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The Mac mini setup...

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  • The Mac mini setup...

    Ok. As everyone can see i'm a newbie here. But i'm not a newbie to mac since i have been using it professionally every day for the last fifteen or so years. And what started as a wish to connect my iPod to the factory radio in my new Audi ended up in me reading every website from the for me totally new world of carputers. And of course i instantly felt the need a Mac in my car...
    But i need you guys to help me sum it up. And i have attached this image so maybe someone can clear things out for me.

    From what i have read so far it seems that the only real problem is the front end. A simple, skinnable, open interface with a touchscreen input. Simple because most of us will use it while driving, because my girlfriend must be able to use it, and because most of us don't want keyboards and stuff in our glove compartments. Skinnable because everyone drives different cars, (i need it to look stock Audi or i won't install it). Open, because new better GPS software, phone software and voice input will eventually come. Or am i missing something?

    Then we have the power issue. If the above mentioned front could set the mini to sleep and wake it up from the touchscreen, that would be good enough for me. I would shut the Mac down when i knew that i would not use the car for a few days. The dream would of course be to have the remote power lock taking care of the sleep/wake thing, and a timer would make a safe shutdown after say 24 hours of sleep. But i can wait for that system. Again, am i missing something?

    I guess my question is: Isn't the non existing front end software the only problem with the Mac mini?

    / Bubbalito
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Depends on what you want to settle for. Its harder to get hardware and software for the MAC. As you pointed out, theres enough out there so that your not so much limited in what you can do, its more just a question of how you'll have to do it. i.e. you can do NAV, but only if you want to deal with the inadequacies of route66. On paper, the mac looks real nice and can do all the same things, to me it comes down to the usability, I just don't see being able to do all the stuff that I do now with my PC and still be able to drive the car. Developer (I am Chuck)
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    • #3
      Well- if you can wait a little bit then there is a DC-DC power source coming out from Carnetix and as for the sound option you need to either run the sound to a headunit or an amp. If you go through a HU you won't need the sharkfin.

      Keep us posted on your install- I'm going to be installing a mini into my Mazda3 hatch sometime in the near future. good luck.

      Mazda 3, meet Mac Mini. Mac Mini, meet Mazda 3.
      Mac Mini in-car coming soon.
      Progress: [||||||||||||||||||--] (90% Complete,Initial install is complete, now adding on and fine tuning.)
      Progress Blog:


      • #4
        I have read the thread about the Carnetix power source, but i don't understand what it does. Isn't a 12V to 230V (in Europe) converter all I need? Can anyone explain it to me? From what I understand it can not automatically wake/sleep the mac, but it can controll the startup/shutdown? Anyway, my point is that power is not the real problem here...

        I'm not interested in using a HU because i want to control everything from the screen, and it is not likely that i will be able to run any aftermarket headunits from future Mac software. I did not include amps and filters and stuff in the scheme because it is the mini setup i am trying to figure out.

        Maybe I should just stick to a PC solution , and wait for the Mac to develop...

        / Bubbalito


        • #5
          What the DC power supply does is remove the need to go from 12VDC -> 230VAC -> 12DC again. It also has some other feature that I'm not 100% sure of, but that's the basis of it.

          Progress: On hold while I pay off my new PowerBook :D
          Part List:
          VIA MII10000 - 512MB - 20Gig 2.5" - Rikaline 6010 - 7" Lilliput - CNX-P1260 - Alpine 4ch Amp - 4 Gauge wire and fused distrobution block.


          • #6
            Let me take a shot at explaining the issues.

            The P1900 will provide regulated power for the MacMini so that it will start and stop when you turn on/off your ignition switch. It will also continue to provide regulated power to your Mac if you momentarily stop your engine, but want to keep the Mac powered (ie gas stop). When you re-crank your engine, the P1900 keeps the Mac powered so it doesn't crash ("crank survival"). The P1900 also has a secondary output that can be jumpered for +5V if you want to power several USB devices (ie Audigy sound card, GPS), or for +12V to power your screen. And mooke is right, this is more efficient than going from +12VDC > 230VAC > +18.5VDC, although this would work.

            I hope this helps...


            • #7
              Hey guys This sounds good! I want a some of this?

              So from the Diagram he showed, to just get started for MP3 & DVD I would need:
              Power - P1900
              Mini Mac
              Touch Screen
              Front end sfw
              Ext HD(Optional)

              I plan on mounting the Mini under my seat. Moving the onboard screen below to the open storage slot and placing the 7" screen in it's slot.

              If I wanted to add 2 extra Reg. or touch screens what should I do?



              • #8
                Im going to attempt to use the Mac Mini as my head unit.