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Thread: Mactel Mini + Trailblazer '02 + FEAR of the newbie!

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Mactel Mini + Trailblazer '02 + FEAR of the newbie!



    I've decided to finally get around placing a Mac Mini on my SUV.

    Some important things I want to keep:

    1. I don't want to do a lot of surgery to the car. If I want to sell it later, I want to keep a MacMini installation that can be easily removed and hopefully leave no marks behind.

    2. With the above, a whole lot of problems arise!!!

    Here's what I have so far...

    a) I have not yet found anywhere on the internet a set-up of an Intel Mac Mini (These ones have "official" front row!) with a lot of step-by-step pictures.

    b) I started looking into set-ups and here's my shopping list...

    ----> Mac mini (1.5ghz, Intel Core Solo) $579

    should I go with a G4-based model at all?

    ----> Belkin Power Inverter (AC Anywhere™ F5C400-300W) $59.99

    300 watts should be enough to power the Screen and the mini.

    ----->Carnetix P1900 and P5V adapter.

    This is the SCARY component....do I need this at all? can the inverter take care of it? Is this compatible with the new Intel Mac mini?

    ----> Xenarc 700 TSV Touchscreen $250

    I don't really like it since my ideal set up would be to hide the monitor from the dashboard! I want to be able to use the monitor more as a tablet that has enough cable to be move around the passengers on the back of the car.

    Any ideas??? I am having a really hard time finding slim touchscreen lcds that could do this.


    -----> OPTION 2 ---> Mp3Car 8" 16:9 VGA\Composite Monitor with Touchscreen $260.00 (http://www.mp3car.com/store/product_...roducts_id=204)

    I think this one is NICER!

    ALSO..... I've done some research around and it is hard to find a slim LCD that has a decent contrast ratio, wide-angle view, brightness and dvi input.

    My PRIMARY concern is driving with the sun in my face and not seeing the screen.


    -----> BU-353 USB GPS (Waterproof GPS Receiver) $75

    ------> PowerMate controller /black
    ( http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...mate/index.php) $45


    OPTIONAL SCALABILITY:

    ****> USB Adapter for Cardbus Wireless Modem 3G Cards : U132 $189.99

    Verizon Wireless High Speed Internet!

    c) It is a nice thing to have 2 outlets on the front seats, 1 on the middle seat and one on the trunk.... this gives room for the inverter!


    QUESTIONS so far:

    1) Audio input. My trailblazer has an "AUX" port but not a built-in Audio out (like many new 2006/7 cars!).

    How hard is it to place an audio out port on it?? Anyone with experience?

    2) Would it be better just to use an FM transmitter? (I hate crappy interference!


    I a very interested in this project and will provide step by step progress and documentation as I go.

    I'd like to get some feedback on components before I commit $ on it.

    I'll keep you posted on any updates!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tizoc
    1. I don't want to do a lot of surgery to the car. If I want to sell it later, I want to keep a MacMini installation that can be easily removed and hopefully leave no marks behind.
    Keep in mind that you can do "surgery" in such ways that it will not likely be noticed when you resell it (i.e. behind panels, under consoles, under seats, etc..)
    a) I have not yet found anywhere on the internet a set-up of an Intel Mac Mini (These ones have "official" front row!) with a lot of step-by-step pictures.
    It should effectively identical to installing a G4. The only real difference (for our purposes) is that FR is included with the Intel.
    should I go with a G4-based model at all?
    Eh. Either will work. The Intel mini offers better support for virtualization (i.e. able to use most Windows Apps (without booting to Windows) at a reasonable speed). And FR is included if you want to use it, otherwise it's a wash for the near term.

    ----> Belkin Power Inverter (AC Anywhere™ F5C400-300W) $59.99
    ----->Carnetix P1900 and P5V adapter.

    This is the SCARY component....do I need this at all? can the inverter take care of it? Is this compatible with the new Intel Mac mini?
    These are redundant (unless there are other AC devices you want to power). There shouldn't be anything scary about the P1900 for you. Wire it in and hide it behind the dash, then when you want to pull the Mac out it will be easy to pull out. If you aren't comfortable installing it yourself, a good car audio shop will do it for you (just let them know you want to be able to easily remove it when you sell the car).

    I don't really like it since my ideal set up would be to hide the monitor from the dashboard! I want to be able to use the monitor more as a tablet that has enough cable to be move around the passengers on the back of the car.
    My Lilli came with a USB/VGA cable that is about 4' long. I would guess that the Xenarc would be similar. Unless you want someone in your 3rd row (I think the TB has a 3rd row, right?), if you have the Mini in the center console that should be enough.

    ALSO..... I've done some research around and it is hard to find a slim LCD that has a decent contrast ratio, wide-angle view, brightness and dvi input.
    Go look at the LCD forum. There is no good 12v LCD for this. The only real solutions so far have been build bigger backlight, but it won't be "handheld" for a few reasons then. They haven't figured out a good drop-in replacement yet (though they are talking about some transflective skins lately).
    1) Audio input. My trailblazer has an "AUX" port but not a built-in Audio out (like many new 2006/7 cars!).

    How hard is it to place an audio out port on it?? Anyone with experience?
    Check somewhere like Crutchfield or your local car audio shops for tips on this (the Audio forum here might be able to help too). Yours is old enough it probably has an adapter available.

    Hope that helps some.
    -dave

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