CarPC Planning (again)

I am re-considering installing a PC in my car (recently influenced by the good work others have done on a very similar vehicle). My initial requirements are GPS, 802.11b/g, EVDO, Touch Screen and and interface into car stereo- but it would also be nice to include wireless sync, hands-free bluetooth, backup camera and 'rolling' drive camera.  I don't have any need to watch movies on the unit (I think GPS will be distracting enough!).

This is the quick list I have come up with:

A quick total puts it at about $830(!)- not including shipping or cables... If I do go ahead with this I will be purchasing the parts over several paychecks:

  • Phase 1: Computer - $362.00
  • Phase 2: Screen - $350.00
  • Phase 3: Other Accessories - $115.00

The most difficult part will probably be modding the car to fit the screen- followed by running power + VGA to the trunk (where I plan on mounting the computer).

The motherboard has 8 USB ports and the case will provide 4 external ports (2 on motherboard + 2 on front of case); the other will need to be wired internally.

1 comment:

  1. For a long time I too thought of installing a computer PC in my car. But considering the cost plus the possibility of building something that is sub-par (more on that below) made me re-think the project.

    In my car I have an AM/FM radio, a CD player (hardly ever used), a cassette deck (factory installed) and an aftermarket XM radio. I discovered with XM I don't even listen to my MP3s anymore. The one function I wanted is the GPS, which raised the question: would the GPS in a carPC work better than something I buy off the shelf (I was/am considering the Dash).

    After weeks of research I came to the conclusion that the carPC GPS would likely not work as well as one from Garmin, Tom Tom or Dash.

    I considered using an old laptop as my carPC, with an external touch screen to control it. But then I decided to create a DIY photo frame instead.

    I think for me the biggest consideration is cost. For $1000 I would get a cool toy, but only available when I am in the car. I really don't drive that much, so I'll likely not reap the benefits of all the hard work.


    I may consider a carPC for our minivan, especially if I can centralize all the following functions:

    - AM/FM/XM radio
    - Intelligent GPS with re-routing based on latest traffic updates
    - Broadband connection via WiFi and EVDO
    - Multimedia functionality - can stream VOB, ISO, AVI to the car's built-in DVD LCD screen in the back
    - Bluetooth connectivity
    - Speaker phone
    - MP3 / CD / DVD playback
    - Voice activation, can read/write email / IM / SMS by voice

    If I can have all that I am willing to pay up to $2000 for it