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Thread: Best way to integrate Mazda 6 dash controls-opinions needed

  1. #1
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Best way to integrate Mazda 6 dash controls-opinions needed

    Ok I have had a functioning carputer for over 3 years now, but have never really had an outstanding way of controlling it. Up until a few months ago I never even ventured on this site and now I have come across many ways of doing things differently.

    Now I have too many options.

    The mazda Dash sucks considering the climate controls/radio controls are integrated into the dash. It looks like it's removable, but its not without some major work. I have taken it apart many times trying to come up with a good way of removing the radio controls. There are two parts that are attached to the radio control via board connectors or wires.

    1, the hazard switch (no big deal only liek 4 wires) and
    2, the climate controls (a bigger deal because the connectors are small).

    I could crack open the case of the climate controls and wire them onto the radio control board, and then relocate the board making room for me to reloacte the screen from it's present location. Or, instead I can integrate the radio controls. It will maintain the factory look which is what I wanted all along anyway. I think I prefer the screen up high, and the utilize the dash mounted radio controls.

    The volume knob is a rotary/pushbutton, so is the tune knob which I would like to use for scanning through lists similar to a scoll wheel on a mouse. I currently use RR but have not tried to do anything with girder. Instead right now I am using a keyspan programmable remote and have mapped the keys and programed the keytable.ini in RR for control. The problem with this is that the buttons are fairly small and hard to use while driving. That is another reason I am looking at integrating the radio dash buttons. It's just screaming at me to use them. So in that sense, the dash on the Mazda now becomes helpful since I don't need to dismantle the stock Radio. I also have steering wheel controls that I could use a SWI-X or carbuttons with at a later date.


    1) Here is my dash



    Or see pic below

    2) Here are my options that I have come across:

    -Phidgets Board-WHat i am trying to do is similar to this guy here.
    -Hacked up USB game pad method (CDRskull's program)
    -Carbuttons (www.madhacker.org)

    Of other note, I like the Space NAvigator and maybe the powermate, but I have heard the powermate isn't as useful. Although these would not integrate with the dash buttons, they could be an alternate route to go.

    Hardware that I have already that could be useful:

    -USB gamepad similar to playstation controller
    -Old Joystick
    -Keyspan remote
    -Xkeys 20 key programmable USB keypad

    I am not a very good programmer and chose to avoid programming at all costs. It's just not something I like to do or have the time to sit down and figure it out. What I need is input from others/opinions on what the best way to do this is, time is not on my side and that is why I am asking.
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  2. #2
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Hmmm....Maybe I am overthinking it. I could also use a numeric keypad and wire directly to that, but I still also want the rotary knobs for scrolling and volume control. back to thinking...

  3. #3
    Newbie Black_Sheep's Avatar
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    Try looking at post #37 on this post. He talks about using a PIE adapter with the Aux CD Changer to get sound and control the PC. I think there was another post on this same subject from someone else. Try ing for all Mazda 6 installs.
    If you make something Idiot proof....

    The world will make a better Idiot.

    CarPC Progresss: Planning [x-------------------]

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    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    I ahd seen that thread before but just skimmed it. After looking at the PIE adapter it's not quite what I meant, but thanks for trying to help. I am not looking to run the audio through factory radio. I am not even using the factory radio. All I really want to do is utilize the buttons on my dash as a custom computer control for Roadrunner.

    My audio signal current goes through an ALpine processor which is soon to be replaced by all real-time software audio processing.

    Basically I am going to have to wire up to each button switch and hardwire it to the input device end up picking.

  5. #5
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    I dont' know what buttons you referring to on the dash as there are too many of them .
    - Look up car2PC adapter if there one for your car. If there is, you can use button on the radio to control the PC. I have one for the Alpine (M-Bus)and it works great. Waiting for the Ai-Net version.
    - Hackup those "buttons" and read this thread RoadRunner USB Joystick V3.0 Released
    2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
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    RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
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  6. #6
    Newbie Black_Sheep's Avatar
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    I got my threads mixed up try this post. Look at the info on the Car2PC Adapter. It may be something your looking for.
    If you make something Idiot proof....

    The world will make a better Idiot.

    CarPC Progresss: Planning [x-------------------]

  7. #7
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    I know I should have explained better and I began lookign deeper into the car2pc adapter but I didn;t see if it worked for Mazda. Anyway, I don;t think I want to go the cd changer route. On the newer mazdas, the radio is a double din behind the dash, but it "plugs" into the stereo buttons mounted on the dash. My plan was to complelely remove the factory radio since I dont use it anyway.

    I began to research the rotary encode thign for voulme control and the cheapest and easiest way seems to be to hack apart a mouse and connect a rotary encoder to the mouse wheel. So what I plan is to connect the volume knob on my dash to the mouse wheel wired directly.

    Then the rest of my stereo buttons would be used like the following:

    Button
    -----Use
    AM----not used at the moment
    FM----not used at the moment
    AUX---Play MP3s
    CD----Play CD
    EJECT----Eject
    Seek up---track up
    Seek down---track down
    Preset buttons -----????Don't know what I'll use those for yet
    Second rotary knob----maybe use another mouse wheel and use it to scroll up and down on lists. I jsut don't know how the comptuer will react with more than one mosue plugged in.

    I was already looking at CDRskulls program to work with these buttons. Or I might just hack apart a numeric keypad and hardwire it and save CDRskulls program to interface with my steering wheel buttons (this would of cousre mean I need to run a bundle of wires directly to the steering colum, instead of using carbuttons or a SWI-X).

    I'm looking for a picture of radio....

  8. #8
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    The radio is modular meaning it can be easily switched with a different verison of mazda radios or the can add on extra i.e. tape deck, or minidisc player.

    Luckily I found the only pictures I have of my older 04. It was pretty much the same as my 06. Just the front looks like my first picture.

    Here is the backside of my dash with the factory radio installed...
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  9. #9
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Then if you remove the modular radio, the buttons are still part of the dash via a circuit board that the climate controls and hazard switch plugs into.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Here is a closeup. I circle where the factory radio plugs into the face of the dash bezel circuit board. I don;t plan on wiring to those but instead to the buttons directly underneath the back plate cover.
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