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Discussion Starter #1
I was trying to mull over some ideas for an inexpensive car PC. Xbox came to mind as they're only $149. The required mod-chip would run $35-$50... and an in-dash screen would be around $200.

The idea was to be able to play MP3s and DVDs, as well as have GPS capability. I've already got a USB GPS receiver and a couple different mapping packages (not sure which one I like best yet..) The whole thing would have to run in Windows, unless someone else knows of good mapping software available for linux?

The process would be to
1.) mod-chip the box
2.) load linux
3.) load vmware
4.) load a windows distro (probably 2k or xp)

I realize that's a lot of overhead, procesor-wise but I think the xbox has just enough juice to be able to run the applications I would want to put on it.

Ideas? Feedback? Also, where could I store the beast? Would one fit under the driver's side seat?
 

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Never heard of anyone doing it but it sounds like a really good idea to me. I think you should try it! I imagine there is enough room to store it under the seat but I have never tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rancid said:
not sure about GPS, but its a great idea for MP3's aand DVDs. Actaully, its a perfect idea...hmmm. I wonder where my next paycheck might go...
If all you want to do is play MP3s and DVDs, then just modding the xbox and throwing the xbox media center on it would do the trick.

Because I want to have GPS as well, I was considering going through the much longer process of trying to get windows on there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
mike270 said:
Never heard of anyone doing it but it sounds like a really good idea to me. I think you should try it! I imagine there is enough room to store it under the seat but I have never tried.
Does anyone on here have one who could do a fitment test for me? (Please?) Just see if it slides underneath the driver's seat (from the backside I would assume)
 

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My PS2 fits under the passenger seat with probably three inches on each side, I am not too sure of the dimentions of the XBOX, but this sounds like a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Judah said:
My PS2 fits under the passenger seat with probably three inches on each side, I am not too sure of the dimentions of the XBOX, but this sounds like a good idea.
The xbox dimensions are:
12.5 x 4 x 10.5 in. (w/h/d).

The dimensions under the seat are roughly:
16 x 6 x 14 (w/h/d)

So it looks like it would fit...

There may soon be an xbox in my future.

Anyone else have any ideas or feedback?
 

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I bought a cheap laptop off of Ebay. On it I have MS Mappoint, all my MP3s, a Nintendo emulator, SNES emulator, and a N64 emulator, DVD player. If I bought a GPS antenna, I could use GPS with Mappoint. I can also use it to dump pictures from my digital camera. 12" screen.

May be a better option.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
wrxinthehouse said:
I bought a cheap laptop off of Ebay. On it I have MS Mappoint, all my MP3s, a Nintendo emulator, SNES emulator, and a N64 emulator, DVD player. If I bought a GPS antenna, I could use GPS with Mappoint. I can also use it to dump pictures from my digital camera. 12" screen.

May be a better option.
I actually did consider using a laptop... but I encountered a few problems.

1.) I would want to stow the laptop under the driver's seat and send the video output to a display where the stereo is. In which case, I would need an in-dash screen that supported VGA, they exist but they're more expensive than a screen that takes standard A/V plugs.

2.) A used laptop with enough processing power to do what I want would probably cost more than simply building a desktop PC (in a custom case). Hence where the xbox thought came from. (why build a small PC when MS already did?)

3.) The added advantage being that passengers could play xbox games on road trips. :D

Just out of curiosity, what kind of laptop did you end up with and how much was it?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rancid said:
How would you tap power?
I have a DC -> AC converter that I would use. I would probably plug it into the cigarette lighter. Or if I wanted an invisible solution I could probably also strip the wires and tap directly into a +12V connection somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
svc said:
You might check with "F1ce", he had a pretty sweet custom PC built under his seat. Where is that kid anyway? :confused:
He was the whole inspiration for this project... bastard.
 

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Sylan said:
I could probably also strip the wires and tap directly into a +12V connection somewhere.
The power wire going into the cig lighter is 12v. I now have 9 things tapped off of it, so there's no shortage of juice there :eek3:
 

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mike270 said:
What are you running off the cig lighter?????:eek: :eek:
5 gauges
Passport 8500
Washer pump for intercooler sprayer
LED for the spray button
Turbo timer
2 other unmentionables that you'll all see at the next meet

:cool:

crap, that's 11 things :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
svc said:
5 gauges
Passport 8500
Washer pump for intercooler sprayer
LED for the spray button
Turbo timer
2 other unmentionables that you'll all see at the next meet

:cool:

crap, that's 11 things :eek:
Please tell me you didn't vampire clip all that stuff? :eek:
 

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Sylan said:
Please tell me you didn't vampire clip all that stuff? :eek:
I would tell you that, but it would be a lie. I think I only have 3 clips coming off the cig lighter wire, the rest are vampired off of those...but, FWIW, they're all clipped off the same power source.

It works fine, not even a blown fuse...
 

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...you know what will make you :eek: even more...they were out of red and black wire when I did most of the work, so I've got orange/yellow/white and green, allllll mixed up, power, grounds...it's a nightmare. I even butt spliced some orange into red just to add to the excitement a little. :)

It's nice knowing you're never going back to stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
svc said:
I would tell you that, but it would be a lie. I think I only have 3 clips coming off the cig lighter wire, the rest are vampired off of those...but, FWIW, they're all clipped off the same power source.

It works fine, not even a blown fuse...
That has to be one hellvua mess in there... I only had three things vampired off of my clock, and it looked awful. I tore it all out and redid it...umm... in an interesting way. Basically I've got it set up so that I can easily attach and detach items from the power and ground without damaging wires. Damned thing took me all day to get it right too... (when the current solution I'm using now took me all of 10 minutes...)
 
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