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Discussion Starter #1
Seeing how Acura has a nice video and stereo input terminal for the new '03 DVD system (see pic below), it raises the possibility of adding a video game system to the car for trips.

Seeing as most of these systems use a CD, DVD, or proprietary variant of one of these systems, it raises two questions:

1) Do these work OK on the road? Clearly too much "turbulence" and a CD type system is not going to do well. Has anyone tested these on the highway?

2) Any ideas on getting around the need for a DC to AC power inverter? For example, my daughter's Nintendo Gamecube would be an ideal system given its small size, and it's power supply is stated as 12v x 3.5A (can this thing really be pulling 3.5 amps!?). There are some cheap DC-DC adapters out there that might work, and the lighter output is already 12v. Anyone experiment with this?

A lot of conversion vans seem to incorporate video game systems, but I have only seen cartridge based systems. Any experience you might have with disk based game consoles or how power is supplied to these consoles would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

RadMDX
 

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GameCube

We used a GameCube in our Explorer last year. We bought the accessory video screen. It came with a cigarette lighter cord. It would be much better to use the ceiling mounted DVD screen, however.

I have heard of others using GameCubes in their vehicles successfully. Maybe they offer a cigarette lighter cord as an accessory.
 

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I would suggest a PSOne or used Dreamcast which are both $50 each. The consoles are cheap, and the games are less than $20. This way, if something happens to them through normal wear-and-tear on the road - you aren't crying like you might if you ruined a $200 XBox or PS2.

I'm going to put a PSOne in mine. There are LOTS of kids games available for the PSOne too!
 

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GameCube Wireless Controller

GameCube has a wireless controller available, but, I doubt that it would work in the MDX because it is infrared.
 

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radmdx said:
it's power supply is stated as 12v x 3.5A (can this thing really be pulling 3.5 amps!?)
12V X 3.5A = 42 Watts. That's not much, really. The power outlets are rated @ 120 Watts each/combined for the front and center, and 120 Watts by itself for the rear.
 

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Actually the Nintendo Wavebird controller is radio frequency (requires no line of sight) and it works extremely well. My daughter uses it exclusively over the standard controllers.

You can check out a review at ign.com if interested.

The Wavebird is an ideal solution of in-vehicle gaming, where cords would be a big bother.
 

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MDX-Ray said:
The Wavebird is an ideal solution of in-vehicle gaming, where cords would be a big bother.
It also depends on the age of your kids. That controller is relatively big compared to the Playstation one and less suited for very young kids hands.

Hey, that reminds me of an old joke.

How do you know its bedtime at Michael Jackson's house?

It's when the big hand touches the little hand.
 

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GameCube

Actually we had a problem using the GameCube in the Explorer. We would get occasional 'resets'. That is, it was like you pressed the 'reset' button. Obviously there was some sort of power interruption for some reason.

I was considering getting the battery attachment for the GameCube, but, it was awkward to use it in the car, anyway, because the video screen was attached to the top of the GameCube, and you had to sit the whole thing on your lap to use it. The battery attaches to the bottom of the console, and, that would have made it even worse.

It seems to me that my grandson had the same problem in his mother's Lexus while using his GameBoy (with light attachment) with a (different) cigarette cord.
 

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Nice GBA option

Speaking of the Gameboy - one of the biggest limitations for the Gameboy Advance in a vehicle is its poor screen visibility in suboptimal lighting conditions (i.e., anything but direct sunlight). External attached lights throw a lot of glare on the screen.

One inventor made a nice internal frontlight that makes the LCD similar to a laptop, nice even glow internally. He sells kits at his website at Triton Labs. The GBA is then playable in complete darkness.

However, if you are interested I advise you to check out the forums at the site and have the kit professionally installed. I have installed three of these and they are EXTREMELY time consuming and fault intolerant. I can't emphasize this enough. Ignore anyone who says differently on the forums there. You say you are a Ph. D. in engineering? STILL get it professionally done. This is one project you don't want. However, the final result is outstanding if everything goes well (it WON'T go well if you try it yourself - have I made that point?) :)

Battery life with the internal lighting is lowered from about 14 hours to 10 hours, which is still pretty good.

Here's a pic of how the screen looks...
 

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crmsnidol said:
It also depends on the age of your kids. That controller is relatively big compared to the Playstation one and less suited for very young kids hands.
I agree - the Wavebird controller is pretty big. My 7 year old does well with it but I could see a 4-5 year old having trouble.

My understanding is that the Japanese nintendo controllers may be smaller, which could be a solution for smaller children. I don't know about the size specs for the Japanese version of the wireless controller.
 
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