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Old 06-09-2019, 10:16 AM   #1
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Default Dedicated Workshop PC

Do any forum members have a dedicated workshop PC?


I have been toying with the idea for some time now. Wanted a PC to use in my shop but didn't want to use any of my existing systems for that purpose.


I cobbled one up this weekend. Got one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Beelink-Compu.../dp/B071JNH6JX and set it up with an extra monitor I had laying around. It's all mounted to a roll around cart that keeps it mobile enough so that I can use it at my workbench or roll it around to other parts of the shop such as right next to the car when under working the hood.


I have shop manuals for my vehicles in PDF format so I can consult them when needed and also have an OBDII dongle and software to be able to read codes and other vehicle diagnostic info from my vehicle's computer. It should also be handy for watching YouTube videos and hot to do things.


Anyone have other suggestions as to what software might be useful for a shop PC?
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

Yes, I have a dedicated "shop" PC...

Programs on the computer depend on what you will use it for.

Mine has:
Car PC software (manufacturer specific and general scanner stuff.)
Electronics software to drive digital oscilloscopes and logic analysers.
Software stuff - to build any programs where I can't find what I want etc.
Software to run my PA system I use when playing in a band.
Software to run my 3D printer...
Webcam software to drive the cheap USB borescope camera I have (great for finding things you can't quite see properly when working on the back of an engine!)

I have a laptop (far more convenient for auto diagnostics. -it's a mini laptop that fits into a standard (not pro size) tool box.

Some cad software seems like a good idea to reference if you're making something. -but honestly if you're cutting wood (or metal) it's good to get your PC away from the dust (cutting oil) etc... I'll just print plans in that case.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

I thought about using a laptop or a tablet but decided I'd prefer a PC on a roll around cart.

I forgot I have one of those USB Endoscopes, I dug it out and installed the software so I can use it with the shop PC. I'd only ever used it with my phone previously. Thanks for reminding me about that.

My software development is done on a different machine and I have a separate oscilloscope so don't need those functions.

I already have FreeCAD installed.

What size screen does your mini laptop have? At my age, a bigger screen is definitely a plus.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

Them endoscope are handy as hell but I couldn't get mine to work with my Android phone.

Works perfectly with my PC though. Go figure.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

The laptop is a dell D620 -cost me £20, it's tiny, only a 12" screen of something (one of those Super small things from about a decade ago, no laptop drive.

it's still running windows XP. (because the car scan software I use needs either that, or a much better PC able to run an XP virtual machine.


each to his own regarding the rolling cart, - I can see how that would be far far better in a lot of circumstances, - I've ended up trying to balance a laptop on the top of a running engine, or whatever, or hold with one hand trying to adjust something with the second etc, a cart would have been great then
- though road test diagnostics will be difficult.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
- though road test diagnostics will be difficult.
Simple fix... duct tape.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

For road trip diagnostics, I could use a laptop or a tablet to connect to the OBDII dongle.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Simple fix... duct tape.
just have to drive out one route, and then drive back the same way reeling the extension cord back in.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

Celery must be one of those mechanics that can fix anything with some duct tape, baling wire and water pump pliers!
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dedicated Workshop PC

and super glue!
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