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2007 Ford Focus ST Geode NX

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  • 2007 Ford Focus ST Geode NX

    I've been lurking for a while, but I couldn't start on my carputer because I didn't have a car (I was stationed in Korea and was not allowed to drive). Now that I'm back stateside, I can finally start.

    Here is the list of parts for my carputer:
    JetWay J7F3E-PB with Geode NX 1750 CPU
    Sound Blaster Live! USB
    DLink Wi-Fi PCI Adapter
    60 Gb 7200 Rpm 2.5" SATA Hitachi HDD
    SATA Power Adapter
    15' VGA Extension Cable
    16.5' USB Extension Cable
    Slimline DVD Burner
    Wireless USB Keyboard
    Windows XP Home
    Carnetix 5V 15W POL

    Opus Solutions:
    Opus 80 Case

    Ford AUX Input Adapter

    - Lilliput EBY-701 7" Touchscreen Monitor
    - Slimline CD-ROM USB Enclosure

    - 512 MB DDR RAM (bought it retail, $5 difference is not worth waiting for a week)
    - GPS receiver that came with MS Streets and Trips (had it laying around)
    - Connectors and wires from Walmart.
    - Hawking Technology 7 dbi Wi-Fi Antenna. Got it on clearance for $20. New!

    I am using CF for front end and iGuidance for GPS navigation.

    Future Plans:
    - move the power point and installing a USB plug in its place.
    - external Wi-Fi antenna - done!
    - stereo upgrades
    - HD Radio (if one becomes available with a PC hookup)

    The overwhelming theme for my installations will be KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

    I decided to go with the Geode NX motherboard because Via CPUs are SLOW, and Mini-ITX Intel motherboards are EXPENSIVE (not to mention the CPUs). This motherboard/cpu combo is an absolute steal at NewEgg. And yes, it does come with a CPU.

    Even though my car has a double-din radio, I will be mounting the monitor externally and using an AUX adapter to connect it to the radio. Here is why:

    Advantages of a built-in installation:
    - clean, "stock" look

    Advantages of an external installation:
    - less money (no need for an amplifier)
    - easier (though it would not be too hard since I have a full double-din opening)
    - the monitor can be swiveled to offset the glare
    - the monitor can be removed easily
    - I get to keep the volume control knob
    - my wife said so

    I will be updating this post as the project progresses.

    The car:

    Case with the motherboard and HDD installed:

    Update 7/1/2007

    Well, I've completed the carputer about two months ago, but didn't have a chance to update my post. Finally, I've gotten off my lazy *** and updated my post, as well as finished my carputer.

    Here's what I had done before today:

    I've installed the carputer and placed my sound card up front. For some reason it would sometimes produce a hiss when computer woke up from hibernation. Plus I had to lower the sound quality to keep it from "popping". I think all those problems were because I was using the "active USB extender" plus a USB hub.

    Here's what was behind my glove box before:

    I also couldn't get the back panel off, so I ended up putting some vecro on the bottom and just laying it in the trunk:

    Today I finally decide to finish my carputer. I moved the sound card to the trunk and connected it with some Monster cables to the Aux adapter. It sounds great and works properly now!

    I also got the back panel off (nothing an Exacto knife couldn't deal with) and installed the carputer the way I wanted it to. It is finally complete!!!

    Here's some pictures.

    The screen on the dash. Notice the white sticky tape holding the screen mount, the tape that comes with the monitor is worthless:

    The antennas in the back:

    The carputer in the trunk:

    Closeup of the mounting bracket before I put in in the car:

  • #2
    Nice setup - luv the Opus80 case.....

    Where are you considering mounting the case?
    F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

    Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)


    • #3
      Mounting location

      It will be mounted up-side-down on the ceiling of the trunk. There are a bunch of holes there. I will make an adapter plate, so I don't have to drill any extra holes in the car. This location will allow me to still use 99.9% of my trunk without the case getting in the way.


      • #4
        Thanx for the feedback
        F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

        Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)


        • #5
          Finally! An update!

          I've updated my worklog! Check it out on the first post.

          My carputer is finally complete and "works as advertised"!!!!!!!!!!!


          • #6

            Are you concerned about car vibrations and bumps affecting your carputer's hard drive?


            • #7
              No, not really. It's a laptop hard drive, so it's designed for that type of abuse.

              I've been driving around with the computer bouncing around in the trunk for two months and haven't had any problems yet even though the roads here are HORRIBLE and the car has a pretty firm suspension.


              • #8
                looks kewl


                • #9
                  how do you rate the Geode and mobo?
                  My Nissan 200SX @ Silverstone
                  NOW SADLY WRITTEN OFF!

                  My Car's spec list + pics

                  Stealth CarPC fab'ing...


                  • #10
                    I think it's the best price/performance. It's a little faster than VIA, and a little cheaper. If you want relative performance numbers, just look up benchmarks for Athlon XP 2600+, because that's what Geode NX 1750 is. The only gripe I have is that it doesn't have S-3 suspend. They have a BIOS update utility on the Jetway website, but it requires a floppy disk. The mobo doesn't even have a FDD header! The mobo fan is loud!, I can actually hear it in the trunk through the back seat when the car's not running. But for car application, who cares?

                    I've been using it for over 4 months now with Centrafuse and iGuidance and I have no complaints what-so-ever. It is rock solid and lighting fast for carpc.

                    The only complaint I have about my setup is the Opus PSU which has a hardwired 10 second delay before it starts up.


                    • #11
                      I just stumbled upon a Geode NX 1750 and replaced my underclocked Barton 2500+ with it, and it works great. It's actually faster than my previous system, because I had it clocked at 100 mhz x 11 = 1.1 Ghz (~40w) and the Geode is 133 mhz x 10.5 = 1.4 Ghz (14w).

                      I had to underclock the Barton (via FSB) to reduce 12v power consumption for my M2-ATX.

                      I had hoped to underclock the Geode to 1.0 Ghz (100 mhz fsb) and go fanless, but the system ran too warm. Oh well.