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there are quite a few setups around (specially in the US) that are using minimacs for those reasons...

one of the problems with macs is there are no DC-DC powersupplies for them. which is one thing i really wanted in my setup. sure an inverter would have worked but the corolla really doesnt have the space...

i hate macs, and i have very little experience with them. I have alot of experience with windows and PCs, and my carPC is regularly synchronised with my laptop. its easier if they are both windows...

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  • 2 weeks later...

wow........real nice....

Nice setup.... considered doing this for a while but just never got around to it.... have a few questions for you if you don't mind...

When i was thinking about it powering the ***** was my biggest concern... What kind of setup do you have powering it up again? DC Power supply? When you say DC-DC power supply, are you talking like the exact same unit that usually comes with our PC except in 12V rather than 230/240v? (Similar to this: http://umart.net/au/product_info.php?cPath...ducts_id=103816 ) What rating is the power supply? Also have you done any testing on what kind of drain you are getting on the battery? Lol i was a little concerned about this because as you know the battery that comes with the car is pretty ***** weak. Have you noticed any affects on anything else within the car?

What kind of Front End program you running? Is it sometihng you purchased or is it something freely available?

Cheers mate! Sweet effort!

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i havent noticed much of a power difference in the car...

i think my battery is on the way out as ive flattened it a few times... it just takes longer to crank over these days, but apart from that everything is pretty normal.

the power supply is a mini ATX supply made for carputers so you can wedge it in a tiny case...


like so...

the front end is a program called centrafuse, which is freely available from


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i took some pics of my security system for the carputer:






... the screen is sitting in the housing of the stock head unit, so i could keep the screen in one place using the stock bolts, also making it impossible to just rip out if someone decides they want it... so i had the face plate of the stock just sitting round...

i dremmeled off the lip around the edge of the faceplate so i could just pop it on and off, and stuck all the buttons back on with glue and tape at the back, and voila. looks like a stock head unit...

the carputer is invisible from outside the car, and my splits are all hidden... true stealth install...

you might also be able to see ive made up a plastic bezel to go around the screen and make it look like its supposed to be there... its a bit dodgy with the glue and stuff, but ill fix it up later...

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

man im loving every bit of it!! congrats on it and i must say dat i love ur smart idea of using the stock player to mount the screen on and also to use a as security feature keep up the great work!!

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geez i was considering buying a 2din jvc deck from jbhifi = $1400? bugger that!

where did you buy the parts like the lcd? the box? jaycar? dicksmith? or online?

i wanna get started on making this bitch!





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  • 1 month later...

well... just to steal northy's thunder :P

i made myself a new screen mount surround thing... whatever you want to call it... over the weekend as well.. i was on msn all weekend to northy discussing how our individual projects were going..

i finished mine off yesterday.. its pretty rough, and im a bit disappointed in it.. so if you have a look at think "he could have done better.." im aware of that, but i got to the point where i wasnt going to battle the fibreglass or fillerover and over and sand my stock surround down to nothing, so i got to a point where i was happy it looked alright, and painted it...

oh and if you're wondering why i needed to do this, i ended up breaking my old screen, i think i was overloading it with the 13.8 volts the car supplies when its running when the screen was only meant to handle 12V.. so i bought a new one and thought id go a totally different custom design..

here's the pics:

Starting Out:












AGAIN: i am not proud of the finish.. but its the best i could do the time and resources i had... one day ill do a more professional job. i am, however, proud that ive chopped the whole thing to pieces, and integrated the buttons in a different location, and the screen still works!!

cheers :D


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  • 2 years later...

Great setup! I'm thinking of putting a car PC in my 07 Camry Altise. I'm kinda torn between two approaches: 1) build a system using mini-ITX motherboard etc. and mount under the seat (like yours), or 2) use an Asus Eee PC and mount it all in the dash.

The Eee PC 901 is a complete system, priced at $519 at the moment. All it needs is a touchscreen overlay kit (add $100 to the price), and an auto-power on module wired in to the Eee's power switch (add ~$20), and the car PC is complete. So for ~$650 I can have a neat car PC.

With the mini-ITX approach, it's $149 for the motherboard, plus price of HDD (possibly 40GB) and RAM (1GB minimum) and power supply (M2-ATX or Opus). All of that will cost bring the PC cost to around $300. Then I'd have to spend nothing less than $400 to get a 7" sunlight readable touchscreen LCD (lilliput, xenarc, lin-itx, dynamix, etc.). Total price here would be ~$700.

I'm experienced with electronics and computers so putting it all together and making modifications is not a problem for me. I just thought it seemed a lot more efficient if I used an Eee PC since it's pretty much complete, and there's one less thing sitting under the seats. (Bear in mind that I'll have a 4-channel amp sitting under one of the seats).

I've got the space inside my dash for the Eee PC (I'll be taking out the stock headunit). I'd have to take the Eee apart, turn the screen around so the computer part is facing inside the dash and the screen is facing towards the interior of the car. Then I'd wire the auto-power-on module to the power switch, and connect that to ignition and to car battery (or distribution block), and run a cable to the amp. In time, I'll probably add a DVD ROM drive so I can watch DVDs and listen to CDs.

I haven't quite decided which route to take. Anyone wanna try to persuade me some way?

Apologies to the mods if this post should be in its own thread. Please move it if necessary :)

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