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2004 VW New Beetle CarPC

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  • 2004 VW New Beetle CarPC

    Although it ain't neither my favorite car or the one i'd chose to make any cool installs on, it was a present from my dad when I graduated from college. It's a Speed Blue 2004 VW New Beetle 2.0l GLS with black/grey cloth interior, it's got stock sunroof, stock 16" wheels and four speed automatic transmission. I already have a Kenwood MP5028 head unit, a dbDrive PA475 amp and a 12" Rockford Fosgate P212S4 in a selad enclosure; they all will be replaced pretty soon (even sooner if I get to trade my car for a 2006 VW Jetta GLI 2.0TFSI DSG or an Audi A3 2.0TFSI... Love that engine and the DSG trans!).

    Before I begin, this is totally an experimental project, which will be growing trough time. I'm not planning on making this system speciffically for the Beetle, it most be able to be fit in any other car, as well as require as little modification as possible.

    I've been reading all over the internet for tips, checking out your installs and projects, it's been months of planning and now I'm ready to do my install! There are some really important things I haven't yet made up my mind about, but I've been trying lots of different programs to work with, have solved the fitting, spacing and wiring issues, have already bought the touchscreen and the slot-in DVD player (I even thought of getting a DVD+/-RW, but this one will do for now), got the power inverter...

    So, here we go, ready to start!

    First of it all, the fitting for the LCD in the dashboard will take quite some work, and as for I don't feel like having a huge hole in my dash board for months, I bought an extra main dash, the piece holding the air conditionin controls and the head unit. I'll be relocating the air conditioning controls and placing the LCD right over them and the head unit. It should take a little time to get it done properly, but I'm pretty sure the results will be pretty good.

    I'm, placing the DVD-ROM in the glovebox, the wiring won't be that easy, but should work it out with not much of a problem.

    I'm still making up my mind about using either a notebook or ATX based CarPC, depending on the notebook's pricing, I should make up my mind the most by wednesday. If i use an ATX MoBo, I think the beter choice will be an ASRock 775VM800, because it's cheap and has everything i want. In this case, I'm also still making up my mind about using notebook HD's or RAID 0 dual SATA HD's. I'll get a PC3200 512MB DDR (to start with, later on I might add an extra DDR), a Pentium 4 630 (LGA775) processor and a standard 300w PSU with a power inverter. If I use the notebook platform, I'll have most of the PSU issues solved by using an standard car cigarrette lighter DC-DC converter; I'm trying to get a used laptop, hopefully carrying a Centrino processor, but I don't want to either spend way too much money on it or buy anything lower than a Celeron 1.0GHz or Pentium 3 850MHz and 256MB RAM. The one thing that is certain, is that I'll be placing the MoBo in the trunk, just like Bugbyte did.

    I'll be using a USB Bluetooth dongle to interact with my cellphone, I'll add an RF wireless keyboard that will be able to stand just below the front passenger airbag, otherwise being kept in a custom made enclosure below the backseat, and a trackpad which will be placed on the armrest.

    The wireless and GPS systems are in hold until I get the rest of the system figured out.

    I'll be running WinXP Home SP2, DFSL (Drivesoft Lite), FrodoPlayer and WinAmp (gotta keep trying them out...).

    I hope to have some pics ready by this weekend!

    Suggestiones and comments are all welcome!
    Car PC progress: 60%
    Pics coming soon!!!

  • #2
    Check out my install(s).
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

    Comment


    • #3
      Already did!

      I did already check your install's and got quite some inspiration from them...

      Actually: THANKS!

      Although, I think the screen is way too far to operate it by touch... I thought of doing something like you had originally planned, but it requires way too much modding and I'm not that good with tools (yet...), besides, as i already said, I'm planning on changing the car.
      Car PC progress: 60%
      Pics coming soon!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree, the touchscreen is pretty far away, plus it is really obvious when in use.

        I'd look into the motorized foldout screen. The Beetle dash really can't be added to very easily without modding it.
        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
        Want to:
        -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
        -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

        Comment


        • #5
          I made up my mind and I'll be using a power inverter for now, with a D101GC MoBo and a Pentium 4 630, with 512MB of DDR400. I've chosen a Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 HD, 60GB at 7200RPM with 8MB buffer and a Pioneer DVR-K06 DVD burner (not much a difference for the price, so it was worth it). I'll be trying out the system this next couple of days to see how many watts it requires and then make up my mind about getting an OPUS 150 PSU.

          I decided that I'm still gonna have a HU available, only i will take the HU apart and have the display installed on the roof dash, right beside the sunroof controls. I will use an old HU I have from a VW Golf I sold lontime ago; but I won't be using the tape deck, only the AM/FM radio and the CD changer controls (for my iPod); it also has the advantage of matching VW's original dash ilumination colors.

          I'm actually pllanning to buy a Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty processor, and use a switch box to select the audio signal from the PC, the XBOX, the TV tuner or the HU. This way I should get a better and cleaner signal for my amps, as well as adjust it trough Bluetooth.

          Notice that I had already installed the TV tuner and the XBOX as well as two headrest 7.2 displays with my audio install, so I won't be trhowing them away, I'll rather integrate them with the CarPC.

          Next thing to figure out, is which GPS device is a better choice and choose the software to work with. Here in Mexico there are not many option on maps and stuff, so this will shorten the available options.

          Although I already have an 8" touchscreen monitor, I'm thhinking of getting a Xenarc 700IDT, as for it would require way less modding in the dash... My other choice, is modding my monitor so it flips down and hides... Gotta check what's better cost effective!

          One more thing... Just the other day I was driving home and saw a White 2004 Nissan Altima in a used car dealership, checked it out as for the price tag seemed quite a deal... I loved it! It is the 2.5 model, with black leather trim and brushed aluminium look-a-like details; might be considering it although it had a rather high mileage (52,000Km). Salesman said the car had been owned by an old lady, but I don't think an old lady would drive over 25,000Km a year...
          Car PC progress: 60%
          Pics coming soon!!!

          Comment


          • #6


            This is pretty much how I would like my dash to look like. I know I didn't make much of an effort to make the image, but i guess you can get an idea...

            I want to place the air conditioning controls behind the screen and use a couple of actuators to flip down the screen and show the controls.
            Car PC progress: 60%
            Pics coming soon!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              That would be cool but how about putting servos on the HVAC controls and operating them from the computer? Then you wouldn't have to mess with a bunch of actuators.

              BTW, that's quite a mod for the dash. Make sure you set up a worklog and take plenty of pics. I'm curious to see how you do it.
              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
              Want to:
              -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
              -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe...

                I don't actually think it is way too much modding, it will just take long to get properlly done... One thing, though: The shape of the dash ain't flat at all, that's gonna be interesting.

                I think you're right about the servos, they might come cheaper! The thing is that I have no experience at all with them... But let's check out what comes out from this.

                I thought of using only one actuator and two sets of memory coils to flip down the screen, maybe the servos will do a better job!
                Car PC progress: 60%
                Pics coming soon!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  One more thing: I might be painting the whole dash in speed blue (just as the exterior of the car), so I guess texture won't be an issue!
                  Car PC progress: 60%
                  Pics coming soon!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Servos are dead simple. Even an idot like me could figure it out. Use this:


                    It's a servo controller from polulu.com. It connects to the serial port and you can run up to 8 servos with it. Just write a simple VB script and you tell the servo to set itself to one of 256 positions. Easy.

                    Here's some photos of the dash piece that I dredged up from my archives:







                    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                    Want to:
                    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      DAMN!!!

                      Broke my spare dash... And the Pioneer DVD-R didn't work properly, had to take it back to the dealer. This is turning way more complicated than I expected.

                      Got a great deal on exchanging my old Nokia 6230 (had a year with it) for a P4 2.8GHz PGA478 Gateway PC with a D865PESO MoBo and DVD-ROM!!! It didn't have the DDR's or the HD, but everything else was ok... Bought a pair of 256MB 400MHz DDR's from Kingston and installed and old 3.5" 40GB HD. I decided to use this setup for the car. Got it all running great, with a 20sec start up time. Used the other PC components to make a Mac on Intel system... I just had to! I'm thinking of having both on my car (both systems, not pc's), that way I can use Mac or Windows whenever I feel like. Also, I know it's not a breathtaking idea and many might think of it as a dull solution, but I'm looking forward on getting the Windows Media Center Edition instead of using any of the regular CarPC frontends... I think it might work smoother. Should I also consider using Linux?

                      One more thing: I was suffering because I got an 8" SGDQ TM-868 instead of a nice Xenarc (they're way to expensive here in Mexico... should have bought it though) and couldn't make it work with the Mac; but turns out they use the same touchscreen panel as the xenarc's, so i had no trouble downloading the driver.
                      Car PC progress: 60%
                      Pics coming soon!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So, here we go...

                        Yesterday I spent all morning inside my car introducing cables and stuff... By now it is all already working, although I still have quite some work yet.

                        For the moment I'm using my laptop, but it won't be the definitive system, I'm working on an old Gateway E-Series P4 2.8GHz as my CPU. I'm installing both WinXP and Mac OSX Panther in it. Here's a list of the equipment I have right now:

                        - Xantrex XPower 400 digital DC-AC power inverter (should do for now)
                        - Texa Spira Centrino 1.73GHz 512MB RAM 256MB video RAM (nVidia), 80GB RAM, 14.2" widescreen, webcam, 802.11b/g WiFi...
                        - XBOX with 2 controllers
                        - Steren 4 port USB hub
                        - Steren COM-250 TV/S-video/RCA video/VGA to VGA adapter
                        - Generic USB Bluetooth dongle
                        - SMGQ 640x480 8" TM-868 touchscreen
                        - Kenwood KDC-MP5028
                        - dbDrive PA475
                        - Focal Polykevlar 165K 6.5" speakers (back)
                        - Focal Polykevlar 165KF 6.5" component (front)
                        - Rockford Fosgate P212S4 subwoofer

                        I've attached an installation diagram of what I'm taking into the car. The car Audio system has already been installed about year and a half ago. I'm installing a new 4 gauge wire to power the inversor and the amp, with a 150A fuse and block splitter; all this from Stinger.

                        I'll take some pics this weekend, but everything is just hanging around the car...
                        Attached Files
                        Car PC progress: 60%
                        Pics coming soon!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          why dont you get a vga connection for your xbox it will look so much nicer.
                          Cant code cause I dont know how, but give me the paint bucket and my eraser and have at you!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Can't fix the noise coming from the Desktop's PSU into my amplifier, so I'm getting rid of it!

                            I decided to trade my desktop for a Dell Latitude 2.2GHz P4Mobile. It's got DVD-ROM/CD-RW, single DDR 256MB RAM, S-Video and VGA out, 64MB dedicated nVidia, built in audio, Lan and WiFI... But no battery's, no AC/DC adapter, no HD... So, it's perfect! I trade it in straight exchange, not a single dime payed on difference. The screen will be sold, in order to buy a new HD and more RAM. Maybe even something nice for myself...

                            I should dismantle it and put most of the components behind the dash or inside the compartment between the front seats.

                            No more inverter for me! I'll keep it in order to plug my XBOX and other stuff, but it ain't gonna power my pc no more. Instead, I'll be using a DC/DC universal laptop car adapter I have laying around my house. On the other hand, I decided to use my head unit's remote to send the power on/off signal to the pc... A little hacking required, but shouldn't be much.

                            I'll get some pics pretty soon!
                            Car PC progress: 60%
                            Pics coming soon!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              GOOD NEWS!!!

                              My car died on me last thursday because of the heavy rain and flodding there's been in Mexico City this last couple of days... Ok, not so good news about that... But the insurance will be paying me back every penny that I paid for the car, unless they fix it and still wouldn't have to pay a single dime! So that means I should be getting my car fixed or trading at as-new price for another one, maybe a new GTi... It's the first car I would be buying having in mind a computer to place in.
                              Car PC progress: 60%
                              Pics coming soon!!!

                              Comment

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