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G3's 2004 WRX Install

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  • G3's 2004 WRX Install

    Yep, yet another WRX install. Im going a different route than the other Rexer'z and using a bland unobtrusive motorized VGA touch screen with the stock bezel and my Clarion deck for audio.

    Here's the car its going in:

    And the dashboard that it will become part of:

    The radio will be moved to the lower slot, and the screen will be installed in the upper slot, this way i will be able to adjust volume with the screen open.

    Im still in the beginning phase of purchasing parts, i started first with the screen so i can get that installed and run the wires for the vga and usb so that I wont have to dig around behind the dash. I decided on the K90 in black because of its simplicity, It was a basic motorized screen with no extras and especially no LCDs or buttons that light up and dont match the rest of my interior lighting at all. Its nice that it also has the backup camera input, but from what i have read, it wont autoswitch between VGA and Aux so ill have to manually switch over to use the backup if i install one. Aux 1 will be used for my slot-load dvd player that i already own from my last car. This will be installed under my driver seat until i finish building and testing the actual carpc and then that will take place of the dvd player. Either that or i may just keep that installed alongside my carpc and not get a dvd player for it. I figure once its installed, i dont need the dvd drive in the car if i have a dvd player, and when its in the house i have an ide to usb adaptor i can use to connect a dvd drive to the pc. Any movies that i will want to watch in the car will be loaded on the hard drive anyways, so the dvd player would really just be for backup usage.

    Sorry, im just rambling on, but im pretty excited to have finally moved from the research phase (aka lurk mp3car forums) to the purchase phase.

    Ill keep this thread up to date, but from the looks of what i plan to do, there probably wont be much in the ways of pictures after the screen has been installed.

    Thanks for wasting your time to read my post, look back for more later!

  • #2
    your welcome


    but good luck to u


    • #3
      Here is my Build List (as of 10-21-06):

      Enclosure: VoomPC Black
      Power Supply: M2-ATX 160w
      Motherboard: VISTA VIA C7 1.5GHz Mini-ITX
      Memory: 1Gb DDR-2 533Mhz (w/ CoolerMaster Copper Heat Spreader)
      Hard Drive: 40Gb 4200rpm Toshiba (already had, will be upgraded later)
      Video: K90 motorized in-dash 7" widescreen usb touch (black) (with 10ft shielded VGA cable & 10ft gold USB cable)
      GPS: Holux GR-213 USB GPS receiver w/ Sirf III chip
      Bluetooth: Class 1 USB antenna
      DVD/CDRW: Lite-On 8x DVD-RW Slim Slot Load USB
      Mouse: Fellowes Micro Trac handheld trackball
      Wireless Adaptor: D-Link DWL-G120 USB w/ built-in External Antenna
      Compact Flash USB adaptor


      • #4
        9-19-06 Update:

        Received screen. Tested. Motor works perfect. NO dead/stuck pixels on screen. Touchscreen was not cooperating with the drivers provided. Searched forums and again found my answer. Downloaded a different driver package, installed, and ran the included calibration. Touch screen works perfectly. Suprised to see the screen will auto-close on the loss of ACC signal, but does not open on finding ACC signal. Have to find another way to make the screen "auto-on"

        Downloaded manuals for the M2-ATX and VoomPC. Read and re-read them until i knew what came next before reading it. Need to find a way to run the second momentary switch to the screen to have it open when the M2-ATX triggers the mobo power switch. This seems to be the only way, besides hitting the open button every time i get in the car.

        Cleared off and reformatted my 40gb hard drive to prepare for assembly once more parts start to arrive.

        End of 9-19-06 Update.


        • #5
          9-20-06 Update:

          Received M2-ATX Power Supply, VoomPC Black case, and Via Vista C7 1.5Ghz Mini-ITX motherboard.

          Installed all main internal components into VoomPC case except for 1Gb DDR2 Memory Module that has not been delivered yet.

          Will test POST as soon as i have memory module.

          End of 9-20-06 Update.

          small rant about todays worklog, would have been nice if VoomPC case came pre-tapped for the screws that hold the I/O cover plate in place. Tiny metal shaving were coming out of the screw rail while tapping the metal.


          • #6
            9-21-06 Update:

            Received GPS mouse, VGA cable, Copper RAM heatsink, and 1Gb DDR-2 Memory Module.

            Attached memory to motherboard, ghetto rigged an old ATX power supply for testbench powering, fired up the system, and held breath. SYSTEM POST's ON FIRST TRY!!!! Sigh of relief.

            Installing Windows XP Pro on system right now.

            Will hook up to home network after installation is complete and get all the important applications installed, and significant installers placed in a software folder for quick access when not connected to the network.

            Tested GPS mouse on my desktop, and even from a north facing window from the chicagoland area, got 4 solid locks within 15 seconds. Impressive if i say so myself.

            Gotta get back to the installations now.

            Heres a pic of it on the test bench...

            End of 9-21-06 Update.


            • #7
              hey are you going to the meet we have this sunday at busse woods?
              2003 Ford F-250 7.3L Diesel Crew Cab

              Pictures of my truck, hobbies, and more HERE


              • #8
                Originally posted by sciontC View Post
                hey are you going to the meet we have this sunday at busse woods?
                Yea, im planning on at least stopping by. My cousin whos into computers too might come with me. I just managed to get all my critical software installed, but having trouble getting my GPS mouse to talk to iG 3. They talk just fine on my desktop, but are being difficult on the carpc. Hopefully I will get that figured out today so i can spend tonight and saturday running wires and installing in the car. I have another minor problem thou, the screen with the VGA cable installed is 10" deep and i only have about 8 1/2" to work with in the dash. Theres some plastic liner at the back, but im not sure how much farther i can get until i hit the firewall behind that. Im guessing its just a/c vent, and a small hole shouldnt be a problem to make clearance for the cable.


                • #9
                  9-22-05 Update:

                  After about a dozen wire ties, the internals of the VoomPC are now all nice and tidy. Makes it so much easier to slip in and out of the case now.

                  Also, found out my problem with the Holux and Iguidance not talking. Somehow even after a reinstall, iNav couldnt figure out for itself that I was running on COM3 so i just changed the string in regedit and saved. Fired up iGuidance and within seconds i had solid like on at least 5 satellites, and within a minute had a solid lock on 7/8.

                  Tore apart as much of my interior as needed to run wires.

                  Mounted the Holux under my clock insert (WRX'ers know what i mean) and you have no clue its there. Looks so much cleaner than mounting it in the corner of the windshield. Ill see how practical it really is there, but its sitting on top of a plastic AC vent and under a thin sheet of plastic, so i would guess it will be fine there. Just cant see the led on the unit to see if its working.

                  Ran my touchscreen cable, audio cable and VGA cable along with the Holux cable down the center console and out between the driver seat and armrest. Zipties are a mans best friend and my wiring looks cleaner than the factory installed wire harnesses now. Just gotta figure out how to hide the excess lengths of wires now.

                  Started test fitting the screen, and at the angle it goes into the dash, if i leave it in the lower din slot, its an awful tight fit, but no cutting will be required. My only real problem with test fitting last night thou is that the screws i have which are pretty much universal car stereo mounting screws, DONT WORK with the K90. I have no clue now how im supposed to mount this without the ISO cage its meant to slip into since i dont have a 1din ISO opening. It has all the DIN holes on the side of the case, but they are not standard size holes and not tapped or anything.

                  Got the quick connects installed on the power, ground and remote wires for the computer. I decided to just tap into the existing stereo harness for the screen since all 3 wires i need are there and it would make less a mess saving 3 more wires to run.

                  So now all thats left is to figure out the right screws to use to install the screen, trim the faceplate a little on the sides for the screen to fit better, install the screen, and then put the interior back together and fire it up.

                  Also, i will be installing some quick connects to the power supply i am using for in the house so i can bring the pc back inside for software updates and media transfers until i figure out what wireless route i plan to go.

                  End of 9-22-06 Update.


                  • #10
                    9-23-06 Update:

                    Had a nice big post all typed up and by the time i went to post it, the forum was down.

                    Not retyping, but i did get everything up to this point installed and running in the car.

                    Heres a few pics installed in the car

                    End of 9-23-06 Update.


                    • #11
                      9-27-06 Update:

                      9-24-06: Of all things that could have gone wrong, it was MY fault i screwed up my computer. I loaded something i shoudnt have messed with (a vista skin bricopack) it changed system files, and then i went and unloaded causing systemwide panic and failure. I ended up lucky enough i just had to reload a clean copy of windows thru system recovery and was back up and running after reinstalling service pack 2, but it was a pain in the *** over something that took like 5 minutes to destroy a few days work.

                      9-25-06: Still getting this stupid error with the M2-ATX. Apparently its the way i like to start my car. After much frustration thinking there was a hardware error, it ends up being between the sterring wheel and the seat. From now on, i just make sure that the system posts before cranking the starter. Havent had a failure once since i changed my mindset on how fast i can start the car with the pc connected.

                      9-26-06: System is working, and i believe i am now a Mobile Impact fan. I just wish there were cleaner skins for it like the ones Road Runner uses. Im still not a big fan of the swooshing icons around the center graphic, but the interface is MUCH easier and out-of-the-box iGuidance 3.0 support is much better for my tastes. Maybe someday ill figure out how to work road runner, but for now, MI gets my vote.

                      9-27-06: Took the trim pieces out of the car, and blasted them with a nice clean coat of semi-flat black to remove all the nicks and surface damage from the work i did on the console piece to make the motorized screen fit. The semi-flat is a much darker bolder black than the flat black i had before, and gives the car a little more "finished" feel to it now. Getting ready now to head up out of town for a few days and enjoy a well deserved, and long overdue vacation from work.

                      End of 9-27-06 Update


                      • #12
                        10-01-06 Update:

                        Ordered a Lite-On slim slot load USB dvd-rw drive, D-Link wireless g usb network card, a battery powered 4 port USB hub, and some other miscellaneous parts for the carpc setup.

                        Still getting a CMOS checksum error after starting the car up for the first time after sitting without power for an extended length of time. I will try replacing the battery and see if thats the problem. Gotta pick up a battery on my way home from work tomorrow.

                        End of 10-01-06 Update.


                        • #13

                          is it a new mobo? you shoudlnt get a checksum error (or have a dead battery) if its new... if t still doesnt work, try picking up a PCI dianostic tool.

                          oh, and if you need help with the rex install, PM me. i did an '04 as well
                          2004 Impreza WRX CarPC Install

                          I am willing to host any legal downloads that may benefit the CarPC community - PM for info

                          "When you go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, you don't need a made up character called fast. Thats what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."



                          • #14
                            10-06-06 Update:

                            Yes, this is my first official post to my worklog from my CarPC, while it is running in my car.

                            I now have my DVD-RW mounted and powered from my M2-ATX power supply, and have my D-Link wireless adaptor running and connected thru someones unsecured network. Since im connected i figured i should post up to see for myself that i can now connect to the internet from my car.

                            All thats left now is to go find my bluetooth dongle, configure that properly and get Phone Control installed.

                            End of 10-06-06 Update.


                            • #15
                              10-15-06 Update:

                              WalMart FINALLY got some new car audio stock in, and had 3 Ground Loop Isolators on the shelf. Needless to say, 14 dollars later and a half hour digging behind the dashboard, my car now has a normal signal to noise ratio, and all alternator/electronics interference has been eliminated between the CarPC and the Headunit. Also, had to install a reset switch on the VoomPC case which is wired directly to the motherboard reset jumper. Dont know why, but if it doesnt kick on when i turn the car on, its almost 100% proven to turn on if i just reset real quick, rather than proceed thru the entire shutdown and startup control. Still not sure quite exactly what the problem is because it still works perfectly every single time on the testbench, but still gives me trouble in the car itself.

                              End of 10-15-06 Update.