Hi, I'm from the UK and this is my install...
Where to begin....
Last November '07 I decided that I wanted a new ICE system that could deliver every conceivable gadget to my motor. After an age of trying to find a system that would work well I decided I just had to install a CarPC.
Having never done anything like this before I spent the next month drawing up a shopping list and planning every little detail, even where wires would run best to prevent static build up.
Jan '08 saw the arrival of mountains of gadgets from various companies. So many boxes that I struggled to fit them into my spare room. Great I thought, that's the easy bit, now I have to build it all!! :shock:
So here's a step by step run through on how my little project has come along so far.
After measuring various compartments in the car I realised I wanted to fit the PC into the glovebox. I considered fitting in in the boot like other people have done, but I wanted to keep everything looking as smooth as possible. First step was to butcher an existing PC case and fit it snuggly into the removed glove box:
Cooling was going to be an issue, so some vents had to be made:
And the fan fitted:
Next came mounting the m/board, M2 ATX PSU, Hard drive and internal soundcard:
I chose to hang the hard drive from the lid, that way it gave it some suspension. As you can see, this left plenty of room for air to circulate:
Next came powering it up and loading all the software, which included HHH datalogging and Roadrunner amongst other things that I will go into later:
At the same time I was working on the boot install. As previously described I wanted everything to look as smooth as possible, so I decided to go for compact and well fitted. First off, cut a facia board for my 8" sub:
Then add the sub enclosure and test for a fit. The calculations I had to do for this box were mindnumbing, due to the lack of right angles and varying dimensions:
Next thing was to create a space for the whopping 1700W 4.1 amp that would power the sub and the existing speakers:
And finally finish it off in grey carpet to match the boot and fit. As you can see the enclosure took up very little space:
Now that the boot was done I could concentrate on the cockpit. Firstly out with the old (yuk):
I placed all my fuse holders behind where my screen would go, as this was easy access if they ever blew:
I hacked away at the existing facia, and slotted my 7" touchscreen into place. Here it is halfway through being fitted, and modelling the excellent datalogging software:
As you can see, the finished and fitted screen isn't as smooth as it could be. There is a very good reason for this though. I wanted the screen so that I could unclip it and mount it in the passenger area whenever I needed to. That way the wife can watch films while we travel without me getting distracted. The pics show how descrete the bracket is, and although it's hadr to see, the last photo shows the screen removed from the dash and in front of the passenger:
So once the screen was in I mounted the gloevbox and began working on all the wiring. No pics for this stage I'm afraid as it is far too boring. Here is the PC fitted though, and the GPS receiver:
And to add some more gadgets to it I also fitted a rearview camera that automatically switches the screen display when reverse gear is engaged:
And that is pretty much it for now. Below is the PC Spec for anyone that's interested:-
Mini ITX Jetway C7D 1.5Ghz m/board
120GB 2.5" Harddrive
Windows XP Sp2
Linitx 7" touchscreen
Bluetooth enabled keyboard (the small black pouch in the glovebox)
GPS BU353 dongle
Autoroute 2007 software with satnav function
Reverse camera with infrared nightvision
Halo Hybrid datalogging cable and software
Spare USB attachments.
I'm toying with the idea of fitting a mouse where the ashtray is, so watch this space, but that is pretty tiny compared to everthing else that I've done.
All in all it's been an excellent project, and one that I've throroughly enjoyed. My initial budget was £600, but the total cost is closer to £1100. When I was halfway through I realised there was no point in doing it half-cocked, so I said sod it and pretended the bills didn't matter.
The sound is superb and the computer runs like a dream. It is so cool to have over 1000 tracks at your fingertip and be able to do so much more than just listen to music. Transformers in surround sound in the car is absolutely awesome!! :twisted: :twisted:
So guys and gals, what do you think?
P.S. sorry the car is filthy, cleanliness has taken second place to this project. But now it's pretty much done I can get her back up to show standard.
Is this where the witty comment goes?97 Black pearl Mazda Miata MX-5 Carpc V2? maybee..
Just a quick update on this guys. I found it tricky to use the touchscreen while driving so I chopped up an old trackball and moulded it into the old ashtray. After a bit of filling and painting, this is the finished result. It works like a charm and is nice a subtle.
sweet install...nice design and execution on the glove box install!
Here in Portugal we have great weather, lots of brunnets, party a lot,drink a lot....
Quick update on the CarPC guys 'n' gals.
Completely rewired the speaker cables to upgraded 2.5mm and 4mm high grade OFC cable, as I was getting some interference from the crap stuff I used before. I also replaced the stock speakers with some nice new shiny ones, Vibe Slick v2 - 240W from the fronts and 480W from the rears. They fitted in nice and snug, with only minor modification to the rear housing needed.
I don't get to drive the car so much anymore, so the battery can tend to die after a week or so. The drain on the battery is down to 2 things, firstly the alarm and secondly the PC on standby all the time.
In order to tackle this I've installed some L.E.D switches where the active aero switches used to be. I don't use active aero as I only have the rear and it will have a negative effect if not used in conjuction with the front, so I decided to use the space and leave the aero switched dangling out of sight...
As you can see, there are 2 switches. One is a master switch for the CarPC, so I can switch off the power to the PC completely when the car is gonna be stood around for days on end. The other benefit of this is when you only move the car 10 feet, it stops the PC booting up and you having to wait around before you can switch it off again (and it also stops mechanics getting confused when they want to turn the music off :wink: )
So what is the other switch for you might ask? Well, the alarm was still using up too much juice from my battery, so to tackle this I've installed a solar panel.
I know there are some sceptics out there about this technology, and some people will say they are useless and coudn't power a flea's ipod, but I have done the math, and checked it with my multimeter and it is kicking out enough juice to lengthen the discharge time considerably, it may even be powerful enough during the summer months to provide a constant trickle charge. With solar panels, the size is important, but I didn't want to obscure my rear window with one big enough to power the PC outright. The one I grabbed from Maplin is decent enough to kick out the power and small enough to fit snuggly under my spoiler when looking in the mirror.
These solar panels are only designed to be connected to your battery when you are not using the car and then taken off when you go to drive it. This is far too much hassle for me, hence the reason why I fitted the second switch, that way I can technically disconnect the current at the flick of a switch. I can't see it causing a massive problem if it's left on, but thought I better play it safe.
You really can't fully appreciate this project until you try and get to grips with all the wiring and extra hiddens bits and bobs. My aim was to keep it looking clean and uncluttered and I think I've managed to do that.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the ICE in my car now.....hmm what next
HEY MAN, That solar thingin really inspire. Nice project.