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Thread: '07 Miata Audio Conundrum

  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    '07 Miata Audio Conundrum

    Hi all,

    Getting sick of the Pioneer nav unit I replaced the BOSE HU with, and I've been thinking of finally putting a carputer in my 2007 MX-5. The actual screen and computer part are pretty easy. My dilemma is what I need to do in handling the audio...

    There is an 8in woofer in each door as well as 5 80mm mid-highs (L/R/C/rearL/rearR) powered the BOSE amp. You see, the real problem is that the amplifier is almost completely inaccessible- like, totally buried in the rear end and an absolute monster to remove. I'd rather eat a railway tie than attempt it.

    So, since replacing with an amplifier with optical is out of the question, I am left with a whack of +/- inputs to the amp, as well as the necessary 'amp on' signal line.
    What is the best way to go about connecting the speaker lines to a PC?

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NH
    Posts
    616
    Welcome. As an owner of a 2010 MX-5 Grand Touring with a freshly installed carpc, I'm sure I can help!

    The factory bose amp is actually line level. If you buy a metra dash wire kit and solder the speaker wires to rca ends and plug them into a sound card you will be fine, I know, I'm doing it.

    If you want to remove the amp or just not use it, you are in for a world of hurt. I did the bosectimy on my 2003 mx-5 and it is a ton of work and cost. The NC's don't have direct replacement speakers for the bose system as it is .5ohm and clearwater doesn't make them for the NC.

    I have been back by my amp a few times as I installed a custom 8" ported box(I'm a soft top.. hard tops can't have the box). The amp isn't THAT hard to pull out. The hard tops probably are difficult though.

    I could blab for hours so hopefully I have answered the question you had. Let me know if you have other questions as I likely have dealt with it recently.

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmcdlrn View Post
    Welcome. As an owner of a 2010 MX-5 Grand Touring with a freshly installed carpc, I'm sure I can help!

    The factory bose amp is actually line level. If you buy a metra dash wire kit and solder the speaker wires to rca ends and plug them into a sound card you will be fine, I know, I'm doing it.

    If you want to remove the amp or just not use it, you are in for a world of hurt. I did the bosectimy on my 2003 mx-5 and it is a ton of work and cost. The NC's don't have direct replacement speakers for the bose system as it is .5ohm and clearwater doesn't make them for the NC.

    I have been back by my amp a few times as I installed a custom 8" ported box(I'm a soft top.. hard tops can't have the box). The amp isn't THAT hard to pull out. The hard tops probably are difficult though.

    I could blab for hours so hopefully I have answered the question you had. Let me know if you have other questions as I likely have dealt with it recently.

    Nice to hear from another Miata owner!
    The research I've done so far suggests RCA ends- I figured the community might have some magic, so I asked. Looks like occam's razor wins again.
    Any chance I could get a list of the equipment you went with and the install locations in the car?

  4. #4
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    May 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NH
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    616
    Sure.

    Be warned that although it is installed, it is not done. I'm currently in the ironing bugs phase. Right now I'm dealing with some ground loop and magnetic field issues. I should be able to resolve them I just haven't gotten a chance to try yet.

    To be honest, my list is short as I made a lot of stuff myself.

    Lilliput EBY701 with mo-co-so transflective upgrade and optical bonding (don't leave home without it in our cars my friend)
    Asus Eeepc 1005HA upgraded to 2gb of memory and 7200 rpm HD. (soldered a wire to 5v rail of usb and one to the power button. These connect to my arduino circuit. More later)
    Pwr+ Car Charger for Asus Eee Pc
    GlobalSat BU-353 Waterproof USB GPS Receiver
    2 of Metra 70-7903 Radio Wiring Harness (stole pins from extra for my steering wheel controls)
    Scosche MA1532B 2006-Up Mazda DIN With Pocket and Double DIN Kit
    Sound Blaster MP3+ USB sound card (this was from my first built 5 years ago so I'm sure it is not around)
    OBDLink SX & DashCommand software
    Staples 7 port USB hub
    Cheap 12v - 5v step down for powering USB hub.

    I made a fairly intricate circuit based around an Arduino Nano to do all sorts of stuff. It does my startup/shutdown control, translates steering wheel presses into serial commands, monitors ambient light and adjusts backlight brightness on my screen, turns on and off a power Mosfet for accessories and monitors dashlights and roof switch. It communicates back to the computer where I have a VB.net app I wrote to do all sorts of other stuff.

    The Arduino circuit is in a project box behind the screen.
    The sound card is under the project box behind the screen but will be moving as the dimming MOSFET creates too much EMP so when the backlight isn't at 100% there is a hum to the cycle of the backlight PWM. I haven't decided where I'm moving it yet.
    The USB hub is right to the left of the glove box. If you remove the box, there is space behind the knee vent.
    OBD2 is by steering column with a right angle extension cord.
    Laptop is under passenger seat
    laptop charger is under console in front of shifter (I'm 6spd... don't know about AT)


    NOW! If I were to start from scratch with nothing, I wouldn't likely go with the laptop. The benefit of the laptop is the battery(mine just sleeps and resume time is shorter than the stock bose radio started playing radio). The drawback is the difficulty of controlling it. Also, you have to put it someplace(I know you have to place something someplace).

    When I started the project I had an Eeepc with a blown keyboard and the bybyte frame was either the frame or for a pico ITX or whatever. The pico ITX mobo's were very expensive and under powered. I decided to go the laptop route. They have since come out with a model that will hold a more standard MINI-ITX mobo. These boards are much cheaper and there are a lot more options to choose from. I would probably go that route. All-in-one. Also, my arduino circuit was fun as heck to build but very complicated (for an amateur). The #1 reason I did it was for my steering wheel controls. There are other options available for that.

    So, all that to say, feel free to follow my footsteps as much or as little as you like and feel free to ask me questions. Not sure where you are located but here in NH we have been getting some good weather... hope you get some too!

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