Saturday, November 08, 2008

Media Center / carputer in a IKEA EMU

I found this really cheap main board from Intel: D201GLY2 about half a year ago. My first thoughts were that I could use it as a cheap media center, as a carputer or as a replacement for more complex projects where microcontrollers are involved.

I got 1GB RAM, a hard disk, a PSU, a wireless keyboard+mouse, a USB wifi card and some fans. I bought the cabinet from IKEA: A IKEA EMU box that I cut holes in with a dremel and drilled holes for the mounting screws. The rest was fixed with a hot glue gun. Now I only need a protection grid for the cabinet fan in order to avoid cutting my fingers when moving the box :-(

The reason for choosing the IKEA EMU box was that it was way cheaper than any regular cabinet and the dimensions fitted nicely inside our TV cabinet as well as in an enclosure inside the back of my car.

I have recently tested the computer as a media center, and had no problems running movies with great resolution (up to 1080p with slight skipping). This came as a surprise as the graphical capabilities are not very good. I have skipped using media centers like XBMC, MediaPortal and Elisa as they seem to be way to heavy for the computer to handle.

My future thoughts for the computer is to further test the computer as a carputer for things like playing music and running real time OBDII.

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