05 RX-8 custom fab install (motorized flip-up screen)
I own a 2005 white RX-8 and I've been using my custom made carputer for a while now. I wanted to have a motorized touch screen but the OEM nav unit price could not be justified. I figured I could fabricate my own for less. I wanted to make sure to keep the OEM look. So here are the details in brief :)
I programmed a PIC microchip to handle opening / closing the LCD screen when the car is turned on / off using a servo motor. I tapped into the touchscreen's button panel to control turning off the LCD panel when the screen is closed, and turning on the LCD panel when the screen is opened. The board is also hooked up to a button in the ashtray which can be used to open / close the screen once the car is started.
Plexiglass computer case:
Cut some plexiglass to form a box large enough to house the mobo, wireless card, HD, power supply, fans, and future low profile video card. Cut out the necessary holes for the mobo back plate, wires, fans, etc. Glued it together using a solvent meant for plexiglass. Mounted the mobo and powersupply on brass mounts. Installed the fans and HD. The top part of the case can be opened for servicing.
Motorized flip up touch screen in dash:
This part of the project took the longest. I bought a center dash piece from my local mazda dealership and carefully cut an opening on the top, saving the cut out piece to be re-used. Bought some abs plastic sheets and fabricated the base of the dash unit to mount the LCD unit into. I used the abs plastic and lilliput bezel to also fabricate the LCD screen unit. I re-used the cut out dash piece for the top of the LCD screen unit. Glued and smoothed everything together and then primed, sanded, spot puttied, and painted the units with SEM texture and trim black paint.
After completing the dash piece the ashtray went quickly. I took apart a 7-port USB hub and fabricated a mounting plate using some very thin plexiglass. The mounting plate was necessary to mount the unit in the ashtray and keep the unit in place while withstanding the force of inserting external USB devices into the ports. The face of the ashtray unit was fabricated with abs plastic and holes were cut for the 4 usb ports, an audio input jack, and a button which is used to open and close the LCD screen. Once glued, I then primed, sanded, spot puttied, and painted using SEM texture and trim black paint again.
The unit has 4 ports on the front and 3 in the rear. The 3 rear ports are all being used for the car2pc unit, touchscreen usb, and the slot load dvd drive.
Basic carputer stats:
BioStar micro ATX mobo w/ Geforce 6100 and PCI-E
AMD Turion MT37
80gig WD low profile HD
BU-353 USB GPS receiver
Belkin usb bluetooth adapter
DSATX power supply
PCI wireless card
Lilliput 7" touchscreen
7 port USB hub in ashtray
slim slot load dvd-r cd-rw in glovebox
Mazda Car2PC adapter
Created my own wires w/ molex connectors for running power from the trunk to the front. All wires (USB, VGA, audio out, audio in, power) run from the computer in the trunk through the center console. The main 8awg wire from the battery runs through the wiring harness boot on the drivers side and along the door sills to the rear, and then into the trunk. The main ground is grounded to the chassis in the trunk. I tapped into the 12v fused accessories line at the fusebox near the clutch and ran a wire from it to a switch in one of the blanks and then back to the DSATX power supply acc in. This allows the computer to be turned on / off while the car accessories are on.
Here are some select pictures of the fabrication and final install: