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Just wanted to introduce myself, and I have a small question.

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  • Just wanted to introduce myself, and I have a small question.

    Hey I've been lurking on the board for about a week now, reading up on this.

    A carputer is something that I have been interested in for a long time, and I think I'm going to make the jump. I'm very excited, and glad that this board exists. My name Choser is used here as well as a number of car audio boards and automotive boards as well, so its a chance you know me from elsewhere. Currently drive an RSX, but it is up for sale and I should have a Mazda RX-7 within the next few months, which is where my carputer will go.

    I want to have my carputer do A LOT of things, but as cleanly and simply as possible. Mainly, totally bypassing the use of a head unit. A carputer that connects strait to a Memphis Belle.

    Here is my question, and, as no newbie to forums in general, I tried searching for it but a problem may arise that I dont know the specific terms to search for.

    I will have surround sound in the car, (one cool thing about the rx7 is that theres a factory center channel, which was used only for imaging stock... but you can replace it with a higher quality 3.5" driver), and in the interest of sound quality, want to use spdif output from the sound card, as I don't trust the quality of the analog outputs. In reading up, it seems like many people have asked this question but I couldn't find the answer.

    I want a line driver with six high voltage outputs, with a coax spdif input. With this configuration, I can put this device right next to my amp and can use really short rca cables this way. I'm not too concerned with sound quality on the digital level but I will be taking steps to ensure precision.

  • #2
    (I'm just going to type everything that I have on my mind in this one thread to avoid clutter/spamming. Yes, I like to talk.)

    I've seen a number of "surround sound processors" available for sale, all DIN or half-DIN sized. But spacialization and user control isn't something that I'm interested in at all. I figure that the PC itself will have plenty of options for positioning that signal.

    Audio Control is a company that I've always been interested in, and I was sad to see that they don't offer anythign regarding surround sound. I was wondering if any company makes a surround sound processor / line driver / crossover, all in one unit, but something that is a neat box that can go in the trunk, rather than the dash.

    My system plans, on the audio end, is the aformentioned memphis belle (very awesome unit), and CDT HD components up front, with some CDT braxials in the rear. The center unit, while I haven't physically seen it yet, I hope to be able to fit a 4" if possible (3.5" if not) unit in the stock center speaker location. The stock center speaker was powered by the head unit, merely spliced connection off both the left and right channels. Since I want it as a discrete channel, it needs its own amp, of course.

    So, I need a single channel amp that sends out no more than 50 watts. Nothing major really. I was wondering if anyone knew of something for this purpose, as it is rather specialized. I'm thinking some automotive manufacturers OEM part, from some stock bose setup somewhere. Some little amp that I can tuck away in the dash.

    As far as the subwoofer goes... I was thinking a 15" XXX sub, custom placed in a custom Fiberglass enclosure in the spare tire well. Cleanly installed, hole cut in trunk carpet and braided clean. The amps/processors/ power splitting devices will be mounted between the rear strut tower bars, in a custom glasssed enclosure, illuminated intelligently.

    Herein comes the cool stuff, the carputer. In the name of simplicity, I was thinking about an all-in-one mini-ITX board, and thats it. Load it up with DDR of course. I will install this into the decently sized glove compartment, along with a 120GB hard drive and slot loading dvd/cdrw drive. I can custom fab brackets for everything, and I hope to eventually paint the interior of the glove box with some copper embedded paint, which is used on a lot of high end audio equipment. Shielding is something that too many people ignore with custom built cases, I feel. I can build a cage to suspend the hard drive from shock, mounted vertically, but with grounding cables connecting my bracing/mb/hd/dvd together - another oft-missed important thing.

    This computer doesn't have to be removable easiliy, but it does have to be removeable should it need. The glove box itself is removable with some clips and screws, and thats great for when I have to work on it or the unlikely need to repair it. The i/o is exposed when the box is dropped down and clips removed. Hot glue all connectors in. All accessories, I want to go through a usb hub, or serial-usb adapter. This way the bulk of my accessories can be away from the tight space behind/in the glove box.


    • #3
      Welcome to the board. It is known that you do not need to make a shock absorber for your hard drive, there has been no proof that driving messes drives up, but you should mount it the way that the drive spins to help with gyroscopes, I like the sound of your install especially the fiberglass sub enclosure. I would like to know about your copper install idea, to my knowledge nobody has done this yet so I would like to see how it goes. Its nice to see some one out there using memphis down here in the dirty south everybody raves over JBL and Kicker how do you like it? I do not know about any low wattage amp's but your idea of using one from a stock car sounds like a good idea. Whats your plan on display??
      CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
      Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows


      • #4
        I guess I should continue with my plans. But first, let me tell you what I have experience with.

        In my RSX that I have now, I gutted the entire interior, and lined it with brownbread all around. Around 70 sq. ft worth, and stuffed tons of polyfill in between interior and exterior panels. I put 3/4" foam batting sheets behind all the plastic panels, over the brownbread. An Alpine 7995 (dead-head) controlled an mp3 changing 6 disc changer, and sent its data to two memphis amps (awesome amps.... low power usage, low space and heat, rock solid). This went to a pair of components in the front, CDT. I didnt use rears because I'm not a rear fill kinda guy. Of course, the new system will be with a different aim, for surround sound. This setup sounded GREAT with CDs, but my mp3s flaws really showed up on a system like this (really high end wiring, install, accessories from Fiddling with two magazines with 6 discs with 650MB of mp3 in 15 folders per disc, was quite simply, a ***** and a half. While the alpine sounded great, probably better than any alternative short of spending 3x as much, its interface and display is less than ideal. There are no dedicated buttons for folder up and down.

        These drawbacks made me realize how wonderful all of my mp3s would be if they were in one single storage spot, with a great display.

        For my upcoming carputer, I want everything to be clean. I was thinking of a good high resolution LCD to custom mold to the dash, so it looks like a factory install. As I don't have the car yet, I can't take measurements. But it looks like there is more room there for a screen larger than 7", but not enough for 10". So I'll try to find the biggest highest resolution screen with both VGA and auxilary inputs, and mount it where the double din space was.

        I originally wanted touch screen - because nothing is cooler than touch screen, but the added film layer may effect visual quality, and I have questions about reliability. Touching an lcd repeatedly isn't usually a good idea, plus fingerprint smudges, and I've read about the film peeling off. If I can find a touch creen that is reliable, uses film that doesnt peel off and isn't visable in any way, then I will go that route - if not, I'll custom mold a touch pad into the center console, there is a great spot there for it, and I have to do custom center console molding anyways when I relocate the HVAC controls there (to save space on the dash for boost and other guages).


        • #5
          I haven't decided on what I am going to do to power the unit, but that Opus looks nice. I see that this site sells some accessories for the EPIA, my guess is that this is an alternative rather than something that is needed concurrently. With the Opus, it looks like I can have control, and plenty of power for all of my accessories.

          I will also have a traditional inverter installed, with its outlet flush mounted in the console as best I can - so I can hook up game consoles. I dont want to permanently affix consoles as I have so many, and would like to switch around. Plus, I have friends with drum machines that would be cool to drive around with, blasting music made on the fly!

          As for the shock mount, that is very good to know. I think I may still install a shock cage for noise isolation and just added assurance - theres no such thing as "too safe" IMO, but I acknowledge it isnt necessary.

          All those cool things that people do with their carputers, I would like to implement as time goes on. Being, navigation/gps, security system interfacing, internet through bluetooth cell phone and wifi. FM and TV tuner. But one thing that I wanted to do, is hardwire mini cameras to lower suspension parts and my rear plate. I could make some crazy videos using this. I love video editing. This car can't weigh too much, which is why I am not going to use any sound deadener at all, and the sub and amp setup has to be removeable. It is, after all, a track car. There will be a roll bar installed, and I would like to mount a camera to it. But not a mini crap one - but rather my nicer minidv camera with a firewire link to the carputer.

          The rx-7 is not obdii, but most people replace the factory ecu with an aftermarket ecu, which does have a computer interface available to it. Real time statistic display is available, as well as programmable maps. In addition to my touch pad, I would like to stow away an fm based wireless keyboard/trackball unit that I can whip out when I wanted to do more.


          • #6
            holycrap! Hell yeah you like to talk!