Anyone wired up a PC in their van?

The Tardis factor (interiors , awnings, roofs etc)

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Anyone wired up a PC in their van?

Post by justbuggin »

I was thinking of buying a laptop for the van so I could watch movies etc, but then figured I could use one of the various spare towers I've got lying around, together with a flat monitor. I'm thinking about doing a proper install, hiding everything away & doing a nice fit with the monitor too. That way I can play all my mp3s (about 4500 of them), music vids & movies.

I just wondered if anyone has done this before & if they came across any problems.

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Post by venividivici »

Hi, JB.

I haven't done it myself, but am also considering it. There is a good thread over on BY with lots of photos and links to videos - young Belgian guy has a great setup with a touch screen: ... PN=0&TPN=3

Also see this

I think the problem you are likely to face with a tower is the power requirement being quite high.


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PC in a van

Post by BassKat & Missy »

When i was at Uni i used to study in my camper to get some peace & quiet!
I found thAT a laptop lasted an ok ammount of time with an inverter, which prolonged the battery life. This did depend on how hard i was pushing the processor & graphics card, it always went flat in the end though.
I guess a bigger inverter could have worked better, but at the expense of the battery.
My only concern with a tower is they have big power supplies so cunsume lots more current compared to a laptop which is designed for low power consumption.
Give it a go before you spend ages on a custom installation.
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Post by lloyd »

Most notebook transformers are 350 watt range full load. My says 70 watt normal draw. That's 12 volts at 6 amps. Towers use at least twice as much.. plus monitor.

Using an inverter is not power efficient because you are converting 12 to 220 to 14ish for notebook. Use a 12v to notebook adapter.

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Post by wackos00 »

From maplin you can buy a 12v to laptop inverter, £35 converts 12v to anything from about 10 to 20v. on ebay i got a 7inch touch screen which plugs into your laptop, and displays what ever is on your laptop screen much the same as that blokes did. I'm in the middle of a huge resto/referb/mod job and the computer is on the list but a bit of the way down will keep posted with my progress though.
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Post by ermie571 »

The maplin one didn't work for my laptop......none of the supplied connectors fitted the Toshiba power input.

But lovely work paid out for a Toshiba one!!! Never know when you have to recharge your laptop on the move between meetings! Strange - no-one else has ever asked to use it..... shhhhhhhh So it plugs into a cigarette lighter socket. Going to wire one into the leisure battery....

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Post by georgeIRL »

this has been done in cars for years. google carputer and you'll find info.

i wanted to do this before an looked like the best equipment for the job.

don't run it through a inverter, waste of power, most things in a computer run off 12v or 5v anyways.

on mini-itx they have a smart power supply with will run directly off 12v


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Carputer thread - less interest than I would have thought?

Post by lowtimeppl »

Hi all - this is my first post so be kind...

My T25 is one of my hobbies, the others are either petrol-burning or gadget-based, and where possible, both...

I mess about with PCs a fair bit, so putting a PC into my 1985 'Bus' wasserboxer (details below) seemed like natural progression.

In many modern cars, you get luxuries like satnav, etc but they are all packaged up the way the manufacturers want them to be, aren't explndable or customisable, and you don't get *everything* - but I don't drive a modern car...

Anyway, a vanputer seemed the answer. So I went for it.

From it I wanted (and have achieved)

Satnav (obviously)
MP3 playback
Ripped movies playback
DVD playback
Games ('lightweight', suited to PCs performance)
Mobile phone control
Camera functions (USB camera for reversing)
Mobile internet access (using other people's WiFi ho ho and GPRS)

Yet to achieve
Position tracking - sending my location to some receiver? I know the solution, just got to implement it

I keep thinking of other stuff too

I would run into specific detail here, but I'm not sure if anyone would be interested so I'll leave it open for requests for pics, build details, costs etc.

Thanks for reading!

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Re: Carputer thread - less interest than I would have though

Post by ringo »

lowtimeppl wrote: I would run into specific detail here, but I'm not sure if anyone would be interested so I'll leave it open for requests for pics, build details, costs etc.

Hell yes!

Pics please! Im particulary interested in your monitor that lets you drive the pc from the dash (what OS?) and the specifics of your cpu etc.

Surely your not doing all this in windows?

Sounds cool...

Now driving a big bad VW LT Florida.

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Post by gti mad man »

yes yes for the win
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Post by ..lee.. »

customer of mine had this done in his passat a while ago, tower in the boot with invertertouch screen on the dash and a tiny little keyboard no bigger than a credit card.

i was well impressed.

hope to do similar in my van when i finish the basics.

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Post by ghost123uk »

Would be a laptop every time for me - I've been doing it for a few years now.
I can't see that the power requirements and hassles of using a PC are worth it - no advantage.

Even half decent laptops are so cheap now, both used and new.

Use a proper 12V power supply that goes from fag lighter to laptop input, (but maybe better to connect it to the leisure battery).

Re Internet access - Yep the afore mentioned 3G plug in devices now can provide Internet access from anywhere and the prices aren't too bad.
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Post by sheffieldcoljules »

Im hoping to do this soon, as i have a spare pc sat here, i want a pc over a laptop cos i have hundreds of movies and mp3's stored, can get 5.1 with the speakers, and have a flat screen doing nowt. I have the space for it etc

My lappy is old and slow, sound is crap..hence i want to use the pc.
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Post by Dan Wood »

Don't you just need an EEE PC and some velcro?

As far as laptops go, they're cheap as chips!