Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ridin' Along in My Automobile - Part 2

Please read the previous post before continuing:

We worked on our “laptop on a box DVD player” the other day.

First order of business was to find a sturdy box that will fit in the back seat. Now, it’s a pretty roomy back seat, but not any box is going to do. Computer boxes were our best bet for something quite sturdy, but most of them are too big. A computer monitor box is at least 2’X2’.

After taking careful measurements, we decided to cut one of the monitor boxes in half and sandwich the two pieces together to make one skinnier box. Initially, this didn’t work so well. The two halves don’t fit together very smoothly. Duct tape was in order. We needed to tape the two halves together in order to keep it together and the top mostly flat.

You know how tape has a tendency to un-stick itself from cardboard? Well, it does. We solved that problem by wrapping the duct tape all the way around the box – side to side & top to bottom.

We put the box in the back seat. It fit snuggly, thanks to our careful measurements, between the front & back seats.

Snug fit from front to back – check!

There was a problem though. It seems there is a small hump in the middle of the backseat floor. While the box fit pretty well, we needed to make sure it didn’t rock from side to side while on the road.

Second order of business was to stabilize the box. Lop off the bottom & cut a little curve in the bottom. That sounds like a good solution. Back to the car.

Stable from side to side – check!

Time for the laptop. We attached Velcro to the top of the box & the bottom of the laptop. This seemed to work out ok, but now we needed to plug in the laptop. Rob has one of those adaptor boxes with a regular outlet on one end and a thingy to plug into the cigarette lighter.

Power – check!

We put the girls in the back seat and went for a test drive.

Reality – big fat goose egg! There seemed to be some issues.

First, the girls complained that they couldn’t see very well. It was an old laptop so viewing the screen from an angle left much to be desired in the picture quality. There were a whole lot of dark spots.

Secondly, and overall more important, the front passenger seat could not be reclined. It seemed there was an obstacle. Oh, yah, it must be the box because it had to be wide enough to hold a laptop and the space between the two front seats was less than 12”.

I guess this wasn’t such a good plan. Good thing we tested it early. We still have time to order a new DVD system – it should arrive on Monday.

Silver lining:
Dude, do I even need to give you one? In retrospect, the whole idea was not such a good idea.

1 People Laughed Along With Me, Won't You?:

Anonymous said...

I must say, you do get an A for effort and determination! All this just for a trip to the frozen tundra.........what a world! I have one favor, before you start your trip please check the tires on the car - wouldn't want you to get a flat and try making a tire out of stone!!!!!!!!! Ha Ha - I crack myself up.

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