2010 Dodge Challenger install
I have just purchased a new 2010 Dodge Challenger after my nephew begged me to sell my 12 year old 4Runner to him (will get his license in a few days). I'm excited to have a new car and equally excited about installing a CarPC into it; it's something I've always been interested in, but have never attempted. I've been doing some research for a while, but a few things aren't quite clear to me in how they should be handled, and I was hoping for some advice if I post what I have my mind so far.
I have the factory, 6 speaker Boston Acoustics audio system in the car, along with the REN (double-din, non-navigation head unit). In my mind, there isn't enough room on the dash for both a head unit and a touch screen, so I have decided to completely pull out the factory double-din unit and replace it with the 7" Lilliput EBY701 that I purchased from the mp3car store. Additionally, I purchased a double-din after-market stereo installation bracket (Metra 95-6511 Chrysler/Jeep DDIN 2007 Dash Kit). I have gone back and forth in my mind about completely removing the head unit, but I didn't see any other way to feasibly install a touch screen and retain a factory look. This is unfortunate, because it would have made getting audio from the CarPC much easier.
Since the Dodge Challenger uses the CANbus system for factory audio, I also purchased a "PAC C2R-CHY4 Radio Replacement Interface for 2004-2009 Chrysler Vehicles". While I haven't received this unit, I'm hoping this will allow me to utilize the factory amplifier (powered on via CANbus) with my car computer.
One thing I'm unclear on at this time is the best way to interface the PC itself with the PAC C2R-CHY4 unit. The cleanest thing I have come up with so far is to purchase a small amp, such as the Eclipse EA4200 4 channel amplifier to accept RCA inputs from the CarPC and then feed the PAC interface from the amp. If anyone knows of some better way to cleanly take a mini-stereo output and feed it into the raw wires on the PAC C2R-CHY4, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
The specs on the CarPC:
ZOTAC IONITX-F-E Intel Atom 330 NVIDIA ION Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Western Digital WD5000BEVT 500GB 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive
M2-ATX DC Power Supply
Probably running Windows 7 for navigation software reasons, but I'm a Linux guy at heart.
The battery and fuse box on the 2010 Challenger are actually located in the trunk, which means that it should be easy enough to wire the PC and the amps with juice while leaving most everything out of sight and safe in the trunk.
What am I looking to accomplish with the CarPC:
Customizable interface (probably the main reason I want a CarPC)
Music Storage (have a ton of well-organized mp3 files) and I really don't like the Factory MP3 system
Video (not really something I would use much of, but nice to have I guess)
Camera system (backing up is difficult in the Challenger, so a camera would be welcome)