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Thread: 2005 Mariner Planning phase: Questions

  1. #1
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    2005 Mariner Planning phase: Questions

    I am in the process of planning out my mac mini installation and had a few questions for everyone out there. I hope you can help.

    1.) My Mariner has a a built in factory amplifier as part as my premium Mach stereo system. It sounds really good, but do I need to install an after market one to have it work with an intel mac mini. Does anyone have pictures or a diagram for this type of setup?

    2.) Is the FireWave really needed now that the new intel mac mini have 5.1 surround sound.

    3.) Other than the touch screen display, how do you guys adjust the sound level etc, on your speakers.

    4.) Is there any voice activation software for the intel Mac OSX?

    5.) Is RadioShark really the only option for AM/FM on Mac Mini setup, it seems like it would be relatively simple too add radio functionality.

    6.) Does anyone know of a USB adator for PCMCIA cards? I was thinking of using a wireless networking card with the mac mini.

    7.) Would there be any degredation of sound or speed if I was to keep all of the music on an external harddrive.

    8.) Does anyone have a preference in powered Hub?

    Thank You Guys So much for Your Help!

  2. #2
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karterius
    I am in the process of planning out my mac mini installation and had a few questions for everyone out there. I hope you can help.
    I have an 04 Escape, so hopefully my input is helpful.

    1.) My Mariner has a a built in factory amplifier as part as my premium Mach stereo system. It sounds really good, but do I need to install an after market one to have it work with an intel mac mini. Does anyone have pictures or a diagram for this type of setup?
    I know an aftermartket harness finally came out for the 01 - 04's last year, I don't know about the 05 though. You can check www.escape-central.com (ask in the Modification forum) as that is a really great resource for Scapes, Tribys, and Mariners.

    My own advice would be to ditch the MFG Amp and go with a real one. I thought my Mach sounded great, until I put my new system in.

    2.) Is the FireWave really needed now that the new intel mac mini have 5.1 surround sound.
    You have to have something to change your output from one port to 3. Either a USB/Firewire sound "card" or an external Optical to Analog converter.

    3.) Other than the touch screen display, how do you guys adjust the sound level etc, on your speakers.
    Depending on how much you want to put into it, you *could* use your steering wheel controls. They are on your CAN network, and if you search back there is a CAN interface that works with Macs (in fact one uses the FTDI chipset and FTDI will send you the beta Intel driver for their USB->Serial interface if you ask them).

    There are also aftermarket kits to use your MFG steering wheel controls with head units. Depending on the interface, you might be able to get it to talk to the Mac.

    Since the 05 was the first year with steering wheel controls, I have plans to build a bluetooth based control that i'll mount in my steering wheel. But there is so much dust on that project right now it's embarassing...

    6.) Does anyone know of a USB adator for PCMCIA cards? I was thinking of using a wireless networking card with the mac mini.
    Ummmm....They come with AE cards built in.
    But yes there is such a beast, but I don't know if there would be any driver issues as i've never looked into them.

    7.) Would there be any degredation of sound or speed if I was to keep all of the music on an external harddrive.
    That depends on the drive. In theory no, but if it is a slow drive or prone to spinning down then you can get periodic lags. Make sure that the drive is a 2.5" laptop drive rather than a 3.5 as they are less at risk for failure in a car environment.

    -dave

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