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2003 Audi A4 Worklog ~ Puff's Ride

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  • 2003 Audi A4 Worklog ~ Puff's Ride

    Well, I have been reading these forums for a long time now and have started in on my project. Here is a quick rundown of my goals, my setup, and my (slow) progress....

    Goals:
    To install an in-dash touchscreen that will have music, dvd, video, web, navigation, phone integration, video camera, weather, photos, etc.

    Car:
    2003 Audi A4 1.8t Quattro

    (X) = already got it (O) = need to get it

    Hardware:
    (X) Aopen Pandora 915-B
    (X) Celeron 1.5Ghz
    (X) 512MB Ram
    (X) 40GB 5400rpm 8MB Cache 2.5" HD
    (X) Dlink Bluetooth USB
    (X) 4 port 5v USB Hub
    (X) CompUSA Flexible Mini USB Keyboard
    (X) USB Mini Mouse (modded with a blue LED, lol)
    (X) Sony Ericson T610 Phone
    (X) Webcam to tear up and mount somewhere for video recording/streaming
    (O) 7" LCD Touchscreen
    (O) Carnetix P1900 PSU
    (O) Carnetix 5v add-in for P1900
    (X) Fabrication stuff (bondo, sandpaper, fiberglass, etc.)
    (O) XM radio hardware
    (O) USB GPS receiver
    (O) External 2.5" USB 2.0 Hard Drive (100GB+, for music & videos)
    (O) Turtle Beach Roadie USB Soundcard

    Software:
    (X) Windows XP Pro (not optimized yet)
    (X) PhoCo 1.6 (yeah, I bought it, not cracked/hacked)
    (X) RoadRunner for frontend (LSX Void skin)
    (O) GPS software (I think iGuidance, but am still 'in around)

    I am sure I am missing a bunch of stuff from my list, but it is a start...

    Diagram:



    Progress:

    5/19/06 - Installed Windows XP Pro on carputer

    5/20/06 - Retagged and reorganized my music (thanks iTunes... you bastard!)

    5/20/06 - Installed RoadRunner with LSX Void skin

    5/20/06 - Installed PhoCo 1.6

    5/20/06 - Bench testing in progress. So far, so good. Did not run into any major issues with hardware or software yet. Did hit some little obstacles, but I searched the forums and found what I was doing wrong. Waiting for my PhoCo serial key for full install.

    5/23/06 - Emailed Zoran about my serial key I never got, he replied very quickly and resent the email. He is a nice guy, it is a damn shame people are using cracked versions of his software, causing him a lot of pain. I mean come on, it's $26 USD! Hell of a deal for such a great addition to a carputer, IMO.

    5/27/06 - Upload pics and checked out how the computer fits in the glove box. Fits pretty darn nice!

    5/28/06 - Ordered a Metra 9102 Doubel DIN dash kit and a Lilliput 629 project housing. Also ordered two sets of Audi stereo removal tools, as I'll need those when I am ready for pulling the factory headunit. I'll probably hit up home depot after work tomorrow and start getting the fabrication supplies. I found some sheets of ABS plastic from the place I ordered my dash kit, might get some for an ashtray mod (USB ports or something, maybe switches).

    6/4/06 - My Lilli 629 project housing came in the mail yesterday (thanks Armen, super quick delivery). I took some pics of it held up near the factory double din stereo. It is a little bit taller than the factory stereo, but I think I may relocate the buttons, or lose them all together and just use the remote. We'll see once the double din bezel arrives and I start planning the LCD housing fabrication. Check out the pics I added to the thread, let me know some comments!

    6/6/06 - I saw this thread... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=78138 and it got me to thinking... I need a diagram of my plan! I have seen a trend of people making nice diagrams of their setups. I find these very, very useful... therefore I will be posting a diagram soon. I should have some time at work tomorrow to whip one up...

    6/9/06 - OK, I know, where is the diagram? Well, I've been too busy at work to work on it, so it'll have to wait until this weekend or next week. Good news is I started fabricating the lcd bezel and dash kit. Check out my post on page 3 for pics of the progress, and to answer questions I have. Should have the lcd bezel thing done to the point of primer by the end of the weekend...

    6/10/06 - I added an update to the thread. I finished the first trial of abs cement on the back today. Waiting for it to dry, then we'll see how it worked out. Check page 3 for pics...

    6/11/06 - The back of lcd bezel has dried. Did the front today. Soon comes bondo and sanding. See page 3 for pic updates...

    6/12/06 - Did the first layer of bondo. Not a great job, I used way too much. I will sand most of it off tomorrow and try again.

    6/13/06 - Uploaded the diagram. The audio stuff needs to be figured out still, but how does the rest look?

    6/14/06 - Updated the diagram to show what I hope will be an easy solution for my audio connections. Also, it now features the IGN line to my P1900, and a fuse between the battery and P1900. Did some sanding last night, got my bondo fiasco back to a normal level somewhat. More sanding tonight if I have time...

    6/15/06 - Did a lot of posting and reading and searching on the whole audio hookup to factory amp and speakers. I started a thread for this the other day in the Audio forum here hoping to get some more responses. Here is the thread for my audio situation... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=78787 - It has a nice diagram someone posted for my factory setup. Looks like an amp for the front and some type of signal converter to send the signal to both amps (front and rear) will work. Still doing a little more research on the exact stuff I would need, then I will update my carPC diagram...

    As for the LCD bezel progress, I picked up some better bondo tools and more sandpaper and will be spending a lot of time this weekend working on it. I'm pretty sure it will turn out fine, just takes me a while as I learn about bondo and fabrication.

    6/16/06 - Updated the diagram to show how the audio will be connected to the cars speakers and amps. Thanks to walky talky20 for the advice, and to all those that sent the wiring diagrams for my car audio. This weekend will be a lot of LCD bezel work, picked up some sandpaper last night. Keep checking back for my progress. Are we having fun yet? I know I am!

    6/17/06 - Bondo round 2 is done. I posted some pics later in the thread, check them out. Turned out much better this time. Once it is dry I will sand it down and see where I stand...

    6/26/06 - Been a while since I did an update. Not much progress. Fixed a few wiring things on the diagram and added the Turtle Beach Roadie instead of the Audigy USB. It is less expensive and I have read some favorable things about it. Went to the SoCal meetup last weekend, loads of fun. It was cool to meet people I've spoke to on the forums, and to see some installs. The LCD from FPD was sick, justifies the high price of $679. More planning and software testing for now until I finish this video project and get some money!


    Next steps:
    - Need to get my full version of PhoCo working.
    - Need to fix skin so it shows picture of incoming call
    - Need to test options for using my BT headset while using my phone with BT for PhoCo. I've seen some posts regarding this, so it should be documented somewhere.
    - Need more music!
    - Post pics of the car's interior so people can suggest cool things to do (DONE)

    I want to have the LCD in the dash where my double DIN factory stereo is. I plan on not using a HU at all. I want to put the Aopen in the glovebox, should fit with a little chop-chop to the back of the glovebox. I also want to mount the flexible USB keyboard to the glovebox (the part that folds down when it opens). Not sure how useful this will be since I will have an OSK, and I am usually not riding shotgun in my own car.

    Questions for readers:
    1. Anyone know about the factory amp setup for a Symphony radio in a 2003 A4? I think the fronts are powered from the HU, and the rears from a small amp somewhere in the back. I could be totally wrong and have yet to really look at it. - ANSWERED
    2. Installing the whole thing... This scares me a little. I have a lot of computer install/building knowledge... but little car stereo/electronics knowledge. This whole thing is a learning experience for me, and I plan on making some mistakes along the way. I just don't want to make an expensive mistake, lol. You may be thinking.. "where is the question?" Well, I guess this one is just more of an admitful statement, lol.
    3. I am thinking of using a double DIN bezel design for my car and then molding the LCD bezel into it for an OEM look. Would it be stupid of me to buy the LCD and double DIN bezels before I even buy the LCD? I am thinking since I have no experience with this type of fabrication, that I may need some time to finish it. I have seen LCD bezels for both Zarnec and Lilli, around $15-$25 each I think. Figure this way, I have the original LCD bezel in case I ever sell the LCD. - ANSWERED
    4. Do I need an external USB sound card? Hmmm.... - ANSWERED

    Pics coming soon, as well as updates. Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting...
    ~Puff

    View my worklog... I dare you... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77267

    Carputer Progress [||------------------] 10%

  • #2
    Sounds like a nice project! first carputer? lets see some pics soon GL on that!
    Progress on stereo system 100%

    Progress on carpc 0%

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Puffanug
      1. Anyone know about the factory amp setup for a Symphony radio in a 2003 A4? I think the fronts are powered from the HU, and the rears from a small amp somewhere in the back. I could be totally wrong and have yet to really look at it.
      2. Installing the whole thing... This scares me a little. I have a lot of computer install/building knowledge... but little car stereo/electronics knowledge. This whole thing is a learning experience for me, and I plan on making some mistakes along the way. I just don't want to make an expensive mistake, lol. You may be thinking.. "where is the question?" Well, I guess this one is just more of an admitful statement, lol.
      3. I am thinking of using a double DIN bezel design for my car and then molding the LCD bezel into it for an OEM look. Would it be stupid of me to buy the LCD and double DIN bezels before I even buy the LCD? I am thinking since I have no experience with this type of fabrication, that I may need some time to finish it. I have seen LCD bezels for both Zarnec and Lilli, around $15-$25 each I think. Figure this way, I have the original LCD bezel in case I ever sell the LCD.
      4. Do I need an external USB sound card? Hmmm....

      Pics coming soon, as well as updates. Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting...
      1. Correct. If your using amps in your setup you don't have to worry about how the speakers are powered from the factory. You won't need to use the stock amp on the rear speakers.

      2. You can't learn without trying.

      3. Yeah get an extra lcd bezel and also go to a junkyard and find an extra center console panel as well. This way you can do all the fab work without ripping out your interior and having no music, like I did.

      4. You don't "need" external usb card.


      Good Luck and post pics.
      Installed
      Asus A7N8X-VM - AMD Mobile Athlon 2400
      512 Ram - 60GB HD - Opus 150w
      Lilliput 7" - Rikaline 6010
      [00000000000001100010-] 98% Completed

      Check Out My Install!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. Looks like I am heading on the right path. I'll take some pics of the car and the bench testing I am doing. I think I will try to use the onboard sound first, and if it sounds bad, then i'll add a USB soundcard. I plan on ordering the LCD bezel and double DIN install kit this weekend. I'm having fun and learning a lot... thanks to these forums and the helpful folks that read and post...
        ~Puff

        View my worklog... I dare you... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77267

        Carputer Progress [||------------------] 10%

        Comment


        • #5
          I just bought a '99 Audi A4 with the BOSE Symphony system and am going the carputer route as well. Are you planning on keeping your factory head unit and adding the screen someplace else? I can't find anywhere on my dash to put a touchscreen. Any pictures of your dash?
          1999 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro

          Damn this car is awesome...

          Comment


          • #6
            if you wanna keep the factory head unit, why don't you move it to the glove box and then place the screen in the center console.

            btw, his dash is a little different then ours but their very similar.
            Installed
            Asus A7N8X-VM - AMD Mobile Athlon 2400
            512 Ram - 60GB HD - Opus 150w
            Lilliput 7" - Rikaline 6010
            [00000000000001100010-] 98% Completed

            Check Out My Install!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              I want to keep my factory head unit because it fits perfectly with the dash and (i thought) would be a ***** to move due to all the Symphony wiring. I just read about this guy and now am not too worried about having a touchscreen within reach at this point.

              Quattro, beautiful job on your Audi (I'm sure you've heard that 10K times).

              Good luck Puff, I'll be watching this thread closely!
              1999 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro

              Damn this car is awesome...

              Comment


              • #8
                Here are some pics...

                OK, I got the chance to take some pics today, so here they are...

                Here is the car...
                - I need to get the windows tinted


                Here is the center dash...
                - Plan to put the 7" LCD where the stereo is now
                - Sorry for the dirty interior... I plan on not smoking in the car once the computer is installed


                Close up of the double din area...


                Here is the kit I am going to order and mold the LCD bezel into...
                - I'll be doing a lot of searching and reading on fabrication tips... feel free to give me some pointers
                &

                Here is the glove box where I plan to put the computer...
                - I like it above, it will require cutting the back out of the glove box, and I need to make sure I have clearance behind the glove box
                - It fits almost perfect below as well
                - I am thinking of having this USB flexible keyboard attached to the back of the glove box door, but it might be in an odd place for actually typing (there is that raised area towards the front...)
                - I also need to put a USB hub or two somewhere... maybe one in the glove box accesible, and one behind the computer or LCD for permanent USB devices (touchscreen, bluetooth, gps, etc.)










                Here is an area that other A4 modders have used for various switches and LEDs...
                Any thoughts what I could put there?
                USB ports?
                Power switch for computer with power LED and HD LED?


                I figured I did not need to include any pics of my benchtesting... We've all seen a cluttered desk before

                Keep the comments coming, I know some people have some great ideas I could incorporate....
                ~Puff

                View my worklog... I dare you... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77267

                Carputer Progress [||------------------] 10%

                Comment


                • #9
                  looks like it has good potential. The top looks good for the mini, but make sure you secure it very good. It wouldn't be funny when it is sliding all over the glove box, and then poof... black

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good point. I was thinking of how I could make the computer secure. Question is, do I try to make it anti-theft, or just go for anti-bounce around and break? Anti-theft would not be too hard, I could secure it behind the glovebox I'm sure, since it will be poking out the back of the glovebox anyways. Downside to this is that if I need to remove the computer, I need to remove the glovebox. Other option is to secure it to the inside of the glovebox, this way I could take it out easy. I have a lock on my glovebox, so I could just keep it locked as a theft deterent.

                    Ideally, I would like to have it secured inside the glovebox. I would then leave enough slack in the cables so I could unsecure it, slide it out, unplug the cables, and bring it inside for maintance.

                    I'm sure I'll figure it out once I have the glovebox out of the car. Thanks for the reply.
                    ~Puff

                    View my worklog... I dare you... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77267

                    Carputer Progress [||------------------] 10%

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's faster to take out your glove-box than taking out the radio
                      Paul Huijgens


                      Audi technician
                      former Saab technician


                      Mp3Car.com Forum
                      SaabCentral forum
                      Dutch Carputer forum
                      Navplus forum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yeah, I read some posts on some audi forums. The glove box looks like 3 or 4 screws to pop it out. Is there a good amount of room behind the glove box? Mine has a hole in the back and it looks like a decent amount of space back there. I have yet to actually take the glove box out to check, that will happen this weekend I hope. Any pointers on taking apart the dash stuff on a 2003 A4 quattro sedan?
                        ~Puff

                        View my worklog... I dare you... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77267

                        Carputer Progress [||------------------] 10%

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not trying to take this off on a tangent or anything but I also have a question about the factory Bose setup. I'm trying hard to put the screen where the factory Audi setup is at, BUT still retain the factory radio and Bose system without having to gut everything, rewire, and purchase amps to power everything. Am I pretty much screwed in this aspect with this car or can I still salvage it somehow?

                          The only alternative I have is to keep the factory radio where it is at and put the screen somewhere else. I really don't want to do that as I wanted to flush it in with the bezel but if that is my only option I guess I have no choice

                          Figured I'd post in here and not make a new thread since it is along the same lines as someone else asked about. Thanks guys

                          BTW this is for a 2001 S4.
                          Nogaro 2000 Audi S4 (Stage 3)
                          Black 2000 Audi S4 (Stage 1)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would think you could put the factory headunit in the glovebox. May have to modify glovebox to fit it in, but you should be able to re-route the cables. I have not pulled my HU out yet, so I don't know if it is possible to relocate the HU, but it seems like it would be. Also, I think our dashes are different, you have a B5 platform right?
                            ~Puff

                            View my worklog... I dare you... http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77267

                            Carputer Progress [||------------------] 10%

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              MiniPC needs ventalation....

                              Those little machines can generae some heat. I fabricated a padded housing for mine under the factory unit, but cramming it in there did not give it room to breathe. The air intake vents are on the bottom of the computer and the exhaust is out the back.

                              Comment

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