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07 Chrysler 300 Limited - In Dash PC

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  • 07 Chrysler 300 Limited - In Dash PC

    Total Progress----------------------58%

    Parts Bought-----------------------89%

    Intel D945GCLF2 (1.6 Ghz x64 Dual core)
    Seagate Momentus 250GB 2.5 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
    OCZ Vertex 30GB 2.5" SATA II Solid State Disk
    DIRECTED DMHD1000 HD Radio
    mitchj's HD Radio cable
    Parrot hands free Wire Harness
    BU-353 Weather-proof GPS Receiver
    DSATX 220W Power Supply
    Belkin Mini bluetooth dongle
    Panasonic Slot Load CW-8124 DVD-ROM/CD-RW Drive
    Slimline Optical IDE to Desktop IDE Adapter
    8" Lilliput 889GL-80NP/C/T
    Pac Audio CR2-CHYNA

    Software Setup--------------------49%
    |-------USB Antenna Setup--------100%
    |-------Nav Software Setup--------100%
    |-------Ride Runner Integration-----100%
    |-------USB Dongle Setup----------50%
    |-------Cell Phone setup-----------100%
    |-------Ride Runner Integration-----0%
    |---Voice Recognition--------------0%
    |-------Mic Setup------------------0%
    |-------Voice Software Setup-------0%
    |-------Ride Runner Integration------0%
    |---Steering Wheel Controls---------95%
    |-------Software Setup------------100%
    |-------Ride Runner Integration-----90%
    |---Reverse Camera----------------0%
    |-------Camera Software Setup----0%
    |-------Camera Hardware Setup----0%
    |-------Ride Runner Integration-----0%
    |---Road Runner Skin---------------0%
    |-------Create Each Screen--------0%
    |-------Link to CanBus Plugin-------0%

    Fabrication and Installation---------37%
    |---Car Integration----------------88%
    |-------Wire Harness Fabrication---100%
    |-------CanUSB Setup-------------100%
    |-------Carputer to Amp Integration100%
    |-------Power Supply Integration---50%
    |-------Radio Bezel Fabrication-----0%
    |-------Keyboard Integration-------0%
    |-------USB Port Integration-------30%
    |-------Button Panel Integration---30%
    |-------Case Fabrication-----------60%
    |-------Keyboard Installation-------0%
    |-------USB Port Installation-------0%
    |-------Button Panel Installation---0%
    |-------Mic Installation------------0%
    |-------Case Installation----------0%

    May 06, 2009

    Ok with all that outta the way heres some pics of my baby.

    Check out my grill emblem

    Now heres what the plan is. I've got a 2007 Chrysler 300 Limited. and I was looking around for a head unit that had everything I wanted and it seemed that some would have alot of features I wanted but be missing one or two, another would have those two but be missing some the first one had... sigh. I played around with the idea of adding a Carputer but ultimately said I would not because I did not know of a way to retain my steering wheel controls (they are very important to me, its why I got a limited and not a touring).

    The car sends messages around from device to device using a controller area network bus, or a CanBus. This includes the steering wheel controls. This was the reason I decide not to pursue a carputer because I had very little knowledge of this CanBus.

    Then I stumbled onto a site called where people were hacking in and figuring out the CanBus of Chrysler, Jeeps and Dodges. So I started reading and figured out it was very doable to read and write messages to the CanBus and retain my steering wheel controls. I just had to do a little programming... good thing im a software developer. And with that it was decided.

    Wire Harness:
    First thing I did was saved up and bought a CanUSB which basically is a canbus node on one end and a usb port on the other. I needed to get my CanUSB, which is a male DB9 plug on the CanBus side, to plug into the CanBus of my car. I decided to use the Radio's plug to tap into the CanBus. So I ordered a "Parrot Hands Free Wire Harness" for a Chrysler 300, not the whole device just the wire harness. This harness had 4 plugs on it, one into the car, one into the radio, and 2 into the hands free device, which I did not have.... so I hacked the hands free plugs off. So basically I had an extension cord from the car to the radio.

    This is where it gets fun. I went onto a couple stereo installer web sites and looked up the the pin outs to the cars wire harness. From there I spliced in a female DB9 plug onto the CanBus positive and negative wires. With this I was able to plug my CanUSB device into that newly spliced plug and could successfully read and write CanBus messages to and from the car.

    I was now able to sniff messages being sent around the car. The great thing about a CanBus network is that every node sends thier message to every other node. So I'm able to read the communication between, lets say the door locks and the lock button (I was able to unlock/lock the doors with my laptop).

    So from here it was just a matter of figuring out the steering wheel controls messages and listen for them and make the computer act accordingly. Well someone beat me to it. A very helpful person on made a piece of software to emulate the radio for his Charger (which is the same as my 300). It pretty much does everything I needed, which included reading the steering wheel controls. It all worked great... my only concern (steering wheel controls) was now solved.

    With this radio emulation software I now needed to test that I could get sounds from my test laptop to the amp in the car. The amp btw is not a normal amp. It is turned on by a CanBus message sent from the radio. The radio emulation software takes care of this, basically anything that my radio would send to the car, this software does. With the amp on, I needed to splice in another connector to the wire harness. What I used was an RCA to 3.5mm (headphone) adapter. I sliced off the RCA ends and soldered the positive and negative for both left and right RCA plug to the corresponding wire on my (now nicknamed franken harness) wire harness. I held off on testing this right away and moved onto putting together some of the other parts I had while I read through the radio emulation code and tried to learn all that I could about it...

    I was going to add pics of Franken Harness 1.0 but I took it apart to work on Franken Harness 2.0 before I got a pic of it

    Motherboard and Hard Drives:
    I bought both a Seagate Momentus 250GB and an OCZ Vertex 30GB SSD. The reason for this is simple, winter. I live in Ottawa, Ontario Canada and it gets friggin cold during the winter. I'm talking -30* celcius (-22* Fahrenheit) and colder. With these kinds of cold I dont know how well a normal HDD will work. I did alot of reading and research on here and other sites to see the affects of the cold on HDD. It didn't look good. HDDs will not be able to spin fast enough at lower temperatures basically and you will end up getting a blue screen of death because windows couldnt read from the HDD. This is no good. So I was going to put windows on a flash drive and have it run from there. I soon realized a flash drive might run windows to slow and so I did some research on SSD drives. They seemed to be perfect for what I needed. The problem with SSD drives is that they're expensive... Really expensive. So to hold all my music would cost me a fortune. I decide that I'd install windows and all my software on a relatively small SSD drive and put all my music on a big traditional HDD. This way if the HDD won't spin, I just can't play my mp3s. Id still have the radio and maybe the cd rom, altho id guess if the HDD wont spin the cd rom wont either, but the radio at the very least and nav. Basically my system isnt shut down by the cold just limited a little. We will see... but thats basically why I have 2 hard drives, one being SSD and one being a traditional HDD.

    I've started a bit of the install. I hooked up the intel motherboard, along with my SSD drive and installed an nlited / shrunken copy of XP 64x. I fiddled around with nlite for a while and kept running into issues with certain drivers and this and that so I decided to just remove crap I knew i wouldnt use, and only shrink it a little bit. This was all tested on my laptop. I didnt wanna have to reinstall the OS 100 times on my new SSD. Once a suitable install was created, I installed it on my SDD and started with drivers and software I'd need.

    The BU-353 caused me some pain but I finally got a 64x version of the driver and got it all working. I'm using IGuidance with my BU-353. Tried it within Ride Runner and everything is working perfectly so my nav installation is now 100%. WOOHOO

    HD Radio:
    For this I got a DIRECTED DMHD1000 HD Radio from ebay for a good price and ordered mitchj's HD Radio cable. First thing was to power the HD Radio. I took the power wires that came with it, which was a 12+ constant, 12+ ACC, and ground. Both the constant and ACC lines each had a fuse on them. So I snipped the ACC wire near the plug for the radio, and spliced it into the 12+ constant. I made sure to do this before the fuse so that both the constant and ACC still were fused, just now off the same fuse. This eliminated the ACC line basically. On the other end of the wire, I soldered in a molex connector at the 12+ and ground. So now I could plug this into my power supply and when I flipped the switch to the computer, the HD radio turned on... soo cool. I tested my HD radio with mitchj's HD Radio cable and Ride Runner and it was working, altho no sound since I dont have an antenna to use with it until I go into my car. HD Radio ... 100% complete..WOHOO


    Wire Harness Testing for Sound:
    I went back and tested the wire harness (franken harness) to see if I could get sound from the laptop to the cars amp and it was not working. I'm not sure why at this point, but i dont think its my soldering job on the wire harness simply because if it was a crappy solder im sure id hear something, static or something but I get nothing as if the amp isn't even on. I havent had much time to debug through code to make sure the amp is getting turned on via the CanBus / radio emulator. My assumption is that the message isn't getting to the amp for some reason. I'm gonna try and get some work done on this over the weekend and hopfully (fingers crossed) I can figure it out and have sound going from my laptop to the amp and out the car speakers. Thus finishing my work with the Wire Harness.

    The radio emulation software I'm using is going to need some tweaking for my own personal setup. Lucky I have the source code for it and have been given permission to modify it as I need to. This is going to be an on going thing really and as I make a skin for RR itll need to be updated in order to work with RR properly and with the skin I make.

    Stay tuned for updates

    May 21, 2009

    Wire Harness Testing for Sound - part 2:
    Ok wire harness is completed and tested. I got the sound working from my laptop to the cars amp. You're gonna laugh.... the problem was the sound on the laptop was to low to hear it...

    I was trying to figure it out and had music playing and my cars amp at full and I wasnt hearing.... I was sitting there thinking of how to go about figuring it out when I noticed a very faint beat... I check the volume on the laptop which was set to 1, and put it to 50 and BAM! music coming through the car... ok another problem solved.

    So now my CanBus setup is pretty much done and my steering wheel controls work to control the computer. Whats next... I dont even really know...

    will post updates when I got em

    Jan 15, 2010
    Its been a while since I updated this so I figured I'd give a small update as I've just really been buying up the parts.

    Power Supply:
    I bought a DSATX220 power supply used from a forum member here. I rigged a little test system up in my house to see if I would work but no luck, after reading some post about my problem it seems that the DSATX with a certain serial number had a chance to corrupt its firmware, so I contacted mpeg box so see if I could get it fixed, which I can but I just havent had to time to ship it out yet. I really should get on this soon.

    I had originally had an xlited version of xp on my system but decided to scrap it and run Windows 7. The reason I decided this was because it has better support for SSDs and touch screens. I did some research and found that it could run on less powerful systems and decided to give it a try, sure enough it runs just great on my system so I'm gonna stick with that.

    Franken Harness:
    Good ol franken harness, this will be getting a change, I had previously used a "Parrot Hands Free Wire Harness" to splice in all my plugs but I've decided to change it to a C2R-CHYNA made by pac audio. This device is to add a new head unit to a Chrysler 300 ( chargers / magnum too) without an amp.

    Basically it plugs into ur car harness, has wires for your audio wires, has a plug for the steering wheel controls and also plugs into a little circuit that will listen on the canbus for a "radio on" message and then power an ACC line (which the radio harness does not have).

    So what this means is my RCA to 3.5mm headphone jack will be moved to the rear speaker wires on this new harness, the db9 canbus plug will be spliced into where the steering wheel controls on the harness are and I will now have an ACC line to turn on my PC... I've now named this Franken Harness 2.0

    I bought a Belkin Mini bluetooth dongle and setup the driver for it, I installed bluesoleil to be used by the .net bluetooth mobilephone plugin for ride runner. Everything worked fine... so bluetooth is now done.

    Ride Runner Skin:
    For this I'm using the eLite lite 1.6.6 skin for ride runner. I think this skin looks great so I'm just gonna use this instead of reinventing the wheel. There is some small tweaks that i'll need to add, like when you press volume up it cant tell window to turn the volume up its gotta send a canbus message to tell the amp, this wont be to hard I dont think but in the mean time I've added a new "canbus" screen to the skin to control the amp setting for now but it will eventually just replace the existing functions in the skin.

    Ok I've started building the case, for this I bought a metal box of the exact dimensions of the stock radio (or very close to). The first thing I did was cut the top off the case to allow access to put the components inside it.

    I also started to cut up the lilliput screen I bought, so i cut the plastic bezel for it as small as I could make it. I cut the button area off the bezel. With the button area of the screen gone it fits perfectly on the case that I'm making which fits perfectly in the area in my dash...

    then I realized i need to have my cd rom put in there somewhere and there was no room... so I used the button area I had cut off and cut out a chunk of it to house the faceplate for the cd rom and ill just add that back to the rest of the lilliput bezel. The problem with this is now my lilliput bezel is about a half inch to big to fit on the case and evidently in the dash. Now my dash has a ton of room in it so thats not an issue. I'll just have to cut the cars radio bezel a half inch bigger, no problem but the screen is going to sit a half inch above the case. I had thought I'd be able to stuff everything into the perfectly sized case but I doesnt look this way, so the screen bezel will stick a little higher up than the rest of the case. What I plan on doing is just using the back of the lilliput bezel, cutting it and using that so theres no exposed parts for the radio sticking up.

    Heres a quick pic of the case so far

    Heres a look at the lilliput bezel getting the cd rom glued to it

    Feb 18, 2010
    Ok got some pics finally as I was building last night


    Worked a little more on the case and test fitted all the components in to see how much room there will be. I'm going to be mounting the cd rom on the bottom of the case and then the motherboard just above it. So I needed to add mounts for the motherboard that were just a bit higher than the cd rom. After looking around my house for something I couldnt use I found a piece of trip for where your wall and floor meet, it was just the right size so I used that.

    Hard Drives:
    So while I was checking the space I had in the case I realized its gonna be tight... really tight so I needed a place to mount the hard drives. I plan to have the HD radio (which is huge BTW compared to everything else) hanging from the top of the case up side down. Now looking at it, theres not much room with that hanging down to put my hard drives anywhere. After looking at all of my parts I realized the two hard drives fit almost perfectly on the top of the HD radio. So with that said I took took the top of the HD radio case off. I test fitted the hard drives on it and drilled 8 holes in it that line up with the screw holes on the hard drives (well i drilled like 16 holes cause i couldnt get them to line up properly). I mounted the hard drives right to the top of the HD radio and they will now hang from the top of the computer case as well.

    Heres some pics

    Mar 4, 2010
    I did a little more work on the project over the last couple weeks. Kind of a slow process, gluing and waiting for it to dry sanding gluing etc etc

    Screen Bezel:
    So I've been putting the screen bezel together. I've got the cd rom faceplate glued in and the bottom of the screen bezel with the cd rom face plate glued back to the top half. I put the screen in and checked that it would fit when put on the case with the mother board in. I didnt at first. There was two issues. The first was the wood trim that is glued into the case that the motherboard sits on was hitting the screen so it wouldnt sit flush. This was simple I just used my dremel to sand it down enough to fit the screen in. The second issue was that there is a little circuit board on the screen (presumably to handle the touch interactions) that was pressing against the ethernet port of the motherboard. After lookin at where the connectors of the screen were I noticed that I had planned to put the screen circuit board on the wrong side of the case... surely I must have checked that originally. then I realized... the screen was upside down. So i pulled it out of the screen bezel flip it and stuck it back in and the obstruction was now at the top and out of the way. It fit perfectly (well probably a little more tight than I wanted but it fits).

    Heres some pics of the screen bezel, I still need to glue the sides on it that will screw into the case, and it needs paint. Note that the bezel is not attached in anyway to the radio bezel in the pictures, I just put it there to show the size of the opening compared to the screen bezel, width is perfect, but i'll need to trim the radio bezels height a little to fit it in, I knew this before starting the project.

    New Project in the Works

    Previous Worklog here

  • #2
    New Project in the Works

    Previous Worklog here


    • #3
      reserved 2
      New Project in the Works

      Previous Worklog here


      • #4
        I would like to see pics of your dash with your screen install. I was planning on getting a 7" lilly, but it looks like the 8" will fit better, no?
        2009 Chrysler 300 - Worklog
        Intel BOXD945GCLF2D Intel Atom processor 330 Intel 945GC Mini ITX
        2 gigs of RAM
        250 gig laptop drive
        VoomPC-2 Enclosure
        Lilliput 629GL-70NP


        • #5
          its gonna be tricky, im just finishing up the case now. so the whole case is going in my dash where the stock radio was.

          I bought a case that fit exactly to the size of the rec navigation unit that comes with the car (if you have the nav option) and the screen was gonna fit perfectly too until i realized i bought a cd rom and needed to add that, so that added another 1/2 inch.

          So im gonna have to cut the navigation radio bezel by 1/4 inch on the top and bottom to make up for the room.

          the reason why im doing 1/4 inch on top and bottom instead of just 1/2 inch on either the top OR bottom is because behind the dash is limited room, the case will fit nicely in there on these plastic tabs that hold the nav unit is place. so if i cut the bezel 1/2 inch down then it wont fit on these tabs anymore and i cant fit it in there. If i cut the radio bezel 1/2 up, i will cut into the air vents, so thats out.

          So the 8" lilli looked like it would fit in the navigation radio bezel perfectly when you cut the buttons off the bottom of it, so if your not planning on putting a cd rom under it you should be able to make it fit fine.

          I'll measure and post a pic tonight to see if it all fits ok

          PS stuffing everything into a case to fit in behind the dash is proving to be quite the challenge.
          New Project in the Works

          Previous Worklog here


          • #6
            Our setups are going to be a little different.

            First, I plan on having the PC in the cabin with me. Down here (Southern US) it can easily get 110 degrees F outside with the car being several degrees hotter. I just assume that the ambient temp of the dash and trunk will both be too hot. For that reason, I purchased a Voom case that has space for a drive (although i can't think of a practical application for the drive & my setup).

            Regarding cutting the buttons off the bottom... how easy is that to do? Personally, I'm not afraid of projects like that, but convincing the wife that its necessary to carve up a brand new, several hundred dollar gadget is gonna be tough. She def wouldn't let me cut the car's bezel.

            This might be an ignorant followup question, but what happens to the buttons when you cut them off? Can you relocate them? are they unnecessary?
            2009 Chrysler 300 - Worklog
            Intel BOXD945GCLF2D Intel Atom processor 330 Intel 945GC Mini ITX
            2 gigs of RAM
            250 gig laptop drive
            VoomPC-2 Enclosure
            Lilliput 629GL-70NP


            • #7
              Heh ya its a little disheartening to buy a $300 touch screen and carve it up right outta the box.

              If you unscrew the panels on the screen and take a look inside you'll see that the buttons are on a circuit board that is seperate from the main circuit board, you just disconnect the button board from the main circuit board and the button board just comes away from the main board. so to take everything out i disconnected all the components; main board, touch panel, button board... think thats it and took them all out. with all that removed i just used a dremel tool to cut away the button area of the screens plastic bezel, was super easy. I relocated the main circuit board inside the case im building so its not going back in the screens plastic bezel, in fact only the front part is being used as the front of my case, the back part i just getting tossed out.

              I read an article on here about how to disassemble a lilliput and used that to take it apart.

              So if your wifes worried, your really only removing the buttons and cutting the plastic bezel smaller so its not to bad, you could relocate the buttons elsewhere if you wanted them.

              side note: if you plan on setting the screen to turn on when it gets power (and hook it up to the power supply) so it turns on with the pc, you need to use the remote to enter a code to get to a hidden menu, do this before removing the buttons because the button board has the listening part for the remote (cant remember whats its called right now lol)

              As for the car bezel, I completely agree, I didnt wanna carve up my bezel, for the simple fact that if i sell the car i wanna take the computer out and I can't have a hacked up bezel in there. So what I did was bought a second radio bezel used from a guy and im gonna cut that one. so at the end of the day I've not actually modified anything in the car, its all plug and play and can be removed afterwords. Plus i didnt have the nav package so I needed the bigger opening of the nav bezel. swapping the bezel is super easy btw, just clips holding it in.

              As for the buttons after removing them, i dont plan to use them, but i will keep them around in case i find out i need em. but I'm assuming everything will work without them connected to the main board, at least thats my hope....


              heres some pics i had on my phone

              EDIT AGAIN: I moved the pictures up to the first post
              New Project in the Works

              Previous Worklog here


              • #8
                heres that pic

                This is the 8 inch lilliput bezel with the buttons cut off compared to the navigation radio bezel

                New Project in the Works

                Previous Worklog here


                • #9
                  Are you gonna bondo the two together?

                  Also, you shouldn't bite your nails
                  2009 Chrysler 300 - Worklog
                  Intel BOXD945GCLF2D Intel Atom processor 330 Intel 945GC Mini ITX
                  2 gigs of RAM
                  250 gig laptop drive
                  VoomPC-2 Enclosure
                  Lilliput 629GL-70NP


                  • #10
                    I'm not gonna bondo them together, the screen bezel will be screwed onto the case that im building and sit in the dash, the radio bezel will fit over it just the same way stereos fit into the dash of cars now.

                    yse im aware i shouldnt bite my nails, i was hopin no one would notice that

                    EDIT: fixed the photo, now u cant tell i bite my nails
                    New Project in the Works

                    Previous Worklog here


                    • #11
                      Looks like things are coming along nicely!

                      I am close to installing my CarPC into my 300c.

                      When you figured out the steering wheel controls, did you find a way to use the next track buttons to respond to changing the music while in the main screen (the one that displays what direction you are going, current music station, etc..) vs. being in the fuel consumption screen where the next track buttons are used to toggle through different screens? Sorry if that paragraph is confusing lol.


                      • #12
                        I think I understand. I'm usin software written by another guy on here so I'm not sure until I get it all in the car. My guess is that the canbus msgs aren't sent while ur in that screen so that's y the stock radio doesn't switch songs and why the software won't get em either. We ll see tho. I'm on my phone but I'll post a link to it when I'm on a pc.

                        On a side note speakin of the screens. On the steering wheel hold the compass button and music note button at the same time for 10 seconds. U get into a secret menu w lots of info n on the 07s n up like mine it's got a 0 - 60 mph timer, digital speedometer n lots of other stuff.
                        New Project in the Works

                        Previous Worklog here


                        • #13
                          Well I am anxious to find out. I was getting worried that my steering wheel controls would be gone for good. I am going to be using Centrafuse though...Gonna have to look for some sort of plugin for the canbus with Centrafuse I guess.

                          Ya I found out about that screen, its pretty cool. Haven't seen the 0-60 timer though.


                          • #14
                            The steering wheel commands are sent even when in other screens, but with a flag saying that it is in a different menu... If I'm remembering correctly.... In my code I ignore those button presses because the EVIC still responds to the commands. That won't do

                            I've been working on that code a bit more... I've got a C# version that uses a better implementation of the RideRunner APIs.

                            Nice progress.... I'm waiting for it to get warmer so I can finally install my system...

                            I'm also looking for anybody who doesn't use their Sirius satellite anymore. I want to buy their cable harness for it... I'm having a hard time locating it.... and I don't feel that $100 is the proper price for less than 10 wires....



                            • #15
                              Well that seems like there is hope then even still...I hope that whatever your findings and final results can somehow be applied to Centrafuse...I will be giving riderunner another shot though, especially if it is impossible to get the steering wheel to work with Centrafuse.

                              Why Sirius radio? I'm not too familiar with newer radios, but I was planning on picking up an HD radio for the CarPC because of the lack of fees. Although the right HD radio tuner is expensive at the moment at 180...