Cool idea and have completed Car computer project :) check this out.. https://www.instructables.com/id/Mobile-Car-Computer/ Hope you will like this.
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MP3car.com will have everything you could possibly want to know.
However, you just might be better off buying a cheap MP3 player like a $20 to $30 2G to 4G Coby from Walmart. I've been collecting parts to build a car PC for years, but it ends up being easier just to use an MP3 CD player or flash player.
It should be possible to use the Western Digital Media Player in-car. The thing operates on 12V, and runs Linux. Price is about $150, and it can play audio and video (including HD quality video!!!) from USB drives. It just needs some tweaks to make it more car-friendly, like wired remote, resume on power-up, maybe support for an alphanumeric LCD display instead of a monitor. I think it has the potential to be a near-perfect car media player.
taken directly from "wired How-to", the article on hooking your ipod into your car stereo (I'm assuming your pc has a headphone port):
take your stereo out. on the back, there usually will be three rca (red, white, and yellow) connectors. if they're not there, then you have to buy an adapter (internet!)
then, install the cable. go to radio shack and ask for a y cable. it'll connect your ipod to the rca connectors. then, connect the adaptor and reroute the new connector to a convenient place (glove compartment, etc.).
put back everything and then turn up the music.
The only problem that I see in all this is the power supply. About the serial port I have some shematics, so I can make some buttons and wires connections + some programming. If someone can tell me if I can connent it without a invertor and why are the negative voltages included.Thank you
Care to elaborate?
Car PCs are usually tough projects, but if you would explain what resources you have... I might be able to make suggestions. So read on for my questions to you:
Does your computer have a 9-pin serial port on the back of it? If yes, building a button-pad for controlling winamp is dead-easy. Maybe $10 worth of parts.
Do you have any means of a power supply for the project? An off-the-shelf inverter will work, but keep in mind that the power will shut off whenever you turn the key. You'll need an independant battery for your PC, in order to keep it from shutting off unexpectedly.
Can you get your old PC to boot in a reasonable amount of time? If you have to wait 5 minutes for the old beast to boot, you probably wont use it on short trips around town.
Can you afford a laptop hard drive and an adapter to use it? Bumps in the road are going to pose a hazard to your PC's drive. A laptop hard drive is designed to take more abuse so you might consider that as an alternative.
Do you intend to have a display?
A headless PC is one option, but without a display you wont have access to information on the track that's playing... and you'd need to hook up a display at home for routine maintenance.
What's your consideration for the I/O switch? Are you going to keep the PC in one piece somwhere accessible or is it going to be in the trunk. So how are you going to turn it on or off?
Lastly, what kind of vehicle do you have?
I have an asus p4s533-mx MB. It has both 25 pin parallel and 9 pin serial port. My cigarette lighter is always on not depending of the ignition key, but I'm not sure if a can connect it without an inverter. I've checked the power supply on the Internet and it uses 3.3v 5v 12v plus it has -5v and -12v. I don't know why are those two voltages used (if someone can tell me) and what will happen if i don't connect them. Also i was considering using a flash drive instead of a hard drive using linux platform (search for LINUX LEECH). About a display. I'm not planing on connecting one for now, just need forward backward play pause and stop. So... Will i be able to perform all of this? Thank you
Well, you still need to make considerations for on/off. A power button works, but I promise you'll get sick of it the first time your PC wants to do something before shutdown. In any case, you'll need to be extra careful managing the way it uses power. If you were to forget shutdown and leave it running overnight... your battery may not have enough juice to start the car in the morning.
On that note, your cigarette lighter socket might also be deactivated while your key is turned to "ignition" and you are actually starting the vehicle. Check that, because it's pretty common. You can still bypass this and wire into something else, if you must.
A flash drive is a decent idea, but how big of one can you afford... and will this system allow it to boot? You're going to be very limited by their size most likely, but you can get adapters to use certain flash cards as regular hard drives from stores like dealsextreme.com
You can usually either build your own control panel (not too hard, it's basically buttons and wires and a 9-pin serial jack), or just use an off the shelf gamepad to control the music player. I can't tell you how to do this if you're going linux as I am no linux expert. Either option will do for being able to give you a bunch of buttons which can be mapped to do what you want and more.
Where are you putting the PC? Under the seat, in the glove compartment, inside the dashboard, in the trunk? Wherever it goes, you need to run power, audio, and controler wires to it. How are you going to turn your PC on when you get in the car? If it is in the trunk or hidden inside the dashboard somewhere, do you have a solution for the power button then? (hint: it can be moved)
Im not trying to stop you from doing this, just throwing all the problems I can think of at you before you leap in.
Just a note on cost... my 32gb phillips mp3 player cost me only $24 (refurb)... and can do what you're trying to do without any work or extra parts involved.