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2006 VW Passat Variant CarPCed (56k beware!)

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  • 2006 VW Passat Variant CarPCed (56k beware!)

    Hi there everybody!

    Love this forum, I have never been much of a poster, but a faithful reader nonetheless. Seems that the time is ripe to present my CarPC project.

    I was purchasing a new car and the idea was that the entertainment system must be able to play MP3, have satnav, and some not-that-bad sound system. Browsing around the options available for the car I found out that for a satnav system, that has a CD changer, but doesn't play MP3s, and has a 10-speaker setup with an amplifier (2x3 speakers front door, 2x2 speakers back door, no sub), it would cost me approx. 5keur, and this still wasn't what I really wanted (what's the story with VW and MP3 support?! - OK, it's improving a little lately, but that's still not it). A friend showed me his CarPC project and that's the time I got addicted.

    So, first for the wheels. It's a 2006 VW Passat Variant 4Motion (3C), with a couple of extra goodies.

    Then there was the question, what to put in. The PC started to come together quite quickly:

    VIA Epia SP13000 mobo
    256MB RAM
    120G 2.5" Seagate HD
    NEC ND6500 Slim DVD-RW
    Morex case w/ extra PCI riser available
    Creative X-Fi ExtremeMusic sound card

    USB WiFi
    USB Bluetooth

    For the display, the plan was from the beginning that the monitor would fit into the dual DIN slot that is available standard on the car and houses the standard radio. This limited the size to 7", so the search was for the brightest 7" one could find and it seemed the Xenarc would be a good choice.

    The monitor together with the bracked it should go in for installation. Luckily, I had a helping hand from a friend (thanks, urosbe!) that was friendly enough to install the monitor into the bracket, since he had already some experience with his install. I suppose many people are interrested into this process, therefore I'll stay on this topic for a little while.

    First, the monitor must be taken apart carefully..

    Then, after one has the front of the monitor, it can be installed into the bracket. First, some painful cutting so it fits..

    ... and carefully applying glue and fixing stuff...

    Then the monitor front and the bracket must be sanded, fiberglassed, sanded again and spray-kitted...

  • #2
    Part #2

    And this is how it looks like when is it almost ready for paint.

    After that, up comes the paint. But, since things are normally not always coming through as planned, another round of sanding, spray-kitting and watersanding was required...

    ...then, finally, the final paint came on.

    And, here is the final paintjob...

    After some time (well, the car had to come first ), finally, this is what the final product looks like:

    The basic idea was, that the PC would do everything, so no headunit would be required. The requirement, though, was, that the steering wheel controls must work (at least for volume control), that the original handsfree kit installed in the car must still work, that there must be FM receiption available for RDS traffic info (I'm not using the radio for anything else). I figured it would be a little too big of an effort to do all that debugging the CAN-BUS of the car, which was first the plan, so we went with a normal headunit that does the sound management, the steering wheel remote control, the phone interface (although, for example, telephone mute still doesn't work - must go visit the car service first that can reprogram the telephone module that it will output the analogue telephone mute signal). Unfortunatelly, the only available option was Blaupunkt which I don't really like, but is the only company that already has the interface available to support the requirements. I wanted to go with Alpine, but a) they haven't bothered putting the interface together yet, and b) don't have an input available for the telephone. Oh well, since the HU's only function will be to work as an interface, this won't matter so much, and it's stashed away in the glove box, so that it won't attract views and won't disturb the scenery of the car

    But, for this, there was still three full days of work, to replace the standard speakers in the front doors with Velocity 3-way speakers, tearing apart the glove box, the dashboard...

    ...installing all the wiring, the Velocity amplifier, the PC and the subwoofer. The PC is hanging on the back seat in front of the sub, where I guess it's the safest place for it anyway so that the disk won't experience too many head crashes...

    So, this is more or less what I can show for now. I don't know what I left out, do remind me whether you'd like to know more on a subject.

    Best regards, A.


    • #3
      Awsome, you made the case yourself?


      • #4
        Veeerrrry nice man! Looks very professional. What is the 4-port USB hub behind the screen for?

        BTW...In your first pic, is that a figure skater snow sculpture in the background?
        May all your dreams come true.....unless your dreams are nightmares ~ L.S.


        • #5
          @gabureiru: No, the case is a standard Morex 2699 ( )

          @Luwe: never noticed the sculpture before, looks really nice
          The hub behind the screen is for any peripherals I might think of in the future to put in (OBD hardware, GPS modules, whatever) - so for expansion purposes - that I don't have to tear down the whole car again to put something in - and I know myself, it'll soon be full
          Another hub in the glove box is for keyboard, mouse, USB sticks,...


          • #6
            Nice Install with the screen. You should place a before picture of what the dash looks like.


            • #7
              nice install

              can you post more pic on the glove box? how you mount your HU? i want to do the same....thanks...


              • #8
                very nice. i like the wagon a lot. i had a b5 variant and i wish i would have kept it.


                • #9
                  Yayy a B6 passat. First install in a car like that. Are you on I'mma post a link to this there...



                  • #10
                    @john94587: Here's the before picture of the dash with the original radio installed:

                    @mm2000: the glove box install is luckily no big deal in this car. As standard, there is a place to put your user's manual in and as standard this place can be replaced with a DIN-sized CD changer. So, no big deal to go to the shop and get a bracket for the changer, which also almost perfectly fits the standard radio.
                    And this is how it looks like closed:

                    @blacklancer: Also had the B5 variant, this one replaced it, sofar looks like a very good choice

                    @BoyNextDoor: yap, we're on PassatWorld too (well, my wife is ) and there are some more pictures of the car too


                    • #11
                      So since the headunit is in the glovebox, and the pc is in the trunk (more or less) did you have to run the pc audio out wires up to the headunit's aux in, and then run headunit's output to trunk amp? If so, did all of this long-distance audio wiring introduce any noise to the sound?
                      My install log
                      My "selling entire system" thread


                      • #12
                        @hark: yes, this is exactly the wire setup. Luckilly there is no interference and extra noises, it just seems that some interference was introduced into the monitor signal (or monitor power), since in certain cases you can see some horisontal lines running on the monitor. It's powered from the computer PSU, so the voltage should be stable, but it's not 100%, apparently.


                        • #13
                          i love it. i have an mk5 jetta similar concept,
                          i was talking to enfig guys @, they will be making a module that our amp will sense to activate,( so i could directly run audio out of the pc i should get a beta in 2 weeks,

                          i love your intall. also did you have to do any trimming to get the headunit into glovebox

                          thank you thank you.

                          R. T. F. M


                          • #14
                            dude it looks really good. looks like you used hot me through experience myself that **** is gonna crack unless you peal the hotglue out and use some epoxy..just a heads up.other than that great frikkin job man
                            i got dat ***** sittin on 22s! SUPERMAN EDITION!


                            • #15
                              PCI Sound Card

                              Great job man. Just a question.

                              How is the sound quality of that sound card??
                              Does it work well with the SP13000 or does it take much of its processing power?

                              Final Touches

                              Car: 2002 Mitsubishi Magna EI
                              CarPC: SP13000, M2-ATX, 512 MB RAM, 120 GB 2.5" HD, X-Fi Sound Card, Xenarc 700TSV, Garmin 18 USB.
                              Audio: 2X15" Rockford Punch Z, 1 Rockford Punch 2-ch Amp, 1 Soundstream Lil Wonder II 4-ch Amp