General Question

scrappy's avatar

Is it possible to install a PC inside your car?

Asked by scrappy (23 points ) November 14th, 2008

I was thinking about my car a few days ago and I’m in need of putting in a better stereo system. The more I thought of it, I thought how nice it would be to have my PC inside my car. Of course not my desktop, for it would have to be alot smaller. Maybe even a notebook. Has anyone ever seen this done or know how you’d hook up a pc to the car speakers? Would it be possible to buy one of those mini pc notebooks and dissassemble it to fit inside a dash board? How could you connect it to the speakers? I’d assume youd have to use a power converter to run the pc

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17 Answers

scubydoo's avatar

wow. that would be a kool way of keeping track of your music collection or at least havign your music collection with you while you travel.

skabeep's avatar

its not hard. ive done it a couple times…as far as your speakers go, its no different than hooking up external speakers to your laptop. keep the computer where it will go to standby if put into battery mode (aka when u turn off car) unless u wanna start up everytime u get in the car. have a backup battery that will be charged when car is running but that will allow u to keep the standby charge

skabeep's avatar

if it was me, i would just get a little in dash lcd screen and hook your ipod or iphone on the usb. its much easier. you can even get a cord to display your movies on the in dash screen. $200 iphone + $500 screen > $2000 laptop

scrappy's avatar

@skabeep… thanks for replying. the reason I had thought of a PC is not only would it be nice to have my music collection but I thought of being able to surf the net when I was near a Wifi connection. do you have any other ideas on how that could be accomplished? of course, i’d not want/need a really expensive pc, just would like one to surf the net and listen to music. thanks in advance

skabeep's avatar

hmm…i suppose you could install a wireless card like att or verizon offer. only problem i see is when i did it, it was for music and videos. never internet. so i never put in a mouse, just a keyboard. where would you put your mouse pad =( surfing the net and driving sounds dangerous anyway lol

skabeep's avatar

oh and if you do it, make sure your insurance has a reasonable comprehensive deductible cause that car will just be asking to be broken into

scrappy's avatar

lol. Of course I’d not surf and drive at the same time. I just thought it would be kool to have that option. say for example i went out of town like i’ve done on a few different occasions and needed drivign directions because i forgot my map or left teh printed out directions on the table at home. I thought it would be awesome to have the music collection with me and have access to internet. (oh and btw, i’m referring to have about 200GB music—which is why i also thought of a pc)

as far as the car being broken into. honestly I’d not thought of that but I guess for my “ideal” system i’d need it as hidden as i could get the system.

Do you have any thoughts of those new mini pc’s? the tiny notebooks (ee pc’s I think some are referred to?) I wonder if those could be hacked if you will to install inside a car?

skabeep's avatar

i have never owned one but i would guess a tablet pc would be perfect for you as i think they may be touchscreen. as far as the driving goes i purchased a usb gps reciever for about $50 for my old truck’s computer and it worked with microsoft streets. best gps i ever had and ive got a $450 garmin in my car now

scrappy's avatar

so if you don’t mind me asking. what type of set-up did you have? did you just have the lcd screen with an ipod hook-up? i just thought of another problem i’d run into (maybe) would it be able to work along side of my indash stereo? I hadn’t thought of that until just now. I haven’t fully thought it through, but had a brief brainstorm about the idea.

so i guess to sum it up, id want a PC system that would house my 200GB music collection, be able to surf internet and play nicely with the indash stereo.

skabeep's avatar

i had a old laptop running windows that i hooked up to 10.2 inch overhead screen. it only had around 100 gigs, but it was more than enough. most of the extra windows crap you can uninstall. mine was hooked in through the in dash cd player. but basicly it just ran itunes and microsoft streets. what i had meant to do when i got it was make a simple program to navigate the various functions i actually used, controlled by one of those small keyboards that just have the number pad and a couple other buttons like the right side of a desktop keyboard. but that never happened cause im not a programer and also i found it wasnt necessary. most in dash cd players already have a set of rca inputs that you can use but what i was suggesting you do is buy something like this cause i prefer them to overhead screens now. but thats just what i would do. keep this in mind though; this will be a fairly expensive endeavor for something you most likely wont use much after the first few months. its cool to have tho and girls love it =P

ArchaicLion's avatar

Instead of a laptop, if you want to keep it in your car all the time look at these. They have 12volt models (like you’d find in patrol cars and fleet vehicles) and you can configure how they are built. As far as LCD screens go you can get the really small DVD/VideoGame Console screens for vehicles. You could run a flash based drive instead of a HDD and never worry about scratching when you hit potholes. They also carry some “rugged” HDs that are tougher than most if you need the write speed.

Noah_D's avatar

I’ve seen people install a Mac Mini in their can and use a small touch screen or even attach it to a navigation system’s touch screen. Check it out

joeysefika's avatar

I’ve seen a Eee PC dismantled and installed. They’re even selling touch screens on eBay for cheap so its worth having a look. Here’s some limited instructions and concepts.

.:edit:. plus a 7 inch touch solder-less touch screen for 50 bucks

jean's avatar

Maybe in a couple years in we get advanced

BoyWonder's avatar

In my car, I have a deck that has a USB outlet, a SD Card outlet and an 1/8” outlet. I hook my iPhone to the 1/8” outlet with the 2-male cord. But you need the cord that sticks all the way in the jack for the iphone. And there, I have my PC with all my music in it, wi-fi if i’m ever in the right zone, and the world at my fingertips. GPS is in real time, and I’m good to go. AND the deck detaches so I can stick it in the glove compartment, and I take my iPhone on my hip wherever I go. O, can’t forget the car charger =) That should answer your question.

Jack79's avatar

I do that actually, though not the proper way you mention. I simply take this cheap laptop I have and put it on the passenger seat. There are various cables that can connect it to the car’s cigarette lighter slot, though I opted for a $10 DC->AC adaptor, which means I have a 220V plug in my car and could use any electrical appliance at all. I assume if you let that run while the engine is off your battery would go flat pretty fast, so I haven’t risked doing that yet. I normally only take it with me on long trips anyway. Quite handy really.

Oh and my car already had an input for music, so I didn’t need any special cabling (even though I don’t use the laptop for music personally).

Yetanotheruser's avatar

It should not be that hard to do

I see police and taxi’s around here all the time that have laptops installed in the cars

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