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My PC plans - anything wrong with this system?

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  • My PC plans - anything wrong with this system?

    Greetings everyone. I've been reading here for a while and have been planning a PC to put in my next car as it doesn't come with a radio. The car will be a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Here is a picture of the dash with the optional deck and gauge pack.

    My list of parts is as follows:
    EPIA M10000-N
    512M Memory
    40 or 60 Gig hard drive
    CD or DVD - undecided
    7" touchscreen from DSCustoms
    small keyboard - undecided
    mouse - Cirque Easy Cat Touchpad
    Linksys USB Wireless Network Card
    Kicker KQ5 equalizer and volume control
    Kicker KX700.5 Amp driving 4 speakers and a sub
    Kicker 10" Comp VR Sub

    This car has a double DIN spot for a radio. I plan to put the touchscreen in this location and power it from the 12V rail on the OPUS which will be directly behind the touchscreen in the radio cavity. The ATX power cable will run straight up to the motherboard which will be right behind the air vents. I will have to remove or cut up some of the vents and I am fine with that. The cooler air in the summer will help the mobo. Too much heat in the winter may be an issue? The hard drive and possibly CD-ROM will live in that area too.

    Just above the air vents is presently a clock. That clock will be replaced by a single DIN gauge pod as seen in the dash picture above, but without the gauges. In the top half of that DIN will be the Kicker KQ5 for master volume control. This will also pre-amp the signal to the amp in the trunk. Below the KQ5, will be a half-DIN blank with power and reset buttons, power and HDD LEDs, the Ethernet Jack with a custom made CAT5 jumper to the motherboard, and a single USB port. I have plans to use a USB pen type drive here for easily moving files. I found a USB cable just for this purpose at FrontX.

    I plan to use it mostly for playing MP3s, but the occasional video in DIVX would be nice too. Probably also transporting files between work and home. The car will also be equipped with remote start and I may tie an aux output to remotely boot the PC without the car being on. I plan to use XP Pro SP1 and hibernate it. Remote Desktop will allow me to manage it from inside my house. MP3s will be via Winamp 3 with a custom larger skin that I have mostly done.

    So tell me, what is wrong with this setup?
    Where should I place the CD-ROM?
    What Keyboard should I be looking for?
    Is VIA coming out with a faster motherboard in the next month?
    Do I need to be looking at a better sound card than the onboard one?


  • #2
    Hell, I think you've got it covered !

    need more pics of car
    there are loads of reccomendations in the input
    devices forum,

    new mobo: I don't think so, BICBW

    souncard: I would change it or use a usb one
    [H]4 Life
    My next generation Front End is right on schedule.
    It will be done sometime in the next generation.
    I'm a lesbian too.
    I am for hire!


    • #3
      MX, that setup sounds very nice.

      I am also installing a system into my STi and will have something very similar to yours, except for the locations. More power to you if you can fit everything in that dash opening. It doesn't look like there is that much room behind the DIN opening. The DSCustoms 7" fits almost perfectly in the 2DIN opening. I used the bezel that came with it and trimmed off the bottom 1/2 inch. I will relocate the switches on either side of the screen. My EPIA M9000 in a 2699 case will be in the trunk with my USAcoustics 4 channel amp. I've been debating the need for a master volume control using a pre-amp equalizer instead of relying on the computer to control the 4 channels. Does the Kicker EQ have 4 channels of input? I want to try to fit a 1/2 DIN unit where the cup holder is. You may be able to fit a slim line slot load DVD there as well.

      You didn't mention GPS. I have an Earthmate USB which will probably go on the rear deck with a clear view of the sky. Oh, and I also have an OBD-II connector for screen read-outs of engine data.

      Let us know how the install goes. Good luck.


      • #4
        Do you really need a CD-ROM? I struggled with this as well, and eventually ditched it. It makes the installation so much easier.
        I reserve all rights in connection to each post I author, without exception.


        • #5

          I drive a Subaru SVX. The double din IS perfect for the 7" LCD. you can put your stereo in the dog house (optional gauges). Did you see the impreza in Japan with the 7" LCD coming out from the movable tray in the dog house area. Normally, it is flush with the dash. When you press on top, the LCD screen slowly pops out. I have JDM contacts that may be able to get that. If you are interested, let me know.

          As for the keyboard, IBM made RF wireless keyboard with built in touch pad about the size of a small keyboard (without keypads). It's no longer made but you might be able to dig in. I had that in my Camaro setup. In the SVX, I am going to go voice command and touch screen rather than keyboard.


          - Lwin M. Maung
          If it's stuck, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway


          • #6
            I'm working on a solution to put most of the sytem in the dash (2004 WRX Wagon), with the exception of the DVD-ROM, which I plan on putting behind the glove compartment.

            I ripped my dash apart this week for measurements, found the radio has some nice brackets on either side that will work well for mounting the box I'm designing.

            The top view shows the Subaru HU as transparent for size purposes. I also have the DSCustoms LCD in there, but its only an estimate until I get my hands on an acutal unit. The connectors do stick out the back beyond the depth of the radio about .300", more than I'd like. I guess I can put the EPIA in the box at an diagonal if I have to.

            But so far, I can't find anything that won't make it work.

            I also replaced the stock front speakers this week, see
            Attached Files


            • #7
              phc: I am not sure about the WRX but on the SVX's double din, there is room beyond the cage itself. I have the espresso PC and I don't have the need for the DVD. Also, with the Espresso, I can pull it out anytime and bring it in for software/movies/music updates in the house. How is the DSCustoms LCD? I have a regular 7" LCD with AV in and without brackets, it's a perfect fit on the double din with slight modification. On the WRX, it should fit perfectly and you should still be able to use the original trim.
              - Lwin M. Maung
              If it's stuck, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway


              • #8
                This is one of the setups that I had that I did not like. The stereo is now removed. I can live without it. I will get a USB radio.


                Another setup that I had

                Check out the impreza factory LCD mount : I can get that for any impreza owners
                - Lwin M. Maung
                If it's stuck, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway


                • #9
                  Yeah, I will probably do GPS at some point, but it isn't a major point to me right now. Since I don't listen to any AM or FM, a USB radio isn't a concern either. Of course if your PC is in the trunk on the STI, thats a good spot due to the FM amplifier being back there. I assume that can tie into the USB FM tuner.

                  I do not intend to put the monitor, PS, and mobo all in the double DIN hole. The motherboard will be vertically above that where the air vents are. I would like to remove the air duct tubes, but if they won't budge they may get cut off. They can't be that expensive to replace when I sell the car.

                  The keyboard I may be able to live without on a daily basis. I will of course need it for the initial install of windows.

                  A CD drive will also be necessary for installing Windows, but I dislike the idea of putting that where the drink holder is. It just wouldn't look "clean" anymore. On the other hand, it would be really close to the mobo. I may purchase a second cup holder and take off the front bezel. I could then glue that to a slim CD drive so it looks stock when closed.

                  I doubt you can put a half DIN pre-amp unit where the cupholder is. I think it is too narrow.

                  The KQ5 slices the spectrum into five bands with variable center frequencies. Cut/boost is 12dB, and output is a strong 7 volts. Two sets of inputs allow line switching, and front/rear outputs have fader control. There's even a knob that lets you control bass boost on most KICKER amps right from your dash.



                  • #10
                    Thanks Seraph, I'm looking forward to trying it out and making it fit. You don't miss the DVD drive? That's good, I'm debating about the DVD drive, maybe I can get a USB version for letting my wife watch a movie on our long trips and store it otherwise.

                    Someone mentioned using XP Pro and doing a remote desktop for updates over WIFI. Sounds like an elegant solution.

                    I haven't purchased the LCD yet, I might go with WWDigital since he is offering the same unit without the enclosure for a little less. Plus his TS interface is USB. I'm selling off some robot parts to scare up the extra cash. Anyone need some titanium or a 5HP, 24V DC motor?


                    • #11

                      we are in the same boat. I don't have a TS LCD yet. I have a 6.5" LCD, and 5" LCD sitting in my car. I can do VPN and VNC updates over LAN and WiFi at the moment. But I am using espressoPC ( I don't really have an option of DVD. But I don't really need it. I have a ton of DVDs at home and I rip them to Divx for my car. I need the USB TS. It's good that DigitalWW has the TS with USB and he should be within a couple of miles away from my house too.

                      - Lwin M. Maung
                      If it's stuck, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway


                      • #12
                        DVD - Imac Slot Load

                        Why a mouse? Isn't touchscreen enough?

                        I just ordered my M1000 and 512MB ram too.


                        • #13
                          I've got a VERY similar setup. The M10000 with 512MB RAM, 10.4" LCD (with touchscreen to be added soon). My question is why bother with the KQ5 EQ. In my opinion it's overkill. At the very least, maybe a line driver would do you some good, but the computer has the ability to set crossover points, doesn't it? In my setup, I am in the process of getting the Sherwood X-DTS80 to get a clean signal digital from the PC, but also stereo inputs from the radio. The Sherwood unit, I believe, can control volume. You can switch between the computer and any other device (2 digital inputs, and 1 stereo input). From there, I can drive my KX700.5 from either the PC or radio.

                          Initially I planned to use an AUX-in on my HU, But decided for a small investment, I could get true 5.1 (although it will be 4.1). Maybe later, I will add a line driver to take the extra strain off the amp. Just my thoughts......


                          • #14
                            defiantely get a dvd drive, you'll thank me later. Slim-slot would also be good. And Im planning to get a touchpad also. Touch screen is nice but its not enough.
                            Mine needs to be updated.


                            • #15

                              I'm not looking at the KQ5 as an EQ, but as a master volume and a volume for the sub since it has the bass control built in. Also, since my PC will actually be in the dash, I didn't want to run the low voltage signal to the trunk. Seems it would be better to pre-amp it so I won't amp the noise I pick up on the way to the trunk.

                              What is the quality of the analog audio out on the M10000N? Do I really need to get a different sound card?