NOTE: 10/22/2000

I don't have this car anymore, and there are finally cheap portable devices with gigs of storage available now that do exactly what I want.

So this page is only here for the sake of whatever ....

Bought a sweet 99 Grand Cherokee Limited with every option under the sun and its stereo system is too sweet to mess with except for adding some subs in the back.

My notebook now sits on my stereo in the house. 


This is my solution until some Car Audio companies get off their lazy !@#%&$ and make me a nice Car Deck with the features I want.

1994 Dodge Stealth Laptop Screenshot
Click For 640 X 480 Version
I am finally listening to MP3's in my car and I must say it is sweet.
Laptop Pic 1 First of all.. RIO's, MPMAN'S, NOMAD'S.. They just don't have the storage capacity needed for a car based MP3 system. I wanted 1000's of songs at my disposal and I needed a solution. I started researching this last month and noticed some people were actually building entire computers into their car. Bunch of psychos, but what they were doing was cool and I was getting excited. I came very close to doing the same thing and someday I may still. Check out this web site for more information. Very cool stuff for sure....
Laptop Pic 2 But then I started thinking about it and decided that an Ultra Mini Laptop computer with enough power to play MP3's would be kick ass and much less permanent. So, I started looking and found just what I was looking for. The Mitsubishi AMiTY CN1 sparked my interest because it was pretty cheap at $650.00 and had just the right features to do what I needed and it looked cool too. It was super high end in 1997 and sold for $ 2000.00 back then. The thing you gotta understand is that this thing is tiny..just a little longer than my hand. There is no reason to put it in the back of the car as some people have suggested to me.

Here's the rundown on the Laptop.

Model Name AMiTY CN Model 1
Model Number M3031-L47U1
Processor Type
IntelŪ Pentium
Clock Speed
256KB Level 2
Memory Standard
16MB high-speed EDO DRAM
Hard Disk Drive Capacity
1.21GB  (Though it is really 1.6 gig.. they just say 1.2)
Floppy Drive Capacity
3.5" External (connected via parallel port – included)
Display Type
Diamond Fine Passive LCD backlit with contrast control
Size (Diagonal)
LCD Panel Resolution
640 x 480 pixels
Panel Maximum Colors
65,536 colors
External Support
16 million colors at 640 x 480
65,536 colors at 800 x 600
65,536 colors at 1024 x 768
Video Controller Chipset
Neomagic MagicGraph128ZV+™
Video Memory
1.1MB on chipset
Graphics Acceleration
Local Bus
Zoomed Video
ZV Card supported
Audio Chipset
16 Bit Audio, MIDI, WAV and Native Sound Blaster™ Pro Support
Internal speaker and microphone
Headphone, microphone, line-in and line-out jacks
Expansion PC Card (PCMCIA) Slots
2 Type II or 1 Type III PC Cards, lower slot ZV Card ready
Plug and Play
High-speed serial, ECP parallel/floppy, SVGA video, PS/2 mouse or keyboard, speaker/headphone, microphone, line-in, line-out, Fast Infrared port (4Mbps IrDA compliant)
Keyboard Style
83 key sculptured keyboard with ergonomic palm rest
Key Pitch/Travel
Pointing Device TrackPoint IIIŪ Ergonomic Pointing Stick
Dimensions Weight
2.4 lbs.
9.3"(W) x 6.7"(D) x 1.34"(H)
AC Adapter Input Voltage
100-240V (Universal)
Power Dissipation
Output Voltage
15VDC @ 1.8A
Main Battery Battery Type
Lithium Ion
10.8V, 1350mAh, 3 cells
Battery Life
1.5 hours
Recharge Time
3 hours
Power Management

Heres what I changed or added.

32 meg more memory $59.00 Viking Memory much cheaper than $179.00 for Transcend
MicroCD 24X PCMCIA CD-ROM (powered by the card slot) $179.00 this thing is sweat.
Linksys PCMCIA Ethernet Card $49.95 on sale at Staples. Yeah $49.95.. frigin cheap for laptop network card. Small 50 Watt DC-AC Power Inverter at Sam's Club for $12.95. works great.

Originally I installed Win98 and Fat32 for the extra space.
I wanted Windows98 because I wanted this to be low effort to deal with and Windows98 has great Laptop support in general. I also wanted certain other abilities and I just had to have the newest software installed. I eventually put Win95 OSR2 back on cause it was booting up really slow every every once in a while and pissing me off. "Go figure"... I just said the hell with it and formatted the dam thing back to OSR2 though I still made it FAT32 and it is running very fast now and boots quicker.

I Installed Winamp with a cool skin call Advanced and a Plugin that worked well with limited Laptop speed. I choose Winamp because of its excellent Plugin support and because it supports so many audio formats and just because its the Standard and when new formats come out I'm covered. I have some other MP3 players installed but I mostly use Winamp.

Ended up with 1.46 GB Drive with about 1.3 GB free for MP3 Storage.
Of course I burn MP3's on CDR's so I use the PCMCIA CD-ROM also for that.

I made custom Boot up screens and a custom desktop background and the whole things looks cool as hell and works great. .. Hehe though I eventually decided I liked a plain black screen better.

I modified the bios settings for maximum power consumption and full CPU speed.
What do I care how long the battery lasts ? Its plugged in all the time.

Audio quality was very good. I researched the Audio Chipset before I bought this because I was concerned it wouldn't be able to play the MP3's at the quality level I needed. Only problem is the Audio Jack shit the bed on the Laptop (Got Loose And Cut Out All the Time ..which really pissed me off) .... so I bought a New Media WavJammer PCMCIA sound card off EBAY for $40.00. It sounds better then the built in sound did. Actually I think it is extremely good. I can't really tell the differnce between playing a song from a CD or the MP3 version of the same song so I am happy. That card cost around $275.00 when it was new so it's fairly high end. Now they don't make them anymore, but they are always for sale on EBAY whenever I look..

I control Winamp by using all the Built In Keyboard Shortcuts that Winamp already has set up.

Someday I may upgrade the Hard Drive because I have had this thing apart and I know it could take a bigger hard drive. Bunch of people who wrote articles on this notebook said it couldn't be upgraded but that's just because they don't know what the hell they are talking about. The bios has support for Ultra DMA and has auto detection features. It is actually a very up-to-date bios feature wise. I also have heard rumors that you can get the memory higher than 48 Meg, but I didn't want to waste money on a 64 meg dimm that I possibly couldn't use. Besides its only a P133 and I'm not sure there is any reason to have more than 48 meg.

The other really cool thing is that since this is portable it doubles as a home stereo MP3 solution.
That is is something the homemade car computers can't really do very easily.

How did I hook this to the car ?

Well this part was easy. I got a good looking black (A-B) RCA SWITCH from Radio Shack and
where my CD Changer RCA's plugged into the back of my Sony Deck I have the (A-B) Switch plugged in. Then when I play CD's I can toggle the switch to the laptop input or the CD Changer and it works great. In case your wondering when it it changing CD's and tracks the audio still feeds into the system from the laptop without any interruptions. I was worried about that, but it turned out to work exactly the way I needed it to.

SONY MINIDISK DECK with 10 disk CD-Changer
Alpine 3342 11 Band Graphical EQ with Sonic Maximizer and Surround Sound Processor.
ORION 275SX AMP (75 RMS x 2)
PHOENIX GOLD AMP (40 RMS X 4) ( I don't remember the Model Number right now)
Custom Box  with 2 JL Audio 10 inch woofers
1 Farad Cap
Bunch of other crap.

Hope this helps some of you other freaks out there !

C.J. Williams

Leave some comments in the Guestbook if ya have time.
It's cool to hear how other people did their car audio systems. It's also a good place to add links to your own sites since I don't have a links page. Commercial links I feel inappropriate will be deleted.

Back to my main web site.

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