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2007 AltiMac Mini over existing Navigation package

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  • 2007 AltiMac Mini over existing Navigation package

    Well I am a newbie to the whole caputer thing and I'm one of those people that love entertainment. Earlier this week I found out some crushing news on my car forums that pretty much told me that there will be no iPod integration into my existing factory Bose Navigation/Xm unit and that really upset me pictured below:

    I also researched to see if there are adaptors that can tap into the video of the Nav unit and unfortunately there is none so far so I guess I will have to mount a LCD touchscreen.

    So while sitting in the car, I noticed that I have some good locations for a carputer install and figured why not give it a try with a Mac mini. I pretty much got the idea from a friend here on the forums (psedog) and it WILL be a very unique setup indeed.

    First of all, let me get this off my chest about people "bashing" or "hating" which is one of my pet peeves. I am an enthusiast to say the least with my car and I spend a lot of time in it every day so I want to be as comfortable as possible. I do not want anybody telling me how unnecessary this may be since I already have Navigation with Bluetooth phone connectivity and that its a waste to do this just for media. The car will be made into a show-car eventually and this is just part of that.

    When I originally started with the car...I went with a Luxma Visor monitor on the passenger side and ended up putting a Playstation 2 (slim) in the glovebox. Pictured below.

    I will be keeping this setup but I may remove the visor monitor as it is a pain in the butt and the computer monitor will be mounted on the headliner just above the map lights. The space is approximately 4.5" H x 9" wide at the narrowest point which looks to be perfect for the Xenarc 700YV touchscreen Location pictured below:

    I haven't decided if this is going to be a recessed mount which would require me to cut the headliner (and to be honest...I don't really want to do this if I ever decide to go back to stock) so I may go flush and fabricate a bracket to reach around that spot and mount to a metal plate behind the headliner which would be simple to do. Hopefully, mounting option will be decided when I actually have the monitor in my hands soon and when I go out and price how much to replace an entire headliner from the dealer.

    As far as the Mac Mini's location...
    Since the computer will be running my entire iTunes library...I decided to do a swap/relocate with my in-dash CD changer pictured below.

    This gives me a few benefits. 1. Access to the IR for the Apple Remote, 2. Easy access to the Combo drive, 3. It should blend-in seamlessly with the interior with the brushed metal casing.
    Since I won't use the CD Changer that much...I will simply fabricate a DIN sized case for it and relocate it to either the glovebox or under the passenger seat and simply extend the single wiring harness for it.

    I did think of other options with mounting the touchscreen in the lower dash console in front of the mini but I either don't have space to facilitate "hiding" the monitor or even making it look real good and be able to get to the computer. Putting the computer in the glovebox also is not an option for me since I want to preserve using the IR remote and voiding the warranty just to relocate it did not appeal to me plus I prefer it in the dash. I will be fabricating a case to house it in the DIN location for the CD changer and will post pics when its up and ready.

    Please feel free to comment on everything and I'm planning on purchasing the Carnetix CNX-P2140 this Monday plus the monitor so if theres anything different I should do...please let me know. Thanks

  • #2
    So I built the frame to house the Mac mini yesterday and still waiting for the cold weld to dry. I will have pictures for it up soon.


    • #3
      Here is a size comparison of the Mac Mini in relation to the Stock CD Changer which is a standard DIN sized unit. I will be putting the mac in its place and extending the changer to the glove box since I will not be using it that much.

      The final photo is the mac actually sitting on top of the CD changer and the footprint is almost identical.

      I got the touchscreen and power supply today and everything looks relatively easy to install tomorrow. Touchscreen software installed onto the computer and its good to go. Now the fun begins...the cool thing I noticed is the Carnetix power supply is now completely "Plug and Play" if you get the Mac Pac connecting cables and it even comes with a remote switch turn-on cable so I had to open up the mini to install the Y cable which literally took 2 minutes (it was harder getting the thing opened than to install it). Then there is a direct power cable which require absolutely no splicing or even cutting of the mac mini power supply so now I have one for when I use the computer in the house. I finished fabricating the mount for the mini and just waiting on the paint to dry and I'm installing velcro to the bottom to keep the computer from moving around although its pretty tight along the sides since I added some foam padding. More pics will be out real soon.

      Comment please


      • #4
        Well the install is complete but I do have some finishing touches that need to get done before I post pics up. I fabbed up a pretty slick mount for the monitor on the headliner but I need to fab up a Fiberglass trim cover to help it blend in. The nicest thing is that the monitor is for one surface I can go back to stock easily and the monitor is visible from every seat in the car. Pictures will be up soon.


        • #5
          Fabrication of the AltiMac's tray

          Well this is the tray that I fabricated to cradle the AltiMac and I must say its holding together pretty nicely. I padded the sides with sticky foam to protect from scratching and added Velcro at the bottom as an added precaution to make it harder to pull out. For extra security...I'm actually using the Kensington lock on the back to keep this computer IN-THE-CAR and its pretty much there as an added deterrent if you can get the computer out of the cradle anyways since its pretty tight with the factory brackets.

          Initial completed photo of it mounted and the factory finish just didn't appeal to me so with the help of my friend at Vinyl Overlays he gave me some matte black which hides it a bit into the interior.

          The Carnetix power supply is then mounted under the computer (since there is plenty of room) and I've been running the system for over a week now with no overheating problems.

          Monitor pics will be up soon as I am still fabricating the fascia out of fiberglass and its being a P.I.T.A. so its taking longer than it should. I think it will come out good and its definitely visible for all passengers in the car. I also removed the Visor monitor and sold it as it is not necessary.

          Please feel free to comment.


          • #6
            Installation Complete

            Well, after a busy few weeks...I have the computer fully installed and here are some pics of the shroud I fabbed up out of fiberglass and a whole lot of Bondo. It feels like I've been sanding it for weeks and it didn't come out perfect but its only the second time I have worked with fiberglass and I must say its decent for now until I can get something made up nice. I may just try that liquid rigid plastic eventually but not sure yet. There are some dimples and imperfections in the fiberglass but I think I got it looking pretty stock with the textured paint and all. If I can find the exact same fabric as the headliner, I may just cover it with that which will make it really look good. Enjoy:

            Now I'm just waiting on a reliable and user-friendly front-end to work with the Macs and everything will be sweet...currently I'm using front row 2 and been working good for me thus far and Neon Boombox is really growing on me but I gotta have something with Apple Remote support to make it perfect.

            Please feel free to comment and would the moderators be soo kind to move this thread to the completed threads, Thanks.


            • #7
              Looks good, you wouldn't by any chance have your rear doors suicided and have the stock handles flipped and relocated at the front of the door?

              I only ask because there are only so many bagged altimas out there, and I noticed you are in Temecula. There is a really cool Altima on air I saw at a southern CA show one time.


              • #8
                I don't know of any 4th Generation Altima's with suicides yet since I will be one of them and even Lambo doors so in answer to your question. NO I do not have them but I do live in Temecula and you should see me at all the shows real soon. Thanks


                • #9
                  any reason that you didn't rip the NAV out?
                  "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

                  Strive for ethical wardriving:

                  My CarCPUs: v1 - 2000 | v2 - 2004
                  Mp3Car Meets:


                  • #10
                    ^^ Well personally...I like the Nav and the main reason I went with the carputer was for the Music/Movies, etc since Nissan cannot come up with a solution to get iPods integrated into the stock Nav unit and they never will. I'm also interested in setting up an OBD II kit for gauges once I do some more research with it. I know without Nav and XM on the computer, it would be pretty expensive but the Mac doesn't really have any good Nav solutions now anyways and I'm not putting Windows on the mac for the reason that I totally hate windows and OS X is far superior. The most important thing for me in my car is entertainment since I spend a very good majority of the day in it. Thats all.

                    BTW whats your screenname in Nissanclub?


                    • #11
                      Here is a pic of the car in question.


                      • #12
                        Well that's a 3rd Gen altima and I've seen pictures only of it.


                        • #13
                          I would agree that the Mac navigation is still sucky. But things like VMWare Fusion and Parallels can help get past that :-) I love my Mac OS X, but sometimes you just have to run Windows.

                          The current nav screen is a perfect place for a screen. I kind of wonder if the nav screen is regular RGB....then you could hook BOTH to a carcomputer monitor and just take out the existing one in the nav unit to leave its buttons there. Based on its size, it should be a 7" touchscreen.

                          I'm KamikazeH20mln, btw on :-)
                          "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

                          Strive for ethical wardriving:

                          My CarCPUs: v1 - 2000 | v2 - 2004
                          Mp3Car Meets:


                          • #14
                            Yeah I'm still trying to find out how to tap into the Nav screen on the car with no luck still. That screen is a real pain in the butt for everything. Also, I'm still trying to find the headliner material to cover my monitor housing with still no luck so what I may do is just cover it with Black Leather because I really don't like it painted right now.


                            • #15
                              Factory Nav Tap/IN

                              the mod for that car is $450. This will give you 2 video inputs 1 for dvd and 1 for backup camera. Feel free to call me at 718-763-7367.
                              Thanks Dominic

                              JB wrote:
                              Do you have the following kit available and if so what is the pricing options?

                              I wrote them a week ago and this is what was said. (This was posted over at nissanclub btw)

                              May want to give them a call.

                              I think the can tap the RGB as well.


                              "I love my altima nav system as well and I am a happy go lucky hybrider

                              Also there have been reports that nissan will bring us our official ipod adapter for the nav system in the 07-08s in June - July. Time will tell. God knows we have been asking for it long enough.