Electronic Design

VoomPC Rugged Automotive Mini-ITX Case

The $79 VoomPC case is solid — literally. The extruded aluminum case provides protection on five sides (see the Figure). The sixth is where the Mini-ITX motherboard connectors are located. This tends to have less protection simply because the connectors are exposed, but it's usually not an issue since the case is normally mounted under the dash, under a seat or in the trunk of a car.

The case comes with a single 40-mm brushless DC cooling fan. There is space for two additional fans. Using all three is a good idea when using a Celeron or Pentium M processor that tends to run hotter than the VIA chips. The case can be used as a heat sink and many designs employ a heatpipe between the processor and the case to provide additional cooling.

Our unit for the Car PC project was provided by Logic Supply. Logic Supply can also supply the other components necessary for a Car PC project including a selection of Mini-ITX motherboards, 2.5-in. hard disk drives, and power supplies suitable for use in an automotive environment. The latter is important for a variety of reasons, including the lack of a power on/off button for the case.

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