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Honda Civic EX 2004 Carputer - where to begin?

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  • Honda Civic EX 2004 Carputer - where to begin?

    Hello everyone!

    I am fairly new to the whole world of carputers. I was looking to help get some advice on my purchasing decisions and some help figuring out how to get everything installed (once I make the purchases). I've done some searching on these forums and others, but lots of information is out of date (2+ years old) or doesn't give very in detail instructions -- something I would need

    A little background about myself: I am currently working in the IT field and have been building computers all my life. When I was younger, I had a few years where I was into car stereos and modifications, but money was a huge limiting factor back then. I have fairly basic experience with wiring and soldering, so I am somewhat confused by how to connect all the components together. My main issues are safety (I want all the wiring to be safe and reliable) and a professional, clean look.

    I currently have a stock 2004 Honda Civic EX. My budget is anywhere between $500 and $2000 (if needed!), but a happy medium between those two numbers would be ideal. I am currently thinking of working with a local audio store to get any custom work done instead of trying it myself this time around. This would most likely include paying someone to run the cables, modify the dashboard, etc. I would ideally like to provide a list of "items" for this shop to do, and merely provide the components for them to do it. I have experience hooking up cables to the car battery and as stated before, working with computers (so connecting everything after the cables are set in place is something I could do as well). I'd also ideally like a way to "hide" my setup when I leave my car -- for security reasons obviously.

    I suppose my question is, where do I begin? Does anyone with Civic experience want to help guide me through the process of finding parts and getting them correctly installed in my car?

    I'm looking for a simple setup to the MP3 / Radio part of my computer working first (with touchscreen and "hiding" feature) and then I would start working on GPS and the other nifty features as time goes on and I'm more comfortable with the setup.

    Thanks again!

  • #2
    I feel like you spent more time writing this thread then researching your questions.
    mp3car boomzbox HD is what I use for radio, a little pricey but its straight plug and play. Its out of stock as of this post but its your best bet just wait for more to come in stock.
    Also even if some info is from a year ago 90% of the concept is valid, for example thread may have a older processor/motherboard common sense says to buy a newer one but the concept of how it all works is the same.
    For a plug and play solution on your civic for LCD
    Last edited by agentq; 05-02-2011, 10:13 AM.
    My CarPC Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR


    • #3
      ^ +1

      the actual concepts that you would need really haven't changed much at all over the last 5-6 years, so even older threads still have some value.

      the faq's go through a lot of the basics(link on main forum page), and searching for civic builds.

      unless you locate someone in your area, there is no step-by-step guide to installing a carpc in any car.

      and any install that you find will probably only have a couple of things that you desire, and a couple of things you don't-- that is the huge advantage to carpc's. there are tons of different ways to do all of it..
      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

      next project? subaru brz
      carpc undecided


      • #4
        Thank you both for your suggestions and help!

        My main concerns are really how to wire / power everything correctly (safely) and not damage any equipment at the same time. I'm really having trouble visualizing how to convert the battery's power into something that won't explode the computer :P

        I'll keep looking to see what I can find. I'm basically open to all advice so I'll take a look at other builds and try to do something similar.


        • #5
          Your going to want to use one of the automotive power supplies that can be found in the store here. They will hook up to your cars battery and clean up the power and make it safe for you system.
          My CarPC Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR


          • #6
            Originally posted by agentq View Post
            Your going to want to use one of the automotive power supplies that can be found in the store here. They will hook up to your cars battery and clean up the power and make it safe for you system.
            I did a little reading and I think OPUS is the way to go it seems (more reliable, less headaches, etc).

            In terms of wattage, I'm not exactly sure how much I'm going to need until I get an idea of what each component is going to use, but 360W seems overkill for a general setup (HD radio, GPS, Touchscreen, PC, various USB devices)?

            I was looking at:

            If that is too much power or not needed, then maybe:

            Would work better. I'm just worried 80W won't be enough.

            Sorry for just jumping into this without having a really clear idea of what other components I want. I'm trying to grasp the types of things I should be buying and looking it. So far your suggestions have been extremely helpful in guiding me in the right direction.