If you're one of the millions of drivers in the world, you know that your car almost defines the concept of portability; you can drive anywhere you like. If you want to take your gaming on the road, why not combine the two and make your console run in your car?
There are two schools of thought on the subject. One worries more about connecting the hardware and electronics appropriately. The other concentrates on good-looking trim and flashing lights. I'm not judgmental, but being a tech geek, not a car geek, I'll cover the former. While you may eventually want to trick out your ride, simply being able to play games in the back of your car while someone else is driving is the important thing. I'll concentrate on the PS2, though the underlying issues are similar for other consoles. Cars and console-connection power issues
As you might have guessed, one of the big stumbling blocks to installing a PlayStation 2 in your automobile is feeding it electricity. There are a couple of options: Use a DC inverter
A DC inverter that plugs into the cigarette lighter converts the 12-volt output from your car's battery to normal 115-volt wall-socket ratings. You can find this equipment almost anywhere. Watch the wattage, though; both the PlayStation and the PS2 drink around 72 watts of power. Depending on how thirsty your monitor or TV is, you may need 300 to 400 watts from the inverter.
It's also worth noting that many inverters will either shut off or warn you when the battery runs low (for example, if you've been running the PS2 while stationary for a long period of time). This saves embarrassing situations where you need to call a tow truck for a jump start because you were trying to beat a boss in Metal Gear Solid. Convert your PlayStation 2 to run 12V
A more extreme and hacklike idea is to convert your PS2 to run on 12V DC power natively. Some people suggest that this is overkill, but if you're comfortable opening your PS2, removing the power regulation board altogether, and putting in extra wiring, including capacitors, you can simplify things. Asdffdsa.net
has a very detailed explanation of the process. These directions produce a PS2 with a 12V plug and jack that connects to the car battery just as a car radio does.
This approach won't indicate that you're draining the battery too far, but it's easier to integrate the console into the car. If you want to make your PS2 look like it belongs in the car, this is the way to go. As the page also notes, you draw less power from your car by running directly and skipping the two voltage-conversion steps.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Using an inverter is better if you take your console on trips only occasionally. Modifying the console works better if you want a permanent setup with the console in the trunk, for example. Choosing a monitor
With the console actually working in your car, your next step is to attach some sort of display. There are several choices here, too: Buy a PS2-specific monitor
Several companies make monitors designed to attach atop the PS2, including Interact's Mobile Monitor
and Intec's PS2 game screen. These products sell for between $100 and $150. The advantages are that these monitors match the PS2 nicely, and they're easily portable outside the car. One major disadvantage is that they don't really match anything but the PS2. If you want to suspend your display from the ceiling, this makes little sense. Mod the PSOne screen
There's nothing intrinsically different about the PSOne LCD screen that prevents it from working with the PS2. This device slides onto the small-form, white PSOne console (which also works nicely in a car). Asdffdsa.net
has another interesting project along these lines. By removing part of the LCD screen's casing, cutting holes in the bottom of the rotating section of the PSOne monitor, and installing 1.5-inch suction cups, you can hang the monitor from the car's ceiling.
However, if the monitor hangs from the ceiling, won't the LCD picture be upside down? Fortunately, the modders have thought ahead. There are plastic clips on the back of the main housing. Snip these off and rotate the whole screen 180 degrees before reassembling the casing.
Now you have an LCD monitor that can hang from the ceiling and
provide right-way-up gaming. Will wonders never cease?