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Carputer installation in My Explorer

Niklas L

New Member
July 9, 2012
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Year, Model & Trim Level
Ford Explorer 1995
I have done a lot of reading here and have find a lot of answers and inspiration.
The car i build in is an Explorer -95
I'm from Sweden so My English is not the best.
Here are information about the computer and installation.
Motherboard: Intel D2700MUD Atom Mini-ITX
Power: 12V 150W 8V-28V Mini-ITX M2
Memory: 4GB (2x2GB) PC3-8500 1066MHz SODIMM
Hard-drive: Sunspeed 2.5" SATAII MLC SSD 16G And segate 250 GB
Wifi/bluetooth: Intel 3220
Soundcard: m-audio 44
keyboard: ??
Monitor:1 lilleputt toutch in front and 2 AOC 15" in back
software: win7, XBMC and much more.

Audio: Kicker amps, sub ? JBL front system

I have also installed a back camera and à with a screen and are almost done with installing a Tomtom gps in the roof.
Oo i almost forgot the security, i have à second alarm system which detects changes in the current consumption and it follows the on and off with the original alarm.

Pictures is coming.

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Some pics from installation


bild (2).jpg

bild (3).jpg

bild (4).jpg

I'm curious about something. Underneath your seat, just below the carputer is a small box that says "Delta" on it. What is that for?

Do you have any pictures of the dash install with the monitor?

I use a keyboard like this for portable computers and home media pc.

Logitech diNovo Mini Black 63 Normal Keys Bluetooth Wireless Mini Keyboard


I was originally going to use a Samsung Q1 for my carputer years ago. For many reasons it's not good to use for that. And the hardest for me that I ran into was mounting it they way I wanted.

Now in this day and time I'm going to use a clean looking Android tablet. Maybe a Kindle Fire hacked with a full version of Android 4.0 ICS. Or probably a newer version of Android by the time I get around to it.

I have thought of something similar but there are not enough supplies, I will remove the head unit and just use the computer, then it is a real computer better, more and better options, the second reason for a real computer is that I think it is fun, even though I work with high security installations, I think it's fun to do almost the same thing at night as I do at work, I have probably the best job :)

That was my original view about an Android tablet. But after looking for what I wanted I haven't really found anything a android can't do that a PC can.

It is fortunate that we are all different, otherwise it would just be
Bill Gates who makes money :)

This is what i saw as a problem
The soundcards is not usually the best.#
Not as easily with multiple screens.
Relay board to control some fun features, is there?#
Used as a handsfree to the IPhone.#
The list goes on of programs and toys that are better and more developed to a PC.

Soundcards aren't going to be as high end like some you can get for a PC. They actually have 5.1 decoding a lot of them. I wasn't going to build a "killer" system. But most people aren't going to be able to tell a difference. And you'd probably have to get a sound gauge in there to really tell a difference. I have an external equalizer also that will manage sound routing and control.
I wasn't going to use multiple screens so I didn't consider that. But actually a future expansion could be back headrest screens. So maybe I should consider it.

What do you mean by relay board?

I'm pretty sure you can use an iPhone hands free with it. I haven't tried it though, and have no way to try it.

One thing I don't like about using a PC it's not instant on, and still delayed even from standby. Also Windows tends to be finicky with standby with a lot of computers. Also there would be times you would have to hook up a keyboard or mouse. Like if something crashed. But Android is designed from the ground up to be touch.
The way I was going to setup the PC to work was, I would have it set to go into standby after 1 min. after the ignition is turned off. And I wanted it to automatically come out of standby when the ignition is turned back on and external power is supplied. (keep in mind whatever PC I was going to use would have a battery) But it is actually a big challenge to make a PC power up when external power is supplied. At least without a startup/shutdown controller and junk. I think I finally found a way to do it with just the PC but didn't try it. That is all built in to tablets. The touch screens tend to be finicky and sometimes unreliable. There are just so many components with a PC, a lot of which can be finicky or just slow stuff down and not like an instant on system.

With the tablet I can add a USB hub like a PC so I can have more than one USB port. I was going to use a large thumbdrive for extra storage, or more than one. I can play movies and music of course. I can hook up controllers to play games on emulators or whatever. I can hook up a bluetooth OBD2 dongle and program to display engine functions, like a PC. I can do hands free. Hook up GPS and map software to it. It's easier to integrate to make it look factory. After really thinking about it, and planning it and researching it for years it just seems a lot more efficient. And cheaper.

A minimal installation of Windows CE wakes up pretty darn quick FWIW, especially off an SSD. Plus, you could just load android on the PC (it ports), or run bluestacks on top of the windows installation for even more options. If you really want to get cheap, a carputer doesn't really need a lot of power... I mean, his installation is pretty dang powerful. 2.13ghz dual core with 4 gb of 1066mhz memory, he should have no problem streaming full HD audio and video.... You can do more than most car stereos with a single core 800mhz processor and a gig of ram. That said, you can get his MOBO for 80 bucks, and it does have that atom processor already installed.

I too have been considering going the carputer route, but I haven't bit the bullet yet... I guess it is one of those things that I have never done enough research on. It seems that it can be done for relatively low costs, especially considering I don't really use stereos for blasting music or much else... The only things I have been concerned with my stereo for is bluetooth for my phone, and I usually leave it tuned to public radio... But... the idea of the level of integration I can get into with a carputer is attractive... engine management and diagnostics right on my dash, download google map information right from my phone for GPS, and a mobile workstation so I can do something in a pinch when I'm away from home, but don't want to use someone else's computer.