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My M3 Convertable Install

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  • My M3 Convertable Install

    Well, after doing my install in my laguna this was my second chance to get things right.

    First of all the items listed below are installed at the present time.

    Opus 150w
    Xenarc 700TSV
    Epia M10000 (with custom bios)
    20 Gig 2 1/2 Laptop Drive (going to upgrade when needed)
    512MB DDR
    Mircosoft MN-710 54Mbs Wifi
    16 x DVD Rom (going to upgrade)
    D-Link Radio
    Fortuna Serial GPS
    I-Bus Interface
    Mini USB keyboard
    4 Port USB 2.0 Powered Hub

    Windows XP Pro
    Mediacar (with custom skins)
    Destinator 2 (SDK version)
    Tons of MP3's

    First of all when I bought the car it had a Kenwood 920 satnav unit it, so after removing this and selling it on ebay I was ready to start my install.

    The first thing I needed was to find a box to stick a motherboard in. I wanted it to go where the kenwood 10 disc changer went in the boot. After searching everywhere I found a plastic box that fitted just right. I bought it from for about 17. I then bought a M10000 motherboard. I was thinking of getting the new MII 12000 epia board, but I needed two serial ports and that only had one. After a bit of cutting and chopping I ended up with the epia board, i-bus interface and my harddrive all mounted in the case nice.. O + a blue neon light for good measure. I also mounted a USB port on the side of the case, this is used for attaching a usb pen or harddrive to for exchanging data.

    sadly I couldnt fit the opus in, so thats just stuck to the boot with velcro for now. I dont think I will any problems with heat on the opus as its got quite alot of room there. I then had another hole to fill. I decided to mount a dvd rom as well, this was where the kenwood satnav dvd unit was. I still need to fill the holes in or get a replacement side carpet bit for it.. you will see what I mean later.

    Thats the boot stuff done. I took 5v rail from the opus and a 4m USB 2.0 lead up the side of the car to the front. I used the 5v to power the hub at the front, which inturn connects to my keyboard, wifi and touchscreen.

    The wifi is just stuck down with velco, I may move this to inside the piller if theres room at a later date.

    I have attached a usb keyboard in the glovebox.

    The Xenarc screen was stripped down and I fabricated a BMW lookalike housing for it.

    It took me a while to find somewhere to mount the GPS unit, as its a convertable the rear shelf just isnt a option. Then I found somewhere.. under the rear headrest

    This is out of the way and I get good reception now.

    I wired up the dlink direct to my car aerial, it improved the signal no end, its just not as good as a stock headunit, shame really.

    To control it all, I use the touchscreen and keyboard, but the steering wheel controls were wasted so I bought a I-Bus interface from germany.

    This connects directly to the plug that goes in a stock bmw cd changer. I then hunted around for ages.. and ages.. and ages.. finally found the software that I needed to map the steering wheel controls to mediacar. It works awesome makes the whole carputer thing worth while. :-)

    Thats about it for now. I have afew things to perfect, like skins finishing and stuff. but heres a couple of ones I've done so far, ones for day and the others are for night. You might of seen them before somewhere !

    and for night time.. it matchs the colour of the dials :-)

    thats about it for now... here is the finished look so far, you will notice a gap round the dvdrom, this isnt a bad cut job, its where the satnav dvd unit was installed before, I'm going to fill, replace this bit soon.

    The carputer and dvdrom drive.

    This is the amp powering everything.

    and finished off.

    some speakers.

    and the end product :-)

    Let me know if you want anything answering or if you have any ideas how I can improve the install...

    I have just altered my motherboard bios to start up with a BMW logo instead of the epia one :-) looks more stock this way


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  • #2
    dang, that's sexy
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.


    • #3
      very nice!!!!!!!
      How in the world would you put the special AirPort card in a PC? Mine is a Mac anyway but it's too old to AirPort. I just use a zip drive to transfer.


      • #4
        You sir. Are riding pimp.


        • #5
          Very nice
          Shame that the UK's now headed towards being the wettest month of the year right now....
          In da club....

          ALIZEE WANTS YOU.....

          Bunny's first poo
          __ U


          • #6
            Wow! Sweeeet! Good job in the clean installl.


            • #7
              ver very nice
              how are you running sound from the carputer to your amp an so such. im trying to find a good way of doing this without needing a head unit.

              awesome setup... giving my wicked idea's


              • #8
                I love it ! just beautiful..but why the dvdrom in the back..if u want to watch a dvd or listen to a cd, you dnt want to stop on the highway...are considering anything to take care of that ..or u just dont care?
                DICE Los Angeles


                • #9
                  Originally posted by paradox
                  ver very nice
                  how are you running sound from the carputer to your amp an so such. im trying to find a good way of doing this without needing a head unit.

                  awesome setup... giving my wicked idea's

                  If I were to guess I would assume like everyone else that uses a amp rather than HU. Sound Card > Amp > Speakers. Use a RCA -> Stereo miniplug adapter and plug the inputs from the amp directly to any sound card.

                  VERY nice install by the way. How is the GPS reception with the top up? It's a cloth top, right?
                  My Install Thread

                  MKIV VW Jetta
                  How do I get sound to my car?


                  • #10
                    WOW. That is nice!! One of the nicest/cleanest installs I have seen. Nice work!
                    AMD XP 2600+/512MB RAM/120GB hard drive
                    Opus 150W/DVD/GPS/7" Lilliput TS/802.11g/Bluetooth

                    -GPSSecure- - GPS Tracking
                    -AltTabber2.2.2- - Handy touchscreen utility.


                    • #11
                      Very nice install, love the gps mount.
                      S60 Install


                      • #12
                        damn fine ! well done, one of the top top installs for sure

                        does the i bus interface catch all the steering wheel controls ? and intepret them correctly ?
                        Nano ITX / 512 MB / 60 GB / Panasonic slot load / M1-ATX / Bu303 / Sound blaster 24 / PPi amps / rockford sub


                        • #13
                          great install. Good idea on the GPS, I think I will have to use that


                          • #14
                            nice install man very clean, are you able to see the screen when the top on a sunny day? is there a lot of glare?


                            • #15
                              Damn man, that is some of the best **** I have seen!
                              I can't get over the fact (and I think you are the only one I have ever seen do this) you interfaced your steering wheel buttons to work with your comp!

                              Holy ****, come to states and help me with mine!