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Project: Mac Mini / Protegι5

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  • Project: Mac Mini / Protegι5

    First, I'd like to thank all the people for forging a pretty incredible path with the Mac Mini installs I've seen. I've been wanting to do all of this for a while and have been lurking on the MacCar threads for a while now.

    In addition to the normal project log, I'll be posting all of the decision-making processes which will hopefully help others in their projects. I'll also try VERY hard to post links to all of the great resources I have found on this site and elsewhere. I think I've learned more just by clicking on everyone's signatures. Of course there will be TONS of pictures and maybe an off mp3car site I can customize, but this will be great for the work log!!!!

    Enough with that, on to the good stuff!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Budget:
    I have enough, but I want to do this as cost effectively as possible. At the time of this first post, I've heard rumors that Apple is going to come out with a new version of the Mac Mini. With that in mind I am hoping that soon a refurbed current model from the Apple Store will run me about $450 instead of $499 as it is currently.

    While I'd love to have one of those sexy transflective screens *FAQ* ....err....no WAY $$$$! PLUS, I've got some pretty dark tint all around and the screen will be mostly protected except for a few odd angles. Now's as good a time as any to say that I'd love input ANYTIME!

    All of the other equipment / software will be as needed and I'll do bits about those as I find and get them.

    The basic PLANNED setup so far:
    Mac Mini - 2.0 GHz, 1GB memory, 120 GB
    7" Lilliput (I'd like to find a 8" touch screen, if it will fit)
    USB Hub
    Griffin Powermate


    Remains to be planned:
    Audio - I'm taking the stock double-din head unit out then probably buying an amp. I rember seeing a really neat SMALL amp on this site....it looked awesome and could be tucked away out of site.



    Some general rules I will TRY to live by while doing this:
    1) make everything look as OEM as possible
    2) extra goodies should be mostly out of plain sight, with the exception of the Powermate.
    3) Cleanliness
    4) Giving cred to the folks who have inspired me to try something at different stages.
    Sound System (••••••••••) 100%
    Power System (••••••••••) 100%
    MacMini Setup (••••••••••) 100%

  • #2
    Got my Powermate 2

    I got my Powermate today. I just barely got started playing with it, but it looks like some of the functionality for selecting songs to play and scrolling through the lists of songs are not supported they way I had anticipated with Ice3. I'll be testing some other FE's out tomorrow.
    Sound System (••••••••••) 100%
    Power System (••••••••••) 100%
    MacMini Setup (••••••••••) 100%

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey, glad to see another carmac under development!

      Just thought I'd say this: you really don't have to wait for new Mac Mini updates for a refurbished model. If you see a good deal on even the prior editions of the Mac mini, then go for it. I picked up a 1.83 ghz mac mini for $400; gave it 2gb ram and a 500gb hd for $80 more. And it's quite speedy...
      Even if you go on eBay and find something, you never know. Don't limit yourself.

      The screen: I bought a Lilliput 7" screen with the housing equipment for my car from Bybyte. I tested it in my car with 25% tints in the front and 15% tints in the rear windows. I really don't have to worry much about sunlight; of course this was done recently, as opposed to during the summer. But sunlight really wasn't a big issue as I thought it would be.

      Good luck! I'll check on this post to see what you're up to!
      All systems are a go...
      Currently in "tweaking" mode.

      The Worklog

      Comment


      • #4
        I got to thinking about the format of this thread

        Instead of tracking the ENTIRE project through here, if I run into problems it would be a LOT easier to create a new thread. In addition, that will make information as a whole more organized.

        I'm not sure if cross posting is allowed, but I created another thread raising the question on using a Griffin Powermate to enter a password at the screen saver dialogue.
        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/macc...ver-login.html



        As I stated in my first post, I'll still be using this thread show how I worked through the problems, and linking to other threads to solve specific issues.


        UPDATE: I'm still acquiring parts. I'm going to disassemble the dash this weekend to see what size of screen I will be able to install. Wish me luck on an 8", but if it only fits a 7" that will be great too.
        Sound System (••••••••••) 100%
        Power System (••••••••••) 100%
        MacMini Setup (••••••••••) 100%

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Project07MACry View Post
          Hey, glad to see another carmac under development!

          Just thought I'd say this: you really don't have to wait for new Mac Mini updates for a refurbished model. If you see a good deal on even the prior editions of the Mac mini, then go for it. I picked up a 1.83 ghz mac mini for $400; gave it 2gb ram and a 500gb hd for $80 more. And it's quite speedy...
          Even if you go on eBay and find something, you never know. Don't limit yourself.

          The screen: I bought a Lilliput 7" screen with the housing equipment for my car from Bybyte. I tested it in my car with 25% tints in the front and 15% tints in the rear windows. I really don't have to worry much about sunlight; of course this was done recently, as opposed to during the summer. But sunlight really wasn't a big issue as I thought it would be.

          Good luck! I'll check on this post to see what you're up to!
          Thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of Bybyte. Did you by the all-in-one set with the LCD, and mounting brackets?
          Sound System (••••••••••) 100%
          Power System (••••••••••) 100%
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          • #6
            Hey Ive got a Protege too and Id love to see some pics of your LCD install after you're done. Ive fabbed up a 7inch Lilliput eby701 into my Protege's double DIN opening, but I dont think there is enough room for an 8 inch. If you measure the dash opening, youll notice that it's too big (length and height) to fit the double DIN bybyte screen without a dash kit.

            Comment


            • #7
              You look really into your project and it's really nice to see your going the MAC route.

              I've switched from Windows to MAC after 1 year of Microsoft Madness and unstable system...

              If I may give you an advice, don't RUSH your install, take the most time possible to plan and PLAN and plan again...make sure you checked everything twice. Some ideas will come during the install or when the install is done, think about this during your install.

              For instance, if you think about a new stuff but need to rip off the car everytime, you will not be happy...

              Anyway good luck and keep us updated with pics and descriptions..
              VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
              Final Install
              CarPC progress: 95%

              Comment


              • #8
                Transflective or not?
                If you don't have a screen yet, I suggest you to go with the transflective one. It worth the money BIG TIME!! TRUST ME!! I also have good tint all around and still frustrated sometimes during sunny day.**Also I don't like having my window rolled up during a hot day of summer...again its my opinion

                AUDIO?
                as for the audio, I kept my OEM stereo and used a AUX device that connects into the Audio 3.5mm Jack in the back of the Mini. The volume is just NOT LOUD enough, I know we have a good audio card into our mini. In my opinion if you can plan on using the FIBER AUDIO port, GO AHEAD, Im currently searching for a converter

                Good luck!
                VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
                Final Install
                CarPC progress: 95%

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nobb View Post
                  Hey Ive got a Protege too and Id love to see some pics of your LCD install after you're done. Ive fabbed up a 7inch Lilliput eby701 into my Protege's double DIN opening, but I dont think there is enough room for an 8 inch. If you measure the dash opening, youll notice that it's too big (length and height) to fit the double DIN bybyte screen without a dash kit.
                  Could you clarify what you mean by your last sentence? I understand it to mean that an 8" screen is too big for the Mazda 2-DIN.

                  I bought this dash kit from crutchfield.com
                  Sound System (••••••••••) 100%
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                  MacMini Setup (••••••••••) 100%

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                  • #10
                    In no rush

                    Originally posted by VmtSquad View Post
                    You look really into your project and it's really nice to see your going the MAC route.

                    I've switched from Windows to MAC after 1 year of Microsoft Madness and unstable system...

                    If I may give you an advice, don't RUSH your install, take the most time possible to plan and PLAN and plan again...make sure you checked everything twice. Some ideas will come during the install or when the install is done, think about this during your install.

                    For instance, if you think about a new stuff but need to rip off the car everytime, you will not be happy...

                    Anyway good luck and keep us updated with pics and descriptions..
                    Thanks. I am DEFINITELY not in a rush! I'll be putting together a graphical representation of the system this weekend. I think that will help me a lot with the schematics of how everything will be connected. Meanwhile I need to size up everything to ensure I'm getting the appropriate equipment for fit and sustainable performance. Comments are always welcomed by me.
                    Sound System (••••••••••) 100%
                    Power System (••••••••••) 100%
                    MacMini Setup (••••••••••) 100%

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VmtSquad View Post
                      Transflective or not?
                      If you don't have a screen yet, I suggest you to go with the transflective one. It worth the money BIG TIME!! TRUST ME!! I also have good tint all around and still frustrated sometimes during sunny day.**Also I don't like having my window rolled up during a hot day of summer...again its my opinion
                      Do you have a transflective? It doesn't seem like many people have them so I didn't know how badly it was needed.

                      Originally posted by VmtSquad View Post
                      AUDIO?
                      as for the audio, I kept my OEM stereo and used a AUX device that connects into the Audio 3.5mm Jack in the back of the Mini. The volume is just NOT LOUD enough, I know we have a good audio card into our mini. In my opinion if you can plan on using the FIBER AUDIO port, GO AHEAD, Im currently searching for a converter

                      Good luck!
                      I'd love to use the digital audio out! I found this to convert it to RCA stereo audio. I have to admit that audio is not my focus, but I need to catch up on all the latest and greatest so I'm not after my install.
                      Sound System (••••••••••) 100%
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                      • #12
                        http://www.bybyte.com/lcd_combos.html
                        This is the site I went to for the LCD Combo. Thing is, this sells the 7" screen. Just follow the pull down menu.


                        This is the combo you probably might end up with should you go this route.

                        If you use the dash that you bought from Crutchfield, be prepared to do some body work on it; it just might fit the 8" screen...
                        Bodywork in this instance would be expanding the inside dimensions to fit an 8" screen; with a viewing size of 6 7/8 x 4 1/8; and an exterior body size of 8.17"x5.71"x1.23".
                        All systems are a go...
                        Currently in "tweaking" mode.

                        The Worklog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One more thing: The digital audio-out...
                          According to Apple, this is a "Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack)".
                          This one headphone/aux port is supposedly our digital output. Unless someone can vouch that the toslink cables can attach to this port, the route you might end up taking here is a simple y-adapter which splits into male RCA cables.

                          BTW - Where did you see the amplifier that you spoke of in your first post?
                          All systems are a go...
                          Currently in "tweaking" mode.

                          The Worklog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mac Mini to control volume

                            Anyone have any thoughts on volume control?

                            I am looking at getting 4-ch amp in the 100W to 150W range (RMS of course).

                            anyone here used the Mac Mini for volume control? What is your experience?
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                            • #15
                              your best bet would be to turn the amp up as high as you/the system can handle (without distortion) and then get something like the griffin powermate and use that to control the master volume on your mac. I use this setup in my car and it works pretty well.
                              Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

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