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2004 Ford Ranger FX4 In Dash PC Project

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  • 2004 Ford Ranger FX4 In Dash PC Project

    This Forum will show the progress of my 2004 Ford Ranger FX4 In Dash PC build.

    Member blk02si owner of ShockNET Computers www.shocknet.us has received all parts and is fabricating a chassis and laying out the design. He'll be posting pics of progress on his end and once it gets back I'll continue to post pics on the actual install.

    Look forward to communicating and sharing ideas.

    Parts list attached.

    V/r,
    GA
    Attached Files
    Last edited by gla502; 12-02-2012, 09:58 PM.

  • #2
    I have a 2007 Ranger to do an in-dash mod to, after I finish the camaro mod in progress. I have similar hardware in the build I am working on now. The graphics chip gets warm on the DN2800MT board, so I put a heatsink on mine. Also, there are no 64 bit graphics drivers, so use a 32bit OS.

    Comment


    • #3
      Awesome rray! Thanks for the heads up on the OS. Did you use Tiny Windows 7 or 8?

      Comment


      • #4
        I originally used Win7-64 but discovered I could not play spider solitaire because of there not being a 64bit graphics driver. Then I tried to install Win7-32 but my license would not work for 32bit.

        It was cheaper to buy the win8 pro 32bit upgrade so I downloaded and installed that, and used the win7 32bit drivers.

        Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

        Comment


        • #5
          By the way, what is Tiny Win7?

          Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

          Comment


          • #6
            Tiny Win7 (and TinyXP) are stripped down versions of the OS to install. They let you remove things that you may not need. The goal is a leaner OS that boots quicker and takes up less space.

            From my experience, it seems safer to just install the OS the way it was meant to be installed. That way, nothing is missing later on.

            Comment


            • #7
              ClockWork you make a very good point. I ran into issues installing the OS in my first build (2006 Mustang). I must say I love the boot speed of TinyXP.

              Comment


              • #8
                As we all know a good chassis is the basis for any successful PC project, this ranger being no exception. This ranger presents a unique challenge as the dash is not din standard, and lacks the standard mounting provisions, but we are working around that. Today I fabricated the chassis parts necessary for mounting the PCB's, and picked up a sheet of abs for the LCD trim. More pics to follow as work progresses.

                -Joe
                Attached Files
                Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cool, I have exactly the same dash in my 2007, but I used the Crutchfield free mounting kit when I installed a Pioneer single din radio. Watching with interest!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just a quick question. I was looking over your hardware list and for the hard drive i noticed that you are using some kind of Flash based SATA device that connects to the SATA port. I was wondering what the advantage of using that type of drive connected to a SATA port as opposed to the mSATA devices that plug into the mini PCIe full size port?

                    I have the same board and used a drive similar to this style, and found I need more than 64G so wonder if the one you selected is available in 128GB:
                    Micron 64G mSATA SSD

                    I figure I could plug that one (they type you have) into the other "gray" SATA port on the motherboard. Also, do you need to supply power or does it come from the SATA port itself?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Rray I'm not sure if there is any advantage to the nano SATA but when I was researching parts I wanted something dedicated to the OS. Although the read write speeds are significantly slower that the pcie SSD I thought it would do the job.

                      The nano SATA requires power via a moles connector shown in the attached photo
                      http://www.logicsupply.com/categorie..._flash_modules

                      A 128GB version of the pcie SSD is available on Amazon. I love this board because it makes for an extremely slim build.
                      Last edited by gla502; 01-16-2013, 08:53 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think I would put the OS on the PCIe drive. In my experiences the faster the OS drive the better the system runs. 4gb gets small very quick as well.

                        Got some more work done on the LCD mounting and bezel. Had to mill a slot into the trim in order to fit the screen proper. It rests in there nicely, just snug enough. Took some patience and a steady hand for this. Now the ABS trim plate will sit just slightly recessed into the factory panel with a cut out all the way around for the screen. I debated a lot about how to do this step, but this is what I ended up deciding on to keep the look clean and factory. I did not want the bezel sticking out or covering the factory opening. The factory trim was only off by about 1/8" just enough to require the slot to be cut. I'm happy with the mounting results. I'll have to file some nice flat rounded sections into the chassis front bottom where the LCD wires will pass to the PCB. Still working on the PCB layout at the moment, but that should progress quickly now that I know where the LCD will be stationed.
                        Attached Files
                        Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                        AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Minor setback , old dash was scrapped in favor of a 4x4 silver dash. Same process as the old dash but completed some mounting and cnc work today :-)

                          Made a few additional brackets to make chassis mounting more modular, and simple. Designed and cnc machined an ABS trim plate to give the setup a "factory" feel. Milled the chassis and lower dash to allow LCD wiring to pass through on smooth surfaces. Now to begin mounting these items and the PCB's!
                          Attached Files
                          Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                          AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Joe looking very good!! Super excited. Like I said before I've never seen a factory looking install in a ranger and you're making it a reality with your unique custom professional designs. Look forward to seeing more as it comes along.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you for the kind words, I treat every install as if were going into my vehicle. Current state of affairs. Epoxying a plate to the top of the dash recess where the slot is for strength and retaining purposes.
                              Attached Files
                              Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

                              AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

                              Comment

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