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New project looking for some direction

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  • New project looking for some direction

    Hello everyone,

    If this is posted in the wrong spot please redirect this. I wasn't completely sure which section to choose since my questions span several topics. I did look the the available FAQ and search but it's possible I missed something covered feel free to point me in the right direction. Most of my questions are centered around the electrical / car functionally side rather than the computer side (in which I have far for experience) and I will probably have some follow up ones, as I canít seem to remember to write them down when they pop into my head.

    I have been looking into this for a while and decided to finally jump headfirst into the project.
    I have started ordering some of the major pieces, and still working on the layout and wiring and need some input.

    Before I get started here is a little information:

    • Intel DH77DF Mini-ITX with Intel i3-3220T 2.8 Ghz
    • Intel 6235 Dual Band WiFi / Bluetooth 4.0
    • Kingston V300 120GB SATA III SSD
    • Corsair 16gb DDR3 1600 RAM
    • M3-ATX PSU
    • 7" Samsung HDMI Touch Screen
    • Morex 5677 case
    • 2011 Ford Fusion SEL 3.0L V6
    • Stock audio (afaik) with SYNC
    • No navigation
    Iím leaning towards a two amp + sub setup. I donít plan on replacing the stock speakers (they sound great I was shocked when I found out it was stock), but Iím not completely against it. Iím not as clear on the wattage vs ohm as I would like to be, but I understand the difference between RMS and max output.

    Currently I am looking at purchasing the following:
    • Rockford Fosgate R400-4D 400 Watt Class-D 4-Channel Amplifier
    • Rockford Fosgate PBR500X1 Punch 500 Watt Mono Boosted Rail Amplifier
    • Rockford Fosgate Prime R1L-2X10 Double R1 10-Inch Preloaded Enclosure
    The amp is rated 500w @ 1 ohm and the subs are wired for 2 ohms.. so the amp would be pushing 250w to the sub? Is that correct or am I missing something?

    I canít find much (read: any) information on the RMS rating of the stock fusion speakers (I will check my owners manual after I get out of work), is the 4 channel amp (RMS of 75w each) going to be something I need to be concerned about overpowering (I assume) the stock speakers?
    I currently have SYNC with a subscription to SiriusXM. My goal is to replace the SYNC functions with the carputer and I would like to maintain SiriusXM, radio, and the steering wheel controls. If possible, I would like to keep the car chime messages (door open, seatbelt unlocked, system messages).

    There are several different PAC controllers for the headunit and controls but they seem to be primarily for to connecting an aftermarket HU vs carputing. I stumbled across the Joycon interface in my searching which would definitely meet my needs and programming it is not an issue.

    I assume that the XM tuner is inside the HU currently installed, so I would need to purchase a USB XM module (the same for the radio) and use the antennas that are already there.

    Powered USB - The touchscreen has 4 USB outputs (2 board controls, the AUX / CF reader and the touch screen) and I would like to have at least 1 USB input in the center console (currently has one connected to SYNC).
    Taking into account the possible need for more USB lines, it seems like this is a good alternative to running 5+ USB lines (assuming the devices support a hub), have other people done this with their setups?
    I would prefer to do the wiring myself, but donít mind taking it somewhere to have it done, but it seems pretty straightforward once you have all the necessary parts, and is far more hands on. I just want to make sure I have the correct setup going into the project, rather than finding out halfway through (or after I damage something) that I am missing a key component.

    One of the videos on mp3car shows running separate power lines from the battery terminal to power the amp+sub and the computer, however I have also seen other setups with a single power line and distribution block in the back.
    Is there a ďbetterĒ setup? Is it simply a matter of personal preference?

    As far as wire gauge sizes, most places recommend at least an 8 gauge power + ground line. Is this a sufficient size or does the computer, in conjunction with the amp+sub, draw enough power to need a bigger line?

    Iíve read several conflicting things on fuse placements, what is the best (subjective I know - safest.) route to go? Besides an inline fuse near the battery, is it better to have inline fuses running to the amp sub and computer (after the distribution block), a fused distribution block, or both? Will the computer setup influence the size of the inline fuse that will be needed

    Input/Suggestions/Information would be helpful. I donít want to rush into anything without the due diligence - thanks!

  • #2
    I think you can work with what you have listed. The PC will have enough power to do what you want, and I am assuming you got the "Derrick in NY" HDMI touchscreen by the description, so the screen is nice. I just wish it did not eat 4 USB ports. I cut all the USB wires and soldered them onto a hub to use only 1 USB header. I really never use the SD card, but it's nice to have just in case.

    I have Rockford Fosgate stuff too, and it sounds good. Your stock speakers should work fine with the R400-4D amp as long as you listen within reason. I have one of those R400-4D amps too, but it's not currently in use cause I upgraded to the T400-4 for 25W more per channel. Once you add the subwoofers, it will be loud enough without having to crank the R400-4D too loud for your factory speakers.

    The computer will probably draw 100W max at full load so figure 15A. I usually look at the fuse size for each amp, and add it up. So 40A for the R400-4D, and 80A for the PBR500X1, so that all falls in the 8AWG wire size, 150A max, for up to a 10' run. Some would recommend 4AWG if the run is up to 20 feet.

    Make sure all your grounds are good. Some people like myself, don't like using chassis grounds, preferring battery grounds instead. Good grounds to your engine, alternator, and battery, will minimize the chance of alternator wine or ground loop hum. It's not that much of a hassle to do beef up your grounds as a first step to your project.

    PAC or Metra have aftermarket radio steering wheel retention modules, and Onstar/door chime retention type modules, so look for one of those devices, then get the USB powered Joycon EXR and connect it to the PAC or Metra device. I had good luck with my Joycon, and it left the Onstar, Door and Seat Chimes, and Cruise Control still functional as well as using the audio controls for the carpc.


    • #3

      I've received most of the things in the mail, and just waiting on the Sirius box now. Still need get the computer setup and plan the wires and stuff but I like the touch screen too, after I figured out where everything went (I got the 2din enclosure and buttons, so the diagrams were similar, but not exact - and nothing is labeled). The hub is a great idea to reduce the amount of USB wires I need.

      I got a good deal the following amp and sub (friend was upgrading) so I'm going to be installing these:

      So, if I understand how to calculate this - 40A for the R400-4D and 100A for the T1000-1bdcp and ~15A for the computer = 155A
      Is this math look correct, and will this draw too many amps if I use a 4AWG setup or do I need to go to a 0AWG run?

      I also need to figure out a way to get the screen to fit into the bezel I ordered for the fusion as the 2din frame that came with the screen is slightly larger than the opening in the bezel.
      Last edited by toazron1; 08-10-2013, 09:17 AM.