Installed VMSpc on a mini desktop PC

Monitor installed DSC02218 (Medium).JPGPC mounted in consol DSC02223 (Medium).JPG

I used VMSpc which is typically loaded on a laptop and installed it on a mini desktop. I did not want to encumber either the dash or the entrance walkway with a laptop installation, even a mini notebook, so I found a way to install a mini desk top PC.

The Acer Aspire 1600 is a full feature desktop running windows XP. It measures approximately 7” x 7” x 1”. I purchased this unit and a Xenarc 705TSV 7” touch screen monitor to be a single software dedicated computer to run only Silverleaf VMSpc. This PC and monitor will run on 12VDC.

There were some installation issues but all were overcome. So far VMSpc is operating normally.

PC mounted in consol DSC02223 (Medium).JPG37.33 KB
Monitor installed DSC02218 (Medium).JPG69.69 KB

Installed VMSpc on a mini desktop PC

Hi Stephen,

Very cool!!!

I have been considering using a car pc to enhance my installation of the 7" Xenarc monitor. I like your use of the Acer for $200 instead. (see new post of my installation) I have a few questions for you.

What did you use to mount the monitor?
Do you think that the Acer has enough power to run VMSpc and Microsoft S&T at the same time?
I was not clear on where you installed the pc? Do you have another photo?
Did the Acer come with a cigarette lighter plug? If not what did you use to hook it up as a 12 volt device?
How do you plan to make the daily changes to VMSpc? ie reset the odometers, fuel tank monitor or modify what you want the display to show.

Great stuff!

John Shankland

Country Coach 2007 Inspire

Installed VMSPC on a mini dsktop PC

Sorry that I was not responsive to your questions. We have been traveling and I did not remember to check this forum.
1. There is a photo of the monitor mounted on our Phaeton dash. Both photos are at the bottom of my initial post.
2.Each installation will be unique to space and monitor type. I actually used the stand that came with the monitor (complete luck out!). But I was prepared to purchase a stand if necessary.
3. I have only used the Acer to run VMSpc. My initial design was to use the Acer to run only VMSpc. I use a stand alone Garmin GPS mounted else where. I did this because I use VMSpc as an instrument and want it continuously displayed.
4. However, to try to answer your question, I suspect that the Acer might not be strong enough (fast enough)to handle both programs. But I have no way to prove that. Second, I would not be comfortable trying to switch between the programs while driving.
5. The Acer did not come with a cigarette plug. It is normally powered via a 120VAC through a transformer to reduce power to a DC voltage range up to 19VDC. Acer confirmed that it would operate on 12VDC and it has. So I cut the wire at the transformer which allowed me to use the OEM connector and attached the other end of the wire to a fused 12VDC power source.
6. I also installed a power on/off switch near the ACER location (I have to open the bottom drawer to access it) which turns off DC power to the monitor and computer. When you shut down windows at the monitor that shuts off the computer (just like any desktop computer) but the monitor will still have standby power (an LED remains illuminated to remind you). But while we are camping or in storage I do not need or want power.
7. The touch screen monitor allows me to double tap the trip screens to reset them to zero.
8. I left the computer mouse attached to the ACER and leave it in the center console drawer so I have easy access. I made the monitor screen resolution small to allow space for more gauges and this sometimes makes it difficult to touch the monitor upper right corner to close the program. If and when this occurs, I can use the mouse to accomplish this.
9. I setup the initial screen file on my home desk top. But have since modified the setup using the ACER: mouse and small key board that came with it. I transfer the file back and forth (to create a backup copy) by plugging in a Scandisk flash drive into one of the ACER's USB ports.
10. I have put on roughly 5,000 miles since the installation and have had no setup problems. I did initially have some VMSpc issues but Silverleaf helped me solve those by making jumper changes to their interface board.
11. Since I wanted to be able to use SilverLeaf’s audible warning alarms I connected the audio cable. The monitor’s internal speakers are fed by the audio output from the ACER through the head phone port (There is no other port). The audio can be heard through the monitor speaker but both the PC and monitor volume settings must be set at maximum. So far this volume setting has been sufficient. I was told there are alternative speaker solutions if it is necessary to increase the volume.
12. As of 09/15/2010 I am still happy with this ACER mini desktop / Xenarc 705TSV 7" TFT LCD touchscreen monitor setup.

Contact me

Could you email me direct?


Country Coach 2007 Inspire