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Thread: 2007 FX35 Carputer

  1. #1
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Talking 2007 FX35 Carputer

    Edit: I went for a completely different solution then those on these first posts:




    Following the trend on this forum, I should start with a picture of the car too:





    More a couple of posts below. So yes, I am building a carputer on my FX!


    Original post:


    Actually this thread should have a "?" in the title. I'm not sure I'm going with a carputer on the FX. The main reason is that I'm finding difficult to find a spot to fit a 7" touchscreen LCD somewhere in the dash. And I would like to be as much close to OEM as possible, but I have don't have much talent at all for fabrication (although I may be willing to learn, if I have a good, interesting idea to play with).

    This 07 FX 35 is pretty much loaded, with NAV and Sat Radio. I just want to add a way to fit my 170Gb+ of music plus some fast growing collection of music videos. So what to do? I'm tired of burning mp3 cds, and worse, managing them all!

    Today I've made a couple of tries with the LCD I took from the M35 Carputer project. I can't mount it on the windshield in CA, it's against the law.

    Update: This maybe be changing though:

    Just this week Mr. Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that was put forth earlier this year that will legalize windshield GPS mounting once more. Granted, stipulations are present, but at least you won't be forced to point your retinas down at the cup holders in order to see your navigation system after January 1, 2009. In the new year, drivers in the Golden State will be able to suction their GPS unit in the "lower 7-inch corner farthest away from the driver or in the lower 5-inch corner closest to the driver." If you go pressing your luck and throw it smack dab in the middle, be prepared for whatever fine you're due.
    (source)

    However, I don't want cables dangling from the windshield. Heck, I can't tolerate cables from Radar detectors, not to mention a big fat VGA cable dangling in front of me. So I thought about this spot. It does not impede much of my view from the road, as you can see below.

    Here's some pictures (ignore the wrench, it's just to balance the thing). I'm going to use RAM mounts adhesive with a suction cup adapter to fix this thing to the dash/speaker grille (link).





    This is from the driver's eye level:





    Note that I would color match the rear of the monitor with the dash, also I would pass through the cables using a whole in the speaker grille. It's a $8.32 part, so I'm not concerned about ruining it. I think it's the cheapest part in the whole dash!

    I also considered fitting in the clock assembly, but the gear lever would impede the view in some angles. And it would be too much away from view to be useful, perhaps. Also that clock assembly is a very expensive part, so as the overhead console. I could try to use the glass holder to mount the LCD there (I think it will work like that in the Sequoia) and build some sort of fiberglass surroundings to make it look stock, but at around $800.00 if I'm not mistaken, I won't touch it for now (Toyota's part are much less expensive, it's just plastic, what gives?). If I find a used FX overhead console on ebay, then that will be a different story!

  2. #2
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Now, this is a different way of mounting it at the same spot. This time I'd use a steel bar and would leave more of the speaker cover showing, with a minimal open for the support -- most of needed opening diameter would be for the VGA+power cables. Nevertheless, the overall impact would be less, I think, than using the plastic LCD mount. However, I would lose any adjustability, which for me is less important.

    Again, I would paint the rear of the monitor black to match the dash, and also wouldn't use the red plastic cover to hide the support and the cables.






    This is just of course a try out. I did this in 20 min.
    I could really lower it up to the stock monitor, but that wouldn't look as good, I think. But that way it wouldn't obstruct the view, unless you're a very short police officer and try to lower the seat all the way down... ;D
    All this to get OBD information and access 500GB of media files (mostly videos), etc. Since the car has NAV, XM radio, mp3 cd player, there's not much else for the computer to do as far as entertainment goes. But to access my huge collection of digital files is a must. Internet in the car is also cool, of course, specially in a road trip. Nothing beats the internet to find exactly what you want, be it a restaurant or a hardware store. Not to mention google, google earth and youtube, they're a topic of conversation by itself.

    But we'll see. I have so many projects for the Sequoia, I think this one should be relatively easy, given my familiarity with the Infiniti systems. I'd use a mini-ITX motherboard and a very small case on the glovebox or under the seats. Will see.

    Opinions? Will it look tacky? It can't be worse than a radar detector, a cellular holder or a GPS mounted on the windshield, can it? I don't know, that's why I'm asking. ;D

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    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Well, some progress made. I manage to yank the overhead console out and have already cut it out. Scary. I'm still on the process of sanding it though. I also had to move my screen insides upside down, so that I can put the frame upside down and save some inches of clearance. The buttons are a waste of real state anyway, never used them when the monitor was in the M.

    The monitor insides had to be all rearranged. Delicate balace there not to stretch any wires or damage the touchscreen panel. Some dremel here and there, folding some flat cables the opposite way, done!



    Actually it was not that simple. There was a cable creating some pressure points on the touchscreen, so the cursor was stuck in one corner. I had to open it again and figure out another way, and then it worked fine.

    I hooked up to my HTPC for testing and it worked! ;D






    This is part called "main console assembly". Pretty soon after this picture is done, I completely ruined it... ;D



    Test fitting:





    Keep in mind these were taken just after cutting, with no sanding at all!

    Now I tried to do some color matching with the console. It's been hard to find an exact color matching with texture. I brought the part to Homedepot, they said they could color match anything, but I had to get a spray bottle ($5.00) to spray it, and it wouldn't be textured, I would have to create the texture somehow.

    Will see if that color will work - it's slightly lighter than stock. What's the alternative? On my black interior FX, the overhead console is the only thing in beige. If I'm not successful here, I'm thinking about paiting it all black, what do you guys think? Will it look odd? Why Infiniti chose beige, to match the headliner only? Humm, I guess I've just answered that myself!

    I wonder if a body shop would sell something to me? Maybe I should just give them the parts and open the wallet? What's the fun in that? ;D


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    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Here's some updates:









    What do you guys think? Color match? Not really, but there's some errors and tiny mistakes here and there, so I'm not sure, I think I should take it all off and sand it again and again, and paint it again. But I'm getting tired, I think I'm going to wait and see how I feel it.

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    Hey RipplingHurst ever thought of replacing the factory nav screen with the xenarc then using a RGBS to vga adapter to send the factory signal to the xenarc? That way you can switch between the factory screen and the Carpc on the same monitor. I bought a RGBS to vga adapter that works great in my accord but I have yet to try it on my QX56.
    Nice install by the way, I might have to copy your install if the RGBS adapter does not work in the QX.


    Here are some pics of the RGBS coverter in my accord.










  6. #6
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalt View Post
    Hey RipplingHurst ever thought of replacing the factory nav screen with the xenarc then using a RGBS to vga adapter to send the factory signal to the xenarc? That way you can switch between the factory screen and the Carpc on the same monitor. I bought a RGBS to vga adapter that works great in my accord but I have yet to try it on my QX56.
    Nice install by the way, I might have to copy your install if the RGBS adapter does not work in my QX.


    Here are some pics of the RGBS coverter in my accord.









    That would be a cool idea, you can get everything onto 1 screen. Isnt the nav screen touch though also? wouldnt he loose the ability to touch?
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    That would be a cool idea, you can get everything onto 1 screen. Isnt the nav screen touch though also? wouldnt he loose the ability to touch?
    I don't think the 07 fx35 is touch but i could be wrong. I was able to keep the factory touch in my accord since it's done via IR instead of a glass panel

  8. #8
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Very interesting, well done! Kinda late for me, now!

    I tried before the other way round, to send the carputer info (then on my Infiniti M35) to the stock screen. This is the thread (VGA to RGB adapters). I spent so much energy with that, bought and returned two adapters, one from Australia, lost a lot of time and money in the process, that I gave up on the alternatives. Specially since I found out that Infiniti/Nissan screens are very picky, others with similar equipment that I bought (owners of Fords, Mazdas, Acuras etc.) have had success. These were my conclusions:

    It seems that indeed my car is unique in that the display does require a rage of .4 to -.4Volts for the video signal. This also goes for the 2008 G37s, and the 2007 G35: it also requires this unique negative signal level. Idem for the 2006 G35.
    (link)

    The 2005 G35, though, wants RGB signal level between 0 and .8. I also checked the 2007 FX35 service manual and, although externally the screen looks about the same, the signal levels are much more standard, 0 to 1 Volt. So the 2005 Gs and the FXs all share the same screen, but for some reason Infiniti "upgraded" the others.

    Why such a difference? What would be the advantage of a lower range of video signals, even one that included negative signals? Noise issues? Reliability? I googled a lot, and either one find TTL level signals (some CGA monitors, industrial panels) @ 5V or standard ISO-XXXX ranging from 0 to 1 or 0 to .7V. Not once I've something ranging between -.4 and +.4V. Only Infiniti (Xanavi (owned by Clarion) are the makers on the back of the LCD).

    I could have, but I didn't tried further with the FX. I wasn't confident it would work.

    Yes, the 07 is not touchscreen. Please, tell me if your solution works on the QX, I'd love to know if that will work on the Infiniti. I may use that on my Sequoia too, who knows?

  9. #9
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    And where you bought that CGA to VGA adapter, kalt? Any link?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RipplingHurst View Post
    And where you bought that CGA to VGA adapter, kalt? Any link?
    Here is a link to the adapter. I will let you know how it turns out once i try it out on the QX.

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