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Mazda RX-8 Stealthy CarPC install

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  • Mazda RX-8 Stealthy CarPC install

    Finally after two cars, two screens, several installs, blood, sweat and tears (mostly at the amount of money I spent on my FTO only to sell it for pittance) I finally have a working Car-PC installation. Once I had the right car, parts and experience, it was pretty easy really. The key thing to remember - Know your limits!

    It's finished for the moment but no doubt I will be adding to it at some point. The main aim of this project was to get something working and usable AND not destroy the car in the process. Fortunately the RX-8 is very accommodating in that last respect due to the optional Sat Nav you can have fitted. Mine didn't have it but I had almost all the parts, I just needed the housing...

    Housing: SatNav replacement housing for 7" screen by Japanparts.com
    Display: LinITX 7" TMR screen (pricey but very nice looking screen)
    MBoard: Via Epia Nano ITX 12x12cm 1Ghz
    PSU: M1-ATX - 90W Intelligent Car PSU
    HDD: 2.5" 120GB Western Digital 5400RPM Hard Drive
    Memory: 512MB
    Case: ABS Plastic box from Maplin with a big hole cut out as the M/B didn't fit! + lots of hot glue!
    GPS: Prolific PL-2303 USB GPS Module
    Radio: To be fitted
    Interfaces: Car2PC - Radio and speakers to PC interface
    OS: nLited Windows XP SP 2
    Other: Fluxmedia Centrafuse XLE 1.47

    The sat nav housing parts courtesy of Japanparts.com. As usual, I didn't use them all..


    Tom (my cat) gets in the way


    Concealed


    Peek-a-boo


    Profile


    OK, Now what?


    You want me to get in there?


    Nice fit!


    Screen and PC (In the glove box - can you see?!)


    The Box


    Stealthy...


    ...Sort of


    Pretty lights


    Mmmmm...


    OK, we get the idea


    Next thing I want to do is hook up the USB Radio I have. I need an adapter for the antennae though. Although I might also look into Sat Radio. Then there's the OBD-II cables....
    Nerve
    Centrafuse Car2PC plugin developer

  • #2
    that looks good
    how did you solve the cooling voor the cpc?
    Cold weather mobo list: Copy the list and add your board
    my hidden screen in action (youtube) , the worklog , RR Volvoskin

    Comment


    • #3
      I didn't! It's running pretty warm but it's stable. I'll be doing some load tests and checking temps at some point and will address any heat issues I find but I want to see what I can get away with.
      Nerve
      Centrafuse Car2PC plugin developer

      Comment


      • #4
        First off the you need to get rid of that cat (Tom) not only will he steal your internets. It's a known fact cats cause PC's to lockups and blue screen, cats may also attempt to suffocate while you sleep by stealing your breath when you sleep (have to reasearch this some more).

        Secondly the PC install looks good BUT you need to get rid of the RX8 asap, its ugly, a gas guzzler, a Mazda (nuff said),smelly,cancer causing, offensive, and women just don't DIG it.
        My Install

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah! The mighty Kimota speaks!

          Originally posted by Kimota View Post
          First off the you need to get rid of that cat (Tom) not only will he steal your internets. It's a know fact cats cause PC's to lockups and blue screen, cats may also attempt to suffocate while you sleep by stealing your breath when you sleep (have to reasearch this some more).
          I've heard about that -- take your breath away (que Top Gun theme tune)

          Secondly the PC install looks good BUT you need to get rid of the RX8 asap, its ugly, a gas guzzler, a Mazda (nuff said),smelly,cancer causing, offensive, and women just don't DIG it.
          You first!

          BTW, I've seen your install. Awesome! I was tempted to do the same but I didn't end up getting an RX with SatNav and didn't really want to pay the extra to get one off Mazda.
          Nerve
          Centrafuse Car2PC plugin developer

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nerve View Post
            I didn't! It's running pretty warm but it's stable. I'll be doing some load tests and checking temps at some point and will address any heat issues I find but I want to see what I can get away with.
            Hope you get away with it, but i know a few that didn't and endedup moving the cpc.
            Cold weather mobo list: Copy the list and add your board
            my hidden screen in action (youtube) , the worklog , RR Volvoskin

            Comment


            • #7
              Were they using the 1Ghz Nano too? I reckon my laptop gets hotter but I will stick Speedfan on it and check the temps on a long drive!
              Nerve
              Centrafuse Car2PC plugin developer

              Comment


              • #8
                Very nice, I like the clean install.
                www.QRXX.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  They where VIA epia problem is in summer, the sun heats up this part of the car more than other places. It is a more or less closede space, so no place for the hot air to escape to.
                  Cold weather mobo list: Copy the list and add your board
                  my hidden screen in action (youtube) , the worklog , RR Volvoskin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ok cheers. I'll have to keep an eye on that then.

                    Thanks for the comments people. To be honest it was pretty straightforward and the fact that I could just buy the housing for the screen meant it was only the PC that I really needed to build. Of course, the instructions for building the housing were in Japanese so that made it a little more interesting!
                    Nerve
                    Centrafuse Car2PC plugin developer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Congratulation to a very tidy installation!

                      About cooling in closed compartments: http://www.peltierelement.com/
                      Or maybe you can find a glovecompartment fridge?
                      My car installation mp3car thread "showing off project"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nice install. I have a few questions for you about it.

                        1. How is the monitor in direct sunlight?
                        2. Do you think the satnav housing is really worth the price? You can build a carputer (w/o monitor) cheaper than that.

                        I ask because I'm installing in a Mazda6, and the same satnav housing is available for the 6 on japanparts.
                        My car PC page, with pictures

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1. I'm not sure yet. Don't get much Sun in London! I'll comment when I know but this is a TMR screen which has a semi light absorbent screen so I think it will perform well. Certainly not had any trouble on the few short journeys I've tested so far.

                          2. Well it depends whether you have the time and effort to make your own housing. My choice was simple. What is the easiest way to hook a computer up to your in car speakers? The Car2pc module is that solution but it of course plugs into the OEM stereo. So either you keep the stereo or find something that would bypass it but I don't know of a solution that doesn't require cutting wires. Do you have any other suggestions?

                          @bes51659 - Thanks. I like the fridge idea!
                          Nerve
                          Centrafuse Car2PC plugin developer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well here are the temps. A little worrying:

                            Winbond W83697HF temp 1 - 52
                            Winbond W83697HF temp 2 - 59
                            HDD - 51
                            ACPI - 21

                            I can't find the correct operating temps for the Via Luke 1Ghz but they do sound a little high and it's quite cool in my garage.

                            My glovebox is not sealed and you can get to it from under the dash so I may be able to add a big pipe and fan to channel the air but cooling is not my forte so some research will need to be done.
                            Nerve
                            Centrafuse Car2PC plugin developer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nerve View Post
                              What is the easiest way to hook a computer up to your in car speakers? The Car2pc module is that solution but it of course plugs into the OEM stereo. So either you keep the stereo or find something that would bypass it but I don't know of a solution that doesn't require cutting wires. Do you have any other suggestions?
                              I'm using AuxMOD in my Mazda6, but thinking of going to Car2PC to get the steering wheel controls.

                              The temps do seem a little high, especially for the hard disk. have you tried checking the PC temps outside the car? Again, congrats on a very nice install.
                              My car PC page, with pictures

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