Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Super 01' Altima

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Super 01' Altima

    Acctually there is nothing super about my car, but I'm hoping to change that with a carputer. I'd like to use this thread as a worklog/blog, because I am a newbie. If you have any suggestions, comments or if my plans are terribly stupid please feel free to let me know. Any advice would be appreciated. Here is what I'm working with.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	stock2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	47.5 KB
ID:	2300905

    That being said here is an overview of my plans. I would like to take advantage of my 2 DIN slots and install a retractable 7" lilliput monitor and a mini pc (either aopen or mac). I considered many different types of complicated installs, but decided to KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

    My main driver is to have a system that is fully accessible from the dashboard (CD drive, inputs, and radio controls). I want a system that I can still have basic radio functions during the installation process, can be bolted in and easily removed. I'm worried about the custom fab required to install the comuter, but a friend from work offered to help me. I'm currently being worked to death at my job so this install will be a slow process. For now I'm going to buy a lilliput GL701-NP/C/T and a dash kit from pepboys.

    My biggest concerns are clearance for the monitor, whether or not it will be too low to read and if there will be room in the dash to fit all of the components. I'll keep you all posted.

    -Ross

  • #2
    if you were planning on going with a standard 7" lilliput raw screen, you could do a custom mount of the radio up top (well better than what i did) and move the climate controls down to the bottom, OR you can ghost face the faceplate and mount that somewhere and keep the climate controls where they are... your call. Here's a pic of my setup




    these are old pics of it running
    http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL578.../200381958.jpg
    http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL578.../200381958.jpg


    *edit*
    Oh yea, the radio install/removal is very simple in the car btw. And check out www.nissanclub.com/forums some time, alot of altima info/random stuff on there
    And if you want to upgrade your audio with subs or anything, PM me, i have 3 10" Type R's for sale, 2 10" L7's, 2 12" MTX Thunder6000s that need a new home hehe

    Comment


    • #3
      Lilliput install

      Once i got the covers off I was a little distressed by how far back the stereo housing sits relative to the AC. Luckily it looks like it will be very easy to swap the stereo in and out. It is hard to see, but the stereo housing is nothing more then two angle brackets and four screws bolting the two parts into the dash.
      Click image for larger version

Name:	stock-no cover2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	48.4 KB
ID:	2264303


      Luckily there is plenty of open space inside the dash. I didn't take measurements yet, but I will when I plan out the install.
      Click image for larger version

Name:	empty2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	45.4 KB
ID:	2264304


      Wow, the install was much easier then I thought it would be, of course crimping all of the extension wires was a pain. Isn't it nice when you buy something that does exactly what it advertises. You don't see that much anymore. In case anyone is wondering, I cut a hole in the back of the plastic casing and ran the wires for the vga input and sound through. This way I can play around with my laptop in the car for the time being.
      Click image for larger version

Name:	new-cover2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	46.5 KB
ID:	2264306


      Now let's see how it works.... Uh oh. Looks like I was right. I barely cleared 45. Oh well I guess this was a bit of a blessing in disguise. If you look at the first image, which was taken at about eye level in the driver's seat, the stereo openning is lower then I thought. I would have to constantly be looking down while driving, and that isn't safe.
      Click image for larger version

Name:	first person2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	39.6 KB
ID:	2264305 Click image for larger version

Name:	side view2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	33.9 KB
ID:	2264307


      It looks like I'm going to have to move the AC unit down to the stereo slot and put the screen in place of the AC. Fortunately the stereo and AC opennings are both 7" wide, but the stereo doesn't have much clearance for a custom mount. I would have removed the AC, but it is bolted into the dash in an odd way. The recepticle for the screw is the AC unit and the dash holes are between the AC and the screw. Even if I remove the screws I will have to remove a lot more panelling to remove the AC and I just don't have time to do that now. The other reason is that the temperature is in the high 80s in New Orleans right now I can't live without AC.

      -Ross

      Comment


      • #4
        Notes on the lilliput

        I am acctually quite upset with my purchase of the Lilliput GL701-NP/C/T.

        The radio controls have something to be desired. Unfortunately I lost the instruction manual, but there doesn't appear to be a way to set preset stations and easily switch between them. Luckily I only listen to two stations if not my ipod. If anyone has an electronic copy of the instruction manual, I would love to take a look at it.

        The sound coming out of the speakers sounds surprisingly worse from the lilliput then it did coming out of my stock stereo. Maybe I did a poor crimping job, or am getting feedback. All of speakers are cracked and I need to replace them anyway. Hopefully swapping the speakers will help.

        The last issue with the lilliput is that the screen won't rotate up on its own. After the screen comes out horizontally, you have to lift the screen slightly with you finger to get it to lift vertically. It closes without a problem though. This is something I have already posted on another thread, but you can see a video of what I mean on youtube.

        -Ross

        Comment


        • #5
          WarX's install

          WarX,
          That looks great. As I mentioned eariler, I'm concerned that the stereo openning below the AC is too low to install a screen. Did you have any problems seeing it? I'm sure it does have less glare being recessed.

          I have a few questions for you though:
          1. What does ghostplating the faceplate mean?
          2. Is that the factory bezel on your car?
          3. How did you mount the AC controls?
          4. Do you have pics of your install?

          I'm a little reluctant to remove the cubby hole and ashtray. I don't want to make any mods to the bezel or the dash. I also don't want to have a hole sticking out below my AC controls.

          Am I completely being completely neurotic and overthinking your install?

          I will post more pics with dimensions when i get a day off of work and can completely disassemble my dash.

          -Ross

          Comment


          • #6
            dump the motorized unit and just plant an 8" inch like i did

            mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
            Follow Me on Twitter or Facebook
            Live mp3Car Facebook Chat

            Comment


            • #7
              ghost facing means soldering the connections behind your aftermarket headunit, assuming you have one, so that the faceplate sits somewhere else than your physical headunit.

              Yes, that is the factory bezel mounted with an aftermarket raw LCD screen and painted.

              The AC controls are actually wedged behind there and do not move whatsoever... i actually had to cut some of the factory plastic pieces behind the ash tray/cig lighter to make it fit properly though. The cables all are capable of extending down there without any modification. The HVAC controls need to have the 4 mounting screws dremeled off to fit though..

              As for install pics, i don't exactly have any, but i can get some in a bit. Or you can do what Sonicxstacy said above, same thing, get a raw screen and mount it like us.

              *Edit*
              Oh, watching your vid on youtube, that screen looks pretty messed up... send it back and see if you can get a raw touchscreen instead. I have very little glare and that's only seldomly to be 100% honest with yah. I haven't exactly finished my project yet, that's why there is still a hole below the HVAC and around the radio, those will be taken care of quite soon. And as for the bezel portion, if you have any issues in the future where you want to sell the car or whatnot, you can buy a new one for very very cheap on ebay or on www.altimas.net/forum/ and go to the classified section


              And by the way, the only reason why i originally did this project was because i researched it, and then my chance came up when some ******* stole my radio and messed up the bezel already, so i needed to buy a new one anyhow, so i figured might as well have fun with the old one and see what i could do. The new bezels aren't all that expensive anyhow, PLUS i hated the wood grain look... it's made for luxury cars and alty's aren't exactly luxury at all... =P

              Comment


              • #8
                Well I sure am glad to see people modding '01 altimas. I thought I would be the only one dumb enough to try. Sonic, As I stated earlier my main requirements for a carputer are
                "to have a system that is fully accessible from the dashboard (CD drive, inputs, and radio controls)"

                I know most people put their computers under a seat or in their trunk, but what about a CD drive or USB ports. I know CD drives aren't that necessary when you have all of your music on the comptuer and you can always install a USB hub. This being my first install I want to have everything in view and at my finger tips.

                Sonic: Where is your computer located? How did you mount your stereo? Is there a gap underneath the stereo? What's with the red button?

                I saw a thread where you talked about fabricating your own bezel. Is this it?

                Thanks for all of your help.

                -Ross

                Comment


                • #9
                  WarX,
                  I appreciate the advice. I bought the screen off of someone on ebay. It took me several weeks before I got a chance to play around with it after it got delivered, so it was too late to complain.

                  I think I'm going to continue the project the way it is now and then move on to an in dash screen later. I really want to see what the retractable screen in the HVAC control slot looks like.

                  Is it a problem no having USB ports or a CD drive readily available?

                  -Ross

                  I forgot to ask. Why would anyone solder the connections on the back of the head unit instead of using the associated cable? Sorry I don't understand.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gunsandrosses View Post
                    I forgot to ask. Why would anyone solder the connections on the back of the head unit instead of using the associated cable? Sorry I don't understand.
                    Because a faceplate is like a half inch thick so it can be mounted lets say to your ceiling or whereever where there is no depth needed, and then the actual brains of the unit would be hidden away somwhere.

                    So not solder the wires to the back of the HU, but solder the contact pins on the HU's removeable faceplate to the mating contacts on the actual HU.
                    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gunsandrosses View Post
                      Well I sure am glad to see people modding '01 altimas. I thought I would be the only one dumb enough to try. Sonic, As I stated earlier my main requirements for a carputer are
                      "to have a system that is fully accessible from the dashboard (CD drive, inputs, and radio controls)"

                      I know most people put their computers under a seat or in their trunk, but what about a CD drive or USB ports. I know CD drives aren't that necessary when you have all of your music on the comptuer and you can always install a USB hub. This being my first install I want to have everything in view and at my finger tips.

                      Sonic: Where is your computer located? How did you mount your stereo? Is there a gap underneath the stereo? What's with the red button?

                      I saw a thread where you talked about fabricating your own bezel. Is this it?

                      Thanks for all of your help.

                      -Ross
                      My computer is in the trunk. I have a slot load dvd down under the radio. Im not sure what u mean by inputs but i have a few usb hubs up front with extensions running to the trunk. As far as how i mounted my stereo what i did was chop the top half of the cig lighter assembly off then just slid teh radio into that position. I kinda wish i didnt do that now though because i've since decided to go without a head unit so my head units just sitting there doing nothing. There's no gap under the stereo other than the cubby thats already in your altima. The red button is just a power button i added. If i could go back i'd probably mount that some where out of sight. And yes thats the bezel i fabricated. I took the existing bezel, cut out enough of the din slot to fit the 8 inch and bondo'd it in. Us altima owners are pretty forunate that thats basically all it takes.
                      mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
                      Follow Me on Twitter or Facebook
                      Live mp3Car Facebook Chat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Measurements

                        I finally got some time off of work to take my car apart, measure my dashboard and do some more planning. Just as a re-cap, my plans are to install a lilliput motorized monitor inside my HVAC openning and move the HVAC controls and a mac mini into the lower 2 DIN stereo slot. The area on the bottom I will probably design a dock for an ipod and my cellphone.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	1.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	43.9 KB
ID:	2264549

                        The HVAC openning is 9" wide on the inside of the openning and 7.75" on the outside of the openning and 2.5" tall. The Stereo openning is 9" wide on the inside of the openning, 7.75" on the outside of the openning and 4.5" tall.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	2-words.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	65.4 KB
ID:	2264550

                        The monitor itself fits very comfortably inside the HVAC openning even with the accompanying sleeve. The stereo is 7.25" wide and 2" tall. With the sleeve, it is 7.75" wide and 2.25" tall.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	3.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	45.3 KB
ID:	2264551Click image for larger version

Name:	3-words.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	48.9 KB
ID:	2264552

                        You may have noticed in the earlier pictures that there is a large metal bar in the HVAC openning. It appears that there is still some clearance behind the stereo and between the bar. I'm thinking of somehow attaching the stereo to the bracket on the sides for support.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	3-1.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	90.7 KB
ID:	2264553

                        The positioning of the screen inside the HVAC openning works out better then I thought it would. The image is from the driver's perspective.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	5.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	95.6 KB
ID:	2264554

                        This shows the very minimal clearance I have between the screen and the dashboard. I'm a little concerned that in order for the screen to work properly it will have to stick out of the dash very far. I just don't want the stereo to stick out so far that it has a giant "steal me" sticker on it.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	41.9 KB
ID:	2264555

                        This picture is looking down through the HVAC openning. I am a little concerned with putting the stereo in the HVAC openning because of its weight. There is no support underneath the openning and the HVAC controls are only supported by the 4 screws in the front. There are two support brackets inside the dash that the stereo bolts into and I was thinking of welding a bar accross the top of the brackets to support the bottom of the stereo. Looking at it again, it would be much easier to use industrial strength zip ties and affix a piece of fiberglass to the top of the brackets. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. A friend at work has promised to help me.
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	7.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	98.3 KB
ID:	2264556

                        I'll let you all know when I have decided on a design. All suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

                        -Ross

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm back!

                          After nearly 7 months of putting my project on hold, I am back and ready to start again. At this point the only equipment I have is the lilliput in-dash touchscreen, which I've been unhappy with so far. I think I'm going to keep it just for the sake of actually getting a computer installed in my car. The only other big piece of hardware I need to purchase is a computer. My goal is to have the computer in the dash and I have narrowed my choices down to either a mac mini or an aopen minipc. Does anyone have a preference or experience with either?

                          I like the aopen because it works with carnetix power regulator, has USB ports on the front of the case, has a remote control and I can put the wireless receivers external to the case for better range.

                          I like the mac mini, because it works with the carnetix power regulator, has a remote control, I will not need to assemble it and I like the possibility of being able to play around with a mac. I have always been a PC owner, and am looking for an excuse to see what all of the fuss is about with macs. Does anyone know if you can use popular front ends and software on Mac OSX, or do you need Windows.

                          Any advice related to using Mac OSX, mac minis or aopen would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

                          -Ross

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X