Mod of the Month - February 2009

Written by Antony Leather

February 27, 2009 | 10:26

Tags: #2009 #acrylic #aluminium #build #case #competition #construction #march #month #motm #of #perspex #scratch #the

Companies: #ac-ryan #bit-tech #mod

RX8 Carpooter

by Darklord7854
Worklog: Here


There’s something very impressive and exotic about fitting a computer in your car. Maybe it’s taking equipment that’s never meant to be more than a few meters away from a mains socket whilst it’s running, on a road trip. Or maybe it’s just the fact your hardware will be indirectly powered by fossil fuels that’s so different.

Either way, modding your own car in this way requires considerable cojones which is why DarkLord7854’s RX8 Carpooter impressed us from the outset. Even more so because he’s not just chopping up your average Ford Focus, but a rather tasty Mazda RX8.

Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854 Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854

Needless to say, there’s plenty of panel removing and cable routing which is slightly unconventional given the usual fun and games we see in Mod of the Month but if you’ve ever had to install a stereo or replace fuses or bulbs in your car then you’ll appreciate the work that DarkLord7854 has put in to his project. If you’ve never had this pleasure, for example if you don’t own a car yet, well you have all that to look forward to!

Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854 Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854

If you’ve cottoned on to the fact that your average 12V car battery wouldn’t be able to power a basic PC for more than an hour or two, you probably wandering how this all works? Luckily help is at hand in the form of low power ITX motherboards and small fanless PSUs which DarkLord7854 has put to good use.

Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854 Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854

Here you can see the fanless PSU and ITX motherboard plugged in at last. He also decided to use a Patriot Warp SSD which should draw less power than a traditional 2.5in laptop hard drive while offering fast read speeds. DarkLord7854 opted for Windows XP rather than Vista or Windows 7 beta and also included a GPS receiver in the mix. A seven inch Lilliput touchscreen provides the interface between man and machine. Don’t worry, he won’t be using the ATX PSU in the finished article. Before getting the smaller fanless PSU, DarkLord7854 tested the components with this standard power supply.

Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854 Mod of the Month - February 2009 RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854

In order to route cables from the rear to the front of the car, the RX8 had to be scarily stripped down, seats and all. Routing the power cable running to the car’s battery proved to be particularly troublesome. Bet you never knew there were this many cables behind all those plastic panels in your car! There’s not a lot of space left in many spots with existing cables taking up most of the room. This made it tricky to do a neat job.

If you would like to vote for an RX8 Carpooter by Darklord7854 do it over in the forums.
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