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'05 Outback XT, Getting Started

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  • '05 Outback XT, Getting Started

    Hi everyone,

    I've been watching the forums for quite some time. Now that my 250-hp toy has finally arrived, its time to install a complete carputer.

    A few questions:

    1) Anyone else thinking about doing an install on an '05 legacy or outback?

    2) I'm torn between taking my 1 Ghz Thinkpad and using that for an install, or putting in an ITX system. I'm leaning towards the latter, but the laptop still has some appeal (I get a new laptop for outside the car use, and it seems like there would be less power issues). Any opinions on the matter?

    3) LCD Screens. Before I shell out the extra $150 for the Xenarc, is it really better than the Lilliput?

    Also, check out this link for a picture of the '05 Outback dash/console. It's some other guy's picture, but you get the idea (ignore the XM unit he has pasted on there). I'd like peoples input on placing an LCD screen. I think I'll avoid the built-in for now, or unleast until I can order an aftermarket dash kit with a big double din to work on in my spare time. The space above the clock and between the vents just isn't big enough for building in a 7" screen, I've measured it a dozen times... I may just mount one there instead.

    link to picture:

    4) My spec system:
    Morex 3677 mini-ITX case, Via EPIA MII12000 Mini-ITX + CF, PCMCIA, 512 mb, 80 gb 5400 rpm Hitachi 2.5 inch drive, carnetix regulator, and an external audigy N2X.

    Any comments on this? Seems like a pretty standard setup, correct. Main goals are MP3, DivX, Nav, etc... so pretty much needs to be able to do everything.

    is 60W going to be enough for all this stuff (1.2 GHz + USB soundblaster, gps?)

    5) Audio. I've been reading around some other message boards (XM radio, Empeg, etc.) and it looks like the '05 outback stereo system doesn't have a standard antenna input... and people are saying an FM modulator won't work in it. I think this sucks. So it looks like I'll be doing a crappy wireless FM solution for the time being until someone figures out a way to do an FM modulator in this car. Any suggestions for alternatives. (Stereo does not have a tape deck or auxilliary inputs).

    I'd appreciate people's input!


  • #2
    Just wanted to say congratulations. I've owned two Outbacks (96 and 02) and they're great. The new cars are beautiful. :-)


    • #3
      1) nope, sorry

      2) no opinion...

      3) no idea

      4) looks like that system will be able to do everything you want... check out the power simulator here..

      5) might want to think about just going computer->amp->speakers
      rebuilding carpc... kinda..


      • #4
        I'm working on an '04 WRX carputer right now... here's some my thoughts so far:

        1) Obviosuly the '05's came out recently... so I bet you're the only one on this board to venture in the car pc world for it.

        2) I think the computer you use depends on what you want it for. I'm personally going with a pretty slow laptop (233 Mhz or something) and will be primarily using it for GPS and mp3. Plus in my opinion laptops are already built as sort of power savers, so you could easily run it on a 75W inverter (what I've done when I use the GPS).

        3) Alot of people are saying just shell out the extra $150 and go with the Xenarc, but I just recieved my 7" Lilliput TS and I couldn't be happier with it. I guess we'll just have to wait until someone comes out with a side by side, but the picture is clear, expecially when running videos and dvds. It also has it's own speaker (not sure if the Xenarc does or not), and it's decent if you're stranded with no audio.

        For LCD position, above the clock would be the prime place to go, and going for that factory look is always key. How much space do you have between those vents?

        4) I'm not a computer guy, so I can't help ya much there.

        5) The car doesn't even have a tape deck??? If it does, I suggest just buying one of those audio adapters for a portable cd player and use that as an audio input. My '04 rex has both 6 disc changer and tape deck, so it's a perfect solution for me. And also, the sound quality does not go down that much... it's hardly noticable at all.

        Good luck with the project
        2004 WRX Carputer


        • #5
          Phoenix-- Thanks!

          fantomas-- I ran that power simulation, and it looks like I'm somewhere in the 41 watt range under a full load. (substituting a 1.0 Ghz, since the 1.2 isn't an option in the applet). Looks like I'll be o.k. Thanks for the link.

          gleinz-- If I do go with my laptop, do I even need an inverter? I've got a car adapter for my thinkpad, which works fine during the crank. I was just going to hide the laptop in the cargo area and power it off the outlet that is back there... and then use the power outlet up front for the touch-screen.

          The dimensions of that little spot between the vents... assuming I take out and move the clock and airbag indicator light... are 17.5 cm x 11 cm... which is just shy of what I'd need for a Lilliput (18.7 x 12.5), or Xenarc (19.7 x 12.1). I'm not sure how much space I'd save by uncasing those two monitors... I sure wish they made a 6." touch screen!

          Nope, no tape deck for any of the '05 subarus... CDs only. If only they would leave some option for getting audio into there stereos...


          • #6
            Hey 5-HT,

            If you have a DC adapter for your notebook then you will not need an inveter. As far as Lilliput vs. Xenarc, the Xenarc is typically more reliable. It's not composed of refurbished materials. Image quality of the two is very similar. I'm all for ditching a stereo head-unit and going computer->amp->speakers. This will also give you more option as far as doing a in-dash LCD install.
            My Install Thread

            MKIV VW Jetta
            How do I get sound to my car?


            • #7
              Is it just me or does that dash look like the radio and heater controls are all one unit? If that's the case good luck ever swapping out that factory deck (or installing your LCD there).


              • #8
                3) LILLIPUT ALL THE WAY !!!!!!!!!! i have already bought 3 and i am happy with them.
                Carputer: 2.8Ghz P4, 512 RAM, 120gb HDD, WIFI, TV tuner, CDRW/DVDROM, Slot load DVD in front.
                Screen: Lilliput 7" touchscreen (Custom made Carbon Fiber Screen Enclosure)
                S2000 Carputer


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jailer
                  Is it just me or does that dash look like the radio and heater controls are all one unit? If that's the case good luck ever swapping out that factory deck (or installing your LCD there).
                  They aren't one unit, it's just the face panel that makes it all look integrated. There is an optional replacement panel that gives you a standard double-DIN opening.


                  • #10
                    "There is an optional replacement panel that gives you a standard double-DIN opening."

                    Not yet there isn't. I can't find anything in the way of '05 panels, etc. Not even sure when official subaru parts are going to be available... I'd love to just order up a spare vent/clock assembly and be able to work on it in my spare time. No luck.

                    I think I'm going to try my laptop to begin with... and get all the USB, VGA, GPS wiring done... the place where the computer is going is very flexible... so if I decide I don't like the way the laptop is working out, I'll drop in an ITX system... of course I still have to get a power switch up front and figure out the audio nightmare...

                    Thanks for your input guys!


                    • #11
                      5-HT, would taking the screen out of the casing allow it to fit between the vents?

                      (scroll down)


                      • #12
                        Welcome to the boards. Nice Subaru.
                        But I must ask you to search the forums. You seem to have done enough research to know some of the basics so why stop?

                        I would definately recommend getting the Xenarc. New 2005 car, why get second best? And while 60w may be enough why limit yourself. Get an OPus and leave room to expand.

                        As for audio input, does your car have the option for an oem cd changer? If so I'd bet that there is an aux-input cable somewhere. Don't do the FM modulator.
                        Any more questions?
                        Mine needs to be updated.