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Discussion Starter #1
Imagine the possibilities that would come with a laptop in an insight. I have spent some time is cop cars and I was fascinated by all the gizmos. The best gizmo by far is the laptop mounted to telescoping swingarm on the dash. They use it for quick identity checks and as a center for all the other gizmos. With a laptop a person could use webcams instead of mirrors, play MP3s directly throught the cars sound system, use a Rand McNally CD ROM or GSP, watch DVDs and play CDs. Probly no internet but with a memory stick or some something from the home computor, data could eaily be transeferred. The laptop could also be romovable from the car and plugged in for net use elsewhere. I'm surprised I havn't heard of a person doing this yet. Please respond with any difficulties you come up with or any success stories or just stories.
 

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Well, I did have an idea somewhat on those lines. Between some stuff I'd seen on the net and some ideas from a friend in the back of my mind I've got it all planned out how I would basically install a computer in the car. I've heard they do make 12 volt DC power supplies for computers so you'd start there. For a motherboard you could use one of the micro atx motherboards that shuttle makes with the imbedded cpu. I think it's only like a 900mhz processor, but all well. This could go where the cd changer is supposed to go but cutting out some of that block. For a hard drive something large would be in order, at least 60 gigs, it would have to be mounted in some sort of custom suspension holder to avoid excess g's to the drive. I've seen some setups where people put computers in cars where they suspended the hard drives with bands, which should work. For a monitor, this would be the tricky part, but I think it would be possible to find a super slim one and mount it in the passenger side visor. Then you could find a spot for a DVD rom drive, again suspended somehow, possibly similar to how the hard drive gets mounted, and possibly in the dead space if nothing is there and have the drive open in to the storage box. Get a wireless keyboard and mouse and wifi and you could just drive it up to your house and transfer away.

Anyway, one of these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
:arrow: The Back Seat 8)

Sounds kinda complicated to me. A telescoping swingarm on the center console would allow the laptop to swing right over to the driver or passenger for easy and comfortable use. It would put it just a few feet from the DC outlet and, if you wanted to go cheap and easy, you could use the headphone jack and a cassette tape adapter to bring the audio straight through the stock deck. It would also put it right between the mirrors if you wanted to replace them with lighter and more aerodynamic webcams. It would take some engineering unless you could somehow buy the swingarm from the same place the police get them, but i would choose to build one to save money and weight and to incorporate some kind of vibration dampening system.
 

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Here's a company that sells PDA, Cell, and Laptop mounts for cars, I haven't purchased anything from them yet but ran accross them when trying to find a way to mount my Clie somewhere usable.
http://www.ram-mount.com/index.htm

Not sure where that flexible arm laptop mount is they show on the homepage but this PDF shows some differnt mounts, including ones that use the existing bolts under the passenger seat:
http://www.ram-mount.com/ramcat/ram computer pictures.pdf

A computer is on my wish list of mods and I'm leaning more toward the built-in type but the screen is a problem unless you are willing to give up the cup holders. Check out the Mini-ITX form factor for some small (170mm x 170mm) motherboards. The new ones are starting to include USB2.0, Firewire, DVD-decoders, better audio output, DDR RAM, and CPUs up to 933Mhz (most of which are fanless.)
http://www.via.com.tw/en/VInternet/mini_itx.jsp - The homepage.
http://www.mini-itx.com/ - A site with good info and a store.
 

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automobile computer mounts, gps

Dazey,

Thanks for the link to ram mounts. I recently had to purchase an Acer tablet computer for work, and will definitely need something to hold it in the car - looks like one of the ram mounts will do the trick.

I do a lot of driving, and while looking for an online map, ran across this little gem I can connect to the tablet (which I promptly ordered). Figure I can use the gps with a handspring on the motorcycle also.

http://delorme.com/earthmate/
 

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another mp3 idea

I have an mp3 player in my insight too. http://www.apple.com/ipod/ 10 gig, fits in the palm of my hand, ui is already there, so are the controls. I have it hooked up with minijack --> RCA cable which goes to my aux input on my sony reciever. Oh yeah, I can use it with headphones anywhere, and I can hook it up to my reciever at home too. The Ipod is the way to go.
 

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mp3 players

Whiel we're listing our mp3 players. I have an empeg: http://www.riocar.org
It's the original car mp3 player, that is basically a linux box that fits in your dash.
 

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The only Problem I can see with the install of a laptop in a insight is. 1 the Airbag deployment zone ( who wants a PDA or laptop imbedded in their skull. 2 a laptop mount will make the seating even more cramped.

and last thing frickin drive if you want a office stay home
 

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My wife and I have iPods as well, we use a cassette tape adapter which is unsatisfactory (poor sound, and cables lying around are a pain) but kinda works. Might try an FM adapter, like this one that I just found online

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/itrip/

Ideally I'd like a new head unit w/ line in and a shoebox sub but that's just a dream for now...
 

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tried he irock fm adaptor. I was not impressed with the quality, the only thing the I found that works will is RCA patch cord. I am looking into a basooka tube for bass because the shoebox is not going to be made anymore , at least I think I read that on the yahoo groups.

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got it all figured out. Richard Reece has the right idea as to where to put the monitor. Right in front of the shifter and covering the cup holders (just buy a bottle). Make it a great big flat screen (they are getting a lot cheaper now). The post by dazey shows the best solution to the actual computor, and i think the glovebox is a good place for that, its easy to wire and makes it siple to access the slimline dvd/cd player. The mouse would have to be one of those big ones with the big ball you roll around with your thumb and the buttons for index and middle fingers. For the keyboard....i have no friggin idea....small, very small. Its almost all mapped out. Tell me if im forgetting something rediculousely important.
 

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Just one thing to consider, visability. You probably won't be able to hide that very well and someone smashing in your window for that might be a concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tint, lots of tint. Plus I live in small town Iowa, where people leave their cars running in the winter while they shop for twenty minutes. I havn't known a single person here who has had a single thing stolen from anywhere, seriousely. But I think a good tint job in addition to a simple slip cover would conceal the goods well enough. And it should be well out of the way of the airbags.

I wonder if one of those mini PC slimline dvd drives would skip one the road (they are made for a laptop so probably not, just curiouse). Is there such a thing as a campground with an internet plug-in?
 

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No, I don't think there is. I think most people go camping to get away from the civilized world/cars honking/etc.

If you're semi-serious about using the internet where ever you are, get a data-capable cell phone and 802.11 card. You'll be able to hook into most coffee shops' internet systems with the 802.11 and anywhere with a cell tower will get you access thru the cell phone.

If you're really serious about using the internet wherever you are get a microwave transmitter and buy satellite time. Ultra-fast, ultra-cool, uber-coverage and uber-expensive. But you can't go wrong with a big black collapsing microwave transmitter sitting on the roof of your car: The "DANGER: INVISIBLE RADIATION" decals in the center and radiation logos everywhere are enough to scare anyone off.

Anyone else remember the thing that Jeff Goldblum had in "Independence Day"? kind of a magnetic satellite transmitter that sat on the roof of his car. I really want one of those.
 

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I will be mounting a laptop in my insight over the weekend and I already have the delorme earthmate gps, a wireless card and a 14db wifi antenna! I will keep you posted as to how it goes!

I also will be putting in the ipod to the factory head unit over the weekend!

I have also ordered a Saris roof rack for bikes and a yakima basket for carrying items on extended trips, & will also try to review the pros and cons. Like mpg loss, wind resistance, handling. ease to mount and unmount the rack system!

As i know several people on here mountain bike and need more space than the car has!

Oh and for whoever asked about it many campgrounds, parks and hotels have wifi networks setup!
 

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Promising laptop mount...

I am going to check out an AirDesk...

http://www.airdesks.com/CarDesk.asp

This looks like the best way to mount a laptop in the Insight without drilling any holes or transforming the Insight into a permanent one-seater.

Has anyone bought this, or seen any comparable product?
 

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I got my laptop mounted and all with about $25 worth of parts you can get from a hardware store, & I didnt drill any holes! I will try to post some pics of it later in the week! If anybody cares!

I got a few things to tweak but it looks really good and is not to obtrusive for such a small cabin!

I just have to run the wires for GPS, voice navigation, and my wifi antenna! Then i'm ready for a road trip!!!!

Any body got any ideas for a CB antenna I almost mounted my little cobra tonight but I don't know what antenna to use or where to mount it, without fear of messing up the aerodynamics?
 
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