1998 M roadster PC project
Acer Veriton L460
Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 Dual Core 2.2GHz
2 GB ram
32 GB Solid state drive
Windows XP sp3
Road runner with custom skin based on John's Digital FX 4.0
Microsoft pharos GPS
XMD1000 XM receiver
MP3 car USB adapter
Linksys USB wifi
Blackberry Bold -unlocked on T-Mobile as "rolling" bluetooth modem for weather, traffic cams, etc.
No-name 1 DIN pop out 7" LCD touchscreen
Belkin bluetoooth adapter
CarNetix CNX-P1900 DC-DC Power Supply with Acer power button cable
Factory Harmon Kardon 5.1 Amp
The biggest issue with a car PC in this car is space. There isn’t even a factory spare because of the lack of space. (BMWs idea of a spare is an air pump and a can of fix a flat.)
It is crucial that everything be removable. I tend to sell my cars quickly when I get bored with it. I have owned 56 cars total so far and the average length of ownership is only about 8 months. This car is so much fun to drive and so very fast, I've had it 2 years so far. (anyone want to trade for a 97-98 Boxster?)
I was able to relocate the factory Harmon Kardon amp to the side and use the amp mounting bracket to mount the PC in the factory amps previous home. I hot glued the amp bracket to the removable lid and used Molex connectors so that I could remove the PC easily.
The DC-DC power supply, the XM receiver & the usb adapter are all mounted with Velcro for easy removal. There are 2 pathways into the cabin. On each rear pillar, beneath the top storage area are rubber grommet 2"x4" openings.
The PC is powered from the stereo power supply using a Crutchfield BMW stereo wiring harness adapter. The power runs from the front to the back under the center console to the PC. The rca cables, vga and usb cables run from rear to front under the center console as well.
Any extra cabling is stored under the subwoofer between the roll bars. I also use the subwoofer area to place the usb hub and Bluetooth adapter, behind the grill.
Because of the very limited space in the dash, I had to use a single DIN pop out lcd display. After reading all the reviews & opinions I could find, I figured I could buy a cheap screen as they seem to have a good a lifespan as the more expensive brand names. I tried motorized but the way they came out, it completely blocked my vents. This manual screen was offset lower so at least the top part of the vents worked. It also pivots left and right which means my wife can operate it easily from the passenger seat which is handy to look up movie times. It’s not great on a sunny day with the top down so I use a basic black and white skin or the high contrast.
(My plan for the screen is to relocate the vents to the radio spot and create a removable custom dash section to put a screen.)
My plan is to get the system reliable and for it to boot quick enough to put a clone in my wife’s 3 series convertible.
I am thrilled and thankful for all the posts and expertise on this forum. Without it, none of this would be possible....