running wiring around and good connections, etc
i'll admit that i suck at wiring, splicing and soldering and/or whatever i'll need to do, in order to install my planned pc and monitor.
i've never messed with the stock audio in any of my cars, so i don't have that kind of baseline knowledge to install this.
i can confidently get the pc and all periphials running on a bench, using a nice ac-to-12volt pwr supply.
i would like to take the working pc to some car audio shop to install, so here are my questions:
1. what are some smart questions to ask on the phone, when i call around, to gauge competency, etc? or should i make a site visit?
2. what might be a general hourly rate for a cleveland suburb, so that i feel confident that i'm not being wrung out?
3. would an installer allow me to stand around and help make cable route decisions,etc during the install? what would be the best way to phrase that request?
4. is there anything i can do before arriving to make it easier on the guy?
thanks in advance!
Hi Michael! I managed an install shop a few years ago before moving on to more technical things. To help answer your questions, I need to ask a few more...
1. What is it you are hoping to get installed exactly? Not so much the system specs ... but the items to install. Motherboard size (more importantly case size). I assume that since you have your PC running on the bench that you have your case and screen running. So, PC, cabling, screen... Amplifiers?
2. What vehicle? Have you decided where these items are going to be installed? Or leaving that to the installer? Depending on the answer to #1, is the PC small enough, or the car large enough to install everything in the dash or center console? Or are you doing a trunk install
3.Will your screen be fabricated into your dash? Or surface mounted? If this is left to the shop to do you are a bit more limited. Some shops won't touch this kind of custom work. They may do some fiberglass/bondo work for speaker/sub enclosures... but screen installs take a bit more 'custom' mentality that some shops just don't have. The ones that do typically charge more as well.
You mentioned the "ac-to-12volt pwr supply", so I deduce that you have a complete 12v car-ready system together. The limitation I think you will find is that even great car audio installers are not necessarily great PC technicians. You will definitely want to make sure whoever you have install your system is fluent in both.
In my opinion, if youre able to assemble/wire your system on a bench, you are capable of installing it yourself. The only part that may proove difficult is the screen installation because as Grey mentioned, it may require a great deal of fabrication. That said, I originally wanted to have a shop install my first system simply because I didnt/dont have much free time to tinker do to my job. I ended up doing it myself because everyone that I spoke to either was too afraid to do it or wanted to charge me more than the cost of the system to install it. The install was much easier than I thought it would be. Excluding the fabrication of the bezel, the install took only an afternoon.
EPIA CN - Ampie Case with M1-ATX
nope... i believe there is a difference between "benchtop cobbled-together" and permanent install in my car.
Originally Posted by Disefyl
at least i hope so! - i'm looking at a river of wiring here.
grey, my system is an EPIA CN running xp with 1gb ram, in Ampie Case with M1-ATX and a powered usb hub. i'll add a surface-mount 7" lilliput, or something smaller if i can possibly find it.
it's all going in an '05 325i. i'm happy with the stock audio... bluetooth and sirius, so no integration needed there.
just looking to mount the case, run wiring between the psu and case and then surface mount the display... and he's done!
he'll have experience with the distrib panel and suitable fuse protection, i guess. and then hiding as much of the wiring as possible.
3 hours? 4 hours? a-squared hourly prices will be similar to westside cleveland suburb prices, so you might have some pretty good insight, grey!
thanks to everyone who responded!
Beautiful car. Do you have any kind of auxiliary audio input in there? I just tried to google the 325i, but couldn't find anything. Otherwise you would have to do some kind of FM modulation. Or did you have something else in mind for the PC audio?
I guess while we are on the subject, what are your goals for the carPC? (nav, music keg, video, etc.)
I would guess if its just a simple wire run job, it really shouldn't be billable passed 2 hours... maybe 3. Its been a while since I've been in a shop, but a few years ago you could expect $50-$100/hour for a decent reputable shop job. depending on the customization needed (if any). I'd be surprised if that's changed much.
If you have a free weekend and don't mind the drive, you are welcome to come up this way. We could get it installed for you in an afternoon and that would give you first hand experience with it. The wife isn't really into this stuff, so any chance to talk shop is welcome lol.
oh gosh, grey... or should we call you 'blue-n-maize'
Originally Posted by Grey
that is such a nice offer, especially extended to an ohio guy!
---- off topic alert ---- for our friends reading this around the globe, ohio and michigan are neighboring states and have a BITTER american football rivalry, stretching back more than 100 years.
moreover, grey has no idea that i moved to ohio from auburn hills, michigan last fall - unless he works for google there in ann arbor... in which case he may know more about me than i'm comfortable. his profile says he lives in ann arbor, the location of the university of michigan, whose school colors are blue and yellow. --- topic resumed ---
easy, easy goals... nav and wlan access only, via a sprint mobile pccard. no music, as cleveland is fm radio classic rock heaven! plus sirius during commercial breaks. i've ordered garmin for pc.
pc sound is not an issue, except for boot post sounds, maybe. oh, hell, i forgot about garmin street names, etc. i can use a usb speaker for that, maybe.
thanks for the offer, brother. my wife could care less, too... which means that i would not be allowed to make that great roadtrip unless EVERY honey-do around our house was completed to her satisfaction. and they ain't. not at all. not even close.
so i could use that long distance advice... trunkmount seems too hot/cold prone? there is a powerport back there, but seems a long way to run wiring. my changer and sirius is back there, so maybe it's just fine. i have all of that power crap under the seats, so trunkmount seems inevitable?
i can't believe this...
grey, i answered all of your questions about 6am thurs, clicked on 'submit', and it STILL hasn't shown up here. crap crap crap. i did see a sentence that my post will be reviewed, but 13-14 hrs later, it's still being reviewed,i guess.
it was several paragraphs long, too. crap crap
i even teased you for offering to help an ohio guy... if any of your UM buddies got wind of that, you might be forced to move outta town!
and then i mentioned that i moved here to ohio from auburn hills last fall, but you had no way of knowing that, so your nice offer shows your true class! go blue!
anyway, i'll have to decline... MY wife would object, unless all of her honey-do orders were all completed, on time and under budget. and they are not... not at all
i think there may be an aux port, but maybe not. i'm old, and cleveland's got great fm classic rock stations, so i don't have a need for an integrated mp3 player. just garmin mobile pc and a sprint wwan pccard for firefox.
maybe a usb speaker for the garmin, when it speaks 'turn here', etc.
so my needs are small.
heck, i'm tapping this using a stylus on an hp tc1100 slate. 1200ghz 2 gig memory. it came with a factory dc adapter and a 12 inch screen, and i really don't use it much anymore. i should just mount this sucker! i have the factory frame mount in a closet somewhere. it has a heavy base to sit on your desk with a dvd in the base, and a bunch of extra usb ports, but that base unscrews.
hmmm maybe my troubles are over?
i found and fell in love with the lilli bezel, sold by mybimmer.net but what a huge job, to move everything aroundin the dash. whew.
i think i'll try mounting this slate first, just to see if what it's like to have a pc in my car. i'm sure i'll get hooked. and have a wreck!
again, thank you for the kind offer, brother!
well, i measured... and there is no place big enough to surface mount the tablet.
so i'm back to square one.
i'll order a 2008 lilliput and i'll be able to mount that easily.