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Thread: Replacing Headunit completely

  1. #1
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    Replacing Headunit completely

    I'm in the process of building my carputer for my new car (I had an older install in my old car, but I've updated the hardware and software for my new car).

    I'd like to be able to completely replace my headunit in my car.

    The headunit functions I need to replace are: Built-in Amp for speakers, Radio, Volume Control

    Now I have a amp for my sub which I'm already running and a spare 4 channel amp which I can use to run my front and rear speakers, so thats the amp side of the headunit taken care of. I'm thinking of getting one of those Audigy 2 NX USB External Sound cards for better SQ.

    The radio, I guess I can add one of those HQTi (or whatever they are called) and that will give me AM and FM, so that's that solved...

    Now the last one is the Volume Control. I've been wondering how the best way will be to replace the volume control? I know I can control the volume on the carputer with the touchscreen but to do that quickly or without looking is a lot harder. So I was wondering what the option are? Two options I've thought of are, getting one of those 1/2 DIN pre-amps and use it for volume control, the second option I have thought of is to make a hardware interface (maybe using one of those free spinning electric components that are used in HiFi volume controls (can't think of the name) and connect it to the serial port and have some software to control the volume in windows. But the issue with that is if Windows crashes I won't have control over the volume and also that won't work for POST/BIOS volume etc...

    Any ideas? or suggestions for any of the items?

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate bratnetwork's Avatar
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    For the radio I would recommend getting a Visteon or Directed HD Radio box and using Mitch's cable to run it. You get a good quality receiver with serial control plus the extra added benefit of HD channels.


    For the Volume controls there is a lot of options. You can make one like u said, and connect it to serial or through a fusion brain, or you can buy a USB controlled one with pre-made software like the griffin power mate or other USB volume solutions. Run a google search for usb volume control and see what pops up.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratnetwork View Post
    For the radio I would recommend getting a Visteon or Directed HD Radio box and using Mitch's cable to run it. You get a good quality receiver with serial control plus the extra added benefit of HD channels.
    Problem is I'm in Australia... So I don't think they'll work here?

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate sergatiuk's Avatar
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    just like bratnetwork said, you havelot of options for volume control. you can get one of those space navigators or anything likyou therpionsto take apart a mouse and use the scroll wheel to control the volume with a software called volumouse. another option is something like i did with a joystick, see thread: UPDATE - Xbox thumbstick media control.
    i made a volumouse knob before but the gamepad approach worked the best for me as this gives me many control option for the PC.
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  5. #5
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    being that they really only touched on usb volume solutions...

    because computers are too unpredictable, i would highly recomend a external volume control,

    i really like my independant volume knob-- i am using 3 jl cl-rlc's to control the volume independantly of the computer(3 way, computer controlled active setup). so far, they have been working great, except for the one for my tweeters, which seems to like to cut out, but that is a whole 'nother issue...

    otherwise, i really like that the cl-rlc is a 5 volt preamp, and a volume control-- my setup was too quiet just using the sound card output(amp gains were maxed, and volume was no more than medium level at loudest).

  6. #6
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    Is there anything wrong with going for a 1/2 DIN preamp? I see that's what they use when they put Carputers in the cars on Pimp My Ride...

  7. #7
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    The problem I always had with 1/2din preamps is that they only had one input, and,for carputer installs, you will need to run the audio cables back to the preamp. If your whole setup is in the trunk, that could be a lot of wire.

  8. #8
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    I was thinking of something like this: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Lanzar-VIBE75...3286.m63.l1177

  9. #9
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    It looks good to me-lanzar apears to be a decent brand
    as long as it works for your application, it should work great

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