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First carputer - MacMini in Toyota Matrix

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  • First carputer - MacMini in Toyota Matrix

    Hello All -

    About 3 years ago, I was directed to this site via gizmodo or something similar. I think it was in regards to user MatrixPC's at then installed mac mini. That day, I fell in love and started thinking about doing this thing. Regardless, life got busy, etc, etc and I didn't start to replicate the mac mini in the matrix setup that I had seen (maybe it wasn't MatrixPC, I can't really remember...). Well times have recently changed and I now am in possession of a Mac Mini ready to fulfill said dream, but I have a few questions.

    The ideal setup for me would be as cost effective (read: cheap) as possible. I figure, the mini is already $0 to me, so now all I'll need to get is a screen (I'm looking at the lilliput 7" touch, with maybe a double din mounting bracket), and a carnetix p1900 to handle power/shutdown and bootup. As far as I can discern from lurking here for some time, these are the essential components to running a carputer.

    In my case, I have a factory stereo, that I am not necessarily too attached to, so that leaves me with one looming question that I can't seem to find the answer to. If I pull the stereo, I should be left with the factory harness, however, how do I translate all those wires into something such as a 1/8" phone jack that can be recognized by the mac? Or does audio run through the lilliput to the computer, therefore still requiring me to convert the wires into something like rca cables? I'd like to do without an amp or buying a different head unit, so would it be possible to run the factory speakers to the computer? Should I look into those wire harnesses/aux input things you can get from somewhere such as crutchfield?

    I guess this is really the only thing I think I'm missing. If you have any further inputs or suggestions, please feel free to let me know.

  • #2
    whether you need a amp or not depends entirely on the car-- you will need to find out if your car has a factory amp other than the factory head unit, and if it does, what type of signal it takes-- if it needs speaker level inputs, it will be more cost effective to replace it than to keep it.

    if your car does not have anything other than the headunit, or if the amp needs speaker level inputs, you can replace it with a motorcyle amp-- on ebay, these are relativly cheap, usually under $50. most users that have used one in the past have said that they are just as good, if not better than the factory head unit.
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided