The Fast and the Furious – Home-Brewed Carputers

I’m one of those dorky people that gets nauseous in the car when I look down. I cannot read a magazine or access the internet from a handheld device without feeling sick. However, I don’t like feeling left behind by not being able to tweet or send email while on the road. After a few years of research, I’ve found the solution. I’m ready to install a real computer, otherwise known as a carputer, into my 2001 Nissan Pathfinder. I will make sure the computer is positioned so that when I navigate the internet, I look straight ahead instead of down. I’m very nervous about installing the new home-brewed carputer, but I’m confident that with lots of patience and perseverance, and some help from my techy friends, I’ll be able to do it.

First, I’ll need a Mac mini, which I have. Next, I’ll need a car friendly touch screen monitor. I have that on order. If you try this yourself, it is very important to measure carefully and order the right size screen otherwise your project will end before it begins. Of course I’ll need to take care of some other details like a wireless trackball, and connecting critical vehicle output (RPM, MPH, MPG, trans temp, etc) to the carputer (we can analyze the performance data later). If I can get this whole project finished without burning up or exploding more than one piece of the puzzle, I’ll consider myself lucky.

I don’t know what the end result of this project will be, but I plan to write additional articles with pictures and information that I learn along the way. For now, I will share what I’ve learned on the internet so far. Of all the blogs I’ve read about this type of project, I found this one to be the most helpful:

The video below illustrates a good example of one of these home-brewed carputers.