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I thought you were the one looking at the MS-8 as an alternative to the H701? Then if that is the case, why don't you follow your own advice and DIY something? Yeah, you have space constraints...but you spearheading the carputer thing and then saying what you've said just now is talking out of both sides of your mouth is it not?

And I haven't seen a pc come out of hibernation as fast as I can turn the power on my Denon and get music.

And I don't have problems with software bugs and issues with a transport. I don't recall getting boot errors when changing CDs.

Fact is carputers are more temperamental and a transport and processor.

Sure - hibernation or standby will many times bring a computer back to life quicker than some nav units out there currently.



No - unless you are willing to use the Mp3Car forums.

I'm amazed at the number of people on this DIY forum who are so against doing a DIY project like this....strange.

If you want to follow the heard, go ahead, no one is telling you not to. However, looking down on people who have decided that they want to dedicated THEIR free time to such a project doesn't exactly make sense.

Just because it's not for you (you being any multiple of people in this instance) doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense for anyone.

All I'm seeing in this thread is a bunch of people trying to discredit the carpc based on THEIR views and what THEY view as important or not...doesn't seem to follow a normal DIY community train of thought.

There are those of us out there who found something that interests us. If no one had ever taken on this project, the CarPC wouldn't have gotten event to the point it is now...no smart PSUs for starters.

I say again, if you're more interested in going with the heard, have at it. A CarPC is NOT for everyone. However, if you like to be on the cutting edge of new ideas and new technology, then yes, a CarPC IS for you.

BTW - we've tried to make things as easy as possible for those unwilling or unable to spend the time to research which components to get to get a CarPC: http://store.mp3car.com/Stage_4_Complete_Car_Computer_Package_p/ccc-126.htm
 

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People are always going to give their opposite points of view whenever someone over simplifies and compares a complicated hobby inclined product to one that is made user friendly for the masses. They are just saying its not as simple as the ones that know are making it out to be.
 

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Everything you want to know is pretty much there^.
I'll check the links. Lots of stuff for me to check out here, thanks for the pointers. Very intriguing.

You sure about that? HOw big is the MS-8? Doesn't it have a built in amp?
Yes, it has powered channels on the output, but it is still quite small. About 9x7x2 inches, I think.

Misconception. The right soundcard makes all the difference in the world.
What do you think of a USB solution in terms of noise, compared to pro PCI soundcards? For example, this:
http://store.mp3car.com/GIGAPort_AG_USB_Sound_Card_with_8_Channel_audio_ou_p/com-066.htm

Hmmmmm. A laptop + USB outputs might be just the ticket....I'll have to think about this some.
 

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My biggest stumbling blocks for creating a CarPC:
  • I want to use Linux
  • Boot times
  • Features

Now all of these are easy to overcome to some degree. Many people would just jump on windows, as their are some pretty good (and some expensive) packages out there to give you the HU like experince. Me, I'm tired of supporting Microsoft and their mediocre products. Between buying windows for 60 bucks, and paying for software, that's atleast 100 bucks that I could spend elsewhere. The problem is: the linux solutions appear to have much suck. So I have quandary.

As far as the bootup times go, I really feel that something like a CarPC should be an application to me, and shutdown/startup almost instantly. Hibernation or standby is a good solution for some people, to me it's not quite there yet. It doesn't give me the good feeling. We shall see.

And the final one, is probably more a factor of my requirements. I want a computer that will do bluetooth phone intergration, including addressbooks and hands free dialing/talking. I want GPS that's not just good, but great. I want OGG support, and wireless support so I can connect to it from my PC and push files up. I can't give up radio reception either, certainly not FM, but even loosing AM seems like a compromise. And most of all, I want it to integrate seamlessly without issues. Rebooting my stereo, fixing crashes, applying patches is not going to go over with the wife very well.

In the end, I'm going to look at it again when I go to select a Head unit/processor combo. I'm looking at at least a grand between the two for used items, if not more when I add the accessories and new purchases. And that's a substantial budget to spend on a computer.


Consider me picky, hard to please, and with high expectations. Not to mention unreasonable.
 

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Sounds like it really just boils down to what you want.

In this forum, appears the theme is SQ and how to get there without massive expenditures paying someone else to do it... A CarPC, appears to have lots of different capabilities from nav, to bluetooth, to you name it.... So the cost bumps up again in having all that capability, but the tough part is learning how to do the one thing the guy that wants just solid SQ and maybe media storage needs... Which can be typically taken care of by a cda-9887 and Imprint kit, or some other car-audio specific method.

Not knocking the hobby though.. I think the carpc's are pretty darn cool.. But their niche is very very very specific and pinpointed to the PC hobbyist still I think.

When a car-pc solution can do what a $400 active-capable burr-brown loaded head unit with USB/iPod input can do, and not require hours and hours of forum education and time in the dash, glove box or wherever to install, debug and implement.. I'll be all over it.
 

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I get where you are coming from, but asking a question "how hard is it to tune on a 7" screen" isn't bias. Asking for a cost for a complete setup, isn't bias. Asking to know how much time went into something and pointing out that unless you work for an employer that pays you to do it, you are taking away time from something else to do it isn't really bias.

I mean, some guys are saying "it's free", that is a little indigenous to say the least. Or it's "easy". That's showing some bias. The amount of people here who have installed a signal processor or head unit (so comparable to a MS-8 with a chassis, display, RCA inputs and outputs) is probably hovering in the 95% or more (and the other 5% are probably in the process of doing research). On the other hand, the number of people who have built a PC from scratch, buying all the parts, then figuring out how to integrate the touchscreen (again, I'm going to assume based on the number of builds I have seen at MP3Car that at least 80% go with a regular screen that they integrated into their car versus some sort of slide out or double DIN) is probably very low (I would venture to guess less than 10%).

So while some people are saying "I'm not sure why more people don't do a carputer", it seems that there are few things that might be your typical carputer guy that just happens to be a small part of the car audio population:
1. Comfortable building a PC from scratch, including setting up the OS, BIOS, etc.
2. Comfortable troubleshooting the above.
3. Possibly more money
4. Comfortable configuring multiple pieces of software (some shareware).
5. Comfortable doing fiberglass work, possible making permanent changes to the car.
6. Have time to tweak since things might change before, during and after the install.
7. Willing to run the chance the computer might decide to lock up at the most unfortunate time (competition, etc.).
8. Willing to modify items, voiding the warranty in the process, to get the best sound.
9. Searching for a replacement for a high end head unit (because they aren't a cost effective replacement for a lower end MP3/CD player.

It seems that lots of the people who have done CarPC have said "why not" and I think the question might be "why?" if you aren't willing to do the above.

Lets say this (and some of the worklogs at MP3 car seem to back this up) some people who have dived into the Carputer pool who didn't do their research (and don't fit the typical profile above) end up with some crazy messes. Not just unsafe (a tower bungee corded in the hatch of a hatchback car, 110 volt inverters with 110 volt wiring floating around the car, messy/nasty/unsafe wiring, etc.) but dangerous.

I did my homework, and wasn't comfortable with doing some of the stuff above so I walked away. I wanted to turn stuff on and have it work right without a ton of time of homework. What time I have to work on the car, I want it be working. I have a weekly allowance of free time for stuff when I'm not watching kids, working, etc. so I want to make it as productive as possible.

Juan


Sure - hibernation or standby will many times bring a computer back to life quicker than some nav units out there currently.



No - unless you are willing to use the Mp3Car forums.

I'm amazed at the number of people on this DIY forum who are so against doing a DIY project like this....strange.

If you want to follow the heard, go ahead, no one is telling you not to. However, looking down on people who have decided that they want to dedicated THEIR free time to such a project doesn't exactly make sense.

Just because it's not for you (you being any multiple of people in this instance) doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense for anyone.

All I'm seeing in this thread is a bunch of people trying to discredit the carpc based on THEIR views and what THEY view as important or not...doesn't seem to follow a normal DIY community train of thought.

There are those of us out there who found something that interests us. If no one had ever taken on this project, the CarPC wouldn't have gotten event to the point it is now...no smart PSUs for starters.

I say again, if you're more interested in going with the heard, have at it. A CarPC is NOT for everyone. However, if you like to be on the cutting edge of new ideas and new technology, then yes, a CarPC IS for you.

BTW - we've tried to make things as easy as possible for those unwilling or unable to spend the time to research which components to get to get a CarPC: http://store.mp3car.com/Stage_4_Complete_Car_Computer_Package_p/ccc-126.htm
 

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I thought you were the one looking at the MS-8 as an alternative to the H701? Then if that is the case, why don't you follow your own advice and DIY something?
It's probably not a far stretch to assume that you haven't spent much time on the Mp3Car forums....if so, you would see that I have headed up a lot of discussions just to get people talking about solutions.

Just because I haven't implemented it doesn't mean I'm not working on it.

Yeah, you have space constraints...but you spearheading the carputer thing and then saying what you've said just now is talking out of both sides of your mouth is it not?
Did you read where I'm working on the truck so that I can test and implement this before doing it in a car with over 700 hours of work on it? Before doing it on a car that is sponsored? If I were to miss a show due to testing out something so unproven I'd be risking a lot. So I'm being smart about it...and you're faulting me?!

And I haven't seen a pc come out of hibernation as fast as I can turn the power on my Denon and get music.
Notice how I stated Navigation unit? Comparing a CarPC to a regular HU is apples and oranges. A CarPC walks all over a head unit in terms of functionality.

I was comparing to a navigation unit...which is why I stated as such. ;)

Fact is carputers are more temperamental and a transport and processor.
I don't think anyone is arguing that here...however, if everyone took the same approach as you are, nothing would be developed, envelopes wouldn't be pushed, new and better products wouldn't exist, and features wouldn't be improved upon.

Through collaboration on the Mp3Car forums, many users have developed methods and hacks to make windows more stable. People have learned how to make CarPCs more stable for that matter.

I should state it again - for a DIY forum, this place sure is full of a bunch of anti DIYers...:confused:
 

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I accept your challenge. Let's see

AMD BE2350 - $100
matx motherboard - $100
PSU - M2-ATX - $90
1G RAM - $50
Harddrive - $100
DVD drive - $100
OS - $100
Soundcard (let's make it 2 for 16 channels 1010LT) -$400
Audio software - $50+
Screen - $300
GPS - $100

$1500 and I didn't really skimp too bad. If you know what you are looking for it can be done for less.
Whats a CarPC of that level going to be able to do? Chances are store some music and play it, great why didn't I just go out and buy a CD player like every other person? CARPC is great but it isn't what I call bang for buck, if you want performance and something that will do more then alot of normal options out there, you have to spend up. A good example is npdang's CarPC he sold, over $2k invested in it and yeah it does lots, but I showed the link to a CarPC guy I know and he still said he would want to change some stuff purely because he couldnt see it being reliable daily and was likely to freeze up a bit (I'm not say npdang's does it was just this guy's opnion), so it still needed another $500 or more to make it to what he would consider a reliable unit. Your basic software my be cheap but to get some software that makes it worthwhile having the CarPC your well and truly over the $500 mark probably over $1000 to get something really good, and before you say you don't need to use that software you can have something more basic, again my answer to that is then why have the CarPC?
 

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I should state it again - for a DIY forum, this place sure is full of a bunch of anti DIYers...:confused:
I think people are here that want to DIY a solution that is better, cheaper, easier, more powerful.

I don't want to guess here, but since you are using a car audio piece for signal processing, what is being gained in the lanes outside of "wow" factor by using a CarPC (point wise)? DIY for the sake of being different (and getting points for that) isn't a game I'm going to play until different is also better, cheaper, easier and/or more powerful. The more powerful is there, but I don't want to give up ergonomics (small screen that isn't that good in sunlight) or cheaper (I got a pretty good deal on the radio I have).

Juan
 

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Yeah I read it...

But you have 4 or so months between Finals and the first shows of the year. I doubt there will be that much testing being done that you couldn't do it in the off season and be ready at the beginning of the season. If I remember correctly, you were talking about replacing the H701 at IASCA Finals this year. So obviously this isn't something you have just have decided to do. My question is this- why haven't you already done all of the testing before now? And why aren't you in the implementing stages already?

I don't think Nick is holding you THAT firm to a show schedule.

And to that untested part, wasn't there an issue 2 years ago with the tried and true carputer in the lanes?

An indash nav unit for serious SQ? I'll pass. The only thing a serious competitor is using a CD or DVD player for is a transport.

I think a lot people including me want is something that when if fucks up, I can get it fixed or fix it easily. If I'm at a show and I'm having a problem getting something saved to my Alpine/Zapco/Pioneer processor, chances are there is someone there who can help you if you need it. When my laptop and Rane messed up at Finals in Memphis, I was pretty much up shit creek in terms of support.

I don't think people here are anti DIY anything...but this is a car audio forum, not a computer forum. And as carputing gains momentum, you'll see people here starting to embracing it more. Right now carputers for a lot of people are a novelty that is fostered by the volatile nature of the unit itself.
 

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I get where you are coming from, but asking a question "how hard is it to tune on a 7" screen" isn't bias.
That's why you'll see my post about tuning on an 8" screen above...;)

Asking for a cost for a complete setup, isn't bias. Asking to know how much time went into something and pointing out that unless you work for an employer that pays you to do it, you are taking away time from something else to do it isn't really bias.
This is all in the same field, is it not? Installing your car audio system takes time away, does it not? This IS a DIY forum, is it not? Everything takes time. Like I said earlier, different people spend their time differently. Some of us choose to spend our time helping to further CarPCs...some on here have different interests...

ANYTHING you do outside of your job is going to take time that is unpaid...that's just a fact of life. If it's something you're interested in, you're willing to spend the time on it...that's part of a hobby!

I mean, some guys are saying "it's free", that is a little indigenous to say the least. Or it's "easy". That's showing some bias.
It's not free....but searching for options for free software really isn't any different than research which is the best amp for your application...which I would imagine a number of users would do on here in their free time since it's something they are interested in.

The amount of people here who have installed a signal processor or head unit (so comparable to a MS-8 with a chassis, display, RCA inputs and outputs) is probably hovering in the 95% or more (and the other 5% are probably in the process of doing research). On the other hand, the number of people who have built a PC from scratch, buying all the parts, then figuring out how to integrate the touchscreen (again, I'm going to assume based on the number of builds I have seen at MP3Car that at least 80% go with a regular screen that they integrated into their car versus some sort of slide out or double DIN) is probably very low (I would venture to guess less than 10%).
So? This is a DIY forum, right?

I'm learning that this really isn't a DIY forum so much..;)

So while some people are saying "I'm not sure why more people don't do a carputer", it seems that there are few things that might be your typical carputer guy that just happens to be a small part of the car audio population:
1. Comfortable building a PC from scratch, including setting up the OS, BIOS, etc.
This is all taken care of already...a bit of research would yield results on the Mp3Car store...where we have complete solutions available....and we can even install and configure the OS for you.
2. Comfortable troubleshooting the above.
If you're willing to learn to troubleshoot car electronics like you should be willing to do by installing your system yourself...

3. Possibly more money
Than a simple head unit? Yeup - it's more expensive. Than a multi-media head unit? not so much...

4. Comfortable configuring multiple pieces of software (some shareware).
Sure, it might be a bit of a learning curve...but isn't that what DIYers are all about?

5. Comfortable doing fiberglass work, possible making permanent changes to the car.
how is that any different than a regular car audio install? Not all CarPCs have to be fabricated in, not by any means.

6. Have time to tweak since things might change before, during and after the install.
how is that any different than a regular car audio install?

7. Willing to run the chance the computer might decide to lock up at the most unfortunate time (competition, etc.).
I've never had mine lock up in competition...not in the 4 years I've been competing with a PC...and I've made a LOT of shows...;)

8. Willing to modify items, voiding the warranty in the process, to get the best sound.
I haven't modified anything in my car at this time...I'm not sure I follow how this is relavent?

9. Searching for a replacement for a high end head unit (because they aren't a cost effective replacement for a lower end MP3/CD player.
Hu?

It seems that lots of the people who have done CarPC have said "why not" and I think the question might be "why?" if you aren't willing to do the above.
If you aren't willing to do the things above, I'd bet you're the same person who would just take your car to a shop and pay someone to do it all for you.

Again...this is a DIY forum, right?

Lets say this (and some of the worklogs at MP3 car seem to back this up) some people who have dived into the Carputer pool who didn't do their research (and don't fit the typical profile above) end up with some crazy messes. Not just unsafe (a tower bungee corded in the hatch of a hatchback car, 110 volt inverters with 110 volt wiring floating around the car, messy/nasty/unsafe wiring, etc.) but dangerous.
I've seen some INCREDIBLY unsafe car audio installs...by people who didn't know what they were doing and who didn't bother to do their research.

What time I have to work on the car, I want it be working. I have a weekly allowance of free time for stuff when I'm not watching kids, working, etc. so I want to make it as productive as possible.
That's the one thing you didn't mention above. Being able to turn it on and it work instantly...without having to configure anything. The CarPC isn't for you then...which is precisely why I've stated that it's not for everyone. However, for the majority of the excuses you've given...I see them as just that - excuses...not legitimate reasons. The only legitimate reason I've seen so far are the quote right above here.
 

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Yeah I read it...

But you have 4 or so months between Finals and the first shows of the year. I doubt there will be that much testing being done that you couldn't do it in the off season and be ready at the beginning of the season. If I remember correctly, you were talking about replacing the H701 at IASCA Finals this year. So obviously this isn't something you have just have decided to do. My question is this- why haven't you already done all of the testing before now? And why aren't you in the implementing stages already?
Money...plain and simple. We purchased a house....moved....moved in...and are short on money....have been short on money for a while now...you know, that whole saving up for a down payment on a house?

Reason enough?

In order to test, I need a CarPC in the truck...that takes money...;)

I should also note that my work has become VERY busy lately, travel for me has ramped up a great deal, as has it for my husband....and yes, that includes weekend.

I don't think Nick is holding you THAT firm to a show schedule.
Nick doesn't hold us to ANYTHING. We hold ourselves to it. It's a moral issue. They have assisted us, we at least owe it to them to be at shows. We don't have a set show schedule we must attend.

And to that untested part, wasn't there an issue 2 years ago with the tried and true carputer in the lanes?
Which time specifically? At IASCA a few years ago we had an issue with an amplifier that decided to cut out...then we found out it was actually the Alpine processor - the back two channels were cutting out on us.

To be honest, I've been to a lot of shows over the 10 years I've been competing...chances might be pretty good that I've forgotten a few shows and the events that occurred...however, I should note that failing car audio equipment apparently isn't entirely unheard of either. I mean, there is a clause in almost any rule book that allows for time to fix malfunctioning equipment, right? If it weren't needed, it wouldn't be there.

An indash nav unit for serious SQ? I'll pass. The only thing a serious competitor is using a CD or DVD player for is a transport.
No - but we're not JUST talking about serious sq in this entire thread, are we? Besides that, I'd back up a CarPC for serious SQ any day.

I think a lot people including me want is something that when if fucks up, I can get it fixed or fix it easily. If I'm at a show and I'm having a problem getting something saved to my Alpine/Zapco/Pioneer processor, chances are there is someone there who can help you if you need it. When my laptop and Rane messed up at Finals in Memphis, I was pretty much up shit creek in terms of support.
Then it's not for you at this point! I've stated it many times...it's not for everyone. There, I've said it again....look at that!

I don't think people here are anti DIY anything...but this is a car audio forum, not a computer forum. And as carputing gains momentum, you'll see people here starting to embracing it more. Right now carputers for a lot of people are a novelty that is fostered by the volatile nature of the unit itself.
I agree. Which is why I choose to persue it even more. To help move it from a novelty...;)
 

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Whats a CarPC of that level going to be able to do? Chances are store some music and play it, great why didn't I just go out and buy a CD player like every other person? CARPC is great but it isn't what I call bang for buck, if you want performance and something that will do more then alot of normal options out there, you have to spend up. A good example is npdang's CarPC he sold, over $2k invested in it and yeah it does lots, but I showed the link to a CarPC guy I know and he still said he would want to change some stuff purely because he couldnt see it being reliable daily and was likely to freeze up a bit (I'm not say npdang's does it was just this guy's opnion), so it still needed another $500 or more to make it to what he would consider a reliable unit. Your basic software my be cheap but to get some software that makes it worthwhile having the CarPC your well and truly over the $500 mark probably over $1000 to get something really good, and before you say you don't need to use that software you can have something more basic, again my answer to that is then why have the CarPC?
Well it's too bad you don't understand. Just because npdang spent a couple thousand on plugins doesn't mean you can't get close to similar results with the free ones. If you really knew what you were talking about then you wouldn't say you don't see the value. The free ones require some understanding of the theory. Damn...to actually have to learn about some theory to use it...crap!
I find it amazing that when people don't understand something, they automatically write it off as worthless. Plenty of hours were spent finding shareware plugins for the cheap that don't see the value in things.;)

If all you want is music storage then it's a waste. I agree. Once you turn it into an audio processor and use it for GPS, traffic, etc it starts to show it's true value.

I can't wait until everyone waiting for the MS-8 gets it trys it, and has no clue on how to actually set it up. Npdang is pretty damn good at measuring and understanding things and even he had trouble with the Alpine PXE-H650. Once he did understand it, he realized it was limited. Can't same the same for the PC processor he sold, but he will also tell you it probably took plenty of time to set it up. I've also heard of people returning the 650 because either they didn't like it or didn't know how to use it.

Time will tell on the MS-8 piece....how long has everyone been waiting? How long has Biggs had one? Hmmm....I still think it missed the boat.

What's the holdup again on the MS-8?
 

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I think a lot people including me want is something that when if fucks up, I can get it fixed or fix it easily. If I'm at a show and I'm having a problem getting something saved to my Alpine/Zapco/Pioneer processor, chances are there is someone there who can help you if you need it. When my laptop and Rane messed up at Finals in Memphis, I was pretty much up shit creek in terms of support.
Best thing about a computer IS support. IF a part screws up, run to a computer store and pick one up.

Worried about a harddrive crash at a show? I carry an extra one that is an exact duplicate of the one in my car to every show. Never had to use it, but it's ready to go just in case. ;)

Best part about a carputer. Every piece of it can be changed out for upgrade reasons or for troubleshooting.


kkant-

If you want to use a laptop no problem. They make DC-DC power supplies for those too. No need for an inverter. For an external soundcards, look at the firewire options. USB tends to bog down the CPU. Fireface 400, Firewire 410, MOTU Ultralite are a couple of options.
 

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Well last I read it was either the patent they were applying for or the user interface. The people that I had asked said it was mainly the interface-making it user friendly and easy to use. To me it sounds like you will still have to understand how to use it for it to work correctly. I think most people have in their imagination you plug it in, press one button and wala! you have good sound without understanding the inner workings. I'll be impressed if it's even half as easy to use as he makes it out be.
 

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From the people I've talked to who have a prototype unit, it is pretty much that easy to use. And from the demo of a prototype unit in Steve Head's truck (may have been in Bigg's car when I judged it at ESN the other year), it worked well, really really well.
 
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