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View Full Version : Project: what would it take to put a mini in a car?


settledown
Jan 14, 2005, 10:13 AM
Here is the project.
Put a Mac Mini into a car, but do it on the cheap.

what keyboard/mouse? why?
what display? where do we install it?
what software would be needed to make it car friendly?
what options should we include?

I based this project on this:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/1/prweb197110.htm
and this
http://www.classicresto.com/macmini.html

iJon
Jan 14, 2005, 10:17 AM
If you wanted to do it cheap i doubt you would get to far. I would probably get a name brand in-dash 7" screen and go from there. It would be small but a start.

jon

settledown
Jan 14, 2005, 10:21 AM
probably bluetooth and airport are a must

bluetooth for wireless keyboard and mouse (use in front seat or in back)

jeremy.king
Jan 14, 2005, 10:27 AM
You will need a power inverter for the mac, and something like this would rock!

http://www.xenarc.com/product/700ts.html

sandman42
Jan 14, 2005, 10:34 AM
An interface between iTunes and the car's stereo would be nice (and easy).

Jalexster
Jan 14, 2005, 10:35 AM
I'd recomend a touch screen over a small LCD panel. Also, when will a company make a 12v to Mac Mini adaptor. To replace the included power adaptor. Prefereably with a bettery built in, so you don't loose stuff when you turn the car off.

This is also why a laptop would be better, bcause you could set it to sleep as quick as possible when it stops getting power from the power adaptor.

settledown
Jan 14, 2005, 10:38 AM
instead of a power inverter...

how about we get a powerbook ac car adapter and solder on the oval power plug from the mini instead of the powerbook powerjack

much much smaller and cheaper than the mini power brick + an inverter

(have to check that the voltages match, but i suspect that the mini is more a laptop inside than a desktop)

jalexter: good point on the battery and turning the car off, unless we hard wire it to the car's battery, and have the mini go to sleep shortly after it is inactive. That way when you shut the car off and walk away, the mini will go to sleep in like 5 minutes. I'll experiment with that.

Mord
Jan 14, 2005, 11:15 AM
toyota made a prototype car with a g4 cube in it, and some european guy put a g4 logic board in his car http://www.mujmac.cz/art/hw/tatra_mac_eng.html

slightly
Jan 14, 2005, 11:40 AM
Excellent thought, settledown! Best of luck with it. You'll have to post pictures if/when you get it going.

Jalexster
Jan 14, 2005, 12:09 PM
SNIP
jalexter: good point on the battery and turning the car off, unless we hard wire it to the car's battery, and have the mini go to sleep shortly after it is inactive. That way when you shut the car off and walk away, the mini will go to sleep in like 5 minutes. I'll experiment with that.

First, how will the mini know when the car is off? And it you leave it for a while, well, by-bye car battery. I would be pissed if I found my car won't start because my mini drained it.

I d recomend getting an iBook on the cheap, plug that little 7-inch display into it with the VGA adaptor, hope the touch screen works, and then take the screen OFF the iBook, so that it dosen't overheat (iBooks overheat if they are running while closed. So, if there is no screen, yet it thinks it's closed, then no problem.

Stuff the screenless iBook in the glovebox or boot. Bingo, car-computer. With battery backup!

kasei
Jan 14, 2005, 12:14 PM
I am sure we will see very soon someone's ride getting pimped with a Mac Mini on MTV....

7on
Jan 14, 2005, 12:25 PM
I am sure we will see very soon someone's ride getting pimped with a Mac Mini on MTV....

I doubt it, that show doesn't have too many positive Apple products, even getting people, I believe, a Creative jukebox one episode as opposed to an iPod.

settledown
Jan 14, 2005, 12:38 PM
Jalexter:
the mini would go to sleep in 5 minutes regardless of the car being on or off. unless you are using it to watcha movie or listen to music or photoshop a picture of slightly.......

kasei
Jan 14, 2005, 02:19 PM
I doubt it, that show doesn't have too many positive Apple products, even getting people, I believe, a Creative jukebox one episode as opposed to an iPod.

Very true.. I have not seen one Apple product on there. I am sure they have an agreement with certain manufacturers for the products they place in the cars. Perhaps that will change soon.

winter artifice
Jan 15, 2005, 01:24 PM
Here's my idea and what I would like to have done. I have a Scion XA and the cd player in it is rather large, I believe the mac mini is smaller than it and would fit into the space provided for the stereo. I'd like to replace the stereo with the mini and put in 2 or 3 lcd's in it. It would be cool if I could mount an lcd in the glove box that would flip out when you open it or something along those lines as it's illegal to remove a working airbag and unsafe as well heh. Then I'd either like one center mounted lcd or two headrest mounted lcd's in the back. The mini would be the music source via iTunes, and allow dvd viewing as well. A GPS would be nice but I've been told there aren't many GPS options for OS X right now. It would definitely have bluetooth and airport extreme. I just don't know if anyone can actually do this and I know I nor my husband could not.
What does everyone think?

jrober
Jan 18, 2005, 06:54 AM
One thing you will need to consider is shock protection for the Mac Mini. I am not sure that the hard drive would survive a big pothole or two. Other than that it is an excellent idea. Teaming it up with a foldaway dashboard touch screen to control it would be very nice.

Off now to pimp my Mini Cooper to make a Mini Mac Mini.

Thoughts folks on how best when pimping to display the apple logo on the top of the unit. Not much use hiding it behind the dashboard, then no-one can see your set-up.

robbieduncan
Jan 18, 2005, 07:21 AM
Here's my idea and what I would like to have done. I have a Scion XA and the cd player in it is rather large, I believe the mac mini is smaller than it and would fit into the space provided for the stereo...

I see heat being a possibly major problem with this. The Mac mini is designed to draw air in from below it and vent it out the back. If it's not able to do this properly then it will probably overheat. You would need to ensure that the hot air vented out the back does not end up trapped in the space with the mini as it would just get hotter and hotter!

mpw
Jan 18, 2005, 07:39 AM
Here is the project.
Put a Mac Mini into a car, but do it on the cheap.

what keyboard/mouse? why?
what display? where do we install it?
what software would be needed to make it car friendly?
what options should we include?

I based this project on this:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/1/prweb197110.htm
and this
http://www.classicresto.com/macmini.html

The 'Frogpad' keyboard looks like a neat little keyboard ideal for mounting in a vehicle. See frogpad.com

Sabbath
Jan 18, 2005, 09:21 AM
I'd recomend a touch screen over a small LCD panel.

This is also why a laptop would be better, bcause you could set it to sleep as quick as possible when it stops getting power from the power adaptor.

Yes definitely a touch screen, remember the one button mouse people moan about so much makes using a touch screen much easier. Then get a bluetooth keyboard and some kind of trackball or laptop type trackpad to control the mini if you want to do something more major when stopped. I would hardwire the mini into the car, maybe adding an additional battery, although you would have to figure out how to charge it. If you just put the mini to sleep every time you left the car, it would probably use very little battery power.

wPod
Jan 18, 2005, 09:51 AM
www.66.com
get route 66 software, plug in a cheap GPS-R and then youll be set with awsome navigation powers at your fingertips!!! $500 for mini + $100 for cheap GPS-R would be a lot cheaper than many in car nagigation systems on the market right now!!!

madmaxmedia
Jan 18, 2005, 12:43 PM
Is Xzibt a member here? I'm sure he could give you the lowdown-