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Thread: Mac mini in dash questions.

  1. #1
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    Question Mac mini in dash questions.

    I bow down to the mighty mac car audio buffs and ask this question. I am just about to purchase a 2001 mustang gt convertible. It has 2 spots in the dash for audio expansion. I am a computer guy and by no means a car guy or a hardware guy so this is all new ground for me. What I was considering was a non motorized 7in in dash touchscreen in the top position and a mac mini mounted in the lower position. Because of the mini's small width I figured there would be room to make a small panel that could house a 4 port usb 2 hub and the relocated power button on one side of the mac mini. Is there a way to connect the mac mini directly to the car battery without going through the cigarette lighter? Also if there is already an amp under the passenger seat and it is hooked up to the speakers can I run the audio out of the mac mini directly to the amp with just a simple radioshack plug? If I had something to connect the mini directly to the battery and power on and off when the car does than would I need anything else or would i be all set?
    Thanks in advance guys.

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate BenjaminS's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums :P

    Being the owner of a 2000 mustang, which I have torn apart a hundred times and a big apple fan I feel compelled to help you. You definitely have the right idea about the screen placement. That was something I did a few years ago with an Alpine CVA-1005, that is take it apart mold it into the dash panels and then paint it to match the car, although kind of sucked due to the fact I had to relocate the heater controls, but they fit nicely in the glove box.

    Anywho, the 7 inch screen fit quite nicely in the top part of the dash panel. Now I am not positive but I think the small foot print of a mac mini will fit in the lower part of the dash panel. If you are pressed for space, the factory amp (if it is not the mach system) is right behind that piece. I can remember taking it out and thinking I had enough room to build a 10 inch sub into the dash :P.

    Also for a USB hub the bezel around the shifter makes a great spot. Just do a little cutting, a lil bondo, and a hell of a lot of sanding, and you got your self a spiffy USEABLE spot for the hub.

    As per the power for the mac mini there is a forum post floating around about it. I don’t have the time to dig, but its there.

    As per the Amp under the seat… what kind of amp is it. Factory or Aftermarket?


    If any of these thoughts are unclear please reply. I am having a hard time thinking coherently lately :P

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    Low Bitrate BenjaminS's Avatar
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  4. #4
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    Carnetix is building a product to power the Mini Mac (PX1900). According to mp3car.com mods it will be available at the end of the month in their store.

    Can't help you with the install but it sounds like you're headed in the right direction. Take a look at the FAQ in the car audio section (I think it's there, otherwise check the Newbie section) for a sticky about connecting your pc to your car audio.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    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

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    Thanks guys

    Hey thanks for the replies, glad to know someone has gone down my path before with success. The sound system in this mustang is aftermarket, there is a decent alpine deck and a rockford fosgate amp and speaker setup. I was going to take out the alpine deck and hook my mac mini directly to the amp. I read a few posts on here and it seems pretty simple. I also looked at the mini power link provided above and that seems simple enough but I think I may wait for the PX1900. I am not going to get the car for about a month anyway and then I have to buy and assemble the parts. I will post pictures throughout the whole process and am thinking of creating a webpage chronicling my adventures.

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    Reviving an old thread, hoping for a reply. Do you guys remember how the temperature on your A/C controls is operated? Is it vacuum, cable, electric etc.? I'm doing a custom dash in my 89, and I want to get rid of this manual cable, partially so I can control the A/C with the computer later. If you guys can help, I'll know what years to look for in the bone yard.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by J's89 View Post
    Reviving an old thread, hoping for a reply. Do you guys remember how the temperature on your A/C controls is operated? Is it vacuum, cable, electric etc.? I'm doing a custom dash in my 89, and I want to get rid of this manual cable, partially so I can control the A/C with the computer later. If you guys can help, I'll know what years to look for in the bone yard.
    I believe it's vacuum. My AC wouldn't work for the longest time, and then I realized one of those little hoses was unplugged. I plugged it back in and it worked again. It was a vacuum hose.
    2006 Rav4 + iPod, still CarPCless

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