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Zach's 01 SS Camaro Carputer Install

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  • Zach's 01 SS Camaro Carputer Install

    My project actually started from a topic I saw on in regards to car-pc's. I never even considered this or even knew other people were doing it untill I saw that post on digg. Shortly after that I found this site and it was like a snowball rolling down a hill. I was just an information spunge . Needless to say not more than two months later I have my touchscreen fabbed up, my switches relocated, and now I'm just waiting on wires so that I can finish my install.

    I'll give a quick rundown of the parts I'm using that I can remember:
    A85 Toshiba Satellite laptop
    PIE GM9-Aux adapter to add RCA plugs to my stock deck
    Xenarc TSV 7" Touchscreen
    USB - Sound card (I don't have the model with me here as I'm typing this)
    10' USB and VGA Extension cables
    Bix Computers 130W Universal Car DC Power Adapter Kit - power for the laptop Linky

    That's pretty much it.

    So here is my progress on my 01 SS so far. I took a 7" Xenarc and molded it into the dash. I also relocated the ASR and Fog light switches. I'm still using the stock monsoon system (sounds awesome for all those haters ).

    To keep the stock deck I simply bent back the tab jiggers that originally mounted the deck to the stock location. Then I took it turned it backwards and stuck it back in. Stuck some velcro in to hold it in place and it works awesome. The stock radio bezel fit on without modifying it any further than needed to mount the touchscreen.

    My sound card on my laptop sounded TERRIBLE, it was quite and was improperly grounded (I think) because I had a small ground loop that I could hear through the speakers. I solved that problem with a usb sound card and the difference in sound quality isn't even measurable!

    I don't know if these pictures conform with the forum's 800x600 rule or not.. I don't know how to check or change their current size.

    Front of the touchscreen molding


    Back of the touchscreen molding

    Another shot

    These pictures show how I relocated my switches:

    Front of the switches


    Back of the switches:

    Lots of sanding ahead...

    How I mounted my stock head unit:

    It's actually right side up now.

    You can see the wiring too.

    Switch wiring - All I did was extend the wires, no biggie.

    More pictures.

    Test fit!!!


    (yes there is a gap between the bezel and the touchscreen, I was just making sure everything was going to fit and there was enough room behind the touchscreen housing.)

    Relocated Switches

    That's pretty much were I'm at for now. I'm waiting on more cables before I tear apart the interior.
    2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/

  • #2
    I tore apart my laptop tonight and soldered wires that I can extend to a button to turn on the laptop... What a bear. I hope I NEVER have to do that again lol. Alas, it's done. I don't have any pictures of it at the moment, but I'll get some tomorrow most likely.

    When I took this laptop apart the little tab jiggers that let the mouse, keyboard, and what have you work, they all woudln't go back on after I took them off. No big deal I suppose. This laptop looks like a disaster right now, but it works, and it works the way I want it to!

    My usb and vga extentions also arived. This means tomorrow will be a busy day. It'll start out with running power for the touchscreen and laptop, then It's time to test, then tear the car apart and install! (minus painting the dash bezel, I'm procrastinating that)
    2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


    • #3
      Today I ran the power wire/ground for my touchscreen. Since the stock deck was flipped backwards the power and ground were litteraly staring at me. So I just spiced into them, simple and effecient. I chose the constant power and I might switch it to the acc because I'm not so sure I like the green light blinking all the time.

      I also ran the VGA USB and laptop power cable's. I didn't have the correct tools to create the corrosponding ground wire so that didn't get done yet.

      I gave everything a test run and everything worked flawlessly, almost. The touchscreen drivers won't hold for some reason. After every restart the laptop just magically forgets that I installed the drivers 2 minutes ago. I think it might have something to do with me turning the laptop on and off about 50 times when it was trying to load windows lol. I'll most likely have to reinstall windows.

      My extentions for my power button to be are ready and waiting. Now I just need the wire to run to my switch, that'll take a wal-mart run.

      The fun stopped when my battery ran dead . Looks like I'll have to wait till it charge back up for more tinkering.

      I still need to find a way to secure the laptop to where the spare tire used to be, no clue what I'll do about that yet.

      Edit: I found out the drivers not sticking was a problem with the drivers themselves. There is a what I call "special" version of the xenarc drivers that fixed m problem. They can be found here

      I would have pulled my hair out for months had someone not mentioned that site.

      Edit again: Spoke to soon, I need narrow down the problem though, when I have two items in my usb ports I get this error. With just the touchscreen plugged into my usb ports it works perfectly. Must be a power issue...
      2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


      • #4
        My dc/dc converter for my USB hub came today which means everything can go back in the car and I can go for a test drive!!! WOOOh!

        So I went for my drive and it worked perfectly. I think something is draining the battery though when the car is off which shouldn't be happening because I wired everything either to the ign or when the key is turned back.

        Another small issue is a slight alternator whine, barley noticable but I'd like to take car of it.

        RoadRunner did lock up once which was kind of unexpected.

        So that leaves me with two things left to go.

        1. Finish the power button, right now it's just two wires dangling and I have to connect them together to start the computer .

        2. Finish sanding nad painting my bezel and switches.

        Almost forgot, I need to try different drivers to try and solve the touchscreen not working after standby.
        2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


        • #5
          So today I painted my bezel and installed a temporary power switch. I've decided to use my current hatch release switch to start the computer. This'll save alot of time and hassle and I always use the release on my keychain anyway. How exciting!
          2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


          • #6
            My bezel dried this morining so I installled and WOW! The textured paint almost perfectly matches the interior of my car. I could not have asked for this install to look any better (for my first try at least). I am thrilled with the results and I'll snap a few pictures when a camera is available to me.

            Almost done!!!
            2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


            • #7
              i found out the hardway, after awhile, your edit button will disapeer, and you will have a bunch of posts marked reserved..... any way its looking pretty good. ive got an 01 t/a that im getting some stuff together for. unfortunately i havent decided on a t/s yet, and money is a little tight. it will be a few months probably before i can get into the fab stages.
              Car Pc progress meter:
              [-5%-------------------] Carpc build #2. So far, 20$ deep! I love recycling!

              "The car is the closest we will ever come to creating something that is truly alive" -Sir William Lyons
              My worklog


              • #8
                And here it is, my first attempt at molding and installing a carputer. Excuse the picture, it was pitch black out, I'll get better ones sometime when there is light out.

                2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


                • #9
                  Today was a pretty big achievement.
                  - Last night I installed my GPS hardware and software.
                  - Today I used it! iGuidance is AMAZING
                  - Fixed my ground loop (ground actually came undone and was using the laptop as a ground I think )
                  - Installed an incredible 3D spinning centerpiece in my Blue Devil skin see here at the bottom of that page.
                  - I converted my hatch release button to my laptop power button. This is very stealth and very sleek. I am really happy with it.

                  Overall the biggest achievement was the GPS. I still have to learn how to use the software, but once I do I feel I'll be even more in love with it .

                  I am soo excited ^_^.
                  2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


                  • #10
                    A few pictures I took at school.

                    2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


                    • #11
                      Hey Zach, there is already a switchplate made that can house your 2 switches by the cig lighter.

                      It's made for the Verts with TCS (ASR) I'm sure one of your switches would pop right in, but the other may have to be positioned and then glued in place. I wouldn't worry about the ASR being sideways, you know what it is.

                      Can I stick a link to your car in my F-body thread?
                      1999 Black Pontiac Trans Am
                      CarPC's in F-bodies
                      How To Relocate Climate Controls on the 97-02 F-body Cars
                      (AMD Sempron 3000+, Opus 150)
                      Car PC system is out, Alpine system is in.


                      • #12
                        That would have saved a bunch of time. Oh well... I have mine fabbed up now and painted. They actually look really good. The next time I'm home I'll snap a few more pictures.

                        You can use a link to my car any time you would like to. In fact I would be flattered .

                        I have my Airclick USB remote installed and working correctly. That little remote is really handy.

                        This weekend I ordered a Space Navigator PE. I'm REALLY excited to play with this. The plan right now is to install it where the cup holder is now. Since liquid of just about any kind has been banned from the vehicle that's not a problem ^_^.

                        Finally, the chips around my buttons have been fixed. When I originally installed the touchscreens I couldn't press the buttons in because they were stuck. I since touched the buttons up and repainted everything. Now it doesn't look like it's chipped anymore. I'll have pics soon.
                        2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


                        • #13
                          More PICS!!! Wooooh!

                          Here you can get a good look at the touchscreen and the switches.

                          Slightly blurrier picture of the touchscreen and switches.

                          I installed my space navigator in my cup holder. I found like 3 bucks in there . I had to drill a hole through the cup holder to hide the usb cable... Let me tell you... drilling that hole through my car was the most stressful part of this entire build.

                          It still sits a little higher than I'd like. That's minor though and I'll fix it eventually.

                          2001 SS Camaro carputer | My solar dish project/


                          • #14
                            I assume all you did was route the sound from the computer's soundcard to the Monsoon deck? I have a 2001 Grand Am with a Monsoon system and I was hoping I'd be able to run everything through the stock system without much trouble. If that's all there was to it that's one less thing I have to worry about.


                            • #15
                              Looks pretty good man, almost exactly like my setup as far as how you did the monitor and moved the headunit (although my headunit isnt as neatly placed behind my console, more like I tossed it back there in frustration of trying to find someplace to put it). The only thing I have a small issue with is the way your texture paint dried, it looks a little wrinkly. Anyway good job on the carpc, its always good to see another Fbody fixed up with one.
                              2002 Camaro Z28