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2001 Lexus ES 300 CarPC

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  • 2001 Lexus ES 300 CarPC

    My carpc is finally done. It took about a week of fabricating the bezel and getting it to fit right. 3 layers of polyurethane made a nice shine to match the trim. I tried to get it to look as factory and professional as possible. The LCD is a lilliput that was gutted and refitted to fit the area. I'll try to incorporate servos to move the bezel up and down to reveal a dvd player but that is wayy in the future. Computer is a HP laptop which I have to feed the wire to the trunk. GPS is a bu353 with iguidance 3.0 which work great but noticeably lacking in POI's. Stereo is actually the stock stereo for now relocated into the glovebox and the cd changer removed.
    Here are the pics:

    The car:


    Car gutted


    Rewiring with heat shrink.


    The Bezel crafted from 1/2'' solid maple. The back is also routed with a dremel so the lcd fits into the wood.


    The Bezel sanded and varnished with American Walnut to match the walnut trim. It took 3 layers to get the right color


    here is the original lilliput. It's the newer version for 180 on ebay.


    Here is the lilliput gutted out and rescrewed to the bezel and additional frame for the 2nd board. I used nylon spacers to suspend the 2nd board.


    The finished product:





    layers of polyurethane + varnish looks funny with flash but in person it is a nice match. I think it's because I used a poly/varnish in one mixture. So they're are layers of poly and varnish on top of each other. The flash lights up the polyurethane and the top varnish layer making it look lighter.


    Griffin powermate. Works like a charm (knock on wood)


    Here is the BU 353. I love this thing. I had to take apart the backseat to get the wire through. It was a pain. If anyone has a lexus and needs to take apart the backseat I can give some pointers.


    Here is the blue devil screen with custom logo built in.


    I've settled on the laptop being in the trunk but need to take pictures of the case during the day. I fabricated a wood box out and carpetted it black.

    Thanks for all the knowledge and support from the forums. I couldn't have done it without the helpful people here.


    Spiike
    Cars:
    2001 Lexus es300 carpc Complete!Lexus es300 thread Retired
    Current: 2008 BMW 335i - carpc in development.

  • #2
    Sweeeet!

    Comment


    • #3
      i like what you've done with the wood, most people seem to shy away from modifying the wood trim in their luxury rides out of fear of not being able to match and feel of the oem pieces. thanks for showing us how it can look with a little time, patience and desire. now, with that out of the way, tell the inquiring minds here more details about the software selections before someone posts here asking. are there any other first impressions that you care to share with the rest of us; i like reading about the challenges that others have faced with this project considering that the average person would never consider building a computer, let alone putting it into one's car.

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      • #4
        That looks awesome, matches perfectly.

        I as well would like more details though

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        • #5
          agreed, the wood makes it look simply stunning

          2006 Mazda 3
          Behringer DCX-2496
          JL300/4 Focal 6W4311B Focal TN52
          JL500/1 JL10w6v2

          Comment


          • #6
            First impressions,

            software being used right now is roadrunner, iguidance, and dragonspeak. Other hardware include griffin powermate which isn't shown in the pictures and a griffin sharkfin which gets horrible reception and which I will probably return.

            The head unit is temporarily placed in the glovebox until I get a new one. That's actually what all the soldered wires are for. I extended the original stereo wires by about 4 feet and using coaxle tv cable I extended the antannae. For the most part these will all be replaced with an alpine head unit. Ironically I had a alpine headunit which I sold on ebay and need to buy one back now.

            I can't decide on the final laptop location since the trunk is a very inconvenient place to put it direct access is needed. i thought the trunk was ok, but if any issues arise with the laptop I need to stop the car, open the trunk and tinker with the laptop. I want to put it under the seat but this will require a fabricated case made from 1'' plywood to keep any water out from passenger's shoes and keep the heat out from the floor vents. I put a lot of things in the trunk such as golf and bowling equipment so that seems quite dangerous for a delicate laptop. Currently the laptop is in the trunk wired with at 25' vga cable and 700 watt ac-dc power inverter.

            iguidance needs more poi's. I saw the thread on adding them from a database and hope that goes through. I might go out and buy streets and trips tonight as I'm thoroughly disappointed with iguidance. 3d mapping looks just like my friend's rx8 which is nice but thats about it. I'm going to look into mods for iguidance e.g. keyboard mod. Also iguidance has this weird flashing on the top left corner when you're being guided by the directions. It's rather annoying especially at night.

            lilliput's lcd looks great. viewing angle is perfect. I intentionally made the lcd slightly deeper set so there isn't much glare which proves to work well. touchscreen is kind of finnicky but works. For $170 on ebay with a 3 year square trade warranty for 3 years was quite worth it. I would have used the mp3car store but the opportunity on the auction was too much to pass up. It also beats the $2500 Lexus gps system for my car.

            One thing that is rather bothersome is that the lcd on the laptop has to be open or the external vga output doesn't refresh for some reason. This was very evident with my thinkpad t60 as the map would freeze and refresh every 3 mins to your position. This is a laptop issue which will need to be resolved somehow.
            Cars:
            2001 Lexus es300 carpc Complete!Lexus es300 thread Retired
            Current: 2008 BMW 335i - carpc in development.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also as some have pm'ed me asking about the original housing. The bezel is made from solid maple about 1/2'' thick. If I was to do it again I would use pine instead of maple since maple is a pretty hard wood. I dremeled the wood about 4/5 of the way through so that the lcd fits into the bezel. That way the lcd doesn't sit 1/2 inch from the front of the bezel.

              Since the core system is complete, I think I will add something new to the car about every month. Downside to the carpc is there is so much potential, I can't say the car is ever complete.
              Cars:
              2001 Lexus es300 carpc Complete!Lexus es300 thread Retired
              Current: 2008 BMW 335i - carpc in development.

              Comment


              • #8
                OMG - I had a 1998 ES300 that I pulled apart about 5 times. The care isn't with me anymore though it may come back to me soon.

                Anyways, I wish you were around a year ago when I was working on it day-and-night. I would've paid you to make me a similar bezel, but with the black finish.

                Great job!

                -HD

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                • #9
                  ...and btw. I suggest you purchase an external tv tuner rather then using your hauppauge unit. Get an external one with diversity antenna inputs. You could hookup the output from the tuner to one of the lilliput's video inputs and have it be independent of the pc.

                  Diversity antennas are the only way to get some real TV action in a moving car.

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                  • #10
                    hey hd, If I knew I could have made 2 with the same template. It wouldn't have taken that long. I'll look into the diversity outputs. i'm going to the tigerdirect outlet right now.

                    I was going to get this on second thought. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...680&CatId=1427

                    but I remembered I didn't rewire the ir sensor cause I didn't think I would need it. To do an external box I would have to rewire the ir sensor so I can change the input's on the lilliput. This might more like a summer project when I have time.
                    Cars:
                    2001 Lexus es300 carpc Complete!Lexus es300 thread Retired
                    Current: 2008 BMW 335i - carpc in development.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by spiike View Post
                      hey hd, If I knew I could have made 2 with the same template. It wouldn't have taken that long. I'll look into the diversity outputs. i'm going to the tigerdirect outlet right now.

                      I was going to get this on second thought. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...680&CatId=1427

                      but I remembered I didn't rewire the ir sensor cause I didn't think I would need it. To do an external box I would have to rewire the ir sensor so I can change the input's on the lilliput. This might more like a summer project when I have time.
                      This is what I was talking about... However, there are better units on the market. That one has diversity inputs, extra video inputs and a reverse camera input/sensor wire. All for $85 shipped.

                      Good luck.

                      -HD

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        awsome install, that wood ....wow...
                        Im a pilot.

                        I have become a cross control stall.

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                        • #13
                          looks great. lovin to see some yota/lexus love! Im not sure if the lexus has a 3rd break light, but if it does its likely very similar to mine. i threw my gps reciver into there(same as yours) and ran the cable down. It works like a charm and has the extra stealth factor. Im just about ready to order the powermate and give up on my damned phidget
                          98 V6 Camry XLE
                          Status-Everything is working again!
                          No progress while I am in NYC
                          Ze Worklog

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                          • #14
                            i definately agree with everyone else, the woodgrain makes your install stand out... mad props!!!
                            MY INSTAllS:

                            http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...e-install.html

                            http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...tallation.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Absolutely beautiful, I am just starting my 98 ES300 project. makink trunk templates to hide all components will post pictures soon.

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