Finally Done: 2006 Scion tC
Finally finished my car computer today in my 2006 Scion tC. I'm not one for flash, so the only way you would ever be able to tell I have anything in my car is by seeing the screen. With the tC center console cover down, you can't tell that anything is different about this car.
First step was replacing the foam inserts under the rear carpet with wood enclosures. I built up boxes to the exact shapes and sizes of the foam parts, sanded and painted. I use the far right box for the amp, and the insert in the spare tire for the computer. Black wooden covers go over each of those to add support to the trunk, and the carpet goes on. Past that, you can't tell that anything is there.
So the path of control for the computer goes like this:
I have a Matrix 10 alarm in my car, and the trunk release isn't used for this car. I use the trunk release output of the alarm to turn on the computer via a relay in the trunk. Boot time is about 15 seconds, so I can hit it while walking to my car, hop in, and it's ready. I originally had the screen turning on like this also, but the screen is not powered by the computer, so it can't stay on during ignition because of the voltage drops. Simple momentary push button solves this, and I like being able to turn the screen off and on when I want anyway.
Computer is a 1.4GHz AMD Geode with a Jetway mini-atx motherboard. 1gig of ram, GPS dongle, 100GB 3.5" hard drive, and best of all, Sound Blaster SB0350 sound card.
Here is where it gets sexy. kX drivers. Crossovers and tweaking are all done here, and I'm able to assign each output port of the card for individual tweeters and woofers.
Front end software is Centrafuse, which gives me access to my entire music library, videos, some mixer effects that I dont really mess with, GPS software (using iGuidance through Centrafuse), and all sorts of other nonsense.
Sound card outputs go directly to my Planet Audio P400.4 amp, which has all filters bypassed. Planet audio amp powers RE XXX mids and ID NX30 tweeters in the front doors.
Video output goes to a Lilliput 7" touchscreen mounted in the center console. The worst part of this entire project was making the screen look as stock as possible. I made a mounting bezel out of lexan, sanded and painted. In fact, I made about 10 before I got it right. I took other pieces of lexan, and mounted the electronics behind the screen. Screws go in from the sides of the center console, and the screen sits right where I want.
The whole project from planning to finish took about 6 months and cost probably too much, but I'm not exactly sure how much. Either way, I'm ecstatic at how much control I have.
Pictures coming soon...