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2005 Focus ST (US version) project

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  • 2005 Focus ST (US version) project

    As you can see by my join date, I have been here a while and yet never got much of a system together. I spent a few years driving a car that did not deserve a carpc. I just acquired a 2005 Ford Focus ST, the "fun" model, and have started collecting the desired components to finally get around to doing this.

    The PC is a Foxconn NT330i that I have left over from a HTPC. These are fairly tiny, and yet powerful. They have an external antenna that will be easy to lengthen if necessary, and run off a typical laptop style power supply. Highly recommend the Foxconn netboxes

    The LCD is a MiniTouch 700, I have had a liliput in the past and it was buggy, the reviews of the mini look good and the price is right. Got it along with a Bybyte double din enclosure. Hopefully most of my components will fit inside, besides the PC. I want it left accessible.

    My ST has the factory Audiophile setup, and so am important choice had to be made. After researching standalone optical input amps (which seem to be completely nonexistent) I decided to replace the factory amp with a 5 channel Alpine MRX-V60 to simplify things and allow for future upgrading of the sub. I am not interested in winning a SPL competition, I am looking for good clean pure sound with more punch than bass. I will probably mount the amp under the front passenger seat, as I like my truck to remain available and it will shorten the wires dramatically.

    I want to be able to control the volume easily, so I am going for a redundant volume control. It will be controlled not only on screen, but also with the stock "stalk" via the joyconn adapter and also a MCE remote. I use the MCE remote receivers in my HTPC's and they work flawlessly. Probably will end up with a basic Logitech Harmony at some point. Might even end up with a rotary volume knob at some point. Depends on how well the rest works.

    I dont use the radio much, but cannot imagine a setup without. After researching it a bit, the Directed setup seems to be a popular choice and most likely to pull a signal. We will see!

    The GPS mouse is a GlobalSat BU-353, I was satisfied with the reviews and hope it works well. Not sure about nav software yet, I wish Google maps was available for PC, it is so much superior to anything else I have used.

    The Bluetooth dongle is just a basic unit, had good specs and decent ratings. Probably wont use it much anyway. Also got the dash kit and connector for the radio, as I dont cut wires. This all must be able to be undone if ever necessary.

    2005 Ford Focus ST

    Bybyte BBN-7 with Mini-Touch 700

    Carnetix CNX-P1900

    Foxconn NT330i Atom PC

    Dell MCE remote

    Joycon USB adapter

    Directed HD radio

    MJS HD radio cable

    GlobalSat BU-353 GPS

    Generic Bluetooth

    5 Channel Alpine MRX-V60

    Scosche Dash Kit

    Hosa 3.5mm to RCA Cables

    Yet to acquire:
    Power Wiring
    Frontend (Centrafuse or Roadrunner)

    Spent some time and modified the 6 pages of Ford schematic into ONE simple page showing everything. Not sure why they chop it up so badly, but here it is in case anyone needs it.

    and the stalk schematic so I can bench test the Joyconn
    Last edited by gospeed.racer; 07-19-2011, 11:32 AM.
    2005 Ford Focus ST

  • #2
    Still laying everything out, but almost everything has arrived.

    Carnetix is installed in the Bybyte enclosure. The input side will be facing out, to keep the wiring simple. I cut all the usb connections and will be soldering on new male ends to the correct length. I have a powered 7 port squid hub coming to connect everything to. Most all of the USB components (minus the GPS and possibly obd-2 later on) will be inside the Bybyte, with just one usb running out of the case down to the PC.

    I needed to be able to turn on the Foxconn PC, and wanted a simple removable cable. I decided to re-purpose some 1/8" headphone jacks. One in the PC, one in the carnetix. Now I can just measure and purchase a simple 1/8" to 1/8" cable to interconnect.

    I also mounted a power jack to the other side of the carnetix, to power the 5v line. I dont like the idea of just hanging the wires out the slots per the carnetix manual. Thats too tacky on a expensive power supply.

    Still working on lengthening the media center ir receiver, it will be mounted in the front panel where the touchscreen ir was. I dont think I will have much use for the lcd remote, so I am ok with that.

    Last but not least, I am struggling with the volume decision. I want a rotary encoder to mount in the bezel, but the griffin is large and unreliable, the phidgets require programming knowledge (and I dont have the patients for learing it at this point) and the final alternative is to hack apart a dell keyboard with rotary volume and use it. I am leaning this way, but we will see.

    More to come....
    2005 Ford Focus ST


    • #3
      Awesome. I love to see the indash installs. I find them to be more interesting than most installs. I'm not sure why. Maybe its just issues with the small size that it poses. The idea with the headphone jacks is genius. I don't know why I've never seen anybody else use it.
      Originally posted by Lincolnman
      Your English is fine, don't apologize. You're doing better than most Americans.


      • #4
        Trust me, I have been thinking about this install for a very long time:-) there are a couple more tricks to come but I will save them for later posts! I was really hoping to keep everything in the bybyte, but rethinking it I am glad the PC will be separate. It will make updates much easier.
        2005 Ford Focus ST


        • #5
          Oh darn. I got my hopes up
          Originally posted by Lincolnman
          Your English is fine, don't apologize. You're doing better than most Americans.


          • #6
            Very nice so far! Where are you planning on putting the computer itself? With carnetix installed the way it is, I don't see where there would be enough room.
            My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit


            • #7
              Also, make sure your generic bluetooth is BlueSoleil compatible, in case you decide to use Centrafuse - not every bluetooth adapter will work
              My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit


              • #8
                The cheapie BT is compatible, I already checked to make sure

                The PC will fit just below the radio area. There is a small removable cover and it looks like it will fit behind there. If not, there is a TON of room up inside the dash, but I want this to be easily accessible.

                With work, I could have fit it inside, but it would have stuck out the back ~1". I really dont like the idea of having to pull the entire unit to make changes to the PC, whereas this way it will be removed when needed. They come with a cool vesa mount, and I plan to use it.
                2005 Ford Focus ST


                • #9
                  Well, mp3car sent me the wrong part so I am waiting on my 5v regulator still. Got a nice carnetix hub instead. oops! I am also still waiting on my squid hub, so in the meantime I got the MCE remote receiver stripped and shrunk, and put some usb ends on my loose wires. More to come...

                  usb top to bottom: External mini usb, touchscreen, joyconn,MCE receiver. not shown: bluetooth.
                  2005 Ford Focus ST


                  • #10
                    Got the squid hub today, wires are a bit shorter than expected making the install a little less clean, but still plenty of room. Wishing I would have hardwired everything but in the end, having usb plugs will keep it easy to service.

                    Also wired the hub power to the carnetix, waiting for the 5v regulator though. Got a extractor tool for the connectors used on the Bybyte and Carnetix (they are Molex mini fit jr's, same as used on motherboards and video cards) so I can swap the pins around a bit. The output wires on the carnetix were huge and way overkill for what I am powering.

                    If you look close you will see a pair of wires in black heat shrink running from the carnetix to the lcd- originally the lcd gets its power from the long wire that runs all the way back to the rear view camera. Why? Who knows. But it aint right! So what I have done is, I tapped in at the lcd with the power, and left the long lengths of wire intact, so if and when I do install a rear camera, there will be 12v waiting for it there off the carnetix. It also allows me to totally unplug that cable and still power the screen. The other din plug is for the vga to the PC.

                    I have a template for a 1/8" removable plastic plate that will cover the unused holes in the back of the bybyte and it will also lock in the cables exiting the back. Gotta hit TAP plastics and grab a sheet.

                    Last edited by gospeed.racer; 08-01-2011, 07:50 PM.
                    2005 Ford Focus ST


                    • #11
                      Switched it up a bit. The squid hub is neat on paper but really hard to make fit cleanly. The inland 7 port hub has 4 on the "inside" and 3 on the "outside" along with the mini usb input. The power comes in on the side, next to the carnetix. I took off the jack and hard wired it, saved a bunch of room. Now the bluetooth is on the outside of the case and I still have 2 more usable ports for the gps and HD radio. Previously they were going to plug directly into the PC. I am staring to think I just need to completely ditch the stock bybyte back panel and build a new one; once I get the layout 100% done.

                      2005 Ford Focus ST


                      • #12
                        looking good, i agree that indash installs are more interesting... when they are clean.

                        have you considered an analog volume control? like the jl audio unit? it's nice to have ultimate control over the volume regardless of the state of the computer
                        New System in progress:
                        Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
                        Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
                        Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
                        Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
                        Transflective Xenarc

                        My Car Pc Install
                        My Boat Pc worklog


                        • #13
                          yes, it will be getting one. I am torn between making one out of a keyboard or buying a Phidget. I dont like the size of the units like the Powermate. In the mean time, there are currently 3 ways to contol volume, the Ford "stalk", the MCE remote, and on-screen.

                          edit- I just re-read what you wrote....actually one of those inline volume controls may just be a good idea. I will have to consider it.
                          2005 Ford Focus ST


                          • #14
                            Well, plans were to test run last night but ended up having a fire destroy the entire garage, and 2/3 of the house. Car-PC is a melted blob. There is a brand new alpine amp melted into a blob in the driveway. Its sad, but I WILL rebuild. Its gonna be a while though now that we don't have a place to live.
                            2005 Ford Focus ST


                            • #15
                              I'm sorry to hear. That really sucks. Any idea what caused the fire?
                              Originally posted by Lincolnman
                              Your English is fine, don't apologize. You're doing better than most Americans.