x86-PC in the car

    I welcome the habrasociety. Today I would like to touch on the topic of PC-x86 in the car. This area is very indistinctly displayed on this blog, except for car stands for laptops.
    Next, under the cut dozen photos peppered with text. Motorists geeks, you will be interested.


    Ford Transit pre-latest model, produced from 2000 to 2006 inclusive. Middle base and height, 2 sliding doors on the sides. Initially 3 seater (ala Gazelle?))), But was redone. Half of the cargo part of the car, it was decided to fence in favor of increasing the cabin. Thus, it was possible to establish another row of seats. (Native Ford “stools” were also removed, all BMW seats are heated) It’s spacious in the cabin, at least stand on your head, at the same time the “trunk” is very roomy. :) Without going into details, the entire interior is thermo-sound-insulated, covered with thick plywood, and then covered with carpet.


    The selection of components was not a difficult task. Of course, this is the fashionable bunch of Intel Atom + i945. There are many reasons for this choice. The ability to install in a small case, despite this, eliminates cooling problems, low price and, at the same time, almost all components are included in $ 50-100. Worried about performance ... and in vain, everything quickly loads and runs, watching FullHD in traffic was not in the plans. ;)

    • HDD - by itself, only notebook 2.5 ', about SSD - so far too expensive.
    • RAM - 1GB, that's enough. More - inclusion too long after hibernate. Less is clearly not enough for a full comfortable CarPC.
    • DVD drive - regular laptop drive (NEC).

    All components are neatly installed in the Mini-ITX Modecom FEEL 102 case , 1 small cooler is launched, which is launched in half power. This small box is located under the seat of the navigator. :) * soon the case needs to be replaced, I want 2 HDDs, a drive in the “glove compartment”, cover up all holes with dust filters and other small snacks.


    Power is provided by a regular power supply unit inside the case, the permissible voltage at the input is 7-14 volts. It is powered directly from the battery through a diode (-1 volt). On - not a fixed button, off - either with the same button or ACC of the car with a delay of two minutes. (any timer)


    The choice was not great. Either Chinese, assembled on the knee, NONAME, or Chinese Mystery with at least some manufacturer's warranty. The display is motorized, it is assembled into a car 0.5DIN. At the input - RCA, VGA, S-Video, TV tuner as a separate remote unit. From the outputs - usb for connecting to pc (touch screen operation). Touch, resistor, sensitivity acceptable, adjustable in the service menu. Mystery MMT-8120 USB on the panel.


    Regular lcd monitor mounted in the ceiling. It is quite comfortable to watch HouseM.D. When there is free time in the car. True, at that time there was no monitor with a power supply of 12V, so I had to buy a cheap inverter from 12 to 220V, and 220V would not interfere with the long journey.


    Managing a touch screen is quite convenient, but not when you are driving. Logitech 3d joystick came to the rescue . As usual, this brand is happy. Very high quality, nice materials. Despite the very unusual use of the joystick, it turned out to be very convenient to use. There are no false positives, it is calibrated and adjusted easily. * The armrest should be covered with leather.


    Most recently undergone revision. It turns out that the selected motherboard has a pin digital output, a pleasant surprise. The Chalenger amplifier was immediately ordered (by the way, it was developed in Russia), which has on its board digital coaxial and optical inputs with a 5.1 hardware decoder. To say that the sound has become better is to say nothing. This must be heard. The HDD immediately seemed small thanks to the weighty flac. An 18-inch subwoofer, the case for which is the “trunk”, is also a torture chamber (see 2 photos). Rack with tweeters.



    WindowsXP + Centrafuse . At the moment, finding something better is difficult. The bunch is stable, a pretty good interface. ( video from Centrafuse )


    In conclusion, I would like to say that in the future, I will not be surprised if I see an x86-PC of 1-2DIN format already with a display, a touch screen, which can be just as easily integrated into a standard hole in a car as a regular car radio now. No, I’m not saying that this is a direct continuation of the development branch of car players, all the same, it takes a lot of settings, doping, not to mention support, which is unacceptable for a large market. Perhaps the future lies in a certain kind of embedded systems that work out of the box.

    Despite this, now you can try to use a PC as a car radio, a GPS auto-navigator, not to mention a video surveillance system (simple web cameras are quite suitable), engine monitoring and control, and other things that we could only to dream when using standard methods.

    More pictures.

    Thank you all for your attention. You are a good audience, once you read it to the end.
    It will also be nice to see you on my twitter. Always glad to meet interesting people. (link in the profile)


    * Moved to the thematic blog "DIY or Do it yourself."

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