Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
eric

Trailer PC

Recommended Posts

The Forum has been pretty quiet lately, so I thought I'd fill the lull in activity with a little bit about the computer I integrated into my Oliver for those who have discovered their inner geek.

 

4723199159_f782409a41_z.jpg

 

The keyboard and optical mouse are wireless and run on batteries. The display is a Samsung P2370HD, a 23-inch 1080P monitor with a HD receiver. As far as I know, it's the smallest 1080P monitor/TV out there and weighs about 12lb. Unfortunately, it doesn't run on DC like the standard Jensen TV, I was unable to find one that fit all my other requirements (like a VESA mount) that did. But on the ProSine 2.0 inverter, the monitor pulls about 3A with the brightness turned down a bit, and less than an amp when on standby.

 

Getting the DVI video through the overhead storage required a change to the factory connector panel. I found a reasonably flexible panel system that went in with just a little bit of hand modification.

 

4723851692_c266c45961_z.jpg

 

An HDMI connector would have taken up less panel space, but for some reason the computer I'm using produces a noticeably sharper image from the DVI port. There are also a pair of USB outlets in the panel and two coax fitings -- one F-connector for the antenna, and one mini-UHF for ham radio. The computer itself lives in the overhead compartment.

 

4723851974_e65cb8f5e4_z.jpg

 

The case is a VoomPC-2 enclosure for mini-ITX motherboards, with a M2-ATX intelligent automotive power supply. The supply can turn a computer on and off with a car's ignition switch, in my case I wired it to a spare switch in the panel by the door. Turning the switch off puts the computer into hibernation, turning it on wakes it up again.

 

The motherboard is loaded with 4GB of RAM and uses a dual-core Intel Atom processor which has very low power consumption. The Nvidia ION chipset provides pretty good graphics capability, I can play DVDs and 1080P video files, and I hope to have Blu-Ray capability once I work the bugs out of the player program. Also connected via USB are a WiFi adapter (Zonet ZEW2500P) and a GPS receiver (Holus GR-213-USB), both stuck to the inside of the trailer roof to "see" through the fiberglass. Audio output to the Jensen trailer stereo is via an optical S/PDIF cable which prevents ground loop noise from getting in and produces excellent audio.

 

I run Windows Server 2008 on the box, it's a lot like Windows 7 but without many of the extra gizmos that take up CPU and memory -- something you have to be careful of with the slower Atom processor. In addition to the usual computer stuff, the PC holds PDFs of all the trailer manuals, which saves space over carrying them around with me. There's also a good library of books, MP3s, and videos on the hard drive for entertainment when outside of civilization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you using an external HD? Also how is the monitor mounted to the back wall? Did you do the mounting or was there a back plate installed at the factory during assembly? This is a very nice looking install.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The VoomPC has room for a laptop-sized hard drive, I have 500GB installed so I didn't see any need for an external drive. The monitor arm was part of the factory configuration, but the original owner opted to not put in the Jensen TV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a beautiful installation, Eric. Thanks for all the info and photos.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful work. It is similar to our setup.

 

We have a Dell 24" monitor on our swing arm, and a Mac Mini wired up to a Carnetix 12V power supply in the cabinet above. We rarely watch TV, but when we do we have a ElGato USB TV Tuner and a flat RCA antenna.

 

One thing I love about the swing arm is that we can position the monitor to face out our back window. I can then move our speakers outside, and host walk-up movies out the back. We've had a dozen people over for movie nights this way - it is great!

 

Cheers,

 

- Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW - since we will be spending the winter in the US Virgin Islands, I think it makes sense to sell our Mac Mini / Carnetix setup rather than have it sit unused. So.... If anyone is interested in a killer trailer PC that can be powered by 12volt, let me know ASAP.

 

- Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...