Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Touch Screen: Options!

I think this is the area where I have the most options.  I haven't set a budget on my project (bad idea) but for the most part the cost variation is minimal except for screens and amplifiers.  The screen in a car PC is basically fundamental.  It acts not only as the display to your computer, but also as the interface.  Here are my requirements for a screen.

  • Can be fitted in my double din dash opening
  • 1024x768 resolution
  • usable in sunlight

Given these requirements, the options may not be so many.  Here are some popular choices I've come across.

Double DIN Lilliput 629 Touch Screen Monitor

Double DIN Lilliput EBY-701 Touch Screen Monitor

Both screens have a double DIN housing, and LED backlight for greater range of brightness.  Both support resolution up to 1024x768.  The 629 seems to be a little bit brighter.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Power Supply: M2-ATX

Powering a computer that is intended to run off your 12V battery in your car requires a different type of power supply than the one you would use in your home computer. Computers use DC power and home computers use an AC-DC power supply to convert from your AC home outlets. Since your car uses DC power already, no need to convert. So for a car PC you need a DC-DC power supply. Since this is a very specialized computer that doesn't have the same power requirements as your home pc, you don't need as much power to run it.
After reviewing the various options out there for DC-DC power supplies, it looks like the M2-ATX is a good choice for my project.

  • NEW 160 watts output
  • Ideal car Power supply for operating low power P4, P4-M, Celeron, AMD systems
  • ATX, 6-24V wide input range (not for boats) see m2-atxHVand technical reasons.
  • Intelligent shutdown controller
  • ON/OFF motherboard control
  • Survives vehicle engine cranks
  • Battery deep discharge prevention
  • High efficiency, 160 watts output
  • "Anti-Thump" Amplifier remote control
  • 15A automotive fuse (mini-blade)
  • VIA, P4 and AMD CPU support