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Thread: Scion tC Behind-the-lid setup... My 1st built in setup. Opinions?

  1. #1
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    Scion tC Behind-the-lid setup... My 1st built in setup. Opinions?

    Ok so this is technically my 3rd ever setup, but first all-inclusive. My first setup was in an explorer with a laptop in the backseat hooked up to a popout liliput pop out display. The motor eventually broke on that from the fact that explorers bounce... ::Snap!::
    2nd project was the Scion tC(2005 w/ Bazooka sub, used car) but i had a laptop in the trunk wired to my stock sound with a Xenarc mounted off my glove box(I fell in love with the stock 6-disc changer when i changed the color of it and changed the startup name...) Well i'm finally moving on!

    At the moment I've got on the bench(yes i realized some of it was overkill):
    Spare center dash piece off ebay - ~$60
    Zotac GF9300-G-E Mini-ITX - ~$130
    (bought through work, which gave me the same price as newegg after rebate and with free shipping ^.^)
    Pentium Dual Core E6500 2.93Ghz - ~$90
    2x2GB DDR2 800Mhz SuperTalent RAM - ~$80
    Samsung 320GB Notebook SATA Drive - ~$70
    Xenarc 705TSV - ~$300?
    (Was originally mounted off the glovebox with the included dash mount)
    Random spare PSU for testing(Benched at 60W(idle)/70W(memtest) with a generic 1U server power supply, switched to 50W/60W when using one of those 80Plus "Green" power supplies, WAS going to get a M4-ATX, now I think i'm'a just find a 160W DC PSU now)

    I picked this hardware so I'd have the ability to customize it if something didn't work the way I wanted. Like Win7 x64 Pro was a godsent on this system(playing Aion on my 32inch bigscreen with the motherboards built-in HDMI), but I had difficulties getting RideRunner to co-operate. And as I write this in retrospect I figured out why... Because the issue followed to XP, so I may wipe and restart this for another Win7 attempt. At the moment my Softwareside is:
    Win XP x32
    RideRunner - Just updated to the Jan2010 Release
    Latest Winamp
    Have chosen iGuidance so far for GPS, but haven't bought it yet. Kinda waiting till last minute.
    ~8GB of mp3s
    ~1-2GB of (mostly)720p Music Videos

    I plan to include video of the install and design process after i get the last measurements from the dash and decide on the PSU and figure out what AMP to get. I'm a bit rusty on the audio side of this, and improving on the stock radio isn't really my goal, but if it happens i won't complain. That's probably one of the two places i need the most guidance. Advice for fiberglass/bondo on getting the stripped down xenarc display in place?
    And what kind of amp should I get? On the amp side, I regularly end up with computers, school papers/books/bags in my trunk, which was making me think something small i could attempt to fit in the space in the dash with the computer, but I figure that might be a bit warm and a bad idea too, next thought was sticking it under one of the bucket seats? Kinda trying to avoid rerunning the speaker wires or extending them to the trunk-space. This way if something goes wrong with the whole setup, or I need to resell the car for any reason I can just swap back to the spare center dash piece and the stock 6-disk radio without having to rewire the car back beyond removing some power wires.

    After I get my measurements I'll figure out what Heatsinks to get to upgrade on the system. The hottest part so far is the graphics/chipset chips heatsink, and even that's not bad. Was planning to grab a heaksink tower for the CPU and try to track one down for the chipset. Then toss on a couple low-speed/noise Noctua(Quietest i've ever used) fans on each side to ensure some sort of airflow. If i figure out what i need to this week/end, I'll likely start the install next weekend.

    All advice is welcome.

    ==Edit 1/10/2010 12:14PM==
    Switched the system back to Win7 Pro x64 this morning, modified the themes that had issues last time(I like 1024x768... but no one else does...) which was the same fix i had to do in winxp. Which resolved an issue i'd been having in XP when playing videos(vlc) where RR would crash switching. Was able to increase the odds by fast-forwarding through them(in xp). Also got my measurements so i'm working on the layout and things to get it in there safely.

    ==Edit 3/28/2010 8:27PM==
    Pix at
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...9&l=26fcfdda45
    Anyhow, got the screen and computer in, having an odd shutdown issue I need to resolve, sound is going to be started on this week with an Alpine MRP-F300. So I literally can watch things, but not hear them at the moment lol My system needs a reinstall, I jumped the gun on opportunities to get the computer and display in and still had alot of my bench testing stuff on there mixed with some misc toying around, so it can be a little slow at times.
    Also plan to wire up a switch to change power sources and a power outlet for a notebook-style AC-DC power brick so I can run the computer overnight in the garage for syncing and updates and such without killing my car battery.

  2. #2
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Overkill is always better. It insures your setup will not become obsolete. I decided to go with the GF9300-I-E. It has enhanced graphics, and has amazing over clocking. I think it supports faster FSB also. I think its $20.00 more then yours. i am going with a core 2 quad though. I cant wait to see how your project has turned out.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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  3. #3
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    Ya agreed, originally when i ordered mine the I model wasn't out yet. Though comparing specs, I can't find a difference beyond apparently having raid 0/1/5, i picked the G model at the time 'cause it was 1333mhz, included the wifi and the video chip. I thought about the quad core for it, but was more concerned with the temperatures and figured the programs wouldn't be fully quad-focused anyhow.
    Thanks to my attempting to save some money(and not buy a dremel) i haven't gotten aroudn to finishing the install, and i haven't even had the free time to go find and pick an amp, was hoping for some opinions here on it but i guess i picked an underused section of the forums for that.
    Scion tC '05 - Installed --But still setting up varying features.
    Computer SW - Tiny7, RideRunner + Garmin

  4. #4
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    I agree with the heat issues. My install though has cooling fans up the @$$ so its not an issue. No the I-E also has alittle more power for the graphics card. Its very important to me since I am pushing alot of screens.

    I bought a cheap ebay wanna be dremel and it broke like in a week. I then spent the money on a Dremel and after 4 months it broke. Then I stopped using it and just the other day I decided to see if it works and it worked perfectly. Dremel is most def the better way to go.

    Amp wise, I would go with the Alpine 4.100. They produce less heat, and they are stable and very small. Not sure on your sub situation, but I only have 1 sub (im not a huge bass head) so for that one I went with a Alpine 1.600 which is the same size as the other amp and stacks ontop of that.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  5. #5
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    Ahhh gotcha, missed the clock speeds on the card. Incase the 9300 drove me nuts was the exact reason i picked out something with a PCI-e x16 slot.
    If I were doing multiple displays I'd probably just pickup a Matrox splitter for it since for basic car needs that should be fairly excessive. But yea if I was 100% on that $20 making that kind of difference I'd be right where you are.

    I'm still trying to decide on the amp, I know i've got an amp in the box with my stock sub, and i'm still trying to get my mind to switch from computers/servers/electricity back to audio. Not working too well.
    Scion tC '05 - Installed --But still setting up varying features.
    Computer SW - Tiny7, RideRunner + Garmin

  6. #6
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Just to chime in on the audio stuff-- there are a couple of class d fullrange amps(what zx1 is talking about). Alpine has the pdx series, jl has the HD series-- all are very small, very powerful amps(though a little pricey too). There are other brands that also make them, I just can't think of them now...

  7. #7
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    Just to chime in on the audio stuff-- there are a couple of class d fullrange amps(what zx1 is talking about). Alpine has the pdx series, jl has the HD series-- all are very small, very powerful amps(though a little pricey too). There are other brands that also make them, I just can't think of them now...
    The Alpine and JL are the ones I always see. i remember there was another one too. Supposedly they are $550.00 on their websites, but I see them on Ebay for about $250.00.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  8. #8
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    Ya so far I think I'm leaning towards the Alpine PDX-4.100/150 models. What I'm thinking is running my 4 FB/LR channels through that and connect it to the computer, and just run the sub off it's personal amp and connect that to a 5th channel from the computer. I need to check on some wiring on that though, but still hoping to find the Alpine PDX-4.1x0 a bit cheaper then I have been so far.
    Scion tC '05 - Installed --But still setting up varying features.
    Computer SW - Tiny7, RideRunner + Garmin

  9. #9
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    Well my latest updates for everything.
    I've been uploading my pictures to facebook because I can just do that from my phone.
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...9&l=26fcfdda45

    So far I've had issues converting the Xenarc 705TSV for dash use, so i caved and ordered the premodded EBY701 model from mp3car, which arrived with 2 dead pixels and apparently a company policy that says I need a third before they'll do anything to help me. So aside from being overly ****ed with mp3car, since the pixels are about an inch south of dead center of my screen, I've got things moving. Took out the original hu and also came up with a mounting method for attaching the motherboard facing the opposite direction from the screen on the stock mounting bracket. Also cut up a little box for the M2-ATX and my notebook hard drive(thank god) that just sits on top of the airbag sensor box ziptyed to some support bars in the dash on either side. Wired up the m2-atx to the existing radio wiring for power, I'll go back later this week to get sound hooked up I ran out of time this weekend.
    As for my amp, I went with the alpine mrp-f300 which seems to fit under my seats, i just need to run power to it from the battery and try to interface it into the radio wiring harness.

    I think i'm running into an interesting scenario either with my radio electrical, my mobo, or my M2-ATX, I have it set to the recommended "A" setting on the jumpers, which when powered down should press the power button and give it a minute to power down before cutting motherboard power. Well my motherboard sounds like it's just shutting down right on the spot and then after a couple times of this happening, I start getting my "Windows was shut down improperly" warning(Win7). Checked the motherboard, in BIOS it's set to 4 second delay for forced off, Windows is set to sleep/hybrid sleep on power press, and the m2-atx is in a spot I can't double check from when I initially set it up down there. My thought is maybe ACC is wired the same way the CIG/IGN wires are and it's cutting power? I didn't have the full time for testing on this I wanted, and I still don't now since mid terms are about to begin and HW is about to repile back on. I'll get my chance Tue/Wed when i'm working on the sound to try and figure it out at the same time.
    Scion tC '05 - Installed --But still setting up varying features.
    Computer SW - Tiny7, RideRunner + Garmin

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