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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was putting some thought into putting a computer in my Z. One of the issues I was thinking of was the input controls of the computer (i.e. keyboard/mouse). I know some people are using wireless keyboards and mice and placing them wherever to control the PC, but I was trying to think of a less cumbersome solution to this. One thought I had was to build in some sort of touchpad (like what they have on laptops) into the area where the "ash tray" is on the center console. Has anybody done this? Any thoughts on how easy this would be to pull off? I havent really looked to see if you can buy these touchpads seperately and hook them into a PC via a ps/2 or usb port or not. If its possible I think it would be a cool alternative to having an actual mouse to deal with.
 

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I have that exact touch pad (only in black) for my car now. I have not mounted it because I rarely need it.

I use one of these for text input, it's usb and feels like a blackberry and it stores easily in the center box (where my elbow lands) http://www.mp3car.com/store/product_info.p...products_id=104

The touch screen that I have is pretty good for mousing, for instance if you touch and hold, it translates that into a right click and the context menu comes up. The new Dynamix screen now comes with a stylus so that might make it even better.

I had a wired server style keyboard that had a trackball built into it that I kept in the seat back pocket for a little while, just in case, but took it out two months ago because I had not needed it.

My recommendation is to buy as little as you can get away with and see what you need. I don't think you want to do a whole touch pad integration and find out you never use it. If I remember, I will take a picture of the touch pad next to the ash tray so you can see the sizing, if I remember right, it's off in both directions.

Chris

more on my install here http://www.hypersprite.com/auto/tech-z-007/default.asp
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A touchscreen would be great, only problem is I have the factory nav :doh: I was planning on keeping that and going the avelectronics route or something similar.
 

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I see.... I will try and get you those pictures soon then.

Another option might be one of those "add on" touch screen kits for some off the other after market screens. I don't know off hand how to do this but it might be an option. Take a look at this http://www.digitalww.com/7TSK.htm (This is only an example, there may be better kits out there, this was 5 seconds with google on touchscreen 7") They do provide you with all the measurements though so it might be an easy add on. Obviously it's more expensive than a touch pad but it would make using your PC so much better. Looking for a mouse pointer on a little screen while you are driving is not fun (or safe).

Chris
 

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I wonder if there is any way to use the little button in IBM Thinkpads that they use for a mouse. That would be small enough to mount anywhere.
 

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HyperSprite is right. you will not use this enough to Justify that much of a custom Install. (it would be cool as **** though) I have thought about doing something like that But after Having my IN Z PC for over 3 years now I thing the best solution is just a presentation remote like Keyspan

http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/presentationremote/
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
HyperSprite is right. you will not use this enough to Justify that much of a custom Install. (it would be cool as **** though) I have thought about doing something like that But after Having my IN Z PC for over 3 years now I thing the best solution is just a presentation remote like Keyspan

http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/presentationremote/

Thats actually a really good idea too. I didn't even know they made something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok one more question. As far as tapping into the input for the factory navigation screen, is it as simple as finding an input wire and splitting it? Or is it a lot more difficult than that. Basically i'm looking for a cheaper way to control the input rather than going with the avelectronics switcher.
 

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Anyone used a shuttle case, and built that up? did everyone just use the smaller home made cases to save space and look cool? or will a shuttle typically not work?
 

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I have seen one picture of a shuttle case in a Z, it looks like a good fit. Things may be different now but when I built mine, people were having trouble getting the mobile chips to run at 35w on the Shuttle mobos and I was dead set on running a mobile chip because I was aiming for low power and heat.

Another thing to remember about the shuttle is a lot of its size is to fit a desktop CD drive and desktop HD. The desktop CD wont work in the car because of vibration and while the 3.5 HD will work, they are power hungry and hot compared to laptop drives.

I actually looked at a lot of cases, asus makes a cool case, even smaller than a shuttle but it only took Intel chips and I could not get a hold of a mobile Intel chip. Do a search at Newegg.com for cases, I think you will find it interesting.

Chris
 

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I have been super impressed with your setup, but im not the best when it comes to understanding the internal workings of computers. I'm not an idiot, i've just never gotten into building computers and researching what parts are good for what yet. I am starting to look though. I am basically looking into something VERY budget consious. I just happen to know where i could get a cheap shuttle, but you make good points about hard drive/optical drives and their issues.
 

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Hey, everybody needs to start someplace :) nobody on the planet was born knowing this stuff and most people are scared to even try things like CarPCs (or even modding their car), so I am proud of you for going for it.

As a starting point, you might try the shuttle and a power inverter just to get things going. Then all you need to put out any real money for would be the screen. You don't need an optical drive, my setup does not even have one yet, I use a USB memory stick for moving big stuff and with an inverter, it will spin the HD without any problems.

That old laptop is how I got started with this, you can see the pic, it's a mess but it worked for a little while and gave me a taste of where I wanted to go.

I will warn you though, once you get a taste, you will be like: wow, I can do this and that etc.

I am currently looking at http://www.uprev.com software. I am actually meeting up with them for a test drive right after Christmas, can't wait :)

Chris
 

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i was looking on newegg, and tiger direct. I can not find a motherboard/processor for anywhere near the price you got. And what have you heard/read or know about mini-itx boards?
 
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