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  • New to the scene...

    Hey All,

    I have been digging around for a few months trying to figure out on how I want to build my carputer and I think have decided on a mini mac based system. I plan on buying a new mac mini, I'd be very curious as to any recommendations on system specs. I am thinking about the 2.53GHz with 4GB of memory and 500GB hard drive. I am planning on running ICE^3 with parallels with iGuidance for nav. I am still confused a bit about XM radio support and how that works with a carputer. Tried searching but couldn't find anything about HD radio support is that available (windows or based Mac systems?). Is the shark fin still the best/only real way to get FM/AM radio? What recommendations do you all have for a USB sound card (i'll admit didn't spend much time searching for that one)? Has anyone tried integrating a USB modem from Verizon or AT&T to these systems?

    Thanks for helping the newb.

  • #2
    You probably dont need a system that powerful, but it should work. I'm also going to be running ICE3 with GPS off another space. HD radio is not yet supported on the Griffin RadioShark, but I saw on where they will be coming out with one "soon". I've also heard the RadioShark is a POOR(!!!) AM/FM receiver! I think the most common audio setup is that described in this thread.
    Sound System () 100%
    Power System () 100%
    MacMini Setup () 100%


    • #3
      Hey chief, welcome!
      Glad to hear that you decided on a Mac Mini for your carputer. The specs you chose should be more than enough to supply your needs. Actually, my mini has 2.5GB Ram and 1.83GHz processor, and it’s quite speedy.
      I’m not sure about the XM radio, but my ultimate goal is to add a HD radio to my car via the Visteon or Directed HD car unit, and just connect to via RCA Y-cable to the line-in port of the mini. And with the HD radio, there really wouldn’t be a need for the Radio Shark from Griffin because AM/FM radio is inclusive to the HD channels, unless I’m mistaken. For USB Sound card, I’m trying my install without it first to see if it is truly necessary. As far as my research on that, PowerMate from Griffin has been said to be very good. And as far as the USB modem, it should work for you, as long as it’s plug-and-play. I really wouldn’t use it, because of the mini’s WiFi capabilities via AirPort. If the USB dongle from Verizon/AT&T is the way you go, make sure you get a powered USB hub.
      What I’m doing is using the Garmin Mobile PC app instead of iGuidance, since my peeps have experience with Garmin GPS devices, this one should be familiar to them when they go to use it. If you swear to Ice Cubed, then I’ll try that for my platform (I was being lazy, and using Spaces to shift between iTunes and VirtualBox. And notice, almost every option here is free!!)

      Best of luck! And if there are any other issues/ideas, let us know!!
      All systems are a go...
      Currently in "tweaking" mode.

      The Worklog


      • #4
        I'd look for a refurb or used Mini that is less powerful and costs less. I'm running a 1.66 GHZ CoreDuo and 2GB RAM and it's plenty fast with ICE3 and VMWare Fusion running WinXP for Garmin MobilePC in 2 Spaces. I would use Sun VirtualBox if I was starting over, though, but it wasn't yet available when I did my original install. I don't use a sound card, just the line out from the Mini and it sounds great in my car through my head unit/amps. If you buy MobilePC with the Garmin antenna you don't have to license the software, which is nice if you might need to do multiple installs when trying different virtual machines.
        Any day is a good day for golf.

        Mazdaspeed6 Carputer Progress: Gone
        (Check Speedy's Install)

        Speedy was traded for a 2004 350z - Install complete except for permanent screen installation.