Thread: Dear Diary....
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#2: 08-03-2008, 02:30 PM
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Title: Stage Free
Location: Seattle-ish
Car: 6mtblackturbowagon
Posts: 8,757
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When I was shopping for a car, the cheap hardware and open source software for tuning and logging made me give extra consideration to the turbo Subarus. After I bought one, I knew I was going to be messing with this stuff. Around the time I decided to get a big turbo and tune it myself, I decided that logging and tuning with a laptop would be a lot more convenient if I had the laptop baked into the car. That opens up a bunch of other possibilities too, like navigation, cellphone integration, music, etc, etc. So far I'm just using it for logging, tuning, and navigation, but the rest will follow eventually.

So, the stock cubbyhole now holds a 7" LCD bezel, courtesy of LGT member BMac1203.

I used a JDM info-panel relocation kit to move the panel down where the ashtray was.

And of course I needed a place to put a PC to drive the LCD. I built a shelf from 1/4" HDPE, attached to couple of 3/4" slabs of HDPE that are connected with a hinge.

The first laptop was a HP 530 (refurbished, $500ish), to which I soldered a remote power switch, controlled by the "W3bm4st3r" auto-on module. The 2nd and current laptop is a Toshiba Satellite. I don't recommend buying one, because a few of the keyboard's keys stopped working after just a couple years. However since the laptop lives in the back of my car now, the crappy construction is no longer an issue. The one nice thing about this laptop is that it has a BIOS setting to turn on when given external power, so I no longer need the external switch and control module.

I stuck several 4" sections of weather-stripping to the underside of the laptop to absorb shocks and vibration, and a small bungee cord at each corner holds the laptop in place. The laptop has a cooling fan intake on the bottom, so it needs to be lifted above the rack for airflow. I also really like the "floating" idea (no firm contact between the laptop and the car), but I am not 100% sure about weather stripping for vibration absorption since it seems to be packing down over time. I'll update this if I find something better.

The bundle of bricks toward the front of the car contains a 12vdc-120vac inverter, the laptop's 120vac-19vdc power supply 12v-19v power supply, and the auto-on module (which has since been removed, see above). Everything worked fine with the 120v inverter but the very idea always kinda bothered me.

I kept a lot of open space on the left for an amplifier.
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Last edited by NSFW; 12-22-2017 at 09:53 PM.. Reason: photobucket extortion