PC for Cars .. heat problems.

samer.forums

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Hi,

Can any one help me choose which hardware I need to make a CAR PC ?

The main problem about this , is the Desert ! the Temps can reach 70c when the car is parked under the sun and I dont know how to solve this problem . Plastic PC components will melt for sure.
 

assasin32

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The issue is that with a normal desktop is things snap into place and are designed to be stationary. This goes for the GPU especially, that snaps in and has 1 or 2 screws securing it down to the case. The typical CPU heatsink is held in by push pins or has a backplate behind the motherboard where it is secured down to. None of these were designed to be constantly moved. The computer will work, it's a question of how long will it work though. It may be something wiggling loose, or if your unlucky literally breaking off there is really no way of knowing.

The other thing is can you car handle this level of power draw from a full on computer running? If im not mistaken the older Ford Crown Victoria cop cars had a beefed up alternator just to run all the stuff they had so this is something else you have to look into as you may run into that same problem.

As for movie repeats if you have netflix there is nothing stopping them from using the tablets battery power and downloading a new show before the new trip or if you let them hotspot your phone to it so they can stream it. Or even put new shows on it manually or from a usb stick.

From a windows tablet they can game, but not current AAA games. That is something to keep in mind, this is one of those something is better than nothing issues.

Simplist solution, don't install anything just hand them tablets, or 2 in 1 devices and hotspot. Let them download movies to it before, along with their games. There is nothing wrong with having to play less graphically intensive games for 10hours, there are plenty of them out there from current games being to produced to older titles. And if there is no good places to charge the tablets back there bring a big battery for it. And remember you can still charge it in the front of the car so you don't need to go too overkill on it.
 

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I dont want to forget to put the cover one day and come back and find the PC Fried. I want PC cases designed for Desert heat and small enough to fit in the car.
 

junii421

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Is the pc gonna be on all the time?
 

samer.forums

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not 24/7 , but can be on standby when the car is parked.
 

assasin32

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Heat isn't the only issue, the vibration and movement the car makes too. That rules out the vast majority of the ways we keep a computer cool. So your best bet if you buy a premade car setup or if you had to something with 0 moving parts, there a few ways you go about that but I let you decide how to tackle it. Also just because it's in standby doesn't mean it won't decide to wake itself up for some odd reason than inadvertently drain your battery. And if you decide to do this mounting a solar trickle charger to the battery may not be a bad idea especially with a safety cutoff so it doesn't overcharge it, it may be something worth looking into.

In my teens I wanted a setup like this where I had a computer in the car, now that I am an adult with a touch screen display lets just say it actually kind of sucks. It requires more attention to do something than the radios with buttons and tends to temp most people I've seen to play with it while driving because it's touch screen and lets be honest that's alot more fun than traffic.

A more preferable setup I found is a vent mount in the center for the phone to use as GPS or whatever your need is and set it up to the car via bluetooth or aux as for all intents and purposes it's a computer with an internet connection. Plus it's less tempting for thieves to break in to steal something that is not there or is just a stock OEM stereo. Plus a little bit of advice you can do little lunch dates with your significant other while their at work and eat in the car and watch an episode or two of your favorite shows with this setup, you can thank me latter as little stuff like this will make them happy and your life much easier.

I usually commute a couple hours daily, the more simplistic and stupid proof a system is the better so it won't distract you as much. You can be the best driver in the world but that won't stop the idiot trying to hit you.

Oh and from personal experience if you decide to go this route look into Anker for phone chargers and cables. Had various types of their charging equipment that is used and abused extensively for about a year now and is holding it great where as I would usually go though multiple sets of charging equipment by now.
 

samer.forums

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Thanks for your long reply,

Here are more details about the system I want to install in the car :

1- Standby will be set up to wake up only when the motor is running , or by pressing a button to force wake up. or by remote internet connection using my phone and specific wifi port. all other options will be turned off for standby.

2- Most of the controls will be Voice commands . yes the touch screen is there but I will focus on voice commands.

3- I was thinking about making the PC full gaming PC for the kids sitting back while travelling as well. two monitors set up. but as you said Vibration is a problem as well . I some times travel long trips 10 hours driving and the kids get bored.
Maybe I will Just add in a console instead of the main PC for them , I am not sure yet. but this will add more cost to the project . and consoles are weak against heat.

4- Android system is not an option here , it has to be a full windows PC ...
 

assasin32

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If your using it for backseat entertainment that simplifies things a bit. I imagine a tablet would work best, next thing I would be thinking is one the windows 10 usb sticks or if you can find a small portable PC that's low power and fanless. Once you start getting into heatsinks with fans (typically larger, and heavier) with all the stops, movements, and vibrations of a car I expect it to eventually dislodge.

Honestly though a full on dedicated gaming pc requires cooling which goes back to added weight being thrown around which will make sure it won't last. If your doing 10hour drives, maybe build a mini atx or itx PC and put it in there before the trip.

I can tell you from experience if you have T-mobile and Binge On, the unlimited streaming will apply to hotspoting though due to limitations (in the past not positive now) it would only work through a browser on things like windows or chromebooks. So with 2 devices setup the kids can be watching whatever they want on trips. I believe with Windows 10 if your using the netflix app and have a newer update for Windows 10 you are allowed to download the shows for offline viewing too.

Personal preference if I were tackling this would be Windows 10 tablets and mount them in place permanently where it's not noticeable from the outside or impedes on any safety equipment. And than run electrical to near where their mounted to a high quality power outlet or usb hub where I would run the Anker or other high quality cables to the device. But make sure that when the cables do eventually fail or come out of place it's easy to plug them back in or replace. Tablets that charge with normal USB phone cables or USB Type C would help in keeping things simple and easily replaced on the road if you don't have spares.

From there bluetooth headphones, keyboard (with touchpad), and game controller. Than I would try to keep everything with using AA or AAA batteries as the heat from the car will wreck havoc on battery life, high quality rechargeable batteries would probably be the most trouble free. Cables sound like the obvious answer and a superior option over batteries but if your kids are anything like my nephews that means when they move around in the car they will be knocking down everything including the electronics. I don't want to think about how many portable dvd players one of them destroyed this way.
 

USAFRet

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A tablet or 2 in 1, with an SSD or eMMC drive.
No moving parts, low power consumption.
An Asus Transformer, perhaps.


The main thing is...what do you need this "car PC" to actually do?
Just movies? Sure. Actual playing games? No.

Touch screen? Please don't be on the same road with me if you're using a touch from the drivers seat.

Also, be cognizant of the legal issues of what types of screens and content can be seen or used from the drivers seat.
 

samer.forums

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Actually for the kids they want to play games. they dont watch movies much (they hate repeating movies) ...

and at the front seat , Navigation , emails , some office work (not me the driver , but the wife) ..

I was thinking a low power GTX 1060 or GTX 1050 ti , and a low power i5 or i3 CPU ... but I dont know about the case and vibration and heat when the car is parked ... this is my first time.
 

USAFRet

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A little tablet or 2 in 1.
You do not want a full desktop level PC. Vibration, heat, dust, power, general PITA...

Or, you could actually interact with the kids.
"First one to see a license plate from Foo gets to choose where we have dinner"
or
"Count the number of bicyclists you see. First one to rack up 5 blue bikes wins"
(this has other benefits as well...it teaches them that other people use the roads as well, and to notice them)
 

assasin32

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The issue is that with a normal desktop is things snap into place and are designed to be stationary. This goes for the GPU especially, that snaps in and has 1 or 2 screws securing it down to the case. The typical CPU heatsink is held in by push pins or has a backplate behind the motherboard where it is secured down to. None of these were designed to be constantly moved. The computer will work, it's a question of how long will it work though. It may be something wiggling loose, or if your unlucky literally breaking off there is really no way of knowing.

The other thing is can you car handle this level of power draw from a full on computer running? If im not mistaken the older Ford Crown Victoria cop cars had a beefed up alternator just to run all the stuff they had so this is something else you have to look into as you may run into that same problem.

As for movie repeats if you have netflix there is nothing stopping them from using the tablets battery power and downloading a new show before the new trip or if you let them hotspot your phone to it so they can stream it. Or even put new shows on it manually or from a usb stick.

From a windows tablet they can game, but not current AAA games. That is something to keep in mind, this is one of those something is better than nothing issues.

Simplist solution, don't install anything just hand them tablets, or 2 in 1 devices and hotspot. Let them download movies to it before, along with their games. There is nothing wrong with having to play less graphically intensive games for 10hours, there are plenty of them out there from current games being to produced to older titles. And if there is no good places to charge the tablets back there bring a big battery for it. And remember you can still charge it in the front of the car so you don't need to go too overkill on it.
 

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