One essential part of the CarPC is of course the computer itself. Because I wanted this computer to be small
and suitable for in-car use, I decided to go for the Epia from Via (everybody who knows this platform will
agree with this). At the time this project started, cases and DC/DC power supplies designed for the Epia
were hard to find so I started building those myself;
Plexiglass is choosen to build the case for two obious reasons: it is quite simple to handle and it looks good too. The base that holds the power supply, the mainboard and cabling forms an ordinary box. In the corners of the open top side of this box , extrusions are mounted on which the cover gets mounted. This cover holds the hard drive. Between the edge of the cover and the edges of the base unit, a gap of about 5mm is left open to allow for airflow through the case. The joints between the harddrive and the cover plate and between the cover and the base are decoupled with rubber grommets to protect the drive from vibrations.
I have created a small USB-LED module that is mounted to the from of the case. This carries the power LED, the hard drive LED and one USB connector. This USB is used to quickly connect a CD player or a small flashdisk.
As already mentioned, at the time all this started no power supplies for 12V input were available. That was enough reason for me to start designing one myself. Soon I pulled this project into my company; more information on this project can be found there. (http://www.whitebream.com/e311.shtml)