I have completed building my Car Media Centre. It works well so far! Just got to install it in my car without killing either my Media Centre, my car or myself. Click for more info and pictures.
All my pieces arrived on Thursday, and I got to work putting it all together. The specs of my machine are as follows:
Gigabyte GA-7VT600 Mainboard, with onboard LAN and Audio
AMD Sempron 2400+ Processor
512MB RAM with a Copper Cooler
Gigabyte 3D Rocket CPU Cooler
Vortex Hard Disk Cooler
PowerCOM 600AP UPS
Leadtek Geforce FX5200 Graphics Card
40GB IDE Hard Drive (which I will upgrade as I need to)
CD ROM Drive (to become a DVD drive soon!)
I was planning on building the machine in a box I was going to build myself, but I found that my old full tower case I had worked better, and would be more stable, although it probably is a bit heavier than I was planning. I can fit the UPS inside it as well, making the unit almost self contained.
I covered it in carpet to make it look like a speaker box. I haven’t quite finished yet, but here is what it looks like to far.
I will neaten up the wires poking out the front shortly. Inside, it looks like this:
The UPS is mounted in the top section. The reason for the UPS is that I am going to wire my inverter to the ignition, so it will power off when the car is off, thereby saving my battery. I have set the UPS to shut the Windows down gracefully 10 minutes after it looses power. This gives me enough time to start the car up again and resume power if I am just running into the shop, or stopping for gas without the machine shutting down. Currently I have it set to power up again as soon as power returns, but I may change this and put a switch on the dash for powering up. All this has been tested and is working well, except the inverter installation. That I am going to get some help from an auto electrician for, because as I see it, it I get something wrong with it, 4 things could happen:
1) I could cook my car battery.
2) I could cook my inverter.
3) I could cause a fire, and burn my car out.
4) I could send 240V through myself and anyone and anything else in the car.
None of these options are good. (Especially not the last two!).
I have it all wired up in my spare room right now, with my car screen, so I have included some pictures of it in action.
Playback of video is also very good. I have set my resolution to 960×600, which causes XP Media Centre to play widescreen video properly.
SO far I’m very happy with the way things are progressing.