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Thread: CarPC install in 2008.5 Mazda 3 5-door GT

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate jarred's Avatar
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    CarPC install in 2008.5 Mazda 3 5-door GT

    The Mazda 3 is a great car, but I didn't want to spend the $2000 plus for the factory navigation unit. I've had computers in my last two cars, so I decided to "geek my ride." This was a pretty straight forward install, as I used the factory head-unit for amplification.

    Now, on to the computer install. I used a Navigation popup chassis from this site: http://www.japanparts.com/db/partsli...aker=8&volkey=

    The components used in this install are listed below, some of these items are from my previous installs:

    Mazda Pop-up Enclosure - $200 - Used on Ebay
    7" Lilliput LED-Backlit Monitor - $231 on Ebay
    CPU: IntelD945GCLF2 $85.00 - from Buy.com
    VoomPC2 Enclosure $69.00 - from short-circuit.com
    OS: WinXP Pro SP3 - $100.00 OEM from local computer store
    Hard Drive: 120gb 2.5" Toshiba - $59.00 from local computer store
    Memory: 1gb 533 DDR2 - $20.00 from local computer store
    Frontend: Centrafuse - $129.00 or Roadrunner $Free
    Mobile TV: Slingplayer - $149.00 Slingbox from Amazon.com
    HD Radio: Directed Electronics - $49 Ebay
    GPS Software: Iguidance 2009 - $89.00 Semsons.com
    GPS Receiver: Holux USB - $39.00 Semsons.com
    Keyboard: Mini USB - $19.00 MP3Car.com
    Remote Control: Macally - $25.00 Ebay
    WiFi: Dlink WUA-1340 - $19.95 Fry's
    EVDO Router: Cradlepoint CTR500 - $149.00 3GStore.com
    EVDO RevA Express Card: Novatel V740 (provides Internet via Verizon Wireless) $Free with 2yr Contract
    Main Amp: Factory Bose - Came with Car
    Subwoofer Amp: Crunch Powerzone P500.2 - $79.00 Fry's
    Sub: JL Audio 8W6 - $80.00 Local Car Stereo Store
    Stealthsub enclosure - $110 MazdaForum Group Buy
    Blood, Sweat, & Tears Installing - Priceless

    Pictures Below:

    **Overall View - Centrafuse Main Menu**


    **Closeup of Centrafuse Main Menu**


    **Trunk showing Sub Amp and VoomPC2. I had to trim the plastic for the two units to fit. The cool thing is I have full access to my spare tire, and do not loose any cargo space**


    **Trunk with cargo tray installed. I had to trim the cargo tray to fit around the amp and computer.**


    **Trunk with floor installed showing JL Sub in Stealth Enclosure**


    **Another trunk shot showing Cradlepoint Router and Dlink Wifi**


    **HD Radio and USB Hub in Glovebox**


    **Trunk showing sub amp before cleanup**


    **Trunk shot showing amp and computer before cleanup**


    **Glovebox removed, and showing firewall passthrough**


    **Firewall passthrough closeup as shown from engine compartment**


    **Firewall passthrough closeup as shown from passenger compartment**


    **Interior showing center top and glovebox removed**


    **New center top with pop-up cutout**


    **Testing monitor in pop-up tray before installing**


    **Showing GPS puck in pop-up tray**


    **Interior showing rear seat removed**


    Applications

    **Pandora**


    **IGuidance 2009**


    **Slingbox running fullscreen showing DirecTV DVR Menu**


    **Slingbox showing virtual remote**


    **Slingbox running fullscreen**


    **Slingbox running inside of Iguidance 2009**


    **Internet Explorer**


    **Roadrunner using FX skin main menu**


    **Roadrunner using FX skin Weather**


    **Microsoft LiveSync (Previously called Foldershare) - I use this to sync my music and talk radio recordings. This works both over the Wifi and EVDO.**


  2. #2
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    Wow.. Looks cool, eh.. Though I suppose you are working on the captions for all these great pics?

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate jarred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sil180sx View Post
    Wow.. Looks cool, eh.. Though I suppose you are working on the captions for all these great pics?
    Captions added...

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    Well I must say, it surely looks good.. The majority of the people here it seems they are more into custom fabricating panels, mainly because allot of other vehicles have no foreign counterpart to source a screen housing.. Looks like a really good install preserving the OEM parts on the car.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate jarred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sil180sx View Post
    Well I must say, it surely looks good.. The majority of the people here it seems they are more into custom fabricating panels, mainly because allot of other vehicles have no foreign counterpart to source a screen housing.. Looks like a really good install preserving the OEM parts on the car.
    Yes, it's getting harder and harder to keep the OEM look when putting aftermarket gear in your car.

    From the looks of the next Mazda 3 coming out in 2010, I don't think it would be very easy to install a CarPC.

  6. #6
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    Looks great, though I would disagree with room being taken up in cars. Some makers don't integrate radio controls with HVAC like many Japanese companies tend to do and while they may be ahead of the curve slightly, only the upcoming Hybrids and other Mazda cars have this problem.

    For many it just takes an upgraded bezel or housing, such is the case with Dodge Calibers which is why I am considering one -



    You could have saved $149 and went with Orb which is free to download and use. It streams anything you want from your home PC. I have to tell it to turn-off Media Center Services on my PC to watch Live TV on my G1, but other than that I can watch anything linked via folders to my PC at home.

    I also feel you could have done a better job in hiding the WiFi gear, it sees through fabric and plastics, mounting it behind panels isn't an issue.

    Again great job on your install and I love people that are not afraid to work on their brand new cars.

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    Wow.. The 2010 Mazda 3 dash is really gonna be hard to work with..

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    Nice Install!!!

    Wow, Nice Install! Putting the slingbox in looks really cool, and is tempting, as I have the same DVR and remote

    I have to agree with the WiFi post above. You have such a perfectly clean install, but the WiFi and router looks like ya kinda just stuck em there at the end of the install hehehe.

    I Would love to see a daytime picture of the dash from the backseat, showing the monitor in the pop-up / full dash.

    BTW, if you are using the DFX skin, you may as well go into the Skin Settings screen and set up the logo, Progress Bar, BG Color, and Font Color to match the dash colors / gauges




    Front End of Choice: Ride Runner (Is there anything else??? ) & Powered by the DFX5.1 Skin Available in the Mobile App Mart

    My Fiero Build Thread

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate jarred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djfourmoney View Post

    I also feel you could have done a better job in hiding the WiFi gear, it sees through fabric and plastics, mounting it behind panels isn't an issue.
    I could hide the router, and initially had it in the cargo tray. I've also tried it in the glovebox, but it caused interference with the HD Radio module. I've found that it gets better reception being higher up in the car, and I need to be able to remove it easily to use at customer appointments.

    Some customers I do demos at do not allow you to use their Internet connections for security reasons.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate jarred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnWPB View Post
    BTW, if you are using the DFX skin, you may as well go into the Skin Settings screen and set up the logo, Progress Bar, BG Color, and Font Color to match the dash colors / gauges
    I originally did, but the red did not have good contrast in the daytime. It looks really good at night though.

    I'll get a backseat picture up soon.

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