Car PC Build for DaToy

With the redo of DaToy’s electronics I decided to get away from the laptop and implement an integrated Car PC. The Computer is designed to have the following functionality:

– Built in GPS using Garmin GPS 15
– Integration with the FJ Jammer using Car2PC
– OBD II Support
– Touch Screen Capability
– Bluetooth Support
– WiFi Capability

Supported software:

– Garmin nRoute and Mappoint with Topo map support
– HAM Radio APRS using APRSpoint and AGWP

Weather Radar for Stop Spotting using Stormlab
– I’m evaluating Car Computer front end software
– Internet access via tethered Cell Phone or WiFi
– Music library and Napster support with integration to the FJ Jammer

With these goals I prototyped the system in my office:

You can see the 160gb hard drive that I will be able to load with a large music library.

I have been having problems with the mother board pictured here and will be replacing it with a more current board. The board is early XP and does not have the driver support that I need.

With the system prototyped I was ready to put it together in a case. I decided to use an aluminum project box as the case.

The power supply and audio expansion card are mounted to the lib of the case.. There is a fan mounted in the bottom that will draw air through the case. After some time using this system I am going to rebuild it with a sealed case that will have heat sync to draw off the heat.

The computer has been placed under the passenger seat with cables routed in both the door sill and to the RAM Mount the the monitor is attached to. For the monitor I had to fabricate a bracket to connect to the RAM mount ball mount. I used a section of 2″ angle iron for this.

Once mounted the Monitor is rock solid and I can still use the built in tilt adjustment that the monitor came with.

Once the system was installed and the Car2PC and OBD II adapters connected I was ready to test the system out.

Here is the Logitech Blue tooth keyboard that I am using in the car. The only problem I have with the keyboard is that the charge voltage in 9 volts. I am going to build an adapter so the keyboard will always be charged and ready to go in the FJ.

I installed an active GPS antenna on the roof of the FJ. The antenna is powered with 5 volts from the Computer power supply. I also use the computer power supply to provide the 12 volts required to power the OEM GPS.

Here is a view of the touch screen as seen from the drivers position.

A quick screen shot of the OBD II software gauges. The scan software can view all data from the FJ as well as trouble codes. If I want I can also reset trouble codes and capture record data when the FJ is having problems.

Here is a shot of the HAM radio and TNC that are hooked up to support digital radio and APRS.

I’ll post additional data as I gain experience with the system…



Tomas has lived in Colorado since age 5. Having grown up on the Western Slope of Colorado lots of time was spent in the Desert Southwest. Tomas' father introduced him to the love of 4 wheeling at an early age in the high mountains around Aspen, Colorado. While an avid Mountain Biker, Tomas and his Family enjoy adventures in the mountains and desert in the remote locations that can only be reached by 4wd. Day hikes are always a must when on the family trips. While enjoying outdoor activities he wants to share his love as a certified 4wd trainer and ski instructor. Tomas also enjoys caving and cave exploration. Tomas currently resides in Colorado Springs. 


  6 comments for “Car PC Build for DaToy

  1. February 24, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    Wow… that is a really nice setup and very good job tying it all together. nice job.

  2. March 6, 2009 at 2:23 PM

    That is a really cool set up. I wanted something very similar, but budget and lack of ingenuity have forced me to scale it back a bit… we are probably going to stick to a laptop plugged into an amp. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the posts.

    • March 6, 2009 at 3:00 PM

      The Car2PC link can be used with a laptop. That will integrate the Laptop with your FJammer. I used a laptop for about 2 years before I built this system.

  3. Jack Christensen
    March 25, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Can you tell me the model number of the RAM mount you are using? It looks like it attaches using seat mounting bolt(s). Also, the photo of your ham radio it the glove box?

    • March 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      The no drill base is RAM-VB-138ST1. You can add what ever parts you want to that or purchase the fully assembled laptop mount.

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