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Exploring options for 2010 Subaru Impreza

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  • Exploring options for 2010 Subaru Impreza

    Hello everyone!

    A few months ago, a coworker said, "Have you hacked a linux box into your new Subaru yet?" And now, here I am. This whole carpc concept is very, very tempting, but my number one requirement is for the system to be as well hidden as possible. The purpose of this post is to get some feedback on my initial ideas, which are based the wealth of information on these boards. My primary goal is to completely replace the stock head unit (and all of its functionality, while adding on some more) and contain the entire system in the double DIN space in the dashboard, while keeping the entire thing 100% reversible (no drilling or cutting of stock parts, use wiring harness adapter, etc.) I should also preface the notes below by saying that this project is potentially destined to be vaporware once I spec and price everything out (and weigh the specs against any safety considerations). My background is in EE, and I have some basic soldering and dremel skills. Here goes:


    This is my top priority. Must be sunlight readable (if I can't see it, what's the point?). It sounds like the best way to go would be the bezel available here. Any specific model suggestions, or is the Lilliput EBY701 a good choice?


    As I said, I want everything hidden in the dash. This leaves me with this nano ITX case.

    First big question: how do I combine the Subaru specific screen mount with the nano-ITX case? Is there a separate bezel that I can buy to mount the case in the dash (and buy the screen separately to follow the screen mounting instructions that come with the case)?


    Nano-ITX case means nano-ITX board, right? I've searched around and it doesn't look like anyone has them in stock or available. Any tips here?


    1-2GB, depending on price and chipset support

    Hard drive:

    SSD is definitely a priority. But wait... do the tiny motherboards support SATA? I guess I'll find out once I choose one. My top choice is probably a 40-80GB Intel X25, and I expect to reconsider once I see the price tag.


    Mini PCI (express?) card connected to the motherboard, hopefully. I will probably just run the antenna down under the center console, as the only purpose of the wifi would be to tether to my phone for an internet connection.




    I have a Parrot MKi9000 installed right now, but I'm open to switching to a USB dongle, such as this tiny one.


    Bluetooth? Wifi? USB? Open to anything here.


    How about one of these connected to a PCI or USB sound card? The amplifier board appears to have four outputs, which should cover the four speaker channels on the factory audio harness. I'm not planning to change the factory speakers for now (unless you convince me otherwise).


    This is the tough part. I absolutely must have AM/FM radio (for traffic reports, mostly). There's the HQCT, but it doesn't look too well documented or supported (from what I can tell). The other option is to design an Arduino Pro shield for the SI4735 AM/FM IC and connect to it through USB.

    Front end:

    It sounds like running Windows XP with Centrafuse or RideRunner makes the most sense. Linux would be fun (just to tell friends who claim that I install linux on everything I touch that I installed linux in my car) but isn't a requirement.

    CAN Bus hacking:

    Unlikely, but I can dream, right? It would be cool to have a window or lock control right on the screen, but I think I'm asking too much here.

    Power considerations:

    The stock head unit harness includes power, ground, and ignition wires, so I don't need to run any extra wires from the battery. I'll throw in a fuse just in case (right?). One of the M(1-4)-ATX supplies sounds like the way to go, depending on my motherboard choice.

    Any other tips?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback!