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Thread: 2006 HUMMER H3 in-dash computer

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    DuPont, WA

    2006 HUMMER H3 in-dash computer

    Update 3/6/2008:

    Added voice control!! I spliced into the OnStar mic to keep the cabin clean. Just plugged it directly into the mic input on the mobo. Mic works great for both OnStar and the computer. Made a script to create voice tags for my whole iTunes library. So now I can say, "play <artist>" and it will make a playlist of all songs by that artist. Also can give navigation commands from any screen, like "find gas", or "go home".

    Had problems with the HDD freezing this winter and refusing to operate. Replaced the standard 100GB seagate drive with a Seagate EE25 80GB. Hated to spend more for lower capacity, but the extreme temp ratings made all the difference.

    Also replaced my DSATX power supply with a M2-ATX. The DSATX was refusing to shut down on occasion and draining my battery, and even starting up spontaneously in the middle of the night. I think the firmware got corrupted, but didn't want to deal with it. I miss the features and controllability, but the M2-ATX seems to be rock solid. Only thing I don't like is that it is slower to startup and shutdown. When I leave the truck, I have to wait about 5s to make sure it actually shut-down after I turn the engine off (I'm not ready to just trust it yet).

    Got rid of the TurtleBeach Roadie. It was causing too many problems. Just using the built-in audio and living with 2 channels (no fade control).

    The Xenarc display was also a poor choice. I didn't think glare would be too much of a problem up here in the PNW, but actually seems to be worse on cloudy and overcast days. Also, the image occasionally shifts right by half a screen width. It's pretty infrequent and cycling the power usually resolves it, but still a pain. Going with a nice transflective when I can justify the cost.

    In-dash Computer Install in a 2006 HUMMER H3

    Why? After reading all the great things other folks were doing in this forum I found myself unsatisfied by OEM and aftermarket nav and entertainment solutions. Some of the advantages of building this system include:

    1. Graphic design – It seems every other nav system is blue. Blue graphics look great, but unfortunately the H3 doesn’t have any anywhere else in the cabin, and thus looks out of place. So I designed an interface that made use of the yellow, red, and white colors that are used elsewhere. I also utilized fonts and other design elements from the HUMMER logo. In fact, I wanted something that looked more OEM than the OEM.
    2. Topographical mapping and tracking. I used TOPO! for this.
    3. Wireless synchronization of music database. In my driveway I just press a button to download any new songs from my home computer. It’s also used to update other software, including navigation maps.
    4. Sirius radio that shows what’s currently playing on all stations, and song info that isn’t limited to 16 characters (or some other small limit).
    5. Gesture interface. A quick an easy way to skip a track or change stations without taking my eyes off the road.
    6. No nag screen for the nav.
    7. Volume knob. Most nav system use push buttons for volume... I hate that.
    8. 0-lux backup camera. I used a backup camera with IR LED's to produce a clear image in complete darkness.
    9. Extra spotting camera. Installed underneath the chassis aimed at the front wheels, to reduce need for a spotter when off-roading. (coming soon)

    Intel Core Duo processor
    iBase MB899 mini-ITX motherboard
    DSATX automotive power supply for motherboard
    DS12V automotive power supply for amp
    Xenarc 7” LCD touchscreen 700TSV
    Mechatroniks chassis
    Alpine Sirius Radio tuner SIR-ALP1 with MithJS interface board
    Peripheral GMAH24B for retaining OnStar
    Phidget encoder (for volume knob control)
    Volume knob from stock head unit
    Backup camera
    GlobalSat USB GPS antenna
    Seagate 100GB 2.5” hard drive

    Windows XP Pro
    Road Runner - Thanks Guino!
    CFX skin as a base - Thanks b8bboi and Proximo!

    The rig:

    These two pictures show the completed install. Note the volume knob lifted from the original head unit, where it was used for tone control. The rubberized texture and color of the knob matches the other knobs in the cabin, such as the A/C and vent position knobs. I was also able to perfectly match the color and texture of the screen bezel with the plastic surrounding the A/C vents at the top of the picture.

    Here are some screen caps of the various functions:

    The startup screen. In the upper right corner is the clock and below that, “ONLINE” illuminates when I’m in range of my home wireless network. The icon on the bottom right is a button for synchronizing with my home computer.

    Selecting the WEATHER button above takes you to the current weather screen. It is updated automatically if online.

    It also features a 5-day forecast screen.

    On the main menu bar on the left, MEDIA is for the library of mp3’s.

    RADIO is for Sirius satellite radio. Currently there is no AM/FM radio, but I can add it if I ever feel I miss it (I don’t think I will). The FAV button on the bottom cycles through lists of favorite stations. The name of the list is at the top, “Jeff”. SAT: and TER: show the strength of the satellite and terrestrial signals respectively.

    Road Runner embeds the iGuidance program natively. I’ve used quite a few nav systems, and am pretty happy with iGuidance. It uses NavTeq maps, which I have found to be more accurate in my area, as opposed to TeleAtlas. When navigating a route, I can be in MEDIA or RADIO, and for each turn, it will automatically switch back to NAV, lower the music, speak the direction, and then return to MEDIA or RADIO when I’ve completed the turn.

    TOPO! integration works quite well, also. I had to make some custom AutoIt scripts to pull it off. The “+” and “-“ at the bottom are for zooming in and out. “TRK” will start plotting your position with a red line (example shown). “FIND” will pull up the screen that searches for landmarks. “OSK” is an On-Screen Keyboard for typing in what you want to search for.

    The backup camera is enabled whenever the truck is put in reverse. The Xenarc display has an AV2 composite input that it will switch to automatically whenever there is a signal on it. So I simply power the camera off the backup light leads. That way the camera powers up and provides a signal whenever I’m in reverse.

    Here’s an example of the image in pitch darkness... except for my backup lights and a lampost off in the distance.

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    DuPont, WA

    An inside look

    For an inside look... First the making of the bezel. I started with a Sosche GM1595 double-din dash kit designed for aftermarket head units, and then built it up with strips of ABS plastic to fit the 7” LCD, and put a panel on the left for knobs, buttons, LED’s etc. (As it turns out, I only put one knob, and a whole for mounting the LCD’s IR receivier).

    Added some Goop epoxy paste to build up the voids and fill in the cracks.


    Tested and practiced with SEM texture and paint on scrap until I got a perfect match with other parts of the interior.

    Then applied to the finished bezel.

    One of the trickier parts of the install was figuring out what to do about an amplifier. The “upgraded” sound system that came with my H3 consists of a smallish amp in the head unit and a Monsoon amp in the rear. The Monsoon powers all the speakers, not just the sub. I believe it requires a speaker level input, and thus I didn’t think I would be able to drive it from the soundcard output directly. The best solution would have been to replace the Monsoon with a line-level aftermarket amp and redo the speakers, but I came to the point where I needed to minimize cost and effort, so I decided it would be best to try to mimic an aftermarket head unit. However, I wanted to keep everything in the dash and space was getting tight. I was hoping to buy a small amp, but couldn’t find anything that would fit. Finally, I decided to go with a pair of AMP3’s from 41Hz. They are kits, so I had to spend a couple days putting them together, but they were cheap, sound great, and are very small. The pic below is of the 4x25W amp, and the dollar gives you an idea of the size.

    Here’s a shot of the finished system on the bench. The original head unit is on the left, the LCD and bezel in the middle, and the front of the new computer on the right. The motherboard is mounted on the bottom of the chassis, and the DSATX and DS12V power supply boards are mounted upside down above it. These power supplies are really great. A little spendy, but worth every penny. I’ve programmed the DSATX to put the computer in standby when accessory power is removed and keep the 5V supplied, so that the system is available immediately the next time the truck is started.

    Here’s a shot of the back showing a Silenx case fan (truly quite silent) and the 4x25W amp mounted. The hard drive is mounted on the bottom of the chassis, which was necessary to fit in the dash.

    Here I’ve mounted the computer and LCD in the dash. Originally I had mounted the LCD to the front of the computer like you’d expect in a single unit. However, I misjudged the depth of the dash space and couldn’t fit it. Luckily I was able to separate the two, and fit the computer vertically. This also made everything more secure than the original plan.

    The hard drive is mounted vertically so that up and down motions wouldn’t tend to drive the head into the platter. I was kind of worried the HD would need more protection, but recently I did about 4 hours of rough off-roading and it didn’t phase it. I even hit a dip hard enough to trigger OnStar to call Emergency Services.

    And that’s it in a nutshell.

  3. #3
    Newbie G_Ryda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Tastefully done... I'm wishing here

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    very nice work

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate breaker021's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Midtown Manhattan
    sweet setup dude. i wish i had the guts to rip apart my h2 and do an in-dash setup... oh well, using my tablet laptop is fine for me now ;]

    again, nice.
    - sh00k
    Duct tape and a Bandana for the win, b!shes!!!

    My Setup:

    Cost so far: Less than a grand ;]

    Economy/Commuter cars + Computers = many entertained miles

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate john05srt4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Nice.. my friend has an 07 h3..ive been trying to get him to do a carPC.
    10 acura TL tech
    10 BMW S1000RR

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    looks nice...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Sorry but can't see any pictures!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    H3 wiring diagram

    Hello there
    Where can I get the diagram for all the wires I need to connect to my CarPC in my H3?

    After taking out the built-in Radio, how did you figure out which wire goes ito your PC?

    Thanks In advance for your help


  10. #10
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    DuPont, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by haiminger View Post
    Hello there
    Where can I get the diagram for all the wires I need to connect to my CarPC in my H3?

    After taking out the built-in Radio, how did you figure out which wire goes ito your PC?

    Thanks In advance for your help

    The key is the Onstar adapter. I have the Monsoon system, so I needed the Peripheral GMAH24B. It plugs into the same harnesses that plugged into your stock head unit, and on the other end it provides a harness and gives a wiring diagram of how to wire up the 4 audio channels to your audio out. If you don't have the Monsoon system, then I believe you want the GMAH24. By the way, if you want a GMAH24 (non-Monsoon), I can sell one to you for $50... bought one by accident. Both have the same wiring diagram, which you can see here:

    The only other connection I recall is the RAP accessory signal I used to trigger my power supplies. For this I believe I spliced the yellow wire on the rear wiper control. I found this in the Elcove Hummer Forum in threads about after-market radio installs.

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