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Thread: My Setup - Anything Overlooked?

  1. #1
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    My Setup - Anything Overlooked?

    Here's what I have (on order):

    Mac Mini Core Duo 1.66Ghz
    CNX-P1900 Power supply
    MacPac Power Cable Kit
    Lilliput 7" display (629GL)
    WRX Bolt-on kit

    And what I have already:
    330 Watt Peak 4 channel amp
    WRT54G running DD-WRT w/kismet drone

    The mini comes today, but I have to wait until next wednesday for the rest of the stuff (ordered from mp3car) - even though I ordered at the same time and got the same 3-5 day shipping on both orders!

    Anyway, I'm going to do all the wiring with cat5 - everything but power. Mini in the trunk, mounted on the top of my trunk right on the other side of the pass-through for easy access to the DVD slot. I was thinking of putting the power supply behind the touch screen - but do you think I'd have any heat issues doing that? I also don't really know how big tyhat power supply is, and with that macpac cable I might need to have the power supply close to the mini.

    The WRT54G is set up as a kismet drone. It just happily capture packets all day long and passes them on to the mini, which will either be running kismet in crossover (if I can get it to work), or running Linux in parallels for kismet. Kismac doesn't support drones, unfortunately.

    The amp will also be in the trunk, with the outputs sent back up to the front of the car where they will be hooked up to the speakers. I guess if I want surround I'll need a new external sound card? I'm not even sure if my amp has 4 inputs, so I'll probably be stuck with straight up stereo with no "fade" control.

    So I think I've gotten everything taken care of. I need to draw up a wiring diagram to prepare for install. Can you guys think of anything I have overlooked?

  2. #2
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    Here's a wiring diagram. I forgot power to the router, but I'll just splice it out of power to the power supply.



    Red = + PWR
    Black = - Neg (GND)
    Blue = USB
    Puke Green = Remote (That one connected to the mini should be on the power supply)
    Green = cat5

    Do you guys think it's better to wire one power line to the trunk for everything, or wiring the amp and power supply independently? If I wire it all together, do I do two fuses, one before each unit, or one big fuse by the battery? Help me out here...

  3. #3
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    Plan on putting the PSU near the Mini. It's not too large. It fits in your hand. You just don't want to extend the wires all the way and the Mac pac wire also has to be extended. It will be easier to just bolt the PSU near the Mini.

    Don't know if Cat 5 will protect the audio output from noise, but you'll find out . It's easy enough to change to shielded RCA. Alternately, run a USB cable out of the Mini to the amp and plug a Griffin iMic into it. Then run a short output cable to the amp RCA inputs.

    You can get a firewave or I've heard that the USB audigy will also work, although there is no software control over it. I think that iamGnat uses one.
    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.
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    Amp Ground?

    I hope this drawing is not to be taken literally; your amp ground wire should be as short as possible. Never run the amp ground to the front of the vehicle, this can cause engine noise in your system.

    Less than 18" if possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Don't know if Cat 5 will protect the audio output from noise, but you'll find out . It's easy enough to change to shielded RCA. Alternately, run a USB cable out of the Mini to the amp and plug a Griffin iMic into it.
    Shielded cat6 should do the trick, and has the advantage of being uber cheap and I only have to run one cable for all 4 speakers back up to the front. In fact, I could probably just wire the rear speakers while I'm working in the trunk and not have to run wiring for them back up to the front.

    What is the advantage of the Griffin iMic over the Mini's built in audio card? I was planning on going straight from the mini's outputs to the amp using a stereo headphone cable split so that left hits both the front and rear channels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nvrau View Post
    I hope this drawing is not to be taken literally; your amp ground wire should be as short as possible. Never run the amp ground to the front of the vehicle, this can cause engine noise in your system.

    Less than 18" if possible.
    I actually didn't know that - but that's why I'm here! Thanks for the tip.

    I updated the picture above. I should be able to find a ground point in the trunk, ya? Just any clear part of the frame should work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gthing View Post
    Shielded cat6 should do the trick, and has the advantage of being uber cheap and I only have to run one cable for all 4 speakers back up to the front. In fact, I could probably just wire the rear speakers while I'm working in the trunk and not have to run wiring for them back up to the front.

    What is the advantage of the Griffin iMic over the Mini's built in audio card? I was planning on going straight from the mini's outputs to the amp using a stereo headphone cable split so that left hits both the front and rear channels.
    I don't know what gauge wire Cat 6 is, but make sure you check that it is the proper gauge to handle the power the amp delivers to the speaker. I suspect it is not.

    Also, one way to ensure you reduce engine noise is to ground to the exact same point -amp, mini, everything. Check the FAQ Emporium for a thread on how to get rid of that whining noise, or click the link in my sig to go the FAQ to the FAQ's. It's listed there.

    The advantage of the iMic over the Mini's audio card is that the signal will be digital all the way to the iMic. Only there is it converted to audio. That means you have less chance for interference. On the other hand, it costs $40 and Mini has sound built in. You can save that cost if you don't have interference in your system.
    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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    I see - I'm surprised because I always thought USB audio device were kinda crappy - introducing a whole new noise of their own.

    Anyway, I think I may try one of these out - it supports surround, so it would be better anyway.

    http://sewelldirect.com/usbtoaudio.asp

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    Well, I'm sure they aren't all created the same. I can only tell you that the iMic sounds at least as good as the headset output of the Mac.

    A real soundcard like an Audigy or a Firewave will be of higher quality than a low budget model, I'm sure.
    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

  10. #10
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    hey,

    Looking good, i have to agree with Bugbyte, i used a USB sound card be it a cheapo one, and had nothing but noise problems.

    i ended up getting a Firewave , no more noise, but it has its quirks. Not a bad soundcard but it loses its settings after shut down.

    If you plan on leaving Mini asleep its fine.

    Good luck

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