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Thread: My Project - All help / advice requested

  1. #1
    DST
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    My Project - All help / advice requested

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new here and starting my project to put a computer in my car. My car got stolen and the stereo ripped out so I figure why replace when I could UPGRADE! Ive read most, if not all the FAQS and have begun to order parts.

    Here is my basic plan - PLEASE give input!

    CAR: 2001 Acura Integra GSR

    1 - I ordered a molded vinyl flooring for my car to replace the stock carpeting. This will let me run wiring underneath the carpeting exactly where I want it as well as hopefully allow me to use velcro to secure some of the items to the floor.

    I am planning to run a piece of 8 gauge wire from my battery to my trunk, where my power amp will be bolted down. I have not decided what kind of power amp to buy yet. I need to buy a subwoofer to mount in the trunk as well, also undecided. Probably one of those square kickers.

    UPDATE: Per advice, I am now considering 4 gauge as well as running another wire of the same gauge from the passenger floor to the trunk for grounding so that everything can use the same trunk ground

    I will be running some higher quality speaker wire while I am under there and probably some USB cabling to the trunk and to my center and side consoles to interface with the various components I will need.
    -----------
    2 - I need to get a VGA LCD touch-screen for my center console. Undecided on which one yet but probably the Xenarc fold-out so I can mount a USB DVD/CD player underneath it. This is where I need the most help - I need a good solution for flush mounting everything or at least making it look as clean as possible. I have not seen any brackets that would work yet. I will fab my own if there is no other option...

    UPDATE: I am now trying to decide between the Xenarc 700IDT and 700TS. I prefer the TS but it may not fit.
    -----------
    3 - I need to decide on how to power my system. Initially I was planning to go through an inverter, into a UPS, into the computer and connect the two via USB so the UPS could shut the computer down with the car. Is this even possible without tapping into the ignition? I'm not sure how to do this if I do have to hit the ignition but I'm confident theres documentation out there. I dont really like the DC option but it seems to get better and better the more I research it. I figured that if I could get the computer to draw out of the UPS battery instead of directly from my car's then the power should be pretty clean. I'm starting to wonder if the UPS will just bypass the battery during normal operation though. Ive read alot of posts about lots of noise from inverter users and that kind of scares me.
    -----------
    4 - I need to figure out how exactly to interface the computer with the power amp. I dont know anything about car stereo systems beyond wiring up a harness. I always thought there was some kind of control line that went from the receiver to the power amp that governed how much juice was going to the speakers. I read about quite a few people going straight from a sound card to the power amp though. My only guess is that it is just multiplying the signal that comes in, so if you adjust the pre volume, the power amp is responding to that change exponentially. Which is wierd to me considering that I thought a car stereo and a sound card output are not very similar in strength.
    -----------
    5 - This probably should be 2...I need to find out what the max length of all cable types is, especially a VGA cable. USB I am not very worried about.

    UPDATE: Looks like neither will be a problem since both limits are at least 5 meters.
    -----------
    6 - I need to find a good NIC that has both a wireless antenna and an RJ-45 connector. One with bluetooth as well would be nice too.

    UPDATE: Someone pointed out that most MB's have onboard LAN. So I am now looking for a bluetooth / wifi in one card.

    So thats the stuff I am dealing with, on step 1 at the moment. Any suggestions on running cable (what kind of cable, where to run extra, etc.) would be especially appreciated.

    The actual computer is the least of my worries at the moment. If I do keep the above plan, I hope to velcro it under the front seat along with the inverter and UPS, if there is room.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and give suggestions!

    Nick


    ----------------------------------
    Ongoing Parts List:
    ----------------------------------
    Molded vinyl flooring: $175 (BOUGHT)
    -
    Xenarc 700TS: $379
    http://www.mp3car.com/store/product_...products_id=49
    -
    Power cabling (2x8' strands): $24.64 for the Walmart Scosche Amp Wiring Kit.
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=1863080
    -
    Carputer estimate: $500
    -
    15 gauge Rockford Fosgate Gamma speaker wire (50'): $75.00
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-5K73VcT...r+speaker+wire
    -
    11 gauge Rockford Fosgate Gamma subwoofer speaker wire (8') $20.00
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-5K73VcT...r+speaker+wire
    -
    Power Amp: $300
    -
    Misc. Tools and materials: $75
    ----------------------------------
    Total Estimated Cost: $1548.64
    Total left to purchase: $1373.64
    ----------------------------------

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DST
    2 - I need to get a VGA LCD touch-screen for my center console. Undecided on which one yet but probably the Xenarc fold-out so I can mount a USB DVD/CD player underneath it. This is where I need the most help - I need a good solution for flush mounting everything or at least making it look as clean as possible. I have not seen any brackets that would work yet. I will fab my own if there is no other option...
    Chances are your console will accept a DIN-sized stereo, if not more. If it can, then all you need is one of the fold-out screens, as you stated. There's no bracket needed.

    3 - I need to decide on how to power my system. Initially I was planning to go through an inverter, into a UPS, into the computer and connect the two via USB so the UPS could shut the computer down with the car. Is this even possible without tapping into the ignition? I'm not sure how to do this if I do have to hit the ignition but I'm confident theres documentation out there. I dont really like the DC option but it seems to get better and better the more I research it. I figured that if I could get the computer to draw out of the UPS battery instead of directly from my car's then the power should be pretty clean. I'm starting to wonder if the UPS will just bypass the battery during normal operation though. Ive read alot of posts about lots of noise from inverter users and that kind of scares me.
    Read, young padawan:
    FAQ: Power Supplies Explained (Part 1)

    4 - I need to figure out how exactly to interface the computer with the power amp. I dont know anything about car stereo systems beyond wiring up a harness. I always thought there was some kind of control line that went from the receiver to the power amp that governed how much juice was going to the speakers. I read about quite a few people going straight from a sound card to the power amp though. My only guess is that it is just multiplying the signal that comes in, so if you adjust the pre volume, the power amp is responding to that change exponentially. Which is wierd to me considering that I thought a car stereo and a sound card output are not very similar in strength.
    Read some more:
    Wiring Diagram (with Amplifier)

    5 - This probably should be 2...I need to find out what the max length of all cable types is, especially a VGA cable. USB I am not very worried about.
    VGA has a fairly long maximum range. Make sure to get quality shielded cable so it won't induce noice into the speaker wiring.

    6 - I need to find a good NIC that has both a wireless antenna and an RJ-45 connector. One with bluetooth as well would be nice too.
    I think you're going to be getting seperate wired and wirelss NICs. AFAIK, there's no wired/wireless combo cards. I could be worng.
    If there is such an animal, I personally wouldn't go for it, since you'd be without ANY network connection if it needs replacing.
    Besides, most motherboards have onboard wired ethernet, and there are USB wireless adapters that work just fine. No muss, no fuss.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
    DST
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    Thanks for the info!

    Chances are your console will accept a DIN-sized stereo, if not more. If it can, then all you need is one of the fold-out screens, as you stated. There's no bracket needed.
    I would actually prefer to use a static screen. (non flip-out) I just didnt think I had enough room to work with. Here's a picture of what I am looking at:



    I need to look a little more into fitting a compact CD/DVD drive in there. Do they make brackets to adapt standard dimension pc drives into a vehicle dash?

    Reading those now - thanks!
    EDIT: Looks like I already read both of those earlier. I wasnt able to find anything about coupling an inverter with a UPS unfortunately.

    think you're going to be getting seperate wired and wirelss NICs. AFAIK, there's no wired/wireless combo cards. I could be worng.
    If there is such an animal, I personally wouldn't go for it, since you'd be without ANY network connection if it needs replacing.
    Besides, most motherboards have onboard wired ethernet, and there are USB wireless adapters that work just fine. No muss, no fuss.
    I totally forgot about onboard LAN - thats one thing I can cross off the list. I'm not worried about being without a network connection though, I can always grab a USB NIC from the house if I need to. That narrows the search down to a wireless / bluetooth card - which I know I have seen, if only in PCMCIA.

    Thanks for the info - anything additional anyone can think of I would much appreciate - I wanna do this right the first time!

    Thanks again,
    Nick

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate binary.h4x's Avatar
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    I would run 4 gauge wire to the trunk. Its not much more expensive for the kit @ Walmart. Just my $.02
    2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

  5. #5
    DST
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    I'm not familiar with the kit at walmart...what name can I find it by?

    Thanks!

    Nick

  6. #6
    DST
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    Additional question: Would it be a good idea to run a single ground wire through my car? I read that its good to ground everything to the same place. If so, does gauge matter at all? I'm guessing no...

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate binary.h4x's Avatar
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    I don't know the name of the kit, just look in the car audio section and you will find it.

    Oh yes, the brand name is Socshe or something.

    I find a good rule of thumb for your ground is to use the same gauge wire that you used for the power wire for the particular device.

    You would probably not want to run a ground wire from your battery to your trunk, that is just bad practice and could induce sound. You could find a good ground point in your trunk and ground everything in there to that single point. And then beef up the cable that goes from the batteries ground to the chassis.
    2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

  8. #8
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    I believe the max VGA length is 10 metres, quality starts to degrade after 6m

  9. #9
    DST
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    You could find a good ground point in your trunk and ground everything in there to that single point.
    So basically run a 4 gauge cable from the trunk up the the firewall and ground the trunk end? I dont understand the principles at work here but I take it that using the battery ground is where the problem is and not the length of cable acting as an antenna?

    Thanks!
    Nick

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate binary.h4x's Avatar
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    ok, let me start over....

    your battery has two connections, a Positive and a negative. The most popular method of automotive power is the connect the negative on the battery to the vehicles metal chassis. More commonly called your "ground". For high power stuff in your trunk (carputer, audio amps, etc), you run a large wire from the batteries postive to the trunk. You connect this to your amps.

    For the negative, the easiest thing to do is run a cable from the amp to the chassis. You don't need 2 wire coming from the battery because the body of you car acts as a wire

    Battery (-) >> Chassis >> Amp ground
    2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

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