2007 Ford Focus ST Geode NX
I've been lurking for a while, but I couldn't start on my carputer because I didn't have a car (I was stationed in Korea and was not allowed to drive). Now that I'm back stateside, I can finally start.
Here is the list of parts for my carputer:
JetWay J7F3E-PB with Geode NX 1750 CPU
Sound Blaster Live! USB
DLink Wi-Fi PCI Adapter
60 Gb 7200 Rpm 2.5" SATA Hitachi HDD
SATA Power Adapter
15' VGA Extension Cable
16.5' USB Extension Cable
Slimline DVD Burner
Wireless USB Keyboard
Windows XP Home
Carnetix 5V 15W POL
Opus 80 Case
Ford AUX Input Adapter
- Lilliput EBY-701 7" Touchscreen Monitor
- Slimline CD-ROM USB Enclosure
- 512 MB DDR RAM (bought it retail, $5 difference is not worth waiting for a week)
- GPS receiver that came with MS Streets and Trips (had it laying around)
- Connectors and wires from Walmart.
- Hawking Technology 7 dbi Wi-Fi Antenna. Got it on clearance for $20. New!
I am using CF for front end and iGuidance for GPS navigation.
- move the power point and installing a USB plug in its place.
- external Wi-Fi antenna - done!
- stereo upgrades
- HD Radio (if one becomes available with a PC hookup)
The overwhelming theme for my installations will be KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
I decided to go with the Geode NX motherboard because Via CPUs are SLOW, and Mini-ITX Intel motherboards are EXPENSIVE (not to mention the CPUs). This motherboard/cpu combo is an absolute steal at NewEgg. And yes, it does come with a CPU.
Even though my car has a double-din radio, I will be mounting the monitor externally and using an AUX adapter to connect it to the radio. Here is why:
Advantages of a built-in installation:
- clean, "stock" look
Advantages of an external installation:
- less money (no need for an amplifier)
- easier (though it would not be too hard since I have a full double-din opening)
- the monitor can be swiveled to offset the glare
- the monitor can be removed easily
- I get to keep the volume control knob
- my wife said so :)
I will be updating this post as the project progresses.
Case with the motherboard and HDD installed:
Well, I've completed the carputer about two months ago, but didn't have a chance to update my post. Finally, I've gotten off my lazy *** and updated my post, as well as finished my carputer.
Here's what I had done before today:
I've installed the carputer and placed my sound card up front. For some reason it would sometimes produce a hiss when computer woke up from hibernation. Plus I had to lower the sound quality to keep it from "popping". I think all those problems were because I was using the "active USB extender" plus a USB hub.
Here's what was behind my glove box before:
I also couldn't get the back panel off, so I ended up putting some vecro on the bottom and just laying it in the trunk:
Today I finally decide to finish my carputer. I moved the sound card to the trunk and connected it with some Monster cables to the Aux adapter. It sounds great and works properly now!
I also got the back panel off (nothing an Exacto knife couldn't deal with) and installed the carputer the way I wanted it to. It is finally complete!!!
Here's some pictures.
The screen on the dash. Notice the white sticky tape holding the screen mount, the tape that comes with the monitor is worthless:
The antennas in the back:
The carputer in the trunk:
Closeup of the mounting bracket before I put in in the car: