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Add a console? (dry theory for now)

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  • Add a console? (dry theory for now)

    I drive an oldsmobile- a fairly old one (93)
    Considering a carputer, but mostly for gps and some logging (work related stuff, milage, etc)
    Being ashamed of how messy my car is right now, i've opted to scour the internet for a picture-
    http://www.netman86.com/dash.jpg

    Not the best picture, but gives you an idea of what i have to work with. below the cd player is my heat controls- far too much work to relocate those.
    I was considering a DWW-700h screen because it could go where the cdplayer is (probably upside down because of the dash) but that would lose my cdplayer/fm radio/amp- creating more work.
    This may be a common thing, but google cant seem to find me any answers- How hard would it be to add a console to this car? the seats move- so it cant attatch to those. Directly over the tranny hump is an ash tray, which i think would be a perfect starting place for a homebrew console...

    Anyways i think it would be nearly perfect. throw a 7" or so touchscreen around where the ash tray is, a few switches and controls in front, maybe a hide-away number pad (for logging of times/miles/etc) and it would provide a convenient location for the computer, some storage, power equipment, and anything else i might need.

    The biggest problem is i dont want it to look like total crap. I mean, not looking good is fine, i'll most likely be the last owner of the car- but i dont want it to look like crap.
    More importantly, it cant stand out a whole lot- i dont need someone breaking the window on my car to steal a touchscreen

    Is this a feasable project for someone who has never really worked much with cars? is it something thats done semi-regularly?
    Could i take the console out of a junker and modify it to fit my car?

  • #2
    I gutted the ashtray in my '91 Buick Lesabre beater and built a frame for my TS into that using the headrest bracket that came with the TS. If I would have spent more time on it, I could have made it look better, but this was my beater/commuter, and functionality was all that I was concerned with.

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    • #3
      my hero. Whats the mounting like inside there? i'm thinking something a little bigger, and at more of an angle. Like that, only sticks out a little further (need the screen at an angle) and i want some room for a few switches and things.

      Good to know im not the first person attempting that, though- that ashtray looks almost identical to mine.

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      • #4
        I just built an MDF frame that fit into the bracket for the ashtray, then screwed that frame to the bracket. If you pull out the ashtray assembly you can easily remove the tray, lighter, and drawer from the bracket. The goal was to build something solid with minimal impact. It's hard to see, but it is actually angled about 15 degrees from vertical as well as 5 or so toward the drivers side. After the frame was fitted to ashtray frame, I removed it and covered the whole thing with fleece and poured on the fiberglass. After all of the bondo and paint, I screwed the assembly together and mounted in the car. Leave the back open to run wiring. I also have a USB hub mounted to the bottom of this assembly, JIC.

        That install is out and I'm currently extending the console of the new commuter to house some stuff. I'll post pics when I begin fabbing.

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        • #5
          Definately keep me in the loop on that! I'm going to want an extended one with enough room for the computer/power +tank circuit under it, and controls ontop... i wont need a kayboard, i plan on doing everything via the touchscreen.
          maybe next week i'll pull out the tray and see what i have to work with- and maybe start a scetch of what i want...

          I finally got a few pics today, my car is a mess :-\

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          • #6
            I only have the keyboard in case I need it. I don't ever use it. I should be able to get pics of my next project up tomorrow.

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            • #7
              Wow dude, could you make those pics a bit bigger?? I can't quite make them out from the moon.
              Failure is not an option....



              It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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              • #8
                Sorry, too lazy to resize...

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                • #9
                  barrywoods- that was kind of a pointless post, if you dont mind me saying.

                  damon- google a program called easy thumbnails. Its windows only as far as i know, and doesnt run all too poorly in wine. (dont know your OS of chice)
                  if you use windows you'll love it- i'm into digital photography (cant tell by my terrible pic up there- diddnt have my camera and had to borrow one) and i use it to quickly mass-resize pictures for web use! you'll love it. Heck, i even resized one of yours to show off in IRC to some friends! (bragging about how i've got someone who'se done this before)

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                  • #10
                    just hangin out in the chatroom i came across someone to bounce ideas off of, and while showing him the picture of my dash and complaining how i dont have much space... well, i noticed that my cd player uses an awful lot of space. am i fabricating, or am i fabricating? taking that section out gives me a good chunk of space. I dont much want the screen that high, though, so im considering moving the heater controls up a bit. heres a quick chop-in (with a big black square for the screen area, because its that quick!)

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                    • #11
                      ok, that chop idea is out, i took the dask completely off today... holy CRAP hteres alot of metal in there. only thing i could really do is add an additional console where the ashtray...was. havnt put that back.

                      old cars, gotta love 'em.

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                      • #12
                        Just a thought. I would try the screen both high and low before you decide. I thought I wanted a low screen when I did the above setup, bit found it too distracting when driving because I had to take my eyes so far off the road to see info on the screen. I should have pics of my current install coming up within a day or so. 1992 Taurus SHO. Did the screen in the double din where the radio should be, and am in the process of mounting the head unit where the ashtray was.

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                        • #13
                          this has also occured to me- having the screen up where the radio is now would make it easyer to see while driving, but i'd have to put more effort into using the touchscreen- but why would that matter? that, of course, leaves me in the perdickament of my cdplayer... it would then need to be moved, i suppose to down where the ashtray goes.... but the harness may not reach, and that thing has like 40 wires >_<

                          Of course, i wouldnt need to fabricate much space to throw a single DIN and a couple switches down there, it would probably look better in the end...
                          i'd need to be really picky about how hard it was to change the brightness of that touchscreen though, if i'm driving at night i cant have something- especially at dash level- making it hard to see. it'd drive me nuts.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by netman86 View Post
                            barrywoods- that was kind of a pointless post, if you dont mind me saying.
                            Nope, don't mind at all. Just seems to me that if I have to scroll sideways to look at a picture it's a bit big.
                            Failure is not an option....



                            It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

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                            • #15
                              yeah, it is a little annoying when that happens. I guess it doesnt bother me much because of my insane resolution...

                              anyways heres another quick chop, this time without the cd player in there. I'd have to make a custom console down in the ash tray, and make it look fairly decent... but thats a heck of alot easyer than putting one big enogh for a screen down there.



                              edit: updated the picture with a hacked-in cdplayer down bottom (even though it looks like crap)

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