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  • New User - New Mac Mini Project

    Hey everybody! This is my first post here, but I have been hanging around for a while, learning everything I can about installing a Mac Mini in my car.

    First off, my car is a 2006 Audi A3 2.0T Sportback.

    This is it:


    Well, my plan is to install a touchscreen into the dash, install the MacMini in the glovebox, and use the bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

    But, after searching around and reading, I am left with a few questions.

    First, how is the quality and viewing angle for the Lilliput or Xenarc moniters? They seem to be the most popular around here, but I want a fairly high resolution.

    Second, I have a GPS antenna already run onto the roof of my car, inside the factory "whale-fin" antenna. Is there any way I can use this as the GPS antenna with the MacMini?

    Sound quality is a HUGE deal to me, so is there any way for me to use a normal amp (like Alpine) with the MacMini? I saw the thread with the Audigy 2 NX Card, but how would I connect the speaker wires to it? The outputs look like 1/4 inchers to me...

    What about the radio? How will I be able to listen to local radio with the MacMini?


    I am sure that I will have much more questions as this project comes around, and I could do it the easy way and just pay somebody to do it, but I would much rather do it myself (everything aftermarket on the car has been installed by me, and I would like to keep it that way )

    Thanks a lot for all of the help everybody!

    ~Swift~

  • #2
    First off that is a verry nice car! you might want to go the the GPS forum about using your shark fin but I think I can help you with your other problems

    Sound quality is a HUGE deal to me, so is there any way for me to use a normal amp (like Alpine) with the MacMini? I saw the thread with the Audigy 2 NX Card, but how would I connect the speaker wires to it? The outputs look like 1/4 inchers to me...
    you can use regular amps and thats what most people do, it is a little tough with the mini because there is no pci slot for a 5.1 soundcard but what most people do is split the audio from the mini in to a right and left RCA jack and then connect that to their amp, I'm not sure how to controll fade with that setup so you might wnt to head to the audio forum for more info (I think I saw something in the FAQ)

    What about the radio? How will I be able to listen to local radio with the MacMini?
    The best option here is a radio shark, its compleetly compatable with osx and even has a wigit for control

    good luck!
    -Ben

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Swift
      First, how is the quality and viewing angle for the Lilliput or Xenarc moniters? They seem to be the most popular around here, but I want a fairly high resolution.
      Sound quality is a HUGE deal to me, so is there any way for me to use a normal amp (like Alpine) with the MacMini? I saw the thread with the Audigy 2 NX Card, but how would I connect the speaker wires to it? The outputs look like 1/4 inchers to me...
      What about the radio? How will I be able to listen to local radio with the MacMini?
      Very nice car!!!

      Screen:
      I use xenarc 700TSV and my main complaint is not about view angle but more with the brightness of the screen.
      Display Brightness (w/ Touchscreen): 330 cd/m
      Sometime, on sunny day, I can't see a thing on the screen. Some people tried to add some backlighting to improve it but it is not an easy task. I hope that newer screen will be brighter.

      Native Resolution is 800*480. That what I use but you can go to mush higher resolution if you have a good eyesight. I had to take it appart to install it.
      http://homepage.mac.com/francoborgo/...toAlbum83.html


      Audio:
      I have been waiting for a long time for Griffintechnology's Firewave.
      I just received an e-mail from them saying that the Firewave will be for sale at the end of january.
      FireWave outputs six channel audio through three 1/8 (3.5mm) stereo mini-jacks:
      http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...wave/index.php


      Radio:
      I have installed a radioShark but it is kind is disappointing. I can get only a few station. There is a hack to connect it to the car antenna but I did not do it. I just plug a simple earphone and an extension to act as an antenna. I did improve reception a little bit. The sound is good a strong signal radio station.
      http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/radioshark/

      Franco
      Attached Files
      Help me keep my web site up to date.
      Mac-Mini in Passat

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Swift
        First, how is the quality and viewing angle for the Lilliput or Xenarc moniters? They seem to be the most popular around here, but I want a fairly high resolution.
        Define "high". You can go 800 X 600 but it will look very small to you. You can read it, but it will be small. You can get an 8.4 inch monitor to help out with that.

        Originally posted by Swift
        Second, I have a GPS antenna already run onto the roof of my car, inside the factory "whale-fin" antenna. Is there any way I can use this as the GPS antenna with the MacMini?
        Head over to the FAQ Emporium (click on the link in my signature) and look for a thread on "OEM GPS". It explains how to use an OEM GPS unit. Yours may or may not be different.

        Originally posted by Swift
        Sound quality is a HUGE deal to me, so is there any way for me to use a normal amp (like Alpine) with the MacMini? I saw the thread with the Audigy 2 NX Card, but how would I connect the speaker wires to it? The outputs look like 1/4 inchers to me...
        I've had both the Via Epia and Mac Mini in my car. The Mini sounds better by quite a bit. However, if you are a nut for audio, you need the firewave.

        What about the radio? How will I be able to listen to local radio with the MacMini?
        Radio is overrated. Get XM.
        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
        Want to:
        -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
        -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

        Comment


        • #5
          First off, thanks for the props everybody, the car is my baby!

          The Firewave sounds great, I will probably go with that...

          Also, as far as a front end, is this iTheater thing going to be the answer?

          When I was talking about resolution, I misused the term. I just meant clarity, not the actual 800x600 or anything like that. Sorry about the confusion.

          Franco, thanks for the help man, you mentioned a "hack" for the RadioShark. Is there somewhere I can find how to do that?

          Another thing is that I will have to completly fabricate a piece for my moniter. Not just mold the screen into it, but actually make the whole piece, then fab the screen in. I dont know how comfortable I am doing that part, so is there anywhere I can go to get that done?

          And do you think a place like maaco will be able to color match the plastic piece to my other interior pieces?



          \Thanks again everybody so much for the help!

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey, another question:

            With the Carnetix P1900, how long can the Mini run in standby mode until it drains my battery?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Swift
              Franco, thanks for the help man, you mentioned a "hack" for the RadioShark. Is there somewhere I can find how to do that?
              Search on terms "Radio shark" and "hack". It should turn up.

              Another thing is that I will have to completly fabricate a piece for my moniter. Not just mold the screen into it, but actually make the whole piece, then fab the screen in. I dont know how comfortable I am doing that part, so is there anywhere I can go to get that done?

              And do you think a place like maaco will be able to color match the plastic piece to my other interior pieces?
              In the FAQ to the FAQ's, there is a link to threads on how to install a monitor. They may help you get a feel for how to do it. Also, check the "Show off your project" forum and search for cars like yours. You may find one that has already had a screen installed.
              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
              Want to:
              -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
              -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MacMobile
                Very nice car!!!

                Audio:
                I have been waiting for a long time for Griffintechnology's Firewave.
                I just received an e-mail from them saying that the Firewave will be for sale at the end of january.
                FireWave outputs six channel audio through three 1/8 (3.5mm) stereo mini-jacks:
                http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...wave/index.php

                Franco

                i got the M- Audio - Sonica Theater ...its usb and its 7.1 surround..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Swift,

                  Originally posted by Swift
                  First off, my car is a 2006 Audi A3 2.0T Sportback.
                  I have also the same car, but it's TDi.......



                  and I also plan exactly the same thing as yours. I have couple of question for you.
                  First of all, do you have a stock sat-nav in your car? If not, then how do you know the GPS antenna is already there? Did you confirm it with anyone? I really wanna know this.

                  Secondly, are you sure you can put the Mac Mini in the glove box? I also planned the same but after that I recon there maybe not enough space inside to house the Mac Mini. Can you please confirm?

                  Another question is with the audio system. Do you presently have Concert-II in your car? And are you going to replace that one with some after market HU? If you keep the stock HU, then I don’t think you need any additional amp. If there is some kind of AXU IN on the Concert-II then using that gonna be the best I think.

                  I really wanna see how to put the touchscreen into the dash. That’s the most important thing to me and that’s why I still didn’t start my project. I was just waiting for someone to show me the way. My second plan was to in stall the Mac Mini under the seat, put the HU into the glove box and controlling the HU through the touchscreen using CAN interface (if possible) or put the screen just top of the HU if there is enough space for that.

                  Can you please help? Thanks in advance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    With the sonica theater, if I don't have subs will bass still flow through my other speakers? I only plan to hook up the front (left and right) and rear (left and right) speakers to my rockford fosgate p4004...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Swift
                      Well, my plan is to install a touchscreen into the dash, install the MacMini in the glovebox, and use the bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
                      Any update so far..........????

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Best thing to do while building the frame for the mini is make sure there is a little lip above the monitor so it's shaded otherwise you might want to get some heavy backlighting into them but that's a lot of work.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          first i love ur car
                          second i love ur car
                          third i want ur car

                          PS:
                          2002 Volvo S60 Install Website:
                          http://hookid.net/?page_id=17
                          On MP3 Car:
                          http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=97014

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            With the Carnetix P1900, how long can the Mini run in standby mode until it drains my battery?
                            Can't give you an exact answer on that, but I would guess a very, very, very long time. If all else fails, you can set up Safe Sleep and it'll use no battery at all but still wake much faster than it'd boot.

                            Comment

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