Robs Stupid '68 Cougar Laptop Land

 

This is Robs Stupid PC In My Car Page. It is Stupid. It is so stupid, you can click on any of the pics to enlarge them.

I spent alot of time looking for the perfect stereo for my car, nothing was quite right. The closest thing was an AutoPC, but way too expensive.

May 03, 2002. I figured if an AutoPC was good, with its small display and minimal controls, a laptop with a full keyboard and 6 inch display in the dash would be way better, and cheaper too.

I got a Compaq K6-2-366 Laptop for cheap. I connected a 6 inch LCD display in the dash, connected thru a VGA to video converter.

I powered the laptop with a regular 12V to 120VAC inverter to power the laptop and the video converter. The LCD display runs on 12 volts. Wired up a keyboard and a mouse. Loaded my mp3 player and some music, wired it to an Alpine 360W amp and it rocks.

A car isnt really a good place to try to work a mouse, and it is too hard to try to click on stuff while driving. I built a little computer board that decodes input from an old VCR remote. I programmed several buttons on the remote control to do often used functions.

The 12VDC to 120VAC inverter was too picky for power. It would shut off after driving for awhile because it thought the voltage was too high. I put a couple diodes from an alternator in series with the 12V input, but still shut off. I bought an electronic voltage regulator thinking it would help, but not much. I finally bought a universal laptop power supply that runs off 12 volts. No more more problems.

The VGA to video converter was running off the inverter too, but the input was only 7V @ 1Amp, so I made a 1 Amp regulator that runs off 12 volts. Now I can toss the stupid inverter.

A pic of the display mounted in the dash.

You can see the timing controller at the bottom left of the pic, and the infrared receiver board at the bottom right. I still havent made a nice mount for the display, but someday I will.

 

Tell me how stupid my Cougar is