Via EPIA Car PC

Discussion in 'Other CPUs and chipsets' started by Z3PHER, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Z3PHER

    Z3PHER Member

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    I've got my hand on a 300MHz EPIA CPU/Mobo combination that i'm planning on setting up as a car pc.

    Wondering if anyone has any experiance with these boards and possibly what operating system would be the go. I'm looking at using a stripped down xp with a vb interface to the the media / gps.

    I'll keep yas posted.
     
  2. stmok

    stmok Member

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    Depends. Is it an EPIA? Or some other embedded board?

    Some people use Windows, others use Linux.

    Search for something like Car PC EPIA.

    Research with examples of others; How they rigged it up (Power-wise)? What hardware they used? etc. Then modify the idea for your own needs.

    For storage, I wouldn't bother with Hard disks. (Has moving parts, not suitable for an environment where heat and vibration are the norm).

    If I were to do a project like this, I would lean to Linux on a Compact Flash Card (with IDE adapter) OR Disk-On-Module (DOM). It'll boot up via that medium. (Load all the front-end, features, etc to RAM).

    I then make it so that if I wanted to play MP3s, etc, have it load from USB flash key/drive/whatever you call those things. That way, you can customise your songs on PC, and simply plug it into your car PC.

    Of course, Linux is much more fiddly than Windows is, but offers more flexibility when it comes to projects like these.

    There's a e-book on P2P networks called Car PC Hacks, I think that will give you some more ideas and such.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2006
  3. OP
    OP
    Z3PHER

    Z3PHER Member

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    cheers :)
     
  4. Talisman

    Talisman Member

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    Out of interest,

    is that epia passively cooled? Depending on where you mount it inside you car, you may want to put it through a few precautionary tests prior to installation: I usually put the gear inside a box, introducing fairly warm air (ambient temp of box around 50celcius) - and see if it copes.

    As one of the other lads suggested- no moving parts would be great, but seeing as though CD's play in car units fine, perhaps you'd like to also install a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM into a easy to get location, to feed your beast the music it will play..

    Alternatively, you can go all out and install a 802b/g wireless connection.. park your car nearish to your place and upload songs.. not too difficult at all. You can VPN to the unit too and make any adjustments you need to.

    //hakes
     
  5. chewbucca

    chewbucca Member

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    Ive got an EPIA M10000 motherboard that I bought off of Ebay 6 months ago, Also got an electrical box to put it in aswell as a laptop dvd drive.

    I havent got around to much else other than dreaming about my setup, got a few financial restrictions atm but I will be looking to finish this project off by the end of year.

    Some pics for your amusement:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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  6. wombo

    wombo Member

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    Be sure to remember yours is very low powered and will not play any media very well.
     
  7. chewbucca

    chewbucca Member

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    Who's?

    low powered issues can be addressed.
     
  8. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    I assume you're referring wombo to the original poster, with it's 300Mhz VIA EPIA motherboard - think it's a typo as VIA only released 500Mhz and up speeds with their EPIA range.

    That said, a 500Mhz CPU is enough to run all audio types - OGG, MP3, etc without hassles, but will not be able to handle video playback.

    JB
     
  9. SirNemesis

    SirNemesis Member

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    Yer that 300mhz box wont play much at all.

    I use a Via EPIA SP-13000 1.3ghz board in my car and its been great.

    This gives me Divx/dvd/mp3 playback, also Dolby Digital Live 5.1 through optical out into an Alpine processor. All this uses about 95% cpu of the 1.3ghz machine.

    Good to see more people getting into the carpc thing though :)
     
  10. wombo

    wombo Member

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    Yeah ive got the same board im pretty happy with it
     
  11. King_Geek

    King_Geek Member

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    Were did you get the PSU for 12V???
     
  12. SirNemesis

    SirNemesis Member

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    M1-ATX is one available. Google it. Morex also make a range of 12v PSUs (I'm using the 80w version).

    There are many available. www.mp3car.com will have some other options.
     
  13. wetherbee

    wetherbee Member

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    i would probably run damn small linux off a usb flash drive, consumes less power and just as fast as a regular hard drive
    you may be able to get yourself a copy of windows embedded from somewhere but ive never seen it for sale
     
  14. yujen

    yujen Member

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    Thats becuase you need to first purchase the image generation toolkit (Target Designer) which costs around the 1500 mark, then buy image runtime license which is around the 140 mark.

    Then fiddle around with making all your drivers into components and software into components so you can add it into your image, then finally generate the image with the appropriate runtime license serial number.

    All in all, not really worth the cost/effort unless you're doing it for a commercial purposes. There is no XP Embedded installer where you just point and click and install and voila! XP Embedded. The closest thing would be the new WEPOS (Windows Embedded for Point of Service) which is based on XP Embedded and does come with a very simple GUI installer, runtime image of around 550mb which does allow you to install standard drivers built for XP Pro, also around the 140 mark. Has WMP9 as well as well as IIS and of course IE, if you want XP with the crap this is it. I've successfully installed Oo_O, Firefox, MS Office 2003, etc on the system without encountering problems or incompatibility.... @ 140 its cheaper than standard XP Pro.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2006
  15. chewbucca

    chewbucca Member

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    im a bit short of $ at the moment so if anyone wants to buy my M10000 mobo, let me know. see pics above.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Z3PHER

    Z3PHER Member

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    Man i need to get on OCAU more often lol.

    Interesting, system spec's tells me 300MHz, umm :S damn i was hoping i'd be able to scrape divx playback out of it.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Z3PHER

    Z3PHER Member

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    eBay is a wonderful place. Its a good PSU.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Z3PHER

    Z3PHER Member

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    Hmm what type of enclosure and hdd did you use? And how much did the board set u back?
     
  19. Doogs2590

    Doogs2590 Member

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    sorry to jump in here but hope this answers your questions. quite a few people are just using mini itx cases or custom stuff and although laptop hdd are recommended alot of people are having success with vertically mounted 3.5" hdds. Auspcmarket also sell boards as well as them popping up regularly on ebay.

    definately check out mp3car.com there is so much information on there its ridiculous, i was originally looking at doing the same thing but have decided instead to mod my xbox and remove the optical drive and run it from something like the m1 psu in my car .
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2006
  20. OP
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    Z3PHER

    Z3PHER Member

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    thanks heaps :) i can't wait to get this baby runnning :D.
     

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