way.
     
  3. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Posts:
    11,026
    Likes Received:
    855
    Location:
    Pinckney, MI
    A good pc sound card will not be powered and will most likely be digital. I would suggest running an amp for your front, and an amp for the rear speakers. Get a good 24 bit sound card like the Audigy 2zs or the new Audigy x-fi. The main problem I found with this is having to shut down the computer everytime you shut off the car/truck. If you dont, and the computer is not a laptop It will drain your battery in about 30-45min or less depending on specs.
     
  4. chevyin

    chevyin 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Posts:
    1,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pismo Bch CA
    mobile pc

    Everything you ever wanted to know about using a PC in your car stereo system can be found here: http://mp3car.com/

    Cheers.
     
  5. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    cool, yeah I was thinking about the Aux input on a cheap head unit, but at the sametime I'd rather skip the head unit, though it would be nice when I don't feel like waiting for the PC to boot up or just listen to the radio until it does. I have 2 places to go with the screen, there is an air bag mounting spot on the passenger side, but my 97 has NO air bags so its just another useless storage spot.
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Posts:
    19,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everywhere
    Alot of quality headunits have Aux inputs also. I just can't see a good sound system with a POS headunit. I really like my Clarion DXZ945MP and would recomend it to a friend. I got mine (New in box with warrenty) on Ebay for just over $300.00 [​IMG]
     
  7. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Posts:
    9,472
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Olympia/Lacey, Washington
    i just burn it to disk in the .mp3 format, can get a LOT of music on one disk.
     
  8. Greg72

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

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2001
    Posts:
    15,683
    Likes Received:
    1,392
    Location:
    642 Days to BB2018

    Sounds like a good application for an iPod....

    (Hmmm wasn't there a post on this recently? :D )


    An immediate problem with your idea (if you plan on leaving the PC in the car) is that disk drives are only spec'ed to operate from 5 - 55*C. Knowing where you live, it won't take long to destroy that drive this winter. I'm not sure if the HDD companies have developed "Automotive Friendly" drives yet with improved environmental specs, but the traditional drives don't do well in automotive applications.


    FWIW
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2005
  9. Roz

    Roz 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Posts:
    900
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego
    i broke my face plate to my unit, diconnecxted the RCA's and put a 1/4" to RCA adapter and ran it for a while, sounded good. only work if u have amps thpough
     
  10. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    yeah at the moment its too cold for a PC... the flaw I have been pondering.

    We got 2" of snow today...
     

Share This Page