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First Post - Some questions, looking for ideas

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  • First Post - Some questions, looking for ideas

    Hi guys,

    This is my first post. I have an '05 Subaru Forester XT in which I'd like to install some type of computer, primarily for music, but would also like a GPS based nav system. I have zero need for movies, games, web browsing or other general computing on the system. The Subaru has a double DIN space where I currently have the stock 6-CD changer and radio. I'll be upgrading the stereo system, replacing stock speakers and subwoofer, and adding amp(s) and crossovers as needed.

    Not sure where a computer will go, but I'd like a dual core Atom or (better yet) AMD Brazos system with a 750GB to 1TB 2.5" hard drive for music storage. The system drive will be a small SSD. Ideally, I'd like to be able to have the system connect to my home wifi network when it's running and sitting in the driveway so that I can upload new music or update software on the system.

    One of my biggest questions is can I live without a head unit if I mount a 7" screen that takes up the whole double DIN mounting area? I've seen the dash pod available for the Forester to house a screen, but would like to avoid it if possible.

    Assuming that I can, my second concern is not having a dedicated volume control. I love knobs and dislike almost any audio system that uses buttons or a rocker for volume control. If I have only a touchscreen available then I imagine it's even worse.

    Other questions revolve around choice of operating system, software for both music and nav system, adding an FM tuner, implementing wifi. And I'm sure a few dozen questions that I haven't thought of yet.


  • #2
    Welcome to MP3car! Sounds like you know what you want and have clear goals for your system so your already ahead of the game.

    Look at the Griffin Power Mate for volume control, Wifi is easily done; if more range is needed, external mount antennas are available. XP, 7 or Linux if your so inclined all work great. You will want a front end for the OS taht is Touch Screen friendly so look at Centrafuse, Road Runner if you want main stream. FM tuners are readily available.

    I can't imagine you will miss your HU if you do some research here, build what you need and install it correctly.

    Good luck with it, search this site a bunch and ask questions on anything the search doesn't answer. Oh, and read a bunch of worklogs on other peoples projects, theres tons of good ideas there and if you search for Subaru's within that forum, I'm sure there are a few there.
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE


    • #3
      ^ i don't like the power mate for volume control because windows is too sluggish for me(i play my music loud, but turn it down at every light). i use some jl audio cl-rlc volume control preamps.
      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

      next project? subaru brz
      carpc undecided


      • #4
        Does any of the touch-screen audio software use swiping to control volume? Swiping left-to-right and right-to-right might be a convenient way to control volume. It would have to always be active, though, regardless of where you were in the interface.


        • #5
          Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
          i use some jl audio cl-rlc volume control preamps.
          Do you have or know of a write-up on how the CL-RLC is installed?