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2006 Subaru WRX STi CarPC

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  • 2006 Subaru WRX STi CarPC

    I've had a dream since the late 90's, to put a PC in my car. With the purchase of my new STi and the reasonable prices of modern technology, I decided to make the dream come true. I looked into the DNX8120 for a long time, it sure would be easy to plug that in and go. I decided that I could build a car computer that would smoke that for a bit less money, and that I would have a braggable toy when I was done.

    I started by purchasing some Infinity 6020cs speakers, I found them for $100. I decided they didn't sound so great, so I bought a cheap "1000W" amp for $59 and put the Infinity in my old stand up jet ski. The woofer is waterproof and the tweeter continues to function despite being dunked. You can hear the music from shore, and it only really gets drowned out when you're going top speed (37mph). I bought a wetsuit to continue jet skiing into the cooler months (No real winter in Texas) . But I digress.

    So my functionality requirements are:
    Quality Audio
    MP3/WMA storage
    Somewhat fast boot up

    My functionality preferences are:
    Audio Controls (separate buttons for play/next/volume etc)
    Wireless networking to sync up with my home stuff when I'm home
    REALLY FAST boot-up
    Phone Charger
    Extra 120V outlet
    Large dash screen on passenger side
    Low Weight

    Here's the items I've bought so far:
    Asus P5Q-EM Motherboard
    E8400 Processor
    Patriot Memory 4GB PDC24G6400LLK
    LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM
    D-Link DWA-140 USB 2.0 Wireless RangeBooster N USB Adapter - Retail
    Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS
    HEC 6K28BB8F Black 0.8mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
    Garmin 20X
    0 gauge wiring kit from ebay
    P450.4 amp
    P850.2 amp
    Boston SL60 speakers
    Tsunami 40 Farad Cap (Silly, but it was on sale!)
    Kenwood Exceleon XW1200F Sub
    Monoprice 12 gauge speaker wire and a whole lotta cables
    Lilliput 8" 4:3 touch
    Dell E178WFPc 17" Monitor
    XFi sound card (a real one with crystallizer)
    Patriot PE32GS25SSDR 2.5" 32GB SATA II Internal Solid state disk (SSD)
    *Now on that SSD there are a lot of complaints about freezing. I also read *some success stories. So far it's working for me, will update more later.
    I/O 400 Gb external 2.5" HDD - need to try sata, but USB is ok too.

  • #2
    Progress Report:

    Have installed Boston 60SL speakers and tweeters. Fabricated brackets for the front door woofers from dowels. removed and modified front dor tweeter mounts. Front doors appear stock. Rear speakers and tweeters mounted on rear deck. Holes already existed in the meal deck, cut the trim to fit. Rear doors will retain original 4" speakers,

    I will connect my 9200mki parrot bluetooth through those 4" speakers, I'm thinking this will allow me to hear it and prevent echoes the best. It will also prevent annoying bass sounds from the parrot, which might occur when someone blows on their phone. I intend to run an aux in from the parrot to my computer as well, in case I decide to use the full system and the parrot's bluetooth music capabilities when someone hops in the car.

    I have built a rack for the amps, capacitor, and crossovers, and mounted it to the two parallel bars behind the back seat. The rack is made of aluminum and threaded rods. I polished the aluminum. This design allows for spare tire access.

    The computer case I have is small, but it should be smaller. I plan to cut the front off and reattach the trim to make it smaller, or I may end up buying another case.

    I've started running wires, I love how easy it is to take this car apart. I grounded the capacitor/amp rack to the panel behind the seat... If I hear any ground loops or hums I will likely run a ground wire direct to the battery.

    I've acquired some 1/8" stainless to build my monitor bracket... heavy duty!

    I've had some difficulty running my peripheral wires into the center console from the back... the whole armrest/console is one piece!

    I may cut a small hole in the carpet to run wires underneath and seal it with fabric glue if I cannot get the center console to cooperate.

    Windows XP on a modern computer absolutely flies! Less than 5 seconds to shut down. Startup without the windows updates was under 10 seconds, it's a bit more now with programs and updates. I plan to use nlite to trim that back.

    I built a subwoofer box, but then I gave it to my sister for Christmas (along with an amp and sub), so now I need to build another.

    I am still wondering how best to mount the subwoofer.

    Biggest concern now: mounting that 8" touchscreen in a 7" hole. Let's see how much I can do this weekend.


    • #3
      Getting close......

      Bluetooth.... 9200Mki (9200 Mki) Parrot is awesome! I played with it some and haven't fully tested the functionality, but everything so far seems top notch.

      I decided to mount the 8" touchscreen recessed behind the original stereo location... mounted the keyboard in the fusebox on the left, media controls will go in the flap under the stereo. Photos later.


      • #4
        This is the Keyboard.


        • #5
          Getting Closer!

          Here's my A-pillar control switches (the LEDs have been dimmed with in-line resistors, and only light up when the grounds are connected by a relay that is switched by the acc line.


          • #6
            awesome! i hope you keep it up with the updates. I just got a Saabaru aka saab 9-2x.