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2003 Dodge RAM Truck PC - Centrafuse

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  • 2003 Dodge RAM Truck PC - Centrafuse

    Okay, so this is my very first Auto PC. I am going to be posting progress notes, etc. I have done a lot of research before starting this project--reading hundreds of posts on and other places, and believe I have a great working plan. I will be building this over the coming weeks and will post my progress.

    Summary is this:
    - 10" Touch screen computer running Centrafuse
    - Black Acrylic custom panel
    - EEEPC 701 Computer
    - DVD/Media player
    - Backup camera
    - OBDII Module

    Parts I am using:
    $30 Back up camera (E0717)
    $130 10" Monitor with VGA and Composite Input (E1102)
    $50 Touch Overlay 10.2 Inch Touch Screen Overlay for EEEPC 1000
    $35 GPS (BU-353)
    $16 Hi Gain WiFi Adapter
    $85 DVD Player
    $99 AM/FM/HD Radio (MCS-DIR-HDR)
    $29 OBD (MCS-OBD-323-USB)

  • #2
    Removing the Dash.

    To remove the center dash unit, remove one screw located just above the "purse hook" on the passenger side (or follow this tutorial:, then the entire unit will pop off. Unscrew the HVAC control deck and unplug the cigarette lighter adapter, and the unit will come completely off.


    • #3
      Removing the Radio Bezel

      So some use drills, which may be a cleaner method, but I simply used a soldering iron to melt the little "nubs" and allow the bezel to pop out.

      And this is what it looks like out of the frame:


      • #4
        Now for the replacement bezel...

        Okay, so I looked a lot at what others were doing, and I decided to do my own thing. I am making a new bezel out of black acrylic. It will be easy to cut out and shape, and it is cheap ($10 for a 18"x18" 3/16" piece). I am drawing it up in autocad, and will have a precision machine I have access to cut it out for me. Currently, this is the design:

        So once all the parts I ordered arrive, I will double check sizes and tolerances, and then execute the design. I will first run it through on a sheet of (even cheaper) plexiglass to ensure all fits well, then I will run the acrylic through.


        • #5
          Updated panel layout

          Okay, so I received the parts and began to verify size and thing I can say is do NOT trust the printed height & width of products...verify upon arrival.

          Yellow is engraving, red is cutout.


          • #6
            Monitor and Camera arrive...


            • #7
              Modifications to the monitor.

              So this is a pretty slick monitor. It has a built-in VGA input, a composite (commonly referred to as "RCA") input for a DVD, etc., and a composite input for a "Back-up" camera. It has a 12V+ trigger to auto-switch to the composite input #2 while the vehicle is in reverse, then switches back once the trigger goes back to 0V.

              The bad thing about this monitor is that it has a very sleek look of edge-to-edge glass. While this is nice, this leaves no place for a touch screen overlay. Because of this, I have to recess the screen behind the acrylic and create my own bezel. There are buttons on the front of the unit (power, input, adjustments of brightness/contrast/etc.), so I will be relocating these buttons since I can't easily display them through the acrylic. I will be soldering directly onto the circuit board to relocate the buttons.

              4 screws on the back, and you can open it. Be careful to disconnect the speaker wires as you open it.

              Remove the two screws on the touch-button board...

              Then slip a screwdriver under the board to peel it up (its glued)...

              And then the board is free to solder remote wires onto.


              • #8
                Testing the capacitance circuit...

                I needed to put this behind my own bezel, so I am relocating the buttons that are on the front of the monitor. To do this, I have to solder directly onto the daughter board and complete the capacitance circuit.

                After I determined what was needed, I soldered the wires onto the respective places to bring the buttons out remote.


                and the put-back-together product.


                • #9
                  Updated Bezel Layout...

                  Updated the bezel drawing to have some text and bring the monitor buttons to the front. I also changed the Dodge logo out for my own, so as to not infringe...


                  • #10
                    Testing out the new screen on Centrafuse



                    • #11
                      Okay, all switches/buttons, etc. are in, measurements verified, final design going to be cut out tomorrow! Remember that this first run is going to be out of clear acrylic, so it won't look as cool as the black, but I want to do a test fit of everything before I cut into the black stuff...will report with pics as soon as it's cut!


                      • #12
                        The 3D extruded screenshots. Should be cut out today or tomorrow.



                        • #13
                          This looks great I'm really excited to see what the new console will look like.


                          • #14
                            I will be updating with pics as soon as the panel is done...I too am excited!


                            • #15
                              Okay, so I got the prototype back to test fit. Had to dremmel a couple of spots, but all in all, it seems to work great! I am going to take the assembled prototype and see how it fits in the truck now....if all goes well, I will be sending the nice, pretty, gloss black acrylic to be cut the same way. The clear shows all the defects...the gloss black is gunna look great!! I'm getting pretty excited...anxious to get this thing in the truck!!