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  • A Mac in an Escape

    Well after probably over a year of yapping about it, i'm finally getting off my lazy butt and doing something.

    I've had my 7" Lilli for a few months now, but last weekend I finally picked up my Mini and ordered my P1900, a USB hub, and a 1GB SODIMM.

    The place I ordered the memory from drug it's ***, but when they finally sent it they sent it overnight so I still had it in time

    Thursday night I started getting the P1900 ready.

    Friday morning I took my Mini into the office to reload it's OS for a clean install. I got about 75% through and found out I had a bad install disc AppleCare is shipping me a new one, but that does do squat for the weekend. So I poked around the office and everyone I know with an Intel Mac didn't have their install CDs with them. So I resigned myself to waiting forever to borrow the disc from the local Apple Store. I got there and had ~3 hours until my appointment time, but talked a sales guy into grabbing the disc for me so the Techs didn't have to bother. 20 minutes later I was out of there with a working Mini

    So I got home and pulled my old stero along with my center console, center facia, and both seats out. I also unknowingly (i.e. being a little too happy with the wire cutters ) cut the wiring to my speakers I will say I meant to do it though since I didn't like how the shop that installed my stereo routed the wires to my AMPs, so now i'm running in a cleaner route now

    After dark I came in and started the modifications on my center console and a bunch of soldering. Besides making some wires too long, everything looks ready.

    Tomorrow i'll make the mods to my dash for the Lilli and hopefully have it all working by tomorrow night.

    I'm taking pics through the process that I will get added after it's all done and I have some time to process the pics.

    -dave

    Ford 2004 Escape Limited
    V6
    4x4
    Mac Mini
    Core Solo
    60GB HDD
    1.25GB
    CarNetix P1900
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  • #2
    Sounds cool but you may want the mods to move this to the worklog subforum.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by skippy911
      Sounds cool but you may want the mods to move this to the worklog subforum.
      Thought I was there. Opps. Sent a PM to a mod.

      -dave
      My pathetic worklog.
      CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

      Comment


      • #4
        Day 2

        I woke up with great anticipation to get started, though I still slept till 11ish and didn't get started till noon (hey that's early for me on a weekend ).

        Like an idiot I started carving up my dash BEFORE I tested all the electronics. And of course it bit me in the ***.

        First thing I found was that Ford welded in part of the stereo guide slightly off so it wanted to throw my screen to an angle, so out it came. Now there was nothing to support the WRX housing i'm using to hold my screen.

        I came up with a plan to use some plastic card stock I had to make a custom platform for the housing to rest on. This is also the same stock I planned to use to fill the gaps on the sides of the LCD frame after the facia is re-installed.

        I got to thinking and called Mike from Carnetix (this guy is great. I wish I had more cars to put Macs in, but my wife won't let me put them in hers ) to see if it was going to be ok to power the P1900 from my AMP line that used a 60W fuse (manual says use a 15). So out I go in my wifes truck (it's been too long since I last drove a stick ) to get another fuse block and fuse. The shop that originally installed my HU and AMPs is cool. I payed for the block (which they pulled out of a kit for me) and they didn't charge me for a couple feet of 8 guage or the fuse

        So i'm feeling good and hook everything up (except the Mini). Everything looks great. All my volt readings are coming out exactly as expected and the delay turned on my AMPs as it should. So I turn it off, plug in the Mini, turn it back on, and a big fat nothing. Still haven't figured this out as everything appears to be hooked up right and the resistor I added for the iSense appears to be good. Mike and I are trading emails to figure it out (did I mention that he is a great guy).

        So I hooked my PowerBook up to the AMPs and besides having the right channel going to my Sub and the left to all my speakers, everything worked great.

        So the glue dried on the tray for my LCD and it dropped in perfectly and a steel bar at the rear of the cavity happens to be at the perfect distance to back stop the LCD case. A quick dry fit of the facia was perfect so I cut, painted, and glued some plastic card on either side of the LCD to fill gaps that were left (the opening isn't quite double din and is wider than a single din ). This too came out perfect (I figured it would look a bit obvious, but it actually looks really good).

        So finished up by reinstalling the controls on the facia, vacuuming (it's been awhile ), reinstalling the lower portion of the center console, and putting my drivers seat back in (woohoo I can drive it again ).

        So hopefully Mike can help me figure out what is going on with the Mini (works in the house so we think it is related to the iSense) tomorrow so I can put the rest of the car back together

        A few more pics were taken, they'll get added soon. I swear.

        -dave
        My pathetic worklog.
        CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

        Comment


        • #5
          "A Mac in an Escape" that has a ring to it for some reason lol it just sounds cool and I dont know whats making it sound so different.. anyways Can't wait to see this install, sounds pretty promising. good luck!
          Car: Nissan Maxima 1997 5-SPD
          Current carputer status: 92%
          my carputer worklog: click here

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by wasyed
            "A Mac in an Escape" that has a ring to it for some reason lol it just sounds cool and I dont know whats making it sound so different.. anyways Can't wait to see this install, sounds pretty promising. good luck!
            Thanks. I spent awhile on the title and am still not happy with it. I'm sure there windows guys chuckling at "Mac" and "Escape" in the same sentance

            Nice worklog of your own. My pictures aren't as detailed, hopefully they will do though when I can process them.

            -dave
            My pathetic worklog.
            CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

            Comment


            • #7
              Pics

              Here are the pics I have so far.

              This is my dash before I did anything to it:


              This is the cubby in my center console where the Mini will sit. The right side of the pic is the front of the cubby and where the Mini will be:


              Here is the interior with both front seats, the center console, and the dash controls removed:

              The AMP on the left is for my front speakers. On the right are my Sub (top) and rear (bottom) AMPs. The later two actually sit side by side.

              Finally here is dry fit of the LCD in place:

              The line on the left side of the LCD (there is one on the right too under the shadow) is where the plastic card filler I added meets the LCD frame. The picture makes it stand out more than it does in person. You can also see the IR sensor for the LCD in the right vent.

              -dave
              My pathetic worklog.
              CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

              Comment


              • #8
                Day 3

                So I talked to Mike some more and it turns out a part for the P1900 wasn't configured right to work with the Intel Mini. He is getting me a replacement overnighted, so assuming that I can A) get out of the office early Tuesday and B) the weather does what they predict (stop raining) I just have a couple of solder points to make and I can hook it all up again

                -dave
                My pathetic worklog.
                CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Day 4

                  I came home today to find the new cable waiting for me. A couple of quick solder joints and the Mini started right up. Turns out my LCD cable is about 6" too short to get where I wanted it, so I put most of the car back together to run out and get an extention cable. When I turned the car on to leave, the Mini started, but the LCD didn't come on When I got back I tested the connection at the back of the LCD and there was no power, so back apart came the seats and console. Turns out I didn't insulate the newest solder joints for the LCD power very well and when I cramed them in the console they shorted out. With that all fixed I put everything back together (testing again everytime I moved the cables around ) and I now have a working Mini in my Escape

                  The camera battery is dead, so i'll try to pull select pieces out this weekend to show a bit more of the install.

                  I also already know that I have to do something about the back light. When the sun hits it, there is nothing visible. Watching where the sun hit the screen when I ran out to get the extention cable, this is going to be far more of a problem than I expected. Guess it gives me something to do

                  All total, I think it really only took me about 6 or 7 hours (and there was some *** dragging involved ) to get this done. Even with the little bumps I ran into, this turned out to be far simpler than I expected it to be.

                  -dave
                  My pathetic worklog.
                  CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    any updates to this??

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by anyescape
                      any updates to this??
                      Besides being to damn lazy to take some more pics , nope. It's been running great for about a month now.

                      -dave
                      My pathetic worklog.
                      CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Finally some new pics

                        Here are some new pics I took when I needed to pull it all apart again. I found that the Mini was just getting too hot this summer due to the lack of circulation, so I added some fans to help move the air about.

                        Here is what all my wiring looks like:

                        At the top is my external sound card (M-Audio Sonica Theater).
                        The long blue thing between it and the P1900 is a POS USB hub that I have since removed.

                        Here is the base to my center console in place. I have since cut a giant hole (pretty much extended the hole for the handbrake all the way across) so I don't have to keep ripping everything apart to make tweaks:


                        Here is the cubby in the center console where I keep the Mini. You can see the CPU fans I used:

                        Initially I had them running off USB power so that they wouldn't be so loud. I found that A) they didn't move enough air and B) they were only on when the system was on so didn't help that much.
                        I have since connected them to a 12v always on source (with a switch) and I leave them on all day. This has taken care of the heat issues (the Mini's fan barely runs now). At some point I want to make them solar power and hook them up to temp sensors so they only run when they needed, but this is good enough for now.

                        Here is the Mini in the cubby with my hub:


                        I have a couple more, but apparently the camera decided to use raw format instead of JPG so I need to convert them first.

                        -dave
                        My pathetic worklog.
                        CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am planning on doing the same thing except with one of the aopen Pandora mini pc's. I have a couple of questions for you...

                          What make/model lcd did you use?
                          What tools did you use to remove the center console and the cubby in the escape?

                          Any other Escape centric tips would be helpful. Thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello,
                            First of all I have a 04 Escape Limited. Any info I have *should* apply to older models, but the center console changed in the 05 and above so I can't help there.

                            If you don't know about it already, join www.escape-central.com. It is a great resource of information. Specifically poke around the Modifications forum.

                            What make/model lcd did you use?
                            I am using the the 7" Lilliput using the WRX housing. You'll need to do the following things to get it to fit:

                            1) Remove the dash trim panel.
                            2) Take out your current head unit.
                            3) Remove the steal guide that the head unit sat on. (actually, you might be able to use it. The plate as at the back was welded in crooked so putting the LCD on it left it skewed badly. If yours is level, you might be able to use it and skip step 5)
                            4) Trim the opening so it is big enough for the LCD case (including the bezel) to slide all the way in (it should stick out about a 1/4 inch).
                            5) Make a new platform for the LCD case to rest on (i.e. replacement for the steal guide). I used plastic card stock to fashion a platform that rests on the plate in the back that the steal guide was attached to and on the plastic frame of the dash at the bottom of the hole for the head unit.
                            6) Make some kind of filler to fill the gaps on the side of the LCD case. I glued plastic card stock to the back of my dash trim.

                            What tools did you use to remove the center console and the cubby in the escape?
                            You need to pull off the piece that has the cup holders. I find the best way is to stick my hand in the hand brake slot and pull up (make sure the cubby door is open). Then there are two bolts at the front that go into the floor board and two at the read on the sides that attach to a bracket. Once you take those out, the whole things lifts right out. I find it easiest to work with the front seats out.

                            The side panels are attached with a few hex screws (3 each I think) and have some hooks that just slide into slots. I would advise taking the panels off so you don't mess them up. There are also some star-driver screws at the top of the inside of the cubby that you'll need to remove.

                            The rear cup holders have two bolts hidden up towards the top. Take them out and then just pull (kinda hard) the whole panel off.

                            The cubby is held to the base by 4 star-driver screws. Take them out and it just pops off.

                            Any other Escape centric tips would be helpful. Thanks.
                            Originally I just cut a small hole in the front lower right of the cubby and a similar hole on the top of the base to run cable through. That proved to be a pain as it meant that I had to keep taking everything apart to do the smallest thing. I still use the same hole in the cubby, but I have since cut most of the top of the base (under the cup holder area) away.

                            Also cooling is an issue. I assume that you have seen my work log so you can see how I added two CPU fans to move the air. After running them up to 12v, even on 100 degree days with it parked in direct sun my Mini's fans barely spun up (the CPU fans are on an always on 12v line with a switch that I turn off at night). Prior to the fans the Mini would be howling and my 15 minute commute wasn't enough time for it to cool itself off.

                            Hope that helps. Let me know if there is anything else I can try to answer.

                            -dave
                            My pathetic worklog.
                            CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As I mentioned before - Your set-up is as wicked as it is inspiring!!
                              VER. 3.0- Check out below:
                              .
                              車コンピュータ 3.0
                              .

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