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350z Carputer - any ideas?

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  • 350z Carputer - any ideas?

    This is my first post on this forum, but before anyone flames me, I've been researching the boards and reading up as much as i can on both this and some of the Nissan specific forums...

    I want to build a car pc, but keep things looking as close to stock as possible...with this in mind (plus the fact I've already got an Acer travelmate laptop) I've decided to go for a removable laptop solution, rather than a fixed pc. Store it in the cubby behind the drivers seat, and see how it pans out from there (if all goes well i may swap it out for a mini Mac, but that'd be a little way down the road).

    To begin with I'll be using my carputer for mp3s, films, sat nav, and hands free mobile phone.

    H/U - I am considering upgrading the H/U but until i come to a firm decision I am going to use a USB fm transmitter to get sound through the radio - i know sound quality won't be wonderful but it sure is easier this way...
    Background: It would be nice to wire the sound through the stock h/u, using the output from a soundcard (haven't bought one yet although I'll probably get the Creative SoundBlaster MP3+) I have not found any information on an easy way of doing this FYI - i have the 2003 stock head unit i.e. not Bose.

    NAV screen - I want to keep the stock screen and have two options for how to do it:

    1. totally steal swooby's idea for using the stock nav and use an AITECH pocket scan converter to convert VGA to NTSC or PAL video signal.
    (while a xenarc or a lilliput would be nice, I'm not a big fan of installing the kit and am worried I'd make a mess of my Z)

    2. This idea is a little bit more out there, but I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts...the stock system comes with a TV tuner - i cannot get it to work apart from static, but assume this is because the TV frequencies used in Japan (where i imported the car from) are different to the UK. I was wondering if i could use an A/V sender (or something similar) to wirelessly transmit to the stock navi screen? IF that is possible I'd then need some way of over-riding the nav-computer, as it only allows the TV to be on when the vehicle is at rest?

    Input - obviously with the stock screen i won't have touch screen capabilities, so i was going to go for a combination of voice recognition and a Belkin Nostromo Speedpad mounted where the ashtray goes - between them they should cover most eventualities.
    Plan B - use a mini playstation 2 controller with combined USB keyboard if the voice control doesn't work well. It looks a bit tacky but has a full keyboard and with software I think you can use the analog stick as the mouse

    GPS - I'm running route 66 with a haicom serial gps (it does the job, although i haven't tested it extensively)

    Start-up/shutdown - This one is fairly easy, my laptop has quite extensive power management controls. The system has a wake on USB function, so i start up by pressing a button on my input controller (i haven't tested it yet - if it doesn't work I'll try to sort out a wake on lan solution which i have seen other people do on these boards)

    Also I can set the power management to hibernate x min.s after the external power supply is switched off, this way it will stay on if i have to nip out of the car for a few min.s (may also look into some sort of shortcut to this control, so i can leave it running off the battery for longer if need be)

    Power supply - Going to use a standard laptop cigarette adaptor power supply, although possibly take it apart and hard wire it under the console, rather than having wires visible in the cabin.

    Front end - haven't decided yet, it looks like Frodoplayer and Road Runner are both pretty popular - i'd appreciate some feedback on which works better with a system similar to what I'm proposing?

    Mobile Phone - i have a v3 with Bluetooth, which can sync up to my pc - i did read about controlling your pc through a sony erricson phone so far nothing useful to me, but looks promising!

    I was also wondering if i could through the Bluetooth functionality of the phone use it as a microphone for my voice recognition system. Haven't seen this done anywhere but i reckon it would be pretty sweet.
    side project: if so i could also connect to the car from outside and if at a later date had more functions slaved to the pc, it would be hella cool to control them from the phone? e.g. windows, a/c, ignition etc. (knightrider here we come)

    BTW does anyone know if it is possible to get a DVD map disc that works for the Uk? I've tried the (cd) disc out of other UK spec Nissans but to no avail, and I've tried talking to xanavi (makers of the stock nav) and zarin (the distributor of the map software) but no one there seems to know anything useful.

  • #2
    I just finished a 350z install.

    You can get an adapter for your stock HU, it's call AUXNISS from Soundgate so that it can take audio in. It cost about $100 but it's worth it because stock HU looks better on the Z. Google it.


    • #3
      Thanks - i'll check it out. I agree keeping the stock H/U looks much better.

      I'd be interested in seeing your install / specs, have you posted them anywhere?