2007 Mazda 3 Dash Screen looks OEM
Shame on me, I haven't been active in quite some time. Over the summer I moved from Michigan to Florida, sold my Protege 5 and just bought a 2007 Mazda 3 hatch back. Things have been busy and I've been doing a ton of research on the screen topic.
I did all kinds of searching for a factory navigation screen to see if I could get a picture of the output cables and/or pin-out diagrams to see if the factory screen could be convereted in to a PC-compatible screen. After tons of searching I found a product that was nearly identical and costs half the price. There were a few catches to an out-of-box setup.
First, the screen is a DV Media M3 Pop-up screen for Mazda 3. It fits 2004 - 2007 (2008 models haven't hit the showroom yet so no word on the 2008). Here is a link to a site that sells them: http://thexenonstore.com/mazda3_screen_info.php
On my last carPC project I went through many screens to try to find the right fit. I wasted alot of money and time and ended up with a screen for Digital WW that worked...... when it wanted to. My wife hated it because it never worked properly. After much effort I was able to convince her to let me spend the money on it providing that I had the screen installed by a car-audio place.
I purchased my screen from a local importer here in Tampa (who also happens to sell them on eBay, click here to check out their eBay items). This screen is the definition of plug-and-play in terms of ease of installation. Taking just two screws off the factory dasy and swapping vents this screen was nearly ready to go. What about the wiring? That was even easier. It comes with a harness that takes your factory radio plug and creates a pass through cable so the factory plug powers both the radio and the screen. Once I saw how easy it was to install I skipped the car-audio shop.
I installed the unit, test to make sure the RCA input works. Excellent! Now, here are my two cons to this screen.
1.) This screen has no VGA inputs. It takes only RCA input. This isn't a huge deal because most VIA boards have RCA-Out. If not, a VGA to RCA adapter is about $10.00 on eBay and provides the same results.
2.) This unit is not a touch screen. This is a huge issue for most people. Thats when I contacted eBay seller Mobile And Solid who specalizes in adding touch overlays to existing screens. He sold me a kit for $50 to add a touch screen overlay to my standard screen.
It took me just an hour from complete disassembly of the system to fully working touch screen. I'll admit, my first attempt wasn't exactly perfect. I accidently had some double sided foam tap touching the sensor part of the overlay so when you plugged it in the mouse wouldn't work. After correcting that by removing and reapplying the tape things works great.
I put the screen back in the dash and tested everything out one last time before calling it complete. At this stage the screen is 100% working, both video output and touch screen. The only down side is I don't have my carPc installed. In my Protege 5 I had a trunk mounted system and I intend to put the carPC in either the glove box (its huge in there, thats where the factory nav setup goes) or under the passanger seat.
I've been comparing different setups and need to do some measuring and more reading before I make my final selection. It's important not to rush things and make the best possible decision. I learned the hard way the first time around and this time everything looks top-notch professional. I've attached some photos from The Xenon Store of the screen. I will be posting pictures of my setup and work log to my website very soon so everyone can see videos and detailed explinations.
One thing I know people are going to ask is about the audio. The Mazda 3 has aux ports on the radio OR you can add a Aux jack to a Mazda factory radio using the factory bay inside the head unit. [url="http://www.sylfex.com/products/AuxMod/basic-installed.jpg"]See here]/url]. From here the only thing left if putting the PC in and hooking up the wires.