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2007 Saturn Vue install w/ latop & USDC20D

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  • 2007 Saturn Vue install w/ latop & USDC20D

    Admin!! PLEASE EDIT TITLE TO SAY LAPTOP - not latop

    This log is going to be straight forward and lacking suspense seems how my planning is 100%, purchasing is 98%, and install is 90%. However after searching i did think there may be a few people who might gain from my experiences of this semi-custom install. (nothing compared to what i've read here. and i couldnt have done it without you all.)

    HP NC6120 laptop
    integrated sound, graphics, wifi(upgraded antenna)
    bu353 gps (in the mail)
    asus bluetooth
    USDC20D shutdown controller
    roof mounted wifi antenna w/ 4" magnet & "n to ufl" pigtail
    10.4" lcd touchscreen (vertical) 600x800
    --picture to come--

    iguidance (not yet purchased)
    irotate (free rotate, vertical, portrait software)

    I warmed up my soldering iron, grabbed a few precision tools and began the adventure...

    1. I recieved the laptop for free (has minor screen issues w/ connected screen) from work. Good thing i dont need the screen for my install. The internal wifi card does its job and the internal antennas do a great job of picking up wifi signals, but the connecting and transmitting was a bit lacking. So I began my first upgrade. I purchased a ufl to n 12" pigtail to go from the internal wifi card to an external roof mounted antenna. the 12" was just enough to route from the card up and around to the hole i gently melted in the side of the laptop
    --picture to come--

    2. As is needed for most laptop carputer installs, i needed to extend the power button. I liked an idea i got from this forum to use a no longer needed port (modem) to make this an easily disconnected feature. I cut a 12" end of a simple 2 wire phone cord. pulled out the 2 wires and stripped the ends. soldered one end of each to the power switch and the other ends were spliced into the wires comming from the port. (anyone need a nc6100 series modem board?)
    --pictures to come--

    3. I really wanted a shutdown controller to avoid the annoyance of pressing that stupid button every time i got into the car. the usdc20d uses a 5v lead (from a molex connector) to tell is the computer is on, to avoid sending the on/off pulse when the computer is already on/off. The laptop does not have a molex connector, in fact even the single fan connector can not be a reliable power lead because it is often off when the computer is on but idling (even with bios set to "always on"). I was determined to make this work however, so i powered on the laptop w/out the keyboard in place and began probing...

    --picture to come--

    finally after testing many solder points to ground i found one that was constant 4.9-5v. I didnt get too excited until after testing that it went off in standby/ hibernate/ shut down modes. it did. then came the tricky part. It was not all by its lonesome, it had what appeared to be ground points next to it. fine soldering was needed and this was only my second electronics project (replaced 2 bad caps on a mobo once). I ended up doing ok. I soldered a 6' lead to go to the shutdown controller. that lead is neatly routed to get out the same hole made for the wifi antenna pigtail.
    --picture to come--

    4. last and final mod is not to the computer, but to the dash. Per my wife, i could not 'ruin' the original dash, yet I needed a way to mount my screen. I chose not to do an in-dash install. I did not want to get rid of my head unit for many reasons. 1) i like the radio quality and didnt want to pay for a $100+ tuner for the computer when that one works great. 2) it is hooked into onstar (which i use) and didnt want any headaches with it. 3) the size screen i wanted wouldnt have fit in the dash w/o mutilating it. The 10.4" vertical screen needed a lot of space, but couldnt be stationary due to still needing occational control of the radio buttons. I ended up using a small unused 'upgrade button' hole to mount my screen (sorry no before pics or project pics of this part) It is overlaying my radio, but easily swivels out of the way when needed (or can be used by my passenger to watch a movie w/o distracting the driver. and most importantly can be put back to stock look if need be.
    --picture to come--

    will post more when i get time. anything you want to know? just ask.