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Custom Mobile Truck PC | Custom Mobile PC Overview | Custom Mobile PC Fabrication | Truck Sound System
Custom Mobile PC Fabrication
I started by using some 1/2" MDF to fabricate the enclosure, I ended up not being satisfied by just placing the PC case in another box, so I decided to take everything out of the PC case, and mount everything inside the fabricated enclosure. The enclosure was fabricated so that it will fit onto the middle seat mounts.
Below is a close up of the ATI All In Wonder card
and the WLAN card...
Below left you can see how the Motherboard is mounted in the enclosure, on the right shows the Hard Drive rack that is suspended above the rest of the components, notice all the holes in the HDD bracket for heat dissipation. (It gets pretty hot in the truck during the summer months.) The bottom of the enclosure is open from one end to the back, which has about 1 1/2" clearance off the floor, this way I can turn my AC on if needed, and the air will be routed from under my dash over the AC Inverter, over the Motherboard and under the HDD rack out the underside of the enclosure out the back. (In the Winter the PC can be warmed up also by the trucks heater.) You can see the ATI's remote receiver at the bottom of the left picture below, sitting on the power supply. To the right of the receiver in the photo, you can see one of the galvanized steel brackets that hold the enclosure in place over the middle seat mounting bracket under the motherboard.
The CDRW_DVD combo is mounted flush on the front of the enclosure, above the cup holders.
For the armrest part of the enclosure, I went down to the local craft store and purchased some black and red vinyl, some batting and some cushion foam, dug out my sewing machine, (yes, I own a couple of sewing machines, don't you??) I decided to do a design on the armrest since I wanted something more than just a black one, I free handed this design. The Photo below shows the finished product. The image was skectched on the back of the red vinyl and then laid face down on the back of the black vinyl, then it was sawn from the back following the outline of the design. Once the outline was all sawn, I used a small pair of sharp scissors and cut the black vinyl out from inside the sawn outline, I cut as close to the stitching as possible without cutting the stitches. I fabricated a CD Holder out of some of the left over vinyl and tacked it in place underneath the armrest with upholstery tacks. The armrest is pretty comfortable, I used some batting under the vinyl then I carved a 2" thick foam to shape (rounded off the sharp corners) before I stretched the cover over the armrest.
I decided to use the same black vinyl to frame in the touch screen, and used some speaker enclosure carpeting (which I had left over from building my sub enclosures.), without the rubber backing, to finish off the MDF enclosure. I made the enclosure to have a compartment for the keyboard and remote, I installed this mini keyboard to use as an alternate input for the PC, since having to type something on a touch screen is a pain in the a#%!!! You can also use the remote to navigate windows or control most of the PC's functions, it can be programmed to work with most windows applications such as Media Player, my DVD Player, wireless mouse control, etc. I routed the audio output from the PC into the Auxilliary Audio Input of my receiver, so I can play my MP3's through my system.
The DC-AC Inverter is located underneath the LCD. The left switch below the LCD is for the Inverter power, and the one on the right is for the Blue neon lights I have installed in the enclosure, that pulse to the beat of my music, or can be set to be just on. It matches the neon lighting on my amp and capacitor.
I installed an auxilliary 12V power plug on the back of it, just in case the need may arise. I also have one unused AC Outlet, for the XBox or PS2,
In case the kids want to play a game while travelling. (But most of the time, the family uses my better half's HHR, I dont like having too many
dropped french fries and spilled drinks in my truck!)