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12-volt Plexiglass Computer

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the ideas-to-learn-from dept.

Hardware 211

zootjeff writes: "I am in the process of designing and redesigning a computer for my car. This machine is based on the Shuttle FV24 motherboard. I built a box that is 8 inches by 7.5 inches by 3 inches. I also designed and built my own custom power supply. This could be useful to people who want to take linux into their car. It is also useful for solar powered battery operations." He sent some pictures, too, of what the 2nd case looks like, an overview, including (!) police report number (the 2nd revision was stolen), more on the power supply, and the third iteration.

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Yeah that's right (-1, Offtopic)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480061)


Re:Yeah that's right (-1)

Jon Coktoastone (527727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480161)

|.- - - -- - - -.|
| |
| Eat My Nuts |
| |
| _ _ _ _ __ _ |
' - -- . . - - - '
| _|/
| ." ".
| /(o)-(o)\
/_)| / |
|_)| '- |
\_)\ '.___.' / |\/|_
| \ \_/ / _| '/
|_\ \.___./ \ ) /
\ \_/\__/\__ ==|
\ \ /\ /\ `\ |
\ \\// \ |
`\ /\ / |
; | \____/
| | |

Re:Yeah that's right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480299)

|.- - - -- - - -.|
| Read |
| Your Journal |
| |
| _ _ _ _ __ _ |
' - -- . . - - - '
| _|/
| ." ".
| /(o)-(o)\
/_)| / |
|_)| '- |
\_)\ '.___.' / |\/|_
| \ \_/ / _| '/
|_\ \.___./ \ ) /
\ \_/\__/\__ ==|
\ \ /\ /\ `\ |
\ \\// \ |
`\ /\ / |
; | \____/
| | |
There's some helpful information you may appreciate....
- Anomymous Spork.

Smell my feet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480063)

Do it now, baby.

Muhammit (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480072)

May be piss be upon him.

Re:Muhammit (-1, Troll)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480160)

Here come the california fuckpigs,
look how they walk, all wonky and disjointed
Here come the california fuckpigs,
with several leaders, beaten then appointed

My will is bigger than my willie
but it's pretty small
and if I had a thousand reasons
I would eat them all
My life goes blurry like a donkey
with a bandaged head
Where are the caterpillars?
sorry, they're all dead

Here come the california fuckpigs
look how they walk, all sad and out of step like
Here come the california fuckpigs
with several leaders, 'cause they do not have to hitch-hike

I saw a drunken bishop standing
over by the stairs
He puked into a metal ashtray
after eating pears
And laughing silently he turned
to me and waved his cock
It was all covered in shit
he'd just been up the flock

Heat Problems (1)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480084)

Would such a system not have over heating problems. Unless its got a kick-ass fan in it.

Re:Heat Problems (2, Funny)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480113)

Just hook it up to the car radiator :D
The ultimate in liquid cooling for AMD's ;D

Re:Heat Problems (1)

Demoulous (325692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480298)

Anyone seen the Fast and the Furious? Man this is whats needed to blast that films soundtrack out at you. While you get in position to use that Nitro of course :D

Nah! (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480142)

tie it on the roof :-)

Re:Heat Problems (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480386)

I hate Nerys Hughes

Re:Heat Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480478)

No. Read the site and it says he has underclocked his 233 to 133, more than enough to make it run way cool.

The Linux car... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480095)

It's already been done [] ...

I don't use a DC powersupply though.

SFW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480370)

Did he claim to be the first?
Is the first always the best?

Interesting (1)

retrac (60508) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480382)

The last time I went to this page. (months ago)

It didn't have any banner ads on it.

Now there is banner ads on it and it submitted to slashdot at the sametime.


No Comment...

Just Interesting...

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480567)

There are no banner ads on [] (at least there shouldn't be). The site was just recently moved from geocities, to a hosted T1. Did you mean that it _had_ banners and now no longer does...?

Re:The Linux car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480542)

That is a fantastic implementation.

I've been a UNIX SA for eight years, and I went "Whoa." Even Keanu as Neo sounded more intelligent than my gibbering. %-/

But I love that setup. I'd need a ruggedized weather proof version for my Colorado Jeep though. Perfect for watching snowboarding MPEGs and DiVX movies while sitting in I-70 gridlock.

Imagine a .... (0)

robvasquez (411139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480115)

beowulf cluster of these.

you'd be able to see right through them!!

Re:Imagine a .... (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480159)

That would be called a Convoy not a Beowulf :D

Re:Imagine a .... (1)

Demoulous (325692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480307)


*News flash* Earlier today Pi was calulated to 10^x buy a traffic jam :D

my dell laptop (1)

psychalgia (457201) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480117)

is smaller, neater, and faster than his was also about the same cost, and if I put an RF connector on it and _maybe_ hook up an his, we're looking at a better solution. I like the ingenuity here, but I'd have loved to see it smaller...a LOT smaller. That power supply could be integrated into the dash, underneath, so you wouldnt have to carry could use a laptop hard drive...I can think of a lot of ways to neaten this up...just doesnt seem to be _that_ great of an option at these early stages.

ps... building a "power supply" for a car can be done by ripping a few bits off a standard power supply and replacing htem with wires... a power supply merely refines the 12 volt power, and converts to it from 110. It is fairly easy to remove the conversion bits, and have just a 12volt refining mechanism, seeing as how computers run on 12volts and under anyway.

Re:my dell laptop (0)

robvasquez (411139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480162)

But, it's not as COOL, you didn't hack it yourself, and there's no writeup on SALSA H DOT for it.

But you are right, it's probably a better solution.

Re:my dell laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480254)

>building a "power supply" for a car can be done by ripping a few bits off a standard power supply and replacing htem with wires...

You mean I can do all this with a computer power supply by just removing components and adding wires?

- Noise (engine noise is insane -- it will be all over!)
- 12v regulation (most car batteries output 14 or 15 volts when good. Won't blow anything up, but why take the chance?)
- 5v at many amps.
- (-)ve voltages.
- Multiple surge suppression (ever noticed how in some cars increase/lower the airflow from the vents whenever you step on the gas? that's a power surge).
- Proper fusing. A car battery will easily outperform your wall socket (in NA, anyways) by availiable watts for a moment should something short out.

Personally, unless the computer supply is linear (which they stopped using since the original IBM PC) I have my doubts as to wether this would blow the battery up or not.

But feel free to prove me wrong.

Re:my dell laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480300)

On a side note, I've had much success using these 2.5-3.5" drive convertors. They save TONS of space/weight, especially on a project like this... tm l

He used an inverter? (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480310)

I can't get to the site right now.
It amazes me that you woudl 'build a custom power supply' and use an inverter. What a waste.

Re:my dell laptop (2)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480451)

you're forgetting about the + and - 12v lines and all the + and - 5v lines. nothing a visit to can't solve, but don't go hooking up ALL those lines to 12v negative ground..

logN is always the quickest algorithm (-1, Offtopic)

Jingle Returno (531353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480121)

No student on Earth is allowed to know Time Cube which disproves god scams. That is criminal academia. Christianity based upon evil 1-corner self aggrandizing which dooms 4-corner life. Challenge stupid teachers and their 'Obscurantism' (deliberately withheld knowledge). Cube proves you are Stupid. Academic Word is Cubeless. Cubeless Word Dooms USA. Time Cube is Omnific Order. Cowards ignore Time Cube.

Bill Gates III (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480122)

Bill Gates confirmed that he is the orginator of this new terrorist threat to Americans all over the US, by systmatically blocking, locking their browsers when ever one tried to visit popular sites; such as msn, hotmail, slate, espn, msnbc, zone etc. The crimes commited by Bill Gates against the Internet community are as severer as anny terrorist threat that we've had so far.

Re:Bill Gates III (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480148)

Amen brother.

BTW, What happend to Bill Gates the 1st and 2nd? Um.

Re:Bill Gates III (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480165)

Amen Brother,

BTW, What happend to Bill Gates the 1st and 2nd? Heh.

Re:Bill Gates III (1)

Coniine (524342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480377)

> BTW, What happend to Bill Gates the 1st and 2nd? > Heh.
Obsoleted before release.

Naming (1)

Curl E (226133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480124)

He sooo has to call it Orac.

Re:Naming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480328)

Yeah, but then there'd be an annoying wirring sound in the background.. Nice Blake 7 reference.

(Brr-rr-rrr-rr-r.....) (ORAC Shutdown sound)

cost and parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480133)

He forgot to include the cost of the Windows 98 media on his cost list, as he openly chose Windows over a Free system like Linux.

Now that I think of it, he deserved to get it stolen.

Lexan instead of Plexiglas (3, Informative)

caesar-auf-nihil (513828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480138)

One potential concern I see, especially with a car-bound computer, is impact resistance (potholes shake the unit around) and short-circuit fire safety. If you try using Lexan or Calibre sheet (polycarbonate) you'll improve the impact resistance of your case dramatically, and, the fire-resistance.

Plexiglass is notorious for getting brittle with heat and light exposure, both of which will happen if they sit in your car every day under the hot sun. One good summer could really do a number to the unit.

Re:Lexan instead of Plexiglas (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480232)

Not that I'm saying this is the case here (the site's slashdotted already), but for many people, and even in aisle signs in hardware stores, Plexiglass = Lexan. Sort of like kleenex refers to any tissue, coke (here in the South, at any rate, where the word soda dosen't get used) refers to any carbonated beverage, and xerox (moreso in the past) means to copy a document on any copy machine.


Re:Lexan instead of Plexiglas (2)

dragons_flight (515217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480455)

Maybe I just don't know better, but I thought part of the reason cases were largely metal was to provide some shielding against electromagnetic interference. Faraday cage and all that.

Is this not a concern?

Re:Lexan instead of Plexiglas (1)

Hal_9000@!!!@ (152225) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480549)

First of all, I think Lexan is quite the cool plastic, and is one of the most amazing plasics inventions. I don't know what I'd do without my Lexan water bottle (go buy one and see how hard it is to destroy... I gave up shoveling it against PC) and I know people who were protected everyday by Lexan windows.

The main reason I think he didn't use Lexan in his case was price. Check out the quotes at shtml and you'll find it's more expensive and harder to get, and I imagine harder to cut.

CLEARLY this is a good idea (0)

robvasquez (411139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480143)


Very clean design, almost an OEM quality!

I wouldn't mine a plexiglass desktop case.

how bout a plexiglass hd case too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480152)


Art and Engineering (3, Interesting)

euroderf (47) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480155)

I used to have a girlfriend who was fond of creating 'combined art-utility vehicles' - she created a car called that looked like a Gothic castle on the move, and sedan with a huge, 0.8 ton, covering which had a small room with a bed in it. It was very heavy, very moving (literally!).

Conceptual Art like this is a fine way of improving the drudgery of the commute, where millions in their identikit Fords and Fiestas wander soulessly to and fro' employment in cubicles, some of us are free, free to make our wild imaginations reality.

Is playing with an in car computer really the same tho? I'm all a-quiver at the talents of these techy types, but what actual difference does this in car computer make? None, really, it won't inflame the mind or create beauty, and this is the problem with modern tinkering. 1950's mobiles had flaming jet burners on the back, and we are adding little bits of silicon? Yuk.

Thankfully, when I moved to America I noticed that there is an even bigger car scene, and I would go to my local car improvement rally were it not for all the guns held by the police and contestants at such events, quite barbarous, in many respects.

I urge the modifiers of the utilitarian not to invent even more utility, but to improve and create an original aesthetic. Art is what is missing from our lives, in the modern age, not linux computers.

Re:Art and Engineering (-1)

Jon Coktoastone (527727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480180)

I bet she's a FREAK in bed, right?

|.- - - -- - - -.|
| |
| Eat My Nuts |
| |
| _ _ _ _ __ _ |
' - -- . . - - - '
| _|/
| ." ".
| /(o)-(o)\
/_)| / |
|_)| '- |
\_)\ '.___.' / |\/|_
| \ \_/ / _| '/
|_\ \.___./ \ ) /
\ \_/\__/\__ ==|
\ \ /\ /\ `\ |
\ \\// \ |
`\ /\ / |
; | \____/
| | |

I know I'm going to get moded down for this but... (-1)

Clint Trollwood (528787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480212)

Conceptual Art is nothing but shit.

It's not even art.

Believe me.

Why doesn't this... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480235)

lying fucking troll get moderated into oblivion every time he shows his face?

The entire fucking point of his account is his retarded hobby of luring gullible people to to read even more trolls.

He is exactly the kind of worthless trash we need to push out of slashdot if it's going to be even halfway readable.

Re:Why doesn't this... (-1, Offtopic)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480279)

Here here! Keep the trolls OUT of slashdot! That reminds me of this story...

They lay in front of the fire, snuggled together warm and safe on a blanket. He couldn't keep his eyes off of her, taking in her hair, shining like gold in the firelight, breathing in her sweet scent, feeling the beating of her heart, and the whisper of her soft breath on his neck as she lay her head on his shoulder. She traced slow lazy circles on his arm with her fingers, feeling his warm skin, feeling his strong arms around her finally where she belonged. She raised her face up to his and they looked deep into each others eyes. Seeing the depth of their love shining from within their very souls. He kissed her softly on her parted lips as she closed her eyes, one hand on the back of his head to bring him in closer to her. They kissed slowly and gently, they knew they had time...all the time in the world. Soon the kisses grew deeper, mouths open, tongues doing the ancient dance of love as they explored each others mouths, hungry for each other. He unbuttoned her shirt, reaching in to caress her firm breasts as he felt her nipples grow under his fingers. She responded by kissing him harder, her breathing coming faster as she felt him touching her. He lay her down, still kissing her, pulling off her shirt so he could see her. Kissing his way down her neck, his tongue tracing a wet line as he lowered his head to take a nipple into his mouth. She arched her back and gasped as she felt his warm mouth on her, sucking her sensitive nipple into his mouth. He slowly brought her to the point where she thought she was going to cum, his mouth going back and forth from one to the other, loving her, making her want him more than she thought possible. Finally he took off her jeans, she insisting he take off his clothes also so she could feel him against her. They lay together, feeling each others bodies for the first time, exploring the places that they liked touched, and the places they didn't. He kissed his way down her body, down from her beautiful breasts, down her flat stomach, going lower he breathed in her scent, the wonderful musky sweet scent that only a woman in lust can make. She parted her legs as she felt his lips along the inside of her thigh, kissing gently the smooth skin. He placed his hands on the inside of her thighs and spread her legs wide, looking at her beautiful pussy as it opened before him. He could see the milky white love juice coming from deep within her as the swollen outer lips parted, her clit standing hard, waiting for his touch. He caught his breath, his desire almost overwhelmed him. He looked up at her and saw her gorgeous green eyes looking back at him. Teasing her he kissed the top of her mound before sliding his tongue inside of her. She moaned and raised her hips a little, her hand going to the back of his head as she tried to pull him deeper into her. He slowly licked along the inside of her wet slit, making love to her with his tongue, stabbing it into her over and over as she writhed underneath him. Using his fingers he spread her open more, pulling the hood of her clit back he exposed the sensitive little nub completely. She cried out as he washed his tongue over it, around and around, up and down, sucking it into his mouth. Stroking two fingers into her as he sucked her clit deep into his mouth she came hard, thrusting her hips against his mouth, crying out his name as she shook over and over.

When she recovered she pulled him up close to her, taking his hard shaft into her hand she slowly stroked him, kissing her way down his body as he had done with her. She kissed her way around his stomach, down to his balls, taking them into her mouth, she suckled them gently, watching as his cock throbbed. Kissing her way up until she lowered her mouth onto him. Taking him deep into her mouth. She began to stroke her mouth up and down, her tongue swirling the underside of his shaft as she sucked hard. He pulled her up so that she was on top of him, her soaking pussy over his mouth. As he brought her down onto his mouth, taking her clit into his teeth, she moaned around his cock, sucking harder and faster. She moved her hips faster as she felt his orgasm build from deep within him. She felt him tense and knew he was about to cum. She took him deeper into her mouth, feeling her own orgasm starting as she felt the first hot squirts of cum began to flow from him. Moaning again she swallowed, drinking it down, sucking it from deep within his body. Knowing he was cumming sent her over, she came with him, his tongue buried deep inside her.

They lay together catching their breath, but there hands never left each others bodies. Soon he was hard again and she ached to have him inside her. "make love to me" she said softly, looking into his eyes. He moved over her, kissing her, as she parted her legs for him. She reached down and held his hard cock, slowly running it up and down her slit, getting it wet with her juices. Finally he ever so slowly pushed himself into her. They stared deep into each others eyes. Each of them realizing the specialness of this moment, there would only be one-first time. She groaned softly as she felt him go into her, her wet pussy closing in around him. He felt her velvety warmness tight around his cock, she was so tight, he gently moved deeper until he was in her to the hilt. She started moving her hips, rubbing her clit against him, already on the verge of a huge orgasm. "Wait" he whispered to her "just feel me inside you." She tried to hold still, she could feel him throb within her. She could feel everything, his heat, his love. They kissed, their tongues moving together though their bodies were still. He rolled her hard nipples with his fingers as she gasped and moaned. Again she tried to move, again he told her to wait. She could feel the tension building inside her, becoming almost unbearable. She could feel herself losing control. She heard herself begging him to fuck her, and fuck her hard. He resisted the urge to do that very thing as he again told her to wait. Suddenly she felt herself start to cum, "oh my god..." she cried out. As he felt her muscles start to spasm around his cock as she started cumming he began to move inside her. This intesified it for her as she screamed out his name, wrapping her legs tight around his waist as she exploded. He slowly made love to her. They found a rythm moving together, her legs wrapped tight around him, her hands in his hair, they whispered to each other their love for one another. She came over and over as he slowly stroked in and out of her, he was able to hold off himself only because he had just cum a few minutes before. She'd never felt anything like it, so loving, so completely satisfying as him finally being inside her, making love to her for the first time. After awhile he pulled out, surprising her. She looked him wondering what he was doing...she understood when he rolled her over and brought her up on her knees. She groaned as he entered her from behind, going in deeper than before. She moved back against him, forcing him still deeper into her hot pussy. This time he thrust hard into her, reaching around to pinch her nipples and finger her hard clit. This new more forceful style sent her into a frenzy, as she thrust back against him. He ran a finger along her back hole, seeing how it made her jump and moan made him more bold, he wetted his finger with her juices and slid it into her tight hole. She cried out and came again, she'd never cum this many times, it was almost making her dizzy, but she wanted more of him. He didn't think he could hold back his orgasm any longer, he could feel it building within him. Just when he was about to let it go he she moaned "I want you to fuck my ass" he didn't need anymore encouragement, it was more than he'd hoped for. He pulled out, slick with her cum, and put the tip of his cock at her back hole. She pushed back firmly against him, he could feel the resistance when suddenly he felt the head of his cock slip inside of her. He couldn't believe how tight she was, how hot. She gasped and groaned deeply, getting used to his size. She pushed back harder as he gently moved foward, watching as more of him slipped inside her. He reached down and massaged her clit, which made it easier for her to realx as he buried his cock deep into her sweet ass. He started moving slowly, picking up speed as he she moaned her encouragment, he could feel the cum welling up inside him, he didn't fight it as he heard her say "you're so big inside me, I want to feel you cum deep inside me" he shot his load into her, groaning as he felt her cum with him, her pussy clenching on his fingers as her tight muscles clamped down on his cock. Finally they collapsed together, laying in each others arms as they caught their breath. Exhausted, whispering words of love to each other as they fell asleep in front of the dying fire.

Re:Art and Engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480275)

Who fucking cares about "combined -art-utility vehicles? Its bad enough that there are giant SUVs roaming the freeways and slurping up more than their fair share of gas, but give me a break. Who needs an 1600 pound castle with a bed in it? That's not art, that's a waste of fucking time/gas/money -- you take your pick.

WARNING! DON'T CLICK! GOATSE.CX LINK!!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480288)

fawking troll. he's not even that good at constructing a falsely-serious troll message since they're always so over-the-top ridiculous.

Re:Art and Engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480296)

As a great band (TISM) once sang:

It's novel, it's unique, It's shithouse!

Yeah, great. (3, Funny)

fobbman (131816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480305)

Could you please pass the word to the rest of your auto-sculpture friends that you need to use a better water-resistant glue in attaching all that crap? Our first good rain happened a couple weeks ago and I ended up following one of those trash-heaps on wheels. The freaking doll heads were tumbling off of the top of that POS car that they were once attached to and hitting my windshield.

Talk about disturbing.

Re:Art and Engineering (1)

Ruis (21357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480350)

I remember seeing that somewhere.. I yes, Here [] .

Re:Art and Engineering (1)

euroderf (47) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480369)

That is correct, she was my girlfriend back then. Although we are still friends, we split up over a disagreement about Dadaism.

Re:Art and Engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480355)

Huh? I just want to listen to MP3z, man...

Re:Art and Engineering (1)

swatter (105610) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480425)

Is playing with an in car computer really the same tho? I'm all a-quiver at the talents of these techy types, but what actual difference does this in car computer make? None, really, it won't inflame the mind or create beauty, and this is the problem with modern tinkering. 1950's mobiles had flaming jet burners on the back, and we are adding little bits of silicon? Yuk.

This kind of attitude is a bit of a hot-button for me. It smacks of the stereotype that tech/science types are uncreative automatons unable to appreciate, never mind create, something of beauty. There is a lot of beauty in a well wrought hack (in software or hardware) and it should not be dismissed simply because it serves a function in addition to being "art."

Yes, I think an in car computer can be art -- it all depends on the vision and execution involved.

Re:Art and Engineering (1)

jdludlow (316515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480506)

...I would go to my local car improvement rally were it not for all the guns held by the police and contestants at such events...

How sad that you live in such fear. When was the last time you heard of a shootout at a car rally? For that matter when was the last time you heard of a shootout at a gun show? They're rare events, because the criminals know that someone will be there to shoot back at them.

Guns make you safer, even if you're not the person carrying one.

Would be useful for... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480157)

Control a laser/mirror arrangement which could draw or print phrases on your rear window. I'm certain there are enough creative minds out there that could figure out what to display ;-)

Maybe some sensors jammed into every nook and cranny of your engine, too, for data acquisition and observation.

Tie it into a GPS, put some big servos on your steering column and have it drive you back home when you're too drunk %-)

Re:Would be useful for... (2)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480502)

Control a laser/mirror arrangement which could draw or print phrases on your rear window

I'd just cheap out and hang one of the red scrolling letter signs from Radio Shack across the rear window. If you build a CAJUN [] system, you would already have an LCD up front with six pushbuttons surrounding the screen (like an ATM). Just add a "signage" function, and select phrases to scroll across the sign!

slide in "Hey Asshole..." from the right, pause 2 seconds.. blink "BACK OFF!!" in bold for 2 seconds..

And don't forget the classic, "keep honking.. I'm reloading." You could have all your favorite bumper stickers at once. And people say you can't have the "Marquee" screen saver on your car!

If you were only going to use it for mp3's.... (1)

tiburon_guy (472156) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480181)

Maybe it's just me, but when I hear about this, the only application I can really think of is MP3 player (since I kind of like to concentrate on the driving aspect of, well, driving) And if you wanted a hard drive mp3 player, they already have the in dash kits where you simply supply your own hard drive... en =CTGY&Store_Code=MTE&Category_Code=CMP

Re:If you were only going to use it for mp3's.... (2)

Nos. (179609) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480353)

Since its slashdotted, I can't see all the details, but folks have added quite a bit to the base mp3-carputer. If you get a full screen, and a GPS receiver, you can do in dash GPS, others have added movies, wireless internet, games, etc. All available on the fly. However, this is FAR from original as another poster pointed out. Check out [] . There's a bulletin board and examples. These guys have been making DC-DC power supplies and plexiglass cases for a long time.

Temperature Swings (1)

daved321 (229528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480184)

I've been contemplating putting a computer and touchscreen lcd in my car for a while now, for both MP3 and GPS-NAV. (And any other things I decide to do with it, such as security system, remote start, etc...

My main concern is how well standard components, mobo, cpu, ram, and mostly the hard drive will hold up against temperature swings in the vehicle. I live in NJ which doesn't have the wildest climate in the world but your still looking at temp variations between subzero to 100+. And that's outside the car. Inside can reach 120 or so parked in the sun, and then be cranked down into the 70's within minutes when I hop in and fire up the A/C. Same goes for winter, car is sitting parked overnight at about 20 degrees, and I turn on the heat, and again, within minutes it's 70 degrees.

I know with alot of electronics such as PIC microcontrolers you can get automotive rated parts that are designed to withstand that kind of abuse. I wonder how well standard equipment will fare though.

Maybe you can call it lazyness, but I don't want to spend the time and money to design the hardware and user interface, install it in the car and then have it die on me.

Even if the electronics hold up, I'd be most worried about the hard drive. I thought about compact flash, but it's just not large enough. My end goal is to have it 802.11 enabled, so when parked in the driveway the in car system can sync up with any new mp3's I've ripped and placed on my server. 20+ gig's of compact flash just ain't that easy to come by :-)

Any suggestions or related information would be appreciated...

Re:Temperature Swings (-1)

Clint Trollwood (528787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480255)


Use a god damn compass.

Re:Temperature Swings (1)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480269)

That's exactly what the dashpc [] is. It's 6.4" touchscreen, linux, Xfree86, wireless keyboard, mp3s, dvds, etc.

The hard drive doesn't crash and I don't even get any data errors on it. It's mounted sideways, so that's probably why. Worst case scenario, the heads just need to realign.

Mirror (5, Informative)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480186)

/.'ed to hell. Mirror here. []

Thumbnails won't work, but you didn't need to see them.

Re:Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480417)

Okay, the 5 minute bandwidth usage average on (where this is hosted) is currently sitting at 6.8MBit (which is, coincidentally, just how fat our entire network connection is.)

Just how much bandwidth does a site need to _not_ get slashdotted?

Re:Mirror (2)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480496)

Okay, the 5 minute bandwidth usage average on (where this is hosted) is currently sitting at 6.8MBit (which is, coincidentally, just how fat our entire network connection is.)

Just how much bandwidth does a site need to _not_ get slashdotted?

Would be cool to do a somewhat scientific experiment. Then again, i would bet that there are so many variables (time of day, subject, which editor posts) that to do an adequate study would require too many test front page posts that people would stop clicking and the data set would be ruined.

So for now, the answer to your question is a HELL of a lot.

Re:Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480514)

I don't know, but it would be interesting to find out.
Need a site with low or consistent background usage, a big fat pipe and a way to measure the bandwidth.

Then post a article about it (preferably not revealing it's measuring)

May want to concel this a little better... (1)

TilRock (196653) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480191)

Might be kinda hard to explain a plexiglass box filled with electronics when you drive into the parking garage of a large building and secuity finds it in the trunk!

Clear, plastic computer (0, Troll)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480214)

So you've got a computer with a clear plexiglas case.

That ain't nothin. I'm wearing clear plastic trousers. People keep congratulating me on my " miniature components."


Re:Clear, plastic computer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480233)

woohooo nice components there "big guy" :PP

Beneficial... (2, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480217)

I've been thinking about doing this sometime...

If I actually owned CDs made in the past four years, I might just get a CD player for my car. But with Napster, Gnutella, and now kza (a Kazaa client for Linux), I've stopped buying MP3s. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this idea had a ton of benefits:

Skip-proof - RAM's pretty cheap... Take a cheap computer and throw a gig of RAM in, and set a lot of it up as a ramdisk. Go over a bump with a CD, and you'll start skipping. (A hard drive would probably be worse...) But if your next ten songs, and the apps the system's using are all in RAM, unless the RAM physically pops out, you're all set.

Tons of space - I have less than a gig of MP3s... I know some nuts who have 10+ GB, but you can get a 40 GB drive for like $100 if you shop around. Access speed isn't too important if it's just being thrown into ramdisk.

Configurable - Can your CD player do Ogg Vorbis? Play other formats? Probably not. Nor could you, say, hack up a Perl script pull the MP3s out of a MySQL database and read the song title with Festival.

Again, I haven't actually tried this, but I'd really like to...

Re:Beneficial... (2)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480317)

Actually if you had that much RAM and 10+GB of MP3s, you could just cache the next several songs into the ramdisk so they won't skip while playing, and you would get the added benifit of being able to play more songs. Or you could just copy the currenly playing song to the ramdisk which would only hit the hard disk for half a second especially one with a fast bus and all would be skip free.

Re:Beneficial... (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480321)

Go over a bump and the hard drive definitely won't like it. Keep doing it, and the disk will be fucked before you can say "oops, there goes my todger up the back end of that goat". Get yourself some solid state stuff, like flash rom or something. Use a solid state drive and you won't need all that RAM.

More originality required (2, Insightful)

PureRain (231574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480234)

Without being overly negative, and putting this fellow down for his ingenuity, I just like to say that if something's going to appear on /., maybe it should be a little more original. Dont get me wrong, its a well done project, however I've read countless articles resembling this... i.e. normal computer, HD, modified case, inverter(cough), etc.
Putting it practically, a whole motherboard and 32 meg ram, etc is all overkill just to decode mpegs, however I guess most people wouldnt know how to program a DSP chip, or implement an mpeg decoder.
But what is more interesting, and is a bit more ingenius, is having a mobo/cpu/ram/etc, but a custom power supply. Why convert 12 volts to 110/240(australia, etc) and then back down to 12? Also, running such a high-level os such as window$ is also overkill. I would suggest either a really small linux distro booting off a floppy, or maybe DOS. A linux distro (i.e. tinylinux) booting off a floppy would eradicate the need for a hard drive if you played cd's off cd's (which is possible, using automount and find /cdrom -name *.mp3 | mpeg123 blah blah, etc). This would help with the stability/mechanical robustness of the system.
But again, well done to the author of this project.

Re:More originality required (2)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480379)

You talk about DSPs then booting off floppies? Why not just program a boot rom or have a solid state IDE device?

Nice.. (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480237)

Installing motherboards in a custom box is easy-easy. Making your own power supply is difficult. In high school electronics, we built computers all the time. Powersupplies were out of the questions. If someone makes their own motherboard/processor/graphics card, it'd be great.

Re:Nice.. (1)

Styrofoam Insert (531829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480450)

Power supplies are among the easiest projects in both hobby and professional electronics. It helps to know what components are available to make your life a hell of a lot easier, like rectifiers and regulators. Many cost next to nothing but are often never used in PC power supplies, to save every last cent. Nobody should EVER use a PC power supply as a reference for building their own. With a decent electronics book (perhaps the ARRL Amateur Radio Handbook for starters), an afternoon of experimenting, a halfway decent multimeter and a few trips to Radio Shack you can make a quality power supply for just about anything. And it's not all that difficult.

Doing something similar with wood (1)

Leif_Bloomquist (311286) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480244)

I occasionally do "live" music improvisation with Fruity Loops [] and other packages.

I'm too cheap to use a laptop like many other electronic musicians, so I'm building a case out of wood. The original case is too much of a pain to carry, so I just used a plain motherboard on a board [] last time.

Now I'm making a proper case, out of wood, to be painted black. This plexiglass project looks really sweet, though!

Why wood? Where do mere mortals get Plexiglass and the tools to cut/shape it anyway?

When I finish my box, I'll post pictures and submit it - this story was accepted, right? :)

Re:Doing something similar with wood (OT) (1)

WhyCause (179039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480347)

Just an FYI

Plexi is very easy to work with. It is probably easier to cut than wood, and it will hold a thread, so you can actually bolt everything together. They also sell an adhesive that is specifically made to bond plexi, and boy does it bond. All very easy to use, and relatively inexpensive.

Thin plexi, the adhesive, and tap kits (for putting a thread into a hole) are available at Home Depot (and I presume the like). Thicker plexi is available at plastics distributors, just look in the yellow pages under 'Plastics'

Plexiglass (2, Interesting)

Foxxz (106642) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480263)

I made a plexiglass case too once. but when the computer was near a strong frequency source (radio station or cell phone tower) it would repeatedly reboot. watch out! a grounded metal screen (like qire window screen) wrapped around the outside of the case might help if you find yourself having these problems


video out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480289)

Does anyone know if the video out connector on this works with Linux?

network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480303)

All he needs now is some wireless networking so

he can move files to the disk without taking it out of the car...

This has already been done (0)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480308)

zootjeff hasn't done anything new and I don't see what all the talk is about. I think he just wanted to post it on slashdot because either he hasn't really done his homework, or he wants recognition for something many others have done for months and years. See and visit the message board as well as the example pages. I already have my own at:

Re:This has already been done (0)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480340)

After looking at zootjeff's power supply, it looks like he ripped off one of the power supply designs that was designed on the message board also. zootjeff hasn't done anything original. Many people on also use plexiglass cases. His story should not have been posted.

what about static elec and rf noise? (2)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480316)

Does plexiglas have alot of static? Would need to be careful not to fry components. tend to create alot of nasty electronic a plexi case there would be little shielding from this noise (or shielding of the noise generated by the computer) which can cause all sorts of problems.

And I thought cell-phone drivers were bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480335)

Now we've got people programming their computers while they drive. Ug.

Has anyone actually run the CAR on a PC? (2)

swordboy (472941) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480364)

Has anyone actually put together a PC that will control fuel injection, ignition and/or ABS/traction control or what not? PCs are so cheap these days that it would be very cost effective to put together a real time Linux (perhaps BIOS-based?) box with a bunch of RAM for data logging... There would be extra CPU cycles for playing MP3s and what not as well. Hell, maybe hook up a GPS sensor and record mileage. While that GPS sensor is in there, you could interface with suspension components and plot pot holes for people. ABS goes off? Why not create a system that would find redundant ABS occurances and warn drivers of slippery road conditions? Air bag? Call the ambulance!

I'm sorry... Have I wandered?

I know I'm going to get moded down for this but... (-1)

Clint Trollwood (528787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480376)

There are some spinny wheely things built into the dash board that usually show mileage.

You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480464)

"I hope I get modded down for this, but..."

And the 'spinny wheely thing' is called an odometer.

Re:You mean... (-1)

Clint Trollwood (528787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480480)

Thanks Einstein. I didn't know that.

Re:Has anyone actually run the CAR on a PC? (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480474)

Easy reason why not: a car is real-time, a PC OS is not. Use an appliance - a tiny ASIC with some RAM, for critical never-can-break sort of things, and a PC for PC things. Imagine what would happen if your DIMM popped out due to road vibrations.

Re:Has anyone actually run the CAR on a PC? (3, Informative)

zulux (112259) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480505)

Looking at the specs on my 1992 GM car - there is an onboard computer that controls the ignition timing - basically the timing is done by an almost analog circuit with the computer telling the circuit add or remove fuel from the mixture. Given how fast a piston moves in and out of the optimum range for firing the spark, it would be rather difficult to get a general computer and operating system to reliably send the signal to spark. There is a data bus that is available on most GM cars that will tell you all sorts of information - RPM, Fuel Mix Ratio, Governor speed and wheel speed etc. I'd rather have a computer that monitored the bus than have one that tried to replace the computers and circuits already in existence.

Re:Has anyone actually run the CAR on a PC? (2)

ryanwright (450832) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480572)

Has anyone actually put together a PC that will control fuel injection, ignition and/or ABS/traction control or what not?

Am I the only one who doesn't find the idea of booting your car up sort of, well, to put it nicely... completely fucking INSANE?! Can you imagine having to wait 20 minutes for Linux to fsck your disk before being allowed to drive your car?! Can you imagine having to stop processes before it will turn off?!! Can you imagine what happens when the 12 year old in the car next to you roots your car?!?!!? Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these?!?!?!?!

.. Sorry, I got a little carried away there...

How to connect an AT motherboard on your car. Easy (1)

DrD8m (307736) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480396)

This is a very easy way, that simply works can be found here []
Try at your own risk :]

...but smaller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2480407)

If you just add a GeForce3 in the one slot you'll have a clear xBox, but smaller and better.

All you in car computer are belong to MS (1)

chrisatslashdot (221127) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480426)

MS holds this patent []

X10 alternatives? (2)

British (51765) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480434)

Any alternative products to that X-10 remote? I don't want to contribute any money to them knowing it will just fund more of those annoying pop-up ads.

12V? Still need an invertor... sigh (1)

ehud42 (314607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480437)

Ever since I first cracked open my ][e in the 80's, I thought about powering a computer off the 12V supply in a car. With the proliferation of laptops I thought for sure someone would make a simple adapter to connect the computer direct to the cigarette lighter. But no. That was not to be.

I realize that some form of adapter is required. Computers require +/- 5V, 3.3V, 12V, and possibly other voltages as well. And the power supply has to be clean - Windows has a hard enough time being stable without the hardware getting fried by sparkplug noise.

My problem, is why do I have to spend money on a invertor that creates heat (and hence wastes battery life), consumes space and whose only function is to convert low voltage into high voltage only to have another converter (the power supply) create more heat (read waste electricity) change it back? I would love to see a power supplies for laptops (at least) and even motherboards in general that run off a noisy 12V line. 120AC -> 12V DC convertors are everywhere and don't cost _nearly_ as much as 12V DC -> 120 VAC invertors.

I'm just asking that the world make sense! Is that too much?

Re:12V? Still need an invertor... sigh (1)

Styrofoam Insert (531829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480503)

Buy a basic electronics book. I'd suggest the ARRL Handbook, but there's tons of others. Or search the ARRL's website ( for power supply projects. All the components you need to build such a power supply can be had at Radio Shack. With a little patience, a multimeter, and the right source of information ANYONE can build such a power supply.

Nice hack (2)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480471)

But man, have you ever got to lose the Def Leppard [] !


foil? (1)

Dizzo (443720) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480511)

The case looks cool...but I'm sure he can find something better than aluminium foil to go around the lcd screen (maybe find a way to mount it in the dash)

Pirate? (2)

blang (450736) | more than 12 years ago | (#2480583)

Around the middle of the article he mentions why he chose windows, and at the bottom he lists what the system costs, but said nothing about Windows licence.

Wondering what the thiefs that stole his first stereo were thinking though, and how good they were at writing bat files?
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