TIP - Here, it's important to note that the plexiglass platform is being installed specifically to protect the bottom solder points and traces on the motherboard from damage, or from contacting anything that could cause a short circuit. Always protect the bottom of your motherboard from damage due to short circuit. Especially in a metal case or container.

TIP - Some folks give me grief for running a 3.5" HD in the Dakota Project due to the fact that it's more prone to vibration damage than a notebook drive. I say "yeah but it's a lot faster and I have a backup!" Plus I have installed it with a shock absorbing foam underneath. A good strategery to keep in mind!

Glovebox Part 3

This view shows the hard drive in place with a shock absorbing foam under it. You can also see the plexiglass platform where the VIA EPIA M mainboard will be mounted. The hole in the back of the glovebox is for routing cables and wiring out of the box. There is about a one eighth inch clearance between the hard drive and the plexiglass platform. This should be plenty since the hard drive will be anchored securely with nylon straps.

Note the holes drilled at the corners of the plexiglass that match-up with the mount holes in the motherboard. Corresponding holes are also drilled in the aluminum chassis, as well as the glovebox.

Nylon spacers were then used between the mainboard and the platform to prevent the mainboard from actually contacting the bare plexiglass. Rubber grommets were placed under the plexiglass to act as spacers and additional cushioning between the mainboard and the glovebox. This step is probably not necessary, but I believe in overdoing it a little when it comes to vibration protection in a high vibration environment like a car.

Some people recommend against using full size hard drives for car-pc's due to the vibration element. They instead recommend using notebook drives since they are intrinsically tougher than 3.5" drives. That may be so, but I am running a full size hard drive in the Dakota and it hasn't missed a beat. I have also known several other people who are doing the same with no ill effects as of yet. It's true that notebook drives are more vibration and jolt resistant, but In my opinion the jury is still out on that one as long as you take precautions to cushion your hard drive when you install it. I do however, recommend keeping a backup hard drive or some other type of backup of your thousands of music files just in case. That goes for notebook drives as well.

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