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Thread: New here...setting up a Mercedes car PC install

  1. #1
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    New here...setting up a Mercedes car PC install

    Hey everyone, I'm new here and thought I would introduce myself and tell you about the installation(s) I'm going to do to my car(s). The first one will be in my 1995 Mercedes-Benz C 280 and the second one will be in my 1999 C 280 Sport that I will be replacing my 95 with next month. The one in the 95 will be sort of temporary, but somewhat pretty and the one in the 99 will be a full-on concealed and relatively permanent installation.

    For this project I will be using my Gateway 450SX4 laptop. It's a P4 1.6 GHz with 512 MB of RAM. I will use a power inverter to run this item and the turn on will be via a switch or button (haven't decided yet) soldered to a phone cable that will trigger the power-on through the modem port on the laptop (this has already been wired up). I will be using the MP3Car MTS12000 touchscreen motorized monitor for human interaction and a 15w Opus power supply to power the monitor. Later on I will add a wireless keyboard and mouse in there. For now, I plan on using the DVD drive that came with the laptop in a USB enclosure mounted in my center console. Later, I will replace it with a slot load model. I also plan to do XM or Sirius via the pc later on. For sound in the 95 I'm going to use a Sony tape adapter (tried it out the other day and I can live with it for a while). In the 99 I will also use the tape adapter until I can recoupe the $630 something dollars I've already spent on this thing, then I will by the fiber optic interface that plugs into the CD changer port and outputs to RCA (it's something like $250). Someone on here had mentioned he was able to wire the tape adapter up so no wires stuck out of the front, I would really like to know how that's done. MP3 will be via Winamp and DVD via Intervideo WinDVD 6 Platinum (reccomendations on this stuff are welcome). Lastly, I will run GPS via a Holux USB antenna, but I haven't decided between Copilot and Destinator/MapMonkey yet on the software side.

    I plan to start this installation this upcoming Fri. and work on it and hopefully complete it through the weekend. My friend and I (who is also a member on here) will take detailed pics of our install this weekend and the new one in a month or so to hopefully help others out in the future or at least give some ideas. I'm looking forward to further posts with the members here. I've been trolling for a couple of days now and you all seem very helpful and the FAQ's were great!

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate FociMan's Avatar
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    Sounds pretty cool. I would defo look into powering the laptop from 12v if possible through a ciggy adapter. Running an inverter can introduce altinator whine into the system.

    Just a thought...
    FociMan

    Ford Focus Collection
    EPIA M10K / 512Kb / Creative Audigy NX USB
    8" touchscreen
    D-Link USB Radio
    USB GPS Mouse
    Bluetooth GPRS Web Connection
    Centrafuse Beta2 / MapMonkey

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    Long Island
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    Hey welcome to the board! You seem to have a lot of "newbie" questions already answered through some research on the boards.

    First and most inportant, as far as interfacing the sound via tape adapter....I took a quick look at Blitzsafe's website, and YOU ARE IN LUCK (or so it appears). Blitzsafe is a company that makes an adapter for various makes and models of cars OEM headunits (including your C-class). Basically, it tricks your car into thinking that an AUX cd-changer is plugged in to the headunit's AUX port, but giving you stereo left and right RCA inputs instead, allowing you to send ANY SOUND to your car's HU (all you have to do is switch your input to cd changer, read your mercedes manual for more info)

    http://www.blitzsafe.com/blitz_appgu...tion_Guide.pdf
    ^That's the application guide (Need Acrobat Reader). Check page 7 for compatible mercedes models.

    http://www.blitzsafe.com

    Edit: On the power side of your setup, just consider that running a USB enclosure for a slim CD/DVD drive will require external power...
    '03 Acura TL PC FINISHED!!
    MP3CAR

  4. #4
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    Sounds pretty cool. I would defo look into powering the laptop from 12v if possible through a ciggy adapter. Running an inverter can introduce altinator whine into the system.
    I'm going to try this inverter first and then if I get alternator whine I will look into that. I had already read that in the forums so I am prepared for that. Like I said, these forums are full of good info. Thanks for the advice.

    First and most inportant, as far as interfacing the sound via tape adapter....I took a quick look at Blitzsafe's website, and YOU ARE IN LUCK (or so it appears). Blitzsafe is a company that makes an adapter for various makes and models of cars OEM headunits (including your C-class). Basically, it tricks your car into thinking that an AUX cd-changer is plugged in to the headunit's AUX port, but giving you stereo left and right RCA inputs instead, allowing you to send ANY SOUND to your car's HU (all you have to do is switch your input to cd changer, read your mercedes manual for more info)
    Yeah they have one for the 1994-1996 models, but my installation in my 95 is only temporary so I'm not going to spend the money for the CD changer Aux port in that one. The only one I found for the 1998.5 and up Fiber-op systems was over $230. So I'm gonna wait a bit for that purchase. As for the power for the enclosure, don't they normally come with two USB male ends attached to them, one for power and one for data? My friend has a Firewire enclosure for a laptop drive and it has a stup like I described and works perfectly. Maybe I'll have to see after it gets here. I will investigate further into the blitzsafe stuff. Thanks. You guys are really hlepful.

  5. #5
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
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    There's no good reason to use an alternator when DC input is available. It adds an additional point of failure, and many inverters need to be power cycled on the unit themselves. If you just turn power on and off to them externally, lots of them see it as a power fault.
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
    http://hallert.net/

  6. #6
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    There's no good reason to use an alternator when DC input is available. It adds an additional point of failure, and many inverters need to be power cycled on the unit themselves. If you just turn power on and off to them externally, lots of them see it as a power fault.
    How would you go about powering the laptop then without me tearing up my exisitng AC adapter? I really don't want to do that if I can avoid it.

  7. #7
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
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    FociMan nailed it when he suggested you get a car adapter for the laptop. Something like this:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...779126508&rd=1
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
    http://hallert.net/

  8. #8
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    FociMan nailed it when he suggested you get a car adapter for the laptop. Something like this:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...6779126508&rd=1
    I guess I could get one of these and cut the adapter end off so I can hard wire it to the fuse box. What we were planning to do was buy a female to male extension cord for a cigarette lighter and cut the male end off and hard wire that to the fuse box and then plug the male end of the inverter into that so I wouldn't have to tear up my inverter. But this could work too, I'll definitely look into it.

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