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Thread: 2002 Jeep Liberty Laptop Install

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate Startingline13's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 2002 Jeep Liberty Laptop Install

    This is a work in progress, but nearly complete. I have taken a few photos as I've gone along, but just been too tied up to write up a log for it and throw the pictures on here.

    Here are the components I've used:

    HP ZD8000 laptop
    XP 32
    80 Gig HD (New external coming soon)
    P4 1.7 Ghz
    2 Gigs of ram
    Alpine H-701 sound processor
    Rux-C701 controller
    2 Pioneer 12's
    2 sets of Alpine Type R speakers
    Inifinitie Kappa tweeters
    Sony Xplod 4 channel amp
    Pioneer Mono block amp
    1.5 Farad cap
    k301 motorized touch screen
    Carnetix 2140 PSU
    External Roswell DVD burner
    BU-353 USB Navigation
    RoadRunner front end

    The hardest part was probably getting the dashboard bezel the way I wanted it. I purchased a new one on Ebay which was slightly different from the one I had. I didn't find that out until I went to install it and had to use the rotozip to constantly make changes and get it to fit.


    (More to come soon)
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  2. #2
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    Any progress on this project ?? i would love to see how it turned out

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate Startingline13's Avatar
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    It's basically done, just a few minor touch ups here and there to get it looking nice and clean. I had it working for a bit but my carnetix crapped out so I had to get a new one and am waiting on that to return. I'll get more up as soon as I get my camera back from a friend as well.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate Startingline13's Avatar
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    Here are a bunch of shots from the dashboard. The bezel originally came with a single din slot up top for a stereo, and the bottom area was a cigarette lighter and ash tray. I cut it out and fit in the Rux controller to control the H701 sound processor, then molded it with bondo. You know the deal: mold, sand, mold, sand, mold, sand. Finally I sprayed it with flat black spray paint to match the rest of the black in the vehicle. Up top is the K301 screen which has VGA and composite video inputs.


    More to come soon...
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  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate Startingline13's Avatar
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    More pics
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  6. #6
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    Looking Nice, i too have a Jeep liberty, it's an 02 Limited and i was going to start this project and went ahead and got an extra bezel i was planning on actually fitting the touchscreen somehow, but then i had a really good deal on a OEM navigation but now i am thinking about restarting this project.

    what frontend are you going to run on it?

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate Startingline13's Avatar
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    The liberty is a great car to learn with. Basically all of the pieces of the vehicle snap together very easily, and it's not a problem to re-assemble.

    I use road runner. I tried centrafuse, and it was great, atleast for the trial while I was using it, but I couldn't justify the price tag when road runner is open source and has a ton of support for it.

    It's a daunting task at first to put it all together, but in the end after all the work is put in, it's a great feeling. A word of advice - to save yourself some length on the wire runs, open up the arm rest and shifter and run your wires through that conduit. There is plenty of space.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate Startingline13's Avatar
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    This is a work in progress, but nearly complete. I have taken a few photos as I've gone along, but just been too tied up to write up a log for it and throw the pictures on here.

    Here are the components I've used:
    (Although a number of them have been replaced as you’ll see further down in the log)

    HP-ZD8000
    XP 32
    External 500 Gig HD
    1.7 Ghz
    2 Gigs of ram
    Alpine H-701 sound processor
    Rux-C701 controller
    Mini Microphone
    2 Pioneer 12's
    2 sets of Alpine Type R speakers
    Infinity Kappa tweeters
    Sony Xplod 4 channel amp
    Pioneer Mono block amp
    1.5 Farad cap
    k301 motorized touch screen
    Carnetix 2140 PSU
    External Roswell 12x DVD burner
    BU-353 USB Navigation GPS Dongle
    RoadRunner front end

    The hardest part was probably getting the dashboard bezel the way I wanted it. I purchased a new one on Ebay which was slightly different from the one I had. I didn't find that out until I went to install it and had to use the rotozip to constantly make changes and get it to fit.

    Update: January 2010

    I’ve recently moved and now have a garage to park the car in while I’m working on it, makes things much more convenient than doing it outside in upstate NY in the heart of winter like I was doing last year.

    I’ve also swapped out the HP ZD-8000 laptop for a faster one. To create more foot room for my passengers I’ve also decided to re-run wires and move the laptop from beneath the driver’s seat to beneath the rear passenger’s seat.

    I’ve always began using Centrafuse with their navigation system instead of Road Runner (now called Ride Runner) and iGuidance. Although Centrafuse cost me $120 I felt it was worth it – the GUI runs faster, and there are a number of options I can tweak while still having the option of using plug-ins and optional open source software. I do prefer iGuidance over Centrafuse’s built-in navigation, but for some reason I’m having a hard time getting my version of iGuidance to install on this new laptop.


    In regards to the screen, after taking the K301 out to fix the power on/off button which caved it I must have inadvertently broken something with the screen or the drivers got mixed up because the calibration of the screen is off. When I touch one point on the screen, it flashes to the opposite corner. When I move down the cursor moves right, etc.
    I’ve decided to try a new motorozied single DIN 7” touch screen which I found was really affordable and works out well. While it isn’t transreflective it isn’t immaculate in sunlight, and I wish it gave more resistance when touching the screen. For the cost though I couldn’t go wrong.

    I’ve also found a small keyboard and mouse solution in this device I found on eBay China. While I was a bit skeptical at first, I went against my feeling and tried it out. The device works great. It uses RF to communicate wirelessly and charge through mini-USB perhaps once a week. It is extremely light weight, a bit slimmer than an iPhone, and measures about 5 inches wide by 8 inches tall with a full QWERTY keyboard and mouse pad similar to what you would find on a laptop. A great device for inputting text, or a secondary control device for passengers.

    I figured I would give the Carnetix one more try as a power source so I bought another new one, and it powered the USB hub, and external HDD just fine, but the moment I used the primary 20v rail to power a laptop it would short out. I had a similar problem with the last one and MP3car.com’s support hasn’t been very useful in troubleshooting the situation so I just returned it. Again. I’ve since found out how to use automotive relays to turn the HDD and 120W power inverter which I have hardwired into the car to turn on when I turn the ignition. I’ve just received the relays in the mail and will try to get to get them working at some point this week. Until then I need to flip a switch to turn the HDD on, and another for the power inverter.

    Update: 1/21/10

    I’ll take a bit of time to explain how everything is connected in the car, and will come up with a wiring diagram later. All of my power comes from a 1.5 Farad cap located in my trunk behind the subwoofers. This is wired directly to the car battery, therefore it provides a constant 12v supply of power. I’ve been using it as my distribution block for the car PC devices until I find a place to install a real distribution block, but for the 2 years I’ve had it in there I haven’t had any problems.

    Up front I have a mini microphone installed in the driver side pillar which is nearly invisible. It’s useful for when I have my phone connected via Bluetooth to Centrafuse, as well as when using skype for video conferencing. My next step is to install as USB camera to the rear view mirror so that my skype partner can see me as well as VOIP is becoming more popular each day.

    I’ve removed the stock speakers from the Jeep and installed 4 Alpine Type R full range speakers. Furthermore I chose to use Infinity Kappa tweeters up front for my high sounds. I’ve torn the dash apart trying to locate a place for a center channel speaker, but in all honesty there is no place to put it without destroying my HVAC controls and running those directly through centrafuse, but my concern is that if for some reason the computer fails, I lose control of my HVAC. That’s a project for another day. In the trunk I have two Pioneer 12” subs to fill in the sounds that the full range speakers can’t hit, but I’m considering moving to just one 10” subwoofer because I don’t crank the bass and it would afford me more room along with a tighter sound.

    Beneath the driver’s seat is an 8 port USB hub which is a necessity if you plan on using any external devices on a car PC. The three ports included with the laptop get filled up quickly. To get the 5v of power required to operate the hub, I took a USB cigarette lighter charger, tore it apart, and hard wired it directly into the car, therefore I have a continuous 5v supply of power. A nifty little device if I say so myself. Also under the driver’s seat is the Eudirol external USB sound card. It’s the same device musicians use to record instruments into a computer. I found the sound quality is great as I have it connected to the USB hub, and outputting sound through an optical cable which runs to my Apline H-701 sound processor.

    Under the passenger seat is the Alpine – H701 sound processor. While extremely expensive, it is the best audio device for automotive solutions. It offers full control over every aspect of the sound, including: individual crossovers and parametric and graphic EQ, sound delays, Dolby Digitial 5.1, Pro Logic II, Etc. I wouldn’t ever not use one in my car ever again. Originally I had it controlled through my Alpine DVA touch screen, but since I’ve gotten rid of the unit I decided to use the RUX controller which looks identical to any after market head unit. As you can see in the photos, I’ve cut out the cigarette lighter and ash tray, fit it for the RUX controller, and used bondo to set it in place and look OEM. Where an aftermarket stereo would usually go, is where my motoroized touch screen is.

    Beneath the rear driver’s side seat is the 500g hard drive, along with the 120W power inverter for the laptop. All of my music and videos are installed on this drive. I find them to be extremely durable and able to handle the cold well.

    Beneath the rear passenger seat is the laptop. I have a VGA cable run to the dashboard for the motorozied touch screen, along with a USB wire. The microphone is also directly run to the laptop and uses the 3.5 mm microphone jack. In order to have the ability to power the laptop on and off without having to hit the physical button the laptop, I tore the laptop apart to reveal the power and ground leads on the switch. From there I soldered a power and ground wire, drilled a small hole on the side of the laptop to run the wires out, then ran those wires into my arm rest where a toggle switch is mounted. I flip the switch, and the computer either powers on or off, as I tricked the laptop into believing I am actually pressing the button. I also have a USB input run into the arm rest should I ever decide to connect an iPod or thumb drive. The same is in the glove box. I have since filled it with my Verizon USB pantech modem so that I have the internet available to me at all times through Verizon.

    For my operating system I chose to go with Windows XP. It’s lightweight and the most stable of any of the OS’ I’ve worked with so far. I’ve stripped it down to allow for quicker booting times. No need for a firewall and all of the other junk included in the operating systems when you are never connecting to a network other than your own. Compatibility issues have been kept to a minimum because nearly all of the hardware and software I use was written for XP. The many versions of linux are another option and I’ve seen others use that in place of windows as an OS for a car PC, but there are a limited number of applications.

    For GPS I ran a GPS dongle from my 8 port USB hub under the driver’s seat to the roof of my trunk. A program is needed to split the GPS signal you are receiving into comm. ports that the computer can understand, so I use --------------- . It works great, but when the computer isn’t shut down properly I’ve noticed that I need to change which port is receiving information in Centrafuse, otherwise it states that I haven’t traveled anywhere.

    Because the laptop is hidden beneath the rear passenger’s seat, I decided to run a USB to USB-B cable which leads to the Rosewill DVD burner in the glovebox. I cut open a slit where my vehicle’s instruction manuals once belonged, and the DVD burner fits perfectly there. It acts a bit odd at times though and the PC will not always detect that the DVD drive is there. Although the burner plays fine when it is connected directly to the PC with a short USB cable, I’ve noticed that it will not always work correctly when connected through the USB hub (which is powered by 5v from the car). This leads me to believe that if I run a 5v line directly to the DVD burner that it will work correctly and that it is a power issue. Another thing to add to my list of things to do.


    List of things to correct:

    - Centrafuse will not automatically detect correct comm.. port for GPS
    - Run 5v wire directly to DVD burner in glove box

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate Startingline13's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate popi79's Avatar
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    Capacitor...

    Whats your opinion on your capacitor?
    Does it makes a difference?
    It's worth the investment?

    Not making negative criticism, just doing some research...

    "Most of the users you'll see in this site are still learning specially me"

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