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Albatron Mini-ITX Mobo turned into Car PC

By: Cameron Johnson | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 14, 2006 5:00 am

Fitting the PC into the Car


We used a 1992 model Nissan Patrol 4WD, my daily driver and weekend warrior. This car has a large centre console area and it has room underneath to hide the PSU and inverters.



First off we have the PSU cables and the accessory cables coming up from under the console area. We put plastic piping around the ATX power cable as these cables are bulky and look better with some dressing up.



Thanks to a few friends, we made up some rubber mounts for the bottom of the HDD. These are pretty thick and have holes through the centre allowing us to bolt the HDD down to the floor of the console but still have some spring in it to take any shock when the car is going off road.



We used two diagonal brackets to support the board, one at the top the other at the bottom, both were supported on rubber to allow for cushioning if any shock comes thorough from the impacts sustained when 4WD'ing.



This is with the top cover for the centre console reinstalled allowing us to place some stuff back in there but not a whole lot. It also stores the excess cable lengths of the LCD monitor and the USB IR receiver.



This is with the top of the centre console placed back down as per normal. Neat and tidy - you'd never know it was there and it is very quiet, too.



The 15" LCD I had planned for this project didn't work out after it blew up during first testing. So down to the local shop we went and the only ones in stock were 17" LG monitors.


While they are a bit of a tight squeeze, they do fit in. I ran hex head screws through the bottom of the centre console into the base of the LCD to hold it in place and ran the monitor wire into the centre console through the front clip that was removed. The IR receiver was double side tape attached to the base of the monitor to allow easy access. We are going to replace this monitor with a 15" unit in the next month when one comes in and will take some more pics with this smaller monitor. For the time being it is fine and the people in the back don't complain with the extra size of the monitor.



We ran out of space to put the DVD unit at the back, however, being USB cable based we managed to place the drive inside the glove box. Since the unit is designed to be a DivX movie playing machine, it won't need the DVD much other than to transfer files which will be done in the front with the keyboard.



To test the unit I took some friends and family to a 4WD event where I was competing in some of the events. The road out there is shocking and it is all dirt. The PC took all the shock without any problems - the monitor did hit the drivers and passengers front seats a bit, but with the 15" LCD coming soon, that will be solved.


In all I was extremely impressed and look forward to taking the vehicle and PC off road and see if it really holds up to the challenge.

AMD Sempron™ 2500+, 1.75 GHz (sda2500box) Retail Processor


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