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'03 STS (RIP), '89 Eldorado, '13 Malibu, '89 Grand Wagoneer
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Discussion Starter #1
Okay... I've seen a few different people on here asking questions about it and saying that they want to do it, but it seems to be mostly talk and no show.

So, has anyone actually installed one into their Caddy successfully?

Did you install a touch screen or some other input device or both?

Where did you mount the display?

Did you have a base unit or a Bose one?

Did you remove your stock unit or leave it in there?

Is there a way to just have it tied in as an alternative source/What did you use to tie the computer into your sound system?

What inverter did you buy?

What other specific problems did you run into along the way?


I have an older Powerbook that doesn't get used regularly anymore and it would be great to have my entire music collection with me at all times, not to mention the versatility of a full fledged computer. It could easily be installed under the seat or even in the glovebox. I also have an iShark AM/FM tuner. It also has an airport card so I can sync my music, movies, and software updates from my driveway. I realize that I'm getting ahead of myself but I would also love to utilize the Caddy's GPS system for real time navigation. I know it's been done, has anyone here done it?

I think I would prefer to keep the head unit in place and mount the display down where the ashtray is.

I know this is all fairly ambitious but I'm not really into modding my cars and this would probably be the only big thing I would do to her.
 

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'03 STS (RIP), '89 Eldorado, '13 Malibu, '89 Grand Wagoneer
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Discussion Starter #3
Ummm... thanks for the link, but that doesn't really help me too much. I'm not looking for a commercial carputer for two reasons - they are completely overpriced and the usually only run windows or some flavor of *nix. I work with Windows all day long but only as a necessary evil so when I go home or get in my car I only want a Mac. I've got my old Powerbook that I want to use disassembled in a custom enclosure and ready to go.

I guess my main question is how to tie the computer's audio into the car's sound system?

As well as where other's have installed their monitor. I don't have an ashtray or cig lighter so I'm thinking of mounting a 7" touchscreen down below the hvac controls.

I'm just wondering if anyone on here has actually done this and if so do they have any tips or pics of the installation.

Thanks anyway.
 

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The Last Good Gremlin
06 XLR-V and 96 Eldorado ESC-V -- One day ;)
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2,654 Posts
O.K. been doing this a long time and I know of at least 2 CTS's with stealth installs that are members here. I've owned Eldorados since 98 and installed the CarPC the first week I had it. Been using tablets in cars since 1987. Current capabilities include GPS voice turn by turn directions, MP3s, FM, TV, XM, Internet radio, CD, DVD, Video, phone, current weather, weather radar, backup and front cameras, traffic info, GPS tracking via internet, scribble pad, speed variable volume, Outlook integration, picture viewers, SBC phonebooks, rip and or burn CDs and DVDs, games galore, Internet browser, GPS based gas price finder, GPS based weather forecast, GPS based movie shedules, GPS based traffic maps and text, highway trafficcam viewer, interactive road atlas, MP3 recorder for FM, XM, and Internet radio, and OrbCast DVR reciever.
Quick summary of my system:
I use a TabletPC with a minidock cause I use the same computer in all three of my cars (each has a minidock.) My tablet has a touchscreen, but I also replaced all my shifters with joysticks which gives me up to 176 programmable functions/switch combinations for controlling the computer and accessories.) The display is mounted in front of the radio since its no longer needed except to feed PC sound to car speakers. The mounting bracket is actually just wedged between the woodgrain and the top of the center console which holds the docked tablet tightly against the upper dash pad - quite secure. I've used several methods for sound output from FM modulation to cassette adapter to Aux-in devices and prefer the Aux-in. Nice thing about tablets and notebooks is you can use an OEM car inverter for power (I just cut the cig lighter end off and wired it directly to the fusebox.) See my other write-ups and pics on MP3Car here, here, and here. Pics are here

Problems, depends on how you approach the hobby. I currently have 3 tablets - one is for software development, one is for daylight in the convertibles, and one for anytime. I do my experimentation on the dev machine and when stable migrate updates to the others. I personally will never be done, there's always some new peripheral, software, function, or accessory to add to the existing system. I'm currently switching to a more powerful tablet and incorporating analog and digital switching (control any switch in the car from the PC like windows, sunroof, AC, etc.)

A basic GPS and MP3 player is easy, video and flashplayer stuff is much more taxing on the CPU and the more stuff running at the same time uses up memory fast. There's a lot more stuff available for Windows than Macs, but there are many users of Macs too on MP3Car.Com. I recommend joining there and start with th FAQ section, Mac section, then search for specific topics - there's a wealth of info already there. Good luck.
 

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Premium Member
2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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28,973 Posts
Check your local laws and save yourself some grief. Carputers and similar devices are becoming illegal in more and more jurisdictions as idiots driving cars and distracted by computers run into things and kill people.
 

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The Last Good Gremlin
06 XLR-V and 96 Eldorado ESC-V -- One day ;)
Joined
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2,654 Posts
Check your local laws and save yourself some grief. Carputers and similar devices are becoming illegal in more and more jurisdictions as idiots driving cars and distracted by computers run into things and kill people.
Actually, to the average joe this may seem the case. Especially, for the teenagers and young drivers those laws are targeting (idiots with 5, 6,8,...,19, etc. screens in their vehicles all hooked to an in-dash DVD player.) I feel the same way about those "kids" as do the lawmakers, however, I have a copy of the Illinois and Missouri laws resident on the desktop of my CarPC in case I run into another ignorant cop. Because of how I use my CarPC, what its hooked up to, and what safety features are installed - I meet four of the six exceptions to the law and am therefore totally legal in both states even with my 10 inch screen on my dash.

Its unfortunate that I have to take it upon myself to educate my local police. On two separate occasions in two different cities, I have been stopped for no other reason than the cop saw my screen was on. One had the nerve to tell me I had to remove the screen right then and there! I told him no and asked him what law I would be cited under... you guessed it, while he figured out what law, I pulled it up on my screen and commenced to explain to him why I was legal. I even played a video and put it in gear which immediately switched the screen back to MP3 music in accordance with another law on the books. The other officer somehow knew me and just stopped me to ask questions about the CarPC and make sure I wasn't watching videos while driving. :tisk: The CarPC has actually gotten me out of a couple speeding tickets in other states where the highway patrolman was so enamored with the PC's capabilities they just told me to slow down and let me go (One sat in my car for 20 minutes playing with it, instead of the other way around.) :bouncy:

Lastly, the laws can't be too stringent since the major automaker are looking to mainstream the same type PC integration, i.e., Volkswagen and I believe GM have both announced CarPCs as an option for 2009. Several CarPC manufacturers are in negotiations with some auto industry tech divisions in an effort to broaden the scope of mobile PC use. Hell, even Microsoft is working on automotive operating system and apps.
 

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Premium Member
2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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28,973 Posts
The classic case was the NBA player that was driving down the street watching porn and masturbating as he hit a row of parked cars.
 

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The Last Good Gremlin
06 XLR-V and 96 Eldorado ESC-V -- One day ;)
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2,654 Posts
The classic case was the NBA player that was driving down the street watching porn and masturbating as he hit a row of parked cars.
But that wasn't a CarPC, just another, as stated above, "dummy with a DVD player!"
 

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1998 Cadillac Deville Sedan
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897 Posts
The only thing keeping me from installing a PC in my car is I don't know how it'll react to extremely cold/hot weather, dust, moisture and other no-so-pleasant situations, and how long it can last. If you look at most electronics there are minimum/maximum operating temperature and the weather in Wisconsin can be way out of the range.

You want to use solid-state hard drives so you don't have to worry about moving parts, look for mini-itx and smaller motherboards so it can be tucked away. There are motor-driven popup LCD touch screens in single DIN fashion that has USB and VGA inputs, and the sound card can be external for better routing of wires. The case should be shielded from RF to avoid interference and you can use wireless keyboard and mouse. Add MS Street and an USB GPS receiver for navigation and a slim laptop DVD/RW drive to burn data on the go. Run Linux or somehow obtain a copy of Windows XP Pro, Vista isn't efficient for mobile, low power-consumption use.

I know how to build a carputer and a full-function one can be built for less than $700, or much less even.
 

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'03 STS (RIP), '89 Eldorado, '13 Malibu, '89 Grand Wagoneer
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Discussion Starter #11
The only thing keeping me from installing a PC in my car is I don't know how it'll react to extremely cold/hot weather, dust, moisture and other no-so-pleasant situations, and how long it can last. If you look at most electronics there are minimum/maximum operating temperature and the weather in Wisconsin can be way out of the range.

You want to use solid-state hard drives so you don't have to worry about moving parts, look for mini-itx and smaller motherboards so it can be tucked away. There are motor-driven popup LCD touch screens in single DIN fashion that has USB and VGA inputs, and the sound card can be external for better routing of wires. The case should be shielded from RF to avoid interference and you can use wireless keyboard and mouse. Add MS Street and an USB GPS receiver for navigation and a slim laptop DVD/RW drive to burn data on the go. Run Linux or somehow obtain a copy of Windows XP Pro, Vista isn't efficient for mobile, low power-consumption use.

I know how to build a carputer and a full-function one can be built for less than $700, or much less even.
I already have a machine I would use. It's an older G3 PowerBook which I've had running on an 8GB flash card. I would of course keep the hard drive in it for storage as even a stripped down install of OS X takes up a good 3GB. It would serve it's purpose better than most other machines and it would be pointless and wasteful to buy or build a separate machine.

Sorry, no Windows... I troubleshoot that stuff enough while I'm at work so I'm certainly not going to subject myself to it in my "sanctuary."

I would want a mounted, stationary screen, none of those hide-a-way jobbies. Laws aren't going to be a problem around here.

The Seville is large enough that I have a couple different places to stow the machine. I've decided to remove the display from the machine for several reasons. I've also decided on a 7" touchscreen mounted below the HVAC controls.

I should have been a little clearer on my original post as to not sound like some computer-illiter-idiot, since I do that stuff for a living. I really just wanted to know what inverters different people used and how did they tie in to their stock sound system.
 

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The Last Good Gremlin
06 XLR-V and 96 Eldorado ESC-V -- One day ;)
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2,654 Posts
GO GIZMO...
That's my GIZMO...

What's up man, Haven't heard from you in a while, Hows the biz?
This summer's been slow, so little traveling, too. Had two of our cars in the DUB Show last weekend, so the company is getting some face time. My car broke a tranny solenoid so its been down since I got back from New Orleans last month, but I did get my V emblems!

Lots more work to do still on the ESC-V, but the new Car computer is in and it looks and runs great. Now I'm searching for Dubs, big brakes, and a PCM retune while I create my wing and ground effects.
 

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Installed in my car is a AMD AthlonXP 2800 w/512mb RAM, 40gig HD, and an ATI 9600 SE.

It's powered by an inverter for now, but I have an OPUS 320watt on it's way.

Lilliput 7" touch screen monitor is in the dash where the radio was (the head unit has been removed).

I use the GS06 or whatever it's called that I found recommended all the time on this site to connect my PC to the stock amplifiers.

The system is not finished. Right now I have the PC in an old case in the trunk, but it's not even secure, kinda moves around a bit. I need to build an enclosure. Also I have found someone who is going to finish the dash off for me as no one has made a dash kit, so the monitor has some spaces around it. He's going to fiberglass the liliput in permanently.

For a front end I use Road Runner and for GPS I use Iguidance.

I'll post pictures later.
 

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Okay... I've seen a few different people on here asking questions about it and saying that they want to do it, but it seems to be mostly talk and no show.

So, has anyone actually installed one into their Caddy successfully?

Yes

Did you install a touch screen or some other input device or both?

Touch Screen, and I also use a keyboard/touchpad combo

Where did you mount the display?

Where the stock head unit was

Did you have a base unit or a Bose one?

Bose

Did you remove your stock unit or leave it in there?

Removed

Is there a way to just have it tied in as an alternative source/What did you use to tie the computer into your sound system?

I replaced the source with the PC. GM+06 or whatever it's called.

What inverter did you buy?

Autozone special. cheap 400watt. but I recommend the Opus 320watt for auto turn on - shutdown

What other specific problems did you run into along the way?

I must ground the monitor properly, and the inverter, and the PC Case I'm using. I have alternator wine that I can hear if no music is on.

I have an older Powerbook that doesn't get used regularly anymore and it would be great to have my entire music collection with me at all times, not to mention the versatility of a full fledged computer. It could easily be installed under the seat or even in the glovebox. I also have an iShark AM/FM tuner. It also has an airport card so I can sync my music, movies, and software updates from my driveway. I realize that I'm getting ahead of myself but I would also love to utilize the Caddy's GPS system for real time navigation. I know it's been done, has anyone here done it?

I think I would prefer to keep the head unit in place and mount the display down where the ashtray is.

I know this is all fairly ambitious but I'm not really into modding my cars and this would probably be the only big thing I would do to her.
I really suggest you use a PC. Road Runner is just plain the best front end for a carPC, and I don't think it's available for the MAC.
 

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The Last Good Gremlin
06 XLR-V and 96 Eldorado ESC-V -- One day ;)
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2,654 Posts
:whs: :2thumbs: :yeah: I use RoadRunner, too, ever since Guino started it. Using DigitalFX and Freedoom Ultimate skins. My new tablet install can be seen in the 2008 Calander Submission thread.
 
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