Design Changes


I still haven't received my screen but I've been doing a fair bit of playing with the car PC.

I wired in the power at both ends, balanced a 17" TFT on the passenger seat and did a test run and it highlighted a couple of problems:

Beeping problems

The motherboard did a turn-on "BEEP" which for some reason it sent through the amp and speakers - not good! Also it was barely quick enough to play DVDs.
So I stuck it on Ebay and replaced it with an VIA PD1000 from Kustom PCs. Beep gone, faster board and double the RAM :-)

Keyboard problems

The second problem was due to me messing about with the power when testing I upset the motherboard - requiring a press of F1 on boot one time. Damn - no keyboard!
So it was on to Ebay again and I bought one of these:
Roll-up USB keyboard. Brilliant!  $2.21! But with carriage from the US it was about 12 quid total.

Hard drive problems

When installing the new motherboard I had another problem - the bloody hard drive failed! Not a major problem as I have all the data elsewhere but a pain nonetheless. So it was off to CCL to buy a new 40Gb laptop hard drive.

DVD problems

So, PC completely rebuilt, I reinstalled it. Which highlighted another problem - there isn't room to insert a DVD into the slot loading drive. Doh!

Plus I wasn't too happy with the cabling or the mounting of the PC - I had to squeeze it into the gap and wedge it with polystyrene packing as there wasn't room to make a proper fixing. Not very good.

So I had a bit of a brainwave - why do I need a case at all?

So out came the MDF and power tools :-)


I cut a piece of MDF to fit the side door. As you can see I've also installed a cooling fan.


I spent a happy half hour playing jigsaws with components to work out how to fit everything in. Then marked and drilled the board.


Motherboard, PSU and ITPS controller are screwed to the board


Hard drive and DVD-ROM are cable-tied on.


All cables except IDEs are in place here


I'm not 100% happy with the IDE cables - but at least they're mostly out of sight.

Next was to install it in the car:

I just used self tapping screws - I'll have to get some less obvious ones I think :-)
Update: Got some nice screw covers - much better:

The red LED is a hard drive activity light

And here it is open with all cables in place including Bluetooth and 54G wireless - much better!

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